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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco! (7/7/18)

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NJPW G1 Special cover image

NJPW returns to the United States for another G1 Special! So many stars and so many titles will be featured in this massive event, from the Ticking Time Bomb defending his Jr. Heavyweight Championship, to a Dominion rematch for the Tag Team Championships, to the Bullet Club leaders facing off for THE Heavyweight Title!

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens; Bullet Club wins.
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Ishii & Yano win.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Hangman & Scurll win.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA; The Young Bucks win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
  • Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi; Okada & Ospreay win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee; Hiromu wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson; Juice wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW is LIVE in the Cow Palace!

The “Madison Square Garden of the West” is host to another amazing G1 Special. Five titles are on the line, from the Junior Heavyweight to THE Heavyweight Championship. Rivalries are renewed and new ones are being born. Will the Superkick Party survive a rematch with SANADA & EVIL? Can Hiromu Takahashi get one over on Dragon Lee? Will The Cleaner’s first ever reign end at the hands of the American Nightmare? Is Bullet Club truly (not) fine?!

 

10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, King Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens!

It’s a MASSIVE showdown between two equally massive factions! Will Chaos conquer the Bullet Club in this opening bout? Or will dysfunction be put aside so that Bullet Club can stand tall?

The teams sort out and while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!”, Yoshi-Hashi starts against King Haku. The bell rings and the two circle. Haku swipes at Gedo while fans chant for the Father of the Guerrillas. He and Hashi tie up, and Haku gets the waistlock. Hashi elbows out and then gets a headlock, but Haku powers out. They collide but neither man falls. Haku runs but that clothesline barely does a thing. Hashi runs again and that dropkick drops Haku. Hashi throws hands and backs Haku down, then whips corner to corner. Haku reverses to then clothesline Hashi in the corner! Haku tags Tonga Loa, but Tama Tonga comes in, at the same time. They triple headbutt Hashi together!

Fans chant “G O D!” for Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. Rocky tags in, but he’s clearly the underdog here. He runs but barely moves Loa. Loa dares him to go again, but the result is the same. Rocky tries a third time, but still nothing. Things speed up on the fourth, and Rocky gets the headscissors! Rocky revs up to start on those endless clotheslines in the corner. He hits five, before Loa picks him up! Loa carries Rocky corner to corner while Tama Tonga comes in, BIG splash in the corner! The rest of Chaos is taken out by the other members of Bullet Club and it’s a brawl on the outside. Haku hits Rocky with a piledriver! Cover, TWO!

Tonga grabs the ref, not standing for the disrespect towards his legendary father. The referee is spared while Loa covers. TWO, but Rocky is alone in the Bullet Club corner. Loa puts Rocky into Chase’s boot, then tags Chase in. Chase hits a body shot, then throws haymakers. Rocky chops back, but Chase knees low. The Crown Jewel lifts Rocky for the pendulum backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Chase keeps on Rocky as he tags in Tokyo Pimp. Yujiro mule kicks then snapmares Rocky, then hits a leg drop. Cover, TWO. Yujiro keeps Rocky in a chinlock, but fans rally up for Rocky. Rocky gets up and fights out, backing Yujiro down. He runs, but Yujiro picks him up while Chase takes out RPG3K.

Yujiro whips and kicks Rocky, Chase adds a kick, then Yujiro back suplexes Rocky. Rocky slips out, so Chae tries. Rocky slips out again, then ducks to double headscissor! Fans rally up while Rocky crawls. Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies with dropkicks, then a dragon screw to Yujiro, then one to Chase. Yoh suplexes Yujiro but Yujiro slips out. Yujiro waistlocks but Yoh backs him down, and Sho tags in. Sho runs, takes out GoD, then hits Yujiro with a clothesline. Yoh hits one, theN Sho, then Poetry in Motion! RPG3K combine, but Yujiro slips out to push them into each other. Inverted DDT to Sho, then hot tag to Tama Tonga! Tonga stomps away on Sho, then scoop slams for the elbow! Fans fire up with him as he whips Sho. Sho SPEARS Tonga, then crawls for his corner. Tag to Gedo, and Gedo stalks Tonga.

Gedo jabs and jabs, but Loa stops his haymaker. Gedo throws hands on Loa, then jawbreaker to Tonga. He aims, but Tonga blocks the kick. Chase bicycle boots, but Hashi blasts him. Yujiro gets Hashi with the basement dropkick, but RPG3K combine for backstabber to shotgun kick! Loa hits both Sho & Yoh down, but Rocky springboards to hit both GoD! Rocky runs, and DIVES on Loa! Gedo SUPERKICKS Tonga, but Haku throat thrusts Gedo! The Samoan King has the throat, and feeds it to the Gun Stun cutter! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Tama Tonga pinning

While there is unrest in the rest of the Bullet Club, it would seem this unit of five is just fine with each other. Will this be the foundation of the faction after things settle down up top?

 

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!

The Stone Pitbull and the Producer have had their run-ins with the Meanest Man in the World and his Submission Master protege. Needless to say, it didn’t go well for the Chaos duo. But in this rematch in the States, will things even out? Or will Ishii & Yano again #JustTapOut?

The Pitbull dares the King of Pancreas to bring it, so at the bell, he does! Suzuki goes right at Ishii with boots, then whips. Suzuki boots in the corner, then whips again. Ishii comes back with a forearm, but now it’s a brawl. Back and forth, fast and furious, neither man backs down but the fans love it! There’s no end to it, but Suzuki gets the edge. He whips Ishii but Ishii runs him over. Ishii eggs Suzuki on, but ZSJ tags in. And now Yano wants in! Ishii tags, but Ishii goes after Suzuki without hesitation. As for Yano, he circles with ZSJ, but he’s very scary. Yano uses the ropes for safety, but then asks for a handshake. ZSJ takes it, only to get the wristlock. Yano grabs the ropes, but ZSJ holds onto the wrist. He lets go at 4, then waits for Yano.

Yano wants another handshake, ZSJ gets another wristlock, but Yano rakes the eyes. Yano gets to the ropes and taunt ZSJ. ZSJ grabs a leg, reels Yano in for several European Uppercuts, but Yano pulls him down by his hair. Yano celebrates, but ZSJ goes after the arms! ZSJ gets double wristlocks but Yano manages to get to the ropes. However, it’s on Suzuki’s side of the ring. Suzuki lets ZSJ Pele Yano’s arm before going after Ishii again! Suzuki puts Ishii into railing while ZSJ stands on Yano’s head. ZSJ wraps Yano up in an Indian deathlock while Suzuki chops away on Ishii. ZSJ bridges to put on leverage, then shifts to adding an armlock. Yano endures being tied up like that, and starts back pedaling for ropes. ZSJ grabs the other arm, but Yano uses a leg.

Fans rally while ZSJ lets go of Yano. ZSJ tags to Suzuki, and together they torture Yano with a Fujiwara armbar and Achilles Lock. Then they switch! Ishii protests, but that only gives the devious duo more time to damage Yano’s limbs. They flip Yano over for both an armbar and a heel hook. The referee finally sees and gets ZSJ to leave. Suzuki tags in ZSJ, and it’s just more of the same anyway. Tag back to Suzuki, and Suzuki throws hands on Yano. Suzuki mocks Yano, toys with him, but fans boo and jeer. Suzuki runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano tags Ishii, and he runs in, but into a boot. It does nothing! Ishii and Suzuki brawl again. Ishii runs, then forearms Suzuki, then corner clotheslines him! He trash talks Suzuki, then toys with him.

Suzuki only grows angry from those toying kicks to the head. Suzuki throws another forearm, but Ishii dares him to give more. Ishii hits Suzuki, then slaps him in the head. Suzuki gives Ishii a stiff forearm, then another. Ishii staggers, but stays standing. So Suzuki just gives him another shot, and another. Suzuki keeps going, and Ishii hits the mat. Ishii is okay to continue, so Suzuki toys with him now. Ishii stands and starts throwing forearms on Suzuki. He slaps Suzuki while trash talking, but Suzuki just sticks out his tongue like a wild man. Suzuki throws so many palm strikes, then gets Ishii in a sleeper hold! Ishii throws Suzuki off, then runs, but Suzuki gets around for another hold. Ishii throws Suzuki with a back suplex!

Fans rally up while both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Yano and ZSJ! Yano rakes the eyes, then goes for buckle pads! ZSJ stops him just in time, but Yano throws ZSJ off. Yano sings, but misses, and ends up in an octopus stretch. Suzuki picks up the pad to smack Yano with it. Suzuki throws Ishii out and they brawl on the outside again. ZSJ catches Yano’s low blow, then the haymaker, into the bridging pin, TWO! EuroUpper! ZSJ runs but into bare buckles! Yano shoves him at the ref, but ZSJ stops himself short. Low blow blocked by leg strength! But then Ishii runs ZSJ over! Yano covers, Chaos wins!!

Winners: Chaos, Yano pinning

What a shocking exchange! Yano’s trickery and Ishii’s toughness win out, but that just pisses Suzuki off. Suzuki grabs himself a chair, then rushes the ring. Security and Young Lions work to stop Suzuki, and manage to get him away from the ring. But ZSJ makes one of them pay for it by throwing him to the ground. Then Suzuki SMACKS the other with that chair. This feud is far from over, will Suzuki show any mercy next time?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

The Ace and the Time Splitter have had their issues with the Problem Solver and Villain in their own paths before, but now all four men converge tonight. Can the main unit boys overcome Bullet Club’s proverbial lieutenants tonight?

Fans duel while both teams egg each other on, but things sort out to start with Scurll and Kushida. The junior heavyweights circle and tie up. Kushida gets the waistlock but Scurll reverses, only for Kushida to reverse back. Scurll spins and rolls to reverse back, but Kushida gets a takedown. Kushida grabs the facelock, and holds on as Scurll rolls. Kushida floats all over, then gets a waistlock. Scurll pries his way out but it ends up a full nelson. Scurll breaks it with a bump, then gets a full nelson of his own. Kushida tries to copy but ends up in an octopus! Kushida pries his way out to bring Scurll down but Scurll headscissors. Scurll takedown but Kushida headscissors, so Scurll flaps his wings. Tag to Hangman and Tanahashi!

Now the heavyweights circle, and fans are strongly behind Tanahashi. He and Hangman tie up, and Hangman reverses to a wristlock and headlock. Tanahashi powers out to his own headlock, but Hangman pulls on hair! Kushida protests, but that allows Tanahashi to pull Hangman’s hair. They go into a corner and Tanahashi throws body shots. He whips Hangman but Hangman reverses. Hangman runs in, but into a back elbow, and Tanahashi leaps for a crossbody! Tanahashi air guitars and fans fire up. Tanahashi mocks the wings and Scurll gets upset. Tag to Kushida, and Kushida drops ax handles on the arm. Kushida wrenches Hangman’s arm, then whips, but Hangman holds ropes. Hangman dumps Kushida out while Scurll takes out Tanahashi. They run together, SUPERKICK to SHOOTING STAR from the apron!

Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Hangman & Scurll target Taguchi himself. Taguchi doesn’t want any trouble, but that doesn’t stop them. They club Taguchi down and bring him into the ring. They double whip, he goes to hip attack, but they get clear. Taguchi crashes and burns out of the ring, having hurt his behind. Scurll grabs Kushida, and the Bullet Club double whip, drop toehold, dropkick, then shooting star and fist drop! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps on Kushida and bumps him off Scurll’s bot. Tag to Scurll, and they work together again. Double whip Kushdia corner to corner, and Scurll hits the clothesline. He becomes a step stool but Kushida gives Hangman the Poetry in Motion! Kushida then handsprings to back elbow Scurll down! Fans rally while Kushida crawls. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

Tanahashi rallies on Scurll, whips corner to corner, but Scurll reverses. Tanahashi still comes out with a back elbow, then he wipes Hangman out for good measure. He gives Scurll a Dragon Screw, then fires up. Fans fire up with him as he scoop slams Scurll down. Tanahashi climbs up, somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again as Tanahashi runs, but into Scurll’s crossface chicken wing! Scurll almost has it, but Tanahashi pries his way out. Fans rally for Tanahashi as he keeps those hands apart. Tanahashi breaks free but runs into a palm strike. He knocks Scurll down with one of his own, then tags Kushida. Kushida fires off on Scurll, but Scurll hits the leg. Kushida hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick!

Scurll dodges the Penalty Kick, and Hangman comes in to rock Kushida with a right. Tanahashi returns, but Hangman gets him first. Tanahashi reverses the whip to Slingblade Hangman down! Scurll comes back and fakes Tanahashi out for the mule kick. Scurll stomps Kushida’s hand, then grabs the fingers. Shh! Kushida breaks free but runs into a EuroUpper. Scurll runs into a spinning forearm, then ends up in a takedown, Hoverboard Lock! Tanahashi intercepts Hangman for the Cloverleaf! Double submissions, but Hangman crawls out of the ring. Scurll stands up while Tanahashi misses his slingshot. BUCK SHOT from Hangman! Tag to Hangman, and he jackknifes into Rite, but sunset flip! TWO! Discus forearm meets Pele! Kushida kicks out the arm, then runs, but Hangman blocks the Hoverboard, into RITE OF PASSAGE! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Hangman pinning

A mostly clean win from the devious Villain & Problem Solver, but a win is a win. Will Hangman do the same to Tanahashi in the G1 Climax tournament? Or will the Ace fine a way to win out in the end?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb!

The All-Pro Universal Champion is quite the monster with his strength and speed, but he goes up against the Fierce Warrior for another belt. Will Chaos’ constant be able to conquer Mr. Athletic in this first-ever meeting?

The belt is presented and the bell rings as we begin! Fans are strongly behind Cobb as he circles with Goto. They tie up, and Cobb backs Goto to the ropes. Cobb honors the break, and they circle again. They tie up again, and Cobb again powers Goto to ropes. Goto turns it around, but Goto honors the break, for a moment. Goto kicks and clubs away on Cobb, then stomps. Fans boo and jeer, but Goto tunes them out as he whips Cobb. Cobb reverses, and the two collide. Cobb doesn’t back down, but he does let his hair down while Goto eggs him on. Goto tries to hip toss but ducks the clothesline, but not the flying shoulder!

