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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (6/4/18)

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With only two episodes of Raw before Money in the Bank, the Red Brand enters the home stretch. Two former Universal Champions in Finn Balor and Kevin Owens face off, while The GLORIOUS Bobby Roode will try not to #GetTheseHands from Braun Strowman! Plus, Nia Jax tunes up against Ronda Rousey’s friend, Natalya!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elias & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns; Elias & Mahal win.
  • Curt Hawkins VS James Harden; Harden wins by Disqualification, no free tacos.
  • Nia Jax VS Natalya; Nia wins.
  • Braun Strowman VS Bobby Roode; Strowman wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal: The B Team wins and will challenge The Deleters of World for the titles at Money in the Bank.
  • Six Woman Tag: Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks & Ember Moon VS The Riott Squad; initial decision reversed, the Riott Squad wins.
  • Kevin Owens VS Finn Balor; Finn wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

“Ladies and Gentleman: Elias.”

The Drifter opens Raw to a strongly negative reaction. But even so, Elias tells Houston that “I am the man who carries the power of wind in my fist” as he plays his guitar. He asks as always, “Who Wants to Walk with Elias?!” But it should be of no surprise that Elias is the first face we see, because he is WWE’s most valuable asset. He will become even more valuable when he becomes the next Intercontinental Champion. Money in the Bank will see Seth Rollins learn that WWE really stands for “Walk With Elias!” Speaking of Rollins, we saw what Elias did to him last week, smashing him with a guitar and leaving him in a pile of dirt and pain. But think about how Elias felt smashing that guitar. But as the great artist he is, he turned that pain into a song.

While Elias plays his guitar, footage of that attack replays so that everyone knows just how he hit Rollins. “The Man has fallen down.” That title will be Elias’ trophy, “because the Architect has lost his ground. The Man has fallen down. Just like the Rockets when Golden State comes to town.” But guess who else is in town? The Intercontinental Champion, Seth Rollins! Elias is ready to swing that guitar at Rollins, but Rollins stays at a safe distance. Rollins paces around the ring, with fans on his side. Elias dares him to enter, but Rollins makes sure to grab an equalizer! Rollins has a chair! Elias starts to back away as Rollins walks up into the ring. They stand off, armed with weaponry, and circling in the ring.

Elias makes a full lap before swinging, but the chair smacks the guitar away! Now Rollins has Elias cornered, only for Jnder Mahal to jump Rollins from behind! The fans boo as the Drifter and the Maharaja stomp away, but here comes Roman Reigns!

The Big Dog runs in but has Mahal and Elias on him. He still fights them, and even Sunil Singh, off! He uppercuts them all out of the ring, and helps his Shield Brother stand up. Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, appears!

Angle has everyone hold on. Elias and Mahal aren’t getting away, because now, it’s a tag team match! Mahal & Elias must face the Shield Brothers, after the break.

 

Elias & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns!

Raw returns and the match begins with Roman and Mahal. However, Mahal decides to tag out to Elias, so Roman tags to Elias. Elias tags to Mahal, so Rollins to Roman. And around again. And again, and again. The Shield stops the cycle and go after Mahal and Elias! Rollins slingshots out onto Mahal while Roman throws Elias into barriers. Rollins puts Mahal back in the ring, then chops away. Mahal puts on a headlock but Rollins powers out. Things speed up and Rollins dropkicks Mahal down. Rollins picks Mahal up and tags to Roman. Rollins whips and then Roman whips Rollins in for the forearm. Roman back elbows Mahal down, then tags back to Rollins. They double whip Mahal, and double shoulder down. Cover, ONE, and Mahal powers Rollisn to his corner. Elias tags in, but Rollins fights back, only to get clobbered from behind.

Elias keeps on Rollins with a tossing hotshot at the ropes. Cover, TWO, and Rollins gets to the ropes. Elias chokes him against them, but backs off at 4. Elias drags Rollins up but Rollins punches back. Rollins reaches but Elias whips and lariats Rollins down. Elias taunts Rollins before putting him in a neck wrench. Elias shifts to a partial cobra clutch, but fans rally. Rollins fights up but Elias wrangles him away into a chinlock. Elias trash talks him but Rollins feeds off the fans’ rally. Rollins stands, but Elias wrangles him back down into a deeper chinlock. Elias wrenches back but Rollins endures. Fans keep rallying, and Rollins stand up to reach. Elias knees low and whips but Rollins kicks him away. Elias blocks the suplex and drops the knee, but misses! Both men crawl, hot tag to Mahal to deny the tag.

Mahal whips, but Rollins boots Mahal away! Rollins throws Mahal out, and hot tag to Roman! Roman rallies on Mahal! This is a preview to their grudge match as Roman hits the leaping lariat. Roman uppercuts Elias for good measure, then clotheslines in the corner for Mahal. He hits all 10, then runs but into Mahal’s boot! Roman rebounds and his HIS boot. Mahal manages to tag Elias, but Elias runs into a boot for himself! Fans fire up while Roman gets to a corner. Roman locks and loads, then takes aim, but Mahal steps up. Roman uppercuts Mahal, but Elias escapes to the outside. Rmoan sees that and exits, to come around the corner. Roman goes for the Drive-By, but Sunil saves Mahal and Elias clobbers Roman! The Shield boys are in trouble while we go to break.

Raw returns to Roman enduring a chinlock. Elias stands Roman up for jabs, then a straight right. Mahal tags in and he hotshots Roman, covers, TWO. Mahal keeps on Roman with elbows to his head and crossfaces before another chinlock. Roman endures again, but Mahal ditches the hold to drop a knee. Mahal keeps on Roman, then tags Mahal so they can stomp and drop more knees. Cover, TWO, but Elias brings Roman up for more jabs. Elias takes a shot at Rollins just because, but Roman throws haymakers now. Roman whips but Eilas reverses and elbows Roman down. Cover, TWO, and Elias grows frustrated. Tag to Mahal, and Mahal kicks Roman back down. Mahal wraps Roman back in a chinlock, but fans rally again. Roman powers up but Mahal runs, into a Samoan Drop! Both men are down but crawling, hot tags to Elias and Rollins!

Rollins hits a Thesz press and throws hands, then the slingblade! He hits Mahal for good measure, then boots Elias to hit the Blockbuster!

Cover, TWO, but Rollins’ neck slows him down. Elias gets to a corner, but Rollins runs in. Elias puts him on the apron, but Rollins springboards up and over. Rollins dodges the knee to hit the Falcon Arrow! Cover, Mahal breaks it. Mahal glares down at Rollins and brings him up, but Roman SUPERMAN Punches Mahal down. Roman waits for Elias to get in position, and hits the Drive-By dropkick! Rollins adds the mule kick, then stomps for “Burn It Down!” Sunil distracts on the apron, but Rollins just flinches him off. Roman catches Sunil but Mahal saves his sidekick. Mahal puts Roman into steel steps, then into the crowd! Elias rolls Rollins, TWO! Enziguri from Rollins, a DIVE onto Mahal! Rollins hits the barrier neck first! Sunil drags out a chair, and goes after Rollins.

Rollins sees him first, and snags that chair away. Rollins glares at Sunil but Elias catches him, DDT on the chair! The referee reprimands Elias but what’s done is done. Elias crawls up to his feet, and drags the limp Rollins up. Elias hits Drift Away! Cover, Elias & Mahal win!

Winners: Elias & Mahal, Elias pinning

Rollins was less than 100% but The Drifter still pinned him. Elias wants to be the Intercontinental Champion, and he’ll do just about anything to get that title. Will he play Rollins’ swan song at Money in the Bank? Will Mahal also win and kick The Big Dog out of The Yard?

 

Curt Hawkins VS James Harden!

The Fact Checker made a bold prediction and promise. Fans know what he promised: when he wins, everyone wins a free taco! But his opponent is James Harden. No not THAT Harden. But he is from Houston. Hawkins is thankful to Harden for being part of history. The bell rings and they tie up. Hawkins puts Harden in a corner, Hawkins rocks him with punches and stmops. He whips Harden corner to corner, and Harden hits buckles hard. Hawkins keeps on Harden with another whip, then a scoop and slam! Hawkins waits for Harden to get up, but Harden dodges him. Harden hits back, but Hawkins makes him pay with a clothesline! Fans chant “We Want Tacos!” has Hawkins waits for Harden stand up. But Baron Corbin appears!

The Lone Wolf is grinning, which is a bad sign for Hawkins, Harden, and the tacos. Corbin hits the ring, END OF DAYS for Harden!

Harden wins by Disqualification; no free tacos

Hawkins hits 200 losses! And only Corbin is happy. Corbin smashes Hawkins with tacos! Then Corbin dumps the table onto Hawkins, adding insult to injury. Fans boo, mostly because they wanted tacos. Will Hawkins ever get out of his losing streak? Or will Corbin continue to ruin everyone’s fun?

 

Kurt Angle meets with Baron Corbin.

“What was that all about?” Corbin will explain that later. He wants his opportunities, and so he went over Angle’s head to Stephanie McMahon. She has a message for Angle. “Due to several questionable judgments,” Stephanie is creating a checks and balances system. Corbin is the Constable of Raw now! The Lone Wolf is going to enforce Stephanie’s will over Angle?!

 

Nia Jax VS Natalya!

The Queen of Harts took offense to The Irresistible Force implying her friend, “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, can’t put on her best moves. But to make sure Nia doesn’t treat Natty too rough, Ronda is here on commentary!

Will Natty help expose some weaknesses in the Raw Women’s Champion for Ronda to take advantage of? Or is the Irresistible Force truly unstoppable?

