Will the Beast, Brock Lesnar, appear on the Raw After Extreme Rules to answer Kurt Angle’s Universal Championship ultimatum? Or are his priorities with MMA?
All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter
- Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns; Reigns wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match.
- Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode; Ziggler wins.
- Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley; Rawley wins.
- Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke; Alicia & Dana win, by disqualification.
- The B-Team VS The Ascension; The B-Team wins.
- The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide; The Authors of Pain win.
- Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan; Sarah wins.
- Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley; Lashley wins and moves on to next week’s Universal Championship #1 Contender’s match
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and Raw pays respect to Masa Saito.
Raw General Manager, Kurt Angle, is already in the ring.
He thanks all the stars who competed last night in Extreme Rules. Their dedication makes him proud to be GM. However, there is one star who has shown very little dedication, and that is Brock Lesnar. Angle issued an ultimatum for The Beast to show up and/or agree to terms on his next defense, or be STRIPPED of the Universal Championship. He has not heard a thing from Lesnar or Heyman, so he will– Paul Heyman interrupts!
The Advocate wishes to tell the “ladies and gentlemen” of Buffalo, New York, that– Everyone knows who you are, Paul! But if Lesnar isn’t the one to come out, this is just a waste of time. Heyman sees it as very interesting that Angle says that, because his client, “the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK LESNAR”, is not here. In that case, Angle strips– NO NO! Heyman hustles to the ring to speak face to face with Angle. With all due respect, Heyman feels Angle and the WWE Universe. They all think Lesnar doesn’t care about the WWE, and he only wants to be a UFC champion again. Nothing is farther from the truth! Lesnar loves being in the WWE. Lesnar loves being Universal Champion. Then where is he!?
Lesnar wants to represent the WWE as he challenges for the UFC championship. That way, when Lesnar is both, he elevates the WWE. Just like Angle being all the different champions with an Olympic gold medal. Well more power to Lesnar. But Angle still insists Lesnar defend his championship at Summerslam, or he is no longer champion! Heyman hears the fans chant, and must give his decision for Lesnar. Angle drives a hard bargain. Lesnar will defend his title at Summerslam. So on behalf of Lesnar, Heyman congratulates the fans for their voices reaching the company in demanding more Lesnar. They want more of the Beast, more of the Conqueror! The Network would be all Lesnar all the time! So it’s official: Lesnar defends his title at Summerslam, but it’s up to Angle to decide who gets “beaten, victimized and conquered”! Bobby Lashley appears!
The Dominator heads to the ring, fresh off his win over The Big Dog, Roman Reigns. Lashley has the fans chanting for him as he explains he did defeat Roman Reigns. But now he’s ready for the next step. Heyman backs up as Lashley says he’s going to beat Lesnar and win the Universal Championship! But now Drew McIntyre appears! And he wants Lashley to hold on just a moment. Why does everyone think McIntyre came back? To bolster the roster? To be in someone’s corner? No, he came back to change things and make sure Ziggler kept the Intercontinental Championship. He’s done that, and he’s on to Phase Two, just like Lashely. McIntyre enters the ring while fans chant “YES! YES!” because McIntyre wants at The Beast! But here comes Seth Rollins!
The Architect hits the ring, and he’s fuming over how McIntyre screwed him out of the IC title. Fans chant “Burn It Down!” while Rollins glares into the eyes of McIntyre. “Kurt, if you’re looking for an opponent for Brock Lesnar, I’m right here.” Angle smirks, but here comes Elias?! The Drifter is here in Buffalo and playing his guitar as always. Elias heads to the ring, because he has a question: Who Wants to Walk With Elias?! But questions aside, Elias knows “there’s a lot of noise going on in this ring.” Nothing sounds better than Elias as Universal Champion. Next week, 7/23/18, Elias’ debut album drops! Therefore, ride his wave of success into Summerslam and put Elias VS Lesnar on. But wait, here comes Finn Balor!
The Extraordinary Man and the original Universal Champion joins everyone else, saying that “what makes sense” is the answer to this question: Who was the very first? It makes sense for us to get Balor VS Lesnar. But here comes Roman Reigns! The Big Dog may have lost to Lashley last night, but Greatest Royal Rumble is still the chip on his shoulder. He joins all the other men in the ring, and admits he has no excuses. Roman doesn’t care who, he just wants a fight tonight. Angle knows they all deserve something, so we’re going to divide things into Triple Threats. The winners of those move on to #1 contender’s match, that man goes on to face Lesnar. It’ll be Elias VS Rollins VS Bobby Lashley, then McIntyre VS Balor VS Reigns. That latter triple threat is RIGHT NOW! Who moves on down this Road to Summerslam?!
Angle encounters Baron Corbin backstage.
What does he think he’s doing? Two triple threats? Did he get authorization? Angle didn’t think he needed to. That’s the problem! And why wasn’t Corbin in one? He wasn’t deserving. But Finn Balor does? Yes, because Finn beat Corbin. Think about that!
Triple Threat: Finn Balor VS Drew McIntyre VS Roman Reigns!
Finn is coming off a win over Constable Corbin and the Scottish Terminator helped the Show-Off screw over Seth Rollins while The Big Dog actually lost to The Dominator. Who will come out with this very important win to take one step closer to a match with The Beast in Brooklyn?
The bell rings and we begin. McIntyre rocks Finn but Roman throws hands on McIntyre. McIntyre shoves Roman away but Finn returns to throw hands, too. Roman comes back as Finn is pushed away. Roman lifts McIntyre, but McIntyre escapes, only to get an uppercut. Finn rolls Roman, TWO. McIntyre bulldozes both Roman and Finn! McIntyre bumps Roman on a buckle then chops and punches away. He goes to Finn to chop him, too, then stomps Roman down. McIntyre brings Finn up but Finn hits back. Finn dropkicks McIntyre, then Roman clotheslines McIntyre out. Finn clotheslines Roman out, then builds speed to FLY! The inaugural Universal Champion flexes before putting McIntyre in the ring.
Now Finn chops and whips, but McIntyre reverses and hard. Roman returns, but is thrown overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grimaces down at Roman as he stomps his ear and hand. He drags Roman up and throws a haymaker. Roman staggers but is bumped off buckles. McIntyre throws more hands, but Finn comes in to throw hands on McIntyre. Finn gets run over, and Roman gets a boot. McIntyre looms over them both, then drags Roman up for a big suplex. Cover, TWO! McIntyre leaves Roman alone to go after Finn. He stomps Finn then bumps him off buckles. McIntyre chops Finn, then goes back to Roman. He throws hands on Roman, then covers, TWO. McIntyre rains down rights while covering, TWO by an inch.
McIntyre throws more hands, then goes after Finn. He blasts Finn to the floor, then glares at Roman. McIntyre brings Roman up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, and McIntyre grows frustrated. The Scottish machine is in control while we go to break.
