AXS TV finishes NJPW Dominion with THE match of the entire event: Best 2 out of 3 Falls, Kazuchika Okada VS Kenny Omega for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship #OneMoreTime! Will the Bullet Club’s Cleaner finally take the title from The Rainmaker? Or will Okada’s historic streak reach 13 successful defenses?
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- Six Man Tag: Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rey Mysterio VS The Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Best of Three Falls: Kazuchika Okada VS Kenny Omega; Omega wins and becomes the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV review what has led to this amazing main event!
“The history of professional wrestling changed on January 4th, 2017 at the Tokyo Dome”, for one of the greatest feuds in NJPW was born! The Rainmaker had barely begun his fourth reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion when Kenny Omega came for the title. Omega was the first foreigner to win the G1 Climax, and was ready to win on NJPW’s biggest stage. Their 46 minute match astounded the world, and even in defeat, The Cleaner established himself as one of the best.
Five months later, they had a rematch just a year ago at Dominion 2017. This time, it would be a 60 minute DRAW that was the pinnacle of pro-wrestling. However, they were not done. Omega wanted Okada a third time, at the G1 2017! They met in B Block’s final, and the at-the-time IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion defeated THE champion. However, the strife within Bullet Club sidetracked Omega, and he not only lost the IWGP USHC, but he almost lost his friends forever.
Meanwhile, Okada won again and again to break the historic title defense record. The Rainmaker now stands at 12, but he remembers his time-limit Draw and G1 defeat to Omega. Okada called him out, and Omega accepted. This is the fourth time around, there will be no time limit, and one man must score twice to win the entire match! Who will prove themselves THE BEST in NJPW, if not the entire wrestling world, today?!
Six Man Tag: Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Rey Mysterio VS The Bullet Club’s Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!
The Ace is joined by two living legends of wrestling to battle the American Nightmare, Problem Solver & Villain for a star-studded showdown! Can Tanahashi, Liger & Mysterio combine and show the younger generation how it’s done?
Tensions run high even before the bell, but the teams keep from breaking out into a brawl. The teams calm down and sort out while we take a quick break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Liger and Scurll start. Scurll trash talks the junior heavyweight legend, but fans are on Liger’s side. Scurll calls out Mysterio? The fans like that idea, so Mysterio tags in! Time for payback from Long Beach. Except Scurll tags out to Hangman. Even Hangman is surprised by that one. Mysterio gets the fans chanting “6 1 9! 6 1 9!” as Hangman comes in. Hangman gets in Mysterio’s face and demands Tanahashi. Mysterio points over to him, and the fans like that, too. Tanahashi tags in, and Hangman stays. They circle, tie up, and Tanahashi gets the wristlock. Hangman reverses the wristlock but Tanahashi reverses back. Hangman reverses back but Tanahashi does it back. Tanahashi gets the hammerlock then the headlock, then back to the hammerlock. Hangman gets his own hammerlock but Tanahashi reverses and gets the headlock again.
Tanahashi grinds Hangman but Hangman powers out, only for Tanahashi to run him over. Tanahashi runs, and Hangman expects him to go over, but Tanahashi drops an elbow! Hangman gets up, angrily floundering to the Bullet Club corner. Cody and Scurll calm Hangman down, and Cody tags in. Fans are mixed over the American Nightmare, but are definitely behind Tanahashi. Tanahashi and Cody circle, but Cody gets some push-ups in. Fans boo as Cody flexes, and Tanahashi himself is not impressed. Cody and Tanahashi circle, but then Tanahashi shows his push-ups off. Tanahashi flexes, and fans like that. They finally tie up, and Cody gets the headlock. Tanahashi powers out but Cody ducks under, only for Tanahashi to throw him with arm-drags.
Cody kicks low, drops for the uppercut, then brings Tanahashi over. Scurll tags in, but Tanahashi gets away to tag Mysterio! Scurll runs but Mysterio dodges, only for Scurll to run Mysterio over with a shoulder. The Villain flaps his wings “Woop woop” before covering, TWO! Scurll goes to put his full weight on him, but Mysterio counters and gets up onto Scurll’s shoulders to then sunset flip. TWO, and Scurll swings, but Mysterio gets under the punch to give a kick. Mysterio whips but Scurll reverses, only for Mysterio to kick him again. Mysterio runs and headscissors Scurll down. Fans fire up as Mysterio tags in Liger. Scurll panics but he’s tossed out by the NJPW legend. Liger builds speed while Tanahashi holds Scurll in place, and Liger hits the baseball slide!
Scurll hits railing, but Tanahashi feeds him to Liger. Liger grabs the legs and gets the arms, for the full surfboard! Hangman and Cody attack Tanahashi and Mysterio to then attack Liger. Scurll is free but the referee reprimands Cody & Hangman as they stomp Liger out. Scurll drags Liger over, and he copies the surfboard. Liger resists when it comes to the arms, so Scurll just stomps the knees. Scurll kicks Liger in the head, then tags in Cody. Cody stomps on Liger, especially the legs. He throws haymakers and kicks, and has Liger in the Bullet Club corner. Cody cartwheels away to blow a kiss to Mysterio. Tag to Hangman, and Hangman stomps Liger’s leg. Hangman brings Liger up, for a back suplex. Cover, TWO, but Hangman hangs on to that leg.
Tag to Scurll, and Scurll hammerlock stomps! Liger writhes in pain while Scurll taunts Mysterio and Tanahashi. Tag back to Hangman, and they take out Liger’s team again. All three Bullet Club members focus on Liger now with a double whip, drop toehold, basement dropkick and Hangman’s standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Hangman argues with the referee, but fans rally up for the legend. Hangman drags Liger over and tags in Scurll. Scurll kicks Liger while he’s down, then stalks him to a corner. Scurll shouts “He’s no legend to me!” as he whips Liger corner to corner. Liger comse out with a back elbow, but misses the palm strike. Scurll gets Liger with the feint to kick out a leg, then runs, but into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker!
Both men are down, but fans are fired up. Liger crawls, hot tag to Mysterio! Mysterio springboards in for the seated senton, then runs to whip Scurll. Scurll sunset flips but Mysterio rolls through to kick Scurll down. Mysterio whips but Scurll reverses, but Mysterio tilt-o-whirl headscissors Scurll away. They speed up, quebrada to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Mysterio has the fans all fired up, and he waistlocks Scurll. Scurll standing switches but Mysterio bucks him off. Mysterio mule kicks Scurll, then springboards again, wheelbarrow throw! Scurll’s on the ropes, but Hangman tags in! Hangman slingshots just as Tanahashi tags in, and Mysterio dodges Buck Shot to feed Hangman to Tanahashi’s elbow. Tanahashi springboards for a crossbody, then dropkicks Cody for good measure. Hangman’s boot is caught into a dragon screw, and Tanahashi fires up.
Tanahashi runs, but into the roaring elbow. Hangman lifts Tanahashi, but Tanahashi denies the Rite to hit the swinging neckbreaker! Tanahashi keeps going, but runs into a cheap shot kick. He makes Scurll pay for it, but Hangman kicks and runs, so Mysterio gives that cheap shot back. Mysterio shoulders in, but Hangman knocks his slingshot down. Hangman and Tanahashi collide with clotheslines, but neither man falls. Tanahashi slaps Hangman, but Hangman discus clothelines Tanahashi down! Both men crawl for their corners as fans rally. Hot tags to Cody and Liger! Liger waistlocks and rolls Cody, TWO, small package! TWO but Liger is on Cody with a waistlock.
Cody elbows out, then runs, but into the SHOTEI! Cover, but Scurll breaks it. Mysterio returns but Scurll gets his fingers! Mysterio breaks free and enziguris Scurll. Scurll crawls to ropes, and Mysterio runs. Hangman returns, intercepts, and prepares a bomb, but Tanahashi kicks Hangman in the stomach. Mysterio headscissors and Hangman ends up beside Scurll. Mysterio runs, for a DOUBLE 619!
Scurll rolls out while Hangman flounders, Tanahashi brings him down with a Slingblade! Hangman rolls out while Mysterio wipes Scurll out again. Tanahashi slingshots out to hit Hangman again, and Liger goes after Cody. Liger brings Cody up to the top rope, then climbs for the SUPER Steiner! He keeps going, but Cody escapes. Cody wants Cross Rhodes, and hits it! Cover, Bullet Club wins!!
Winners: The Bullet Club, Cody pinning
What a shock! The youthful trio defeats the living legends! Though, what’s not shocking is that Cody attacks Liger after the win. But then Mysterio springboards in, hits Cody with a seated senton, then literally kicks Cody out of the ring. The Bullet Club regroups while Tanahashi and Mysterio check on Liger. The bad guys get the win and get away, but will there be payback down the line?
IWGP Heavyweight Championship, Best of Three Falls: Kazuchika Okada VS Kenny Omega!
The finale of Dominion 2018 has the biggest match yet between the two best in NJPW! History is on the line along with the title, will 13 prove to be The Rainmaker’s unlucky number? Or will The Cleaner finally have the grand prize he’s been seeking?
Omega has his friend in the Golden Lovers, Kota Ibushi, in his corner, while Okada has Gedo as always. Of course, it is odd that it’s only Ibushi in Omega’s corner, given how close Omega is with The Young Bucks. But Bullet Club dysfunction aside, Omega must focus on the history-making champion across from him. Red Shoes presents the belt to Omega, does his check of both men, and the bell rings to begin the first fall!