The bell rings, and Natty circles with Nia. They tie up, and Nia pushes Natty down. Nia taunts Natty, but Natty keeps her cool as they tie up again. Natty gets a headlock, but Nia is too strong for her to throw. Nia powers and pushes Natty off, but Natty comes back with a clothesline. Nia isn’t backed down at all, so Natty gets around to a waistlock. Natty is easily bucked off but Natty dropkick Nia. Nia shoulders Natty back down, then again. Natty rolls out of the ring to catch her breath while we go to break.

Raw returns to Nia squeezing Natty in a chinlock and half nelson. Natty endures and fights her way up to jawbreaker her way out. Nia comes back, but Natty tries to scoop! Nia headbutts Natty down before she can manage it. Natty gets to a corner, then boots Nia away. Natty runs out, and wheelbarrows to the facebuster! Nia staggers, and Natty dropkicks her down. Fans rally for Natty while they stand. Natty goes after Nia with forearms and kicks and even a slap. Natty kicks again, then whips, but Nia blocks with strength. Nia whips Natty to a corner, but misses the splash. Natty catches her breath, then discus clotheslines Nia down! Cover, TWO! But Rousey can tell how close Natty was there.

Natty and Nia stand, and the fans fire up for the Queen of Harts. Natty runs on Nia, but one of her knees gives out. Nia scoops Natty, Samoan Drop! Cover, Nia wins!

Winner: Nia, by pinfall

Rousey is more worried for Natty than herself. Even Nia shows some concern for the former champion. Rousey also comes over, and checks on Natty as well. Nia wants to show she’s concerned, but Rousey won’t let her near. Nia bumps Rousey, and Rousey takes offense. They stare down, and Rousey tells Nia to leave.

Nia still wants to show concern for the hurt and frustrated Natty, but she keeps her distance. Natty is helped out of the ring, and Rousey follows after. Can the Baddest Woman on the Planet prove to Nia she’s ready to be champion? Will Natalya be able to return to the ring so she can compete in the Women’s MITB Ladder Match?

 

Backstage interview with Bobby Roode.

What is his mindset going into his first ever MITB Ladder match? Ecstatic! He’s in the most life changing match in WWE, and Roode thrives in the spotlight. Roode wants to make history, because that contract is a sure-fire way to becoming the next Universal Champion. And when that all happens, it will be Absolutely GLORIOUS! But what about tonight’s match with Braun Strowman? That’s a different story. Roode’s been in the business 20 years yet no one is like Strowman. Roode will have to use every trick in the book, and maybe that can help him win. Other than that, Roode just hopes to survive.

Braun Strowman VS Bobby Roode!

The Monster Among Men vows to be Mr. MONSTER in the Bank, and he has a very good chance of doing that. Can Roode hope to NOT #GetTheseHands this close to MITB?

Raw returns to this match as the bell rings. Strowman and Roode stare down. Roode rushes Strowman but Strowman shoves him away to then roar triumphantly. Roode stands back up and manages a headlock, but Strowman powers him off. Strowman runs in but Roode dodges. Roode chops but it does nothing! Strowman throws Roode across the way! Then Strowman runs corner to corner, but into boots. Roode hops up but Strowman grabs his throat! He scoops but Roode silps out to chopblock! Roode kicks and kicks, then goes for the DDT. Strowman is too big for that and he just flapjacks Roode down. Fans want Roode to “Get These Hands!” and Strowman stalks Roode to a corner. Strowman uses a butterfly suplex to throw Roode! Fans cheer as Strowman waits for Roode to stand.

Roode rolls to a corner, and back elbows Strowman away. Roode boots Strowman, then dodges to send Strowman into a post! He surprised himself with that, and now he hurries to the outside. Roode starts looking under the ring, and brings out a ladder! A preview of MITB, as Roode prepares the ladder as a bridge. Roode grins as he hurries back into the ring. Strowman stands up, but Roode is confident. Roode baits Strowman into chasing him, and leads him around, to the ladder! But Strowman stops to avoid running into the steel. Roode gloats, but Strowman BREAKS THE LADDER, with his bare hands!!

Roode is afraid, and he runs away for real! He stumbles, and Strowman catches him, to put him into the barriers. Strowman drags Roode up and tosses him into the ring. Strowman stomps over and lifts Roode up, for the MONSTER SLAM! Cover, Strowman wins!

Winner: Strowman, by pinfall

The Monster conquers again! Strowman broke a ladder tonight, will he use ladders to break the other opponents in the MITB match?

 

Kevin Owens watches backstage.

Charli Caruso comes in for an interview and asks his thoughts on all of this. Kevin knows Strowman is big, Roode has a robe and the sky is blue. But who cares about them? Or anyone from SmackDown? Kevin only cares about winning. Finn Balor is a perfect example as to why the WWE Universe is clueless. Everyone loves Finn and the Balor Club, and Too Sweet. Was it Too Sweet when he failed in his match against Strowman? Kevin cost him that match, though. That’s besides the point! Kevin is going to win tonight, and prove to everyone that Finn is just a “made-up Irish myth.”

 

Ronda Rousey is with Natalya in the trainer’s area.

There was a pop in her leg and it just hurts now. Rousey helps Natty with the crutches, and Nia comes in to apologize. Natty understands, but her MITB chances are looking bad. Rousey is upset but Natty defends Nia. Nia says Natty is her friend, too, and Natty defends Ronda to Nia. The friends of Natty argue but she shouts for them to stop. These things happen, so Natty just needs some time. Rousey and Nia ar both worried, but they’re both still upset with each other.

 

The Deleters of Worlds head to the ring!

The WOKEN Yin-Yang is in Houston with their Raw Tag Team Championships, because they want to witness in person, who their opponents for Money in the Bank will be. The Battle Royal is up next, so how does it feel to watch the entire Division to fight for their chance? “Many men lust for power. It’s in their nature, man. It drives them, it consumes them, and ultimately it destroys them.” But any team that has the audacity to take on this team should know that they are not just facing men, but Woken Warriors! They will face fireflies! And they will face wrestling gods, and learn what it means to be WOKEN~! Ye-e-e-e-e-es! They are like magic, but so much more. Their Essences transcend space and time, and now, they are the Raw Tag Team Champions! They have awoken the WWE Universe, and ask… Is Renee WOKEN? Yeah…? WONDERFUL~!

Now it is time for the Battle Royale to commence. Senor Benjamin– WAIT! Wyatt wants it to be known, that no matter which team wins, they will first suffer and be… DELETED!!

Raw Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Battle Royal!

All the other teams of the Raw Tag Team Division fill the ring and only the last team standing will earn a golden opportunity at MITB. Will the “undefeated” B Team be able to overcome The Ascension, Titus Worldwide, The Fashion Police, The Revival, the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions of Slater & Rhyno AND the devastating duo of Dolph & Drew? Or will they be dumped out and defeated for the first time (since their redesign)?

The bell rings and they brawl while Jojo makes the explanations. Ziggler and McIntyre patiently wait on the outside while all the others fight it out. Axel saves Bo from The Ascension but then McIntyre and Ziggler jump in. McIntyre chops with Viktor, while Titus chops Ziggler. The Revival work on Apollo but then McIntyre chops with Scott Dawson. Ziggler survives on the apron as he hotshots Titus away. Viktor goes after Ziggler while Titus goes after Rhyno. Konnor beats up Slater while McIntyre continues on Dawson.

Ziggler survives again but brawls with Apollo. Ziggler goes after old foe Breeze, but Breeze dumps him to the apron. The Show-Off slingshots back in, but then is tossed back tot he apron! Ziggler jumps up, Breeze eliminates him!! He and McIntyre are ELIMINATED together! Not that he cares, he wrecks Slater and Fandango, and Ziggler returns to SUPERKICK people! Ziggler and McIntyre combine on Bo, CLAYMORE ZIGZAG!

Fans boo while the referees force them to leave. The Show-Off & Stud are pissed but this match continues without them, after the break.

Raw returns, and the brawling keeps going. Titus was eliminated during the break, so Apollo goes with him. The #TopGuys work on the Fashion Police but their friends The Ascension save them. However, this only gets Viktor whipped at Fandango, and Fandango tosses Viktor all the way out! The Ascension are ELIMINATED! But then so are the Fashion Police as Dash & Dawson toss Fandango! This leaves the Revival, Slater & Rhyno and The B Team! The Revival work over Rhyno & Slater in turn while The B Team catch their breaths. Bo becomes a target now, but he fights them off. Axel saves his partner and it’s a fight between the four. Dash & Dawson take them down, then whip Slater into the Shatter- No, Rhyno ELIMINATES Dash and therefore the team! Slater SUPERKICKS Dawson for good measure.

The B Team pounces! Axel clubs Slater but he brawls with Rhyno. Rhyno goes after Bo, too, but runs into boots. Axel kicks and DDT’s Rhyno down. Bo and Axel work together to bring Rhyno up and toss him out. Rhyno holds on, and Slater wakes up. The B Team sees their surrounded, big knee and a heel kick from Slater! Slater gets Bo in the scoop, but Rhyno is knocked away! The B Team wins!!

Winners: The B Team; they will challenge for the Raw Tag Team Championships at MITB

Axel & Bo toss Slater out for good measure, and they’re STILL “undefeated”!! The B Team are the #1 contenders, can they become “undefeated” Champions?!

 

Bobby Lashley heads to the ring!

