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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: Dominion 2018 Part 3!

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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?

 

This review of Dominion 2018 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.

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

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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!

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!

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!

THIRD 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!

 

Backstage interviews.

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?

 


 

My Thoughts:

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


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (7/16/18)

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Will Brock Lesnar appear on Raw tonight?

Will the Beast, Brock Lesnar, appear on the Raw After Extreme Rules to answer Kurt Angle’s Universal Championship ultimatum? Or are his priorities with MMA?

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match.
  • Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode; Ziggler wins.
  • Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley; Rawley wins.
  • Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke; Alicia & Dana win, by disqualification.
  • The B-Team VS The Ascension; The B-Team wins.
  • The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide; The Authors of Pain win.
  • Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan; Sarah wins.
  • Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley;  Lashley wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match

PLAY BY PLAY

WWE and Raw pays respect to Masa Saito.

 

Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, is already in the ring.

He thanks all the stars who competed last night in Extreme Rules. Their dedication makes him proud to be GM. However, there is one star who has shown very little dedication, and that is Brock Lesnar. Angle issued an ultimatum for The Beast to show up and/or agree to terms on his next defense, or be STRIPPED of the Universal Championship. He has not heard a thing from Lesnar or Heyman, so he will– Paul Heyman interrupts!

The Advocate wishes to tell the “ladies and gentlemen” of Buffalo, New York, that– Everyone knows who you are, Paul! But if Lesnar isn’t the one to come out, this is just a waste of time. Heyman sees it as very interesting that Angle says that, because his client, “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR”, is not here. In that case, Angle strips– NO NO! Heyman hustles to the ring to speak face to face with Angle. With all due respect, Heyman feels Angle and the WWE Universe. They all think Lesnar doesn’t care about the WWE, and he only wants to be a UFC champion again. Nothing is farther from the truth! Lesnar loves being in the WWE. Lesnar loves being Universal Champion. Then where is he!?

Lesnar wants to represent the WWE as he challenges for the UFC championship. That way, when Lesnar is both, he elevates the WWE. Just like Angle being all the different champions with an Olympic gold medal. Well more power to Lesnar. But Angle still insists Lesnar defend his championship at Summerslam, or he is no longer champion! Heyman hears the fans chant, and must give his decision for Lesnar. Angle drives a hard bargain. Lesnar will defend his title at Summerslam. So on behalf of Lesnar, Heyman congratulates the fans for their voices reaching the company in demanding more Lesnar. They want more of the Beast, more of the Conqueror! The Network would be all Lesnar all the time! So it’s official: Lesnar defends his title at Summerslam, but it’s up to Angle to decide who gets “beaten, victimized and conquered”! Bobby Lashley appears!

The Dominator heads to the ring, fresh off his win over The Big Dog, Roman Reigns. Lashley has the fans chanting for him as he explains he did defeat Roman Reigns. But now he’s ready for the next step. Heyman backs up as Lashley says he’s going to beat Lesnar and win the Universal Championship! But now Drew McIntyre appears! And he wants Lashley to hold on just a moment. Why does everyone think McIntyre came back? To bolster the roster? To be in someone’s corner? No, he came back to change things and make sure Ziggler kept the Intercontinental Championship. He’s done that, and he’s on to Phase Two, just like Lashely. McIntyre enters the ring while fans chant “YES! YES!” because McIntyre wants at The Beast! But here comes Seth Rollins!

The Architect hits the ring, and he’s fuming over how McIntyre screwed him out of the IC title. Fans chant “Burn It Down!” while Rollins glares into the eyes of McIntyre. “Kurt, if you’re looking for an opponent for Brock Lesnar, I’m right here.” Angle smirks, but here comes Elias?! The Drifter is here in Buffalo and playing his guitar as always. Elias heads to the ring, because he has a question: Who Wants to Walk With Elias?! But questions aside, Elias knows “there’s a lot of noise going on in this ring.” Nothing sounds better than Elias as Universal Champion. Next week, 7/23/18, Elias’ debut album drops! Therefore, ride his wave of success into Summerslam and put Elias VS Lesnar on. But wait, here comes Finn Balor!

The Extraordinary Man and the original Universal Champion joins everyone else, saying that “what makes sense” is the answer to this question: Who was the very first? It makes sense for us to get Balor VS Lesnar. But here comes Roman Reigns!

The Big Dog may have lost to Lashley last night, but Greatest Royal Rumble is still the chip on his shoulder. He joins all the other men in the ring, and admits he has no excuses. Roman doesn’t care who, he just wants a fight tonight. Angle knows they all deserve something, so we’re going to divide things into Triple Threats. The winners of those move on to  #1 contender’s match, that man goes on to face Lesnar. It’ll be Elias VS Rollins VS Bobby Lashley, then McIntyre VS Balor VS Reigns. That latter triple threat is RIGHT NOW! Who moves on down this Road to Summerslam?!

 

Angle encounters Baron Corbin backstage.

What does he think he’s doing? Two triple threats? Did he get authorization? Angle didn’t think he needed to. That’s the problem! And why wasn’t Corbin in one? He wasn’t deserving. But Finn Balor does? Yes, because Finn beat Corbin. Think about that!

 

Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns!

Finn is coming off a win over Constable Corbin and the Scottish Terminator helped the Show-Off screw over Seth Rollins while The Big Dog actually lost to The Dominator. Who will come out with this very important win to take one step closer to a match with The Beast in Brooklyn?

The bell rings and we begin. McIntyre rocks Finn but Roman throws hands on McIntyre. McIntyre shoves Roman away but Finn returns to throw hands, too. Roman comes back as Finn is pushed away. Roman lifts McIntyre, but McIntyre escapes, only to get an uppercut. Finn rolls Roman, TWO. McIntyre bulldozes both Roman and Finn! McIntyre bumps Roman on a buckle then chops and punches away. He goes to Finn to chop him, too, then stomps Roman down. McIntyre brings Finn up but Finn hits back. Finn dropkicks McIntyre, then Roman clotheslines McIntyre out. Finn clotheslines Roman out, then builds speed to FLY!

The inaugural Universal Champion flexes before putting McIntyre in the ring.

Now Finn chops and whips, but McIntyre reverses and hard. Roman returns, but is thrown overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grimaces down at Roman as he stomps his ear and hand. He drags Roman up and throws a haymaker. Roman staggers but is bumped off buckles. McIntyre throws more hands, but Finn comes in to throw hands on McIntyre. Finn gets run over, and Roman gets a boot. McIntyre looms over them both, then drags Roman up for a big suplex. Cover, TWO! McIntyre leaves Roman alone to go after Finn. He stomps Finn then bumps him off buckles. McIntyre chops Finn, then goes back to Roman. He throws hands on Roman, then covers, TWO. McIntyre rains down rights while covering, TWO by an inch. McIntyre throws more hands, then goes after Finn. He blasts Finn to the floor, then glares at Roman.

McIntyre brings Roman up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, and McIntyre grows frustrated. The Scottish machine is in control while we go to break.

Raw returns as McIntyre hammers away on Roman in a corner. He backs off at the ref’s count, then fetches Finn for an apron snake eyes. McIntyre throws Finn in the ring, then stomps away on both men. He stalks Roman for a bigger stomp, then goes over to Finn for a big toss into a corner. Finn boots back, then Roman runs McIntyre over! Roman rallies but McIntyre reverses the whip, only to get the leaping lariat. Finn hits Roman! He throws hands and whips but Roman reverses to clobber Finn with a clothesline! Fans are mixed as Roman clears his head. He aims at Finn on the outside, for the Drive- No, it misses, and Roman gets slingshot stomps! Finn brings Roman up, but McIntyre FLIES!

Finn evades and Roman is wiped out! And then Finn throws McIntyre into steps! Finn takes aim from the apron, and hits double stomps to McIntyre’s back! he and Roman return to the ring, double stomps for the Big Dog! Cover, TWO! Roman is gasping after all he’s taken, but fans are behind Finn. Finn drags Roman up but Roman powers him to a corner. Roman runs back in, but misses! Finn swing kicks from the apron, and Roman goes down! Finn climbs, but McIntyre uses a CHAIR! It’s legal in a triple threat, so no one can really complain. McIntyre targets Roman with that chair, but gets an uppercut first! Roman throws hands in a corner, then throws McIntyre across the way. McIntyre reverses to send Roman into the post, covers, TWO! We go to break with McIntyre back in control.

Raw returns again, and Roman hobbles over to McIntyre in a corner. He unloads the point blank clotheslines and gets all 10. Roman runs, and boots McIntyre down. Fans are mixed again as Roman locks and loads. Roman aims, but McIntyre SPINEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grows frustrated with how close yet how far he is from the win. He drags Roman up, prepares a powerbomb, but Finn has that chair! SMACK for McIntyre! And another! McIntyre goes out, but Finn goes after Roman! SMACK for Roman! And SMACK and SMACK and SMACK! Finn fires up, and so does the WWE Universe. Finn blasts McIntyre into barriers! Then he drags McIntyre up, but gets out as Roman SPEARS McIntyre into the timekeeper’s area!

Finn SLINGBLADES Roman! He puts Roman in, takes aim again, and Slingblades again! Finn takes aim a third time, but runs into a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Roman is shocked, and looks lost. Finn crawls away, dazed as he is, but Roman talks himself back into this. Fans duel as Roman stands up and fires up. Roman howls, but Finn knees the spear away. Then blasts Roman with the dropkick! Finn goes up while Roman’s down, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, but McIntyre drags Finn off!

Finn fires forearms but McIntyre throws knees. McIntyre puts Finn into steel, then puts him into the ring. McIntyre wants someone to get up. Finn sits up first, but SUPERMAN Punch! Roll up from Finn, TWO!! SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman runs into a Glasgow Kiss, aka a stiff headbutt, from McIntyre. McIntyre runs, but misses Roman and hits Finn! SUPERMAN PUNCH! SPEAR to Finn! Cover, Roman wins!

Winner: Roman Reigns; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match

The Big Dog is busted up but HE is the one moving on. He found a way to be the one to hit last, but will he be the one to punch his ticket to Brooklyn?

 

Bayley meets with Kurt Angle backstage.

But where’s Sasha Banks? Still in the locker room. Classic Sasha, only caring about herself. Which means the friendship counseling didn’t go well. Bayley tried to meet Sasha halfway, but for some reason, it didn’t work. They might never ever be friends again. Angle realizes he should’ve settled things in the ring. They’re gonna team up against Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox. That’s not a good idea right now. No, they’re so good together. If they don’t win, one of them is off to SmackDown.

 

Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring!

The Show-Off #AndStill the WWE Intercontinental Champion not only had Drew McIntyre on his side, he got lucky with the countdown as a last-second Curb Stomp was just a second too late. Either way, Ziggler smirks as he addresses Buffalo, saying “All I did was everything I said I was gonna do.” He put on an “absolute clinic”, and is the Ironman Intercontinental Champion! Ziggler knows something special happened last night, as the IC title main-evented a PPV for the first time in 17 years. That wasn’t because of Rollins. Ziggler came back to put everyone on notice, but he does give credit where it’s due. Rollins has Ziggler’s respect when it comes to making the IC title what it is today. “But you’re no Dolph Ziggler, brother.” Ziggler beat Rollins five times! But here comes Bobby Roode!

The GLORIOUS One and Dolph Ziggler have had matches in the past over the United States Championship on SmackDown, but now Roode and Ziggler are here on Raw. Roode knows Ziggler is giving credit where it’s due, but what about McIntyre? If it wasn’t for him, Ziggler wouldn’t be able to brag right now. Ziggler should be on his hands and knees thanking McIntyre. Otherwise, he might be telling some bad jokes at some comedy club. That’s right, while Ziggler was headlining Extreme Rules, Roode had fun watching from the sidelines. To be honest, the sidelines suck, but Roode is out here to challenge for the title, right now! Fans like the sound of that, but Ziggler doesn’t look to defend his title. Is he afraid he can’t do it alone? Ziggler decides to get a referee out here so they can!

The referee heads out to the ring, and it’s happening! Oh, but not for the Intercontinental Championship. Sorry about that.

Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode!

Roode is upset but he still takes it out on Ziggler. Ziggler manages to deny the DDT and get Roode into a hammerlock. Roode resists but Ziggler shifts to a headlock. Roode powers out but Ziggler runs him over. Ziggler runs but Roode hip tosses him down! Roode gets the headlock takeover, then grinds Ziggler on the mat. Ziggler works his way up, then puts Roode in a corner. They break, but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler puts Roode in a headlock takeover of his own, and even traps an arm. Roode works his way out as they go around the mat. They stand up, and Roode pries his way out to his own headlock on Ziggler. Ziggler powers out, but Roode runs him over. Roode runs, then throws Ziggler out! Ziggler hits the floor hard while fans fire up.

Roode waits for Ziggler, but then slips out the side. Ziggler manages to stand but Roode bumps him off barriers. Roode puts Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler rolls to the other side. Ziggler wants a time out but Roode walks over. Ziggler yanks him back out, then dropkicks him on reentry! Cover, TWO! Roode gets to a corner but Ziggler brings him up for a chinlock. Roode endures, and gets up to his feet. He fights back but Ziggler knees low to then drop Roode with a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated with his old foe, but he puts Roode in a corner. Roode hits first with haymakers and chops. Roode backs Ziggler down, then whips him corner to corner. Ziggler reverses but Roode comes out with the clothesline! Ziggler yanks Roode into buckles now, then backs off while we go to break.

