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!
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- 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?
“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?
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
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (1/21/19)
Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey, defends her title at the Royal Rumble, but she first tests the waters against Sasha Banks in tag team action!
- Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman; Finn wins, by disqualification.
- Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Apollo Crews; Lashley wins.
- Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre; Rollins wins.
- Six Man Tag: Lucha House Party VS Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers; Lucha House Party wins.
- Elias VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Heavy Machinery VS The Ascension; Heavy Machinery wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships, Special Referee: Curt Hawkins; Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Revival; Roode & Gable win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bayley; Banks & Bayley win.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr. and his dream.
WWE has a 10 bell salute for this great man and his fight for “love and justice between fellow human beings.” #LongLivetheDream
The Beast returns to Raw!
The Royal Rumble approaches, and that means a WWE Universal Championship match comes with it! Paul Heyman has a mic and while fans boo and jeer, he again introduces himself as The Advocate for “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR!!” And to get down to business: on last week’s Raw, in front of a global television audience, Finn Balor pinned John Cena. It was not a fluke, it was not controversial, it was simply Finn Balor stepping up and seizing the moment. “So much so” that John Cena took to the mic to say he believes in Finn. Cena should, because the WWE Universe has declared “We Believe in Finn!” And the WWE Universe should, because even Paul Heyman believes in Finn!
Heyman gives Finn credit where credit is due, because even Finn believes in Phoenix, he will do the very same thing he’s always done: capitalizing on fate and opportunity. And not just in any match, but a title match. Not just any title match, but a Universal Championship match. And not just against any Universal Champion, but against Brock Lesnar, who trained to prepare for Braun Strowman. Lesnar wont’ defend against the temperamental Monster Among Men but against a man with a completely different style. And that is why Finn believes in Finn, and why Heyman believes Finn believes in Finn. And that’s why when Finn says this himself, you should listen to him, for he is the voice that matters.
However, Heyman’s is the voice that martyrs. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar will make Finn into that martyr, “sacrificed for the sin of making you believe he can conquer the unconquerable”! Sacrificed for believing Finn can take what Lesnar’s got! Sacrificed for thinking Finn is a “Slim Reaper” who will slay The Beast. But here comes that spoiler alert for Raw and the Rumble: “Even miracles fear Brock Lesnar.” Sunday, Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona, THE Royal Rumble PPV, Brock Lesnar will put to bed the “ridiculous notion” that Finn Balor even belongs in the same ring, with Finn looking up from the mat saying “Oh my God, I believe in Brock Lesnar.” But wait, that’s Vince McMahon! And The Chairman heads straight for the ring!
Vince takes up a mic and with fans cheering him, he tells Heyman that he’s actually going easy on Finn. That was some old school promoter style drumming up of business. Heyman saying FInn stands no chance against Lesnar is rather passe. Now you should try David and Goliath. One day, David went out, ate all the mushrooms, and thought he could take on a big nasty giant. He did, and Goliath beat the hell out of David, until he was reincarnated as Finn. What? Vince says Finn earned his opportunity, and both men have their fans, but even in “Hillbilly Land” Oklahoma City, the fans know- What’s wrong? He’s speaking too fast. Well if any fans actually believe Finn will win, then you all believe in fairy tales. But this is no fairy tale, this is BRAUN!!
The Monster Among Men may not get Lesnar at the Rumble, but he wants Lesnar now! Vince asks Strowman what the hell he thinks he’s doing out here, but Strowman and Lesnar are too busy staring down. Fans chant “Get These Hands!” while Lesnar grins and gives Strowman space to enter. Strowman has his own mic and says “Last Monday was the worst night of my life, thanks to Baron Corbin.” $100,000 and a title match down the drain. But that was also the luckiest night of Lesnar’s life. If Lesnar still has the title after Sunday, Strowman will be waiting on the other side to rip Lesnar up like that limousine! Vince warns Strowman, he’s lucky to still have a job. But here comes Finn Balor! The Extraordinary Man smiles but so does Lesnar as Finn joins everyone in the ring.
Finn says “Same old Monday Night Raw.” Braun doing Braun things, while Finn’s the guy who beat three other men, including the GOAT, John Cena. Heyman says he’s the second greatest, behind Lesnar. Well Finn still earned his opportunity against Lesnar. As for Vince, he may not believe in Finn, because he doesn’t leave in fairy tales, but Finn does. And Balor Club believes. And at the Royal Rumble, Finn will take back his Universal Championship! Strowman says he definitely could’ve beat Lesanr, and has no idea if Finn could, but he better. Finn appreciates the support, but keep your nose out of his business because he’ll do what Strowman hasn’t. Lesnar laughs as he wants to leave but Vince says Lesnar should stick around for this.
Finn tells Vince has the story backwards. David stood up to Goliath and everyone laughed at him. But they didn’t know who David was, and what he was made of. Goliath fell face down in the dirt, BOOM. And no one was laughing after that. Vince has an idea: Lesnar should be ringside to watch this real-life David VS Goliath! Finn VS Strowman, even Vince will stick around for this! Will Finn prove the story true? Or will Strowman prove he should still be the man to face The Beast?
Finn Balor VS Braun Strowman!
Raw returns and Finn jawbreakers free of Strowman’s grip! Strowman knees low but runs into a dropkick! He stays standing and runs at Finn in the corner. Finn dodges and kicks him back! Lesnar laughs and Strowman gets distracted. Finn SLAPS Strowman, and that only angers Strowman! Finn goes for the legs but gets clubbed down. Strowman drags Finn up but Fin n lips free. Finn boots Strowman but his slingblade is denied! Strowman clubs Finn down again! Strowman kicks Finn out of the ring but fans rally up for Finn. Finn drags himself up but Strowman runs out to run him over! Even Lesnar was impressed by that.