The Alpha Male is in Houston, and is prepared for his grudge match with Sami Zayn at MITB. Sami has accused Lashley of giving him a case of vertigo, then went and used actors to imitate the Lashley sisters. But from where Lashley comes from, he does things the old fashioned way. If Sami wants to talk more trash, say it to his face. Saim’s music hits, but Sami doesn’t walk out.

Lashley waits, but the Underdog responds from way over in the crowd. Lashley wants Sami to enter the ring with him? “YES! YES!” “Not a chance.” Because the last time they were in the ring together, Lashley assaulted Sami. Sami shook Lashley’s hand but Lashley almost broke that hand. Sami couldn’t even cook his organic tofu steaks or hold the mic with that hand.

But that’s okay, because Sami is a genius! His brain never stops working, never stops scouting. Sami has great insight to the real Lashely with the power of Instagram. It turns out, Lashley loves posting inspirational quotes! Sami has some ready, and they’re up on the Titantron. “They told me to think outside the box. I showed them there is no box.” Wow, mind-blown! That’s deep. Like, Sami Zayn levels, almost. Next, “Apply for that job. Date that person. Buy that plane ticket. Move to that city. Do all the things that scare you, they’re worth it.” That one is a strong one. A personal one for Sami, because he’s felt scared to do things, too~! But now he can do anything thanks to Lashley’s Instagram. This is good, really it is. Maybe too good.

Most of these here simply Texans just think “Lashley is a genuinely good person”, but an intellectual like Sami digs deeper. Sami logged into an anonymous alt account and DM’d Lashley. But instead of a nice reply, Lashley copy-pasted a link to this: the Bobby Lashley Fan Club! “Can you believe the ego?” And surprise surprise, for only $19.99 you can get a Lashley headband. For $39.99, get a shirt! “Don’t you see what’s going on here? It’s all a ruse!” It’s a scam to fool everyone. But Sami is too smart for these tricks. Sami, where are you going with all this? Where is he literally going? Sami sure loves lurking his Instagram. Lashley hoped Sami would have the decency to face Sami face to face. Sami doesn’t talk to liars, Bobby. “If that’s even your real name.”

Lashley isn’t sure whether to laugh with, laugh at or pity Sami. Sami is leaving, but Lashley would appreciate not selling this match at the expense of his reputation. But everything about Lashley is a lie! Right down to the fake smile! Does Lashley even have sisters? Was he ever in the Army? Oh did that hit a nerve? Maybe just maybe that was another Lashley lie. Lashley gets angry and Sami steps back even from atop the stairs. Fans chant “USA! USA!” in support of Lashley, but Sami keeps shrinking away. Will Sami pay dearly for all those comments come MITB?

 

Backstage interview with Jinder Mahal.

The Modern Day Maharaja has escalated things with Roman Reigns. What is the root of their issue? “Roman is a jealous, bitter man.” ROman sees a conspiracy when in fact, he’s the only one getting opportunities. Those opportunities should go to Mahal. It’s why Roman speared Mahal before his MITB qualifying match. “But there is something in the air.” The winds of change blow, and Roman will find himself in a storm.

Roman Reigns responds.

His reaction to Mahal’s comments is that Roman is not bitter. Mahal forgot who Roman Reigns is and what he’s done. What has Mahal done around here lately? Nothing! Mahal is the one who expects to be handed things. Mahal takes offense that they aren’t doing this face to face. Roman tells Mahal to shut up. If he wants to do this face to face, they can. They’re both still here, so Roman’s gonna go find Mahal.

The Big Dog is on the hunt, but when he spots Mahal, Mahal is just as ready. Mahal throws Sunil at Roman but that doesn’t stop Roman! They brawl with heavy hands, then Roman puts Mahal into a garage door! Security and referees come in to stop this fight from happening. Mahal and Roman are ready to tear each other up, will they even make it to MITB?

 

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

The Goddess, the Boss & The Prophecy of Flame are all in the Women’s MITB Ladder match, but must team up tonight to keep momentum going towards the PPV. Will this trio hold together against the chaotic but united Ruby, Liv & Sarah?

The bell rings and Ember starts against Ruby. They circle and tie up, and go around the ring. Ruby arm-drags Ember, and the Squad cheers. Ember gets a headlock but Ruby reverses. Ember whips but Ruby arm-drags, yet Ember stays on her feet with the handspring. They tie up again, Ruby elbows out of the waistlock to then shoulder Ember down. Things speed up and Ember trips up Ruby to then slingshot splash! Cover, TWO, but Ember keeps on her. Sasha wants to tag but Alexa intercepts. The Goddess takes Ruby from the War Goddess and wrenches on Ruby’s arm. Alexa whips but she hurts her leg! Ruby goes after her but Alexa hurries to tag out to Sasha. Alexa limps away, is she giving up on the match? Raw goes to break while Sasha and Ember look at the retreating Goddess.

Raw returns and this unofficially becomes a handicap match. Liv has Ember in a bodyscissors and chinlock, but Ember stands up to walk to her corner. Liv drags Ember back into the Squad’s corner, and tags in Ruby. Ruby tags in Sarah then whips Liv in for a forearm. Ruby runs in for the shoulder, then they feed Ember to Sarah’s pop-up headbutt! Cover, TWO, and The Squad is frustrated. Sarah tags Ruby, and they stomp Ember. Ruby drags Ember up by her hair, then puts her in a double chicken wing. Ember endures the thrashing, then bucks Ruby off with the ropes. She crawls towards Sasha but Ruby drags her away. Ember stands but Ruby throws her down by her hair! Ruby goes back over but Ember rolls and hot tag to Sasha!

Sasha rallies on Liv, and gives a knee for the kick. Sasha hits Sarah, then double knees on Liv. Liv puts Sasha on the apron but Sasha kicks her away. Ruby returns but Sasha kicks her away. Sasha slingshots in but Liv disrupts that and bumps Sasha’s face off buckles! Liv adds the double stomps! Cover, TWO, and Liv can’t believe it. Liv keeps on Sasha while tagging Ruby. Ruby stomps, then tags Sarah, this is a Squad stampede. Liv tags in and stalks Sasha while fans rally for her. Liv puts Sasha in a seated full nelson but Sasha feeds off the fan energy. Sasha kicks back and reaches but Liv denies the tag. A double clothesline takes both of them down!

The fans rally, but the Squad sneaks around the side to trip up Ember. Ember fights them off with kicks, then hurries back up, only for Liv to blast her back. of Sarah htis Shotgun Knees that send Ember flying! Sasha rolls up Liv, TWO, Liv dropkicks Sasha. Cover, TWO, and Liv shrieks. She hammers away on Sasha, then drags her up to the Squad corner. Ruby tags in, then tags Sarah. They try the train again but Sasha fights back. Sasha jumps up and hits Meteora on Sarah and Ruby! Sasha is down, but so is Ember. HERE COMES BAYLEY!

She tags in!? She rallies on Sarah! Bayley hits a knee, then a Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley and team wins!

Winners: Sahas, Ember & Bayley, Bayley pinning

The Huggable One makes a surprise appearance, but it was just in time. She helps Ember and her sometimes-friend Sasha win, does this put Bayley back in Sasha’s good graces?

 

Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin see the finish.

The Lone Wolf wants to know what’s up with that. It’s none of Corbin’s business. But Corbin is the Constable now, and nowhere in the book it says you can do what Bayley just did. Angle needs to find those three and tell them that this win doesn’t count. Or else, Stephanie will. Angle concedes, is this how it’s going to be on Raw now?

 

The “winners” are backstage.

“What a rush!” Alexa quit, but Bayley made the save. Sasha agrees, and wishes Bayley was the one– Don’t. This was good enough. Ember thinks they should just hug this out already, because she wants to celebrate. However, Angle finds them, and as Corbin said, this win is reversed. Bayley wasn’t legal, The Squad wins instead. Unfair as it is, does this nullify everything Bayley just did for Sasha?

Corbin also talks to a referee about this.

“This job’s not for everybody.” Is everyone getting the shakedown now that Stephanie has appointed “Constable Corbin”?

 

The Big Show is here!

The Giant is back, and he’s here with members of Team Texas for the Special Olympics. “We want to welcome these tremendous athletes” as they compete in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. Big Show is honored to have met these athletes year after year, they inspire him to be a better person. Special Olympics embodies what it means to show love and support and Big Show is proud to be by their side. “Together, we all can make a difference.” Please show your support for the Special Olympics, inclusion, and the fun of sports! And speaking of inclusion, it’s FINN BALOR! Balor Club is for Everyone!

Kevin Owens VS Finn Balor!

Not only is this a Raw first-time-ever of two former Universal Champions, this is also a rematch that dates back to their NXT Championship match where the Extraordinary Man took the title from the Prizefighter. Both men are on the verge of an even bigger prize, who will gain momentum ahead of MITB?

The bell rings and they tie up. Kevin powers Finn to a corner, but Finn avoids the sucker punch to chop away. The referee backs Finn off given the ropebreak, and Finn honors it. Kevin comes back and the two circle. Kevin gets the waistlock, then the slam, and then he slaps Finn in the head. “Was that Too Sweet?” Finn kicks away on Kevin, and Kevin hobbles out of the ring. Kevin takes his time with the ring count, then returns at 5. He and Finn circle again while fans duel. Kevin kicks and clubs Finn down, then puts him in a headlock. Finn pushes but Kevni holds on, “Who’s Too Sweet now?” Kevin hits the headlock takeover and traps an arm. He makes it a cover, TWO. They stand up, Finn powers out but Kevin runs him over. TWO, but Kevin gets the chinlock all over again.