Raw returns as McIntyre hammers away on Roman in a corner. He backs off at the ref’s count, then fetches Finn for an apron snake eyes. McIntyre throws Finn in the ring, then stomps away on both men. He stalks Roman for a bigger stomp, then goes over to Finn for a big toss into a corner. Finn boots back, then Roman runs McIntyre over! Roman rallies but McIntyre reverses the whip, only to get the leaping lariat. Finn hits Roman! He throws hands and whips but Roman reverses to clobber Finn with a clothesline! Fans are mixed as Roman clears his head. He aims at Finn on the outside, for the Drive- No, it misses, and Roman gets slingshot stomps! Finn brings Roman up, but McIntyre FLIES!
Finn evades and Roman is wiped out! And then Finn throws McIntyre into steps! Finn takes aim from the apron, and hits double stomps to McIntyre’s back! he and Roman return to the ring, double stomps for the Big Dog! Cover, TWO! Roman is gasping after all he’s taken, but fans are behind Finn. Finn drags Roman up but Roman powers him to a corner. Roman runs back in, but misses! Finn swing kicks from the apron, and Roman goes down! Finn climbs, but McIntyre uses a CHAIR! It’s legal in a triple threat, so no one can really complain. McIntyre targets Roman with that chair, but gets an uppercut first! Roman throws hands in a corner, then throws McIntyre across the way. McIntyre reverses to send Roman into the post, covers, TWO! We go to break with McIntyre back in control.
Raw returns again, and Roman hobbles over to McIntyre in a corner. He unloads the point blank clotheslines and gets all 10. Roman runs, and boots McIntyre down. Fans are mixed again as Roman locks and loads. Roman aims, but McIntyre SPINEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! McIntyre grows frustrated with how close yet how far he is from the win. He drags Roman up, prepares a powerbomb, but Finn has that chair! SMACK for McIntyre! And another! McIntyre goes out, but Finn goes after Roman! SMACK for Roman! And SMACK and SMACK and SMACK! Finn fires up, and so does the WWE Universe. Finn blasts McIntyre into barriers! Then he drags McIntyre up, but gets out as Roman SPEARS McIntyre into the timekeeper’s area!
Finn SLINGBLADES Roman! He puts Roman in, takes aim again, and Slingblades again! Finn takes aim a third time, but runs into a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO! Roman is shocked, and looks lost. Finn crawls away, dazed as he is, but Roman talks himself back into this. Fans duel as Roman stands up and fires up. Roman howls, but Finn knees the spear away. Then blasts Roman with the dropkick! Finn goes up while Roman’s down, COUP DE GRACE! Cover, but McIntyre drags Finn off!
Finn fires forearms but McIntyre throws knees. McIntyre puts Finn into steel, then puts him into the ring. McIntyre wants someone to get up. Finn sits up first, but SUPERMAN Punch! Roll up from Finn, TWO!! SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman runs into a Glasgow Kiss, aka a stiff headbutt, from McIntyre. McIntyre runs, but misses Roman and hits Finn! SUPERMAN PUNCH! SPEAR to Finn! Cover, Roman wins!
Winner: Roman Reigns; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match
The Big Dog is busted up but HE is the one moving on. He found a way to be the one to hit last, but will he be the one to punch his ticket to Brooklyn?
Bayley meets with Kurt Angle backstage.
But where’s Sasha Banks? Still in the locker room. Classic Sasha, only caring about herself. Which means the friendship counseling didn’t go well. Bayley tried to meet Sasha halfway, but for some reason, it didn’t work. They might never ever be friends again. Angle realizes he should’ve settled things in the ring. They’re gonna team up against Dana Brooke & Alicia Fox. That’s not a good idea right now. No, they’re so good together. If they don’t win, one of them is off to SmackDown.
Dolph Ziggler heads to the ring!
The Show-Off #AndStill the WWE Intercontinental Champion not only had Drew McIntyre on his side, he got lucky with the countdown as a last-second Curb Stomp was just a second too late. Either way, Ziggler smirks as he addresses Buffalo, saying “All I did was everything I said I was gonna do.” He put on an “absolute clinic”, and is the Ironman Intercontinental Champion! Ziggler knows something special happened last night, as the IC title main-evented a PPV for the first time in 17 years. That wasn’t because of Rollins. Ziggler came back to put everyone on notice, but he does give credit where it’s due. Rollins has Ziggler’s respect when it comes to making the IC title what it is today. “But you’re no Dolph Ziggler, brother.” Ziggler beat Rollins five times! But here comes Bobby Roode!
The GLORIOUS One and Dolph Ziggler have had matches in the past over the United States Championship on SmackDown, but now Roode and Ziggler are here on Raw. Roode knows Ziggler is giving credit where it’s due, but what about McIntyre? If it wasn’t for him, Ziggler wouldn’t be able to brag right now. Ziggler should be on his hands and knees thanking McIntyre. Otherwise, he might be telling some bad jokes at some comedy club. That’s right, while Ziggler was headlining Extreme Rules, Roode had fun watching from the sidelines. To be honest, the sidelines suck, but Roode is out here to challenge for the title, right now! Fans like the sound of that, but Ziggler doesn’t look to defend his title. Is he afraid he can’t do it alone?
Ziggler decides to get a referee out here so they can! The referee heads out to the ring, and it’s happening! Oh, but not for the Intercontinental Championship. Sorry about that.
Dolph Ziggler VS Bobby Roode!
Roode is upset but he still takes it out on Ziggler. Ziggler manages to deny the DDT and get Roode into a hammerlock. Roode resists but Ziggler shifts to a headlock. Roode powers out but Ziggler runs him over. Ziggler runs but Roode hip tosses him down! Roode gets the headlock takeover, then grinds Ziggler on the mat. Ziggler works his way up, then puts Roode in a corner. They break, but Ziggler kicks low. Ziggler puts Roode in a headlock takeover of his own, and even traps an arm. Roode works his way out as they go around the mat. They stand up, and Roode pries his way out to his own headlock on Ziggler. Ziggler powers out, but Roode runs him over. Roode runs, then throws Ziggler out! Ziggler hits the floor hard while fans fire up.
Roode waits for Ziggler, but then slips out the side. Ziggler manages to stand but Roode bumps him off barriers. Roode puts Ziggler back in the ring but Ziggler rolls to the other side. Ziggler wants a time out but Roode walks over. Ziggler yanks him back out, then dropkicks him on reentry! Cover, TWO! Roode gets to a corner but Ziggler brings him up for a chinlock. Roode endures, and gets up to his feet. He fights back but Ziggler knees low to then drop Roode with a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated with his old foe, but he puts Roode in a corner. Roode hits first with haymakers and chops. Roode backs Ziggler down, then whips him corner to corner. Ziggler reverses but Roode comes out with the clothesline! Ziggler yanks Roode into buckles now, then backs off while we go to break.