Strowman drags Finn back into the ring, then stalks Finn to a corner. He squashes Finn with a splash then hauls Finn up. Finn slips out and gets to a corner but gets another splash! Cover, TWO! Finn lives but Strowman keeps his cool. Strowman clamps on a nerve hold and Finn endures the grip on his shoulder. Fans rally and Finn stands, only to be headbutt out of the ring. Strowman goes for another lap, but Finn slingblades him! Lesnar is now impressed by that. Finn hurries back in the ring and the ring count begins. Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” as the count rises to 5. Strowman stands and shakes it off to enter at 7, but Finn dodges in the corner.
Finn comes back with forearms, but Strowman only staggers. Finn keeps trying but Strowman grabs him! Strowman scoops but Finn slips into a sleeper hold! Finn holds on tight but Strowman backs him into buckles. But Finn hops back on! Strowman drops to a knee, but pries Finn’s arms away! Finn drives elbows in fast and furious! Fans fire up as Strowman falls back, Finn double stomps! Finn fires up and climbs. He makes sure Lesnar is watching, but Strowman grabs Finn to throw him at Lesnar! For Lesnar to throw overhead! Finn just took a quick visit to Suplex City, then he gets in the ring with Strowman. The match-up we were meant to get might go down here, but Finn trips Lesnar to dropkick him into a post!
Finn gets back in the ring with Strowman, builds up speed and FLIES onto Lesnar! Lesnar’s down but Finn has Strowman still chasing him. They go around and into the ring, and Finn throws hands. Finn runs, slingblade again! Finn dropkicks Lesnar out of the ring, then goes out to dropkick him into barriers! Fans are thunderous for Finn as he grits his teeth. But Strowman grabs Finn by his head and hauls him right up! Strowman hip tosses Finn in, but misses in the corner to hit post! Finn runs back at him for a shotgun dropkick! Strowman’s down, Finn climbs up and fans fire up with him. COUP DE GRACE! But Lesnar attacks! F5!!
Winner: Finn Balor, by disqualification
Finn wins here but not the way he wanted. The Beast is mad, but will he just be the Goliath to Finn’s David?
Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush head to the ring!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is the NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion, and both Men of the Hour had a part in making it happen. Lio Rush praises Bobby Lashley as being better than both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Lashley is also better than everyone else in the locker room. Lio and Lashley aren’t issuing an open challenge, open challenges are for kids. Lashley is a professional fighter. A fighter! They don’t do this for fun, but for the money. They are here to celebrate, and what better way than for Lashley to stand on a podium and show off his physique? Lashley stands on the podium while Lio puts the title on Lashley’s waist so everyone can see why Lashley IS The All Mighty! Hit the lights!
Lashley stands in the spotlight as Lio straps the belt on him. Lashley flexes but Apollo Crews comes out! Apollo joins Lio and Lashley in the ring with his own mic. He congratulates Lashley on becoming the new champion. There’s no doubt that Lashley is a stud, just look at him. But let’s be real: no one paid money to see Lashley pose. They paid money to see Lashley compete. Now Apollo knows this isn’t going to be a title match, but how about they lock up? Lio says Apollo is not in Lashley’s league! But hey, maybe if Apollo wins in a pose off, he’ll get a match. Pose off? What? Apollo doesn’t know how to do that. Well judging from his track record, he doesn’t know how to be champion, either!
Lashley stands on the podium again, the spotlight hits, and we get the double guns! Apollo mocks the flexing as he gives a little pop-lock action! And some Hulkster and Savage. Lashley takes another turn for the side chest. Only Lio is impressed. Apollo takes another turn, and winds it up for his own side pose! Fans like Apollo way better. Lashley takes one more turn, for his Most Muscular! Lio thinks Lashley has won this, but Apollo gets his final turn, for a spin and flex. And Lashley attacks! Lashley whips Apollo but Apollo throws Lashley out instead! And then Lio gets caught, for a trophy lift toss at Lashley! Apollo flexes and Lashley is furious! Will Apollo get his match after all?
Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Apollo Crews!
Raw returns, and yes he does! But Lashley also has Apollo in a bearhug. Apollo endures the squeeze and fights out with haymakers. He runs but Lashley follows, to get Apollo with a complete shot! Cover, TWO! Lashley keeps his cool and drags Apollo up into a corner. He throws hands and whips corner to corner. Lashley rams his shoulder in, then hauls Apollo up top. Apollo kicks Lashley away to then missile dropkick him down! Both men slowly stir and stand, and Apollo mule kicks and boots. Lashley swings but misses while Apollo hits a leaping lariat! Apollo kips up and fans fire up with him. Apollo climbs up and aims, but Lashley gets under. Lashley runs but Apollo leaps over! Roll up, TWO!
Apollo raises the roof because he raises Lashley in a trophy lift! Apollo drops Lashley but it took a lot out of him, too. He manages to stand first, though, and drags Lashley up. Apollo tries again, and gets a proper drop. Lio protests and distracts, so that Lashley has time to avoid Apollo’s moonsault. Apollo dodges to enziguri Lashley down, but Lio distracts again. Apollo tosses Lio in but Lio runs around and dodges. But Lio gets caught into another trophy lift, only for Lashley to SPEAR Apollo! Cover, Lashley wins!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall
The 24 Year Old Piece of Gold pays dividends again as he helps Lashley leave Apollo down and out. But they don’t get time to celebrate this win, because here comes Seth Rollins! Oklahoma City is ready to #BurnItDown, but The Architect isn’t here for Lashley. Rollins has a match with Drew McIntyre, and wants that match next. Will Rollins gain some major momentum going into THE Royal Rumble match?
Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre!