Finn endures the hold, and stands up again. Finn powers out and avoids Kevin this time, to then arm-drag Kevin down. Now Finn has Kevin in a hold, but Kevin stands up and puts Finn in a corner. Kevin body shots Finn, then stomps him. “That’s why this is MY show!” Kevin stomps Finn more, then drags him up for a chop. Finn staggers but Kevin whips. Finn reverses, sunset flip but roll through to a dropkick! Cover, TWO, but Finn puts Kevin back in the armlock. Kevin works his way up, but Finn wrenches the arm. Finn goes to a hammerlock, but Kevin backs him down. Kevin elbows at the break, and the ref reprimands him, but Kevin just stomps Finn again. Kevin kicks and stomps, then stops at 4. Finn stands up but Kevin whips Finn hard corner to corner. Cover, TWO, and Finn gets to a corner.

Kevin stalks Finn, and swiftly chops him. Kevin whips Finn again, but then Finn dodges and slips out to swing kick Kevin down! Finn climbs up, but Kevin rolls out to avoid the Coup de Grace. Finn has Kevin on the defense while we go to one last break.

Raw returns once more, and Finn fights his way out of a chinlock, only for Kevin to wrangle him back down. Kevin mocks Finn, “That was so close.” Kevin keeps up the squeeze, shouting that the MITB contract is already his. Fans rally for Finn, and Finn powers up again. Kevin clubs him stiffly on the back, but Finn boots out of a corner. Finn runs and rallies with a big forearm smash. Finn runs but into Kevin’s boot. Kevin hops up while Finn is dazed, but Finn swing kicks him down! Finn climbs up now, but Kevin rolls out again, so Finn adjusts plans and FLIES!

Finn takes out Kevin with the leap, and fires himself back up. He drags Kevin up and into the ring, but Kevin rolls out again. Finn grabs him and brings him back up, but Kevin hotshots the arm.

Kevin stomps the writhing Finn and goes right after the arm. Kevin then stands on Finn’s other arm before slamming the bad arm. Fans cheer for Finn while Kevin puts him in a double wristlock. Finn endures and powers up again, but Kevin wrangles him back down. Fans keep rallying, and Finn stands up again. Kevin wrenches the arm and brings Finn back down. Finn refuses to give up, so Kevin lets go. Kevin goes for the senton but Finn avoids it! Finn and Kevin slowly stand, and Kevin kicks low. Kevin clubs Finn again, and fans boo. Kevin stands Finn up and whips but Finn reverses. Finn prepares the body drop but Kevin goes for the powerbomb! Finn blocks the lift, then dumps Kevin down for the double stomps! Both men are down from exhaustion.

Finn sits up first, but Kevin gets to a corner. Kevin stands up but Finn is on him with furious strikes! Finn won’t let Kevin get away, he keeps going, then whips Kevin corner to corner. Running chop, then another whip. Kevin reverses but Finn reverses back, elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn has the fans on his side as he gets to a corner. Finn tries the slingblade but Kevin rolls him up, TWO, SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO, and Kevin can’t believe it. Kevin stands while fans cheer Finn. Kevin grimaces as he drags Finn up and throws him to ropes. Finn slingblades off the rebound! Fans fire up while both men stand, Finn blasts Kevin to a corner with the dropkick! Kevin hits buckles and hits the mat, but now Finn climbs up.

Finn takes aim once more, but Kevin uses the ropes to trip him up! Finn gasps for air while Kevin puts him in the Tree of Woe. Kevin stomps and stomps and stomps, but the referee counts him. Kevin won’t stop, so the referee calls for the bell!

Winner: Finn, by disqualification

The Prizefighter went too far, and now he loses the match. But that only makes Kevin angrier! He brings Finn into position, and then climbs up to the top, FROG SPLASH!

Kevin has that old familiar look of seething anger again as he stares up at the briefcase. Kevin grabs a ladder from under the ring, another preview to MITB. He puts the ladder in the ring while the referee checks on Finn. The referee tells Kevin to stop this, but Kevin doesn’t listen. Kevin stands the ladder up, then tells everyone to watch as he climbs it. Kevin reaches the very top, and then has an even more sinister idea now. He turns around, for… Well, no, maybe not from that height. Kevin comes down a couple rungs, and thinks about it again. This hesitation allows Finn to get up and smack Kevin into the ladder! Finn blasts Kevin with another dropkick, and now FINN gets that crazy idea. Finn climbs, and climbs, and climbs… SUPER COUP DE GRACE!!

The double stomp hits from ten feet up, and then Finn goes back up. Finn returns to the top of the ladder and takes down the briefcase! Will we see this all over again in the Men’s Money in the Bank match? Will Finn become the Extraordinary Man in the Bank?

 


 

My Thoughts:

A solid Raw overall tonight, but it only did so much to help sell MITB to those who aren’t already planning to watch. Elias opening was a nice touch, as was the confrontation with Rollins, but it was a biit too formulaic to have it become a Teddy Long style tag match. Though, the match was still fun, and apparently Houston likes Roman. It was good for Elias and Mahal to win to first set up the IC title match, and then add fuel to the Roman-Mahal grudge match. Corbin apparently moves up in the world now that he’s the “Constable”. Now he gets to ruin everyone’s fun, not just Hawkins and his taco giveaway. Also nice gag with “James Harden” getting a win.

Nia VS Natty was pretty good, and it worked to feed the Nia-Ronda story, where Nia “hurts” her leg, and it gives her two mutual friends a new reason to not get along. Braun continues to be the best thing ever with that bare-handed ladder breaking. How is he NOT the favorite to win? And obviously the B Team were the favorites in the Tag Team Battle Royal, I just wish they let McIntyre & Ziggler last longer. I did enjoy their meltdown and how they attacked everyone else. I feel like it would’ve been better if they’d messed up the match for everyone else, and then there’d need to be something else to determine contenders.

Tonight’s Lashley-Sami segment was better than the others, but it still feels like something isn’t clicking. The match will be great, naturally, but it just seems like this isn’t what either of them should’ve been doing towards MITB. The Six Woman Tag was pretty good, and it was another clever move for Alexa to be “hurt” and back out so that Bayley can make an “illegal” save, as pointed out by Constable Corbin. I’m starting to think they’re making a shift from Angle & Lashley VS Kevin & Sami to Angle VS Corbin. That’s not so bad, as Kevin VS Finn was incredible, and this could become a great program should neither guy win MITB.

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (8/13/18)

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This Raw before the Slam of Summer, we shall see the Red Roster’s Tag Team titles DEFENDED between The B Team, The Revival and THE DELETERS OF WORLDS!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alexa Bliss w/ Alicia Fox & security; Ember wins, by disqualification.
  • Baron Corbin VS Tyler Breeze; Corbin wins.
  • 2v1 Handicap: Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor; rescheduled as…
  • Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor & Braun Strowman; Finn & Strowman win.
  • Bobby Lashley VS Ricky Roberts; no contest.
  • Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The B-Team VS The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds; The B Team wins and retains the Raw Tag Team Championships.
  • Six Man Tag: The Authors of Pain & Mojo Rawley VS Titus Worldwide & Bobby Roode; Roode & Titus Worldwide win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Rowdy Ronda Rousey heads to the ring!

The Baddest Woman on the Planet is ready for Summerslam, and the first woman of commentary, Renee Young, is here tonight, too. The fans in Greensboro, North Carolina, give her a standing ovation. Ronda brings up the tragedy of losing Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, father to Natalya. “Any loss is heartbreaking, but to lose a father,” a pillar of strength in a hostile world, “we have to face the fact that our fathers have been raising us to be the pillars of strength for our families when they’re gone.” Ronda encourages Natayla to stay strong. Everyone in the WWE loves Natty, including the WWE Universe. Natty was the first person to welcome Ronda. Ronda will be the first to defend her. Alexa Bliss cheated to win over Natty time and again. “But this Sunday at Summerslam”, Ronda vows to be the NEW Raw Women’s Champion!

And speaking of beating Alexa, welcome the new opponent for her tonight, Ember Moon! Yes, the Prophecy of Flame steps up to take the Queen of Hart’s place. The War Goddess is ready for this big opportunity against The Goddess, but speaking of, here she comes! She has Crazy Like a Fox with her as she runs down Ronda making friends. Ronda will need her friends, because her good times are at an end. Alexa is tired of the people Ronda kisses up to. Don’t boo, you’re the bandwagoners saying Alexa’s match is a “foregone conclusion.” But Ronda’s had three matches while Alexa has had five title reigns. Alexa vows to prove Ronda is the over-hyped rookie she is. Summerslam won’t be a triumph but a humiliation. Alexa is also sick and tired of hearing about Ronda, Ember, and those dumb looks on their faces. Alexa mocks Ronda’s mean face.

The champ is also sick of being the only woman not protected. Roman Reigns gets kicked out to protect a main event, but Ronda can sit ringside to do the same. They have six days, so Alexa is taking no chances. She went to the only fair authority figure, Constable Corbin. The Constable agrees to personal security! Alexa’s reinforcements come out as Alexa warns Ronda to be careful around her highly-trained task force. Ronda wouldn’t dare do anything during a match, but is this just another way for Alexa to get away with Goddess knows what?

 

Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alexa Bliss w/ Alicia Fox & security!

The War Goddess stands on one side of the human wall while Alexa stands on the other. Ronda goes to be in Ember’s corner, but that’s when Alexa strikes! She hits both Ronda and Ember, then laughs at her opponents. Ronda gets mad, but the security guards protect Alexa. The referee warns Ronda, but Ronda goes after the guards! She throws three of them out, the fourth one just runs away. Alicia is Alexa’s last line of defense, but that doesn’t work either! Rowdy Ronda has control of the ring, but the battle of goddesses still has to happen. Can Ronda keep her cool while so close to her prey?