Cobb drags Goto up and throws forearms and EuroUppers. He whips Goto corner to corner, then grabs Goto for a BIG overhead suplex! Fans rally up but Cobb runs into a boot. Goto goes up, but Cobb yanks him off and to the mat. Cobb drags Goto up, and gives him a stiff chop. Goto chops back, but Cobb chops again. Cobb whips but Goto dodges to bait Cobb over and out! Goto then slingshots, and wipes Cobb out! Goto gets up to club away on Cobb, then puts him into a post! Fans boo and jeer as Goto goes after Cobb more. The 20 count begins, but Goto puts Cobb back in at 8. Goto stalks Cobb with stomps, then brings him up for elbows. He snapmares Cobb, to drop the elbow. Fans boo and jeer more, but Goto just drops another. Cover, TWO!

Goto drags Cobb up for a neck wrench. Fans rally as Cobb endures, but Goto switches to a headscissors hold. Goto squeezes Cobb and props himself up. Cobb endures, then rolls his way to a ropebreak. Goto lets Cobb go, but then drags him up for another snapmare and chinlock. Cobb endures while fans rally again. Goto goes to drive in an elbow but Cobb blocks it! Cobb powers out, then dropkicks Goto down! Both men are down but fans rally up. Cobb staggers to ropes, then waits for Goto. He throws a forearm, then a chop, repeat. Cobb whips Goto corner to corner, and hits a leaping uppercut! Cobb lifts and swings Goto with the Sidewinder! Cover, TWO! Cobb is a bit surprised, but he’s not done yet.

Cobb drags Goto up, then lifts for a torture rack. Running slam! Fans fire up, because Cobb still has more. Standing moonsault, but it misses as Goto rolls away! Both men are down again, but fans rally again. Each man gets to a corner, then Goto runs in for the spinning heel kick! Goto suplexes Cobb, cover, TWO! Goto drags Cobb up, but fans are on Cobb’s side. Cobb resists the fireman’s carry with back elbows, then blocks the boot to give a stiff forearm. Cobb drags Goto up, scoop onto the shoulder to bump off buckles and hit the Oklahoma slam! Cover, TWO! So close but so far from finishing this match. Cobb stands up again, then runs, but the two collide with clotheslines. Neither falls, so they go again. They still stay up, so they go again, and it’s Goto that gets flipped! Standing moonsault hits! TWO!!

Cobb is shocked, but not done yet. He throws Goto, then scoops, but Goto slips out to a sleeper hold! Cobb gasps, reaching for ropes. Fans rally up and Cobb gets a second wind to throw Goto off. Goto and Cobb both stand, but Cobb sees Goto coming. Goto dodges the boot to give the spinning clothesline. Cobb dares him to do more, so Goto headbutts. Goto lifts Cobb, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives and that shocks Goto now. Goto brings Cobb up, but Cobb denies GTR with a suplex. Goto knees out, and tries to turn Cobb again. Cobb resists, so Goto clubs him. Reverse GTR! Cover, Goto wins!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion

The Fierce Warrior manages to hold off the powerful behemoth that is Jeff Cobb. Goto starts over with this first successful defense, will he be able to hold onto it for a long time?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA!

It’s a rematch from Dominion 2018, where “the best tag team in professional wrestling” took those titles from Los Ingobernables de Japon’s heavy hitting duo. Matt & Nick Jackson won in Osaka, but can they throw a victorious Superkick Party in their home state of California?

Fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” for the champions as always. Cold Skull Sanada starts against Nick with the bell. They circle, but Sanada hits Matt. So Nick hits Evil! Nick whips but Sanada reverses, and things speed up. Nick stops himself but Sanada blocks the kick to spin Nick around for the dragon sleeper! Sanada lands on his feet through the snapmare, but Nick dodges the dropkick. Nick drops an elbow but Sanada dodges. Sanada drops an elbow but Nick dodges. Matt drops an elbow, Sanada dodges, then Evil drops a back senton but Matt dodges. Nick grabs Evil in headscissors but Sanada does the same to Nick. Matt comes back and grabs Evil’s legs. Fans sense what’s coming, as does Sanada, Sharpshooter that flips everyone over! A strange chain of submissions there.

But with only two men legal, there’s something illegal about this, so the referee has them all break. Matt regroups with Nick while Evil goes out. They double whip Sanada, hip toss and back-flip dropkicks! Headscissor dropkick for Evil, and fans fire up for The Bucks! The Bucks double whip Sanada again, double kick, then the alley-oop, but into a dropkick from Sanada! Evil blocks Matt’s kick, and feeds it to the ref, to then mule kick Matt in the ass. Matt rolls out from being butt hurt while Sanada grabs Nick. Sanada drags Nick over to a neutral corner, then whips him corner to corner. Sanada hits the corner clothesline, but Nick boots back. The boot is caught, and Sanada drags Nick out into the paradise lock! Nick is a pretzel, so Sanada dropkicks him out of paradise!

Tag to Evil, and LIJ drag Nick up for double whip. Back elbow to back senton, then cover, TWO! Evil grabs Nick into a half surfboard with those arms. Fans rally up and Nick feeds off it. Nick works against the hold but Evil keeps him grounded. Nick powers up again, but still can’t get free. Evil digs in a knee but fans keep rallying for Nick. Nick tries one more time, and manages to turn it around, only for Evil to turn it back around. So Nick dropkicks out! Fans rally again, and Nick crawls, but Sanada trips Matt right off the apron! Fans boo and jeer, but Sanada doesn’t care. Evil attacks Nick, then rakes the eyes. He whips Nick corner to corner but Nick slides out to trip up Sanada. Nick runs into Evil, but slips out of the back suplex to tag Matt!

Matt rallies on LIJ, but they get him with kicks. LIJ double whips, but he dodges to leaping lariat them both! Matt grabs Evil to throw haymakers and chops. Matt whips Evil but Evil holds ropes. Evil throws Matt to the apron, but Matt shoulders back in, then takes out Sanada with a cutter! Matt sunset flips in, legs to the Sharpshooter! The Cease is in, but that back bothers Matt again. Evil gets a ropebreak,  so Matt tags to Nick. Nick kicks Sanada for good measure, then coordinates for the slingshot X-Factor. Nick goes to asai onto Sanada, but Sanada dodges to asai into dragon sleeper! Matt sees his brother in danger, and wrecks Sanada with a dropkick. But then Evil knocks Matt out, to build speed. SUPERKICKS! Sanada springboards, double missile dropkick! All four men are down but the fans are loving it.

Fans duel while all four men stir. Nick tags in Matt, but Evil tags in Sanada. Sanada and Matt trade haymakers back and forth. Matt kicks, then whips Sanada, but Sanada back elbows. Sanada quebradas, dragon sleeper, but Matt slices bread to get it on Sanada. Sanada turns it around again, for the swinging dragon sleeper! He climbs up top, moonsaults, but Matt evades. Sanada tumbles back out to the apron, but Matt gets him with a triangle jump DDT to the apron! Nick climbs up and aims at Sanada, 450 splash! Cover from Matt, TWO! The Bucks can’t believe it, but this isn’t over yet. Matt puts Sanada in the Sharpshooter, but Sanada drags himself towards ropes. Nick hits the swanton! Then he intercepts Evil, to FLY!

Sanada is alone, enduring the Sharpshooter. Sanada drags himself towards ropes, drawing so close to either the break or the tap. He powers up and gets the break! Matt lets Sanada go, thinking of what else to do. He tags in Nick, and Nick climbs up. Matt brings Sanada up for the fireman’s carry. More Bang for- No, knees disrupt that, and Sanada avoids the moonsault! Sanada crawls for his corner, and Evil is back to tag in! Evil German Suplexes Nick, then the same for Matt! Nick fights of another, but Evil still reels him in for another German! Evil fires up and runs in at Nick for a BIG clothesline. Then the fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Evil isn’t deterred, he brings Nick up. Nick slips free to back elbow. Nick suplexes but Evil counters. Sanada comes in, MAGIC KILLER! Cover, Matt breaks it!

Sanada throws Matt out but Matt brings him out, too. Evil drags Nick up, but Nick denies the STO. Matt puts Sanada into barriers, then he saves Nick from the slam. Deja vu to Dominion, but Evil dodges the SUPERKICKS, and they go into the ref! Evil double clotheslines both Bucks down! But with no ref to count, there’s no point in covering. Instead, Sanada pulls out some items from under the ring. He gives Evil a chair, but Evil misses. Evil and Nick play hot potato, but then Matt gets up, SUPERKICKS into the chair! SUPERKICKS for Sanada, then Matt prepares the chair on the mat. He brings Evil up as fast as he can with that bad back while Nick waits on the apron. Tombstone position, but Sanada trips up Nick! Evil reverses to the Tombstone, Ungovernable Driver on the chair!

Sanada wakes the ref, Evil covers, but Nick barely breaks it in time! Fans are all fired up, but Sanada throws Nick back out. Evil rises and calls for the finish. “This is Awesome!” as they prepare and hit Magic Killer! Cover, TWO!? How?! Sanada slingshots to take Nick out for good measure, and Evil waits for Matt. Matt reverses to back slide and SUPERKICK! Evil still goes after him, so Matt uses the STO! Sanada flies into SUPERKICKS! The Bucks hurry to get Evil up, then MELTZER DRIVER! Cover, The Bucks win!

Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

Another thrilling close-call, but the Superkick Party rolls on! Their first heavyweight tag title reign continues, how far can Matt & Nick Jackson go in the Heavyweight Tag Division?

 

NJPW and AXS look at the Bullet Club Civil War.

Kenny Omega saw trouble coming from the very beginning when The American Nightmare used the faction to elevate himself. Cody manipulated the Young Bucks, Marty Scurll & Hangman Page, but Omega has already shown what he does to selfish members of the Club before. On the flip side, Cody saw Omega as too obsessed with his own goals and it was ruining the faction. The other members have been unsure which side to choose, but The Bucks found a way to decide. They chose Kenny. It cost Omega his match against Cody in ROH, but Cody took it as validation. Everyone else has reconciled aside from Cody, who is the “rotten apple” messing up the bunch. Is it hatred? Is it a matter of pride? More importantly, is it going to end with their match tonight?

 

Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi!

The Rainmaker is no longer IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the Aerial Assassin is no longer Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and LIJ’s Tranquilo leader is no longer Intercontinental Champion. Who will come out of this match with renewed vigor towards chasing the titles they lost at Dominion?

Fans are evenly split between Chaos and LIJ, especially Okada and Naito. Okada starts but wonders who is starting against him. Naito hears fans wanting him, so he obliges. Okada and Naito hear the fans fire up for them just being in the ring together. They circle, lunge, but Naito evades to keep things tranquilo. Naito and Okada circle but again Naito dodges. Fans enjoy the mind games, and Okada manages to shrug it off. They tie up finally, and Okada backs Naito to the ropes. Okada backs off, to fake the chop. Naito actually kicks then throws Okada out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo!

Fans love it, but Okada cools off before returning. Okada and Naito circle again, and fans rally up. Then Naito tags out to Bushi. Some fans boo and jeer but others still love the mind games. Okada tags in Ospreay, and now the junior heavyweights circle. Bushi kicks then slides off the back to headscissor, but Ospreay handsprings through to dropkick Bushi down. Bushi rolls out so Ospreay builds speed, to fake him out for the superhero landing. Naito rushes in but gets a kick for it! Bushi returns but Ospreay is ready with a chop. Ospreay whips Bushi to a corner, hits the back elbow, then sweeps the legs. Bushi gets up as Ospreay runs corner to corner, but Ospreay boots him away.

Ospreay runs again, but into a drop toehold, and Naito dropkicks in. Okada comes in, but Naito feeds him to Bushi’s sunset flip, which just feeds Okada back to Naito’s basement dropkick! Okada rolls out while Bushi returns to Ospreay. Bushi chokes and stretches Ospreay at the ropes, but backs off at 4. Meanwhile, Naito keeps on Okada on the outside. Bushi has Ospreay in the corner while fans sing for the Aerial Assassin. Bushi grinds his boot into Ospreay but stops at 4. Naito tags in, then stalks Ospreay to the ropes. He brings Ospreay around to whip to a corner, then jump kicks and sweeps the leg, swinging shotgun kick! Naito spits at Okada, then tags Bushi. Bushi wraps his shirt around Ospreay’s neck to choke him! He drops Ospreay with a neckbreaker, covers, but the ref sees the shirt. No count, and the shirt is tossed away.

Tag to Naito, and he toys with Ospreay. Ospreay fires up and pushes back, then gives forearms. Naito fakes the retaliation, only to kick Ospreay low. Naito whips Ospreay thne turns the boots away. Ospreay hits back from the apron but Naito gets under the springboard. Naito kicks, then runs, but into the flip dropkick and enziguri! Both men are down, but Ospreay is headed for his corner. Fans rally up, hot tag to Okada! Okada rallies on LIJ, then hits Naito. He builds speed and runs Naito over with an elbow! Bushi attacks but runs into a flapjack that splashes onto Naito! Okada kips up, then scoops Naito for the slam. Okada gets to the corner, aims at Naito, and hits the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps his cool while fans fire up.

Okada brings Naito up, but Naito blocks the gutwrench. Okada clubs Naito down then wrenches again, but Naito slips out into the dragon sleeper neckbreaker, and adds the dropkick to the back. Naito catches his breath, then brings Okada up. Okada resists Gloria, but Naito hits an enziguri. Hammerlock lift but Okada slips out to dropkick Naito in the back. Okada whips but Naito holds ropes to dodge the dropkick. Naito whips but Okada reverses, but Naito hits the flying forearm. Naito brings Okada up, tilt-o-whirl, but into the Tombstone, yet Naito slips out. He uses the ropes, but Okada blocks the tornado DDT with power! Okada lifts Naito, Air Raid! Both men are down but the fans applaud. They rally up for Okada as both men crawl. Hot tags to Ospreay and Bushi!