Raw returns as Rollins takes up the mic. “Today we celebrate the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” Even now, perhaps especially now, we can learn a lot from him. MLK once said a measure of a man is not where he stands in times of convenience, but in times of challenge and controversy. Rollins feels like he’s in times of challenges and controversy. He had two titles and two brothers, but now he’s got none of either. But life isn’t about what we don’t have, it’s about what we do have. What Rollins has is what he’s always had, and it’s the business. As long as Rollins has the ring, the fans and the fire, he’ll win the Royal Rumble! Even saying it out loud makes it sound like a crazy long shot, but Rollins has always been about long shots.
Rollins knows he’s not huge or powerful, but he’s from a small town much like Oklahoma City. His parents were working class, he could’ve been working in a factory, on a farm or driving a truck himself. But the reason he’s not is because of this feeling. Love, passion, determination, whatever it is isn’t just in his chest but ingrained in his soul! Long shot, sure. Thirty men putting it all on the line to headline Wrestlemania. But Rollins promises to be one man left standing and going to Wrestlemania, and that is THE MAN, “Seth Freakin’ Rollins!” But now, the Scottish Terminator makes his entrance.
McIntyre tells Rollins that he’s going to kick his head off tonight, but he must also offer a rebuttal. McIntyre does not stand idly by as Rollins lies to the fans! Rollins is not winning the Rumble, and it’s just Rollins’ style. His reckless abandon will get him eliminated. But what would happen if Rollins harnessed that same passion into the body of a Terminator? That’s “Drew Freakin’ McIntyre!” This means everything to Rollins, so McIntyre hopes they’re the final two, because McIntyre wants to see the look in Rollins’ eyes when he’s thrown out and hears the announcement that the winner is Drew McIntyre! Fire fights fire, after the break!
Raw returns as McIntyre runs back into the ring, only for Rollins to clothesline him back out. Rollins then builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit floors McIntyre, but Rollins puts him back in quick. Rollins springboards and hits a flying clothesline! Cover, ONE! Rollins keeps his cool as he CHOPS McIntyre at the ropes. He whips but McIntyre reverses, only for Rollins to kick him away. Rollins elbows McIntyre, then puts him out all the way tot he floor. McIntyre clutches his back while Rollins assesses the situation. Rollins climbs up high, aims from the post, and leaps! But McIntyre sends him into barriers! McIntyre wraps Rollins around the post and pulls back! He lets up at 4 to then cover Rollins, TWO!
McIntyre keeps on Rollins with an armlock, but fans rally up. Rollins feeds off the energy but McIntyre throws him down by his hair. McIntyre returns to the armlock and adds a chinbar. Fans continue to rally and Rollins powers up again. Rollins jawbreakers free! Rollins runs but into a big elbow from McIntyre! Cover, TWO! McIntyre stalks Rollins and drags him up for a CHOP of his own! McIntyre stomps away on Rollins while fans cheer Rollins on. Rollins throws haymakers and whips, but McIntyre reverses hard! Rollins tumbles up then down, McIntyre covers, TWO! McIntyre stomps Rollins more, then chops Rollins to a corner before tossing him overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre turns to the armlock to keep Rollins down.
Fans continue to rally for Rollins and Rollins fights up again. Rollins whips but McIntyre reverses, then kicks Rollins out of the air! Rollins rolls out but McIntyre pursues. McIntyre chops Rollins then drags him up for the Inverted Alabama Slam to the floor! The Terminator dominates and smirks while we go to break.
Raw returns again and both men slowly stand as fans declare “This is Awesome!” Both men start chopping away, but then Rollins runs and dodges to slingblade! He boots McIntyre out of the corner and hits a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Rollins grits his teeth while fans fire up again. He goes back to McIntyre for a powerbomb but McIntyre back drops. Rollins sunset flips, TWO! McIntyre flips Rollins around for his own powerbomb lift, but Rollins huricanranas! Cover, TWO! Rollins runs, tilt-o-whirl to Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives but Rollins keeps his focus. Rollins gets to the ropes to stomp, “Burn It Down!” Fans chant and Rollins mule kicks. Rollins runs but misses the stomp! McIntyre clubs and scoops but Rollins lands on his feet to shove McIntyre into buckles!
Rollins puts McIntyre up top backwards, but McIntyre elbows him away. Rollins hops up to swing kick McIntyre into the Tree of Woe! He climbs but McIntyre sit sup for a suplex! But Rollins gets back up and runs in, only to miss! McIntyre gets up and runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre lives but both he and Rollins are down. OKC again says “This is Awesome!” as they both stand. Rollins and McIntyre brawl and chop and forearm back and forth. Rollins gets an edge but walks into the Glasgow Kiss! McIntyre is too dazed to cover, but he gets himself back up. McIntyre drags Rollins up for a fireman’s carry, and then climbs a corner. He prepares Rollins, for a SUPER Celtic Cross! Cover, TWO!! But right into a sit-out bomb!! Cover, TWO!? Rollins shocks McIntyre and OKC!
McIntyre crawls over to Rollins and drags him up again. Fans hope they “Fight Forever!” but this has to end. McIntyre swings Rollins but Rollins rolls him up, Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall
The Architect survives to surprise the Terminator! Can Rollins surprise everyone by keeping his word of winning the Men’s Royal Rumble match?
The Revival plead their case to Vince McMahon.
First there was the pin on the wrong man, and then there was the missed ropebreak, they are feeling robbed! Vince wants to know what they’re after. The Revival wants one last chance at the titles, with a very special guest referee. Someone who has 20/20 vision and is going to call it right down the middle. But then Curt Hawkins comes by and wants one more shot to break his own Streak. Maybe Hawkins should be the Revival’s referee. Well Hawkins does know three counts. Vince makes the deal, and The Revival make nice with Hawkins. Will the History Factory be the man to help The Revival get justice?
Dean Ambrose speaks.