Raw returns and ALexa hides behind the referee. She then sucker kicks Ember and wrenches the arm. Ember rolls and reverses to flip Alexa. Ember wrenches the arm in a grounded hammerlock, but Alexa reaches up for headscissors. Alexa brings Ember to the mat, but fans rally up for Ember. Ember pops out then arm-drags Alexa around. She wrenches Alexa’s arm while we go picture in picture. Alexa stands up and reverses to a headlock. Ember endures, even as Alexa grinds harder. Ember tries but can’t power out at first. She gets out the second time, then runs Alexa over with a shoulder. She flips Alexa up but Alexa trips Ember to slap her. Alexa runs, but into a headscissor! Ember sweeps the leg, then runs to sliding shot Alexa. Cover, TWO!

Ronda keeps Ember focused while Alexa rolls out of the ring. Alexa takes her time catching her breath, but sees Ronda on the other side. Ember hits Alexa with a baseball slide dropkick! Ember puts Alexa into the ring, but Alexa scrambles away. Alexa grabs ropes and shoves Ember away. Ember comes back to snapmare hard into a chinlock. Alexa endures the grind but pulls hair. Ember pulls hair back, but Alexa pries her way out to wring Ember’s arm. Alexa drags Ember up and dropkicks her back. Ronda and fans rally up for the War Goddess, and she enziguris Alexa out of the ring. Alexa staggers away and Ronda glares on while we go to break.

Raw returns and Alexa kicks Ember in the face. Ember rolls Alexa, TWO, and Alexa turns the swinging neckbreaker into a slam. Alexa adds Insult2Injury, then covers, TWO! Alexa puts Ember in a chinlock but Ronda still coaches Ember up. Ember endures the grind, as well as Alexa’s mocking. She stands up as Ronda rallies the fans. Ember jawbreakers out but Alexa runs her over. Cover, TWO, and it’s back to the chinlock. Alexa grins as she grinds down the other Raw rookie. Fans rally for Ember but Alexa laughs as she tells Ronda this will be her Summerslam. But Ember gets up and arm-drags Alexa off. Ember rolls her, TWO! Alexa dropkicks Ember down and covers, TWO! She tries again, TWO. Another, TWO! Ember makes it her own, TWO, and Alexa rocks Ember with a right.

Alexa mocks Ronda more, then toys with Ember. Ember fires up, and roars! Ember rallies with rights and kicks, and knocks Alexa down with an enziguri! She hits a back elbow, then climbs up. Alexa stops her, but ends up in a tornado suplex! Cover, TWO! Alicia gets on the apron, but Ronda yanks her off! Ronda sends Alicia into barriers, but Alexa attacks Ronda! Alexa puts Ronda into barriers, then goes back to Ember. She brings Ember up, but Ember powers out for a pop-up gutbuster! Ember climbs, ECLIPSE!! Cover, but Alicia breaks the pin.

Winner: Ember Moon, by disqualification

Alicia goes after Ember, and boots her down. But Ronda returns, and throws Alicia! And again! AND AGAIN! Alicia retreats and regroups with Alexa. Ronda is all riled up, will Alexa regret ever talking down to her?

 

Raw reviews the fallout between Beast and Advocate.

When Paul Heyman told everyone Brock Lesnar refused to make his obligated appearance, Kurt Angle declared Lesnar the “worst Universal Champion of all time.” Heyman agreed, but it was a last ditch effort to save himself. Angle was moments from getting rid of both Heyman and Lesnar, but Lesnar made his appearance. Lesnar then asked if Angle and Corbin had problems with him. Before they could answer, Lesnar would F5 Angle! Corbin backed down to the scarier man, but then Lesnar went after Heyman! Lesnar wanted Heyman to get a good look at Angle, but he also gave Heyman a good look at the Tyrant he really was.

Renee Young relates the interview with Heyman last week. Heyman said that this Lesnar would be truly unstoppable. But then, after cameras cut away, he actually suggested there was one way for Roman Reigns to survive, with a simple “Unless…” But the Advocate wouldn’t finish his thought. He would leave, leaving us all wondering, “Unless what?” Heyman keeps things close to the vest, but can The Big Dog figure out the Beast’s weakness on his own?

 

Angle and Corbin argue.

Angle doesn’t appreciate Corbin going over his head again. Who cares what Angle wants? Stephanie approved these matches, so these matches are going to happen. But then Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre appear. Where’s Seth Rollins? Rollins had a PR tour and travel issues, but he will be here for the contract signing. Ziggler & McIntyre sure hope so. But for now, they’ll have to wait for the Kingslayer’s arrival. Is this going to be another rough night for the Raw GM?

 

Baron Corbin VS Tyler Breeze!

The Lone Wolf went to Stephanie McMahon to make this match happen, but without even telling Angle what he’s up to. Just days before his grudge rematch with Finn Balor, will this abuse of power come back to bite Corbin?

Prince Pretty is his “hand-picked” opponent, but given how Corbin has treated shorter, lighter superstars, is he just picking on him? The bell rings, and ties up with Tyler. He pushes Tyler to a corner, but then Tyler wrenches his arm. Corbin wrenches back but Tyler pushes him away. Corbin comes back with a big back elbow, then puts Tyler in a half-nelson. Fans boo Corbin while Tyler endures. Corbin grins as he trash talks the Fashion Police officer, but Tyler stands back up. Corbin throws him to ropes, but Tyler kicks back! Tyler runs and dropkicks Corbin out of the ring! Corbin catches Tyler off the apron, to throw him into the barriers! Corbin mockingly applauds, then drags Tyler up and into the ring. Fans rally for Tyler, but Corbin stomps him out. Corbin rocks Tyler while fans duel, “Let’s go Corbin!” VS “Corbin sucks!”

Corbin soaks in the heat, then stomps Tyler out. Fans boo and jeer while he trash talks them back. Corbin elbows Tyler in the face, then puts him back in the half-nelson. He thrashes Tyler around with the chinbar added. Tyler endures and stands up again, only for Corbin to throw him down. Fans continue to boo Corbin, but Corbin just embraces it. But Tyler kicks him back from the mat, then clothesilens him out! Tyler then slingshots but misses completely. Corbin picks Tyler up, but Tyler slips out to enziguri Corbin back! Corbin gets in the ring, Tyler hurries after. Tyler shoulders in, then slingshots up and over. He runs, but into DEEP SIX! COver, Corbin wins!

Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall

The Lone Wolf finishes his appetizer, but will he be smiling when he gets the Extraordinary Finn for his main course?

Corbin speaks.

“Wow, I’m good!” That was just a small taste of what he’ll do to Finn at Summerslam. But now it’s Finn’s turn to show us what he can do. His opponent: The Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal! Mahal is a proxy for Corbin in height and weight, will Corbin’s plan of showing size matters work out? Corbin knows Finn fancies himself as a star, so perhaps he’ll be able to handle two? Let’s make it a Handicap Match, with another opponent, and a friend of Corbin’s: Kevin Owens! The Prizefighter is getting himself a warm-up, too, as he has Braun Strowman and the Money in the Bank briefcase ahead of him in Brooklyn. Can Finn prove he’s Extraordinary tonight?

 

2v1 Handicap: Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor!

“The Little Engine That Can’t” has a tall task ahead of him, but he has the Greensboro branch of Balor Club on his side! He grins at Corbin, but here comes Angle! Corbin isn’t happy as angle gets the classic ovation of “You Suck!” Angle explains that while Stephanie approved this match, Angle can still make his own matches. He’s not cancelling but adding to this match to make it a 2v2 tag match! Finn’s partner: BRAUN!!

Kevin Owens & Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh VS Finn Balor & Braun Strowman!

Kevin may want to get his hands on the MITB briefcase, but he and Mahal are gonna #GetTheseHands first! And Greensboro joins in the Monster’s mantra as Strowman dares either opponent to step up. The bell rings and Finn starts against Mahal. They tie up, and Mahal puts Finn in a corner. Mahal shows a punch, but keeps his inner peace as he honors the break. Mahal gets a waistlock then wristlock, and brings Finn to a knee. Finn rolls and reverses, but Mahal reverses back. Mahal puts his weight on Finn, but Finn kips up. Mahal knees Finn low, then brings Finn back down. Finn endures the headlock, they stand back up, and Finn powers out. Mahal runs him over, then embraces the heat. Things speed up, sunset flip and Finn dropkicks! Finn steadies himself, but Mahal powers him to the corner.

Kevin tags in and they mug Finn in the corner. Kevin stomps away, then rams knees into Finn’s back. He puts Finn in an armlock, but fans rally up for Finn. Finn reaches but Kevin brings him back down to the mat. Kevin stomps Finn, but Finn pushes against Kevin. Kevin knees low, then whips Finn to the corner. he mugs Finn more, then tags Mahal. Mahal keeps on Finn, then snapmares him for knees. Mahal drags Finn back and tags Kevin. They split the wishbone, and Finn crawls to a corner. Kevin whips Finn, but Finn boots back. Finn dodges, then tags Strowman! Kevin quickly tags Mahal, and Mahal gets blasted! Kevin runs away, Strowman puts Mahal in the ring. Mahal wants mercy, but Strowman wo’t give it. Mahal unleasehs, but gets chopped down! Strowman takes aim and kicks Mahal in the ribs.