Ospreay and Bushi brawl with forearms back and forth. Bushi swings but Ospreay full nelsons. Bushi breaks free but gets the hook kick. Ospreay dragon sleeper suplex, but Bushi slips out. Bushi hits the swinging boots, then the missile dropkick! It’s a Bushi-rooni into double knees, then the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, but Okada breaks it. Naito throws Okada out, Bushi runs for a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Bushi isn’t done, though, as he climbs back up. He aims at Ospreay as Ospreay slowly stands. But he flies into a roundhouse! Naito baseball slides Ospreay, then dodges the Rainmaker lariat, but not that dropkick! Okada fires up as he pursues Naito. Bushi kicks Ospreay, but runs into a Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Ospreay fires up, Robinson Special kick! He drags Bushi up, double underhook to Stormbreaker!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Okada & Ospreay, Ospreay pinning

The former Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Champions combine for a victory tonight, not letting their past defeats drag them down. Can the Rainmaker & Assassin climb back up to take back what they’ve lost?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee!

This rivalry spans both NJPW and CMLL promotions, and sometimes even ROH. Lee is the current CMLL World Lightweight Championship while the Ticking Time Bomb won his belt back at Dominion after also winning Best of the Super Juniors 25. While Hiromu is NJPW’s best Junior, will Lee prove he’s the best in two companies?

But Dragon Lee doesn’t wait for the bell, he just waits for Hiromu to be done putting away his toys, to leap out with a crazy huricanrana! If there was any doubt, this proves there’s no love lost between these two. The bell rings, and we begin outside the ring as Lee whips Hiromu into railings then rams into him. Lee returns to the ring, builds speed, and DIVES! That was a dangerous tope suicida, but Lee still did it. He gets up and puts Hiromu into the ring. Hiromu gets to a corner, but Lee runs in for a dropkick and sweep to swinging dropkick, NAITO’s moves. Lee even mocks Tranquilo! Fans boo and jeer but Lee throws elbow after elbow into Hiromu. The referee backs Lee off, but only long enough for that corner to corner dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Lee keeps his focus as he drags Hiromu up for an ankle lock. Hiromu rolls through but gets stomped out. Lee puts on a chinlock, then rakes the face. Lee lets go, but then kicks Hiromu across the back. He keeps on Hiormu with a whip into a corner. Hiromu comes out with a headscissor, but Lee just handsprings through. They speed up, and Lee gets caught that time. Hiromu hits Lee with a clothesline and baseball slide dropkick! Lee gets out of the ring, but Hiromu doesn’t stop, John Woo from the apron! Hiromu climbs up top now, and aims at Lee, for a SUPER SENTON!! They crash and burn on the ground! Fans lose their minds after that one.

The 20 count begins, but Hiromu gets on the apron at 10. Lee grabs Hiromu, not wanting to end the count. Hiromu fights him off, but they both end up on the apron. They brawl, and the count stops as they go back and forth. Hiromu rocks Lee but Lee rocks Hiromu. Hiromu kicks Lee, then brings him up to the top rope. He climbs up with Lee, and fans fear for the wrestlers’ lives. Lee stops Hiromu’s crazy idea, and fans rally up as they brawl more. Each man fires up, and that headbutt rocks Hiromu into a Tree of Woe. Lee stands up, SUPER WOE STOMPS! Hiromu hits apron and then ground, and fans lose their minds all over again. Both men are down as a new 20 count begins. They stir at 6, but doesn’t stand until 9.

Lee gets on the apron, but Hiromu grabs him for the powerbomb! The count climbs, but Hiromu flounders around. They both get in at 19.5! Hiromu and Lee are already so sore, but somehow both stand up. Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline, then whips. Lee reverses to clothesline, but Hiromu reels him into a wheelbarrow German Suplex! Hiromu keeps going, but runs into a rebound German! Yet he springs up to German Lee back! But so does Lee! Hiromu Germans Lee again, but Lee gets up to give it back! Fans chant “Suplex City!” as Hiromu gives Lee another! Lee flounders, but he still goes towards Hiromu. Lee grabs Hiromu for yet another German suplex! Hiromu clotheslines, but Lee knee strikes into another German Suplex! SUPERKICK from Hiromu, then German! Lee Reverse-ranas, but runs into a massive clothesline!

Both men are down but the fans are loving it all! They chant “New Japan!” to show appreciation to the promotion bringing this to us. Fans rally up as both men stir, but a 10 count begins. Lee gets up with ropes while Hiromu gets up on his own. They go back towards each other, and trade sharp chops. Back and forth they go, sharper and sharper. Hiromu staggers but still comes back with a chop. Then he dares Lee to do the same, so Lee does! Both men drop to a knee from the stinging pain, but they don’t back off for long. They chop more, more, more, faster, harder, sharper! Fans are loving the endless chop fight going on in the ring. They shift to slaps now, then as hove. Hiromu and Lee trade blocks, but Lee gets the knee. Lee runs but into the overhead throw!

Hiromu grins before he lifts Lee, for a fireman’s slam! Cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Lee up again, but Lee slips out. Lee lifts Hiromu for a suplex but Hiromu slips out to SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, but into Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion now, but fans rally up. Lee grabs Hiromu, but Hiromu headscissors out of the suplex, into the triangle hold! Lee resists, deadlifts, and powerbombs! But Hiromu holds on! Lee endures as he tries another deadlift, then shifts it to a Dragon Driver!

Fans lose their minds over the impact to Hiromu’s head, but Lee shows no mercy. Lee brings Hiromu up again, for a suplex to sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives while Lee grows frustrated. Fans rally up while Lee brings Hiromu up. Lee knee lifts, then bomb lifts, but Hiromu pops out for a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! But the Time Bomb still has more to give as he brings Lee up, fro THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion

This explosive feud was intense even before the bell. But in the end, the eccentric champion retains against one of his fiercest rivals in the world. Will Hiromu’s second reign last a long time with heart like that?

 

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson!

The Switchblade snatched the belt from the inaugural champion, Kenny Omega, while the Flamboyant One has tried but failed to grab a title for himself again and again. The Switchblade upped the animosity between him and Juice, vowing Juice will walk away with nothing! Or will the actual American in this match be the first American to finally hold this title?

But there’s a special rule: Juice cannot use his cast as a weapon, on grounds of a disqualification. In other words, Juice might as well be fighting with one less hand. But Juice doesn’t care, he’s confident he’ll win even with just one hand. The belt is presented, both men are checked, and we begin!

White mocks the bad hand, so Juice tackles him and uses the good hand! White turns it around to throw hands of his own, but Juice turns it back again. They separate, and Juice crossbodies White out with him! Fans chant for Juice as he aims from the apron for the flying clothesline! Juice dusts himself off and puts White into railings. White clutches his arm but Juice is back on him. Juice throws White into railings and it crashes into the timekeeper’s area! Juice holds that belt, and says the timekeepers are just holding onto it for him. He then puts White back in the ring, and prepares his good hand. White stands, and Juice jabs away. “Juice! Juice!” echoes out, but he can’t use the left, so he just chops White.

White gets to a corner, and Juice hits a corner clothesline. But then White suplexes Juice out to the floor! Juice clutches his neck while White regroups. White goes out to fetch Juice, and put him into railings in return! The railing almost flies away with that impact. White mocks Juice’s fist pump while fans boo and jeer. White digs Juice out of the wreckage to then chop him across the chest. He then throw Juice into the timekeeper’s area, and practically bowls the table and chairs over! White eggs the fans on as they boo and jeer. The referee, Red Shoes, reprimands White and wants him to put this in the ring. Fans chant “You Suck!” at White as he puts Juice in. White suplexes Juice into buckles, then covers. TWO, but White is only annoyed.

White goes back to Juice with clubbing forearms across that back. He then tortures the bad hand with the wristlock and finger stretching. He even stands on and, while flipping everyone off, stomps said bad hand! Juice crawls, but White is on him. White hammerlocks for the scoop slam to beat up that bad hand. Fans jeer White but White responds with another middle finger. White brings Juice back up for another hammerlock. He tortures the arm while fans rally up for Juice. Juice gets to a corner but White keeps on the arm. Juice reverses and jabs with the good hand. He headbutts, but misses the kick. He elbows out of the waistlock, though, only to end up in a saido suplex! Fans boo White more, but he doesn’t care as he brings Juice over for a Muda Lock. He even uses the bad hand to choke Juice!

Fans rally for Juice as he endures the hold. Juice crawls as best as he can, and reaches for the ropes. White wrenches but Juice gets the ropebreak! White lets go at 3, but goes after Juice on the apron. He has Juice between ropes to throw EuroUpper after EuroUpper, then chops. He chops Juice again, then again, then again. White does not let up on Juice, but Juice tells him to “Eat sh*t!” White chops again, then runs, to EuroUpper Juice right out of the ropes. Fans boo and jeer White more, but White keeps mocking Juice. White waits for Juice to stand, and then copies the jabs. He jabs and jabs, then winds up the right, but Juice chops back! White chops, so Juice chops again. They go again, and White falls to a knee, only to wring out the arm.

White drags Juice back up, but runs into a spinebuster! Fans rally while both men get to corners. Juice runs in for the big clothesline. Juice gives a discus clothesline, then runs, but into a complete shot! White drags Juice up with a German Suplex! Bridge, TWO, but White goes after the bad arm with the Fujiwara! Juice endures the bend from elbow to fingers, but White makes it a modified Rings of Saturn on top. White tortures both arms, but Juice uses his legs for the ropebreak. Juice slips out of the ring but White pursues. White rams Juice into a post, then snap suplexes him into railing! The impact is so hard, it knocks JR out of his seat at commentary! Not that White cares, he just mocks JR and Josh. Josh is about to get in there himself!

White keeps his distance, and JR just wants to find his hat. Red Shoes tries to calm Josh down, but fans let White know he’s an “As*hole!” Josh returns to commentary, but White keeps on Juice. He yanks Juice into a post, then brings out chairs. White prepares a chair like a vice on Juice’s hand! White swings the other chair, but Juice gets his hand out in time! Juice swings at White, but only SMACKS the post. White goes after Juice with another saido suplex! White returns into the ring to refresh the count, then brings Juice up again. Juice grabs White with a headlock and elbows away on White. White clubs Juice back, then reels Juice in for another suplex. Juice slips out, to SPIENBUSTER White onto the apron! Fans are loving the intensity, and rally up for Juice again.

Red Shoes checks on both men, but somehow both men are okay to continue. Juice gets up and into the ring, but White grabs the bad hand. Fans chant “Juice S A!” while White and Juice end up on the apron. White brings Juice up, but Juice swings, only to end up in a complete shot on the apron. White gets up and deadlifts Juice, but Juice grabs ropes. Juice fights for his life, but White clubs away. White pulls but Juice holds on with all he has. The two keep fighting, but Juice elbows White away. Juice then switches, to a SUPER Russian Leg Sweep!! They crash and burn on the ground, and a 20 count begins. Neither man stirs until about 10, and don’t stand until 17! Juice gets in, but White barely makes it at 19.9.

Both men are crawling while fans rally up. They stand in opposite corners, Juice CANNONBALLS! Juice hoists White onto the top rope, then headbutts before climbing up. Fans fire up while Juice prepares something. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! But Juice is not deterred, he has something left. He brings White up, turns him around, but the Unprettier is countered into an armlock! Juice crawls to the ropes and gets the break. White won’t let go, he just throws elbow after elbow! Red Shoes finally gets him to stop, but that doesn’t stop White’s egotistical posing. White brings Juice up, but Juice slips out of the Blade Runner. Juice goes to punch, but Red Shoes reminds him of using the cast! This distraction allows White to EuroUpper, but backslide counter! TWO, Blade– No, Pulp- No, White shoves Juice at Red Shoes! LOW BLOW!

Juice collapses and Red Shoes saw nothing. White runs in, but Juice dodges. Cast hand punch!! Red Shoes still didn’t see it, so Juice gets away with it. Juice drags White back up, turns him, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, TWO?!!? How!? Juice can’t understand why he’s still so far away from the title. But fans rally up for him, they believe in him. Juice stands and fires up! He brings White up, wants it again, but White hits the bad hand. White grabs Juice in the Half-Nelson Suplex! Then, he dodges the left hand for ANOTHER! White calls for his end, and brings Juice up again. Roll up! JUICE WINS!!

Winner: Juice Robinsin, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion

The first American for the American championship!! White’s ego got the better of him, and now Juice is the third-ever IWGP USHC! Juice is so happy, he hugs Red Shoes. White refuses to accept this, but the referee’s decision is final. Red Shoes officially gives Juice the belt, and the celebration truly begins! Will this title’s first American bring it to new heights?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear!

The Bullet Club has been through many transitions since forming as a faction. From the founding Prince Devitt to the Phenomenal AJ Styles to the current iteration, it has been one of the strongest factions in NJPW. But with The Cleaner having finally climbed the mountain, he is ready to settle things with the would-be leader, The American Nightmare. Omega is the face of pro-wrestling today, but will the Son of the Son of a Plumber ruin the dream already?

The belt is presented while fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” Fans are definitely more on Omega’s side than Cody’s. For that matter, The Bucks are on Omega’s side more than Cody’s. The bell rings, and we begin.

Omega and Cody stare down, but Cody is again bothered by so many more people being on Omega’s side than on his. They circle, testing each other. Cody shoots a look at The Bucks, but the Bucks just shrug. What did he expect them to do? Cody and Omega circle again and finally tie up. They go around with waistlocks and standing switches, but Cody goes after the hand. Omega reverses, but Cody thumbs the eyes. Fans boo while Cody gruffly acknowledges the ropebreak. They back off, and fans boo and jeer Cody while Omega checks his eyes. The fans aren’t very nice to Cody, either. But Cody just takes it out on Omega as they tie up again.

They go back to a corner, and Omega honors the break. Cody doesn’t with that shove, but Omega keeps from retaliating. The two circle again, tie up, and Omega gets the headlock. Cody powers out, but Omega knocks him back with a shoulder. Cody pie-faces Omega so Omega kicks back. Now Cody gets the headlock but Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over with the shoulder, and motions that the belt will be his. Things speed up and Omega hip tosses. Cody kicks back then headlock takeover but Omega headscissors. Omega headlocks but Cody reverses. Omega powers out to then chop Cody sharp. Cody slips out of the back suplex, kick to dropping uppercut. Omega ends up outside the ring, but Cody pursues.