“Earlier tonight, a certain Architect quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” It was cute, made Ambrose tear up, but another quote from MLK is that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. And it is an injustice that Ambrose is not Intercontinental Champion right now. Rollins and “Bend Over’ Bobby, he’s coming for you both at the Royal Rumble. He’ll chop them in the throat and kick them in the balls, and then dump them both out of the ring. 2018 was not Ambrose’s year, after he spent half of it in the hospital. He owes it to himself to win this year’s Rumble, it will be his Miracle on Ice. Ambrose vows to own the Road to Wrestlemania, and justice will be served. Will the Moral Compass redirect Raw down the right path? Or just down his path?
Six Man Tag: Lucha House Party VS Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers!
Kalisto, Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado have had a lot of fun since forming, and it’s even led Kalisto to the Cruiserweight Championship this Sunday. But there’s no room for fun with The Modern Day Maharaja and his Bollywood Boys. Which trio will make big inroads towards titles on their own Road to Wrestlemania?
Mahal starts against the Golden Lynx, but Lince has to worry about Samir & Sunil. Mahal puts Lince in a corner but backs off at 4. He swings but Lince dodges to kick away. Mahal pushes and scoops Lince to slam him down! He wraps Lince in a chinlock and the Singhs want in. Mahal tags Samir and they mug Lince. Samir gets an atomic drop and dropkick from Lince but tags in brother Sunil. Sunil runs but into a big back drop! Lince CHOPS Sunil then tags Kalisto. Kalisto gets help for an elevated splash, Lince adds the planking! Cover, ONE! Kalisto keeps on Sunil with a CHOP, then an acrobatic arm-drag! Sunil runs but into another arm-drag. Sunil grabs Kailsto’s mask to whip Kalisto hard out of the ring, then tags Mahal.
Mahal drags Kalisto into the ring, covers, ONE! Mahal keeps on Kalisto with a rough chinlock, but fans “Lucha! Lucha!” Tag to Sunil and he wraps on a headlock. Kalisto endures as Sunil leans on him. Kalisto powers out but gets caught short of his corner. Sunil hits Lince, Kalisto hits a heel kick! Both men are down and crawling, hot tag to Gran Metalik! The King of the Ropes springboards to crossbody, then springboards to triangle dropkick Samir and Mahal! Metalik handsprings but Sunil dodges, only to run into a scoop backbreaker! Cover, Lucha House Party wins!
Winner: Lucha House Party, Gran Metalik by pinfall
Mahal is furious but the fiesta is rolling in Oklahoma City! Will this victory help the luchadores head for tag titles? And what of Kalisto’s own title match at the Royal Rumble?
Dana Brooke is impressed by EC3’s Top One Percent physique.
She asks him fitness and match preparation tips, but The Drifter passes by. EC3 does his best to explain his “alone time” to Dana, but we’re getting Elias next!
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
Oklahoma City is glad to see him and hear his guitar playing. “Brothers and sisters, 2019 is going to be an incredible year.” Elias will win the Royal Rumble but there will be more rivers to cross and mountains to climb. No matter how far he goes, there will always be a truth that brings him back: that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” OKC knows that. As for tonight, Elias has a song that might be his finest work yet. Elias sets to playing but Baron Corbin walks out to interrupt. Fans boo the Lone Wolf but he tells them to shut up, too. Corbin tells Elias that he ratted Strowman out and almost got Corbin killed. Fans like that, though. Corbin realizes Vince is right that OKC is a bunch of hillbillies. But Corbin is going to put Elias in his place!
Elias doesn’t know what world Corbin is living in, but he’s not the Raw GM. So Elias is gonna sing that song after all. Corbin keeps talking over Elias, but Elias has Corbin’s mic cut. Elias likes that. He’s skipping his Rumble song to sing a new one. “Baron interrupts my performance. Will this ever end? Baron against Elias, do we really need to see that again?” At the Royal Rumble, Corbin stands no chance, Elias sees it clear. So Corbin needs to shut his mouth, so that he can hear: Nobody cares, people are tired. Why does Corbin still wear that stupid vest? Remember, he got fired! Fans remind Corbin that, “You Got Fired!” But Corbin rushes Elias! Only to narrowly avoid the guitar shot! Elias and Corbin will throw down again, who gets the last word before the Rumble?
Elias VS Baron Corbin!
Raw returns and Elias goes Old School but for an arm-drag! Corbin bails out but Elias wrecks him with a dropkick! Fans fire up with Elias as Elias rams Corbin into barriers. Corbin retreats to the ring but Elias is on him on the apron. They brawl, Elias blocks a kick but gets pushed into the post! Elias goes down in a heap and Corbin acts like he’s already won something. Corbin drags Elias back up and throws him face first into the post. He puts Elias in the corner, then rains down rights. Fans rally up for Elias while taunting Corbin with “You Got Fired!” Corbin tunes the fans out but Elias hits back with body shots. Elias whips but Corbin slides out then in to lariat! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated, but trash talks the fans first.
Corbin throws Elias out but Elias stays on the apron. Elias hits back, then shoulders in, then jumps over Corbin’s slide. Corbin comes back in but into a leaping knee! Inverted swinging neckbreaker, TWO! Elias grows frustrated but he stomps away on Corbin. The referee backs him off, but Elias comes back to whip. Corbin holds the ropes and the ref backs Elias off again, only for Corbin to rock Elias with a right! End of Days! Cover, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The fans don’t like it, but Corbin did win. Corbin rolls on towards the Rumble, will he be the End of Days for 29 other superstars?
It’s time for another Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess appears on her set and takes a seat before picking up her custom mic. Alexa welcomes the fans back to her show, and notes that Sunday will have the Women’s Rumble match for a chance to main event Wrestlemania. As such, this Royal Rumble edition will present just some of the 30 participants for that match. Obviously there will be Carmella, who won the right to be Ms. 30, but there are also the IIconics, the Riott Squad, the Samoan Dynasty, Ember Moon, Zelina Vega, Nikki Cross, Alicia Fox, Bayley and Charlotte Flair. As for Alexa’s guest, her best friend and worst enemy, and perhaps the odds on favorite for the Rumble, Nia Jax! The Irresistible Force is all smiles as she joins Alexa on set.