Strowman puts Mahal in a corner, and whips him corner to corner. Then he runs in for a big corner splash. He puts Mahal down, then spots Kevin. Kevin cowers away, so Strowman headbutts and runs Mahal over. He then clubs Mahal down with one hand! Strowman tags Finn, and he becomes Strowman’s weapon for the scoop slam senton! Cover, TWO! Finn brings Mahal up, gets a jawbreaker but gives a dropkick! Finn builds speed, but Kevin trips him up. Strowman chases Kevin off! Kevin regroup with Mahal, Finn FLIES on them both! The Man and the Monster are in control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Finn fights his way out of the half-nelson. Mahal brings him back down, and puts more weight on him. Finn gets up again and fights with forearms. Mahal shoves and kicks Finn down, then tags in Kevin. Mahal anchors Finn while Kevin drops an elbow. Kevin drops more elbows, then rains down rights. Kevin taunts Strowman, then goes back to Finn with a knee and chinlock. Finn endures the bend and stretch while Strowman chomps at the bit. We go picture in picture while Finn fights out again. Kevin knees lo, but his back senton gets knees! Hot tag to Mahal, who denies Finn a tag to Strowman. Mahal runs and drops knees, cover, ONE. Mahal puts Finn back in a half nelson, but Finn endures. Finn gets out but Mahal shoves him back. Finn fights his way out, but his tag is denied again.

Mahal puts him in a corner, Finn boots him away. Finn throws Mahal out, then crawls for Strowman! Mahal gets to Kevin to tag, and Kevin stops Finn. Finn fires off forearms on Kevin, but Kevin whips him. Slingblade! Hot tags to Mahal AND Strowman! The Monster rallies on Mahal with shoulders, then hits Kevin, too. Fans are all fired up as Strowman runs Sunil AND Kevin over! He then returns, but misses the buckles. Mahal hits him with a knee, but then runs into a scoop MONSTER SLAM! Strowman covers, Strowman & Finn win!

Winners: Finn Balor & Braun Strowman, Strowman pinning

The Monster in the Bank carries the Extraordinary Man through this tall task, but he has his own challenge ahead of him. Can Strowman keep from losing in any way so that he doesn’t lose his briefcase to Kevin? Speaking of Kevin, Strowman chases him to the backstage area! Corbin strikes with End of Days on Finn! Fans boo and jeer, but Corbin gets the last laugh. Will he get one more over on Finn in Brooklyn?

 

Angle talks with Stephanie on the phone.

Ziggler & McIntyre check in on Rollins’ status. Is Rollins scared after that beating from last week? Though it’s done wonders for them! If Rollins doesn’t show up to sign, there’s no Intercontinental Championship match. What a shame. Angle promises Rollins will be here. Fine, but Ziggler wants to double check that contract to make sure Angle didn’t let something fall through the cracks. Wait they misspelled Ziggler. What? Gotcha! They leave, but will Rollins arrive in time?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen”, Ricky Roberts!

Greensboro’s own cowboy says his favorite musician in the entire world is THE Elias! He may not be as good as the Drifter, but one day he will. He’ll be so good, he’ll be in the Country Music Hall of Fame. And when that day comes, Elias himself will come to Ricky and tell him, “Hello, I am Elias.” The Drifter himself is here! And Elias wonders what he’s looking at. Get his stool. A staffer sets the stool out for Elias to sit on. Elias doesn’t understand what’s going on, but there’s only one Drifter and you’re looking at him. But Elias knows Ricky’s a fan, so is he big enough to go to WWE Shop to buy a copy of Walk With Elias/What Would Elias Do? bracelet? Just $5! Is he that big of a fan? Ricky nods “Yes”, so Elias wants Ricky to humiliate Bobby Lashley.

Elias wants the WWE Universe to understand how insane his life has been. He’s sold out Madison Square Garden, he’s got a hit album at the top of the charts, and this Saturday, he’ll have a concert in the Gramercy Theatre. Then Summerslam will be his greatest performance yet, because of the universal truth that WWE really stands for “Walk With Elias!” Elias has a song for us tonight, and admits he’s a harsh critic of the public. He only speaks the truth, and says Tar Heels are a strong people. They’re a resilient people. Because it must take “unmatched strength” to wake up here knowing they live in a pile of garbage. But before he can run down the Tar Heels more, Elias is interrupted by Bobby Lashley!

Bobby Lashley VS Ricky Roberts!

The Alpha Male takes on the would-be cross between Elias and the Honky Tonk Man. This guy needs a new shtick, WWE already has a no-talent clown who claims to play guitar. Ricky bashes his guitar on Bobby, and that only pisses Bobby off! Bobby whips Ricky, into a SPINEBUSTER! Ricky’s feeling the Bobby Lashley Blues, but will Elias be feeling the same very soon?

 

The B Team crunches the numbers.

They have a triple threat coming, but Curt Axel wants Bo to “B Positive.” It’s hard to when their odds are lower than usual. But their odds are always low. Yes, but against two teams at the same time, this is a 33.3333% chance of winning! Bo checked, double checked, and even got mathematicians to help. They’re in trouble. Axel says math didn’t get them where they are now, teamwork did! The B Teamwork has given them the best run of their lives, so it’s time to run for their lives! Can Bo & Axel keep themselves from B-ing DELETED!?

Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The B-Team VS The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds!

In a match of three teams, only one team may hold the Championships of the Raw Tag Team Division! WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt wish to bring the titles back to their Yin & Yang while the #TopGuys want to #SAYYEAH to their first main roster reign. With these teams closing in, can Bo Dallas & Curt Axel hope to still B champions after this?

Raw returns as The Revival make their entrance. The “undefeated” champions make their entrance, we have our introductions and the belts are raised. Per triple threat tag rules, two men start, and that’s Dash Wilder against Bo Dallas. They tie up, Bo rolls Dash, TWO. Dash puts Bo in his corner, Scott Dawson tags in and they mug Bo. Dawson puts Bo in the open corner and chops hard! Bo is reeling but Dawson is on him with a snap suplex. Cover, ONE, but Dawson is on Bo with a handful of hair. He brings Bo over, tags to Dash, but Bo fights back! The numbers are too much, but Bo elbows Dash down from the whip. Hardy tags in and rallies on Dash. He gives Dash DELETE DELETE buckle bumps! Hardy throws off his shirt, then DELETES Dash with a corner clothesline.

Dash pushes out of the bulldog, but gets the Side Effect! Cover, TWO! Hardy hits Dash with a rope attack, then hops up to give Dash a flying elbow. Hardy chants “DELETE! DELETE!” with the fans, but Dawson tags in. Dash grabs hardy, Hart Attack from The Revival to honor The Anvil. Cover, TWO, but Dawson keeps on Hardy at the ropes. The referee backs him off, but Dawson comes back to chop and club Hardy down. Dawson brings Hardy up and whips him to the corner. Hardy boots back, but gets clobbered down. Tag to Dash for the leg drop weapon. Cover, TWO, and we go to break.

Raw returns, and Dash has Hardy in an armlock. Fans rally and Hardy fights his way back. He elbows Dash at the ropes, and hits a headlock drop! Dawson tags in to intercept, but gets tossed aside! Wyatt tags in and rallies on Dawson, Body Check! Fans fire up with Wyatt as he corner splashes and urenages Dawson. Then one for Dash! Wyatt sees Bo come in, that’s three urenage! Axel gest in and denies a fourth, but then he ends up in buckles. Wyatt grabs Axel, Dawson leaps for a sunset flip on Wyatt, causing Wyatt to throw Axel with a German Suplex! TWO, and Wyatt rocks Dawson. Dash shoves Wyatt out, then builds speed to DIVE! Into an APRON Urenage! But then Bo flies and hits Wyatt!

Everyone but Hardy is down, but Hardy isn’t going to be left out. Fans rally with “DELETE! DELETE!” and he climbs up. Dawson returns to stop him, then climbs up to join him. The others gather nearby, Hardy SUPERPLEXES Dawson onto them! All six men are down but fans are sure “This is Awesome!” The referee can’t count anyone out, but he makes sure they all return into the ring. Wyatt, Hardy and Dawson are up first. Wyatt goes after Dawson and they go into the ring. Hardy follows, but has to take care of Bo first. Wyatt chops Dawson, but Axel tags in. Dawson and Dash get caught but fight out. SHATTER MACHINE! But Axel is legal and throws Dawson out! Cover, B Team wins!!

Winners: The B Team, Axel pinning; still the Raw Tag Team Champions

The “undefeated” B Team keep rolling as they choose the right time to strike. They have the belts this close to Summerslam, when will their Cinderella story end?

 

The B Team celebrate.

They pass by Roman Reigns and promise him and everyone, don’t sleep on the B Team! Roman has his own title hunt to worry about, and he heads to the ring after the break.

 

Ziggler & McIntyre go back to Angle.

The contract proves Angle plays favorites. Ziggler points out a particular section that Rollins gets a corner man. Yes, because Ziggler has McIntyre. They could take it out, but that means McIntyre would be banned from ringside. Ziggler accepts the terms, but he just “hopes” Rollins shows.