Raw returns to Roode stuck inside the sleeper hold and body scissors from Ziggler. Roode feeds off the rally from the fans and gets his second wind. They stand up and Roode fights back. Ziggler kicks low, then runs in at Roode, but into a back elbow. Roode boots Ziggler back, then dodges him in a corner. Ziggler’s splash hits buckles, but he slips out of the back suplex. Ziggler goes for another sleeper hold, but Roode rolls through. Roode rallies, then whips. Ziggler kicks him away, but he still runs into a yurinagi slam! Fans fire up for Roode and he hits the corner clothesilne. Ziggler denies the bulldog but gets boots. Roode hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! The fans fire up as Roode winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose!

The kick, but Ziggler counters the DDT and sits on the sunset. TWO, but Ziggler misses the Famouser. Roode rolls him, Ziggler rolls back, but Roode does i back. TWO, and still no DDT, ZIG ZAG!! Cover, TWO!? How?! Fans rally up for Roode while Ziggler takes aim. Ziggler tunes up, just like last night. He takes aim, but Roode blocks the kick to get the catapult! Ziggler his buckles, then walks into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool while Ziggler rolls to the ropes. Roode drags Ziggler up on the apron but Ziggler hotshots back. Ziggler goes for but is denied a Zig Zag.

Roode boots Ziggler away, then hops up, but has to jump over. The legs give out, and Ziggler kicks them, but Roode denies the DDT to get a SUPERKICK instead! Cover, Ziggler wins!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall

The Show-Off wins cleaner than last night, but either way, he’s still a winner. Will Ziggler encounter a challenger worthy of a match on the way to Summerslam?

 

Bobby Lashley speaks.

They say the Beast fears no man. Lashley says the Beast has never faced someone like him. Lashley vows to be the next Universal Champion, but what will it take to get through both Seth Rollins and Elias in their Triple Threat?

 

Mojo Rawley “applauds” Bobby Roode.

“And you’re supposed to be Glorious?” Mojo grins at the defeated Roode before walking away. Roode doesn’t have a response, but will he give Mojo one next time they meet?

 

Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley!

Now the Man with #KillerInstinct heads to the ring and goes against Prince Pretty. Will Mojo fare better than Roode did against Ziggler? Or will he be the one shown up?

The bell rings and Mojo goes right at Breeze with shoulders in the corner. He throws Breeze out, but Breeze dropkicks and clotheslines Mojo out! Breeze slingshots but misses, and Mojo POUNCES!

Mojo glares down at Breeze, then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO, so he tries again. ONE, and Mojo puts Breeze in a half-nelson. Breeze endures while fans duel between them. Mojo says Breeze just has to tap and it’ll be over. Breeze refuses, but can’t get away from Mojo. Cover, ONE, but Mojo still has the half-nelson. Breeze continues to endure, and sits up again. Mojo powers up but Breeze sunset flips! TWO, and Breeze hits an enziguri! He hits a forearm in the corner, then whips, but Mojo reverses. Breeze holds ropes to dump Mojo out, but Mojo leaps back in! Mojo corner splashes, then hits THE Pounce! Mojo stalks Breeze to a corner, and hits the LIGHTS OUT Forearm! He’s still not done, he gives Breeze an Alabama Slam! Cover, Mojo wins!

Winner: Mojo Rawley, by pinfall

The Killer Instinct is strong in Mojo. He grins as he stares down at the defeated Breeze. Will he do the same to a champion in the future?

 

Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke!

Kurt Angle issued an ultimatum to these two friends on the rocks. If they can’t find a way to get along and win, one of them will be traded to SmackDown. Winning heals all wounds, but are these emotional wounds too deep?

Bayley and Alicia start and tie up. Alicia puts Bayley in a corner, then throws forearms. She wrenches and whips Bayley, but Bayley goes up and over. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO. Alicia gets to ropes for safety, but then sucker BOOTS Bayley down. Cover, TWO! Alicia tags in Dana, then whips Bayley in for Danan’s handspring elbow. Dana stomps away, then puts Bayley in a corner. Dana runs in again but misses, so she makes sure to hit Sasha first. Bayley hits Dana back, then runs to run her over! Bayley throws hands but Dana gets away. The Huggable One still rallies, and hits Alicia for good measure. She elbows and wacky waving- gets run over! Dana throws Bayley out hard, and Alicia slaps away.

Sasha comes over to save Bayley, but then Dana gets Sasha. Sasha throws Dana down HARD, then rams her into barriers. She puts Alicia into the apron, but the referee keeps shouting for her to stop. She doesn’t and she hits a double crossbody!

Winners: Dana & Alicia, by disqualification

Was Sasha saving a friend in need? Or just getting hers while she could before someone gets sent to SmackDown?

 

Bayley confronts Sasha backstage.

Why did she do that? Sasha wants to leave, but Bayley wants to talk. Sasha won’t let someone else beat Bayley up. So she cares? yes, of course! She always has! But Sasha hates talking about feelings. Sasha loves that Bayley is a good person to everyone, and that she’s a role-model to little girls, or that she’s always there when Sasha doesn’t ask her to be. Why can’t Bayley get it? Sasha loves Bayley, ok? She said it. Sasha storms off, but will this be the last time they’re both on Raw?

 

Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.

The Monster in the Bank threw Kevin Owens off a cage! Does he have any regrets? Actually, he does. He regrets he wasn’t’ able to congratulate Kevin on the “win”. Why didn’t Strowman step up when all the others did for a chance at Lesnar? Because he has the briefcase! It doesn’t matter who wins, and whether they win against Lesnar, Strowman has his shot anytime, anywhere! Will everyone #GetTheseHands in the end?

 

The B-Team VS The Ascension!

And don’t adjust your television, they ARE the new Raw Tag Team Champions! They shocked the world by overthrowing WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt, then celebrated all night long! Will they still be celebrating after this match tonight?

Raw returns as Konnor looms over Axel. The bigger Konnor stomps away, then back elbows Bo as he comes in. Axel kicks back, then throws Konnor into the post! Bo tags in and adds on with hammering fists. Bo then adds mudhole stomps, and fans cheer for the champs. The Revival are watching backstage while Axel tags in. Bo hits a clothesline, then feeds Konnor to the DDT. Cover, TWO! Axel facelocks Konnor, but Konnor uses his strength to head for Viktor. Axel piggybacks and clubs Knnor down, but is pushed away. Hot tags to Bo and Viktor, but it’s Viktor who rallies. Viktor chops and chops then whips Bo corner to corner for a big back elbow. He whips Bo again, but Bo dodges. Viktor goes up, flying knee! Cover, but Axel breaks it in time.

Konnor hits Axel, then dodges Bo. Axel dumps Konnor out, and Bo back elbows Viktor. Tag to Axel, Neck B-reaker! Cover, B-Team wins!

Winners: The B-Team, Axel pinning

The “undefeated” streak continues! They celebrate all over again, but the Deleters speak tot hem from inter-dimensional space. Enjoy your moment of glory, but understand that it won’t last. The B Team disrupted the divine equilibrium in a rematch for the titles. Bray & Hardy vow to take those belts back, and then DELETE the B Team Forever~! Will it be an eternal erasure for Bo and Axel?

 

Alexa Bliss & Mickie James head to the ring!

It was thanks to the six-time Women’s Champion that the Goddess managed to survive “kendo sticks, chairs, trash cans, bullies and overrated rookies” to still be Raw Women’s Champion. “What an upset, right?” She knows the fans thought “poor little Alexa” was gonna lose to “big bad Nia”, but they were wrong. Alexa wrote the final chapter in her story with Nia, with a happy ending: the One True Goddess victorious. She has dominated the Women’s Division for so long, because her strongest muscle is her brain. She out-thinks everyone, but outsmarting Nia wasn’t that hard. Alexa says she’s officially beaten everyone in the locker room. But fans remind her of “Ronda Rousey!” She hears them, but Ronda doesn’t count. Ronda is not here because she’s suspended! And after last night, it should be indefinite! Ronda was just a fan last night, but now she’s here again!

The Rowdy Woman makes her way down the stairs, despite her suspension still in effect for another 48 hours. Mickie & ALexa make a run for it, but Ronda is already on the stage! They run the other way, but Ronda chases them down! She grabs Mickie first, for that same Rowdy Slam! And the ARMBAR! Alexa works to save her friend, and referees help her out. Ronda glares at Alexa as she retreats, but then runs her down! Ronda barrels through referees, Mickie AND Alexa!

Fans are loving it as Ronda drags the Goddess up by her pink-tipped hair and puts her back in the ring. Ronda throws Alexa down, for the armbar!! Referees safe Alexa while Angle comes out to talk sense into Ronda. Angle wants Ronda to listen and calm down, especially after last night. Ronda has two more days, so just go home and wait it out.

But Constable Baron Corbin says the GM needs to do his job! Reprimand Ronda! Angle is right, add another week onto the suspension. A week!? No, Ronda spits in the face of authority, and all she gets is a week? Stephanie’s not gonna be happy about this. Wait where is Corbin’s phone? Hold on, he has to go get it. But uh, Angle has it. But anyway, Ronda’s suspension will be up, but she will get a match with Alexa, unless she pulls another stunt like this. Don’t worry, the match she’s getting is a Raw Women’s Championship match at Summerslam! Alexa & Mickie protest, but Ronda is just fine with this deal! Seven more days on her suspension for a title match return is fine by her and the fans, but what about Corbin and Stephanie?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

The Architect wants at Brock Lesnar, but between the Triple Threat tonight, Roman Reigns next week and the wear on his body from Sunday’s Ironman match, how does he feel? To be honest, Rollins’ night wasn’t last night. But this will be his night, as will next Monday and Summerslam Sunday. If it’s Roman Reigns, his Shield Brother, “I gotta do what I gotta do.” He’s sure Roman will, too, so there’s an understanding between them. Can Rollins #BurnItDown against Elias and Lashley?

 

The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide!

It’s a rematch between the destructive upstarts and the well-meaning veterans. Titus & Apollo know AoP are big, bad and strong, wanting to take respect, but that’s not how that works. You earn respect. Apollo tried what they did, but they’re not stagehands. They’re going to hit back and represent. Will their mission matter to Akam & Rezar?
The bell rings and Apollo hits Rezar but Akam hits him back. Titus gest in but Akam attacks first. Akam bumps Titus right off a post and lets him fall to the floor. Then he runs Titus over with a clothesline for good measure. Akam returns but Apollo enziguris and dropkicks! But Akam still powers Apollo to a corner. Rezar tags in, full nelson slam! Rezar talks trash in Albanian, then rams his shoulders into Apollo.

Tag to Akam, and Rezar atomic drops for Akam’s boot. Akam drags Apollo up and over, then tags Rezar back in. They work together for the double gut buster. Rezar taunts Apollo, then tags Akam back in. The AoP bring Apollo back up, for the LAST CHAPTER! Cover, AoP wins!

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

That makes it 2-0 for the duo of behemoths, and they barely broke a sweat. Will they bulldoze their way towards the tag team titles in no time?

 

The Riott Squad encounters the conga line.

No Way Jose and his buddies don’t stop them and their trouble making. They’re on their way out to see if they can finally get a win over the Prophecy of Flame!

Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan!

The Juvenile Delinquent is 0-2 against the former NXT Women’s Champion, but can #CountryStrong get the Squad on the board?

The bell rings, and they tie up. Sarah arm-drags but Ember handstands through. Ember gets a waistlock but Sarah standing switches to throw Ember down. Sarah drags Ember up but Ember resists. Ember endures the facelock, then reverses it onto Sarah. Sarah rolls through to reel Ember in, but Ember rolls her up. ONE, but Ember gets a waistlock. Ember slips around to lift Sarah, but Sarah resists. Sarah elbows out, then whips Ember to a corner. Ember goes up but gets a forearm that sends her down! The Kentucky Viking wants at Ember, and throws her into the ring. Cover, TWO, but Liv is confident Sarah has this. Sarah grinds her elbow and forearm into Ember, then drags her up to the ropes. She chokes Ember against them, then Liv gets a cheap shot in! Cover, TWO!

Sarah keeps her cool while she drags Ember up again. She suplexes but Ember small packages! TWO, and Sarah dodges a superkick to deadlift suplex! Bridging pin, TWO! Sarah grows frustrated, but she keeps focus as she puts Ember into an anaconda vice. Fans rally for Ember, and she rolls Sarah over. TWO, and Sarah keeps on the vice. Ember fights against it, then stands up. Sarah wrangles Ember back for a backbreaker, then wrenches on the vice. Ember endures and fights her way up again. She pops her hips back and slips out, then kicks Sarah away. Ember and Sarah slowly stand, but Ember slips out of the back suplex. She dodges Sarah to rock her with a right hand! Sarah staggers over, but into headscissors! They both stand up and Ember rallies! Ember gives several big knees, then runs to slide in for a complete shot!