Raw returns to Roode stuck inside the sleeper hold and body scissors from Ziggler. Roode feeds off the rally from the fans and gets his second wind. They stand up and Roode fights back. Ziggler kicks low, then runs in at Roode, but into a back elbow. Roode boots Ziggler back, then dodges him in a corner. Ziggler’s splash hits buckles, but he slips out of the back suplex. Ziggler goes for another sleeper hold, but Roode rolls through. Roode rallies, then whips. Ziggler kicks him away, but he still runs into a yurinagi slam! Fans fire up for Roode and he hits the corner clothesilne. Ziggler denies the bulldog but gets boots. Roode hops up, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! The fans fire up as Roode winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose!
The kick, but Ziggler counters the DDT and sits on the sunset. TWO, but Ziggler misses the Famouser. Roode rolls him, Ziggler rolls back, but Roode does i back. TWO, and still no DDT, ZIG ZAG!! Cover, TWO!? How?! Fans rally up for Roode while Ziggler takes aim. Ziggler tunes up, just like last night. He takes aim, but Roode blocks the kick to get the catapult! Ziggler his buckles, then walks into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Roode keeps his cool while Ziggler rolls to the ropes. Roode drags Ziggler up on the apron but Ziggler hotshots back. Ziggler goes for but is denied a Zig Zag. Roode boots Ziggler away, then hops up, but has to jump over. The legs give out, and Ziggler kicks them, but Roode denies the DDT to get a SUPERKICK instead! Cover, Ziggler wins!
Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall
The Show-Off wins cleaner than last night, but either way, he’s still a winner. Will Ziggler encounter a challenger worthy of a match on the way to Summerslam?
Bobby Lashley speaks.
They say the Beast fears no man. Lashley says the Beast has never faced someone like him. Lashley vows to be the next Universal Champion, but what will it take to get through both Seth Rollins and Elias in their Triple Threat?
Mojo Rawley “applauds” Bobby Roode.
“And you’re supposed to be Glorious?” Mojo grins at the defeated Roode before walking away. Roode doesn’t have a response, but will he give Mojo one next time they meet?
Tyler Breeze VS Mojo Rawley!
Now the Man with #KillerInstinct heads to the ring and goes against Prince Pretty. Will Mojo fare better than Roode did against Ziggler? Or will he be the one shown up?
The bell rings and Mojo goes right at Breeze with shoulders in the corner. He throws Breeze out, but Breeze dropkicks and clotheslines Mojo out! Breeze slingshots but misses, and Mojo POUNCES! Mojo glares down at Breeze, then puts him in the ring. Cover, TWO, so he tries again. ONE, and Mojo puts Breeze in a half-nelson. Breeze endures while fans duel between them. Mojo says Breeze just has to tap and it’ll be over. Breeze refuses, but can’t get away from Mojo. Cover, ONE, but Mojo still has the half-nelson.
Breeze continues to endure, and sits up again. Mojo powers up but Breeze sunset flips! TWO, and Breeze hits an enziguri! He hits a forearm in the corner, then whips, but Mojo reverses. Breeze holds ropes to dump Mojo out, but Mojo leaps back in! Mojo corner splashes, then hits THE Pounce! Mojo stalks Breeze to a corner, and hits the LIGHTS OUT Forearm! He’s still not done, he gives Breeze an Alabama Slam! Cover, Mojo wins!
Winner: Mojo Rawley, by pinfall
The Killer Instinct is strong in Mojo. He grins as he stares down at the defeated Breeze. Will he do the same to a champion in the future?
Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Alicia Fox & Dana Brooke!
Kurt Angle issued an ultimatum to these two friends on the rocks. If they can’t find a way to get along and win, one of them will be traded to SmackDown. Winning heals all wounds, but are these emotional wounds too deep?
Bayley and Alicia start and tie up. Alicia puts Bayley in a corner, then throws forearms. She wrenches and whips Bayley, but Bayley goes up and over. Bayley rolls Alicia, TWO. Alicia gets to ropes for safety, but then sucker BOOTS Bayley down. Cover, TWO! Alicia tags in Dana, then whips Bayley in for Danan’s handspring elbow. Dana stomps away, then puts Bayley in a corner. Dana runs in again but misses, so she makes sure to hit Sasha first. Bayley hits Dana back, then runs to run her over! Bayley throws hands but Dana gets away. The Huggable One still rallies, and hits Alicia for good measure. She elbows and wacky waving- gets run over! Dana throws Bayley out hard, and Alicia slaps away.
Sasha comes over to save Bayley, but then Dana gets Sasha. Sasha throws Dana down HARD, then rams her into barriers. She puts Alicia into the apron, but the referee keeps shouting for her to stop. She doesn’t and she hits a double crossbody! The ref has no choice but the ring the bell.
Winners: Dana & Alicia, by disqualification
Was Sasha saving a friend in need? Or just getting hers while she could before someone gets sent to SmackDown?
Bayley confronts Sasha backstage.
Why did she do that? Sasha wants to leave, but Bayley wants to talk. Sasha won’t let someone else beat Bayley up. So she cares? yes, of course! She always has! But Sasha hates talking about feelings. Sasha loves that Bayley is a good person to everyone, and that she’s a role-model to little girls, or that she’s always there when Sasha doesn’t ask her to be. Why can’t Bayley get it? Sasha loves Bayley, ok? She said it. Sasha storms off, but will this be the last time they’re both on Raw?
Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.
The Monster in the Bank threw Kevin Owens off a cage! Does he have any regrets? Actually, he does. He regrets he wasn’t’ able to congratulate Kevin on the “win”. Why didn’t Strowman step up when all the others did for a chance at Lesnar? Because he has the briefcase! It doesn’t matter who wins, and whether they win against Lesnar, Strowman has his shot anytime, anywhere! Will everyone #GetTheseHands in the end?
The B-Team VS The Ascension!
And don’t adjust your television, they ARE the new Raw Tag Team Champions! They shocked the world by overthrowing WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt, then celebrated all night long! Will they still be celebrating after this match tonight?
Raw returns as Konnor looms over Axel. The bigger Konnor stomps away, then back elbows Bo as he comes in. Axel kicks back, then throws Konnor into the post! Bo tags in and adds on with hammering fists. Bo then adds mudhole stomps, and fans cheer for the champs. The Revival are watching backstage while Axel tags in. Bo hits a clothesline, then feeds Konnor to the DDT. Cover, TWO! Axel facelocks Konnor, but Konnor uses his strength to head for Viktor. Axel piggybacks and clubs Knnor down, but is pushed away. Hot tags to Bo and Viktor, but it’s Viktor who rallies.
Viktor chops and chops then whips Bo corner to corner for a big back elbow. He whips Bo again, but Bo dodges. Viktor goes up, flying knee! Cover, but Axel breaks it in time. Konnor hits Axel, then dodges Bo. Axel dumps Konnor out, and Bo back elbows Viktor. Tag to Axel, Neck B-reaker! Cover, B-Team wins!
Winners: The B-Team, Axel pinning
The “undefeated” streak continues! They celebrate all over again, but the Deleters speak tot hem from inter-dimensional space. Enjoy your moment of glory, but understand that it won’t last. The B Team disrupted the divine equilibrium in a rematch for the titles. Bray & Hardy vow to take those belts back, and then DELETE the B Team Forever~! Will it be an eternal erasure for Bo and Axel?