Omega and Okada soak in the moment as fans cheer for them. They start to circle, then slowly approach. They tie up, and Omega gets the waistlock. Okada works against it, and gets the standing switch. Omega pries his way out to a wristlock, but Okada rolls through. Okada reverses but Omega reverses back. Omega gets the headlock takeover, but Okada headscissors. Omega pops out and the two stand off. Fans applaud and duel between these two modern greats. Okada and Omega circle again. Omega lunges in, leg takedown to waistlock to facelock. Okada reverses to his own, then brings Omega up. Okada changes to a cravat, then snapmares for a chinlock. Omega moves and works his way out to a grounded armlock. Omega wrenches that arm, but Okada shifts. It becomes a cover, TWO, but Omega chases Okada to the ropes. Omega honors the ropebreak and backs away.
Okada comes back and fans duel again as they circle. They tie up, Okada rolls to get the wristlock. Okada brings Omega to the mat with the top lock, but Omega kip-up to reverse. Omega toeholds and cartwheels to the facelock. They stand up but Okada gets the leg trip. Okada drops an elbow on Omega’s leg, then makes it a shinlock. Omega grinds his forearms into Okada’s face, but Okada doesn’t let go. Okada wrenches back, but Omega grabs the chin to turn Okada. Omega gets the ropebreak, and Okada lets go. They both stand up and circle again. Another tie up, and Okada powers Omega back to a corner. Okada honors the ropebreak, but then fakes a hit to pat Omega on the shoulder. Omega comes back, looking to strike, but gives back two shoulder pats.
Omega then rushes in but Okada dodges the knee. Okada runs in but Omega goes up and over. Omega comes back but is popped up onto the shoulder. Omega slides off and kicks low, to then whip. Okada reverses but Omega holds ropes to avoid the dropkick. Omega dropkicks Okada in the knee, then runs, leap frog, but Okada slips out to wristlock and swing out! Omega ducks the lariat to shovel Okada onto his shoulders! Okada flails and gets to ropes to bring Omega outside with him! They both hit the floor, but are getting up slowly. Ibushi coaches up Omega, and both men stand up to brawl at ringside. Okada hits, Omega hits, then back again.
They pick up speed in their strikes, but Okada gets an edge. Omega still hits back, then whips Okada at the railing. Okada reverses to send Omega into railing! Okada then boots Omega over, into the gap. He then clears space, gets a running start, and FLIES over the railing, but into a V-Trigger! Okada clutches his arm while Omega gets up. Omega drags Okada up, and then takes a piece of railing like a ramp. He scoop slams Okada onto it and chairs! Then they go back to the ring, and Omega covers. TWO, but Omega keeps focus. Fans rally up and duel again. Omega drops elbows into Okada’s shoulder, then covers again, TWO.
Omega runs, for another elbow drop. He stalks Okada as he rolls away. Omega sits Okada up to kick him across the back. Omega toys with Okada a little, then kicks him in the back again. Gedo coaches Okada up, and Okada dares Omega to kick him again. So Omega does, as he kicks Okada’s back twice, then runs for the dropkick to the head! Cover, TWO, but Omega still keeps his cool. He brings Okada up and bump him off a buckle. Omega chops Okada in the corner, then again. He lifts Okada, for a running backbreaker. Cover, TWO! Okada writhes while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and fans rally up again for both men. Omega brings Okada up into a half camel clutch. Okada endures as he works his way out. Okada crawls for ropes, but Omega pulls back on him more. Omega gets both arms for a full camel clutch, and rocks back and forth to pull on the spine. Gedo shouts for Okada to fight, and Okada pops out to get the ropebreak. Omega lets go, but he kicks his heel into Okada’s back. Fans rally up again, and Omega brings Okada up. Okada hits Omega with a haymaker, but Omega gives him a blunt chop. Okada hits Omega again, but Omega chops Okada again. Omega even chops Okada’s back as he leans against the ropes. Omega turns Okada around to chop the front, as well. He runs, but Okada catches him in the flapjack!
Both men are down, and fans rally up again. Omega stands first, then drags Okada up. Okada hits with a forearm to the body, then a forearm to the head. Omega swings but misses, and Okada fires off more shots. Okada whips but Omega reverses, but things speed up and Okada runs Omega over with the back elbow. Omega gets to a corner, and Okada whips him corner to corner. Okada back elbows in the corner, then hits a DDT! Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps his cool. Okada grabs Omega for a seated cobra clutch. Omega flails, stands up, and throws Okada off. Okada ends up outside, but he dodges the slingshot. Okada slingshots and hits Omega! Both men go down, but Okada is up first. Okada brings Omega up and into the ring, then climbs up top.
Omega sees him and gets under the jump. Omega runs out, but his kick is blocked nito Okada’s kick. Okada runs, but into the huricanrana! Okada goes back out, but Omega sees him. Omega baseball slides and hits Okada in the back! Okada tumbles over the blue railing and to the floor. Omega gets up as fans drum for the Terminator. Omega aims, springboards, and LEAPS! He wipes Okada out with that insane crossbody! Omega stands first, and brings Okada up. They go back over the blue railing and to the ring. Omega runs, leap frog bulldog! Cover, TWO!
That was so close, but Omega keeps going as he brings Okada up. Omega lifts Okada in the cross-leg fisherman, to brainbuster! Fans rally and Omega powers up. He aims, BANG, and runs, but misses the V-Trigger! Okada gets Omega with a German Suplex on the rebound, but Omega lands on his feet! Omega thrusts, Okada manages to block the knee, but Omega comes back to hit another! Omega goes for but Okada denies the Reverse-Rana by holding ropes.
Okada reels Omega in and hits the German Suplex with bridge! TWO, but barely as Omega simply rolls sideways. Okada holds on, prepares the wristlock, but Omega backs him down to a corner. Omega throws back elbow after back elbow, then hoists Okada up top. He chops Okada for good measure before climbing up. Omega prepares something but Okada resists. Even so, Omega keeps trying. They fight with body shots, but Okada sends Omega down. Omega comes back with a big forearm and rocks Okada to his knees. Omega drags Okada up, and puts Okada up top backwards now. He climbs up and wants the half nelson. Okada resists as Omega tries the full nelson. Okada elbows Omega off, then hops down to the apron. He gets Omega in Tombstone position! APRON TOMBSTONE!! Okada rolls away while Omega writhes.
Fans rally and duel again. Okada rolls away while Omega stands up. Okada blasts Omega off the apron with a dropkick! Omega hits railings ribs first! Red Shoes checks on Omega, but Omega refuses to let this end. Okada comes out to fetch Omega, giving a forearm to that bad spot in the ribs. Fans rally as they go back into the ring. Okada climbs up again, and hits a powerful missile dropkick! Cover, TWO!? Omega refuses to let Okada score even this first fall, that’s how much the title means to him. Okada has Red Shoes check on Omega, but again, Omega refuses to end this. Okada brings Omega up again, scoop slam, then he climbs up top again. He drops the elbow from up top! Okada calls for his namesake more, but Omega catches him with a Snap Dragon Suplex! Okada rolls away while Omega fires himself up.
Omega goes Terminator, takes aim, and builds speed, to FLY! That senton was double edged given Omega’s bad ribs, but he doesn’t care. Omega gets up and brings Okada up. They go back into the ring, and now Omega climbs up top. Omega aims at Okada, for a missile dropkick to the back! Cover, TWO! There’s still no first fall, but Omega looks to change that. Omega has the full nelson, but Okada fights free with back elbows. Okada runs but Omega reels him in for a chop to the back. Omega shovels Okada up, wants the Angel, but Okada hops off. Okada wants the lariat, but Omega kicks it away. Omega V-Trigger, then another shovel. Okada fights it, so Omega pops Okada into a German Suplex! Bridge cover, TWO?! That wasn’t the first fall!? Omega can’t believe it, but that’s how much this means to Okada.
Fans are thunderous as Okada crawls. Omega says BANG, then runs, for the V-Trigger! Then, the shovel, but Okada pops out and dropkicks Omega in the back. Omega’s against ropes, and Okada whips him across the way for the dropkick. Okada fires up, and he brings Omega up again. Wristlock and swing out, but Omega ducks. Omega wristlock and swings Okada out for a V-Trigger! Cover, high stack, TWO!! That was as close to three as could be! Omega drags Okada up while Gedo pounds as hard as he can. Omega has Okada up in double underhook. He lifts, but a headscissor counter throws Omega! Omega comes back, but Okada scoops him into position, Tombstone! Okada won’t cover, he wants his move. He drags Omega up, swing out, but Omega tilt-o-whirls around Okada. Omega tries a sunset, but Okada sits on it! Okada gets the first fall!!
FIRST FALL: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall
It took over 28 minutes to do it, but Okada scores the first point! Omega is now behind the 8-ball if he wants to win this match and the title. Both men are allowed a brief break to regroup, and we go to a television break.
NJPW on AXS returns and both men have returned to their corners. Okada grins, confident in his 1-0 lead. Both men are ready to go, and the bell rings on the second fall!
Omega rushes Okada immediately, but runs into a kick. Okada puts Omega in a corner and throws a forearm, but Omega fires off many more in return. Omega clubs away on Okada’s back, but Okada puts Omega back in the corner and onto the top rope. Okada dropkicks Omega down, and Omega tumbles to the floor. Omega staggers while Okada catches his breath in the ring. Okada waits while Omega crawls. Okada goes out to thread Omega through the railings and pull back on his head! Omega can only endure the pain. Red Shoes comes out to get Okada to stop. Okada brings Omega around and clubs that neck. Okada hits the bad ribs, too, then wrenches Omega’s arm before whipping him at railing. Omega stops himself, then mule kicks Okada. Omega uses the rails as a springboard, but Okada shoves him to the front row!