Liv distracts on the apron but gets a forearm! Sarah rolls Ember up, TWO! Mule kick! Cover, TWO! Ember and Sarah crawl towards ropes, but Ember dropkicks Sarah out. Fans fire up, and Ember builds speed to DIVE! She wipes Sarah out but keeps moving. They go back into the ring, cover, TWO! Ember grits her teeth as she gets up to the top rope. She aims at Sarah, but Liv distracts again. Sarah trips Ember up, covers, Sarah wins!

Winner: Sarah Logan, by pinfall

This was not only Sarah’s first win in a 1v1 match, but she got it done against the War Goddess! Will this be the beginning of the Squad turning it around while they’re without their Riott leader?

 

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter realizes he’s in Buffalo, and is instantly depressed. But he can save everyone with his debut album next week. Fans need to buy it, listen to it and let it heal them. What is the album’s name? The answer is simple, it’s the three words we all know: Walk With Elias! Amen to that. Now imagine the history he will make: number one recording artist and Universal Champion. All he has to do is will himself through this performance. But first, shut up so he can sing the song for him and only himself. Elias begins playing, but no one stays quiet.

“Brock’s got to go, I’m in Buffalo.” Triple Threat ain’t no match for him, he’d rather watch paint dry than hear Lashley speak. Seth Rollins go take a DIVE off Niagra Falls. Elias could be IC champion but Rollins cheated. Speaking of Rollins, he interrupts and gets this show going.

Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley!

The Drifter has been campaigning for a chance against The Beast for some time now, while The Kingslayer hopes to become The Beastslayer. They both will have to deal with The Dominator first, who will move on to then face The Big Dog next week?

But as Lashley makes his entrance, Elias attacks Rollins! Lashley runs in, and the referee keeps the peace in order to check on Rollins. Rollins wants this match to happen, so the bell rings. Elias goes after Rollins again, but Lashley pulls Elias over to bump him off buckles. Lashley throws hands then bumps Elias again. He stomps and punches away, then whips Elias to the ropes. Elias bails out, but Rollins is there to run him over! Rollins sees Lashley in the ring, and leaves Elias behind to test the Dominater. Fans duel while they circle and tie up. Rollins gets a waistlock and headlock takeover. Lashley rolls him over to a cover, ONE, but Rollins holds on. They stand up and Lashley powers out. Lashley runs Rollins over, then knocks Elias away. Lashley throws Rollins in the headlock takeover.

Rollins keeps it from becoming a cover, and fans rally up. They stand, and Rollins powers out. Things speed up and Rollins dropkicks Lashley down. Rollins stalks Lashley to a corner for chops. He whips Lashley to a corner, but Lashley puts Rollins on the apron. Rollins springboards in but into a kick! Lashley grabs Rollins, but Elias comes in to knee Lashley down! Rollins rolls Elias, TWO! Elias dodges and sends Rollins into buckles, tot hen shovel Rollins up. Rollins spins to huricanrana, but gets a knee from Elias! Cover, TWO! Heyman, Angle and Corbin watch intently from backstage while we go to break.

Raw returns once more, and Elias has Rollins in a cobra clutch. Fans rally up and Rollins fights back. Elias still puts his weight on Rollins, but Lashley returns. Elias pin balls between Rollins and Lashley, getting a jawbreaker to clotheslines. Lashley throws Elias overhead, then grabs Rollins in a swinging neckbreaker. He runs in at Elias for a shoulder tackle, then the vertigo suplex. Rollins kicks Lashley but gets tossed overhead. He lands on his feet, but is hit with a powerslam. Elias runs in but for a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lashley takes aim but Elias bails out of the ring. Lashley pursues, but Elias throws him into a post. Rollins DIVES but Elias deflects him. Elias then throws Lashley into another post, and into the ring. He climbs up top, Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! FROG SPLASH! But Elias throws Rollins out to cover, TWO!

All three men are down from exhaustion, but Rollins stirs. He drags himself back into the ring while Lashley slumps out. Elias sees him, and stalks him to a corner. He clubs away on Rollins, then shovels him up. Rollins fights out, wristlocks, but Elias elbows him away. Rollins boots Elias back, then hops up for a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Elias gets to the apron while Rollins catches his breath. Rollins gets up as fans chant “Burn It Down!” for him. Rollins drags Elias up to the top rope, but Elias fights back. He clubs Elias then drags him up more. Elias still resists, and throws Rollins down. Elias adjusts, but Lashley returns! Lashley climbs up, clubs Elias, then grabs Elias for something. Rollins adds on, and has Lashley for the BUCKLE BOMB! Then he hops up to Elias, SUPERPLEX! Roll through, FALCON ARROW!

Cover, TWO!! All three men are down again, but Elias slumps out of the ring. Rollins sits up and sees he has two targets. He builds speed, and DIVES on Elias! Direct hit, and into the ring he goes. He DIVES on Lashley! Rollins returns to Elias, enziguri! Slingblade! But that’s not all, as Rollins fires up Buffalo with the “Burn It Down!” stomps. He aims at Elias, mule kick to CURB STOMP! Cover, but Lashley breaks it up just in time! They’re all done again, but Elias bails out again. Rollins goes after Lashley with a forearm, but Lashley gives it back. They brawl back and forth, but Rollins gets a furious edge. He runs, but into a BIG clothesline from Lashley! Lashley lifts Rollins with the Vertigo Suplex! He drops Rollins down, then prepares his ace. He runs, but into a post! Roll up, TWO, mule kick! CURB-

No, Elias dragged Rollins out! But he runs into a SPEAR! Lashley wins!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match

We get a rematch from Extreme Rules between the two alpha males of Raw! Both men are armed with Spears, but who will be the one to barrel their way into Brooklyn and a match with The Beast?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Well, if Extreme Rules was a mixed bag of emotions, this Raw was the epitome of that. The matches were all filler, no matter how you look at them. It was great that Heyman panicked over his client being stripped over his not-so-subtle self-serving as a two-sport fighter, but this was just fancy wrapping paper on Vince’s gift to himself. Roman and Lashley being in the contender pool, or even just Roman himself, makes it clear we’re getting an Extreme Rules rematch that makes us all realize: they should’ve just made this the stipulation for Extreme Rules! Spare us the semantics and get to the point. Vince wants Roman to have another go, and we all know it. The triple threats were all booked great, but that was just something for the live audience to enjoy more than anything. I hope Lashley wins again, but we can’t be sure anymore.

Everything else that happened tonight also felt slightly off. Roode VS Ziggler is a revisit from SmackDown, and is thankfully now about Ziggler being a weasel than Roode having a fancy entrance. However, it feels like it might be Roode VS Mojo instead as Mojo gets in Roode’s face before squashing Breeze. I still want Breeze to try his hand in 205 Live while Fandango recovers. Breeze might not get to be Cruiserweight Champion, but he can at least get good booking away from Vince’s direct control. However, Mojo and Roode might both get thrown into the Intercontinental Championship scene as Ziggler will need challengers as much as Lesnar. I’m slowly coming around on B-Team, just on how over the top they are about themselves, but with next week’s rematch, I hope we get something a bit more in story, such as a visit to at least one Compound.

Angle has added a Fourth “I” with “Incompetence” if he only just now figured out Bayley & Sasha could wrestle it out instead of talk. I doubt he’ll really trade one of them to SmackDown just because they’ve lost another match, but it was a good breakthrough for Sasha to admit she still does care for Bayley. I don’t know if this means their story shifts gears so we can try for that Women’s Tag Championship story, but that might be what saves this story before it’s truly too late. AoP winning was filler, but there’s still time before they’re just giant versions of The Ascension. Same for the Revival, depending on what happens with the tag titles. Good for Sarah to be the one to win for the Squad, but I’m not sure where the story goes without Ember having her own teammate.

The best part of tonight was actually Ronda appearing to attack Alexa and Mickie again. It was better than what I was expecting tonight, and is the one part of Raw that might actually be booked correctly. Ronda adds time to her “suspension” but that’s fine, because she’s getting her Summerslam match. Ronda better win, or else WWE will have shot themselves in the foot, again.

My Score: 7.5/10


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Andrew’s Ratings & Review: WWE Extreme Rules 2018

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With the information that emerged right before this PPV regarding Hulk Hogan being reinstated and Daniel Bryan signing a contract extension, that could play into some aspects of the show. Not like I expect Hulk Hogan to play a part, but the Daniel Bryan information could change the finish to the match tonight. That portion of the night should be interesting, as well as, the role Ronda Rousey will play in the Women’s Match.

The whole Roman Reigns element makes the watch worth while. Will the fans boo him out of the build? Will it main event? Does it matter to the crowd?

Let’s get to the show.

 

Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs Sin Cara

Wait, does Sin Cara get new music every time he reemerges from Lucha obscurity? This isn’t the same song right? Ahh…who cares, El Idolo es numero uno.

Some fast paced lucha style action comes to a crashing halt when Sin Cara goes for a Suicide Dive, but Andrade tosses him into the barricade. Also, I get that Corey is the “Smark” commentator, but making a remark that the person under the mask might be a different person than Andrade knew years ago, is a little too inside baseball.  There’s also a question to be asked about why Zelina mirrors the Tranquilo pose now, when she was very much against it in NXT.

After Almas had the advantage most of the match, we see a flurry from Sin Cara, Asai Moonsault plus an interesting headscissors counter to what could’ve been an Alabama Slam for a near fall.Sin Cara pushes Almas off the top rope to the apron, and then seems to botch what was probably supposed to be a Frankensteiner. The finish came quickly after Sin Cara hits a Frog Splash, but Vega distracts the official. Almas lands a dropkick into the corner, double knees and Hammerlock DDT for the victory.

A better match than I was expecting, but the King of Botch Style, still managed to find a way to screw up a spot.

Winner: Almas via Hammerlock DDT

Rating: ** 1/2

 

Tables Match: SAnitY vs The New Day

New Day takes an early advantage, but SAnitY quickly resets the balance. We see a lot of 2 vs 1 against Big E before the rest of New Day comes in to start a nice back and forth.

A few big spots like Killian Dain diving onto Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston and a Double Elevated Foot Stomp from Kofi onto Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe. Hard to really go over this match blow for blow, since it was actually a solid tornado tag match with tables. The finish felt like it took a little too long to set up, but it looked cool and New Day haven’t put on a bad match in a long time.

Winner: SAnitY via Reverse Bulldog through Table

Rating: ** 3/4

 

Raw Tag Team Championship: Deleters of Worlds(c) vs B-Team

Bo and Matt Hardy start off, and his frustration from the multiple singles losses seem to be inspiring more aggression. After a short powder, Bray tags in, but Bo tags out before the crowd gets the two brothers fighting.

Bray’s eyes don’t often leave from Bo as he beats the hell out of Curtis. Axel gets a short moment of offense, but Bray stops that and brings Matt back in as we get the Delete Headsmashes in the corner. Axel manages to counter a Side Effect, allowing Bo a moment to land a cheap shot and then get tagged in and keep Hardy isolated.

Matt fights out of the isolation and we finally get Bray versus Bo.  Bray dominates Dallas, they go for their tandem finish but Axel breaks it up and Bo hits the Draping Neckbreaker on Hardy for the pinfall.

Well now, surprisingly we have new Tag Team Champions.

Winner: B-Team via Draping Neckbreaker

Rating: ** 1/4

 

Finn Balor vs Baron Corbin

Corbin physically dominates Balor for the early portion of the match, but surprisingly pulls off a crisp Sunset Flip attempt. That might be the most athletic I’ve seen Corbin do a thing. Still aside from a few strikes Corbin leans on Balor, cranking the neck and keeping him grounded.

Baron hits his Wrap Around Lariat for a near fall, and we continue to see Corbin setting the pace. Finn gets a little space and goes for a springboard move, but the Constable catches him with a right forearm, getting only a 2 count. It takes a while but Finn puts a few strikes together, goes for his Coup de Grace, but Corbin grabs him, pulling off the Chokeslam Backbreaker for 2.

Wrap Around Lariat attempt number 2 gets met with a Slingblade. Balor goes for his Shotgun Dropkick, but gets caught in a Deep Six for a near fall. Balor gets up, hits the Shotgun Dropkick and goes for the Coup de Grace. Baron counters the Coup de Grace again, pulling Finn off the top rope and attempting an End of Days, but gets it countered into an Inside Cradle for the surprise victory.

Winner: Balor via Inside Cradle

Rating:  ** 3/4

 

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Carmella (c) vs Asuka

A couple early strikes from Asuka, followed by Carmella using the hair for a Facebuster gives us our first wrinkle. Ellsworth seems to be hiding items in his coat even though he’s in the shark cage.

Asuka manages to fight through a few of the items and get a near fall even though she misses most of the hip attack. Asuka Lock too close to the ropes, so Carmella manages to break the hold while Ellsworth starts picking the lock of the shark cage. Ellsworth gets free, but catches his foot and Asuka treats him like a heavy bag. Asuka remains focused on Ellsworth, even attacking the ring crew who try to put Ellsworth back in the cage. So with all of this distraction, Carmella shoves Asuka’s face into the lowered shark cage and picks up the win.

It’s not surprising since you’d expect Carmella to need a heelish shortcut to win, but it’s still stupid. Angry Asuka can beat down Ellsworth after all she wants, but it makes you really wonder what the hell they’re doing with her. Plus, the Ellsworth distraction spots take too long to get to the payoff. Makes no sense that Asuka, who’s been wrestling for nearly 15 years, would think it’s a good idea to not pay attention to her opponent for like 3 minutes.