Alexa cuts to the chase. Nia winning means choosing either champion to face at Wrestlemania. Which brand would Nia choose? But before she can give a proper answer, Ember Moon appears! The Goddess did not invite the War Goddess here. Ember snatches Nia’s mic and Nia tosses a chair over. But Ember says she got tired of waiting for an invitation that would never come. She is making her mark, and vows to win the Women’s Rumble. But the Captain, Alicia Fox, comes out. She snatches the mic and tells everyone that as Captain of the Women’s Division, she’s setting a course for Wrestlemania. It starts by going through the other 29 women this Sunday. But then Mickie James appears! She thinks it’s “super cute” they’re all arguing, but Mickie stole the show at Mania once, and looks to do it again.
The four women argue, but out come The Riott Squad! Alexa wants a little bit of control on her own show. She gets up on her chair to shout for them all to stop. This is HER show, okay!? Hers! If this becomes some kind of brawl, they’re all embarrassing themselves as catty women, but also they’re ruining this show’s reputation! Everyone hears Alexa out, until Nia starts trouble with a shove! The women all brawl, and Nikki Cross is even in the mix without being an official member of Raw! Referees hurry to get them tot he back, but that only puts the brawl into the gorilla position! Nikki throws Ruby around while Ember tackles Nia into the curtains! Alexa is at a loss for words. The only thing she can say is that the entrants this year are very passionate.
But this Moment of Bliss will be one we won’t ever forget: because Alexa is officially back in action in the Women’s Rumble! But wait, it’s Lacey Evans! The Lady of NXT turned the Model Soldier says “What a bunch of nasty, classless little girls” she just saw. Luckily for the WWE Universe, the winner of this year’s Women’s Rumble will not be some sawed off girly little runt, i.e Alexa. It will be Lacey, a “classy, sophisticated lady.” Lacey leaves Alexa speechless even more than that brawl. But has she only incurred the wrath of the Goddess?
Titus O’Neil speaks.
Many think him winning the Royal Rumble will be nothing short of a miracle, but luckily he believes in miracles. And that is why Titus enters the Rumble- Hey, who is that interrupting his shot? Just walking in and then out? Well excuse you! But will Titus Worldwide~ be the one to head to Wrestlemania?
Heavy Machinery VS The Ascension!
Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic are COMIIIN’ to the main roster, but before choosing a side, the #BlueCollarSolid boys will show the WWE Universe what the power of #SteaksandWeights can do! Is it enough to avoid the Wasteland against Konnor & Viktor?
The teams sort out and we start with “Dozer” and Viktor. They tie up, and Dozer powers Viktor to a corner. The ref backs them off but Viktor shoves Dozer. Dozer comes back but Viktor throws hands. Viktor bumps Dozer on buckles but Dozer fires up. Viktor dodges but Dozer throws him off to then scoop, spin, spin, spin some more, and then slam Viktor! Tag to Tucker, and they give us some BOOM SHAKA LOO double falling headbutts! Viktor flounders but boots Tucker away. Viktor chops away then whips corner to corner, but Tucker goes up and over to crossbody! Tag to Dozer, and Heavy Machinery march around. They double belly bump Viktor, then Konnor runs into double shoulders!
Dozer does the kick pump, into the elbow drop! Dozer squashes Viktor in a corner, then fans fire up. Otis pumps up and gives us the Caterpillar! Tag to Tucker, and Viktor gets the Compactor! Cover, Heavy Machinery wins!
Winners: Heavy machinery, Tucker Knight pinning
HASHAAA! Tucker & Dozer win their debut, but this is only the beginning! Will Heavy Machinery steamroll the Tag Team Division right out of the gates?
Raw Tag Team Championships, Special Referee: Curt Hawkins; Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Revival!
The #TopGuys are convinced that it’s somewhere between a conspiracy and utter incompetence, but for whatever reason, the other referees on Raw haven’t given them a fair match finish. But now they’ll put Mr. Losing Streak in the stripes to see if they can’t get the justice they deserve. Will Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson finally get those titles? Or will the champions continue to be Absolutely… GLORIOUS?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the teams sort out. Dash starts against Gable and ties up. Dash wrenches the wrist but Gable rolls and bridges through. Gable gets a headlock, armlock then drop toehold fast! He has the arm then tags Roode. Hawkins is very strict about the tag, insisting that Roode needed to hold the tag string. The tag does not count, and Dash gets away with throwing Gable down by his hair. Dash calls Hawkins over to officially tag with Dawson. Dawson bumps Gable off buckles then throws chops and forearms. Dawson throws European Uppercuts and Gable bails out. Gable fights back but Dawson whips him for a hard hitting EuroUpper! Dawson rocks Roode, which Hawkins reprimands him for, but The Revival double whip Roode. Roode dodges and then baits The Revival into Gable’s clotheslines!
Roode and Gable throw both Revivals with exploders! Gable builds speed and Roode helps him FLY onto Dash! But Dawson runs Gable over! Hawkins works to regain order while we go to break.
Raw returns and Dawson reels Gable in, but Gable reverses to a big back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up as they crawl. Hot tag to Dash, and Dash stops Gable. He scoops but Gable slips out to tag Roode! Roode rallies on Dash and hits a back drop! Dawson flies in but into an urenage! Roode fires up as he runs in at Dash, for a big shoulder tackle. Roode hops up, takes aim, but Dash dodges. So Roode clotheslines Dawson out before giving Dash a spinebuster! Fans fire up more as Roode goes after Dash on the apron. Roode suplexes but Dash makes it a crossbody! Cover and Dawson holds Roode’s feet down! But Hawkins sees that! He’s being a fair referee by reprimanding Dawson for that.