Alexa Bliss & Mickie James head to the ring!
It was thanks to the six-time Women’s Champion that the Goddess managed to survive “kendo sticks, chairs, trash cans, bullies and overrated rookies” to still be Raw Women’s Champion. “What an upset, right?” She knows the fans thought “poor little Alexa” was gonna lose to “big bad Nia”, but they were wrong. Alexa wrote the final chapter in her story with Nia, with a happy ending: the One True Goddess victorious. She has dominated the Women’s Division for so long, because her strongest muscle is her brain. She out-thinks everyone, but outsmarting Nia wasn’t that hard. Alexa says she’s officially beaten everyone in the locker room. But fans remind her of “Ronda Rousey!” She hears them, but Ronda doesn’t count. Ronda is not here because she’s suspended! And after last night, it should be indefinite! Ronda was just a fan last night, but now she’s here again!
The Rowdy Woman makes her way down the stairs, despite her suspension still in effect for another 48 hours. Mickie & ALexa make a run for it, but Ronda is already on the stage! They run the other way, but Ronda chases them down! She grabs Mickie first, for that same Rowdy Slam! And the ARMBAR! Alexa works to save her friend, and referees help her out. Ronda glares at Alexa as she retreats, but then runs her down! Ronda barrels through referees, Mickie AND Alexa! Fans are loving it as Ronda drags the Goddess up by her pink-tipped hair and puts her back in the ring. Ronda throws Alexa down, for the armbar!! Referees safe Alexa while Angle comes out to talk sense into Ronda. Angle wants Ronda to listen and calm down, especially after last night. Ronda has two more days, so just go home and wait it out.
But Constable Baron Corbin says the GM needs to do his job! Reprimand Ronda! Angle is right, add another week onto the suspension. A week!? No, Ronda spits in the face of authority, and all she gets is a week? Stephanie’s not gonna be happy about this. Wait where is Corbin’s phone? Hold on, he has to go get it. But uh, Angle has it. But anyway, Ronda’s suspension will be up, but she will get a match with Alexa, unless she pulls another stunt like this. Don’t worry, the match she’s getting is a Raw Women’s Championship match at Summerslam! Alexa & Mickie protest, but Ronda is just fine with this deal! Seven more days on her suspension for a title match return is fine by her and the fans, but what about Corbin and Stephanie?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
The Architect wants at Brock Lesnar, but between the Triple Threat tonight, Roman Reigns next week and the wear on his body from Sunday’s Ironman match, how does he feel? To be honest, Rollins’ night wasn’t last night. But this will be his night, as will next Monday and Summerslam Sunday. If it’s Roman Reigns, his Shield Brother, “I gotta do what I gotta do.” He’s sure Roman will, too, so there’s an understanding between them. Can Rollins #BurnItDown against Elias and Lashley?
The Authors of Pain VS Titus Worldwide!
It’s a rematch between the destructive upstarts and the well-meaning veterans. Titus & Apollo know AoP are big, bad and strong, wanting to take respect, but that’s not how that works. You earn respect. Apollo tried what they did, but they’re not stagehands. They’re going to hit back and represent. Will their mission matter to Akam & Rezar?
The bell rings and Apollo hits Rezar but Akam hits him back. Titus gest in but Akam attacks first. Akam bumps Titus right off a post and lets him fall to the floor. Then he runs Titus over with a clothesline for good measure. Akam returns but Apollo enziguris and dropkicks! But Akam still powers Apollo to a corner. Rezar tags in, full nelson slam! Rezar talks trash in Albanian, then rams his shoulders into Apollo.
Tag to Akam, and Rezar atomic drops for Akam’s boot. Akam drags Apollo up and over, then tags Rezar back in. They work together for the double gut buster. Rezar taunts Apollo, then tags Akam back in. The AoP bring Apollo back up, for the LAST CHAPTER! Cover, AoP wins!
Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning
That makes it 2-0 for the duo of behemoths, and they barely broke a sweat. Will they bulldoze their way towards the tag team titles in no time?
The Riott Squad encounters the conga line.
No Way Jose and his buddies don’t stop them and their trouble making. They’re on their way out to see if they can finally get a win over the Prophecy of Flame!
Ember Moon VS Sarah Logan w/ Liv Morgan!
The Juvenile Delinquent is 0-2 against the former NXT Women’s Champion, but can #CountryStrong get the Squad on the board?
The bell rings, and they tie up. Sarah arm-drags but Ember handstands through. Ember gets a waistlock but Sarah standing switches to throw Ember down. Sarah drags Ember up but Ember resists. Ember endures the facelock, then reverses it onto Sarah. Sarah rolls through to reel Ember in, but Ember rolls her up. ONE, but Ember gets a waistlock. Ember slips around to lift Sarah, but Sarah resists. Sarah elbows out, then whips Ember to a corner. Ember goes up but gets a forearm that sends her down! The Kentucky Viking wants at Ember, and throws her into the ring. Cover, TWO, but Liv is confident Sarah has this. Sarah grinds her elbow and forearm into Ember, then drags her up to the ropes. She chokes Ember against them, then Liv gets a cheap shot in! Cover, TWO!
Sarah keeps her cool while she drags Ember up again. She suplexes but Ember small packages! TWO, and Sarah dodges a superkick to deadlift suplex! Bridging pin, TWO! Sarah grows frustrated, but she keeps focus as she puts Ember into an anaconda vice. Fans rally for Ember, and she rolls Sarah over. TWO, and Sarah keeps on the vice. Ember fights against it, then stands up. Sarah wrangles Ember back for a backbreaker, then wrenches on the vice. Ember endures and fights her way up again. She pops her hips back and slips out, then kicks Sarah away. Ember and Sarah slowly stand, but Ember slips out of the back suplex. She dodges Sarah to rock her with a right hand! Sarah staggers over, but into headscissors! They both stand up and Ember rallies! Ember gives several big knees, then runs to slide in for a complete shot!
Liv distracts on the apron but gets a forearm! Sarah rolls Ember up, TWO! Mule kick! Cover, TWO! Ember and Sarah crawl towards ropes, but Ember dropkicks Sarah out. Fans fire up, and Ember builds speed to DIVE! She wipes Sarah out but keeps moving. They go back into the ring, cover, TWO! Ember grits her teeth as she gets up to the top rope. She aims at Sarah, but Liv distracts again. Sarah trips Ember up, covers, Sarah wins!
Winner: Sarah Logan, by pinfall
This was not only Sarah’s first win in a 1v1 match, but she got it done against the War Goddess! Will this be the beginning of the Squad turning it around while they’re without their Riott leader?
“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”
The Drifter realizes he’s in Buffalo, and is instantly depressed. But he can save everyone with his debut album next week. Fans need to buy it, listen to it and let it heal them. What is the album’s name? The answer is simple, it’s the three words we all know: Walk With Elias! Amen to that. Now imagine the history he will make: number one recording artist and Universal Champion. All he has to do is will himself through this performance. But first, shut up so he can sing the song for him and only himself. Elias begins playing, but no one stays quiet.