The railings save the fans, but not Omega. Okada catches his breath while Omega writhes. Omega sits up, but Okada is upon him from across the rails. Okada drags Omega out, for a draping DDT to the floor! Both men are down, but Okada from exhaustion while Omega from the damage done. Red Shoes gets Okada to go back into the ring. Okada waits while Omega stands up. The 20 count begins, but Omega returns at 8. Fans applaud the heart of the challenger. Omega hits Okada, but his punches are too weak. Omega chops, and those have a bit more sting. Okada backs down, Omega runs, but into Okada’s boot! Okada backs off to a corner to recover from those chops. Omega sits up, but Okada is on him. Omega swings but ends up in the cobra clutch!
Okada brings Omega to the mat, but Omega won’t quit. Fans rally as Okada wrenches on Omega’s neck. Omega moves around, reaching for ropes. Okada keeps him back, and he wants Omega to quit. Omega refuses, and he gets a second wind. Omega jawbreakers out, then chops Okada again. He runs, but into the headlock, which he counters with a back suplex! Both men are down again, and fans rally up again. Omega follows Okada out of the ring, and back suplexes him on the apron! Okada slumps down while Omega makes his way back up. Omega “borrows” a table from the timekeeper’s area, and throws it on top of Okada. He gets onto the apron, and leaps for a double stomp onto Okada and table!
The table stays solid as it squashes Okada! Omega then sets that table up, as it has more left to do. Omega drags Okada up and over, but Okada throws Omega into a post. Okada and Omega both go back inside the ring, but slowly after all the damage done. Fans rally up with Gedo as Okada scoop slams Omega. Okada goes for a back senton, but Omega puts his knees up! Omega drags Okada up, fireman’s carry, and “You Can’t Escape!” But Okada slips off before the rolling senton, then fireman’s carry for the Heavy Rain! Both men slowly stand, but Okada blasts Omega into a corner with a dropkick! The second fall continues after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and both men are slowly stirring. Okada goes after Omega and drags him over to the center of the ring. Okada climbs up again, but slowly. Omega gets up and throws hands on Okada. Omega chops Okada again, then climbs up to join him. They stand up, and Omega uses the cross-leg fisherman for the SUPERPLEX! The crash landing hurts them both, but Omega feeds off the fans’ rally. He stands up and dares Okada to stand. Okada slowly stirs, and Omega is upon him with forearms. Omega whips but Okada reverses, only for Omega to reel him into the fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton, then the moonsault, but onto knees! Okada hits the running European Uppercut! Now Okada stands first, and he stares at that table Omega set up. He calls his shot as he brings Omega up.
Okada whips and goes to back drop, but Omega flails and lands on his feet. Omega runs, dodges, and hits a running DDT! Okada ends up on the apron, and Omega calls the shot for the table. Omega joins Okada on the apron, and ignores Red Shoes as he begs Omega not to do this. Omega brings Okada up with a waistlock, but needs the Young Lions to pull the railing back. Okada holds onto ropes for dear life as Omega pulls for the German Suplex. Omega keeps trying but Okada keeps holding on. Omega clubs Okada’s back, then tries for the full nelson! Okada resists, but Omega clubs him until he gets the hands free. Okada elbows back, and Omega hops down, but then tries the electric chair! Omega wants the Angel but Okada slips out to wristlock swing! Omega ducks under again, to Reverse-Rana Okada on the floor!
Both men are down again, but Omega gets up to get in the ring. Red Shoes checks on Okada. Okada is still moving, and the 20 count begins. Gedo shouts for Okada to move, but the count passes 10 before Okada crawls. Okada turns himself around and flounders to the ring. He beats the count at 19, but Omega hits a V-Trigger! Then, electric chair, but Okada reverses! Jumping Tombstone! Okada wants to keep going, wristlock and swing, but Omega counters with a yurinagi! Fans are fired up all over again as both men slowly stir. Omega sits up first, then crawls over to Okada. Okada slowly sits up, and the two glare as they stand up. Omega hits first with a forearm, but Okada comes back with his own. Omega hits again, but Okada still comes back with another.
Now Omega chops Okada, and it echoes out. Okada forearms, and they go back and forth, faster and faster. Omega ducks, gets around, Snap Dragon! But Okada springs up to dropkick Omega back! Omega staggers, and Okada whips. Omega reverses to dropkick Okada! They both get up, get running, and Omega counters Okada’s dropkick into a sit-out powerbomb! Omega rolls Okada over, not for a cover, but for another V-Trigger! Then he hauls Okada up, double underhook, but Okada back drops out of it! Omega sunset flips but Okada sits on it, TWO!!
Okada EuroUppers, then runs, but into another V-Trigger! Omega grabs Okada, double underhook, piledriver! Cover, TWO!? Okada will not allow Omega to tie this up, no matter what. But Omega takes aim again, BANG! He runs, V-Trigger! Then, the electric chair, One-Winged Angel! Cover, Omega scores the second fall!!
SECOND FALL: Kenny Omega, by pinfall
After 19 minutes, The Cleaner ties it up at 1-1! We go to break while both men regroup for the third and final fall!
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell, and Omega immediately V-Triggers Okada in the head! Omega hurries to haul Okada up for another, but Okada slips out! Okada gets Omega with the wristlock and swing, RAINMAKER! The lariat connects, but Okada falls away from Omega. He can’t make the cover, he’s missing his chance. Fans are thunderous as Okada crawls over to try, TWO! Okada and Omega stir as fans rally up again. Okada sits up, but Omega follows. They get to their feet, but Okada is on Omega first. Okada tries but Omega blocks the gutwrench scoop. Okada tries but Omega counters into his own gutwrench. Both men fight for control, but neither will make it easy for the other.
Okada clubs Omega with double ax handles. Omega swings a hand, but Okada blocks to give a EuroUpper. Omega manages to slap Okada, but Okada gives another EuroUpper. Okada brings Omega up for another EuroUpper, and Omega staggers to ropes. Okada whips, but Omega’s stumble saves him from Okada’s dropkick. Omega gets up and fans are rallying behind him. Omega drags Okada up, lifts, but Okada resists. Okada holds on against whatever Omega has planned. Omega clubs away with forearms and palm strikes. Okada goes limp enough for Omega to try again. Omega lifts, but Okada fights out of the powerbomb. Okada goes to huricanrana, but Omega blocks it with strength! Omega improvises, and takes a page from a former Bullet Club leader, STYLES CLASH!! A truly phenomenal idea as Omega rolls Okada over for the cover. TWO!?!
Okada survives, grabbing the rope for good measure. Fans chant “AJ Styles!”, remembering who that move represents. Omega gets to a corner while Okada crawls the other way. Omega takes aim at Okada, runs corner to corner, V-TRIGGER! But he’s not done, as he goes for another electric chair. But Omega’s legs and back give out, he collapses while Okada falls into buckles. Okada rests against the buckles while Omega fires himself up. Omega uses the corner for help in shoveling Okada up. Fans are thunderous once more as he has Okada up. But Okada slips down, prepared for the Tombstone! But then Omega slips around and lifts Okada for the same! Wait, he changes it up, cradle piledriver!! Cover, TWO!!?
Even Ibushi is shocked at how close that was! But again, this is all for pride, history and the title. Any one of those is reason enough not to quit. Ibushi coaches Omega up and to keep focus. Omega gets up again and positions Okada before climbing up top. Phoenix Splash, FLOPS! Okada comes back with a dropkick to the back. Okada drags Omega up again, gutwrench scoop, but Omega slips out again. V-Trigger knocks Okada down! Omega drags Okada back up, for another V-Trigger. Then another! Omega backs up, but Okada blocks the third one, and counters with a dropkick! Okada gutwrenches but his back won’t let him, so he dropkicks Omega again. He drags Omega up, wristlock and RAINMAKER– But there’s no power behind it…! Okada and Omega slump to the mat, running on fumes.
Fans have not stopped, they are still thunderous for both men. Red Shoes begins a count, and the two men begin to stir. The count stops at 7 as both men crawl over to each other. Okada weakly clubs Omega, and Omega weakly forearms Okada. Okada throws Omega’s face to the mat, but Omega forearms Okada back. Omega hits, Okada hits. Omega slaps, Okada slaps! Now Omega headbutts, and it’s almost double-edged. Omega stands up and drags Okada up with him. Okada RAINMAKER outta nowhere! It wasn’t the full form, but that was still good enough to clobber Omega. Okada has the wrist as he drags Omega up again, for another RAINMAKER! Omega is down, but Okada can’t make the cover from exhaustion. Okada comes back around too late, but he grits his teeth as he drags Omega up one more time.
Omega is dazed as Okada swings him out, but then GERMAN SUPLEX! They fall sideways, no bridge to cover. But Omega holds on to the waistlock as fans rally up again. Omega drags Okada up, for another German! But Omega doesn’t try for the bridge there, he wants more. He drags Okada up again, but Okada standing switch to GERMAN Omega! But the bridge is lopsided, no cover. Okada doesn’t care, he returns to his wristlock control. He drags Omega up, swings out, but Omega dodges! SNAP German! Omega tries again but Okada elbows out. Reverse-Rana! Omega uses all he has left just to stand while Okada rests against ropes. Red Shoes comes over, and Omega uses him. BANG, but into a dropkick!
Okada still has something left as he drags Omega back up. He wristlocks, swings out, but is reeled into a sudden One-Winged Angel!! But Omega can’t cover, even as Okada groggily crawls to ropes. Okada is out of it, but Omega still gets up. Fans are thunderous as Omega gets running again… V-TRIGGER!! Then, electric chair, ONE-WINGED ANGEL!! Cover, Omega WINS!!!
Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Heavyweight Champion
He has done it!! Omega wins in an amazing comeback from behind, and has ended Okada’s historic reign! This war for the ages was a total of 65 minutes, the most memorable 65 minutes anywhere in wrestling, and it ends with Omega becoming the 66th heavyweight champion! We go to break while both men recover before the championship presentation.