Roode gets Dash but Dash reverses and scoops. Roode slips out and rolls up, TWO! Dawson with a cheap shot that Hawkins doesn’t see! Dash rolls Roode, but puts his feet on the ropes and Hawkins catches him! Hawkins reprimands the Revival for this, so Dash tags Dawson. The Revival double whip but Gable tags in. Roode kicks Dawson but Dash clotheslines him out. Gable flies but Dawson rolls through! He’s holding the tights! Hawkins sees that again, so Dawson gives up. Dawson throws Gable out, then starts shoving Hawkins. Hawkins reminds him who the ref is, and Dawson runs into Gable’s shoulder. Gable sunset flips but Dash keeps him from falling over! Hawkins breaks that up, Gable gets his sunset flip, Gable & Roode win!
Winners: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode, Gable pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
The plan backfires! The Revival tried to cheat to win but Hawkins would not let them get away with any of it. Dash & Dawson try to reason with Hawkins, but they end up beating him down instead! But here comes Zack Ryder! The Broski fights the #TopGuys off, protecting his former Edgehead bro. Is this a save for old time’s sake? Or are we seeing a reunion in the making?
Backstage interview with Ronda Rousey.
The Baddest Woman has a tag team match up next, what would she say to challenger, Sasha Banks? Ronda wants to focus on her match tonight, but she’s trying to figure out why she should apologize. And she’s concluded that she doesn’t owe Sasha a damn thing! Ronda took her moment to hype up Sasha, and then Sasha goes and turns it all into an insult? What does Sasha expect from Ronda? Ronda’s been respectful since day one. Is she supposed to wash Sasha’s feet? Ronda practically had to beg Sasha to have this match! Sasha is too busy living the Boss life than actually try to be a champion! Sasha’s so high on herself that she’s not hungry anymore! That’s the difference between them, and Ronda will show that even The Legit Boss answers to someone!
Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Sasha Banks & Bayley!
Ronda is definitely rowdy tonight, and she joins forces with her pal, The Queen of Harts, to face the #LegitHuggable best friends! Will the Baddest Woman build some last momentum before going 1v1 with Sasha at the Rumble? Or will tonight be #BossTime rolling into the title match?
Raw returns once more as Natalya makes her entrance. The Boss & Hug connection enter as Natty works to keep Ronda calm. Sasha picks up a mic to talk about resentment. Who does Ronda think she is? Sasha’s the four time champion, one of the first to be a in a Hell in a Cell, and lasted 40 minutes in that inaugural Women’s Rumble. Yet Ronda just shows up and gets handed everything. Sasha and Bayley put their hearts and souls in the ring every day, yet Ronda talks about desire? Stop talking about worthy competitors, Sasha already is one. She earned her shot by beating Nia and making her tap out. And that will happen to Ronda at the Rumble! This fight is ready to go now, and each friend has to keep Ronda and Sasha from tearing into each other.
The referee keeps the peace, and teams finally sort out. Natty convinces Ronda to stand down, and she starts against Sasha instead. The two circle with the bell, Sasha hits Ronda! Sasha gets Natty down while the ref keeps Ronda back! Sasha wrenches Natty and tags in Bayley. They double whip and crisscross Natty into the corner. They double suplex Natty down, Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley keeps on Natty with buckle bumps, then tags in Sasha. Sasha and Bayley uses Poetry in Motion to hit Natty, then tag back. They double whip and double hip toss, Bayley back elbows and Sasha boots! Ronda just runs in and tackles Bayley! Ronda throws Sasha, and now she controls the ring while we go to one last break.
Raw returns once more and Bayley fights out of Natty’s waistlock. Bayley runs but into Natty’s tackle into the corner! Tag to Ronda, and they give Bayley a Rowdy Hart Attack! Sasha did swipe at Ronda but it didn’t bug her at all. Ronda and Sasha trash talk but the ref keeps the peace. Ronda tags to Natty and Natty fetches Bayley into the ring. Bayley crawls but Natty stops her from reaching Sasha. Natty snap suplexes Bayley down, then stomps her down before covering. TWO, and Bayley hurries to Sasha. Tag made, Sasha knees Natty! Bayley adds a knee side to side before Sasha hits a swinging meteora! Cover, TWO! Sasha trash talks Ronda back before dragging Natty up. She bumps Natty on buckles and hauls her up. Bayley tags in as fans rally for Natty. Tag again, SUPER STEINER to METEORA! Cover, TWO!
Sasha keeps her cool while Ronda reaches for Natty. Sasha swings on Ronda, then hops up onto Natty. But Natty holds her, tag to Ronda! Electric Chair drop, roll through to Rowdy Slam, but Sasha throws elbows! Sasha backslides, ONE! Russian leg sweep, into Bank Statement crossface! Ronda endures but Natty breaks it up! Sasha throws Natty out but Ronda rolls Sasha up, TWO! Ronda boots Sasha, but Sasha boots Ronda! Tag to Bayley, back stabber but Ronda counters with a judo throw! Ronda covers Bayley, TWO! Ronda fires up again, and throws heavy knees into Bayley. Then a big boot puts Bayley in a corner. Rowdy dares Bayley to stand, but Sasha stands in her way. Bayley pushes Sasha out of the way and still gets those strikes! Ronda wants more, but she runs into a toss from Bayley! Tag to Sasha!
Sasha climbs, Bayley has Ronda, ax handles to Ronda’s arm hit. But Ronda gets Sasha with a takedown into the armbar! Sasha scrambles towards ropes, and they end up under them. Ronda lets go but reaches for Sasha. Sasha kicks Ronda, but Natty tags in. Natty suplexes Sasha in hard! Natty walks all over Sasha then hits her with a basement dropkick! She puts on the Sharpshooter! Sasha endures but Bayley saves her! Bayley tackles Ronda, but runs into the discus! Natty goes back to Sasha, powerbomb lift but Sasha slips out to knee! Back stabber, to Bank Statement!! Natty endures, but taps! Sasha & Bayley win!