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

Greensboro welcomes The Big Dog with the standard mixed reaction, but as usual, he’s not bothered by it at all. That’s because Roman has one more chance, and perhaps his last chance, at defeating The Beast. The Conqueror has become The Tyrant, but that only makes Roman more resolute. Roman speaks, “Leave this place better than I found it.” That’s what Roman tells himself every time, but the truth is, he can’t do it with Lesnar still here. Therefore, Lesnar needs to leave! Fans like the sound of that. Roman is sick of Lesnar from talking to hearing about him, “so it ends this Sunday at Summerslam!” And Roman finally gets his Universal Championship, to send Lesnar back to the UFC to find his head stuck up Dana White’s ass.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman.” And not to copy SmackDown, “It’s a New Day, Yes it Is!” But also, to lock something else down, the Usos are the future of WWE’s Tag Team Division. And the other future of a division is none other than the #1 contender, Roman Reigns! Roman isn’t sure what to make of this. He welcomes the former Advocate to the Beast into the ring to see what Heyman’s up to next. Heyman says this is Roman’s week. Why wait until Sunday to make history? Roman can make history right here and right now.

If Roman saw that interview footage, he knows Heyman Roman can’t defeat Lesnar “unless”. And that “unless” is having Heyman tell you Lesnar’s “dirty big secrets.” Heyman can do that for him. Roman thinks he can beat Brock, but with Heyman, Roman will know he can win. That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler! Heyman offers his hand, fans want Roman to take it, but Roman says Heyman doesn’t understand. Roman knows the plan, because he won in Saudi Arabia. Lesnar wouldn’t have gotten out the cage without Roman spearing him through it. And it would’ve ended much sooner if Heyman didn’t interfere. “Guilty as charged.” Heyman has no excuses, but hopefully the sins of this father won’t be visited on his children.

But that’s the past, Heyman talks about the future! Heyman sees next week, Raw after Roman slays the Beast, the two of them side-by-side and Heyman introduces himself to say he’s the Advocate to the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, ROMAN! REIGNS!!” Fans still seem okay with that, but Roman still doesn’t. He knows Heyman is trying, but it’s not good enough. Heyman will understand better than anyone, Roman was groomed for this. His father taught him how to swim with the sharks, and how to recognize those who are drowning. Heyman is drowning, and not worth saving. “Good luck on your future endeavors.”

Heyman seems a bit beside himself, but admits Roman is right. He’s drowning with knowledge learning from his teenage years, riding with Afa & Sika. Heyman says Sika taught Heyman something he teaches all his family. Roman learned it in Samoan, and Heyman repeats it in Samoan. Roman seems to understand, but is still confused. Heyman wants to make this simple. He presents an Agreement in Principle. He wants Roman to look it over, then think it over, and answer him at Summerslam. Roman takes a look at it now, but then Heyman maces Roman!! Roman is reeling and gagging from the intense pepper spray, while Heyman storms off. Why, Heyman, Why!? This is why: BROCK LESNAR IS HERE!! The Beast has a blinded Big Dog on a silver platter, and tees off with knees!

Roman does all he can to cover up but it doesn’t matter, Lesnar gets him down on the mat. Lesnar looms over Roman, and puts him in a guillotine choke! Roman can’t see, and now he can’t breathe! Heyman holds onto the Universal Championship, his master plan having worked perfectly. Lesnar lets Roman go, because Roman is out cold. Greensboro is a thunderous mix of cheers and jeers as Lesnar takes his belt back. The Beast and Advocate are ruthless as ever, because Lesnar goes back for more! Lesnar waits as Roman slowly sits up, and then picks him up, for the F5!! Fans want that “One More Time!” but Lesnar has had his fill for the night. Is Lesnar once again guaranteed to retain? Or will Roman recover and harness his rage to finally rip the belt from The Beast’s hands?

 

Six Man Tag: The Authors of Pain & Mojo Rawley VS Titus Worldwide & Bobby Roode!

Akam & Rezar have #KillerInstinct just like the former Hype Man, while The Real Deal and his rising star feel it’d be GLORIOUS to team with the former US Champion. As these two rivalries fuse in one match, which side will come out with momentum towards Summerslam?

Akam and Apollo Crews start, and Akam puts the star in a corner to then whip him corner to corner. Apollo goes up and over to then dropkick Akam. He wrenches an arm but Akam forearms Apollo down. Akam puts on a headlock, Rezar tags in, Apollo is fed to a boot. Rezar covers, TWO, but he keeps on Apollo with a neck wrench. We go picture in picture while Apollo endures. Apollo gets up but Rezar thros him down. Rezar trwash talks, then tasg in Akam. The AoP combine for an atomic drop and roundhouse. Cover, TWO, but Akam keeps on Apollo with another neck wrench. We go single picture as fans rally for Apollo. Apollo is put in a corner, but he dodges Akam to then enziguri him down. Hot tag to Mojo, and he blasts Titus down!

Mojo drags Apollo up and backs uplexes, but Apollo slips out to tag in Roode! Roode fires off on Mojo, then climbs up for a flying clothesline. He hits Rezar, too, then corner clotheslines Mojo. he whips but Mojo reverses. Mojo runs into a boot, then a GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, but Rezar breaks it. Titus collides and clotheslines Rezar out, but Mojo hits him from behind. Mojo turns around, GLORIOUS DDT! Cover, Roode & Titus Worldwide win!

Winners: Roode & Titus Worldwide, Roode pinning

Is this the begging of a GLORIOUS new signing to Titus Brand? Or will the AoP rewrite the ending so that they conquer the veteran team?

 

Roman Reigns gets his eyes cleaned.

The Big Dog’s eyeballs are burning, but the medics quickly work to flush the pepper spray out. Will Roman be in any shape to even leave on his own?


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G1 Climax 28 Ratings and Joint Review

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Well we have reached the end of the road. G1 Climax 28, Grand Finals night.

Hiroshi Tanahashi won the A-ce Block and Kota Ibushi won our hearts…and…well…the B Block. Both have some history facing each other, and both are known to be more than competent wrestlers, so we’re looking at a great match.

Now it should be noted that Mathew and I will do this article jointly, similarly to how we did the Finals of the Champion Carnival.Also in an amusing turn of events, we both predicted this finals, but we’re rooting for the other’s block winner.

So if Tanahashi wins that would make me a perfect 3-0 in the tournaments we’ve covered, for the eventual winner coming from my block ( Marufuji won Champion Carnival, Masato Yoshino won King of Gate).

With that, I’m okay being wrong if Tanahashi wins. So let’s get to the show.

 

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata,  Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino

Average match, glad to see Honma again, but nothing special – Mathew

Yeah, basically what Mathew said, basic match, nothing super impressive. It is nice to see Honma back for his technically third match since returning from injury. But this was just a standard Young Lion opening match.

Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop

Rating: **

 

Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale

This was a glorified squash match. Henare got in a good headbutt, but this just went quick.

Henare dead – Mathew

Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall

Rating: *

 

Taichi & Iizuka vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI

Taichi got introduced and they kept cutting off his music with Iizuka’s music, so that messed up his singing idol gimmick.  Iizuka doesn’t come out with Taichi, and instead jumps the CHAOS members form behind.

The match was fine, if anything it proves that Taichi would’ve been a better addition to the G1 than YOSHI-HASHI, since HASHI eats the pin.

Decent match, Miho Abe is gorgeous, HASHI needs to go away, and what does this all mean for Taichi? – Mathew

Winner: Taichi via Last Ride Powerbomb

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Cody & Hangman Page vs Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Cody’s first match since San Francisco, so he can’t really lose, can he?

Juice took the hand wrapping off before the match started, and wasn’t shy about throwing hands. Finlay did his usual thing, where it’s never quit enough to get the job done. Page blind sided Juice with a Buckshot Lariat, before everyone started wiping each other out with signatures. Cody finishes the match, countering the Pulp Friction into a Vertebreaker.

Solid match, everyone pulled their weight, except for Finlay. Cody decided to cut in line for the US Title, rude. – Mathew

Winner: Cody via Vertebreaker

Rating: ** 1/2

 

NEVER 6 Man Tag Team Championships: Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll & The Young Bucks

Decent match, felt more like an ROH match than New Japan. Not really sure how I feel about Taiji’s first belt being this one, but the blatant disregard for the belts at the end was fantastic. – Mathew

This wasn’t supposed to be a title match, but Tama talked some smack and Matt Jackson asked the President to make it official. So even though the Tongans are one wrong move away being suspended, now they get a title shot.

When we get down to the match, it was paced out like most ROH Trios matches, and never really got out of that gear. We saw a few more Super Kicks than usual, but a bunch each man’s signature moves. Double Sharpshooter into Chicken Wing spot popped the crowd pretty hard.

Tama makes the blind tag, so when the Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver on Taiji, the giant cluster happens. Tama slinks off into the corner to draw less attention, but eventually lands the Gun Stun for the win.

Winner: Tama via Gun Stun

Rating: ***

 

Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & Bushi

Well the drama between these clubs goes back a few months when Suzuki and Naito had their match for the Intercontinental belt.  This is just being furthered along by Zack Sabre ruining Naito’s chances to win the G1 Climax. So this should be entertaining.

Before the bell rings, Suzuki-Gun jumps Los Ingobernables de Japon and they spill to the outside. Naito and Suzuki have a chair based stand off and from there on we get the usual multi-man match. Each person comes in, does their thing, but with the tempers flaring.

The match ends with SANADA dodging Kanemaru’s Whiskey Mist and slapping on the Skull End while the rest of the members are on the outside going crazy.

Bit of a cluster, sloppy at points but it told a story and did what it needed to. Young Lion Lives Matter – Mathew

Winner: SANADA via Skull End

Rating: *** 1/4

 

Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs Kenny Omega, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi

Jay hasn’t played well with SHO and YOH, but how will he fair with Ishii and Yano? On the flip side, Omega could use a little momentum after 3 straight singles losses, included a singles loss to Ishii.