NJPW on AXS returns…
Okada is still dazed, and Omega can barely move much himself. Ibushi helps Omega sit up, but on the ramp are Omega’s other friends, the newly crowned IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, The Young Bucks! Matt & Nick Jackson slowly make their way down the ramps as Omega checks on Okada. Fans cheer this show of respect, as well as this incredible accomplishment. Ibushi helps Omega stand so that the announcement can officially be made. The Bucks enter the ring as Omega is presented with the belt. They bring it in for hugs! The Bucks are so proud of their friend for finally achieving this accolade. Even Ibushi joins in!
Okada is helped away by Gedo and a Young Lion, having left it all in the ring. Meanwhile, Red Shoes hands Omega the title belt, so that he may truly celebrate this moment. With Ibushi and the Bucks by his side, Omega puts on the belt to truly feel like he’s champion.
Omega gets a microphone, and speaks to the crowd in Osaka. “I guess I’ll do my best to speak a little Japanese.” Omega says these past ten years, he’s done so much. His ultimate goal was always this IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Omega thought that if he ever got the belt, he’d leave Japan. But now, in the middle of this match, he saw pro-wrestling’s future. Wrestling has truly evolved. And because of that, as the leader, the champion of NJPW, he will take the next step and move forward. He is champion, the Young Bucks are champions, and “Bu-san” Ibushi is the “strongest and handsomest tag team partner”. They can do anything, so let’s all go together!
But of course, this is a worldwide promotion, so Omega speaks some English. Today was a miracle. So many people tell Omega he’s not the best, he’s a waste of time, he should fit in or take a payday, should stay calm and Tranquilo. But that’s not Omega’s way. Omega’s way is to make his own rules and live the way he wants. With everyone beside him, especially his best friends, “we can truly do anything.” “But alas”, after that hour-plus long main event, Omega is tired and almost died, so this is where he bids us adieu. “Thank you so very much. Good bye, mwah, and good night! BANG!” The confetti fires and rains down on this #GoldenElite.
But then, Cody reappears? The Bullet Club dysfunction is still happening on the side, and clearly Cody looks annoyed. Cody leaves without a word or a gesture of respect. Will he be aiming for the Cleaner again in the near future? That is something to worry about when the time comes. For now, Omega’s friends hoist him up onto their shoulders to celebrate!
Omega says he defeated the greatest wrestler on modern Earth. Okada is the “total, complete package”, the man who carried NJPW to this point. But this is as far as Okada can go with it. Omega sees NJPW’s future, its evolution and the evolution of all pro-wrestling with it. He has so much more to do now that he is IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Omega will do his best to fill Okada’s shoes as he writes a new chapter, a new legacy, for NJPW. Even after putting his body through Hell, Omega wants more. Where will NJPW go and what heights will they reach with Omega at the helm?
I’m practically speechless after that main event, but I’ll do my best to form words. Dominion 2018 raises the bar on not just the other wrestling promotions around the world, but on NJPW itself, to where I’m not sure how they’re going to outdo this. Okada VS Omega Part 4 alone puts everyone else on notice for what a Match of the YEAR candidate really looks like. And thinking about it, Dominion was a great event for Bullet Club as a whole, with the trio of Cody, Scurll & Hangman defeating Liger, Mysterio & Tanahashi, then the Young Bucks checking off the Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, and of course, Omega winning THE Heavyweight Championship. The only thing missing is an end to the civil war. Perhaps one more time for Cody & Omega will do it, but it’d have to be something truly decisive, and no less than for the title.
My Score: 9.6/10
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (1/21/19)
Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey, defends her title at the Royal Rumble, but she first tests the waters against Sasha Banks in tag team action!
- Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman; Finn wins, by disqualification.
- Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Apollo Crews; Lashley wins.
- Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre; Rollins wins.
- Six Man Tag: Lucha House Party VS Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers; Lucha House Party wins.
- Elias VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Heavy Machinery VS The Ascension; Heavy Machinery wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships, Special Referee: Curt Hawkins; Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Revival; Roode & Gable win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bayley; Banks & Bayley win.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.
WWE has a 10 bell salute for this great man and his fight for “love and justice between fellow human beings.” #LongLivetheDream
The Beast returns to Raw!
The Royal Rumble approaches, and that means a WWE Universal Championship match comes with it! Paul Heyman has a mic and while fans boo and jeer, he again introduces himself as The Advocate for “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR!!” And to get down to business: on last week’s Raw, in front of a global television audience, Finn Balor pinned John Cena. It was not a fluke, it was not controversial, it was simply Finn Balor stepping up and seizing the moment. “So much so” that John Cena took to the mic to say he believes in Finn. Cena should, because the WWE Universe has declared “We Believe in Finn!” And the WWE Universe should, because even Paul Heyman believes in Finn!
Heyman gives Finn credit where credit is due, because even Finn believes in Phoenix, he will do the very same thing he’s always done: capitalizing on fate and opportunity. And not just in any match, but a title match. Not just any title match, but a Universal Championship match. And not just against any Universal Champion, but against Brock Lesnar, who trained to prepare for Braun Strowman. Lesnar wont’ defend against the temperamental Monster Among Men but against a man with a completely different style. And that is why Finn believes in Finn, and why Heyman believes Finn believes in Finn. And that’s why when Finn says this himself, you should listen to him, for he is the voice that matters.
However, Heyman’s is the voice that martyrs. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar will make Finn into that martyr, “sacrificed for the sin of making you believe he can conquer the unconquerable”! Sacrificed for believing Finn can take what Lesnar’s got! Sacrificed for thinking Finn is a “Slim Reaper” who will slay The Beast. But here comes that spoiler alert for Raw and the Rumble: “Even miracles fear Brock Lesnar.” Sunday, Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona, THE Royal Rumble PPV, Brock Lesnar will put to bed the “ridiculous notion” that Finn Balor even belongs in the same ring, with Finn looking up from the mat saying “Oh my God, I believe in Brock Lesnar.” But wait, that’s Vince McMahon! And The Chairman heads straight for the ring!
Vince takes up a mic and with fans cheering him, he tells Heyman that he’s actually going easy on Finn. That was some old school promoter style drumming up of business. Heyman saying FInn stands no chance against Lesnar is rather passe. Now you should try David and Goliath. One day, David went out, ate all the mushrooms, and thought he could take on a big nasty giant. He did, and Goliath beat the hell out of David, until he was reincarnated as Finn. What? Vince says Finn earned his opportunity, and both men have their fans, but even in “Hillbilly Land” Oklahoma City, the fans know- What’s wrong? He’s speaking too fast. Well if any fans actually believe Finn will win, then you all believe in fairy tales. But this is no fairy tale, this is BRAUN!!
The Monster Among Men may not get Lesnar at the Rumble, but he wants Lesnar now! Vince asks Strowman what the hell he thinks he’s doing out here, but Strowman and Lesnar are too busy staring down. Fans chant “Get These Hands!” while Lesnar grins and gives Strowman space to enter. Strowman has his own mic and says “Last Monday was the worst night of my life, thanks to Baron Corbin.” $100,000 and a title match down the drain. But that was also the luckiest night of Lesnar’s life. If Lesnar still has the title after Sunday, Strowman will be waiting on the other side to rip Lesnar up like that limousine! Vince warns Strowman, he’s lucky to still have a job. But here comes Finn Balor! The Extraordinary Man smiles but so does Lesnar as Finn joins everyone in the ring.
Finn says “Same old Monday Night Raw.” Braun doing Braun things, while Finn’s the guy who beat three other men, including the GOAT, John Cena. Heyman says he’s the second greatest, behind Lesnar. Well Finn still earned his opportunity against Lesnar. As for Vince, he may not believe in Finn, because he doesn’t leave in fairy tales, but Finn does. And Balor Club believes. And at the Royal Rumble, Finn will take back his Universal Championship! Strowman says he definitely could’ve beat Lesanr, and has no idea if Finn could, but he better. Finn appreciates the support, but keep your nose out of his business because he’ll do what Strowman hasn’t. Lesnar laughs as he wants to leave but Vince says Lesnar should stick around for this.
Finn tells Vince has the story backwards. David stood up to Goliath and everyone laughed at him. But they didn’t know who David was, and what he was made of. Goliath fell face down in the dirt, BOOM. And no one was laughing after that. Vince has an idea: Lesnar should be ringside to watch this real-life David VS Goliath! Finn VS Strowman, even Vince will stick around for this! Will Finn prove the story true? Or will Strowman prove he should still be the man to face The Beast?
Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman!
Raw returns and Finn jawbreakers free of Strowman’s grip! Strowman knees low but runs into a dropkick! He stays standing and runs at Finn in the corner. Finn dodges and kicks him back! Lesnar laughs and Strowman gets distracted. Finn SLAPS Strowman, and that only angers Strowman! Finn goes for the legs but gets clubbed down. Strowman drags Finn up but Fin n lips free. Finn boots Strowman but his slingblade is denied! Strowman clubs Finn down again! Strowman kicks Finn out of the ring but fans rally up for Finn. Finn drags himself up but Strowman runs out to run him over! Even Lesnar was impressed by that.
Strowman drags Finn back into the ring, then stalks Finn to a corner. He squashes Finn with a splash then hauls Finn up. Finn slips out and gets to a corner but gets another splash! Cover, TWO! Finn lives but Strowman keeps his cool. Strowman clamps on a nerve hold and Finn endures the grip on his shoulder. Fans rally and Finn stands, only to be headbutt out of the ring. Strowman goes for another lap, but Finn slingblades him! Lesnar is now impressed by that. Finn hurries back in the ring and the ring count begins. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” as the count rises to 5. Strowman stands and shakes it off to enter at 7, but Finn dodges in the corner.