Cody punches Omega around the way, then bumps Omega off the apron. Fans still curse out Cody, and that distracts him. Omega hits Cody, but Cody rams Omega into the apron. Cody puts Omega in the ring, then stalks him. Cody chops Omega in a corner, then chops again. Omega turns it around to chop back even sharper. Omega goes to chop a third time but Cody turns it around. Cody whips corner to corner but Omega reverses. Omega runs in but Cody goes up and over to hit the spinning powerslam. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while he gets back up.

Cody brings Omega up for a headlock and punches. Omega’s eye is bugging him, but he still reels Cody into a waistlock. Cody elbows out then runs, to duck the boot. Omega elbows back to dropkick the legs out. Omega runs, Kotaro Crusher bulldog! Cody rolls out of the ring, but the Terminator rises. Brandi coaches Cody up, but Omega builds sped. Cody uses Brandi as a shield! But he still get a dropkick. Omega slingshots but misses, and Brandi taunts him. Cody builds speed, to FLY! His springboard splash takes Omega out.

Cody hears the fans boo and jeer again, but he ends up arguing with The Bucks over putting things back in the ring. Cody instead throws Omega into barriers. He then takes off the weight belt, but simply tosses it to Matt. Cody whips Omega to the barriers near the timekeeper’s area instead. Omega boots back, then throws Cody over into the timekeeper’s area. Cody is on the table, but Omega uses the railings to springboard stomp him through it! Fans lose their minds at that one!

Omega regroups with the Bucks, to bring out another table! The Bucks don’t seem to want this either, but the fans sure do! Cody digs himself out of the wreckage, but Omega has the table set up. Omega puts Cody on it with forearms and chops, then climbs up into the ring. Omega takes aim, springboards, but Cody gets away. Luckily Omega saw it in time and he stops himself. But when he comes over to fetch Cody, Cody shoves the table into the ribs! Those ribs were banged up at Dominion, so Omega is a bit slow to returning to the ring. Cody kicks him on reentry, then clotheslines to complete shot! Cover, TWO!

Cody is frustrated, and he tries again, TWO. Omega gets to ropes but Cody is on him. Cody stretches Omega back against the ropes, then brings Omega over for clubbing forearms. He drives an elbow into Omega’s head, and then big body shots into those ribs. Fans duel while Cody throws Omega with an X-Plex. Cover, TWO, but Cody keeps Omega grounded. Cody shows off with push-ups, which fans boo and jeer. Omega chops Cody, but Cody puts Omega’s leg on the rope to kick the thigh. Cody drags Omega up while shouting at the Bucks. Cody snapmares then cravats Omega on the mat.

Omega endures while fans rally up. Omega pries his way out of the hold, then kicks Cody in the head. He clubs Cody int he back, then throws forearms. Cody knees low and whips, but Omega reverses into fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape”, but Cody does. Even so, Omega gets Cody with headscissors! Cody rolls out and tips over the table for good measure. Omega builds speed, to FLY! He wipes Cody out with the tope conjilo. Omega gets back up and puts Cody in the ring. Fans fire up as Omega climbs. Cody stands, and gets the missile dropkick to the back! Omega drags Cody up, cross-leg fisherman neckbreaker!

But Omega isn’t done there, as he loads up and BANG! Omega runs, but Cody dodges the Vi-Trigger. Waistlock but standing switch, V-Trigger at point blank. Omega tries the wristlock but Cody standing switches. Cody German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet, another point-blank V-Trigger! Omega brings Cody up, Snap Dragon Suplex! Cody is dazed, but Omega is far from done with him. Cody elbows out of the full nelson, but they standing switch around, Cody copies the Snap Dragon! Both men crawl towards each other, and start throwing forearms. Cody kicks low, then throws forearms. Omega hits back, but Cody still comes back. Omega fires off three, then a boot. He runs, sunset flip, but Cody rolls through to Figure Four!

Omega endures the legendary hold, and fans rally up. Omega works to roll it over, but Cody holds it in place. Cody throws a haymaker, but so does Omega. They go back and forth, brawling while the leg hold is on. Cody wrenches the Figure Four but Omega starts slapping him. Cody slaps back, but Omega slaps harder. Omega then turns it over! Now Cody endures the pain! Cody gets the ropebreak, and the two separate. Fans rally up again while Cody bails out of the ring. Brandi checks on him, but Omega has since pulled out a ladder! The Bucks are definitely not for this. But Cody has himself a chair! This isn’t a TLC match, but it’s becoming one.

Omega puts the ladder in the ring while Cody has his chair. Red Shoes stops Cody from using the chair, so Cody just scoop slams Omega on that ladder! Cody positions the ladder to his liking, sticking it out from the apron. He goes over to Omega, but Omega resists with body shots. Omega suplexes but Cody fights out. Cody lifts, gordbuster ON the ladder! Matt & Nick check on Omega, but he’s somehow okay to continue. Cody puts the ladder all the way in the ring, then embraces the heat. Red Shoes reprimands him as he brings Omega up and puts him into the timekeeper’s railing. The railing also hits the ring announcer, so it’s not just Omega in pain.

Cody grabs the table and brings it back. The Bucks keep trying to talk sense into these tow, but neither man is listening. Cody stands the ladder up. Omega sees it as he rests against the table. Cody bumps Omega off the table, then sets him on the wood. He shoves the Bucks out of the way, but they take offense to that. Red Shoes keeps Matt from disqualifying this match, though you have to question the TLC element. Cody climbs, but Omega follows! The Bucks shout for them to climb down, but they instead brawl atop the steel. Fans chant “Please Don’t Die!” as both men teeter. Cody slaps, Omega SLAPS. Omega tells the Bucks to get back, because he grabs Cody for a… SUPER SUPERPLEX! But from CODY!

They crash land in the ring rather than through table, but it’s still just as crazy. Cody and Omega crawl for each other, “This is Awesome!” Cody covers, TWO!! But barely, as Omega only gets the one shoulder. Fans rally up for them again, but it’s Cody who rolls out. He asks Brandi for help walking over. She obliges, but he’s not retreating. Cody snatches the belt, and holds it up like it’s already his. The Bucks still try to reason with him, but it’s futile.

Cody brings the belt in, and aims at Omega. Red Shoes stops Cody, and Omega pounces with the Reverse-Rana! Omega stands up, reloads, but then Cody resists the electric chair. Cody shoves Omega into Red Shoes, but Omega shoves Red Shoes out of the way for safety. Beautiful Disaster kick! But no ref means no count, so no point in covering. However, it also means no rules, so Cody picks up the belt. Cody aims at Omega, but the Bucks plead with him not to. Fans boo and jeer, so Cody skips the bet. He wants Cross Rhodes but Omega slips out. Omega swings, full nelson into CROSS RHODES! Red Shoes returns, Cody covers, TWO!!

Everyone is down, and that includes Red Shoes. The Bucks take this time to get that ladder out of the ring, they don’t want this to go overboard any further. Cody stands up and grabs Omega. Omega slips out and whips Cody into a V-Trigger! He loads, BANG, V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, electric chair, but Cody reverses into Di– No, heel kick from Omega to Cody! Then, corner to corner V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, powerbomb lift, Doctor Bomb! TWO, so V-Trigger! Omega shows no mercy as he gives another V-Trigger! And with a running start, Cody blocks that Trigger, but only for a moment. Omega double underhooks but Cody resists. Omega backslides but Cody rolls through, V-Trigger again! Cover, TWO!

Both men are down from exhaustion, but fans are loving this. The Terminator drums begin, and Omega stands first. He brings Cody up, but Cody still resists the electric chair. Omega clubs away on the back, then electric chair lifts. He spins Cody around, but Cody resists. Even so, POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!! The table didn’t break, but maybe Cody did. The Bucks and Red Shoes check on Cody while Omega catches his breath in the ring. Brandi also checks on Cody, but Omega continues to show no mercy. The 20 count begins, and Omega brings Cody up and over at 8. Fans cheer, because they appreciate Omega wants to win this in the ring.

Omega reloads, BANG, but Brandi becomes Cody’s shield again. It’s her husband, after all, and she doesn’t want him to take any more damage. But even Cody says she needs to exit the ring, this is still a match. Omega BANG, then runs, but into a BIG lariat from Cody! Cody is too far away and too sore for a cover, though, and Omega gets up first. Cody follows, but Omega hits first. They trade forearms back and forth, then shift to chops. Omega brings it back to forearms, but Cody shoves. Cody runs into a V-Trigger, then Omega gives another. Omega double underhooks, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!? Cody shows heart, but Omega shows his mean-streak, with another V-Trigger. Omega lifts Cody in the electric chair, One-Winged Angel! Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

The Best Match Machine succeeds in his first ever defense of the top title. He fought so hard to get it, and he fought hard to keep it. Cody himself fought hard in trying to take it, but was just not strong enough. Omega takes Cody’s hand and helps him up to his feet, and the fans applaud the sportsmanship. The two look each other in the eyes, but not a word is said. Brandi helps Cody exit while Omega raises the belt in victory. Does this match mark the end of the Civil War?

Omega speaks.

“This is my first title defense as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I’m proud that I could do it in a legendary building such as the Cow Palace.” But most importantly, he’s proud he could do it in front of these fans. Omega didn’t understand before how a line forms to knock the champion down. But they’re all human, they’re all deserving of second chances. Even Cody deserves one, and this effort tonight was “nothing short of valiant.”

Whether it be a pro-wrestler, an idol, or someone working at the popcorn stand, we all need to be given the very best life possible. Omega promises to give us the very best matches against anyone and everyone on the roster. There was speculation that this show wouldn’t go well, but from what he can tell, this place is full and the fans were lively as Hell. So thank you for everything, but he must now bid you adieu. “Good-bye, mwah, and good-night BANG.” This new chapter for Omega’s NJPW is just beginning. The rest of Bullet Club meets The Elite on the ramp to celebrate and throw up Too Sweets! But then Tama Tonga attacks?!

It’s a coup! The chief of the Tongan sub-faction and his brother and father beat down Omega in the ring!! Gun-Stun Bomb!! The Civil War is far from over, as Haku & GoD beat down the Bucks. But here comes Hangman! Hangman fights off the Tongans, but only for so long. Loa runs him over, then scoops him for a slam. So here comes Scurll! He has his umbrella and he tees off, until Tonga gets him with Gun-Stun. The Bucks are back up, but Haku knocks them back down. Tonga says “You did this!” to Omega, as if it’s his fault.

The other members, Yujiro & Chase Owens, come out to try and sort this out. But it seems not even they are safe! Loa saido suplexes Yujiro, then Chase gets hit with the spinning neckbreaker! The Tongans don’t stop here, as they bring in the chairs from the main event to SMACK anyone that moves. Haku then gives Omega the throat thrust for good measure.

What was meant to be a moment of celebration for all is ruined by this revolting revolution. Fans boo and jeer, but perhaps this is Tama Tonga the OG member bringing The Club back to its roots. Wait, Cody returns! Is he even able to fight in his condition? He hobbles his way to the ring either way, but he’s on Tama Tonga’s side?! NOPE! He attacks the Tongans! Only to get a Stun Gun! Then Omega is fed to Haku, father and sons hit a piledriver on the chair. The Tongan #FiringSquad has just downed the rest of the club without mercy. “This is family! There ain’t no leader!” The silver lining: Cody and Omega are back on the same side. Is this the beginning of a new and even more brutal Civil War?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Simply incredible. NJPW goes for over 4 hours, but all of it was spectacular. As a bonus, their match card went in the order it was advertised where a WWE card feels like it’s on shuffle. The opening 10 Man was a nice opener, and I did not get a hint of foreshadowing towards the end, which makes it even better. Isshi-Yano surprised me, I thought Suzuki-Sabre were going to win again. But I suppose this extends their story, because Ishii VS Suzuki is something I’d watch all the time. Then Hangman & Scurll win, so another point for Bullet Club. It almost resembles Dominion, where that was basically dominated by The Club. I was hoping Cobb would beat Goto, but perhaps it’s too soon for him to win a title in NJPW when he’s just debuted and is unaffiliated.

The Young Bucks score again for Bullet Club, and I loved the parallels and upgrades to the Dominion match. Okada looks odd in gear that isn’t what he was wearing as champion. Good to see him and Ospreay basically bounce back from their losses, but it also makes you wonder where Naito is going from his. At least LIJ still has Hiromu, he and Dragon Lee surprised everyone with all that was going on. Hiromu is definitely best junior right now. That US title match was great, White and Juice brought each other up to new levels. I really thought Josh was gonna beat the crap out of White, but obviously between the kayfabe of commentator and wrestler not being able to get violent, and the result of Juice FINALLY being champion, what we got was the superior choice.

Cody VS Omega was also insane, and the story of the Bucks and even Brandi trying to keep things from going too far was a great touch. In the end, Omega wins because it’d be a shame to end his reign so soon. And of course, that swerve from the Tongans was not expected at all. At least, not here tonight. Tama Tonga hinted at wanting to go against Omega in the past, but to think he’d do it in such riotous fashion with his brother and his father by his side. As I said, great to see Cody is back on the same side with Omega, but I have a feeling that (aside from Bad Luck Fale and possibly Taiji Ishimori) Tama Tonga will bring in more people to his side in order to match who Omega has on his side (The Bucks, Hangman, Scurll, Cody, Chase & Yujiro).

My Score: 9.7/10


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AJ’s WrestleMania 37 Night Two Results & Review 4/11/21

AJ finishes his trek through the WWE Mania week content with Night 2 of WrestleMania! How did it match up to night 1? Is Roman still your Tribal Chief?

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Well everybody… We did it. Fans are at Mania, this is the last day for me to type things out, my hand can be put on ice and we get some star-studded matches on the horizon. United States, Intercontinental, Women’s Tag, Raw Women’s Championship and the Universal Championship all coming together and let’s start the show and see if the Chief stands tall at the end, the Movement returns with the gold or if we see opportunity rise up again where Edge left off ten years ago in the end.