Winner: Carmella via Shark Cage usage

Rating: *

 

United States Championship Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jeff Hardy (c)

Before the bell, Shinsuke immediately hits a low blow, Hardy says ring the bell, Kinshasa and it’s over.

Shinsuke celebrates a little as new champion and then Randy Orton shows up. Orton and Nakamura have a small stare down, and then Orton stomps Hardy a few times before walking off.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura via Kinshasa

Rating: N/A 

 

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman vs Kevin Owens

Owens starts off the match trying to escape while Braun just keeps pulling him back in screaming at him to fight.  Owens finally obliges, lands a Superkick, Canonball and Frog Splash for 1. Then we see Braun start doing the Braun thing.

He literally just starts throwing Owens into the different sides of the cage. As Kevin gets tossed about it looks like he kinda falls backwards into an accidental Stunner, and Owens tries to run away. Owens handcuffs Strowman and manages some offense, blows him a kiss, taunts him, and Braun breaks the handcuffs. Chases him up the cage, catches him at the top, and Chokeslams him through the announce table.

Technically Owens wins the match since he escaped the cage and his feet are outside first. So…hurray, Owens wins via homicidal tendencies from Strowman.

Winner: Owens via Attempted Murder

Rating: * 1/4

 

SmackDown Tag Team Title Match: Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs Team Hell No

Earlier in the night we saw the Bludgeons take out Kane by slamming his leg between a door, so Daniel Bryan starts out alone. Rowan starts off the match as Bryan does the resilient plucky underdog thing. He gets beat up a little early, but manages to start taking both men out, even putting Harper in the Yes Lock.

Rowan breaks up the Yes Lock, and then Daniel is on the receiving end of punishment for a while. The punishment continues for a while until Bryan low bridges Rowan, backflips behind Harper and tries a Suicide Dive but gets caught. Harper then goes for a Suicide Dive of his own, but lands on Rowan as Bryan moves. Then Kane’s theme music hits and he limps down to the ring for the hot tag.

Kane attempts a Tombstone, Harper gets away and kicks the bad leg. Bryan tags back in and lights up Harper with some Yes Kicks. Rowan tags himself in when Bryan can’t see, so he intercepts him, throws him into Kane, and then they hit a Powerbomb/Lariat combination.

Winner: Bludgeon Brothers via Tandem Finish

Rating: ** 1/2

 

Roman Reigns vs Bobby Lashley

A lot of slow deliberate chain wrestling. Headlocks, a few stiff strikes and not a lot of high impact moves until Roman knocks Lashley to the outside and throws him into the barricade multiple times. Roman keeps sliding in and out of the ring to break the count, so he can keep up the punishment on the outside.

Reigns fries to use the steps, but Lashley catches them and counters with a lariat. Bobby throws in Roman and then hits a big Belly to Belly Suplex, as the two men trade a few running lariats. We then get Roman’s Ten Count Lariats corner spot, as Lashley hits a crisp Powerslam for a near fall.

Lashley puts together a few nice moves and a Double Axehandle from the middle turnbuckle, but Roman counters a suplex by attempting a Samoan drop. Lashley grabs the ropes to block, but Roman just chucks Lashley to the outside. As Lashley barely beats the 10 count, Reigns lands a Guillotine Leg Drop for a near fall. We then see a Superman Punch attempt get caught and Lashley hits the Spinebuster into his Delaying Vertical Suplex, for 2.

Lashley gets ready for a Spear but Roman catches him with a Superman Punch. Lashley rolls to the outside, Reigns charges at Lashley but gets caught in a Belly to Belly Suplex over the German announce table. Bobby throws in Roman, goes to the top rope and eats a Superman Punch as he falls into the ring. Roman talks a little smack, hits the ropes for his Spear, but Lashley hits his own Spear for the 1-2-3.

Winner: Bobby Lashley via Spear

Rating: *** 1/2

 

Extreme Rules Raw Women’s Championship Match: Alexa Bliss (c) vs Nia Jax

Alexa slaps Nia and runs to the outside as Mickie keeps throwing different weapons to Alexa, but Nia keeps blocking them and throwing them into the ring. Nia catches Bliss eventually, splashes her in the corner and then tosses her onto the chair. Jax Gorilla Press’ Alexa onto a trash can as Alexa powders out.

Nia grabs Alexa’s foot as Bliss finally manages to connect on a few shots with weapons. She props a steel chair in the corner, as Alexa then dodges while Nia crashes into the chair. Natty attacks Mickie as Alexa gets out of the ring and helps the beat down. Ronda jumps the barricade and starts beating on Mickie James hitting an Olympic Driver as she then goes after Bliss. But Mickie comes to Alexa’s aid with a kendo stick on Ronda.

Bliss goes for a Crossbody, Jax catches her, then Mickie hits her with the chair. A few more chairshots, a DDT on the chair and Alexa retains.

We got to see Ronda Rousey unleash a new move in her arsenal and get in some offense. So story wise, this was fine, but as a match it was forgettable at best.

Winner: Alexa via DDT

Rating:  * 1/2

 

WWE Championship Match: Rusev vs AJ Styles (c)

Both men trade strikes, as AJ goes after the legs, but Rusev manages a nice Judo throw to start stomping on Styles. Styles continues the leg strikes, tries a suplex, but it gets blocked, so he goes to the ropes and Rusev catches him with a Spinebuster. Rusev is visibly favoring his left leg but manages two Vertical Suplexes and a elbow drop for a 1 count.

AJ attempts a few more kicks and tries to get something going, but Rusev throws AJ back with a huge Back Body Drop. Styles gets beat down for a while until Rusev goes for a top rope move, but AJ lands an Enzuigiri to the injured leg and sends him crashing to the floor. Styles then follows up with a Flying Forearm to the outside.

Phenomenal Blitz back inside as AJ hits the sliding forearm. Stinger Splash from AJ, as he tries an Ushigoroshi, but Rusev slides out. AJ counters Rusev’s attempt with a Scorpion Deathdrop for 2. Styles takes Rusev to the corner and tries to roll him out for the Calf Crusher, but Rusev blocks it and sends him to the outside. Suicide Dive attempt from Rusev, met with a jumping forearm.

Rusev counters another Calf Crusher attempt, going into the Accolade, as AJ slips out, kicks him in the bad leg and goes for the sliding forearm again but Rusev kicks him in the face. Fall Away Slam attempt from Rusev, but AJ turns it into the Calf Crusher. Aiden pushes the ropes forward to help Rusev break the hold, AJ gets distracted, chases Aiden on the outside as he eats a Belly to Belly Suplex followed by a Machka Kick for 2.

Macha Kick attempt number two, dodges and Styles hits a Pele Kick. Rusev catches Styles next move and hits a Roundhouse Kick for 2. Accolade attempt, but Rusev’s left leg gives out on him so it’s more like a Half Camel Clutch as Styles struggles to the ropes. Aiden gets involved again by taking the pad off the top turnbuckle. Rusev goes face first into the exposed turnbuckle since he wasn’t aware of it, Styles lands a Springboard 450 for 2.

Styles knocks Aiden down and lands the Phenomenal Forearm for the pinfall victory.

Winner:  Styles via Phenomenal Forearm

Rating: **** 1/4

 

Intercontinental Championship 30 Minute Iron Man Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs Seth Rollins

After an early feeling out process, both men go for multiple backslides and pinning combinations for a quick point, but no one scores a three count. Ziggler powders out for a breather, slides back in and tries to take advantage of Rollins being distracted by McIntyre, but Seth fights him off and keeps the tempo. Awkward moment where it looked like Seth was expecting something different but Ziggler just punches him in the head. Seth catches Dolph with a Bucklebomb into a La Magistral Cradle for the first fall.

Rollins gives Dolph no time to relax and throws him outside, hits a Plancha and then keeps whipping Ziggler from barricade to apron. McIntyre provides a small distraction so Dolph jumps on Rollins as he rolls back in and starts to get some momentum. Rollins slips out of a suplex, begins putting together a few moves before ZIggler hits a low dropkick. Misses the Fameasser, they have locomotion cradles as Rollins catches Ziggler with a Stomp for the second fall.

McIntyre attacks Rollins, to give Rollins a DQ win, but McIntyre doesn’t stop. The official kicks out Drew, but he hits a parting Claymore and yells at Ziggler to “Finish This”.  ZIggler rolls over onto Seth and finally scores a fall to make the score 3-1 at the moment.

Ziggler waits for Seth to stand up, catches him with a Superkick and gets a second fall.

Dolph goes for a Superkick again, but it gets countered. Rollins tries to fight back but gets caught with a ZigZag for the third fall to tie the match a 3 all.

ZigZag attempt number two is fought off, Ziggler then misses a splash as Rollins finally manages to collect himself enough to fight back. Lariats Dolph to the outside, Suicide Dive attempt but a big Palm Strike from Ziggler stops Seth and feet on the ropes  gives Dolph a fourth fall and his first lead of the match.

Ziggler controls Seth with a few submission holds and really slows things down. Seth is held in a Sleeper Hold for about a minute before starting to fight back. Drives Ziggler into the corner a few times to finally get Dolph to break the hold.  Throws Dolph outside, hits  Suicide Dive and tries to throw Ziggler back in the ring, but Dolph keeps rolling. That urges Seth to go for one more Suicide Dive and try a Springboard Forearm for a near fall. Seth finally hits a Blockbuster, but only for 2.

After looking at the clock, Seth sees time is running out and goes to the top rope to eat a Dropkick from Dolph Ziggler. Rollins gets in before 10, pushes Ziggler off from the DDT attempt, Thrust Kick and Ripcord Knee, for another 2 count. More staring at the clock from Rollins causes him to go to the top rope, and Dolph crotches him again. Rollins grabs at Ziggler and pulls him to the top rope and headbutts him back to the mat. Frog Splash from Seth, for another near fall.

Dolph holds the bottom rope and gets a Baseball Slide to the outside for his efforts. Rollins places Dolph on the top rope and looks for his Falcon Arrow combination most likely, but Dolph fights him off, yet Rollins pops back up for the afore mentioned combination. Rollins goes for another Stomp, but misses, Dolph cradles, kick out, Seth with the catapult into the corner and then rolls through for a pinning combination and gets the tying pinfall.

Ziggler starts throwing some fists, but Seth manages to pull off a Sharpshooter and before Dolph can get to the ropes, Seth turns it into a Crossface. Stomp attempt number 3 and Ziggler powders and tries to run into the crowd. Rollins grabs him and pulls him inside as Dolph hits a Fameasser for only 2.  Dolph goes for a Superkick, Rollins hits his own Superkick, lands a Stomp but time runs out.

Kurt Angle comes out, declares Sudden Death Overtime, McIntyre appears to distract Seth, and give Dolph the opportunity to ZigZag for the 5-4 victory.

Aspects of this match were dumb, like Ziggler trying to run away, but that would cause a countout, so it wouldn’t have achieved what he wanted. Tons of high impact moves that don’t get pinfalls, but cradles and feet on ropes do. I feel this match had good ring work and flashy moves to cover for spotty storytelling/psychology.

Winner: Ziggler 5-4

Rating: ****

 

Thoughts:

So much mediocrity and storytelling for the sake of storytelling ruined this show. Awkward endings, bad matches…this is a show you can skip and just watch RAW and SmackDown. The funniest thing to me, was the fact that the IWC or “smarks” were clamoring for Seth Rollins to main event the show, and they enjoyed counting down and making buzzer sounds instead of reacting to the match. They got 9 falls, and still couldn’t be bothered to not be worthless.

So ya, there were only 3 matches worth watching out of 12. Honestly, no one had huge expectations for this and maybe some were distracted by the fairly large names on the card, but this was a stop gap show. All that said, bad show is bad, now let’s just pray SummerSlam is better.


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Mitchell’s WWE Extreme Rules Report! (7/15/18)

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This card’s stacked with a Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules, a 30-Minute Ironman Intercontinental Championship, and a WWE Championship Rusev Day!

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Show: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Sin Cara; Almas wins.
  • Kickoff Show: Six Man Tag Tables Match: SAnitY VS The New Day; SAnitY wins.
  • Raw Tag Team Championships: The Deleters of Worlds VS The B Team; The B Team wins and become new Raw Tag Team Champions.
  • Finn Balor VS Constable Baron Corbin; Balor wins.
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Shark Cage Match: Carmella w/ James Ellsworth (in a Shark Cage) VS Asuka; Carmella wins and retains the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
  • WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Nakamura wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
  • Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS Team Hell No; The Bludgeon Brothers win and retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
  • Roman Reigns VS Bobby Lashley; Lashley wins.
  • Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss w/ Mickie James VS Nia Jax w/ Natalya; Alexa wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
  • WWE Championship: AJ Styles VS Rusev w/ Aiden English; Styles wins and retains the WWE Championship.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship 30 Minute Ironman Match: Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre VS Seth Rollins; Ziggler wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

Finn Balor joins the Kickoff Panel!