Finn comes back with forearms, but Strowman only staggers. Finn keeps trying but Strowman grabs him! Strowman scoops but Finn slips into a sleeper hold! Finn holds on tight but Strowman backs him into buckles. But Finn hops back on! Strowman drops to a knee, but pries Finn’s arms away! Finn drives elbows in fast and furious! Fans fire up as Strowman falls back, Finn double stomps! Finn fires up and climbs. He makes sure Lesnar is watching, but Strowman grabs Finn to throw him at Lesnar! For Lesnar to throw overhead! Finn just took a quick visit to Suplex City, then he gets in the ring with Strowman. The match-up we were meant to get might go down here, but Finn trips Lesnar to dropkick him into a post!
Finn gets back in the ring with Strowman, builds up speed and FLIES onto Lesnar! Lesnar’s down but Finn has Strowman still chasing him. They go around and into the ring, and Finn throws hands. Finn runs, slingblade again! Finn dropkicks Lesnar out of the ring, then goes out to dropkick him into barriers! Fans are thunderous for Finn as he grits his teeth. But Strowman grabs Finn by his head and hauls him right up! Strowman hip tosses Finn in, but misses in the corner to hit post! Finn runs back at him for a shotgun dropkick! Strowman’s down, Finn climbs up and fans fire up with him. COUP DE GRACE! But Lesnar attacks! F5!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification
Finn wins here but not the way he wanted. The Beast is mad, but will he just be the Goliath to Finn’s David?
Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush head to the ring!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is the NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion, and both Men of the Hour had a part in making it happen. Lio Rush praises Bobby Lashley as being better than both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Lashley is also better than everyone else in the locker room. Lio and Lashley aren’t issuing an open challenge, open challenges are for kids. Lashley is a professional fighter. A fighter! They don’t do this for fun, but for the money. They are here to celebrate, and what better way than for Lashley to stand on a podium and show off his physique? Lashley stands on the podium while Lio puts the title on Lashley’s waist so everyone can see why Lashley IS The All Mighty! Hit the lights!
Lashley stands in the spotlight as Lio straps the belt on him. Lashley flexes but Apollo Crews comes out! Apollo joins Lio and Lashley in the ring with his own mic. He congratulates Lashley on becoming the new champion. There’s no doubt that Lashley is a stud, just look at him. But let’s be real: no one paid money to see Lashley pose. They paid money to see Lashley compete. Now Apollo knows this isn’t going to be a title match, but how about they lock up? Lio says Apollo is not in Lashley’s league! But hey, maybe if Apollo wins in a pose off, he’ll get a match. Pose off? What? Apollo doesn’t know how to do that. Well judging from his track record, he doesn’t know how to be champion, either!
Lashley stands on the podium again, the spotlight hits, and we get the double guns! Apollo mocks the flexing as he gives a little pop-lock action! And some Hulkster and Savage. Lashley takes another turn for the side chest. Only Lio is impressed. Apollo takes another turn, and winds it up for his own side pose! Fans like Apollo way better. Lashley takes one more turn, for his Most Muscular! Lio thinks Lashley has won this, but Apollo gets his final turn, for a spin and flex. And Lashley attacks! Lashley whips Apollo but Apollo throws Lashley out instead! And then Lio gets caught, for a trophy lift toss at Lashley! Apollo flexes and Lashley is furious! Will Apollo get his match after all?
Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Apollo Crews!
Raw returns, and yes he does! But Lashley also has Apollo in a bearhug. Apollo endures the squeeze and fights out with haymakers. He runs but Lashley follows, to get Apollo with a complete shot! Cover, TWO! Lashley keeps his cool and drags Apollo up into a corner. He throws hands and whips corner to corner. Lashley rams his shoulder in, then hauls Apollo up top. Apollo kicks Lashley away to then missile dropkick him down! Both men slowly stir and stand, and Apollo mule kicks and boots. Lashley swings but misses while Apollo hits a leaping lariat! Apollo kips up and fans fire up with him. Apollo climbs up and aims, but Lashley gets under. Lashley runs but Apollo leaps over! Roll up, TWO!
Apollo raises the roof because he raises Lashley in a trophy lift! Apollo drops Lashley but it took a lot out of him, too. He manages to stand first, though, and drags Lashley up. Apollo tries again, and gets a proper drop. Lio protests and distracts, so that Lashley has time to avoid Apollo’s moonsault. Apollo dodges to enziguri Lashley down, but Lio distracts again. Apollo tosses Lio in but Lio runs around and dodges. But Lio gets caught into another trophy lift, only for Lashley to SPEAR Apollo! Cover, Lashley wins!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall
The 24 Year Old Piece of Gold pays dividends again as he helps Lashley leave Apollo down and out. But they don’t get time to celebrate this win, because here comes Seth Rollins! Oklahoma City is ready to #BurnItDown, but The Architect isn’t here for Lashley. Rollins has a match with Drew McIntyre, and wants that match next. Will Rollins gain some major momentum going into THE Royal Rumble match?
Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre!
Raw returns as Rollins takes up the mic. “Today we celebrate the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Even now, perhaps especially now, we can learn a lot from him. MLK once said a measure of a man is not where he stands in times of convenience, but in times of challenge and controversy. Rollins feels like he’s in times of challenges and controversy. He had two titles and two brothers, but now he’s got none of either. But life isn’t about what we don’t have, it’s about what we do have. What Rollins has is what he’s always had, and it’s the business. As long as Rollins has the ring, the fans and the fire, he’ll win the Royal Rumble! Even saying it out loud makes it sound like a crazy long shot, but Rollins has always been about long shots.
Rollins knows he’s not huge or powerful, but he’s from a small town much like Oklahoma City. His parents were working class, he could’ve been working in a factory, on a farm or driving a truck himself. But the reason he’s not is because of this feeling. Love, passion, determination, whatever it is isn’t just in his chest but ingrained in his soul! Long shot, sure. Thirty men putting it all on the line to headline Wrestlemania. But Rollins promises to be one man left standing and going to Wrestlemania, and that is THE MAN, “Seth Freakin’ Rollins!” But now, the Scottish Terminator makes his entrance.
McIntyre tells Rollins that he’s going to kick his head off tonight, but he must also offer a rebuttal. McIntyre does not stand idly by as Rollins lies to the fans! Rollins is not winning the Rumble, and it’s just Rollins’ style. His reckless abandon will get him eliminated. But what would happen if Rollins harnessed that same passion into the body of a Terminator? That’s “Drew Freakin’ McIntyre!” This means everything to Rollins, so McIntyre hopes they’re the final two, because McIntyre wants to see the look in Rollins’ eyes when he’s thrown out and hears the announcement that the winner is Drew McIntyre! Fire fights fire, after the break!
Raw returns as McIntyre runs back into the ring, only for Rollins to clothesline him back out. Rollins then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit floors McIntyre, but Rollins puts him back in quick. Rollins springboards and hits a flying clothesline! Cover, ONE! Rollins keeps his cool as he CHOPS McIntyre at the ropes. He whips but McIntyre reverses, only for Rollins to kick him away. Rollins elbows McIntyre, then puts him out all the way tot he floor. McIntyre clutches his back while Rollins assesses the situation. Rollins climbs up high, aims from the post, and leaps! But McIntyre sends him into barriers! McIntyre wraps Rollins around the post and pulls back! He lets up at 4 to then cover Rollins, TWO!
McIntyre keeps on Rollins with an armlock, but fans rally up. Rollins feeds off the energy but McIntyre throws him down by his hair. McIntyre returns to the armlock and adds a chinbar. Fans continue to rally and Rollins powers up again. Rollins jawbreakers free! Rollins runs but into a big elbow from McIntyre! Cover, TWO! McIntyre stalks Rollins and drags him up for a CHOP of his own! McIntyre stomps away on Rollins while fans cheer Rollins on. Rollins throws haymakers and whips, but McIntyre reverses hard! Rollins tumbles up then down, McIntyre covers, TWO! McIntyre stomps Rollins more, then chops Rollins to a corner before tossing him overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre turns to the armlock to keep Rollins down.
Fans continue to rally for Rollins and Rollins fights up again. Rollins whips but McIntyre reverses, then kicks Rollins out of the air! Rollins rolls out but McIntyre pursues. McIntyre chops Rollins then drags him up for the Inverted Alabama Slam to the floor! The Terminator dominates and smirks while we go to break.
Raw returns again and both men slowly stand as fans declare “This is Awesome!” Both men start chopping away, but then Rollins runs and dodges to slingblade! He boots McIntyre out of the corner and hits a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Rollins grits his teeth while fans fire up again. He goes back to McIntyre for a powerbomb but McIntyre back drops. Rollins sunset flips, TWO! McIntyre flips Rollins around for his own powerbomb lift, but Rollins huricanranas! Cover, TWO! Rollins runs, tilt-o-whirl to Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives but Rollins keeps his focus. Rollins gets to the ropes to stomp, “Burn It Down!” Fans chant and Rollins mule kicks. Rollins runs but misses the stomp! McIntyre clubs and scoops but Rollins lands on his feet to shove McIntyre into buckles!
Rollins puts McIntyre up top backwards, but McIntyre elbows him away. Rollins hops up to swing kick McIntyre into the Tree of Woe! He climbs but McIntyre sit sup for a suplex! But Rollins gets back up and runs in, only to miss! McIntyre gets up and runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre lives but both he and Rollins are down. OKC again says “This is Awesome!” as they both stand. Rollins and McIntyre brawl and chop and forearm back and forth. Rollins gets an edge but walks into the Glasgow Kiss! McIntyre is too dazed to cover, but he gets himself back up. McIntyre drags Rollins up for a fireman’s carry, and then climbs a corner. He prepares Rollins, for a SUPER Celtic Cross! Cover, TWO!! But right into a sit-out bomb!! Cover, TWO!? Rollins shocks McIntyre and OKC!