Results:

  • The Fiend (w/ Alexa Bliss) vs Randy Orton – Randy Orton wins via RKO – **
  • Natalya & Tamina vs Shayna Bazler & Nia Jax (c) for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships – Shayna Bazler wins via Kirafuda Clutch – ** ¾TITLE DEFENSE!!
  • Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn (Logan Paul invited Ringside) – Kevin Owens wins via Stunner – *** ¼
  • Sheamus vs Matt Riddle(c) for the WWE United States Championship- Sheamus wins via Brogue Kick – ***TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • Nigerian War Drum Match: Apollo Crews vs Big E(c) for the WWE Intercontinental Championship – Apollo Crews win via Pinfall – ** ¾TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • Rhea Ripley vs Asuka(c) for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship – Rhea Ripley wins via Riptide – ***TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • Daniel Bryan vs Edge Vs Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman & Jey Uso) for the WWE Universal Championship – Roman Reigns wins via Con-Chair-To – ****TITLE DEFENSE!!

 

Review:

The Fiend vs Randy Orton-

For the intro, Alexa Quinn… Wait. Harley Bliss… No, no. Alexa with face paint skips down and plays a giant jack in the box for the Fiend to appear and attacks Randy right away with a Lariat and brutally attacks Randy with his murderous attacks. Randy gets some separation slightly but Randy actually attacks but to no effect when he attacked The Fiend. Randy tries to get some fight in with the Hangman DDT as he rolls out of a Mandible but again, to no effect. He goes for a second after a failed RKO attempt as The Fiend is still somewhat down. Garvin Stomps did nothing to The Fiend as The Fiend gets some of his own offense going before Randy gets more separation, tossing The Fiend to the outside and goes for a third Hangman DDT when The Fiend pops back up. The Fiend is actually somewhat reeled as Orton coils for the RKO, only to get it countered into a Mandible and Sister Abigail attempt. Alexa pops up with the black tar showing on her face, pouring and distracting The Fiend only to get caught with an RKO and… RANDY WON?! Yowwy—Ah you get it.

Natalya & Tamina vs Shayna Bazler & Nia Jax-

Nattie and Bazler start the match up with a good amount of technical wrestling and holds to gain the upper hand. As Natalya gets the quick upper hand and almost gets the Sharpshooter in on Bazler before tagging Nia. Nia tells Natalya to get Tamina in and now we powerhouses into the match as they go back and forth with strikes to chop each other down. Natalya gets a tag in to take Nia Jax down but Bazler tags in quickly to distract the challengers until she gets caught in a double team. Nattie goes for another Sharpshooter attempt, gets it countered to a cradle but after the kick out, the challengers have been taking Shayna Bazler out. Shayna gets a burst of adrenaline and takes it to Natalya with a knee strike and Nia takes down Tamina on the outside to cut off the possible tag. Shayna now bends and twists Natalya’s ankle to disarm the Sharpshooter. Nia now gets the tag in and goes after Natalya’s legs too.

As Nia and Shayna take it to the lower body of Natalya they get the frequent tags in, making sure that Natalya is dismantled as Nia gets cocky and goes shoulder first into the turnbuckle and Natalya gets a quick burst of strikes while Tamina is still down. The attempt is in vain though as Nia gets the upper hand and goes for a spinebuster and a pinfall after before Tamina goes in to break it up and gets the hot tag after as Nia tags in Bazler. Tamina begins to beat down the champions, mainly Shayna, getting out of the Kirafuda Clutch with a Samoan Drop. Tamina gets the crowd doing but Shayna cuts off the Superfly Splash attempt and tags in Nia to go for a Superplex. Natalya pulls Tamina off the top of Nia’s shoulders and takes down Shayna. Nia hits a double splash and gets into Tamina’s face after the fact which comes back to bite her as Tamina slams her in the middle of the ring. She goes for a pin, only to get a two and maybe get a win again with the Superfly Splash but Nia rolls out of the way. The two get the tag made so Natalya and Shayna are the legal members. Natalya is so focused on Nia that she puts the Sharpshooter on Nia Jax that Shayna slides in and gets the Kirafuda on to get the win against Natalya.

Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn-

Sami Zayn goes to run up to Kevin Owens to fight and gets a Pop-Up Powerbomb for his troubles before rolling out and almost getting an apron bomb until Sami scrambles back into the ring. Kevin Owens doing everything to keep Sami down and just end this quickly before Sami keeps rolling away and catches Owens this time with a Suplex on the apron to take KO out. The Ref starts counting all the way to eight before Owens rolls back into the ring and Sami Zayn starts getting some offense in, even landing a Mishinoku Driver onto KO for a near fall and props KO up on the top rope for a Superplex attempt as the two starts doing their native Hockey fighting on the top rope this time before Kevin gets the advantage, Sami falling and Owens getting a Splash down for another near fall. Kevin keeps his offense going for a heavy neckbreaker against KO’s knee and attempt for a Package Piledriver until Zayn catches it and gets the Exploder in the corner and a trifecta of Brainbusters to get a nearfall.

As Kevin Owens gets in the corner, the two start trading hits to the face over and over again as both men try to get a new advantage. Sami gets Kevin in another superplex attempt but KO reverses it into his own as he gets steam going with two running lariats in the corner before Sami counters it into a Helluva Kick. Sami attempts another, gets caught with two Superkicks and then finally a Stunner to stun the conspiracy theories.

Aftermath: Logan comes in to console Sami, looks over at KO and says that was awesome until Sami Zayn gets shoved and gets a hissy fit. Logan Paul raises KO’s hand as Kevin… channels his inner Stone Cold and stuns Logan Paul. That added a quarter point. Thank you, Kevin.

Sheamus vs Matt Riddle-

Sheamus takes it to Riddle early with the strength advantage early, even after Riddle getting a rapid strikes to the body. Riddle tries to get a form of offense going with a Sleeper but still getting overpowered, getting hit with the Irish Curse Backbreaker and other strikes. Riddle tries to get another form of separation and offense but after a hanging armbar in the ropes, Sheamus does the Ten Beats of the Bohdran and get a near fall. Sheamus goes to the top rope to maybe finished it quick but Riddle catches the Irishman and gets the momentum in his favor after a Spanish Fly, not letting the momentum go to waste with the quick strikes to the body and head of Sheamus, even doing a Jackhammer for a two. Riddle and Sheamus go with a back and forth for who can get ahead before Riddle gets stopped by a Brogue Kick for a nearfall and not letting up with an Alabama Slam for another two count.

They now go to the apron of the ring where Riddle gets the momentum this time, hitting an apron German Suplex and even taking Sheamus down, once of the outside of the ring and inside with a Floating Bro and getting holds onto Sheamus to keep the big man down but to no avail as he gets beaten down. Sheamus goes to the top and lands a White Noise onto Riddle and a double knee drop to get another two. Sheamus now goes to the corner and calls for the Brogue Kick, Riddle senses it and moves, going for a Final Flash Knee, tossed into the ropes to get something going with another springboard moonsault and gets a boot to the head from Sheamus to get the victory.

Apollo Crews vs Big E-

Both men rush outside of the ring to grab Kendo Sticks and beat each other with them as Big E gets the advantage with the striking match over and over as they take it to the outside. Big E tries to use a gong on the outside before Apollo gets a counter in, grabbing another Kendo and striking Big E more before getting thrown into the apron and speared through the ropes, going for a pin as he pushes Apollo back in and getting the steps. Big E taking too much time, meets the apron from Apollo hitting a Death valley Driver and getting a near fall in his efforts, getting the steps in the process. Apollo uses the steps again to drop on Big E from their first encounter to squish Big E’s head in and Big E rolls out of the way and hits a Urinagi from the apron after he moves to the steps. Big E gets angry and gets a table in the ring to set up and getting Apollo back in. Again, taking too much time as Apollo gets a Kendo stick again and beats down Big E quickly to putting him on the table. Crews goes to do a splash but gets nothing but wood as Big E rolls out and hits the Big Ending. As it looks like Big E will get the win until Apollo Crews gets a little help from his new colossus to help him out, hitting a spike and a chokeslam to end Big E’s big reign.

We get a small break before our next two matches with the 2021 Hallo of Fame this time with RVD, Molly Holly, The Great Khali, Eric Bischoff, Ozzy Osoburne, Warrior Recipient Rich Hering and “The Big Red Machine”, “The Devil’s Favorite Demon” Kane.

Rhea Ripley vs Asuka-

Asuka tries to get an early advantage with her agility but it’s back and forth for a good amount of time until Asuka takes it to Rhea in the corner and to the outside but Rhea gets the power advantage shortly and begins to take it to Asuka surprisingly, making sure she says down and even smacks her to incite her. Beginning to do some short arm Lariats and Asuka gets a leg clutch attempt but Rhea is just too strong and powers out of the hold and into a pinfall attempt as she actually is… slowing Asuka and making her look tired in the match. Ripley starts to do shoulder thrusts to Asuka’s back, weakening before setting her to the top rope. Asuka actually starts to fight back and get a split from Rhea’s attacks and knocks her down with some flight and after a near fall, continues the typical Asuka offense, taking it to the challenger and gets Rhea reeled as Asuka goes to the ropes again. Rhea catches it this time as she kicks her off the ropes, going to the outside and apron as Rhea gets the advantage back with a facebreaker on the apron to Asuka. Asuka tries anything to get a break away from Rhea Ripley, even going as far as doing a DDT to the outside from the apron. Rhea gets back in from an eight by the ref and Asuka actually gets a lot of strikes in before Rhea takes control again momentarily  and both ladies attempt their submissions, only for each to break them. Asuka gets more of her submissions and attempts to finish it with her kicking combination but Rhea catches the last kick and lands the Riptide to get the shocking win.

Daniel Bryan vs Edge vs Roman Reigns-

Roman sucker punches Bryan early and Edge and roman trade for a bit. Daniel get in the middle of the fight and gets dumped to the outside as Jey Uso superkicks Daniel Bryan as Roman does the same thing to Edge and gets a superkick too. As the numbers for Roman are too much for the other two, they have to try to get a form of a split and Edge does it, taking out Jey Uso momentarily and takes it to Roman now, going back and forth from the apron and barricade before Edge turns to Jey Uso, grabbing the steel steps and delivers and DDT on the steps as medical staff help Jey out of the match. Daniel Bryan and Edge get into the ring now as they go back and forth in the ring. After Edge takes Daniel out for a moment, Roman comes back to fight Edge from the apron. Daniel Bryan slides through and takes down Roman from the apron to face off against Edge. Daniel gets a good amount of offense in and even tries to do a dive onto Roman but gets caught and takes Bryan out. Roman now gets a beat down on Edge for a good amount of time when a Superman Punch attempt gets caught in an Edgecution. Edge goes to set up the Spear but gets rocked by a Superman Punch. Roman now goes for a Spear but Edge gets out of it with a Sunset Flip pin for a two. Both men go to the ropes and hit each other with Spears before Daniel Bryan returns a minute after for diving headbutts but to no avail on a victory.

Daniel now setting up for his Yes Kicks and as always misses his kick as Roman pushes Daniel away as all men go to a corner. Edge gets hit by a Running Knee from DB and Roman wants to capitalize with a Superman Punch but Bryan catches him and finishes the Yes Kick combo and even puts Roman in the Labell Lock but Edge breaks the submission to save the match. Edge now is going to get locked in with the Labell Lock but Roman breaks that shortly after and just mollywhops Daniel Bryan before doing a powerbomb to Daniel Bryan, onto Edge. Roman kicks Daniel Bryan out of the ring, plotting his next move on the outside, the crowd pissing Roman off with a “Roman sucks” chant as he powerbombs Daniel Bryan through the announce table, praising his work and gets leveled by Edge’s Spear.

Edge rolls Roman back in and grabs two chair, going to play a song for the Chief before Roman catches Edge’s chair and they two fight. Edge pulls Roman into the rope and hit him in the neck as Edge puts the Crossface on Roman. Roman looks like he will tap but Daniel Bryan returns and grabs the hand before putting the Labell Lock on the other side as both men yell to let their holds go to go into headbutts after. (Kind of… fucking dumb if two guys with neck problems are just headbutting each other)

Daniel Bryan starts to taking it to Edge but Edge gets a counter and takes Daniel Bryan out with a spear and hitting one to Roman too. Edge goes for the pin and Bryan pulsl the ref out to stop the count and Edge is pissed off. He grabs the chairs again and puts them in the ring as Edge beats the hell out of them with the chairs before setting up Con-Chair-Tos for both men. Edge lands one of Daniel Bryan before Jey Uso comes back in and stops Edge. Edge gets angry to Uso and beats him down until Roman hits Edge with a spear and grabs the chairs under Edge and hits the Con-Chair-To onto Edge, stacks them together and pins both for a defense.

 

Overall Score: 7.5/10

And like that I retire…

…I kid. There are still final thoughts. The main event delivered to close the show, the matches for tonight were… good. It build up to it but the main thing of the night was the Main Event. It’s actually showing that Roman is beginning to slip here. A lot of help is needed for him to retain but it still played out beautifully. Owens and Sami was great, the US Championship match was good. Apollo finally getting a reward for his actions is a great thing to see. The matches that fell flat for me were the opening two. I miracled into guessing Randy won but, we knew it was more of an OMG thing and not a “this is a wrestling match” kind of moment. We shall see how everything plays out later on in the week because we all know that the biggest shows for WWE are the Raw, SmackDown and I guess now NXT shows after WrestleMania.

And now I will retire…


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Mitchell’s WWE WrestleMania 37 Results & Report! (4/11/21)

Who wins THE WrestleMania main event?

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WrestleMania 37 Coverage

WrestleMania 37’s two night adventure reaches its conclusion!

After an epic first night, how can WrestleMania 37 possibly get any greater? Perhaps with Daniel Bryan VS Edge VS Roman Reigns for the Universal title! Will the Head of the Table still be at the helm of the WWE?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Randy Orton VS The Fiend w/ Alexa Bliss; Orton wins.
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina; Jax & Baszler win and retain the titles.
  • Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn; Kevin wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus; Sheamus wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Apollo wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins and becomes the new Raw Women’s Champion.
  • WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan; Reigns wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

It’s the WrestleMania 37 Night Two Kickoff Show!

Join Kayla Braxton, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler, JBL and Peter Rosenberg for yet another round of discussing, analyzing and predicting the action tonight!

 

Sonya Deville joins the panel again!