What does he think about Braun Strowman VS Kevin Owens in a Cage? Finn doesn’t envy Kevin tonight. As for Baron Corbin, Finn feels Corbin’s singing voice is the only thing worse than his wardrobe. Let’s just say Corbin isn’t American Idol material. Finn’s been dealing with guys like Corbin, but he’s gonna chop this tree down. And if it means making Stephanie McMahon an enemy for it, he’ll happily do it. Can the Extraordinary Man stop the Constable from ruining Raw?

 

Kickoff Show: Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Sin Cara!

Former amigos are now enemies as El Idolo has been listening to his manager and following her business plan. Almas won on SmackDown, but can he do it just minutes away from Extreme Rules?

The bell rings and the rematch begins. Almas swings on Sin Cara with a heavy hayamker, then dodges him. Sin Cara tilt-o-whirls to arm-drag, then headscissors! Almas slips out but Sin Cara runs. Almas comes in but Sin Cara anticipates his counter to dump him out again. Sin Cara builds speed to DIVE, but Almas throws him into barriers! Vega likes that, and Sin Cara writhes while Almas catches his breath. Almas puts Sin Cara in the ring, but fans rally up for the masked luchador. Almas stomps away on Sin Cara, then throws forearms. He runs and dropkicks Sin Cara in the head. Almas stomps Sin Cara more, then drags him up to whip him to a corner. Sin Cara tries to boot, but gets caught into a draping backbreaker and DDT. Cover, TWO.

Vega grows frustrated now, she wants Almas to finish this fast. Sin Cara hits back, then runs, but into a back elbow! He ends up outside the ring now, and Almas runs to Tranquilo! Vega joins him, and the two have control while we go picture in picture.

Almas fetches Sin Cara ot chop him against the barrier. Vega applauds Almas as he drags Sin Cara up and into the ring. Almas stalks and stomps Sin Cara more, then wrenches the arm in a seated armbar. Fans rally and Sin Cara fights his way up. Sin Cara fights back but Almas wrangles him down while we go to single picture. Almas wrenches harder, but Sin Cara refuses to quit. Fans rally up again and Sin Cara stands. Sin Cara fights back again, then backs Almas down to arm-drag him away. Sin Cara dodges from the corner, then throws forearms. Almas throws back and they brawl. Sin Cara chops and chops, then whips. Almas reverses, but Sin Cara springboards for the crossbody! Then again for the quebrada! Sin Cara is fired up, but is tossed up, for another tilt-o-whirl spike-rana! Cover, TWO!

Vega is furious but Sin Cara is ready. Sin Cara brings Almas up, but Almas blocks the suplex. Almas slips out and boots back, then climbs up. Sin Cara swing kicks Almas! Almas is stuck up top and Sin Cara chops him. Sin Cara positions Almas then climbs up, but Almas fights back. Almas trips Sin Cara up, Tree of Woe but Sin Cara slips out to shove Almas down! Almas hits the apron back first, then crawls into the ring. Sin Cara goes up, for a SUPER huricanrana! BOth men crash and burn to the ground, but Sin Cara is up first. He puts Almas in the ring, climbs up again, FROG SPLASH! But Vega distracts on the apron! Almas dropkicks Sin Cara down. Vega chants for them, Almas gives us CIEN KNEES! And the Hammerlock DDT! Cover, Almas wins!

Winner: Andrade “Cien” Almas, by pinfall

El Idolo gets the sweep, but with help from his business partner this time. Will Sin Cara get some back-up before trying again? Or are Almas & Vega on to bigger and better things?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura is in the Social Media Lounge.

Can he hear Renee on the panel? Does he have a working mic? The King of Strong Style is set to face Jeff Hardy, how does he feel about the United States Champion? Shinsuke continues to “not hear” anyone. But then he speaks up, claiming “bad connection.” After his rivalry with AJ Styles, how important is tonight’s win? “You’re a clown, like Jeff Hardy.” Perhaps, but how important is winning the US title? What? Well, one artist to another, Nakamura respects Hardy. But tonight, Hardy will lose his canvas, his paint, and his title. With that, Nakamura’s time is over, but is it really just beginning?

 

Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre join the Kickoff panel.

The pulse of the nation wants THE top champion on Raw to be around, and that’s Ziggler. Ziggler has made his career out of turning small opportunities into big ones. “Opportunist” gets a negative connotation, but Ziggler is proud to be one. Ziggler’s been in Rollins’ spot, with fans behind you as well as against you. The WWE Universe is the 12th Man, but they’re also very fickle. You need to worry about yourself and the title, oh and he has McIntyre watching his back. Rollins lost to the “psychopath” Scotsman, and now McIntyre can be ringside for that Ironman Match.

So McIntyre is a part of Ziggler’s strategy? Yes, because McIntyre isn’t like the WWE Universe, who are only behind Rollins while they’re here. McIntyre is on Ziggler’s side 24/7, and they’re not tired of winning. Ziggler won’t worry about stealing the show, he’s just here to win. Main event no matter the spot, but will Rollins be the one stealing the win?

 

Kickoff Show: Six Man Tag Tables Match: SAnitY VS The New Day!

Awwwwww~ Pittsburgh! Don’t you dare be sour! Someone is going through a table, so feel~ the power~! Can the power of positivity overcome pure chaos? Or will Eric Young and his anarchic allies begin their own Purge in SmackDown?

The bell rings, annd it’s a brawl! All six men pair off as Big E goes after Killian Dain and Kofi clotheslines Alexander Wolfe out of the ring. Woods clubs away on Young but Young whips. Woods reverses and sends Young out of the ring while Big E throws Dain into steps! Kofi kicks Wolfe while he’s down, and then the New Day present the first table! They set it up but SAnitY pounces! Wolfe clubs Big E while Young kicks Kofi. Dain has Woods while the others put Big E in the ring. Young & Wolfe stomp away then drag Big E up for body shots. Big E slips out and Young hits Wolfe by accident. Big E dumps Young out, and then runs at them both, but into double knees! Wolfe drags E up while Young climbs. Swinging neckbreaker then elbow drop in that order!

Woods and Kofi have wiped out “Big Damo” in the meantime, but that still leaves Big E alone against two opponents. We go picture in picture while E endures stomps. Wolfe brings Big E up for a haymaker from Young. Young and Wolfe kick and choke Big E against ropes, and there are no rules keeping them from doing it. But Big E revives to throw hands! Only for Young to clobber him again. Young & Wolfe choke Big E more while we go back to single picture. They haul Big E up, but Big E holds on. Kofi & Woods return to throw Wolfe & Young out! Then together, Woods & Kofi FLY! They wipe out Young & Wolfe, but Big Damo returns, to DIVE!!

The Beast of Belfast wipes them both out, then he drags Kofi up and into the ring. SAnitY regroups to go after Kofi while getting a table of their own. Make that two tables! Wolfe hoists Kofi up to the top rope while the tables are set up. Young keeps Woods and Big E down while the preparations finish. Wolfe wants a STACK, so that’s what they make! Kofi resists, so Young & Damo come in to help. Big E goes after Big Damo, yurinagi and backstabber with Woods’ help! The New Day regroup to help Kofi with Young & Wolfe. Double powerbomb stomps! Steel City is fired up as The New Day stand. Big E drags Young up while Kofi kicks Wolfe out. They bring Young over to the first table, and set him up. Kofi climbs but Damo drags him down off the top!

Big E and Woods run in, but into a clothesline, and a Michinoku Driver that drives Woods into Big E! Kofi kicks Damo in the corner, then Trouble in Paradise! Damo goes down, and Young is still on that table. Kofi takes aim, but Wolfe runs in. Wolfe is sent onto the apron, but Young gets away while Wolfe picks Kofi up. Kofi turns it around, but Wolfe holds on for dear life. Wolfe fights back and even bites Kofi’s face! Kofi teeters, Young jumps to drive Kofi through!!

Winners: SAnitY, Kofi going through table

Anarchy rules the day! Is this a new day of doom and gloom for SmackDown’s Tag Team Division?

 

The Deleters of Worlds speak.

“B Team, you mendacious monkeys!” The rules of extreme shall end their streak of luck. “We’re here, and we’re next.”

 

WWE takes it to the Extreme!

Two alphas fight for supremacy, two frenemies reunite, and two men go for no less than 30 minutes to decide who is the rightful Intercontinental Championship, and that’s only some of what’s in store for tonight. The Goddess and Irresistible Force go to the Extreme with the namesake match. A Prizefighter is stuck in a cage with a Monster! And a Bulgarian Brute looks to be better than Phenomenal in his first world title match! Who will be victorious on this 10th anniversary of Extreme Rules!?

 

Raw Tag Team Championships: The Deleters of Worlds VS The B Team!

The undefeated “Best” Team of Monday Night Raw wishes to mock and belittle the WOKEN Wisdom of the Consumer of Terrestrial Entities and the vessel known as Matt Hardy. However, this only served to raise the ire of both eternal beings, and now there must be RETRIBUTION! Will Axel & Bo be EATEN, DELETED and DEFEATED!?

The bell rings and we start with Hardy and Bo. Bo swings on Hardy but Hardy throws forearms and headbutts in return. Hardy whips Bo hard, then whips him again. Bo goes down, but Hardy rains down rights and lefts. Hardy drops a leg, then covers, TWO. Bo rolls out to regroup with Axel, then talk strategy. Hardy dares Bo to “Fight me!” Bo returns, but Bray wants in. Fans like that, so Hardy tags him in! Bray and Bo circle, Bo saying he’s not afraid. But Bo keeps his distance, and tags in Axel. Fans boo, but Bo just grins. Axel circles with Bray, but Brya puts him in a corner to unleash! Bray reels him in for a big lariat, then stares Bo down. Bray rains right forearms to Axel’s head, then grinds Axel down as he grins at Bo. He whips Axel to then headbutt him down.

Bray stomps Aexl’s hand, then whips Axel in. Axel dodges and stomps Bray back. Axel runs but into Bray’s lariat! Tag to Hardy and Hardy fires off on Axel. Hardy brings Axel around for DELETE buckle bumps, all three levels! DELETE clothesline in the corner, then another! Another! Hardy goes for but Axel denies the bulldog, onlt to run into a boot. Hardy hops up, for an elbow drop. Cover, TWO! Hardy calls for the Twist, but Axel blocks the kick. Axel fights off the Side Effect, then chokes Hardy against ropes. Bo adds a cheap shot, then tags in. The B Team hammer and stomp away, but stop at 4. Fans duel while Bo brings Hardy up for a clothesline. Cover, ONE, but Bo wraps Hardy up in a chinlock.

Hardy endures while fans continue to duel. He stands up, then fights out with body shots. Bo backs him down to the corner, then tags in Axel. The B Team clothesline and DDT Hardy down, cover, TWO! Axel drags Hardy up for a knee and an armlock. He grinds a forearm in Hardy’s face but fans rally up. Hardy stands up and fights back with haymakers, but Axel knees low. Axel whips but ends up in the Side Effect! Fans rally again as both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Bo and Bray! Bray rallies, palm strikes pushing Bo back. He runs corner to corner for a big corner splash! Bray sets up Sister Abigail but has to kick Axel out. Bo runs into a yurinagi!

Fans fire up for Bray, and Bray prepares a WONDERFUL~ Spider-walk. Hardy tags in and both Deleters grab Bo. Axel comes in again, Bo takes advantage, draping neckbreaker!! Cover, The B Team wins?!

Winners: The B Team, Bo pinning; NEW Raw Tag Team Champions

Change is inevitable, but who would’ve ever thought this would happen!? The “undefeated” B Team are now champions, and can finally celebrate appropriately.

Interview with The B Team.

From losers to champions, how does this feel? How do you think it feels? How does a rainbow feel? This is unbelievable! B Team proved that the B really does stand for “best”! Will this Cinderella story miracle last for a long time? Or just until the rematch?

 

Backstage interview with Kurt Angle.

Pittsburgh’s own has important information in regards ot the Universal Championship. Angle has spoken with Heyman and Team Lesnar, and has found Lesnar is not interested in returning. Everyone is clearly losing their patience, but Lesnar doesn’t seem to care about anything else but Lesnar. Angle has an ultimatum: come to Raw tomorrow and decide when he’s facing a challenge, or be stripped of the title! Finally someone is looking to bring Lesnar in line. Will The Beast do what is right for WWE? Or just what’s right for himself?

 

Finn Balor VS Constable Baron Corbin!

The Lone Wolf was made Stephanie McMahon’s representative when it seemed Kurt Angle wasn’t fit to run Raw alone. However, Corbin has decide to make it his personal mission to belittle the Extraordinary Man. Will Corbin continue to be a downer on the inaugural Universal Champion? Or will Finn get back at the “bigger” man for thinking so little of him?

The bell rings and the two men circle. They tie up, and Finn gets a waistlock. Corbin backs him down to a corner, then dirties the ropebreak with a back elbow. Corbin keeps on Finn with more elbows, then mockingly applauds the Too Sweet. He forearms Finn down, then grinds his boots into Finn on the mat. Corbin backs off at 4 to then knee Finn in the stomach. He stalks Finn, then brings him up to whip. Finn reverses, Corbin sunsets but Finn rolls through to dropkick back! Finn grabs Corbin in a facelock but Corbin powers him to a corner. Corbin unleashes clotheslines, but fans rally for Finn. Corbin mocks Finn for being “too small”, then puts him in a half-nelson chinbar. Finn endures while fans continue to rally.