McIntyre crawls over to Rollins and drags him up again. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this has to end. McIntyre swings Rollins but Rollins rolls him up, Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall
The Architect survives to surprise the Terminator! Can Rollins surprise everyone by keeping his word of winning the Men’s Royal Rumble match?
The Revival plead their case to Vince McMahon.
First there was the pin on the wrong man, and then there was the missed ropebreak, they are feeling robbed! Vince wants to know what they’re after. The Revival wants one last chance at the titles, with a very special guest referee. Someone who has 20/20 vision and is going to call it right down the middle. But then Curt Hawkins comes by and wants one more shot to break his own Streak. Maybe Hawkins should be the Revival’s referee. Well Hawkins does know three counts. Vince makes the deal, and The Revival make nice with Hawkins. Will the History Factory be the man to help The Revival get justice?
Dean Ambrose speaks.
“Earlier tonight, a certain Architect quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” It was cute, made Ambrose tear up, but another quote from MLK is that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And it is an injustice that Ambrose is not Intercontinental Champion right now. Rollins and “Bend Over’ Bobby, he’s coming for you both at the Royal Rumble. He’ll chop them in the throat and kick them in the balls, and then dump them both out of the ring. 2018 was not Ambrose’s year, after he spent half of it in the hospital. He owes it to himself to win this year’s Rumble, it will be his Miracle on Ice. Ambrose vows to own the Road to Wrestlemania, and justice will be served. Will the Moral Compass redirect Raw down the right path? Or just down his path?
Six Man Tag: Lucha House Party VS Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers!
Kalisto, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado have had a lot of fun since forming, and it’s even led Kalisto to the Cruiserweight Championship this Sunday. But there’s no room for fun with The Modern Day Maharaja and his Bollywood Boys. Which trio will make big inroads towards titles on their own Road to Wrestlemania?
Mahal starts against the Golden Lynx, but Lince has to worry about Samir & Sunil. Mahal puts Lince in a corner but backs off at 4. He swings but Lince dodges to kick away. Mahal pushes and scoops Lince to slam him down! He wraps Lince in a chinlock and the Singhs want in. Mahal tags Samir and they mug Lince. Samir gets an atomic drop and dropkick from Lince but tags in brother Sunil. Sunil runs but into a big back drop! Lince CHOPS Sunil then tags Kalisto. Kalisto gets help for an elevated splash, Lince adds the planking! Cover, ONE! Kalisto keeps on Sunil with a CHOP, then an acrobatic arm-drag! Sunil runs but into another arm-drag. Sunil grabs Kailsto’s mask to whip Kalisto hard out of the ring, then tags Mahal.
Mahal drags Kalisto into the ring, covers, ONE! Mahal keeps on Kalisto with a rough chinlock, but fans “Lucha! Lucha!” Tag to Sunil and he wraps on a headlock. Kalisto endures as Sunil leans on him. Kalisto powers out but gets caught short of his corner. Sunil hits Lince, Kalisto hits a heel kick! Both men are down and crawling, hot tag to Gran Metalik! The King of the Ropes springboards to crossbody, then springboards to triangle dropkick Samir and Mahal! Metalik handsprings but Sunil dodges, only to run into a scoop backbreaker! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!
Winner: Lucha House Party, Gran Metalik by pinfall
Mahal is furious but the fiesta is rolling in Oklahoma City! Will this victory help the luchadores head for tag titles? And what of Kalisto’s own title match at the Royal Rumble?
Dana Brooke is impressed by EC3’s Top One Percent physique.
She asks him fitness and match preparation tips, but The Drifter passes by. EC3 does his best to explain his “alone time” to Dana, but we’re getting Elias next!
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
Oklahoma City is glad to see him and hear his guitar playing. “Brothers and sisters, 2019 is going to be an incredible year.” Elias will win the Royal Rumble but there will be more rivers to cross and mountains to climb. No matter how far he goes, there will always be a truth that brings him back: that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” OKC knows that. As for tonight, Elias has a song that might be his finest work yet. Elias sets to playing but Baron Corbin walks out to interrupt. Fans boo the Lone Wolf but he tells them to shut up, too. Corbin tells Elias that he ratted Strowman out and almost got Corbin killed. Fans like that, though. Corbin realizes Vince is right that OKC is a bunch of hillbillies. But Corbin is going to put Elias in his place!
Elias doesn’t know what world Corbin is living in, but he’s not the Raw GM. So Elias is gonna sing that song after all. Corbin keeps talking over Elias, but Elias has Corbin’s mic cut. Elias likes that. He’s skipping his Rumble song to sing a new one. “Baron interrupts my performance. Will this ever end? Baron against Elias, do we really need to see that again?” At the Royal Rumble, Corbin stands no chance, Elias sees it clear. So Corbin needs to shut his mouth, so that he can hear: Nobody cares, people are tired. Why does Corbin still wear that stupid vest? Remember, he got fired! Fans remind Corbin that, “You Got Fired!” But Corbin rushes Elias! Only to narrowly avoid the guitar shot! Elias and Corbin will throw down again, who gets the last word before the Rumble?
Elias VS Baron Corbin!
Raw returns and Elias goes Old School but for an arm-drag! Corbin bails out but Elias wrecks him with a dropkick! Fans fire up with Elias as Elias rams Corbin into barriers. Corbin retreats to the ring but Elias is on him on the apron. They brawl, Elias blocks a kick but gets pushed into the post! Elias goes down in a heap and Corbin acts like he’s already won something. Corbin drags Elias back up and throws him face first into the post. He puts Elias in the corner, then rains down rights. Fans rally up for Elias while taunting Corbin with “You Got Fired!” Corbin tunes the fans out but Elias hits back with body shots. Elias whips but Corbin slides out then in to lariat! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated, but trash talks the fans first.
Corbin throws Elias out but Elias stays on the apron. Elias hits back, then shoulders in, then jumps over Corbin’s slide. Corbin comes back in but into a leaping knee! Inverted swinging neckbreaker, TWO! Elias grows frustrated but he stomps away on Corbin. The referee backs him off, but Elias comes back to whip. Corbin holds the ropes and the ref backs Elias off again, only for Corbin to rock Elias with a right! End of Days! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The fans don’t like it, but Corbin did win. Corbin rolls on towards the Rumble, will he be the End of Days for 29 other superstars?
It’s time for another Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess appears on her set and takes a seat before picking up her custom mic. Alexa welcomes the fans back to her show, and notes that Sunday will have the Women’s Rumble match for a chance to main event Wrestlemania. As such, this Royal Rumble edition will present just some of the 30 participants for that match. Obviously there will be Carmella, who won the right to be Ms. 30, but there are also the IIconics, the Riott Squad, the Samoan Dynasty, Ember Moon, Zelina Vega, Nikki Cross, Alicia Fox, Bayley and Charlotte Flair. As for Alexa’s guest, her best friend and worst enemy, and perhaps the odds on favorite for the Rumble, Nia Jax! The Irresistible Force is all smiles as she joins Alexa on set.
Alexa cuts to the chase. Nia winning means choosing either champion to face at Wrestlemania. Which brand would Nia choose? But before she can give a proper answer, Ember Moon appears! The Goddess did not invite the War Goddess here. Ember snatches Nia’s mic and Nia tosses a chair over. But Ember says she got tired of waiting for an invitation that would never come. She is making her mark, and vows to win the Women’s Rumble. But the Captain, Alicia Fox, comes out. She snatches the mic and tells everyone that as Captain of the Women’s Division, she’s setting a course for Wrestlemania. It starts by going through the other 29 women this Sunday. But then Mickie James appears! She thinks it’s “super cute” they’re all arguing, but Mickie stole the show at Mania once, and looks to do it again.
The four women argue, but out come The Riott Squad! Alexa wants a little bit of control on her own show. She gets up on her chair to shout for them all to stop. This is HER show, okay!? Hers! If this becomes some kind of brawl, they’re all embarrassing themselves as catty women, but also they’re ruining this show’s reputation! Everyone hears Alexa out, until Nia starts trouble with a shove! The women all brawl, and Nikki Cross is even in the mix without being an official member of Raw! Referees hurry to get them tot he back, but that only puts the brawl into the gorilla position! Nikki throws Ruby around while Ember tackles Nia into the curtains! Alexa is at a loss for words. The only thing she can say is that the entrants this year are very passionate.
But this Moment of Bliss will be one we won’t ever forget: because Alexa is officially back in action in the Women’s Rumble! But wait, it’s Lacey Evans! The Lady of NXT turned the Model Soldier says “What a bunch of nasty, classless little girls” she just saw. Luckily for the WWE Universe, the winner of this year’s Women’s Rumble will not be some sawed off girly little runt, i.e Alexa. It will be Lacey, a “classy, sophisticated lady.” Lacey leaves Alexa speechless even more than that brawl. But has she only incurred the wrath of the Goddess?
Titus O’Neil speaks.
Many think him winning the Royal Rumble will be nothing short of a miracle, but luckily he believes in miracles. And that is why Titus enters the Rumble- Hey, who is that interrupting his shot? Just walking in and then out? Well excuse you! But will Titus Worldwide~ be the one to head to Wrestlemania?
Heavy Machinery VS The Ascension!
Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic are COMIIIN’ to the main roster, but before choosing a side, the #BlueCollarSolid boys will show the WWE Universe what the power of #SteaksandWeights can do! Is it enough to avoid the Wasteland against Konnor & Viktor?
The teams sort out and we start with “Dozer” and Viktor. They tie up, and Dozer powers Viktor to a corner. The ref backs them off but Viktor shoves Dozer. Dozer comes back but Viktor throws hands. Viktor bumps Dozer on buckles but Dozer fires up. Viktor dodges but Dozer throws him off to then scoop, spin, spin, spin some more, and then slam Viktor! Tag to Tucker, and they give us some BOOM SHAKA LOO double falling headbutts! Viktor flounders but boots Tucker away. Viktor chops away then whips corner to corner, but Tucker goes up and over to crossbody! Tag to Dozer, and Heavy Machinery march around. They double belly bump Viktor, then Konnor runs into double shoulders!