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley, Sasha by submission
Ronda returns and Sasha lets Natty go. The Boss tapped out The Queen, but what about the Baddest Woman on the Planet? These two stare down and trash talk more, and fans want to “Let Them Fight!” We go off the air but we know this fight is coming. Who will win when the title’s on the line?
This was not a great go-home but this was better than most Raw has had as of late. It had a really good beginning and a pretty good end, but the middle was rough. To get those out of the way, Lucha House Party VS Mahal & The Singhs wasn’t much of anything other than a filler Six Man Tag. I don’t know if I want a feud between these two trios, but I do appreciate it means the Bollywood Boys are getting actual matches on television. I would also appreciate it if it meant they were joining the Cruiserweight Division and 205 Live per the Fresh Start initiative. Then another Elias VS Corbin is literally what Elias was saying we shouldn’t be getting in his song. Corbin wins to keep himself afloat, but Corbin really should just leave Elias alone after the Rumble, regardless of what happens.
The opening segment, for being another 20+ minute talking segment, was a good talking segment because Heyman did good again, Vince going off on a truly inaccurate retelling of David VS Goliath, and then it all leads to that really fun opening match. Throwing Lesnar in at ringside and having him do those shenanigans was actually a good move to me, it gets some heat between Lesnar and Finn quickly since this is all rather sudden. There has been talk all over about if Demon Balor returns and what that would mean. I’m pretty sure Demon Balor returns only if Lesnar is losing, which is still an uncertainty. I obviously want Finn to win, especially as Demon Balor. And if the talk of Rollins winning is true, Finn VS Rollins to bring the Universal Championship full circle would be great.
The pose-off between Apollo and Lashley was cheesy, but their match was pretty good. Apollo didn’t win but I hope he still gets a chance at the Intercontinental Championship. I feel like those two could really give us something great in such a match, I’m just not sure if Apollo would win. Rollins VS McIntyre was great, but perhaps Rollins winning with just a roll-up means there will be more to come after the Rumble. Again, if Rollins wins, him and Finn would be great for Mania, but that doesn’t mean McIntyre can’t go after the title at Elimination Chamber or Fastlane. Now depending on the validity of John Cena’s ankle injury, McIntyre’s story with him might be on pause, but that can allow McIntyre to do a lot of other things while waiting.
Heavy Machinery was a lot of fun in their debut, it was reminiscent of their early matches in NXT. I just hope going against The Ascension doesn’t foreshadow how they’ll be treated. I’m hoping they go to SmackDown, but even over there, if a team like SAnitY can’t get any screen time, I’m not sure about Heavy Machinery. Then going into The Revival’s segments, it seems like their tag team division concerns are only going to grow. Obviously it’s story, but Hawkins being an exceptionally good referee messes The Revival up again, and now it seems The Revival might be going against a revived Edgeheads. This will be great for Ryder & Hawkins, but it just means more mouths to feed in the tag division, which hurts The Revival and all teams on Raw. But maybe The Revival’s concerns will wake creative up and all teams get a fair shake.
I’m still not sure about EC3 being the Top One Percent Mute. When is he going to get his in-ring debut like Nikki Cross and Heavy Machinery? Lacey Evans had a good appearance after a fun third Moment of Bliss. Is Lacey going to be the woman to make Alexa Bliss turn Face? That would be big for Alexa, but also because she’s officially okay for action. I don’t know the chances of Alexa winning the Rumble, but her and Lacey being each other’s Road to Mania feud is great. I just hope Alexa doesn’t need to take that Woman’s Right punch if the concerns are for Alexa’s head.
And of course, the main event featuring the women was actually really good. For one, Ronda’s promo and Sasha’s counter were pretty good, though I think Sasha’s was better. The story in the match was good, and we never really got a prolonged Sasha-Ronda moment, so that leaves a lot left for them in their match. I’m still confident in thinking Ronda wins, Becky wins, and Mania gives us some sort of Undisputed Women’s Champion match, even with a third opponent via the Women’s Rumble. But I’m thinking Sasha is going to give Ronda one of her toughest matches in sheer technical skill and charisma.
My Score: 8.1/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.19 ~ 19TH JANUARY 2019
Hisame dropping the NOAH knowledge bombs every week! If you’re behind, just curious, or a frequent admirer of the Emerald ways, these Newsletters keep getting better and better.
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
On the 13th January, Yoshinari Ogawa and HAYATA shook hands, and then briefly patted each other on the back for a quick hug. So far nothing more has come of this, HAYATA hasn’t turned against RATELS, and Yoshinari Ogawa is absent with flu, but HAYATA does have a singles match with YO-HEY on the 20th, and so we shall see how matters progress from there.
Interestingly, YO-HEY has also spoke of “three people” being traitors.
Hajime Ohara picked up a slight, but scary injury following a kick to the face from Keisuke Ishii, he found that his sight was blurred for a few days, but rest corrected it.
Masa Kitamiya and Atsushi Kotoge (who thinks that “Masa needs a revolution”) will face off for the number one contendership for the GHC Heavyweight on the 20th January. Kaito Kiyomiya says he does not care who wins, he will face and defend against the winner.
Naomichi Marufuji will return to the ring on the 2nd February.
RATELS came to the UK to compete in IPW’S inaugural junior heavyweight tournament. Keeping to the current situation NOAH, they pretty much stayed apart (with Tadasuke the only one visibly siding with Harada, YO-HEY appearing to go off on his own and HAYATA not appearing with anyone). However, YO-HEY was seen to be standing watching HAYATA’S match with Kid Lykos, and loving it.