Finn fights his way up but Corbin wrangles him back down. Corbin talks trash as he grinds Finn down. Fans keep rallying and Finn keeps fighting. Finn pries his way out but Corbin knees Finn low. Corbin pie-faces Finn so Finn punches Corbin! Finn dodges but Corbin slides out and in to clothesline Finn down! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated already, so he stomps Finn in the back. He grinds his heel into Finn, then elbows him again. Corbin clobbers Finn with a forearm, and eggs Finn on. He puts Finn in a corner, but misses. Finn shoulders from the apron, but his slingshot is intercepted with a powerful haymaker! Corbin drags Finn over, covers, TWO! Corbin puts Finn back in the half-nelson, but fans say “Corbin Sucks!”

Finn endures, but can’t get up as Corbin puts his weight on him. Fans rally up and Finn tries again. Finn fights out, but is put in the corner. Finn boots Corbin away, then builds speed to rally! He runs into Corbin’s boots, but then swing kicks Corbin down. Finn climbs up! But Corbin grabs him from the top, to bring him down, for the Choke Slam Backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Corbin argues with the referee, but he has to accept it was only a two. Finn crawls to a corner, but Corbin stalks up behind him. Corbin throws furious forearms on Finn, but backs off at the ref’s count. He runs back in for a big clothesline, then another. Corbin comes in but has to slide out again. Finn sees him coming and slingblades! Finn lines it up but runs into a DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!

Corbin is shocked and frustrated, but Finn is definitely tougher than Corbin gave credit. Fans rally up but Corbin grabs Finn again. Corbin drives in more elbows, then prepares a powerbomb. Finn slips out, trips Corbin up, for double stomps! Then hits the blasting dropkick! Corbin goes down again, so Finn goes up again! But Corbin trips him up again, and reels him in. Finn escapes to small package, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

The Constable is furious to say the least, but he let Finn surprise him. Finn gets a win, but is this fight against authority only just beginning?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers attack Team Hell No!

Harper has Daniel Bryan and throws him into a garage door. As for Kane, he’s stuck in a regular door, and Rowan uses his hammer! The door is like a nutcracker on Kane’s ankle! The Big Red Machine writhes in pain while Bryan crawls to him. Paige summons refs and medical attention, but is the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match in question now?

 

SmackDown Women’s Championship Shark Cage Match: Carmella w/ James Ellsworth (in a Shark Cage) VS Asuka!

Yes, you are reading that correctly. After the Chinless Misogynist returned to screw over the Empress of Tomorrow in her match against the Princess of Staten Island at Money in the Bank, this is the only way to keep his nose out of the action. Can Asuka make Carmella put her money where her mouth is and actually prove she’s better? Or will the truth be revealed: NO ONE is ready for Asuka!!

While the FABULOUS Champion is confident as could be, Pretty Jimmy Dream isn’t so sure about being inside a cage of steel bars high above the ring. But he has no choice, as staff prep the cage and put Ellsworth inside. That aside, the belt is raised, as is the chinless pinata, and we begin.

Carmella and Asuka circle while Carmella taunts and brags. But Asuka kicks and knees away on Carmella, to then snapmare and kick Carmella in the back. Asuka scoops but Carmella slips out to drive her down. Carmella signals to Ellsworth to throw her something, and he drops one of his silver chains! But Asuka expected something like this, and she’s right on the chain with a stomp. Carmella realizes she’s in trouble, and she gets a sliding kick! Cover, TWO! Asuka gives point blank hip attacks, but Carmella scrambles to a corner. Carmella kicks and stomps Asuka down, then crawls for that chain. The referee stops her this time, so she shouts for Ellsworth to give her another item. She catches the spray, but Asuka is ready for that, too! Asuka back hands and fires off strikes.

Asuka runs and dropkicks Carmella down. She drags Carmella up but Carmella fights back, only to get the pop-up knee. Asuka runs for the hip attack! Cover, TWO! Ellsworth grows worried while Asuka gives Carmella a shoulder breaker. Asuka gets the chicken wing, Asuka Lock! Carmella saves herself with a ropebreak. Carmella stays safe on the apron and outside the ring while Ellsworth picks the lock! Asuka chases Carmella and snap suplexes her on the floor. There is Champion’s Advantage, so Asuka gets Carmella up. She throws Carmella into barriers, but Ellsworth is FREE! And dangling from the cage! He’s stuck by his bandana-pants! He’s truly a pinata now, and Asuka decides to have some fun. She kicks away at Ellsworth’s back, hoping to break him open. She even dropkicks him!

Staff work to get Ellsworth freed so they can send him back up, but Asuka just wants after him! She kicks the staffers out, except for the one that runs away. Asuka kicks away at Ellsworth’s butt, but the referee backs her down. Carmella slithers in, and pushes Asuka into the cage!! Cover, Carmella wins!

Winner: Carmella, by pinfall; still SmackDown Women’s Champion

It wasn’t what anyone expected, but Carmella found another way to steal a win. She raises her title up while Asuka comes to. What other ways will Carmella use Ellsworth as a means to an end?

Asuka fires off on everyone!

She attacks the staffers, then aims for Ellsworth. Ellsworth begs for mercy, but gets none from the Empress. She fires off hands and feet on the Chinless Narcissist, and gives him German Suplexes for good measure. Buzzsaw! Then, ASUKA LOCK! Ellsworth taps, but it doesn’t matter. Will Carmella suffer the wrath of Asuka herself some day?

 

WWE United States Championship: Jeff Hardy VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

The Charismatic Enigma took issue with the King of Strong Style using him as an example in Nakamura’s hunt for the WWE Championship. Now Hardy finally gets a chance at revenge, with the title on the line. Will he get satisfaction? Or a #Knee2Face?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Nakamura low blows Hardy behind the referee’s back!

The referee sees Hardy went down, but he can’t do anything about Nakamura’s cheap shot now. Hardy is gasping, but doesn’t want this match to end before it begins. Certainly not over something like that. He insists the match happen, the bell rings, KINSHASA!! Cover, Nakamura wins!!

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura, by pinfall; NEW WWE United States Champion

How dirty can you get?! Nakamura has his first title on the main roster, but certainly someone will have something to say about it. Will Nakamura feel good about himself come SmackDown?

But here comes Randy Orton!

The Viper is a former US Champion in his own right, and has had issue with Nakamura at times. Orton stares Nakamura down but Nakamura gets clear of the ring. Nakamura may be champion now, but will he have to deal with the Apex Predator hunting him for the rest of the Summer? Hardy flounders up and gets Orton’s attention, but Orton simply brings him down to stomp the crotch! It seems Orton is friend to no one. What won’t he do to get back the title that brought him his Grand Slam?

 

Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman VS Kevin Owens!

The Monster in the Bank has bullied the obnoxious Prizefighter week in and week out, but doesn’t Kevin kinda deserve it? But now, to settle this one way or another, there’s no more hiding inside the four walls of steel! Will Kevin win, lose or simply survive Strowman tonight?

The bell rings, and Kevin climbs! Strowman yanks him down, but Kevin climbs up the other side. Strowman throws Kevin down again, and Kevin gets to a corner. Kevin boots Strowman away but can’t get away. He goes for the door, but Strowman stops him again. Strowman knows it’s “Fight Owens Fight” but Kevin’s being a coward. He dares Kevin to fight him, so Kevin tries. Kevin throws hands but Strowman shove shim down. Strowman misses in the corner and Kevin clubs away on him. Strowman throws Kevin away, then boots him down on the run. Kevin stands up and dodges Strowman! SUPERKICK! Strowman’s down, here comes the Cannonball senton!

Kevin climbs up, but not to climb the cage. FROG SPLASH! Cover, ONE!! Kevin put up a fight but he didn’t finish Strowman. He decides to take it easy and crawls for the door. But Strowman grabs him and drags him away from the door. Kevin begs for mercy, but then throws hands. Strowman just gives Kevin a clubbing forearm! Then he throws Kevin into the cage. Fans want it “One More Time!” so Strowman obliges. Kevin goes down in a heap, but fans still want “One More Time!” Strowman gives fans what they want, he throws Kevin again! He then drags Kevin up by his beard, for the scoop, to toss Kevin face-first at a wall. Strowman wants Kevin to stand as fans chant “Get These Hands!”

Kevin slowly stands, but Strowman scoops him again. Kevin slips out, boots Strowman back, then hits a Stunner! Strowman goes down, and Kevin crawls for the door! But Strowman gets his feet again. Kevin kicks at Strowman, crawls, but Strowman stands on him, to slam the door on his face. Kevin is dazed and vulnerable as Strowman takes aim. Strowman runs in, but misses! Kevin hits a SUPERKICK! And a SUPERKICK! Then he produces handcuffs to trap Strowman in that corner. Strowman fights against the cuffs, but Kevin kicks Strowman while he’s vulnerable. “That’s what you get!” Kevin shouts as he throws more hands. “What’re you gonna do now, huh?” CHOKE SLAM!

Strowman turns his attention back to the cuffs, but they’re sturdy. Kevin crawls to the opposite side of the ring, then tells Strowman to “Suck It!” Kevin climbs and blows a kiss, but Strowman breaks the chain! Strowman rushes over and catches up to Kevin! They’re both atop the cage! Strowman grabs Kevin, and looking down at the gruond, THROWS Kevin!! Kevin hits table, but that means he wins!

Winner: Kevin Owens, by escape

Fans lose their minds as Strowman glares down at Kevin. Strowman doesn’t care about winning, so long as he’s the one standing. He roars with victory and fans chant “Get These Hands!” Will Strowman finally stop targeting Kevin?

Medics bring a stretcher out.

Kevin can’t stand, let alone walk, so he is placed on the body board and the stretcher itself. Strowman mockingly announces the result himself, then enjoys himself as he walks out of the arena. Kevin “won”, but will he be lucky to return to Raw any time soon?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers VS Team Hell No!

Harper & Rowan didn’t want to wait for this match to fight Daniel Bryan & Kane, so they did it backstage. Bryan was thrown around like a rag doll while Kane’s ankle was crushed between door and frame. Will Team Hell No’s PPV return be ruined already?

Somehow, Daniel Bryan is able to make his entrance, but it doesn’t look like Kane can. This looks to be an unofficial handicap match now. Does Bryan stand a chance?

The bell rings and Bryan goes right at Rowan! Rowan shoves Bryan away but Bryan dodges to kick away. Rowan shoves him again, but Bryan is ready. Bryan dodges again with fans rallying behind him. Bryan keeps his distance, then dodges to kick away on Rowan. Rowan knees low, then whips Bryan, but Bryan kicks him away. Bryan runs but gets run over, and Rowan brings Bryan to the Bludgeon corner. Rowan stomps away, then tags to Harper. Harper climbs up while Rowan lifts Bryan. Bryan fights out, then slips out, and dropkicks Harper. Bryan dropkicks Rowan out of the ring! Then he climbs up to join Harper and throw hands on the top rope. SUPER Steiner throws Harper, then a dropkick wrecks Rowan. Harper misses the discus, into the YES Lock!

But Rowan drags Bryan off the hold and to the floor. Rowan tags in, then drags Bryan back up to put him into steel steps. Harper goes after Bryan, scoop slam senton! Rowan puts Bryan in the ring, then runs for the splash! Cover, TWO! Bryan has heart, but Rowan has a partner. Rowan tags Harper back in, and the Brothers mug Bryan on the mat. Fans chant for Kane to appear, but Bryan endures a throat chop and a snapmare to forearm shot. Harper tags Rowan, and they grind Bryan down more. Rowan stands Bryan up for a pumphandle backbreaker! Rowan scoop slams Bryan, then covers, TWO. Bryan sits up but Rowan is on him with raking fingers. Tag to Harper, and he drops elbows on Bryan. Cover, TWO, and fans keep cheering for Bryan.

Harper brings Bryan up, Rowan tags in to mug him more. Tag back to Harper, and 2B double whip. Bryan holds ropes then dumps Rowan out. Harper runs in but Bryan fires off punches and kicks. Harper knees low then whips, but Bryan goes up and over. Bryan runs, to DIVE on Rowan! Only for Rowan to catch him. Harper runs, DIVES, but Bryan dodges! Rowan takes the hit and both Bludgeon Brothers go down! And here comes Kane!

Even with a brace on his foot, the Devil’s Favorite Demon hobbles out to support his friend. Kane endures the pain of just walk, and gets to the Hell No corner. Harper grabs at Bryan but Bryan crawls for the corner. Bryan shoves Harper away, hot tag to Kane! Kane rallies on one leg with his big uppercuts. Rowan runs in, but into a CHOKE SLAM! Harper gets a CHOKE SLAM, too! Kane slashes his throat, calling for the Tombstone. He scoops but that leg gives out. Harper mule kicks the leg, but Bryan tags back in. Bryan leaps for missile dropkick! He kips up and fires up, as does Pittsburgh! Bryan gives Harper YES Kicks!

“YES! YES!” echoes out over and over, faster and faster. Bryan aims, and hits the buzzsaw! Rowan tags in, but Bryan doesn’t see it. He adjusts, but runs into Rowan. Rowan sends Bryan into Kane, then heel kicks Bryan down. Harper tags back in, and they prepare DOOMSDAY! Cover, Bludgeon Brothers win!