Dozer does the kick pump, into the elbow drop! Dozer squashes Viktor in a corner, then fans fire up. Otis pumps up and gives us the Caterpillar! Tag to Tucker, and Viktor gets the Compactor! Cover, Heavy Machinery wins!
Winners: Heavy machinery, Tucker Knight pinning
HASHAAA! Tucker & Dozer win their debut, but this is only the beginning! Will Heavy Machinery steamroll the Tag Team Division right out of the gates?
Raw Tag Team Championships, Special Referee: Curt Hawkins; Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Revival!
The #TopGuys are convinced that it’s somewhere between a conspiracy and utter incompetence, but for whatever reason, the other referees on Raw haven’t given them a fair match finish. But now they’ll put Mr. Losing Streak in the stripes to see if they can’t get the justice they deserve. Will Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson finally get those titles? Or will the champions continue to be Absolutely… GLORIOUS?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the teams sort out. Dash starts against Gable and ties up. Dash wrenches the wrist but Gable rolls and bridges through. Gable gets a headlock, armlock then drop toehold fast! He has the arm then tags Roode. Hawkins is very strict about the tag, insisting that Roode needed to hold the tag string. The tag does not count, and Dash gets away with throwing Gable down by his hair. Dash calls Hawkins over to officially tag with Dawson. Dawson bumps Gable off buckles then throws chops and forearms. Dawson throws European Uppercuts and Gable bails out. Gable fights back but Dawson whips him for a hard hitting EuroUpper! Dawson rocks Roode, which Hawkins reprimands him for, but The Revival double whip Roode. Roode dodges and then baits The Revival into Gable’s clotheslines!
Roode and Gable throw both Revivals with exploders! Gable builds speed and Roode helps him FLY onto Dash! But Dawson runs Gable over! Hawkins works to regain order while we go to break.
Raw returns and Dawson reels Gable in, but Gable reverses to a big back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up as they crawl. Hot tag to Dash, and Dash stops Gable. He scoops but Gable slips out to tag Roode! Roode rallies on Dash and hits a back drop! Dawson flies in but into an urenage! Roode fires up as he runs in at Dash, for a big shoulder tackle. Roode hops up, takes aim, but Dash dodges. So Roode clotheslines Dawson out before giving Dash a spinebuster! Fans fire up more as Roode goes after Dash on the apron. Roode suplexes but Dash makes it a crossbody! Cover and Dawson holds Roode’s feet down! But Hawkins sees that! He’s being a fair referee by reprimanding Dawson for that.
Roode gets Dash but Dash reverses and scoops. Roode slips out and rolls up, TWO! Dawson with a cheap shot that Hawkins doesn’t see! Dash rolls Roode, but puts his feet on the ropes and Hawkins catches him! Hawkins reprimands the Revival for this, so Dash tags Dawson. The Revival double whip but Gable tags in. Roode kicks Dawson but Dash clotheslines him out. Gable flies but Dawson rolls through! He’s holding the tights! Hawkins sees that again, so Dawson gives up. Dawson throws Gable out, then starts shoving Hawkins. Hawkins reminds him who the ref is, and Dawson runs into Gable’s shoulder. Gable sunset flips but Dash keeps him from falling over! Hawkins breaks that up, Gable gets his sunset flip, Gable & Roode win!
Winners: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode, Gable pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
The plan backfires! The Revival tried to cheat to win but Hawkins would not let them get away with any of it. Dash & Dawson try to reason with Hawkins, but they end up beating him down instead! But here comes Zack Ryder! The Broski fights the #TopGuys off, protecting his former Edgehead bro. Is this a save for old time’s sake? Or are we seeing a reunion in the making?
Backstage interview with Ronda Rousey.
The Baddest Woman has a tag team match up next, what would she say to challenger, Sasha Banks? Ronda wants to focus on her match tonight, but she’s trying to figure out why she should apologize. And she’s concluded that she doesn’t owe Sasha a damn thing! Ronda took her moment to hype up Sasha, and then Sasha goes and turns it all into an insult? What does Sasha expect from Ronda? Ronda’s been respectful since day one. Is she supposed to wash Sasha’s feet? Ronda practically had to beg Sasha to have this match! Sasha is too busy living the Boss life than actually try to be a champion! Sasha’s so high on herself that she’s not hungry anymore! That’s the difference between them, and Ronda will show that even The Legit Boss answers to someone!
Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bayley!
Ronda is definitely rowdy tonight, and she joins forces with her pal, The Queen of Harts, to face the #LegitHuggable best friends! Will the Baddest Woman build some last momentum before going 1v1 with Sasha at the Rumble? Or will tonight be #BossTime rolling into the title match?
Raw returns once more as Natalya makes her entrance. The Boss & Hug connection enter as Natty works to keep Ronda calm. Sasha picks up a mic to talk about resentment. Who does Ronda think she is? Sasha’s the four time champion, one of the first to be a in a Hell in a Cell, and lasted 40 minutes in that inaugural Women’s Rumble. Yet Ronda just shows up and gets handed everything. Sasha and Bayley put their hearts and souls in the ring every day, yet Ronda talks about desire? Stop talking about worthy competitors, Sasha already is one. She earned her shot by beating Nia and making her tap out. And that will happen to Ronda at the Rumble! This fight is ready to go now, and each friend has to keep Ronda and Sasha from tearing into each other.
The referee keeps the peace, and teams finally sort out. Natty convinces Ronda to stand down, and she starts against Sasha instead. The two circle with the bell, Sasha hits Ronda! Sasha gets Natty down while the ref keeps Ronda back! Sasha wrenches Natty and tags in Bayley. They double whip and crisscross Natty into the corner. They double suplex Natty down, Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley keeps on Natty with buckle bumps, then tags in Sasha. Sasha and Bayley uses Poetry in Motion to hit Natty, then tag back. They double whip and double hip toss, Bayley back elbows and Sasha boots! Ronda just runs in and tackles Bayley! Ronda throws Sasha, and now she controls the ring while we go to one last break.
Raw returns once more and Bayley fights out of Natty’s waistlock. Bayley runs but into Natty’s tackle into the corner! Tag to Ronda, and they give Bayley a Rowdy Hart Attack! Sasha did swipe at Ronda but it didn’t bug her at all. Ronda and Sasha trash talk but the ref keeps the peace. Ronda tags to Natty and Natty fetches Bayley into the ring. Bayley crawls but Natty stops her from reaching Sasha. Natty snap suplexes Bayley down, then stomps her down before covering. TWO, and Bayley hurries to Sasha. Tag made, Sasha knees Natty! Bayley adds a knee side to side before Sasha hits a swinging meteora! Cover, TWO! Sasha trash talks Ronda back before dragging Natty up. She bumps Natty on buckles and hauls her up. Bayley tags in as fans rally for Natty. Tag again, SUPER STEINER to METEORA! Cover, TWO!
Sasha keeps her cool while Ronda reaches for Natty. Sasha swings on Ronda, then hops up onto Natty. But Natty holds her, tag to Ronda! Electric Chair drop, roll through to Rowdy Slam, but Sasha throws elbows! Sasha backslides, ONE! Russian leg sweep, into Bank Statement crossface! Ronda endures but Natty breaks it up! Sasha throws Natty out but Ronda rolls Sasha up, TWO! Ronda boots Sasha, but Sasha boots Ronda! Tag to Bayley, back stabber but Ronda counters with a judo throw! Ronda covers Bayley, TWO! Ronda fires up again, and throws heavy knees into Bayley. Then a big boot puts Bayley in a corner. Rowdy dares Bayley to stand, but Sasha stands in her way. Bayley pushes Sasha out of the way and still gets those strikes! Ronda wants more, but she runs into a toss from Bayley! Tag to Sasha!
Sasha climbs, Bayley has Ronda, ax handles to Ronda’s arm hit. But Ronda gets Sasha with a takedown into the armbar! Sasha scrambles towards ropes, and they end up under them. Ronda lets go but reaches for Sasha. Sasha kicks Ronda, but Natty tags in. Natty suplexes Sasha in hard! Natty walks all over Sasha then hits her with a basement dropkick! She puts on the Sharpshooter! Sasha endures but Bayley saves her! Bayley tackles Ronda, but runs into the discus! Natty goes back to Sasha, powerbomb lift but Sasha slips out to knee! Back stabber, to Bank Statement!! Natty endures, but taps! Sasha & Bayley win!
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley, Sasha by submission
Ronda returns and Sasha lets Natty go. The Boss tapped out The Queen, but what about the Baddest Woman on the Planet? These two stare down and trash talk more, and fans want to “Let Them Fight!” We go off the air but we know this fight is coming. Who will win when the title’s on the line?
This was not a great go-home but this was better than most Raw has had as of late. It had a really good beginning and a pretty good end, but the middle was rough. To get those out of the way, Lucha House Party VS Mahal & The Singhs wasn’t much of anything other than a filler Six Man Tag. I don’t know if I want a feud between these two trios, but I do appreciate it means the Bollywood Boys are getting actual matches on television. I would also appreciate it if it meant they were joining the Cruiserweight Division and 205 Live per the Fresh Start initiative. Then another Elias VS Corbin is literally what Elias was saying we shouldn’t be getting in his song. Corbin wins to keep himself afloat, but Corbin really should just leave Elias alone after the Rumble, regardless of what happens.