“Brock’s got to go, I’m in Buffalo.” Triple Threat ain’t no match for him, he’d rather watch paint dry than hear Lashley speak. Seth Rollins go take a DIVE off Niagra Falls. Elias could be IC champion but Rollins cheated. Speaking of Rollins, he interrupts and gets this show going.
Triple Threat: Elias VS Seth Rollins VS Bobby Lashley!
The Drifter has been campaigning for a chance against The Beast for some time now, while The Kingslayer hopes to become The Beastslayer. They both will have to deal with The Dominator first, who will move on to then face The Big Dog next week?
But as Lashley makes his entrance, Elias attacks Rollins! Lashley runs in, and the referee keeps the peace in order to check on Rollins. Rollins wants this match to happen, so the bell rings. Elias goes after Rollins again, but Lashley pulls Elias over to bump him off buckles. Lashley throws hands then bumps Elias again. He stomps and punches away, then whips Elias to the ropes. Elias bails out, but Rollins is there to run him over! Rollins sees Lashley in the ring, and leaves Elias behind to test the Dominater. Fans duel while they circle and tie up. Rollins gets a waistlock and headlock takeover. Lashley rolls him over to a cover, ONE, but Rollins holds on. They stand up and Lashley powers out. Lashley runs Rollins over, then knocks Elias away. Lashley throws Rollins in the headlock takeover.
Rollins keeps it from becoming a cover, and fans rally up. They stand, and Rollins powers out. Things speed up and Rollins dropkicks Lashley down. Rollins stalks Lashley to a corner for chops. He whips Lashley to a corner, but Lashley puts Rollins on the apron. Rollins springboards in but into a kick! Lashley grabs Rollins, but Elias comes in to knee Lashley down! Rollins rolls Elias, TWO! Elias dodges and sends Rollins into buckles, tot hen shovel Rollins up. Rollins spins to huricanrana, but gets a knee from Elias! Cover, TWO! Heyman, Angle and Corbin watch intently from backstage while we go to break.
Raw returns once more, and Elias has Rollins in a cobra clutch. Fans rally up and Rollins fights back. Elias still puts his weight on Rollins, but Lashley returns. Elias pin balls between Rollins and Lashley, getting a jawbreaker to clotheslines. Lashley throws Elias overhead, then grabs Rollins in a swinging neckbreaker. He runs in at Elias for a shoulder tackle, then the vertigo suplex. Rollins kicks Lashley but gets tossed overhead. He lands on his feet, but is hit with a powerslam. Elias runs in but for a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lashley takes aim but Elias bails out of the ring. Lashley pursues, but Elias throws him into a post. Rollins DIVES but Elias deflects him. Elias then throws Lashley into another post, and into the ring. He climbs up top, Macho Elbow! Cover, TWO! FROG SPLASH! But Elias throws Rollins out to cover, TWO!
All three men are down from exhaustion, but Rollins stirs. He drags himself back into the ring while Lashley slumps out. Elias sees him, and stalks him to a corner. He clubs away on Rollins, then shovels him up. Rollins fights out, wristlocks, but Elias elbows him away. Rollins boots Elias back, then hops up for a blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Elias gets to the apron while Rollins catches his breath. Rollins gets up as fans chant “Burn It Down!” for him. Rollins drags Elias up to the top rope, but Elias fights back. He clubs Elias then drags him up more. Elias still resists, and throws Rollins down. Elias adjusts, but Lashley returns! Lashley climbs up, clubs Elias, then grabs Elias for something. Rollins adds on, and has Lashley for the BUCKLE BOMB! Then he hops up to Elias, SUPERPLEX! Roll through, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!!
All three men are down again, but Elias slumps out of the ring. Rollins sits up and sees he has two targets. He builds speed, and DIVES on Elias! Direct hit, and into the ring he goes. He DIVES on Lashley! Rollins returns to Elias, enziguri! Slingblade! But that’s not all, as Rollins fires up Buffalo with the “Burn It Down!” stomps. He aims at Elias, mule kick to CURB STOMP! Cover, but Lashley breaks it up just in time! They’re all done again, but Elias bails out again. Rollins goes after Lashley with a forearm, but Lashley gives it back. They brawl back and forth, but Rollins gets a furious edge. He runs, but into a BIG clothesline from Lashley!
Lashley lifts Rollins with the Vertigo Suplex! He drops Rollins down, then prepares his ace. He runs, but into a post! Roll up, TWO, mule kick! CURB- No, Elias dragged Rollins out! But he runs into a SPEAR! Lashley wins!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall; moves on to next week’s #1 Contender’s match
We get a rematch from Extreme Rules between the two alpha males of Raw! Both men are armed with Spears, but who will be the one to barrel their way into Brooklyn and a match with The Beast?
Well, if Extreme Rules was a mixed bag of emotions, this Raw was the epitome of that. The matches were all filler, no matter how you look at them. It was great that Heyman panicked over his client being stripped over his not-so-subtle self-serving as a two-sport fighter, but this was just fancy wrapping paper on Vince’s gift to himself. Roman and Lashley being in the contender pool, or even just Roman himself, makes it clear we’re getting an Extreme Rules rematch that makes us all realize: they should’ve just made this the stipulation for Extreme Rules! Spare us the semantics and get to the point. Vince wants Roman to have another go, and we all know it. The triple threats were all booked great, but that was just something for the live audience to enjoy more than anything. I hope Lashley wins again, but we can’t be sure anymore.
Everything else that happened tonight also felt slightly off. Roode VS Ziggler is a revisit from SmackDown, and is thankfully now about Ziggler being a weasel than Roode having a fancy entrance. However, it feels like it might be Roode VS Mojo instead as Mojo gets in Roode’s face before squashing Breeze. I still want Breeze to try his hand in 205 Live while Fandango recovers. Breeze might not get to be Cruiserweight Champion, but he can at least get good booking away from Vince’s direct control. However, Mojo and Roode might both get thrown into the Intercontinental Championship scene as Ziggler will need challengers as much as Lesnar. I’m slowly coming around on B-Team, just on how over the top they are about themselves, but with next week’s rematch, I hope we get something a bit more in story, such as a visit to at least one Compound.
Angle has added a Fourth “I” with “Incompetence” if he only just now figured out Bayley & Sasha could wrestle it out instead of talk. I doubt he’ll really trade one of them to SmackDown just because they’ve lost another match, but it was a good breakthrough for Sasha to admit she still does care for Bayley. I don’t know if this means their story shifts gears so we can try for that Women’s Tag Championship story, but that might be what saves this story before it’s truly too late. AoP winning was filler, but there’s still time before they’re just giant versions of The Ascension. Same for the Revival, depending on what happens with the tag titles. Good for Sarah to be the one to win for the Squad, but I’m not sure where the story goes without Ember having her own teammate.