Winners: The Bludgeon Brothers, Harper pinning; still SmackDown Tag Team Champions

A wounded Team Hell No falls to the apocalyptic duo. If Kane & Bryan can be 100% next time, will it be a different result?

 

Roman Reigns walks backstage.

The B Team’s celebration flies in. If they can do it, he can do it! He can even join them! All he has to do is beat Bobby! Right? Yeah? Huh? No? Okay. The Big Dog goes to defend his Yard from a new Alpha Male, but will he put the B in “beat Bobby”?

Roman Reigns VS Bobby Lashley!

Both men think they’re the only one worthy of challenging The Beast, Brock Lesnar, but they both take offense to what the other man thinks. Who will prove themselves as “The Guy” to stand atop the WWE?

The bell rings and the two big men tie up. Lashley powers Roman to a corner, then around the side. Roman manages to turn it around to put Lashley in the corner, but neither man wants to break. The referee forces them to break and back off. They circle again, tie up again, and Lashley gets a headlock. Roman gets a waistlock but Lashley gets the standing switch. Lashley throws Roman down, then waits for him to stand up to get him again. He dumps Roman down again, then brings Roman up. Roman gets an arm wrench, but Lashley throws Roman overhead! Lashley brings Roman up again, but Roman elbows out of the waistlock. Roman runs, but Lashley leaps over him, only to get an uppercut. Roman glares down at Lashley, then throws hands.

Lashley gets to a corner but Roman throws more hands. Roman puts Lashley in another corner with a buckle bump, and throws more hands. They go to a third corner for another buckle bump. Roman throws more hands, then whips Lashley to elbow him down. Cover, TWO, but Roman keeps his cool. Roman stalks Lashley to the ropes, then he chokes Lashley against them! Lashley is down, and Roman gives him the Drive-By! Cover, TWO. Now Roman grows a bit annoyed, and drags the dazed Lashley up. Lashley fades while Roman grins. Fans boo and jeer The Big Dog while Lashley gets a second wind.

Lashley fights out but Roman rocks him with an uppercut. Roman throws Lashley out of the ring, then takes his time fetching the Dominator. He throws Lashley into barriers, then into more barriers at the timekeeper’s area. Roman refreshes the count to keep on Lashley outside. Lashley mule kicks then whips Roman, but Roman reverses. Lashley leaps over the steps but Roman pounces from behind. Roman stalks Lashley, refreshes the count, then whips him at steel steps again. Lashley hits steel this time, but Roman isn’t done with him. Roman takes the steps apart and takes aim, to thrust the steps at Lashley! Lashley catches the steps, then throws Roman off. Lashley clotheslines Roman down, then puts him in the ring.

Roman swings but misses, and Lashley runs Roman over. Lashley throws Roman overhead, then runs in corner to corner for a big clothesline. He keeps going, but runs into a boot. Roman runs, and hits the leaping lariat. Roman has Lashley in a corner for the point-blank clotheslines. He gives Lashley all ten, then runs, into a powerslam! Cover, TWO! That was close but not enough yet. Lashley decides to bring Roman up, but Roman fights back with forearms. Roman runs, but into a crossbody! Lashley doesn’t cover, he’s going up top! Lashley aims for flying double ax handle! Roman stirs but Lashley looms over him. Lashley brings Roman up, but Roman reverses with a fireman’s carry. Lashley grabs ropes, so Roman dumps him out!

The referee checks on Lashley, but somehow Lashley is okay. A 10 count begins, but reaches 5 before Lashley starts stirring. Lashley gets up at 7, and in at 9! Roman is there with a leg drop! Cover, TWO! Roman can’t believe he hasn’t put Lashley away. Lashley crawls to ropes while fans duel. Roman locks and loads, takes aim, but runs into a SPINEBUSTER! Lashley fires up now, and drags Roman up, for the vertigo suplex! He slams Roman down, covers, TWO!! That was even closer! Lashley gets up again, and takes aim at Roman now. Roman slowly stirs, coughing and gasping for air. Lashley runs in, to a SUPERMAN Punch! Cover, TWO!! Now Roman is in disbelief.

Lashley rolls out of the ring for a chance to recover. The 10 count returns, but Roman goes outside to pursue Lashley. Roman lets out his howl, builds speed around the ring, but into a belly2belly! Lashley throws Roman over the announce desk! But this won’t end it, Lashley wants more. He drags Roman up and into the ring. Lashley climbs up again, but Roman SUPERMAN Punches him down! Roman talks trash, “This is MY Yard!” He lets out another howl, runs, but into LASHLEY’S SPEAR!! Cover, Lashley wins!!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall

The Big Dog goes down! The Dominator is the true alpha of this “yard”! It doesn’t matter if it was Roman’s ego or Lashley’s heart, the former WWE ECW Champion has the biggest win since his return. Will it lead to even bigger matches and moments in the near future?

 

Raw Women’s Championship Extreme Rules Match: Alexa Bliss w/ Mickie James VS Nia Jax w/ Natalya!

The Goddess became Ms. Money in the Bank the night Ronda Rousey looked to defeat the Irresistible Force in their own Raw Women’s Championship match. That cash-in mid-match allowed Alexa to steal the title away from two dangerous forces in the Women’s Division, but only one snapped and beat up Alexa and Kurt Angle. Ronda has been suspended these last 27 days, but is in the front row as a fan. Will she have a smile on her face after Nia gets her shot at extreme revenge on Alexa?

At the same time, both women brought back-up, mostly because Nia knew Alexa would bring her “bestie” and the Queen of Harts is the perfect counter. Will Mickie & Natty become x-factors in this match?

The bell rings and we begin. Alexa is obviously wary of Nia already. Nia keeps her away from Mickie and that kendo stick. Alexa dodges and slaps Nia, but that only angers the former champion. Nia chases Alexa, but Alexa gets the stick! Alexa SMACKS Nia once, but then Nia takes and BREAKS the stick. Nia chases Alexa more, but Mickie feeds Alexa items. The trash can is not enough and Nia tosses it into the ring. A chair is not enough, and that ends up in the ring. The second chair and second can, same thing. The lid gets the same. Mickie feeds her a second stick but Alexa ditches that to run. Nia catches up and runs Alexa over. Nia puts Alexa in the ring with the collection of items.

Alexa grabs for the can, but Nia whips and squashes Alexa in a corner. Nia throws Alexa onto the chair and trash can! Alexa tries but fails to hit back with a chair. Nia yanks it away then stalks Alexa to a corner. Alexa swings but gets a headbutt. Nia sets up a trash can, then lifts Alexa in a fireman’s carry. Nia takes aim, trophy lifts, and throws Alexa onto the can! It flattens!

Ronda loves what she’s seeing. Nia taunts Alexa while Mickie tries to help her. Nia puts Alexa back in the ring, then backs Mickie off. Alexa crawls but Nia is on her. Alexa smacks away with the trash can lid! Something finally affects Nia, including that crumbled can attack. Natty coaches Nia but Alexa has a chair. Alexa wedges it into the corner, then dropkicks Nia. Cover, ONE, and Alexa grows frustrated. Alexa says it’s her title, but Nia gives her a right hand. Alexa resets the chair, but Nia headbutts her down. Nia runs in, but into the chair! Alexa crawls to Mickie, who has a lid, but Natty trips her up! Natty smacks away on Mickie! Alexa helps Mickie, and they throw Natty into barriers together. Ronda gets mad, that’s her friend, too. She jumps the barriers to attack Mickie!

Ronda throws Mickie around, then into the apron. They end up in the ring, and Ronda gives Mickie a spinning slam! Ronda keeps on Mickie by throwing her into an announce desk, and then over it! Fans are fired up as Ronda glares at Alexa across the way. Ronda promised to kick her “pink-haired ass” and she chases Alexa around the ring. She catches Alexa before she can flee, but Mickie SMACKS away on Ronda with a kendo stick. Alexa returns to the ring, targeting the crawling Nia. She climbs up, but leaps into Nia’s arms! But Mickie SMACKS Nia with a chair. Alexa adds her own chair shots, then brings Nia over for a DDT onto a chair. Cover, Alexa wins!

Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall; still Raw Women’s Champion

But Ronda returns! She and Natty run Alexa & Mickie off, but the damage is done. Is Ronda’s suspension going to be extended after this? Will anyone be able to get revenge on The Goddess for this?

 

WWE Championship: AJ Styles VS Rusev w/ Aiden English!

What day is today? Rusev Daaaaay~! But will it be a good Rusev Day? Or a PHENOMENAL Rusev Day when the Champ that Runs the Camp keeps the title in the House that AJ Styles Built?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin. Fans duel between Styles and “Rusev Day!” Rusev rushes Styles and ptus him in a corner. Styles slips out to kick and chop back. Rusev turns it around and throws Styles to rpoes. Styles dropkicks the legs, his game plan clear already. Rusev knees low then throws Styles judo style. Styles htis back but Rusev clobbers him down. Cover, ONE, but Rusev doesn’t lose focus. Rusev stomps Styles but Styles kicks the leg. Styles chops Rusev, then tries to suplex. Rusev is too strong for that, so Styles just kicks the leg again. Fans keep dueling, Styles runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, ONE, but Rusev still looms over Styles.

Rusev snap suplexes Styles up and over, then walks it off. He brings Styles up for another suplex, then drops an elbow. Cover, ONE, but Rusev still has confidence. Rusev throws hands on Styles, then drops an elbow. Styles dodges to kick at the leg again. Styles kicks Rusev, then runs, but into a back drop! Rusev still has such power in only one good leg. Rusev stalks Styles to a corner to throw a heavy forearm into the back. He hits Styles again, then brings Styles up for a back suplex. Cover, TWO, so Rusev is getting closer.

Rusev stalks Styles, clearly going after the back the same way Styles is the leg. He lifts Styles up for a bearhug. Styles endures and fights back with forearms. Rusev knees low, then hoists Styles up top. He throws hands while positioning Styles. Styles almost falls off, but Rusev climbs up now. Rusev goes to superplex but Styles slips out to kick out the leg! Rusev tumbles to the floor! English coaches Rusev up, and Rusev crawls towards the ring. Styles takes aim, to slingshot forearm!

He wipes Rusev out, but it almost takes him out, too. Styles stands and drags Rusev up, but Rusev shoves him into barriers. Rusev gets in the ring, but Styles follows. Styles throws the Phenomenal Blitz! Then the sliding forearm! Rusev crawls away to a corner, but Styles runs in for a big clothesline. Fans duel as Styles gets Rusev up. Rusev fights out but Styles still gets him with a reverse DDT. Cover, TWO! Both men are sore but far from done. Styles gets up as best he can with a bad back. He brings Rusev up for the Clash, but that back won’t let him. Rusev powers Styles to a corner, then runs in. Styles tries a Calf Crusher but Rusev holds onto ropes! Rusev powers Styles up to the top rope to punch him off it!

Rusev scrapes Styles off the apron, and uses the count as a chance to catch his breath. He then builds speed, but runs into a forearm! Styles slowly stands, as does Rusev. Styles punches and kicks Rusev away, then takes aim. He springboards, but his 450 misses. Rusev boots Styles back, but still walks into a Calf Crusher. He rolls through, goes for Accolade, but Styles slips out. Rusev shoves Styles away but Styles kicks the leg out. Styles slides in but into Rusev’s kick! Rusev crawls over to Styles while fans duel again. He scoops Styles, but Styles slips out! Styles goes for and gets the Calf Crusher! Rusev endures the pain, and gets a ropebreak! Styles lets go, but spots English talking trash on the apron. He walks over and MC Artiste runs away. Styles gives chase, but he runs into Rusev’s overhead suplex!

Rusev puts Styles in the ring, and with one leg, MACHKA KICK! Cover, TWO!! Rusev was so close! His pain alone is reason to feel despair. But Rusev still gets up, and stomps for another. He thrusts, but Styles dodges to PELE! Rusev is dazed and on one knee, Styles runs in but into the pop-up knee and roundhouse! Cover, TWO!! So Rusev goes for the Accolade! But his bad leg won’t let him squat down! Rusev is so close, so he forces himself to do a half-Accolade! It might still be enough. Styles fights back and crawls, to get a ropebreak! Rusev lets go, so English takes matters into his own hands. English rips a buckle pad off the top rope.

Rusev fires himself up, and gets that leg moving. “Rusev, CHAMPION!” He stomps, and puts on the Accolade, but Styles slips out to then get to a corner. He gets to THAT corner, and Rusev runs in! Styles dodges, and Rusev hits the bare buckle! English’s brilliance backfires! Rusev is down and English panics. Styles gets up, gets to the apron, springboards 450!! Cover, TWO!? The Super Athlete survives, and Styles can’t believe it. But fans are loving it! Styles gets up and wrecks English with a dropkick. He then prepares the arm and takes aim at Rusev. Rusev slowly stands, Phenomenal Forearm! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; still WWE Champion

The House that AJ Styles Built STAYS AJ Styles’ House! Rusev’s first chance at a world title was truly phenomenal, but it surely won’t be his last chance. Will Rusev fight his way back towards contention? Will Styles be champion when that time comes?

 

Backstage Interview with Seth Rollins.