The opening segment, for being another 20+ minute talking segment, was a good talking segment because Heyman did good again, Vince going off on a truly inaccurate retelling of David VS Goliath, and then it all leads to that really fun opening match. Throwing Lesnar in at ringside and having him do those shenanigans was actually a good move to me, it gets some heat between Lesnar and Finn quickly since this is all rather sudden. There has been talk all over about if Demon Balor returns and what that would mean. I’m pretty sure Demon Balor returns only if Lesnar is losing, which is still an uncertainty. I obviously want Finn to win, especially as Demon Balor. And if the talk of Rollins winning is true, Finn VS Rollins to bring the Universal Championship full circle would be great.
The pose-off between Apollo and Lashley was cheesy, but their match was pretty good. Apollo didn’t win but I hope he still gets a chance at the Intercontinental Championship. I feel like those two could really give us something great in such a match, I’m just not sure if Apollo would win. Rollins VS McIntyre was great, but perhaps Rollins winning with just a roll-up means there will be more to come after the Rumble. Again, if Rollins wins, him and Finn would be great for Mania, but that doesn’t mean McIntyre can’t go after the title at Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. Now depending on the validity of John Cena’s ankle injury, McIntyre’s story with him might be on pause, but that can allow McIntyre to do a lot of other things while waiting.
Heavy Machinery was a lot of fun in their debut, it was reminiscent of their early matches in NXT. I just hope going against The Ascension doesn’t foreshadow how they’ll be treated. I’m hoping they go to SmackDown, but even over there, if a team like SAnitY can’t get any screen time, I’m not sure about Heavy Machinery. Then going into The Revival’s segments, it seems like their tag team division concerns are only going to grow. Obviously it’s story, but Hawkins being an exceptionally good referee messes The Revival up again, and now it seems The Revival might be going against a revived Edgeheads. This will be great for Ryder & Hawkins, but it just means more mouths to feed in the tag division, which hurts The Revival and all teams on Raw. But maybe The Revival’s concerns will wake creative up and all teams get a fair shake.
I’m still not sure about EC3 being the Top One Percent Mute. When is he going to get his in-ring debut like Nikki Cross and Heavy Machinery? Lacey Evans had a good appearance after a fun third Moment of Bliss. Is Lacey going to be the woman to make Alexa Bliss turn Face? That would be big for Alexa, but also because she’s officially okay for action. I don’t know the chances of Alexa winning the Rumble, but her and Lacey being each other’s Road to Mania feud is great. I just hope Alexa doesn’t need to take that Woman’s Right punch if the concerns are for Alexa’s head.
And of course, the main event featuring the women was actually really good. For one, Ronda’s promo and Sasha’s counter were pretty good, though I think Sasha’s was better. The story in the match was good, and we never really got a prolonged Sasha-Ronda moment, so that leaves a lot left for them in their match. I’m still confident in thinking Ronda wins, Becky wins, and Mania gives us some sort of Undisputed Women’s Champion match, even with a third opponent via the Women’s Rumble. But I’m thinking Sasha is going to give Ronda one of her toughest matches in sheer technical skill and charisma.
My Score: 8.1/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.19 ~ 19TH JANUARY 2019
Hisame dropping the NOAH knowledge bombs every week! If you’re behind, just curious, or a frequent admirer of the Emerald ways, these Newsletters keep getting better and better.
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
On the 13th January, Yoshinari Ogawa and HAYATA shook hands, and then briefly patted each other on the back for a quick hug. So far nothing more has come of this, HAYATA hasn’t turned against RATELS, and Yoshinari Ogawa is absent with flu, but HAYATA does have a singles match with YO-HEY on the 20th, and so we shall see how matters progress from there.
Interestingly, YO-HEY has also spoke of “three people” being traitors.
Hajime Ohara picked up a slight, but scary injury following a kick to the face from Keisuke Ishii, he found that his sight was blurred for a few days, but rest corrected it.
Masa Kitamiya and Atsushi Kotoge (who thinks that “Masa needs a revolution”) will face off for the number one contendership for the GHC Heavyweight on the 20th January. Kaito Kiyomiya says he does not care who wins, he will face and defend against the winner.
Naomichi Marufuji will return to the ring on the 2nd February.
RATELS came to the UK to compete in IPW’S inaugural junior heavyweight tournament. Keeping to the current situation NOAH, they pretty much stayed apart (with Tadasuke the only one visibly siding with Harada, YO-HEY appearing to go off on his own and HAYATA not appearing with anyone). However, YO-HEY was seen to be standing watching HAYATA’S match with Kid Lykos, and loving it.
The tournament was held between eight wrestlers: Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY, HAYATA, Chris Ridgeway, James Castle, Ben Basden and Kid Lykos.
In the first round, Daisuke Harada and Chris Ridgeway beat the hell out of each other, YO-HEY was an instant hit with the crowd (who were disappointed that he wouldn’t be coming back), James Castle faced Tadasuke and HAYATA had a match against Kid Lykos which involved heel tactics and an attack from Chris Brookes. As far as the Noah matches went in the second round, NOAH naturally did not want to ruin the eventual Harada vs YO-HEY or the YO-HEY vs HAYATA, so we were treated to HAYATA vs Daisuke Harada.
The finals came down to James Castle vs Daisuke Harada, in which Harada was victorious and became the first IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion, he was handed the belt by Doug Williams, and bought it to the ring today in NOAH.
Chris Ridgeway has vowed revenge on Harada, he says that not only will he come to Japan to make him tap out, he would also take the belt too.
A more detailed recap of the event can be found via my podcast episode at either Soundcloud or iTunes (please see links at the end of the newsletter).
NOAH VS ALL JAPAN\TOKYO SPORTS AWARDS
Tokyo Sports are suggesting that as 2019 will mark Jun Akiyama’s five years of All Japan presidency, and of course NOAH will celebrate their 20 years in August, there may well be a collaboration between the two for the anniversary, NOAH of course coming from All Japan.
At the annual awards, Naomichi Marufuji picked up the award for “Outstanding Achievement”, and Kaito Kiyomiya the award for “Fighting Spirit”.
Kaito Kiyomiya (who was described by Suwama as being “dignified, well dressed, with good posture” and “very polite to the seniors”), gave a nervous looking speech:
“I have received the “Fighting Spirit Award”. Thank you very much. When I heard I was getting this award, I was very surprised. I am proud to have taken the belt last year, and this year, as champion, as NOAH’s face, I would like to run with everyone who supports me. Thank you very much”.
Naomichi Marufuji (older and more experienced, and with the benefit of having Misawa ease him into public situations such as these), was more relaxed in his:
“Thank you very much for the “Outstanding Performance Award” of 2018. 2018 was my 20th year, but this year is my 21st. I’d like to make an effort to make a further leap. As New Japan continue to monopolize the MVP Grand Prize, I want to show the best match, so not to lose receiving the assessment”
“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS“
Kenoh’s column Kenoh spoke in his first column of 2019 about his loss to Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. He is confident that he can beat Kiyomiya for the title, but he feels there is an element of nepotism and that in his opinion, Kiyomiya is “protected by the company.”
Kenoh’s worse fears are that Marufuji will challenge for the title when he returns on the 2nd February, and that Kiyomiya will defeat him (Kenoh wants to be the one to do it), and he has sworn he will crush them both if so. Kenoh finished by saying that his goal for this year is to get his revenge on Kiyomiya, that is his “screenplay”.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion & IPW Champion: Daisuke Harada
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi (“The Hooligans”)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Hitoshi Kumano & Hajime Ohara (“The Backbreakers”)
~ YO-HEY has a new t-shirt
~ Yoshinari Ogawa has been pulled from the NOAH tour from the 19th to the 26th January as he is suffering from influenza.
~ Fifty Funky Powers disco ball was out, proud and rotating at NOAH’s show on January 13th. For their entry the lights dimmed and it threw green spots around the hall.
~ NOAH are selling in limited quantities, portrait pictures of Junta Miyawaki, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada
~ There appears to be a conflict brewing between Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima
~ Tadasuke was noted to be giving Kinya Okada advice during their three way match
~ Kenoh did not take kindly to being asked to join the revolution with Atsushi Kotoge, and kicked him hard after he had asked him. Kotoge also tried to ask HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa, HAYATA walked off (refusing to shake hands with him) and Ogawa said “seriously?”
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
None. He’s been too preoccupied with his new dog, and the weather has been too cold for him to be rude.
The final night of “Navigation For The Future 2019” will be broadcast on Saturday 9th February 2019 at 10pm JST on Samurai.
“I will keep doing well until my daughter is adult, and my life will be full of youth, no matter how old she will be”
“Living with Cancer” is a book written in March 2018 by Kenta Kobashi. It has five chapters and details his life from his diagnosis until now. For cancer sufferers and their families, he gives advice and support, while he also details his own battle against it. The last chapter is dedicated to his family, his infant daughter and the fans.
As one reviewer has put it, Misawa taught Kobashi the importance of leaving the ring alive.
The English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography “Heir To The Ark” (a work in progress), can be found here
Recommendation for 2019: Junta Miyawaki
Tokyo Sports 2018 Grand Prix Award Ceremony
Naomichi Marufuji’s Outstanding Performance Award for the first time in twelve years “An effort to make a further leap”
Kaito Kiyomiya’s first Fighting Spirit Award as “The new face of Noah”
UK Expedition Result: Daisuke Harada becomes the first IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion
POST MATCH PROMOS ~ “Navigation For The Future 2019” Night Four ~ Esupuma Isauma (Kawagoe-shi) (Sunday, January 13th 2019)
Naomichi Marufuji, Pro Wrestling Grand Prize, Special Prize winner, “I want to see the view that Misawa could not”
POST MATCH PROMOS ~ “Navigation For The Future 2019” Night Three ~ Act City Hamamatsu (12th January 2019)
Photos & gifs – credit to Tokyo Sports (group picture), Hisame (YO-HEY), Amazon.co.jp (“Living with Cancer”)