The best part of tonight was actually Ronda appearing to attack Alexa and Mickie again. It was better than what I was expecting tonight, and is the one part of Raw that might actually be booked correctly. Ronda adds time to her “suspension” but that’s fine, because she’s getting her Summerslam match. Ronda better win, or else WWE will have shot themselves in the foot, again.
My Score: 7.5/10
Andrew’s Impact Wrestling Uncaged Ratings & Review
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
With the tag titles changing hands last week, do we see more changes with Impact Wrestling Uncaged?
The pseudo-PPV atmosphere is sure to bring in more consistent viewership, but they’re in an interesting spot. Taya and Tessa are really the only two credible Knockouts unless Gail comes out of retirement (since Rosemary, Su and Jordynne are in the same storyline), so we’ll probably see this get extended somehow. As for the other title match, The Machine has a lot of support and wrestling fans all know the money is in the chase. So I could see Cage getting “screwed” again, but I’d much rather see Cage with the title.
So let’s get hype for the show with a video package of the returning Reno Scum!
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
- Knockout’s Championship Street Fight: Tessa Blanchard vs Taya Valkyrie (c) – Taya retains via Double Footstomp through Table – *** 3/4
- ‘All Ego’ Ethan Page vs Willie Mack: Mack wins via Stunner – ** 1/2
- Elimination 4v4: Team Impact (Fallah Bahh, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake & Eddie Edwards) vs Team AAA (Puma King, Psycho Clown, Hijo del Vikingo & Aerostar): Team AAA 4-3 – *** 3/4
- Fatal 4 Way Impact World Championship: Killer Kross vs Moose vs Johnny Impact (c) vs Brian Cage: Johnny retains via Starship Pain on Moose – *** 1/4
Both women come out with throwback shirts. Tessa comes out with the old school Four Horsemen shirt and Taya comes out in her Perros de Mal shirt (old Triple A stable she was in with Perro Aguayo Jr). This match was a little awkward at times, and the first table they had ” La Wera Loca vs Diamond” painted on, didn’t break after two spear attempts. Really good hardcore style action, with chairs, insults, ring posts and another table. Definitely more of a brawl than wrestling, but after the table didn’t break the subsequent spots seemed to be a little off. Still a solid match, entertaining to watch, good way to start off the Uncaged show. Dios perdona, los perros no.
After a quick promo with Team Impact, Scarlett joins Melissa during the commercial break moment and she’s barely dressed and her and Melissa start doing squats. I mean they’re doubling down on sex sells, and I’m not even mad.
Mack and Page was a solid match. Good brawling, Willie’s agility outlasted Page’s strikes. One would assume the winner should be closer to an X Division title shot at least. So it should be interesting where this leads.
Killer Kross follows that with his typical chilling, slightly unhinged promo, and damn it was well done.
The interesting thing about the commercial break stuff tonight is Melissa doing live interviews with different people. It’s kinda neat, like extra content.
Team Triple A has a clap back promo after the commercial, which says the Cup is staying in Mexico. If memory serves, Team Triple A beat Team TNA in the first World X Cup, so I’m curious if they’ll pull from that for a storyline.
Sami Callihan calls out Swann one more time, Swann throws the shirt at Callihan, so a fight ensues. Swann gets the best of things momentarily, but an eye gauge allows Sami the opening to toss Rich around a little, Piledriver him on the stage and then Powerbomb him off the stage through a table. So I guess Sami will get the X Divison shot, but might have to go through Willie Mack first in the following weeks before Rebellion.
A lot of fun fast paced action, good dives, good strikes, nice story telling and only one slip so far from Aerostar. Eli Drake is the first one eliminated by Puma King because he tries to tell Eddie to not use the kendo stick, but tries to use it himself, Eddie catches him and takes his stick back, then pushing Eli. So one Gedo Clutch later, Eli is eliminated by pinfall. Fallah Bah eliminates Vikingo after a Twisted Running Powerslam. Aerostar eliminates Bahh after a Crucifix Pin when Bahh misses the Banzai Drop. Boston Knee Party from Eddie eliminates Aerostar. Piledriver from Sami eliminates Puma King. Two on one advantage with Sami and Eddie against Psycho Clown. Eddie hits a Boston Knee Party lays out Psycho Clown, but Sami pushes Eddie off and tries to steal the spotlight, only a two count, Psycho Rolls Up Sami for the pinfall elimination. Eddie has Psycho on the ropes, but Eli returns, takes Kenny the Kendo Stick and distracts Eddie. Then he hits Eddie to give Psycho a shot to hit a Backstabber, followed up the La Magistral for the victory. So Impact kinda played themselves, but it was a damn good match with a lot to unpack.
Melissa finally returns after a few commercial breaks off, with Sami Callihan and David Crist. This was ridiculous but great. Just erratic idiocy, they steal Melissa’s sandals at some point, David sings “Hey there Samuel” and Sami does a pitch like a dating service while Melissa is getting her sandals. So dumb, but great.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Small promotional video package for Reno Scum. Returning to Impact for the first time since the first wave of GFW “invasion” (nearly 2 years).
A quick little moment with Dark Allie, Su Yung and Rosemary, followed by a commercial with Melissa and KM & Fallah Bahh. Very funny, Melissa plays off the wrestlers well. She needs to stick around since she’s got a nice personality and seems to work well with most of the guys.
Scarlett with a weird video package, her in a bed, a little moan and showing cleavage is her formula. So if it ain’t broke, I’m not gonna fix it, shut up, stop judging me!
LAX joins Melissa before the main event and the Latina comes out in her. She’s more animated that usual, very fun and entertaining. She even busts their chops a little, but they take it in stride and seem to enjoy each other’s company.
Since the match starts with only about 12 minutes before time limit the match wasn’t going to be a technical masterpiece, but for what it was it was fun. It was more of a brawl, since there were 3 bigger guys. Kross had a bunch of moments looking like a beat, Cage looked like a million bucks hitting the Drill Claw on both Moose and Kross. But Johnny pulled the opportunistic thing, and while Kross and Cage were tied up, Johnny pulls Moose to the corner, barely hits Starship Pain and sneaks in a pinfall before Cage finishes the Drill Claw + pin on Kross. So Johnny retains while looking like a punk, and the crowd wanted nothing to do with him. Terminator claps most of the match.
.@MrGMSI_BCage had the World Championship right within his fingertips once again…
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) February 16, 2019
Overall Score: 7.5/10
Solid solid show from start to finish. Tessa and Taya got things kicked off well, Melissa doing backstage interviews as the Twitch commercial break stuff was great. World Cup match was fun and set up a few storylines for the Impact stars while Team Triple A got the home field advantage win. Main event was a little disappointing to be honest. Johnny has worn out his fan support both in Mexico and on Twitch chat. Granted yes, I’m hopeful this is building towards a big blow off at Rebellion, maybe with Cage going over and Austin Aries returning, but I guess we’ll have to see.
Also from the main event, we see some cracks in the Moose and Kross alliance, so that could definitely be an interesting match in the near future.