Does anyone really understand the implications of the Nigerian Drum Fight? It might just be Apollo Crews who understands. His power and his culture are going to define what happens tonight. Booker asks, “What do I look like? Chopped liver?” Well okay, he would know, yes. Booker says this goes back a long time ago, the Zulu nation and the Mandingo. This will play out in front of the world so the world needs to understand, and Booker says Apollo will make you understand. Sonya wishes she’d heard more about this. But Jerry wants to know why it’s drums. Booker asks, “What do you do to a drum?” You beat it. Exactly!

Rosenberg says the bottom line is, Apollo is in control. Big E may be on the kick of being in his hometown- JBL asks why Rosenberg’s hands are everywhere. But the point is, Apollo knows what this is about because this is his match. Booker says this will be a great night for everyone back home. JBL and Jerry can’t say anything without getting canceled, so they will agree with him.

 

Ashland Craft sings America the Beautiful!

 

We’ve waited patiently for this moment.

“Finally…!” The biggest event in LIVE entertainment is BACK! Back with the spectacle, the excitement and the pageantry! WrestleMania is #BackInBusiness! And tonight, WWE sets sail on the high seas with epic epicness bigger than the history of history! Wait, what? Did he just say all that? That’s what was written. Okay, mate, let’s get this cold open done right. We pick up where we left off just last year. Our heroes are obnoxiously heroic as they battle for the ultimate prize: immortality. But no more tall tales, let’s get real, as the kids say. Tonight, we witness the global event that spans decades, created unforgettable moments, and has the memories we will remember forever.

But let us tip our caps to you, the fans, who made this possible. You over there, and them up there, and even those at home who “can’t not watch.” We raise the sails as fate still awaits. The course was corrected, the wind cannot be stopped, and the quest continues! Now how’s that? Impressive. But where’s the big finish? That’s cold open 101. Good point. Pyro montage! “Welcome back… to WrestleMania!”

 

The WrestleMania cohosts are back!

Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan return to kick off Night Two of WrestleMania 37, but this time they’re Captain Titus and the Hollywood Privateer! “I dunno about you, Hulk, but I think we look damn good tonight.” Well, T-man, it’s a little hot, too. But either way, AHOY MATIES! Yo ho, brothers, and welcome to Mania Sunday! Last night was incredible, but tonight will be no different! Seven matches, and FIVE are for gold! That means they need to batten down the hatches. No room for scurvy dogs or scallywags! Whoa, don’t be calling the people that. Hogan’s not gonna walk the plank, is he? No, Titus will take care of that. The first match is a tale of terror, dark than the depths of Davey Jones’ Locker! YARRGH!

 

Randy Orton VS The Fiend w/ Alexa Bliss!

The Viper thought he’d finished this at TLC, but some evil never dies. And now, this horror movie in real-life opens the Showcase of the Immortals! Lil’ Miss Twisted Bliss is still by his side, but will Orton finally #LetHimIn?

As he makes is entrance through a mysterious tunnel, The Fiend… has been restored! Alexa makes her way out first, with spooky face paint on to clash with her Punky Brewster outfit. She frolics along, and has a GIANT jack-in-the-box?! Alexa winds the handle and Orton already has an idea what’s coming. All around the mulberry bush, the Fiend chased the Viper~. And out rises The Fiend’s new form! Orton isn’t sure what to make of this, and The Fiend suddenly LEAPS into the ring to CLOTHESLINE Orton down! The bell rings, Fiend SPLASHES in the corner, reels Orton in and hits an URENAGE! Fiend sits Orton up for a NECK SNAP! “YOWIEEEE WOWIEEE~!”

Orton writhes as he clutches his neck and Fiend goes to a corner. Fans fire up as The Fiend spider-walks! Orton gets up, Fiend copies him as he takes aim! Orton flounders up, but he avoids a punt kick! Fiend pursues, Orton kicks low and gives him a back suplex to the desk! But Fiend clamps on with the CLAW! Orton grabs at the ring, gets in, and the ring count is still climbing! Orton gets free but Fiend gets in, only for Orton to kick low. Orton gets Fiend through ropes, for a DRAPING DDT! But Fiend springs right back up! Fiend blocks the RKO, but Orton throws him into his own jack-in-the-box! Fiend flounders, Orton gets Fiend through ropes again and KICKS him!

Orton wrenches the arm, KICKS again, and drags Fiend into ANOTHER DRAPING DDT! Orton looms over Fiend and stomps a hand! Fiend barely flinches, so Orton stomps the other hand! Orton throws hands and clubbing forearms but Fiend just gets up! Orton kicks low, runs, but into a LARIAT! Fiend and fans fire up, things speed up, Fiend BODY CHECKS Orton! Fiend rains down forearms over and over! Fiend gets up to run and drop a back senton, but Orton dodges it! Orton throws Fiend out but Fiend gets right back on the apron. Orton kicks him between ropes, gives away more kicks, then drags Fiend back in, for a THIRD DRAPING DDT!

Orton paces as Fiend slowly stirs. Orton hears the voices and wants Fiend to get up now. Fiend rises, but still no RKO, because Fiend has the MANDIBLE CLAW! Fiend smothers Orton, Orton starts to fade but he grabs at Fiend. Fiend brings Orton up, gives him a kiss good night, and the FLAMES erupt as Alexa is now in a new form! She has a tiara of barbed wire and there’s black ink pouring out. Wait, this distracts the Fiend?! ORTON HITS AN RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!!

Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall

What is going on with Alexa?! Did she mean to ruin tonight for The Fiend?! Either way, the Viper slithers away before he has to worry about this any longer. Is Orton finally done being haunted by these ghouls? Fiend looks up at Alexa, but the lights start to go out again. And when the lights return, Fiend and Alexa are gone. Just what is happening inside the Firefly Fun House?

 

DING DONG~! Hello!

Bayley asks Titus and Hogan what happened to them texting her back. She says hello to Eric Bischoff, she’s a big fan of his podcast, and says if he ever feels like being on a real show, he can be on hers. Well he’s more of a book guy, not into TV. But that match of Sasha VS Bianca, the SmackDown Women’s Champion on his podcast would be awesome! Yeah, yeah, flavor of the month. But they’re not a role model like Bayley! Bayley is the longest reigning women’s champion, has her own talk show, and is on both nights of Mania! Bischoff brings up Hogan’s new boat, and they decide to go see the boat. Titus wants to ride a boat… Sorry, Bayley, Hall of Famer stuff.

 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina!

The Tag Team Turmoil is over, but now the real battle begins! Will the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades still be standing after battling the Daughter of Superfly & Queen of Harts?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the battle of alpha females begins!

The teams sort out and Shayna and Natty start. They circle, tie up, Natty headlocks and hits a takeover, but Shayna headscissors. Natty kips free but Shayna smirks as the two reset. They tie up again, Shayna headlocks to hit the takeover, but Natty gets up to power out. Shayna runs Natty over, dusts off her hands, then runs. Natty drops, hurdles, but Shayna blocks a hip toss to get a headlock, only for Natty to trip her up! Shayna scrambles to avoid the Sharpshooter, and tags to Nia. Nia and Natty stare down, fans duel, and they tie up. Nia shoves Natty down and says, “I don’t want you.” She’s calling out Tamina! Tamina reaches out, and Natty tags her in!

Fans fire up as Tamina and Nia stare down. Nia pie faces, headbutts and talks trash but Tamina HEADBUTTS back! It’s a battle of headbutts! Tamina fires off haymakers but Nia denies the scoop! Nia runs but Tamina fires off forearms! Tag to Natty, Nia ROCKS her and Tamina! Nia runs, Shayna tags in, Natty & Tamina DOUBLE BACK DROP Nia! Shayna BOOTS Natty, Tamina ROCKS Shayna back! Natty is up, she and Tamina DOUBLE GOURD BUSTER Shayna onto Nia! Fans fire up as Natty gets the legs again and steps through, but Shayna cradle counters, TWO! Natty waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Natty drags Shayna up to stomp her down, then tags Tamina.

Natty keeps Shayna from her corner and feeds her to Tamina’s clothesline! Tag back to Natty, Natty gets the hand-off to trip Shayna, and catapult her into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Natty keeps on Shayna with forearms, then scoops Shayna, only for Shayna to slip out and fire off a strike fest, topping it off with a KNEE! Natty and Shayna are both down, Nia YANKS Tamina off the apron! Tamina fires off on Nia, but Nia scoops her to SLAM her! Natty is shocked, Shayna KNEES her down in a corner! Shayna snapmares to a cover, TWO! Shayna goes after a leg and bends it! Natty endures, kicks with her free leg but Shayna throws a forearm. Shayna pulls on the leg and twists the ankle!

Natty kicks at Shayna more, Shayna turns Natty over and has the foot stuck, to STOMP IT!! Tag to Nia, and Nia looms over Natty as she clutches the foot. Nia soaks up the heat, and drags Natty to drop a leg on the leg! Nia has a standing toehold and Natty endures. Natty fires off haymakers, but Nia stomps the leg! Cover, TWO! Nia is annoyed but she drags Natty up. Natty fights back, Nia CLOBBERS her! Tag to Shayna, Nia has Natty in a STRETCH MUFFLER! Shayna KNEES Natty while she’s upside-down! Cover, TWO! Shayna taunts Natty as Tamina is still down. Shayna SMASHES Natty’s knee into the mat, then pushes Natty around.

Shayna drags Natty up, Nia tags in, and Shayna feeds Natty to a scoop and SLAM! Natty gets to her corner, Nia soaks up heat and runs in, but Natty POSTS her! Natty catches her breath, runs at Nia and throws clothesline after clothesline, then the DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Nia still has a lot of power but Natty rallies the fans! Natty drags Nia up but Nia headbutts her! Nia reels Natty in, gets her up, and hits the ONE HAND SLAM! Cover, Tamina breaks it?! Tamina is back in this and Shayna is furious! Nia crawls over to tag Shayna in, but fans fire up for Natty as she tags Tamina in! Tamina rallies on Shayna with elbows, then dodges to CLOBBER Shayna!

Shayna blocks a punch to fire off kicks, but she kicks into a DRAGON SCREW! Tamina runs but gets buckles. Shayna blocks Tamina’s boot, twists the ankle, but Tamina BOOTS her down! Nia storms over but Tamina DECKS her! Shayna gets around, wants the Kirafuda but Tamina blocks it to SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO!! Tamina grows frustrated but she drags Shayna to a drop zone. Fans rally as Tamina goes to a corner! Tamina climbs up, but Shayna KICKS her first! Tag to Nia, and Nia storms over to get up top! Nia fireman’s carries but Natty saves Tamina! Shayna gets in but Natty CLOBBERS her! But Nia adjusts, DOUBLE CROSSBODY!! Double cover, TWO!!

Natty and Tamina survive but now Nia clutches a leg. That was a rough landing for everyone but Nia manages to get up. Nia sees Tamina is still down, fans rally for Tamina and Nia gets annoyed. Nia brings Tamina up, but Tamina scoops Nia!! Tamina SLAMS NIA!! Cover, TWO!!! Tamina drags herself to a corner, and fans fire up again as Tamina climbs! Tamina aims, SUPERFLY!! BUT SHE FLOPS! Nia moves and Tamina is down again! Nia and Tamina both crawl for their corners as fans rally again. Hot tag to Natty! Natty runs and swipes at Shayna, but Nia gets Natty for a fireman’s carry! Shayna tags in, Natty slips off and DECKS Shayna!

Natty basement dropkicks Nia, and she’s after Nia’s legs! But Shayna’s the legal one! Natty doesn’t know that as she works to get the turn! SHARPSHOOTER, but Nia isn’t legal!! Shayna gets in to get the KIRAFUDA!!! Shayna drags Natty down, Natty endures but she’s OUT! The champs win!!

Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by submission (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)

So close and yet so far for Tamina & Natty! Does this mean no team can stop the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades?

 

Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn!

Two men who have known each other for two DECADES, ranging everywhere from friends to rivals to bitter enemies, finally have their moment together on the Grandest Stage of Them All! But given the Great Liberator’s ludicrous behavior as of late, the Prizefighter promises to beat some sense into him! Will Kevin snap Sami out of it? Or is Sami too far gone?

WWE Hall of Fame inductee JBL joins commentary for this one to bring back a classic combination of him and #MAGGLE. Sami gets a mic to say, “Please, ladies and gentlemen. I know you’re all just as excited as I am.” Please give a warm WrestleMania welcome for Sami’s special guest of honor, and show some respect to the only ally Sami has had in fighting the conspiracy against Sami! This is… LOGAN PAUL! Logan Paul does walk out to the ring and Sami breaks it down to the theme music again. Sami hugs Logan, and fans are of course divided. Sami apologizes to Logan for the booing. But here comes Kevin! The bell rings and Sami runs, right into a POP-UP POWERBOMB!

Sami flounders out of the ring before Kevin can get him, but Kevin just goes out after him! Kevin brings Sami in and there’s NXT flashbacks as Sami fights the apron bomb! Kevin gets in after Sami, drags him up and CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Kevin hangs Sami out to dry on ropes and Sami springs right off to hit the mat! Kevin runs in to clothesline Sami down! Kevin goes corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Sami is in a drop zone, Kevin goes up top, but Sami gets out to the apron. Kevin climbs down but walks into a BOOT! Sami reels Kevin in, Kevin elbows free of the half nelson, but Sami kicks low! Sami reels Kevin in, for an APRON BRAINBUSTER!!

Everyone is shocked, even Logan Paul! Sami drags himself back into the ring, Kevin stirs but the ring count is already 5 of 10! Sami wants it to be faster but it’s already at 7 as Kevin stands. Kevin is in at 8 and Sami is on him with furious fists! Sami seethes, kicks Kevin while he’s down, then throws crossface forearms! Logan nods as Sami looks to him, but Kevin throws haymakers! Sami kicks low, scoops Kevin and MICHINOKU DRIVERS! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives and Sami is furious! Sami goes back to Kevin in a corner, hauls him up to the top rope, and then climbs up to go after him. Kevin resists the superplex, throws heavy body shots, then haymakers.