The Architect is moments away from his 30-Minute Ironman Match for the Intercontinental Championship with The Show-Off, Dolph Ziggler. Obvioulsy, Drew McIntyre will still be ringside, but Rollins knows the odds are against him. There’s Ziggler, McIntyre and time to worry about, but Rollins just has to do what he must. It could take thousands of covers, but Rollins vows to walk out the NEW IC Champion. Steel City, there’s only one thing left to do: #BurnItDown. Can Rollins do just that to take back the title?

WWE Intercontinental Championship 30 Minute Ironman Match: Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre VS Seth Rollins!

The Kingslayer has worked on becoming The Man again, and even the Ironman in giving the WWE Universe top level performances match after match. However, it was both the wear ‘n’ tear on his body and Ziggler’s opportunistic nature that lost Rollins the belt. With the Scottish Terminator watching Ziggler’s back, can Rollins overcome? Or will he be overwhelmed instead?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised and we begin our countdown! Rollins and Ziggler circle, feeling it out. Ziggler doesn’t even have to try, he’s the champion. Rollins gets his arm, and puts it in a hammerlock, but Ziggler gets the ropebreak. Rollins lets go, and the two circle again. Ziggler lunges in to get the leg, then brings Rollins down. Rollins manages to reverse, but Ziggler reverses back. Rollins reverses again, but Ziggler gets to ropes. The referee counts for the ropebreak, and Rollins honors it. Rollins and Ziggler circle again, tie up, but Rollins rolls Ziggler. ONE, and Ziggler backs off. They go again, tie up, and Ziggler rolls Rollins. Rollins pops out to backslide, ONE. Ziggler backs off again, and Rollins grins. Ziggler kicks, but Rollins blocks to roll him up. TWO, so Rollins whips.

Ziggler sunset flips but Rollins sits, TWO. Rollins snapmares to a crucifix, TWO. Ziggler bails out to walk it off. He and McIntyre regroup, but Rollins does jumping jacks to show off his cardio. Ziggler talks strategy with McIntyre, then returns. Rollins keeps his eyes on McIntyre, but is ready for Ziggler. He punches and chops, then whips to back elbow. Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps going with a scoop slam. Cover, TWO, but Rollins keeps on Ziggler. Rollins chops then whips Ziggler. He runs in but is put on the apron. He springboards but Ziggler dodges to throw a haymaker. Ziggler grins as he brings Rollins up. Rollins spins through to powerbomb lift, buckle bomb! Then La Mahistrol, cover, Rollins gets the first fall!

Rollins: 1; Ziggler: 0

The Architect has the lead within just five minutes! This already smashes Ziggler’s promise to shut Rollins out of this entirely. Before Ziggler can compose himself, Rollins goes after him. Ziggler elbows out but then gets brought down with a back suplex. Rollins gets to a corner and climbs up but Ziggler rolls out of the ring. Rollins changes plans to slingshot out! He wipes Ziggler out, then stares down the lurking McIntyre. Rollins whips Ziggler into barriers, then bumps him off the apron. McIntyre glares but that’s all he can do to Rollins. Rollins puts Ziggler in the ring but Ziggler is on Rollins with hammering fists. Ziggler drags Rollins up for the neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ziggler drops an elbow, covers, TWO.

Frustration grows while the time ticks down. Ziggler brings Rollins up, and suplexes. Rollins slips out to chop Ziggler. Rollins whips Ziggler but Ziggler kicks him away. Ziggler runs but into a lariat. Rollins rallies and whips Ziggler corner to corner. Rollins runs in for a corner forearm, then runs again, but into a dropkick! Ziggler takes out Rollins’ leg, then runs to Famouser. He misses, Rollins rolls him up, but Ziggler reverses. TWO, high stack, but deadlift powerbomb! Ziggler sunset flips through, CURB STOMP from Rollins!! Cover, Rollins gains another cover!

Rollins: 2; Ziggler: 0

Ziggler finds himself in a bad way at just 8 minutes passed. Not only has he not shut Rollins out, but he’s behind the 8-ball. Rollins takes his time now, but he might be getting cocky as he stomps “Burn it Down!” But then McIntyre attacks! That’s a disqualification, or in this case, another point!

Rollins: 3; Ziggler: 0

McIntyre wails away on Rollins with hammer fists and elbows. And he won’t stop until he’s thoroughly rocked Rollins. This puts Rollins up more, but that won’t stop him! McIntyre rams Rollins into the apron, the barrier and back again! This is all part of the same fall, but the referee EJECTS McIntyre! Ziggler’s ace is no longer useful. Or is he? Because he hits Rollins with a CLAYMORE! The clock has reached 20 minutes and counting, but Rollins is vulnerable. Ziggler crawls over, covers, and gets on the board!

Rollins: 3; Ziggler: 1

The Show-Off shakes the cobwebs out and sees time is of the essence. He needs two falls, and McIntyre has just about served Rollins up for him. Ziggler aims while Rollins stands up, SUPERKICK! Cover, Ziggler gets another point.

Rollins: 3; Ziggler: 2

McIntyre’s ejection was not in vain, because Ziggler has caught up in no time at all. Perhaps this was their plan all along. Ziggler takes aim again, stomping a la HBK, but Rollins dodges! Roll up, TWO, and Ziggler uppercuts quickly. He throws Rollins into a post! ZIG ZAG! Cover, Ziggler ties it up!

Rollins: 3; Ziggler: 3

We’re back to square one with just over 17 minutes left. But at the same time, it’s not even at all with as beat up as Rollins is from McIntyre’s attack. Ziggler aims at Rollins again, but Rollins denies another Zig Zag. He dodges the splash in the corner, then boots in another corner. Rollins climbs up, but has to jump over Ziggler. He gets the Slingblade! Ziggler flounders while Rollins fires up. Rollins clotheslines Ziggler out of the ring, then builds speed. Rollins runs into a forearm! Ziggler covers, but uses the ropes! The ref didn’t see it, Ziggler gets the point!

Rollins: 3; Ziggler: 4

The ref missed a major detail in that fall, but there’s no stopping things now. Ziggler puts Rollins in an armlock, gripping the chin, as well. Rollins endures while Ziggler goes to make it a sleeper. He fights his way out, but Ziggler wrangles him down with a facelock. Rollins fights his way up again, and pries his way out of the hold. Ziggler kicks low, but misses the haymaker. Ziggler slips out of the back suplex to jump on for a sleeper hold! He brings Rollins back down, and Rollins starts to fade.

The clock goes below 13 minutes now, but Rollins gets a second wind. Rollins gets up, fans rally up for him, but Ziggler becomes a backpack. Rollins backs Ziggler into a corner, but Ziggler keeps hold. So Rollins tries again, but facing forward! Ziggler hits buckles, then lets go of the hold. Rollins gets away while he catches his breath. Ziggler stands up, and Rollins clotheslines him out. Rollins fires up, builds speed, and DIVES! It hits! Rollins hurries to put Ziggler in the ring, but Ziggler rolls all the way out to the other side. So Rollins DIVES again!

He takes Ziggler out again, but he’s not done yet. Rollins gets Ziggler back in and takes aim from the apron. Springboard clothesline! Cover, TWO! The clock reaches 10 minutes, the final third of this match. Rollins brings Ziggler up but Ziggler elbows him away. Ziggler runs into Rollins’ boot, then Rollins hits the blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Rollins knows he has to hustle, so he heads up top. Ziggler dropkicks him all the way down! Ziggler is content to have a count out, and he ushers for the ref to count. Rollins stirs at 5, but manages to beat the count at 9.5. He stops the DDT to mule kick and Revolution Knee! Cover, TWO!

Rollins grows frustrated as he sees there’s only 8 minutes left. He hurries up top again, but Ziggler trips him up. Ziggler is in no rush, but Rollins grabs at him! Rollins drags Ziggler up to the top rope, but Ziggler fights back. Ziggler tries to make it a superplex but Rollins fights him back. Rollins headbutts Ziggler down and adjusts, for the FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Ziggler continues to deny another tie. Rollins crawls after him, but Ziggler clutches the ropes. Rollins has no choice but to stop a second, so he baseball slide dropkicks Ziggler out. He drags Ziggler up around and puts him in the ring. Rollins hoists Ziggler up top, positions him, then climbs up.

Rollins wants the superplex, but Ziggler fights back. Ziggler knocks Rollins down as we reach 5 minutes. Rollins springs back up, SUPERPLEX! Roll through to Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!! We’re still tied! Rollins and Ziggler slowly stir, and time continues to be Rollins’ enemy. Rollins gets up and fans chant “Burn It Down!” Mule kick but Ziggler dodges the stomp. Ziggler kicks out the leg and rolls Rollins, TOW. Rollins denies the superkick to catapult Ziggler into a post. Sunset flip, Rollins ties it back up!

Rollins: 4; Ziggler: 4

Just under 3 minutes and we’re tied again! This is still anyone’s match, and both men stand. Ziggler throws furious hands on Rollins but Rollins trips him up. Rollins goes for a Sharpshooter! And gets it! Ziggler endures, watching the clock. We hit the 2 minute warning as Ziggler crawls for the ropes. Rollins shifts to a crossface, and rolls Ziggler away from the ropes! Ziggler endures, but he can’t get anywhere. He grips the mat, drags himself around blindly, so Rollins goes to stomp. Ziggler dodges and rolls away! Rollins pursues but Ziggler tries to run away. We hit the final minute! Rollins puts Ziggler back in but Ziggler hits a FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Less than 30 seconds, Ziggler knows he’s got Rollins where he wants him. Ziggler tunes up, but Rollins SUPERKICKS first! CURB STOMP! But he has to crawl for a cover! TIME’S UP!!

Result: Draw; Ziggler retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship

Time slipped through Rollins’ fingers, as has the title. Ziggler gets away by the skin of his teeth, but the fans don’t like that. Neither does Kurt Angle! The Raw GM appears to say that match was truly incredible. “But nothing is settle.” He knows the WWE Universe doesn’t want a tie, and especially not here in Pittsburgh! Therefore, this match is sudden death! Next fall wins it all, “Ring the bell!” Ziggler is stunned, but Rollins is fired back up. The bell rings again, and we begin again!

Sudden Death

But where did McIntyre come from!? Rollins dropkicks him away, but Ziggler Zig Zags!! Cover, Ziggler wins!!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Champion

What happened to the ban from ringside?! Where and when did McIntyre even come out to ringside again!? Ziggler officially wins, but he officially did it with another ace up his sleeve. Will Rollins get a fair rematch next time? Or has Ziggler stolen the title away from him once and for all?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This was definitely a mixed bag of a PPV. The kickoff matches were again better than expected. Almas VS Sin Cara was fast paced as their SmackDown version, but a bit riskier with that outside huricanrana. Almas still wins to keep himself strong, but they can’t go wrong with more. The Six Man Tag Taebles match was great, as the New Day have always given us great matches. But again, SAnitY wins to keep their momentum. Then the surprise of the night opens with B TEAM WINNING. I don’t even know what to say. I knew Balor would win, he needs something for himself, and to perhaps extend the feud with Corbin. His kickoff interview promo might even set him up as the next Authority target a la Daniel Bryan.

I really like how they played with the Shark Cage match. Ellsworth trying to help Carmella was expected by everyone, including Asuka, so instead they used the cage itself to my surprise. Carmella wins, which is bad for Asuka’s booking because, c’mon, it’s Asuka! When is she gonna get her big win in this post-Streak phase of her career? But then the quick win for Nakamura makes sense in two ways: 1) It’s Heel Nakamura, of course he’s going to use the low blow somehow; 2) Hardy needs time off for recovery from his injured knee. Therefore, Nakamura can be champion while Orton surprisingly returns to throw his name into that title hunt. There can also be any number of SmackDown stars joining that title hunt, such as Almas, Samoa Joe or even Tye Dillinger to wrap up their stories into one big Summerslam match.

How is Kevin not dead? That cage spot that brought him the win could’ve been really bad, but thankfully the tables weren’t that far away. I wonder if Kevin will be off until after Summerslam, just so he won’t get beat up by Strowman anymore. And with Angle’s ultimatum to Lesnar, Strowman can move on to target The Beast. And by that, I hope Strowman cashes in the very second Lesnar appears. I did NOT think Lashley was going to beat Roman, but that match was better than Pittsburgh was willing to give credit. If it wasn’t Roman, fans would’ve enjoyed the slug fest it was. But now we can get the tease of Lashley VS Lesnar, with Strowman lurking. I did not think Bludgeon Brothers would attack before their match, but in a way, that keeps everyone strong. I hope we get a rematch on the way to Summerslam.

The Women’s Extreme Rules went roughly how I expected with Ronda getting involved, but I should’ve realized Mickie and Natalya would’ve been thrown in, too. That little wrinkle is even more reason why Alexa retains so that Ronda can go after her at Summerslam. Nia might also have a case for another try, so maybe a triple threat? I was disappointed THE WWE Championship wasn’t the main event, but the match itself was great. Rusev looks so strong, even in losing, time will tell what he does next. That Ironman match was pretty great, but the fact it was the main event almost telegraphs that it was going to sudden death. I was truly shocked McIntyre returned to screw Rollins over, but I can’t be sure Angle gives him another shot just because.  Rollins has been the kind to accept earning things, so maybe he’ll fight his way back.

My Score: 8.1/10


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