So yeah, we have a lot to chew on moving into TV tapings for the shows leading up to Rebellion, but from a completely playlist mentality view point, Cage got screwed. Brian Cage better be getting this damn title soon, or I want him to put Don Callis through the announce table.
Now the weekly Twitch viewers portion:
- Week 1: High – 10,350 / Low – 8,500
- Week 2: High – 8,000 / Low – 6,500
- Week 3: High – 8,500 / Low – 7,900
- Week 4: High – 7,100 / Low – 5,300
- Week 5: High – 7,450 / Low – 5,650
- Uncaged: High – 9,000/ Low – 8,000
Well it looks like people just need a reason to tune in. Not only was this week mostly main event talent, but since the event had was named, I feel like people just expected better quality. So still no record breaking high, but solid numbers throughout the entire show.
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: New Beginning in Sapporo Part 2!
Who leaves Sapporo with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles?
NJPW continues in Sapporo with two HUGE tag team matches! The Rainmaker and The Ace look for further revenge while EVIL & SANADA defend their tag titles!
This coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki; EVIL & SANADA win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale; White & Fale win.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene!
The Ace is once again IWGP Heavyweight Championship after dethroning The Best Bout Machine at Wrestle Kingdom 13! But the record-setting 8-time champion has a very determined challenger in The Switchblade. Jay White has Gedo and the Bullet Club by his side, and now has his title match in Osaka! But before then, Hiroshi Tanahashi will look to slow White down with the help of his old rival, Kazuchika Okada! Will this amazing tag team be able to defeat White and Bad Luck Fale? Or will it only be a sampling of the Cutthroat Era’s coming?
And before that, Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Heavyweight Tag Team Champions broke even with their challengers in singles competition. Now it is time to face off for the titles! Can the two-time Tag League and Two Time Tag Champions be able to overcome the Undisputed British Tag Team Champions? Or will Suzuki-Gun have two tag titles around their waists? That match is now!
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: EVIL & SANADA VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Minoru Suzuki!
Why wait for bells when you just wanna fight? Suzuki and ZSJ go right at Evil & Sanada as they enter the ring! ZSJ stomps Evil while Suzuki mugs Sanada on the outside. Red Shoes holds the belts, but Suzuki gets one to choke Sanada with it. Suzuki whips Sanada but Sanada reverses to send Suzuki into railing! Evil and ZSJ end up the leg men and brawl while the introductions are made. Evil whips ZSJ and goes to hip toss, but ZSJ counters to an abdominal stretch. ZSJ denies a counter but Evil still hip tosses out! Tag to Sanada, and LIJ go after ZSJ together. Double whips, clothesline, back senton! Cover, TWO! ZSJ rolls away but Sanada stalks him to a corner. Cold Skull whips ZSJ corner to corner but ZSj goes up and over. He fakes Sanada and rolls him up, TWO!
Sanada knees and whips ZSJ but ZSJ denies the dropkick. ZSJ misses the Peantly Kick, and Sanada trips him up! Sanada gets ZSJ in the Paradise Lock, but ZSJ slips out and toys with him. ZSJ kicks Sanada, but Sanada knees back. Sanada whips but ZSJ reverses. Suzuki gets a cheap shot and gets Sanada in a hanging armbar! ZSJ hits Evil just because. Suzuki lets Sanada go then goes after Evil. ZSJ keeps on Sanada and Suzuki mugs Evil. Suzuki brings Evil out to the crowd to bowl him through chairs. Suzuki laughs as he rams Evil with the railing. Then he throws chairs onto Evil! ZSJ twists Sanada around for a modified Octopus, then he hammerlock stomps an arm! Suzuki searches under the ring while ZSJ gives Sanada a shoulder breaker. Suzuki has a folding chair to jab Evil in the head!
The ring count passes 17, but Sanada manage to make it in at 19.5! ZSJ is on Sanada with an arm bar, to hammerlock, then digs his elbows into Sanada’s spine. ZSJ pulls back on Sanada’s free arm from wrist to elbow for another hammerlock. He makes it a buttefly of sorts, then a cover, TWO! ZSJ drags Sanada over and tags in Suzuki. Suzuki takes Sanada and wrenches, but then ZSJ wrenches, and they keep passing Sanada for wrenches. ZSJ boots the arm and then Suzuki boots the arm. Sanada clutches that tortured arm but Suzuki goes after it more against the ropes. REd Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki toys with Sanada now, but Sanada hits back. Suzuki just laughs again and throws forearms back. They go back and forth, but Suzuki hits hard. The champs are in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns while Suzuki taunts Sanada. Sanada does sit up but Suzuki’s right on him with fast forearms. Suzuki kicks but Sanada dragon screws, only for Suzuki to counter into an armbar! ZSJ hits Evil to keep him away, but Sanada resists the arm. Suzuki gets the arms apart and has Sanada at full extension! Sanada flails while ZSJ keeps Evil down with his own armlock! Suzuki pulls as hard as he can, but Sanada gets a ropebreak with his feet. Suzuki holds on to slam the arm on the mat. Tag to ZSJ and he hands the wrench off to ZSJ. ZSJ hammerlocks and tweaks Sanada’s arm. ZSJ sits down on the arm to practically triangle it! Suzuki keeps Evil at bay with an armbar on the ropes! ZSJ shifts his weight into a modified Labell meets Rings of Saturn!
Suzuki tortures Evil on the apron but Red Shoes can’t do anything about that while he watches ZSJ and Sanada. Sanada shifts again and gets another ropebreak via feet. Suzuki keeps on Evil with body shots while ZSJ lets Sanada go. ZSJ dares Sanada to stand, and then rock shim with a European Uppercut. Sanada returns the EuroUpper, but his arms are hurting. ZSj shoulder breakers, then catches the leap frog for a flapjack! Penalty kick is CAUGHT! Dragon Screw! Suzuki runs in and gets a dragon screw, too! Fans rally for LIJ as Evil tags in! The King of Darkness rallies on ZSJ! He scoop slams ZSJ hard, then rocks him with forearms. Evil whips but ZSJ reverses, only for Evil to run him over!
Fans rally as Evil drags ZSJ up. ZSJ kicks but Evil blocks it to elbow the knee. ZSJ grabs the arm but Evil counters to a shoulder breaker! Evil blocks another kick, Fisherman Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as fans fire up again. He drags ZSJ up again and turns him, but ZSJ turns and suplexes Evil! Then the neck twist! Both men are down from exhaustion, but they still come back for more. ZSJ wants revenge for Sapporo Part 1 as he throws EuroUppers. Things speed up and each man dodges the other, but then ZSJ runs into Evil’s lariat! Evil drags ZSJ up, fireman’s carry, but ZSj reverses to a Pele! ZSJ kicks then sweeps the legs! Both men are down again but Suzuki returns. Suzuki tags in and goes right at Evil with forearms.