The tournament was held between eight wrestlers: Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke, YO-HEY, HAYATA, Chris Ridgeway, James Castle, Ben Basden and Kid Lykos.
In the first round, Daisuke Harada and Chris Ridgeway beat the hell out of each other, YO-HEY was an instant hit with the crowd (who were disappointed that he wouldn’t be coming back), James Castle faced Tadasuke and HAYATA had a match against Kid Lykos which involved heel tactics and an attack from Chris Brookes. As far as the Noah matches went in the second round, NOAH naturally did not want to ruin the eventual Harada vs YO-HEY or the YO-HEY vs HAYATA, so we were treated to HAYATA vs Daisuke Harada.
The finals came down to James Castle vs Daisuke Harada, in which Harada was victorious and became the first IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion, he was handed the belt by Doug Williams, and bought it to the ring today in NOAH.
Chris Ridgeway has vowed revenge on Harada, he says that not only will he come to Japan to make him tap out, he would also take the belt too.
A more detailed recap of the event can be found via my podcast episode at either Soundcloud or iTunes (please see links at the end of the newsletter).
NOAH VS ALL JAPAN\TOKYO SPORTS AWARDS
Tokyo Sports are suggesting that as 2019 will mark Jun Akiyama’s five years of All Japan presidency, and of course NOAH will celebrate their 20 years in August, there may well be a collaboration between the two for the anniversary, NOAH of course coming from All Japan.
At the annual awards, Naomichi Marufuji picked up the award for “Outstanding Achievement”, and Kaito Kiyomiya the award for “Fighting Spirit”.
Kaito Kiyomiya (who was described by Suwama as being “dignified, well dressed, with good posture” and “very polite to the seniors”), gave a nervous looking speech:
“I have received the “Fighting Spirit Award”. Thank you very much. When I heard I was getting this award, I was very surprised. I am proud to have taken the belt last year, and this year, as champion, as NOAH’s face, I would like to run with everyone who supports me. Thank you very much”.
Naomichi Marufuji (older and more experienced, and with the benefit of having Misawa ease him into public situations such as these), was more relaxed in his:
“Thank you very much for the “Outstanding Performance Award” of 2018. 2018 was my 20th year, but this year is my 21st. I’d like to make an effort to make a further leap. As New Japan continue to monopolize the MVP Grand Prize, I want to show the best match, so not to lose receiving the assessment”
“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS“
Kenoh’s column Kenoh spoke in his first column of 2019 about his loss to Kaito Kiyomiya for the GHC Heavyweight Championship. He is confident that he can beat Kiyomiya for the title, but he feels there is an element of nepotism and that in his opinion, Kiyomiya is “protected by the company.”
Kenoh’s worse fears are that Marufuji will challenge for the title when he returns on the 2nd February, and that Kiyomiya will defeat him (Kenoh wants to be the one to do it), and he has sworn he will crush them both if so. Kenoh finished by saying that his goal for this year is to get his revenge on Kiyomiya, that is his “screenplay”.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion & IPW Champion: Daisuke Harada
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Yuji Hino & Maybach Taniguchi (“The Hooligans”)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Hitoshi Kumano & Hajime Ohara (“The Backbreakers”)
~ YO-HEY has a new t-shirt
~ Yoshinari Ogawa has been pulled from the NOAH tour from the 19th to the 26th January as he is suffering from influenza.
~ Fifty Funky Powers disco ball was out, proud and rotating at NOAH’s show on January 13th. For their entry the lights dimmed and it threw green spots around the hall.
~ NOAH are selling in limited quantities, portrait pictures of Junta Miyawaki, Yoshiki Inamura and Kinya Okada
~ There appears to be a conflict brewing between Kenoh and Katsuhiko Nakajima
~ Tadasuke was noted to be giving Kinya Okada advice during their three way match
~ Kenoh did not take kindly to being asked to join the revolution with Atsushi Kotoge, and kicked him hard after he had asked him. Kotoge also tried to ask HAYATA and Yoshinari Ogawa, HAYATA walked off (refusing to shake hands with him) and Ogawa said “seriously?”
KING SHAMELESS CORNER
None. He’s been too preoccupied with his new dog, and the weather has been too cold for him to be rude.
The final night of “Navigation For The Future 2019” will be broadcast on Saturday 9th February 2019 at 10pm JST on Samurai.
“I will keep doing well until my daughter is adult, and my life will be full of youth, no matter how old she will be”
“Living with Cancer” is a book written in March 2018 by Kenta Kobashi. It has five chapters and details his life from his diagnosis until now. For cancer sufferers and their families, he gives advice and support, while he also details his own battle against it. The last chapter is dedicated to his family, his infant daughter and the fans.
As one reviewer has put it, Misawa taught Kobashi the importance of leaving the ring alive.
The English translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography “Heir To The Ark” (a work in progress), can be found here
Recommendation for 2019: Junta Miyawaki
Tokyo Sports 2018 Grand Prix Award Ceremony
Naomichi Marufuji’s Outstanding Performance Award for the first time in twelve years “An effort to make a further leap”
Kaito Kiyomiya’s first Fighting Spirit Award as “The new face of Noah”
UK Expedition Result: Daisuke Harada becomes the first IPW Junior Heavyweight Champion
POST MATCH PROMOS ~ “Navigation For The Future 2019” Night Four ~ Esupuma Isauma (Kawagoe-shi) (Sunday, January 13th 2019)
Naomichi Marufuji, Pro Wrestling Grand Prize, Special Prize winner, “I want to see the view that Misawa could not”
POST MATCH PROMOS ~ “Navigation For The Future 2019” Night Three ~ Act City Hamamatsu (12th January 2019)
Photos & gifs – credit to Tokyo Sports (group picture), Hisame (YO-HEY), Amazon.co.jp (“Living with Cancer”)