Sami gives those back, they brawl up top, fans cheer Kevin but boo Sami, until it’s all the same from the pace quickening! Kevin HEADBUTTS Sami down! Kevin adjusts, FROG SPLASHES, and covers, TWO!! Kevin drags Sami up, throws hands, then whips him, to pop-up, but Sami leap frogs and kicks low! Kevin wrenches, ducks a kick, tucks Sami in, PACKAGE USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives and Kevin grows frustrated. Fans fire up with Kevin as he drags Sami back up. Kevin reels Sami in, tucks the arms, but Sami slips out of the package driver to EXPLODER Kevin into buckles! Sami goes corner to corner and HELL-

NO! Kevin dodges the kick, but Sami denies the stunner to BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Sami is losing his cool, but he CORNER EXPLODERS to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! To a BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Kevin lives and Sami can’t believe it! “This is Awesome!” and far from over as Kevin gets to a corner. Sami SLAPS Kevin, Kevin SLAPS Sami, it’s a FAST & FURIOUS SLAP FIGHT!! Sami gets the edge, throws body shots and uppercuts, but the ref has Sami back off. Sami gets Kevin up, hauls him up top but Kevin fights. Sami still gets Kevin to the top and he headbutts from below!

Sami climbs, brings Kevin back up, but Kevin counters to a SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER!! Even Logan is reeling from that one! Both men are down, Sami slowly sits up and drags himself to a corner. Kevin sits up and is in the opposite corner. Kevin grits his teeth, runs corner to corner at Sami to clothesline! Kevin keeps going, and clotheslines again. Kevin goes, Sami follows, HELLUVA KICK!! Sami keeps Kevin from falling over, and tells him this is because of Kevin. Sami goes corner to corner, into a SUPERKICK!! Sami staggers, into another SUPERKICK!! Fans fire up for Kevin as he looks Sami in the eye. “You did this.” STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!

Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall

Logan seems to be the only one shocked, but he still applauds this victory! Whether Kevin has knocked some sense into Sami is yet to be seen, but he did get a big win at #KOMania5! Logan checks on Sami, tries to talk with him, but Sami says someone screwed him! The ref, the managers, someone! Logan tells Kevin that this was awesome stuff. Sami won’t let Logan shake Kevin’s hand! Sami says Kevin conspired against him! Sami wants Logan to listen to him, but Logan shoves Sami! Sami says to hell with Logan! Sami storms off, Logan raises Kevin’s hand in victory. Logan sure is a bandwagoner, huh?

Kevin doesn’t like that, either, and he gives Logan a STUNNER!! “This is MY ring!” Will this win lead Kevin back to another prizefight?

 

Matt Riddle encounters Great Khali!

What’s up, bro! Riddle wants to congrat Khali on being inducted into the HOF. Can he check the ring? Yep. WHOA, look how big his hand is! It’s as big as Riddle’s head. Khali must have a hard time finding gloves and socks. Khali should open a store that sells giant stuff! Giant shoes, giant socks, giant toilets, and giant scooters! What does he think? No? Nothing? Translator? Wait, RVD is here!! RVD translates for Khali and says that in order to corner the market, we’ll need creative branding. RVD has that right here with RVD rolling papers.

Sweet! Hey, what about a #KhaliTrolley? Khali and RVD say Riddle should focus on Sheamus. Good luck from Khali and R! V! D! Riddle rides off towards gorilla, but will he be ready to smoke the Fella?

 

WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus!

Bro… The Fella has had beef with Riddle since day one, but perhaps it’s just Riddle’s personality being so nonchalant, it’s like he doesn’t care. Will Riddle show Sheamus how serious he can get with the gold on the line?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and bro, this one’s going to be lit!

Sheamus and Riddle tie up, and Sheamus headlocks to throw Riddle down. Sheamus grinds Riddle, Riddle fights up and powers out, but Sheamus runs Riddle right over! Sheamus is on Riddle with an armlock and he digs a knee in. Sheamus pulls the fingers, but Riddle fights up. Riddle throws body shots, ROCKS and CHOPS Sheamus, then CHOPS him more! Riddle has Sheamus in a corner, fires off but lets off as the ref counts. Sheamus ROCKS Riddle back with a body shot! Sheamus stomps Riddle, drags him up and scoops him, but Riddle slips out to get a sleeper! Riddle’s a backpack with the body scissors, but Sheamus RAMS him into buckles.

Sheamus throws back elbows, lets off but Riddle elbows back. Riddle leaps, into Sheamus’ swinging SLAM! Cover, TWO! Sheamus seethes, kicks Riddle while he’s down, and kicks him against the ropes. The ref reprimands, Sheamus drags Riddle up by his face to then IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Sheamus clamps onto Riddle, Riddle fights up and throws forearms and fast hands! Riddle backs Sheamus down to a corner, but Sheamus kicks back! Sheamus whips, blocks Riddle’s boot but Riddle keeps kicking! Riddle gets a DRAPING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Riddle lets off at 4, but Sheamus CLUBS him back! Sheamus stands Riddle up for Beats of the Bodhrain!

The ref counts but so do fans, and Sheamus gets 8 before the ref gets 4! Sheamus drags Riddle up for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Sheamus seethes again as he paces. Sheamus goes to a corner, goes up top, but Riddle intercepts with a leap, for a SUPER OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!?! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Riddle fires himself up as he and Sheamus slowly rise. Sheamus throws hands but Riddle counter punches then fires off palm strikes! Riddle boots, spins Sheamus and PELES! Riddle handsprings and runs to forearm smash! Side to side, forearm smash! BROSPLODER, to the BROTON!

Fans fire up as Riddle reels Sheamus in and suplexes, but he has to try again… JACKHAMMER?!? Cover, TWO!! Sheamus survive Riddle’s #Broberg attempt, but Riddle won’t lose focus just yet. Riddle gut wrenches, but Sheamus turns it around! Riddle wriggles free and kicks from below! Sheamus staggers, but he puts Riddle on the apron. Riddle ROUNDHOUSES, then slingshots, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!?! Sheamus Alabama lifts for the ALABAMA SLAM! Cover, TWO!!! Riddle survives again and Sheamus grits his teeth. Sheamus looms over Sheamus, brings him up, and fireman’s carries. Riddle fights free, shoves Sheamus to an apron, but Sheamus hits back!

Sheamus fireman’s carries then shifts, but Riddle escapes to POST and then APRON GERMAN Sheamus down! Riddle then aims for a PENALTY KICK, and SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO! Direct hit and fans fire up! Riddle gets Sheamus up and in, goes to the top rope, and hits another FLOATING BRO!! Cover, TWO?!?! Sheamus shocks Riddle, but Riddle drags Sheamus in for the REVERSE ARMBAR! Riddle throws hands as Sheamus endures, and Sheamus powers up to dead lift Riddle, for a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! And into the SLEEPER! Sheamus reaches, crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Riddle lets go fast, and Sheamus hammers away on him!

Sheamus drags Riddle up, smirks as he fireman’s carries, and then carries Riddle up the corner! Riddle shifts, escapes, but Sheamus denies the sunset bomb. Sheamus adjusts up top, but Riddle springs up to ROCK him! Riddle gets Sheamus up but Sheamus counters to the fireman’s carry! Sheamus hops down to hit WHITE NOISE!! Sheamus goes up top for a KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Riddle lives and Sheamus is stunned! Fans rally, Sheamus hobbles back to a corner and fires himself up as he calls his shot! Riddle rises, but he dodges the Brogue to roll Sheamus, FINAL-

NO! No knee, but Riddle dodges to QUE-BRO-DA, INTO A BROGUE?!!? Cover, Sheamus wins!!

Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall (NEW WWE United States Champion)

The Bro tried but couldn’t keep the high, and the Celtic Warrior brought him crashing down! Will Sheamus be the one with his head in the clouds now that he has the gold?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E VS Apollo Crews!

These two used to be good friends, but the frustration of losing and the desire to reign drove Apollo to despise Big E. Apollo calls upon his ancestors to finally make him a champion, but will Big E finally turn away his most stubborn of challengers?

As Big E makes his entrance, Wale performs it life for Tampa! “Ey, Tampa! You wanna go big? Then say that!” The introductions are made, there are drums, tables, kendo sticks and a gong ringside as the title is raised and this BIG grudge match begins!

Apollo and Big E go right out to get weapons! They each have a kendo stick, both men say to the other, “This is what you wanted!” And they start giving each other SMACKS! Smack for smack but Big E gets the edge! Apollo bails out, Big E pursues to SMACK him again! And another SMACK! “This is what he wanted, Graves!” But Apollo kicks low, only for Big E to bowl Apollo into drums! Big E gets the gong! Apollo boots it away, clubs Big E then SMACKS Big E with a kendo stick! Big E goes into the ring, Apollo dares him to stand. Big E dodges, throws Apollo to the apron and runs to SPEAR him off!! That might’ve been a distance record! Big E puts Apollo in to cover, TWO!

Big E keeps his cool as fans rally up behind him. Big E fetches the steel steps, one of Apollo’s favorites from the months past. But he isn’t settling for the smaller top half. Big E goes big by bringing the base over! Big E goes to the apron, brings Apollo up but Apollo fireman’s carries! APRON DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Apollo drags Big E in to cover, TWO!! Big E survives but Apollo won’t let off! Apollo throws down angry fists, then goes out to fetch the top half of the steps. Apollo brings those around, sets them on their end, and then he stomps Big E to the apron. Apollo has Big E on the base, he picks up the top half of the steps, and he lines up the shot!

“I’m about to show you the steel!” Big E moves before the steps SMASH down!! Apollo hurries to get to the apron, and he runs at Big E to BOOT him! Big E flounders, Apollo wants him to stand up again, but Big E gives him an Urenag-E to the STEPS!! The ref checks on Apollo but somehow he’s okay to continue. “This is what you wanted!” Big E says Apollo is going to get what he asked for! Fans fire up as Big E fetches a TABLE! Big E puts the table in the ring, sets it up, and then fetches Apollo. Apollo staggers up to his feet, Big E puts him in the ring, but Apollo ENZIGURIS Big E down!

Apollo gets a kendo stick to SMACK and SMACK and SMACK, rapid fire! So fast and so hard, the stick breaks apart! Apollo gets Big E on the table, then heads for a corner. Apollo climbs, leaps, FROG SPLASH but Big E moves! Apollo only gets table! Big E scoops, for the BIG ENDING!! But who is that?!? DABBA KATO!?!? What’s he doing here?!? GRENADE THUMB ATTACK!! And then, a CHOKE SLAM!! He’s helping Apollo to the cover! Apollo wins!!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion)

When did Apollo make Kato one of his generals?! The timing doesn’t matter, the results do! And now, Apollo has the title! What will this mean for the future of SmackDown?

 

WWE honors the 2021 Hall of Fame class!

The 2021 Warrior Award winner, Rich Hering stands with the Great Khali, Rob Van Damn, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff on stage, and are joined by KAAAAAAANE~! And for old times’ sake, the HELLFIRE & BRIMSTONE erupt!

 

Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Rhea Ripley!

The Empress of Tomorrow wanted someone to step up to challenge her, and the Nightmare did just that! Will we see that even now, no one is ready for Asuka? Or will she be washed away by the Riptide?

Rhea has New Year’s Day perform her theme live for her! The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see who is ready for what!

Asuka and Rhea stare down as fans rally up. They circle, talk some trash back and forth, and Asuka mocks Rhea. Rhea rushes, Asuka dodges and dropkicks! Rhea stays up, but storms into Asuka’s strike fest! Asuka kicks, runs, Rhea follows but Asuka victory rolls! ONE, but Asuka backslides! Rhea rolls through but Asuka dropkicks her to a corner! Asuka runs in, misses the hip attack, but boots back! Rhea snarls, ducks a kick and ROCKS Asuka! Rhea runs but Asuka drop toeholds her into buckles, then KICKS the buck to jam Rhea! Rhea bails out and Asuka grins as fans duel. Asuka eggs Rhea on, Rhea slides in but then right back out.

Asuka goes after Rhea, keeps Rhea from going into the ring to then pop-up KNEE! Rhea gets in the ring now, Asuka follows and has Rhea on ropes. Asuka KICKS Rhea in the back, KICKS again, and again, and again! The ref reprimands, Asuka runs but Rhea dodges the hip attack to HOOK KICK! Rhea drags Asuka right back up to back suplex to a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Rhea is annoyed already as she drags Asuka and rains down fists! “You wanted this! You! Wanted! This!” Fans rally and duel as Rhea keeps on Asuka. Rhea drags Asuka into a body scissors and squeezes tight! Rhea shouts in Asuka’s face but Asuka elbows Rhea’s legs.

Rhea clamps tighter, digs Asuka into the mat and slaps her around! Rhea dares the champ to do something now, then brings her back into the squeeze! Asuka tells Rhea to shut up and she throws elbows. Asuka pushes back to a cover, ONE, and Rhea dropkicks Asuka! Rhea tells Asuka to get that weak sauce out of here. Rhea kicks Asuka around, Asuka hits back and the two brawl. Rhea KNEES low, SLAPS her, then CLOBBERS her! And again! Rhea drags Asuka up again, but Asuka ducks, only for Rhea to ripcord! Asuka blocks the Hook Kick to a KNEEBAR! Rhea endures, fights up, but Asuka pulls tighter! Rhea makes it a cover, TWO, but Rhea dead lift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!!

Asuka survives and Rhea grits her teeth while clutching her foot. Rhea slaps Asuka around, then CLUBS her in the corner! Rhea drags Asuka up, bumps her off buckles, then kicks her while she’s down. Rhea RAMS into Asuka’s back over and over and digs her shoulder in. Rhea lets off as the ref counts, then puts Asuka up top. Rhea CLUBS Asuka, climbs up behind her, and stands her up, but Asuka blocks! Asuka throws elbows and then knocks Rhea down! Asuka fires up as she adjusts, then leaps for a missile dropkick! Direct hit and both women are down! Fans fire up as Asuka rises and aims at Rhea from a corner. Rhea gets up, Asuka runs in, ROUNDHOUSE! GERMAN SUPLEX!

Rhea flounders to a corner, Asuka runs in to HIP ATTACK! Rhea fights the German but Asuka BACK HANDS, CHOPS and HEEL KICKS! Rhea falls to her knees, Asuka hits another HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO!! Rhea is in a daze but she is still in this! Asuka goes to a corner, climbs up top again, but Rhea dropkicks her down to the floor!! Rhea wobbles, Asuka gets back in, and Rhea shakes out the cobwebs to go out after Asuka. Rhea blocks Asuka’s boots but Asuka elbows Rhea away! Rhea blocks the Penalty Kick, to SLAM Asuka on the apron! The ring count is climbing, Rhea gets Asuka in at 5 of 10! Rhea hurries to get up but Asuka hip attacks her down!