Entertaining, Pieter’s dance was the best part, but did a good job at what it was supposed to do. – Mathew

Like Mathew said, at one point in the match all six men are in and the Bullet Club members do the Row Boat spot, but Yujiro asks Pieter to come in an help. So she decides to get in the middle of all six men and urge them along by spinning and dancing all sexy. Yujiro gets infatuated first which allows Ishii to roll of the ring, and the rest of the men just stop and stare at Pieter. Kenny decides to be the party pooper and slap sense into his teammates and escort Pieter out of the ring.

Aside from that, we had a few good spots with Omega/Owens doing a Superkick/Pump Kick combo on Ishii, and good team work on both ends. Eventually Owens and Ishii are alone in the ring, Owens goes for the Package Piledriver, fails and gets a Vertical Drop Brainbuster for his troubles.

Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Kushida, Rey Mysterio & Pro Wrestler Sengokuenbu vs Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH

We have the debut of an unknown samurai wrestler from the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japan. Time traveler, or just a big fan, he makes his appearance to help out Rey Mysterio and Kushida against the CHAOS members.

Best tag match on the show, everyone delivered, very entertaining. Sengokuenbu was the highlight, now we just need to figure out who he could be. Give us Mysterio vs Liger already, dammit! – Mathew

The match saw a lot of all three guys getting in good offense, a tease for a Double 619, that Okada stopped with his picture perfect Dropkick. But stereo Tope con Hilos at the end, set up Mysterio to get YOH into position for the 619 and West Coast Pop, to pick up the pinfall.

Nothing crazy happened during or after, just a good ole fashioned fun match with no storyline implications, just entertainment.

Winner: Mysterio via 619

Rating: *** 3/4

 

G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi

So these two have put on some great matches in the past. Does Ibushi avenge his loss at Power Struggle 2017? Does the Ace have one more run left in him? Enough hyperbole, time to find out.

I thought the match was just simply incredible. The story of the match, the intensity and emotion of it all really delivered to give us the perfect way to end the G1 Climax overall. It showed Ibushi is on another level compared to his previous runs in New Japan and can be everything they look for if he ever signs a fucking contract! Tanahashi winning is the right call in my opinion and I really hope he’ll be the one that breaks the WK curse and beats Omega for the championship, he definitely deserves that one final run.- Mathew

Mathew’s sentiment is right on the level with mine. But we also saw some fantastic spots in this match. Ibushi countered a Sliding Dropkick from Tanahashi on the apron, and Double Footstomped perfectly on his chest, a quickly snapped off Avalanche Frankensteiner as well as his new Double Knees Moonsault. Tanahashi was in usual form also, with a couple Short Arm Slingblades mixed in with two Twist and Shout Neckbreakers.

Throughout the match, the story and struggle was painted plainly on both men’s faces. Ibushi kept trying to hold back his emotions, until the spirit of Shinsuke Nakamura overcame him. A few antagonistic kicks to the head, mixed with two or three Bomaye Knees from different angles. Hell Ibushi even hit his Outside-In Deadlift German Suplex on Tanahashi, but only for 2 counts.

Tanahashi had a hauntingly similar sequence to the Power Struggle match, but instead of 2 High Fly Flows, this time it took 3 for Tanahashi to finish the job. A momentous occasion of course, but it should be noted that Kota never hit the KamiGoye. For those who don’t know, KameGoye means “Beyond God”, and he named it such because of Tanahashi. It was the move he was going to use to finally surpass God, and God, to Kota Ibushi, is Tanahashi.

Not quite there yet for Kota, but words can’t adequately describe how amazing this match was.

Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow

Rating: ******

Thoughts:

Tanahashi wins his third G1 Climax, and the winner comes from my block for the third time this year! Yes I know I picked Ibushi, but being wrong there, still kinda paid off. The match was tremendous, the undercard built like a normal New Japan show. So now we get to see when and where Jay White will challenge Tanahashi for the contract, and if Kazuchika Okada might make a challenge.

Even though all previous contract winners have lost at Wrestle Kingdom, we might finally see something change. Maybe Tanahashi wins, maybe he loses it before the big show. Guess we’ll just have to sit back and find out.


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Andrew’s MLW Fusion Ratings & Review: 8/10/2018

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Well I missed last week’s MLW Fusion episode, but Chris Platt did a fantastic job with his review.

After Battle Riot the stories are now facing towards War Games. Team Strickland versus Team Callihan should start building nicely. So let’s see what else they’ve got in store.

 

Leon Scott vs Barrington Hughes

Leon Scott starts rocking Barrington Hughes with some stiff strikes, before Hughes catches him with an Uranage. After that, he hits the ropes for an Elbow Drop, going for the pin, but Sawyer Fulton and Sami Callihan interfere for the DQ.

Winner: Hughes via DQ

Rating: N/A

Kotto Brazil comes out for the save, at the same time challenging Sami Callihan. Callihan gets riled up, Kotto hits a Dropkick followed by a Tope con Hilo into all the Death Machines.

 

Kotto Brazil vs Sami Callihan

Brazil had some decent offense on the outside before the bell, but after getting a Missile Dropkick countered into a Powerbomb from Callihan, the match starts. It should be noted that the only reason the match starts is because Sami intimidates the referee and tells him to ring the bell.

This was more of a match than anyone expected. Callihan was taking him lightly early, even insisting the ref give the standing 10 count instead of inflicting more pain. But Kotto got in some great moments of offense. A Body Scissors Vicotry Roll, Code Red and a few different Dropkicks gave him quite a few near falls. The match ends when he attempts an Avalanche Frankensteiner but Callihan holds him, and counters it into a Middle Rope Jacknife Powerbomb.

From that point, he nails the Get Out of Here and the match is done. Kotto gave him a hell of a fight, but Callihan was just too much.

Winner: Callihan via Get Out of Here

Rating: *** 3/4

Teddy Hart and New Hart Foundation promo, getting across the fact they don’t like “Jabroni Fake News” websites.

Kaci Lennox backstage interview with Konnan regarding the situation with Salina de la Renta. Low Ki approaches him and implies that he shouldn’t try to do what he did in other companies.

 

Falls Count Anywhere MLW Middleweight Championship Match: Joey Janela w/ Aria Blake vs MJF

Right off the Konnan interview we see Janela with a referee walking around backstage, and he finds MJF in a bathroom, beginning the match.

They work down some steps and into the bar area with some awkward spots and strikes. Janela gets the advantage at some point but MJF smartly uses Aria Blake as a human shield to swing the momentum. After the commercial break Janela lands a Double Footstomp from the apron through a chair on MJF’s chest.

Janela shares a swig of beer with a fan and then takes MJF up the ramp to finish the match. After countering a move from MJF with a Back Body Drop, he asks Aria for a kiss before ending the match. Aria plays a little coy, but then clocks Janela with a bottle, helping MJF retain. So Janela gets screwed and well…I guess MJF does too, just a different kind.

Winner: MJF via Aria Blake heel turn hitting Janela with a bottle

Rating: ** 1/2

Sami Callihan backstage promo revealing the 4th member of his War Games team, Jimmy Havoc. Havoc plays a little hardball telling him he’s “gotta sell him”, but a few jokes about Mexico and an agreement to go to the bar for some Stella Artois leads us to believe he’s as good as in.

Team Filthy and Stud Stable have words that seem to lead to Tom Lawlor accepting a Dojo Fight. 

Going back to Konnan, Rey Fenix and Pentagon come out with their contracts. Konnan asks him if they saw what he said, and they rip up their contracts and walk off laughing with Konnan.

Kevin Sullivan has words with Brian Pillman Jr after seeing what the Hart Foundation was saying.  Sullivan is trying to steer Pillman away from Davey Boy and Teddy, but Brian says they understand the pressure that he’s under so he respects them.

 

John Hennigan vs Teddy Hart

Teddy Hart being back in a full time promotion is definitely something. Not sure what, since he tends to be unpredictable, but it’s kind of nice. Hennigan is under another name in another promotion, so this should be good.

Both guys play to the crowd often, and the crowd is split. But it should be mentioned that this is the most alive I’ve heard the crowd since the debut episode. Teddy hits some crazy moves nearly immediately as he counters Hennigan trying to bring him back in from the apron, into a Twisting Cutter. You saw both guys trying their damnedest since the winner of this match gets a shot at Low Ki next week.

A Code Red into a Top Turnbuckle Assisted Canadian Destroyer, gives Hart a near fall. After that he goes for a few Springboard Moonsaults, but Hennigan eventually gets the knees up and begins his flurry. He pulls off the Sliding Middle Rope German Suplex, right into Starship Pain for only 2. Hennigan then tries Countdown for Impact (That Parkour Elbow Drop), but misses. Hart hits a violent looking Lung Blower, followed by a Top Rope Twisting Asai Moonsault and then a Middle Rope Asai Moonsault, again only for 2.

Each competitor has had words with the referee during this match, but Hart shoots Hennigan into the corner to get it reversed. Hart tries to pop over Hennigan possibly for a Victory Roll or Code Red again, but Johnny sits down and hooks a Double Leg Cradle to steal the win.

Winner: Hennigan via Double Leg Cradle

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Thoughts:

Really good wrestling and enough story telling to keep me happy. This type of episode is the perfect balance in my opinion. Moved along 3 big stories with Konnan, Team Filthy and War Games. As well as telling stories in matches with Aria Blake’s heel turn, Kotto’s heart and Teddy Hart’s road to redemption.

This was probably my favorite episode of MLW Fusion to date, damn good job.


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