Asuka goes out after Rhea again, brings her around, but Rhea fights. Rhea can’t get free, Asuka DDT’s her OFF the apron and to the FLOOR! Both women are down and another ring count begins! Asuka gets in at 5, Rhea sits up at 6. Rhea gets in at 7, but Asuka is there, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Asuka grows frustrated but she drags Rhea up for Kowata Kicks! Over and over and over, then Asuka smiles as she runs, but Rhea blocks the sliding kick! Rhea stomps away on Asuka! Rhea puts Asuka’s legs in the PRISM TRAP!! Asuka endures the hanging cloverleaf, reaches for ropes, but rolls Rhea to an ARMBAR!! Rhea flails and kicks, fights up to dead lift again!

Rhea SWINGS Asuka into buckles! Both women are down but Asuka goes to the apron. Rhea storms over, climbs up and drags Asuka up for a headbutt! Rhea brings Asuka up higher, for a DEAD LIFT SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Asuka still lives and Rhea is furious! Rhea drags Asuka up and clubs her. Asuka shoves free, Rhea waistlocks but Asuka elbows her again. Asuka wrenches to get a takedown! Rhea rolls, but into an ARMBAR! Rhea makes it a cover, TWO, and ASUKA LOCK!! Rhea rolls back to make it a cover, TWO!! Asuka unleashes KICKS! Rhea manages to stay up and even eggs Asuka on. BUZZSAW, but then Rhea ducks the sliding wizard! Pump handle, RIPTIDE!!! Rhea wins!!!

Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall (NEW Raw Women’s Champion)

All it takes is one! And now, the Nightmare becomes the first woman to be NXT UK, NXT and Raw Women’s Champion in her career! Are Mondays about to become a nightmare for every other woman on Raw?

 

Hogan and Titus are back!

Hogan is totally blown away, brother! Titus says on behalf of them both, they send a hert-felt thank you, the fans at home watching on the Peacock and the WWE Network, and those who made it special for everyoen involved: the fans here live at Raymond James Stadium! Bayley storms out because she has just had enough! You kidding me?! Thanking the world and the audience?! But not one mention about BAYLEY. In fact, where is HER pyro?! Hit the pyro!! Oh, there is pyro ready for Bayley.

HAHAHA, YES! Bayley has been carrying the hosting duties on her back this weekend, from the legends to the hall-of-famers to stupid Michael Cole! This is HER time to shine, okay? But wait, here come the Bella Twins! Nikki & Brie don’t even get to start because Bayley said this is HER time! It doesn’t matter what these two twin idiots lookin’ like Elmo want, Cena ain’t here! Nikki SLAPS Bayley, and Brie says Ding Dong, GOOD-BYE! Nikki ROCKS Bayley, Brie hits a KNEE SMASH! The Bellas bowl Bayley down the ramp! Titus repeats, “Ding dong, good-bye!” Will Bayley make sure she isn’t outnumbered before she runs her mouth?

 

WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Roman Reigns w/ Jey Uso & Paul Heyman VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan!

The Tribal Chief wants the world to #AcknowledgeHim. The Rated R Superstar wants to take back what was taken from him so long ago. And the GOAT wants to bring back #YEStleMania before he’s reached the end! What happens when all these forces collide in THE main event of WrestleMania 37?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and 10 years ago to the day, we see if Edge is finally, truly back!

Roman DECKS Bryan! Edge hits Roman but Roman puts Edge in a corner and RAMS him! Roman throws clotheslines, Bryan gets Roman with EuroUppers! Bryan whips, Roman reverses and sends Bryan out, for Jey to SUPERKICK! No DQ in a Triple Threat! Jey RAMS Bryan into steel steps, Roman ROCKS Edge with an uppercut! Roman throws Edge out, Jey SUPERKICKS him down! GOTTEE! Roman backs the commentary off to clear off the desk. Jey brings Edge over, but Bryan DIVES into Roman! Jey SUPERKICKS Bryan, keeps after Edge, but Edge whips Jey into steel steps! Jey is down, Edge storms after Roman and clubs him on the back.

Edge bumps Roman off apron, off barriers, and repeat! Roman is a pinball for Edge! Edge POSTS Roman, then storms over to see Bryan still down. Edge gets steel steps and takes the top half off. Fans fire up as Edge sees Jey still down, too, and brings him over to the steps! Edge gets Jey up for an IMPALER to the steps!! But it was double-edged as Edge had to land on the steel, too! Bryan gets up while refs and medics check on Jey. They get Jey up while everyone else is still down, but Bryan gets into the ring. Edge scares Heyman away and gets in the ring. Edge and Bryan stare down while Roman only stirs. Fans fire up as Edge and Bryan start throwing hands!

Edge gets the edge, he whips but Bryan drop toeholds Edge into buckles! Bryan gives Edge YES Kicks in the corner! Bryan hoists Edge up top, climbs up to join him, and SUPER STEINERS, but Edge sunset flips it! TWO!! Edge gets around to EDGE-O-MATIC! Cover, TWO! Bryan is down, Roman is back and he ROCKS Edge! Edge and Roman brawl with the ropes between them but Roman drags Edge up to suplex! Edge resists, suplexes but Roman resists. They fight for suplex control, Bryan slides under to trip up Roman and hotshot Edge! Bryan climbs up and missile dropkicks Edge down! Bryan kips up, fires up and fans are with him!

Bryan drags Edge up, throws EuroUppers, and Edge ends up on ropes. Bryan whips Edge but Edge reverses. Bryan goes up and over and keeps moving, dodges to DIVE into Roman, but into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Roman stands, Edge WRECKS him with a dropkick! Roman bumps into desk and Edge follows him. Edge CLUBS Roman, puts him in, but Roman runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Roman seethes, fans duel as they cheer and jeer, but Roman locks ‘n’ loads! SUPER- NO! Edge gets him for an IMPALER!! Edge aims at Roman from a corner now, and fans are fired up for something we haven’t seen in quite some time!

Edge dares Roman to get up, and then he runs in, but Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES! Roman fires up and wants Edge to stand now! “OOOAH~!” Edge dodges the Spear to sunset flip! TWO!! Roman staggers, Edge and Roman dodge, DOUBLE SPEARS!! Shoulders and heads collide and both men are down as fans fire up! “This is Awesome!” already and far from over! Bryan returns! DIVING HEADBUTT to Edge! DIVING HEADBUTT to Roman! Cover on Roman, TWO!! Bryan is surprised but he doesn’t lose his cool. Bryan sees Edge sit up, and gives him a YES Kick! YES Kick for Roman! KICK for Edge! KICK for Roman! EDGE! ROMAN! EDGE! ROMAN! EDGE!

Bryan aims at Roman, BUZZ- NO! Roman sends Bryan at Edge, RUNNING KNEE! Roman reloads but runs into a KICK! BUZZSAW!! Cover, TWO!!! Roman survives but Bryan just fires up! Bryan gets the arms, and gives Roman a flurry of Danielson Stomps! Then the YES LOCK!!! Roman flails, Heyman panics, and Bryan cranks back as hard as he can! Edge CLOBBERS Bryan off the hold! Heyman is relieved but now Edge drags Bryan up. Bryan drags Edge down to a YES LOCK!! Now Edge and his bad neck endure!! Edge claws at the hold, but Roman CLOBBERS Bryan now! Roman rains down furious forearms over and over from all sides! Roman lets off just to throw headbutts!

Roman dead lifts Bryan to POWERBOMB him onto Edge! Roman scrapes Bryan out of the ring, goes out after him, and sees the announce desk. Fans jeer, “Roman Sucks!” but Roman just soaks up the heat. Roman puts the base steps closer to the desk, then drags Bryan up. Bryan is dead weight, the fans taunt Roman even harder, but Roman hauls Bryan up to POWERBOMB him through the desk!! But Edge SPEARS Roman outta nowhere!! Fans lose their minds as all three men are down and out! Edge gets up first, and he drags Roman into the ring. Edge looks around, and fetches not just one but a PAIR of chairs! Edge sets one down, Roman steps on it! They tug o’ war, the chair goes flying!

Roman wants the guillotine, but Edge gets Roman down to a CROSSFACE! Bryan puts on the YES LOCK!! They headbutt each other!! Roman is down, Bryan headbutts Edge into the mat! Bryan fires off his rage into those forearms on Edge!! Fans again say, “THIS IS AWESOME!” as Bryan has Edge’s arms. Bryan gives Edge DANIELSON STOMPS!! Bryan lets off, aims from a corner, and powers up with the Yes Fingers! The fans join in, though there are some “NO” dissenters. Edge gets up, Bryan runs in, into a SPEAR!!! Edge staggers, dodges Roman to SPEAR!!! Cover, BRYAN YANKS THE REF OUT!! Edge can’t believe it, but wouldn’t he have done the same in return?

Edge goes out after Bryan, gets MORE chairs, and brings those to the ring. Edge SMACKS Bryan down with one! Edge puts Bryan in the ring, and has as wild look as he gets the chair again to SMACK Roman! And SMACK Bryan! ROMAN! BRYAN! SMACK, SMACK, SMACK!! Fans are thunderous as Edge puts Bryan onto one chair. And then Edge puts Roman on another chair. Edge has it all lined up and fans go nuts knowing it! Heyman is begging Edge not to, but CONCHAIRTO TO BRYAN!!! But Jey returns, and attacks Edge!! Jey beats Edge down, gets a chair, but Edge SPEARS him down!! Edge SMACKS Jey! And again! And again!

Roman SPEARS Edge!! Roman sets Edge up on a chair now!? Roman gives EDGE a CONCHAIRTO!! Roman drags Edge onto Bryan to double cover, Roman wins!!

Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinall (still WWE Universal Champion)

The Tribal Chief is still the Reigns-ing, Defending and Undisputed, but also the ALWAYS controverted Universal Heavyweight Champion of the world because he still has his Right Hand Man watching his back! Will the Head of the Table ever be removed from the throne upon which he sits? Was this really the last chance Bryan had to bring back #YEStleMania? Was this really the end of the Rated R Superstar’s comeback?


My Thoughts:

I don’t think I have to say it, but I will: Night Two did not live up to Night One. As far as I’m concerned, titles that should’ve changed didn’t and titles that shouldn’t have changed did. Or at least, not in the way they should have. One of the only non-title matches tonight, Orton VS Fiend, was good but not at all what I expected. I thought we were going to get one full match with “mangled” Fiend, but I guess that’s what Fastlane was for. Fiend 2.0 looks pretty good, and goes even further into referencing DC Comics’ Joker. I was hoping that as the first match of the night, we would’ve gotten cinematic fighting so we could get a pseudo Firefly Fun House.

Also, I like whatever that new form Alexa takes, too, but I did not like that she distracted Fiend. Fiend didn’t have to win here, but he didn’t have to lose like that. I don’t like the idea that they’re trying to make it seem like whatever is possessing Alexa is now turning on Fiend just to push this forward in a new direction. And with Backlash sadly being made into WrestleMania Backlash, like a weird third night or something, we are revisiting this to figure out the what and why of tonight. Sigh…

The other non-title match, Kevin VS Sami, was just one degree off what it could’ve been but it was still great. I almost thought that segment at the end with Logan bandwagon’ing to Kevin was going to unite Sami and Kevin against Logan Paul. Instead, they both dislike him, just separate from each other. Maybe one day, Sami and Kevin will patch things up in kayfabe and go after tag titles. And speaking of tag titles, the Women’s Tag Team title match was great stuff, but I really wish Tamina & Natty won that. I do appreciate that Reggie wasn’t ringside to be used for various things, because in the end, Shayna & Nia sticking together does help the division. I just feel that the RawDown Women’s Tag titles need to spend more time on SmackDown than they do Raw right now, out of fairness.

Bayley was pretty entertaining tonight, but the Bellas getting the better of her was clearly a WWE management decision because fans were not for it. And I was surprised Titus and Hogan saved their pirate costumes for night two, those should’ve been night one. Riddle VS Sheamus was another great slug fest, and I like that Riddle referenced Goldberg with a Jackhammer. Seems The Bro hasn’t given up on getting a match with him. But it was an even split to me who could’ve gotten this, so giving Sheamus some vindication was alright.

The Nigerian Drum Fight was pretty good, but I expected the drums to play into it more. And same for the gong as soon as I saw it there. But it was still a very good themed No Hold Barred, just not sure why we needed Dabba-Kato to get involved. Do all Heels in WWE need to have henchmen helping them now? Except for Lashley, at least, since he’s The All Mighty. But Apollo getting the title was the part that was right, as this was his fourth attempt, and losing again would’ve been rough for him. Maybe Big E gets a match with Kato at WrestleMania Backlash, wins that and then starts chasing Apollo going into Money in the Bank or Extreme Rules.

Asuka VS Rhea was an awesome match, definitely worthy of the title and of Mania. But maybe this was just a bit soon for Rhea? Asuka hasn’t really gotten big wins lately, given she didn’t get to have her match with Lacey Evans at Elimination Chamber and didn’t have anything at Fastlane. I mean, obviously what is bad for one is good for the other, and Rhea is rising up fast and keeping pace with Bianca Belair. I wonder if WWE is already thinking that Survivor Series 2021, wherever it will be, will see Rhea VS Bianca as the champions. Hopefully they throw NXT in so Raquel Gonzalez can be part of it.

The Triple Threat Universal Championship match was awesome stuff, and I do like that they took advantage of the No Disqualification stipulation. Jey interfering early was fine, because he gets taken out for it. But him returning and helping Roman again just hurt everything they’d built up. If Roman found a way to use Bryan and Edge against each other to then get the win, that would’ve felt less disappointing. And if not for “WrestleMania Backlash” being next, I would’ve thought Roman was moving right on to Cesaro given Cesaro won on Night One. Instead, there might be that tag match “meant” to happen at Fastlane and WWE going back to the status quo of phoning it in on the minor PPV’s.

My Score: 8.3/10


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