Suzuki whips Evil corner to corner and boots him. He snapmares and Penalty Kicks! Cover, TWO! Evil barely escapes, but Suzuki toys with him now. Suzuki throws haymakers, then boots, but Evil hands it off to Red Shoes! Evil SUPERKICKS Suzuki down! Tag to Sanada! Sanada whips but Suzuki reverses. Sanada tumbles, springboards, but into Suzuki’s sleeper! ZSJ hits Evil again, and then helps Suzuki corner to corner train on Sanada! Snapmare, DOBULE Peanlty Kicks! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives that string of attacks, but Suzuki stomps him down. We can hear someone throw the other into railing while Suzuki hammers away on Sanada in the corner. Red Shoes backs Suzuki off, but Suzuki runs back in. Sanada dodges, and Evil returns for a corner clothesline! He feeds Suzuki to Sanada’s back suplex!
Evil hits ZSJ and now LIJ has Suzuki isolated! They call for the finish and fans are thunderous! Evil lifts Suzuki, but ZSJ stops Magic Killer. Suzuki rolls Sanada into an Ankle Lock! ZSJ has Evil in the Octopus! Suzuki shifts to a kneebar! Sanada endures teh grapevine’d move, and Suzuki even grabs an arm! Sanada grabs Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping! ZSJ has shifted Evil into a grounded twist! Neither LIJ can get free as Suzuki shifts the position of his kneebar! Sanada endures, as does Evil. Fans cheer LIJ on, but Suzuki just twists the ankle harder! Sanada uses one last gas to get the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Sanada go, to come back for a sleeper. And then ZSJ Penalty Kicks! Suzuki also Penalty Kicks! Cover, but Evil breaks it in time!
Suzuki-Gun drags LIJ up but LIJ fights back! Suzuki wants his piledriver, and ZSJ wants his, but Evil and Sanada deny those, for Darkness Falls and TKO in stereo! LIJ fires up as they go after Suzuki again. MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, but ZSJ breaks it just in time! Sanada grabs Suzuki and Evil gets ZSJ. Skull End, but ZSJ counters the STO! Evil counters back, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! And then for Suzuki, True Skull End, but Suzuki slips through! Sleeper, Gotch hold, but Evil saves Sanada! Everything is countered, but the Sleeper is escaped. MAGIC KILLER AGAIN!! Sanada climbs while Evil takes ZSJ out, Moonsault! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The King of Darkness and Cold Skull are still golden! Suzuki-Gun’s quest to have two different companies’ tag titles has not worked out, it’ll be back to the drawing board for them. However, will Evil & Sanada now have a claim to the British Heavyweight Tag Team Championships?
Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White & Bad Luck Fale!
The Rainmaker and The Ace have fought hard over the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the claim to being the best one ever, but now they are united in making sure the Switchblade does NOT become champion! Will this all-star alliance succeed against the new Bullet Club leader and his Underboss underling?
White refuses to let this dream team have their photo op. He insists he is the historic wrestler everyone should take pictures of, not the old generation. Tanahashi and Okada bite their tongues and bide their time, they’ll get at White after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White starts against Tanahashi. Fans are strongly behind The Ace but White just chuckles. They circle and Gedo can be heard shouting “You’re stupid!” at commentary. White lunges but Tanahashi stays away. They tie up and go around, and Tanahashi manages to power White to a corner. White turns it around, but backs off, only to get the leg! White grins as he shows how easy he could’ve gone after the bad leg. He backs off but tries a sucker punch! Tanahashi dodges and headlocks, and he grinds White down. White gets up but can’t power out of Tanahashi’s grip. Tanahashi grinds White down again but White fights out with body shots. White powers out this time, but Tanahashi fakes him out to get him back in the headlock!
Tanahashi grinds White on the mat but White powers back up. White again can’t power out so he pulls hair! Tanahashi pulls White’s hair in return! Tanahashi throws body shots then whips, but White reverses. White runs into an elbow, Tanahashi springboard crossbodies! Tanahashi air guitars and tosses it out. He brings White over and tags Okada. Okada and Tanahashi whip White and double elbow him down. Okada back sentons, then Tanahashi somersault sentons. The dream team shake hands and drop double elbows! Fans are loving this already! Okada drags White up and fans are thunderous for him. He snapmares White and then hits a running basement dropkick! Okada drags White up but White powers him to the corner. Tag to Fale, but Okada gets away.
Okada and Fale circle and tie up. Fale shoves Okada but Okada’s right back with hammering hands! Okada whips but Fale reverses and whips Okada hard into buckles! Fale looms over Okada then stomps him down. Fale drags Okada up and talks trash, so Okada hits back. Okada runs and handsprings over the back drop! He wants a sleeper and hops on as a backpack. Fale endures then drops back! Okada lets Fale go, and White attacks Tanahashi! White goes after Tanahashi on the outside and throws him into barriers! Okada bails out but Fale gives chase. Fale throws Okada into barriers, too! White chokes Tanahashi with camera cables! White says he IS the next champion! Fans boo while Fale takes a towel and chokes Okada with it. It was an Okada Dollar towel, too!
White keeps on Tanahashi in the front row with Euro Uppers. White takes apart barriers to throw the railings onto Tanahashi. He buries Tanahashi while the ring count climbs. Then White scoops slams a Young Lion onto Tanahashi! Fale chokes Okada on the ropes in the ring. Red Shoes backs Fale off, but he comes back to drag Okada up and dump him out. White goes right at Okada by ramming him into the apron and then the railing! And then the apron again, and then the railing! White rams Okada into the apron once more, then throws forearms. Red Shoes finally spots this and reprimands White. White plays innocent as he puts Okada back in the ring. Fale tags White in, and White soaks up the heat.
White runs corner to corner for a huge Euro Upper, and then suplexes Okada into the buckles! Cover, TWO!! Somehow Okada escapes! White takes his frustrations out on Tanahashi, then returns to Okada. White grinds his forearm into Okada’s face, then puts on a Half Crab. Fans rally up for Okada and Okada crawls for ropes. White pulls harder but Tanahashi comes it go after White. Fale throws Tanahashi out, and then tags back in. Fale goes after Okada’s leg with stomps. Okada hits back and clubs Fale. Okada hops on for a guillotine, but Fale simply puts Okada in the Bullet Club corner. Fale stomps a mudhole into Okada then tags White. White drags Okada up for a CHOP! White follows Okada to the open corner, then tells Tanahashi this CHOP is for him.
Fans continue to rally as White snapmares Okada into a chinlock. Okada feeds off the energy and fights out with body shots. Okada runs but into White’s back elbow! Cover, TWO! White keeps on Okada with another chinlock. Okada endures while Tanahashi and the fans rally up again. Okada gets up and fights back again, but White clubs him down. White puts Okada in a corner and whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs into White’s boot. White runs but into a flapjack! Both men are down but stirring while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns once more, and Okada crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Tanahashi! White stands and The Ace fires off forearms on him! Tanahashi whips but White reverses, only for Tanahashi to forearm him down! Tanahashi dropkicks Fale then goes after White again. He scoop slams White into a drop zone, then hops up. Second rope somersault senton hits! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally up again. Tanahashi waits for White to stand then runs, but he runs into a CHOP! But he keeps going, only to run into another CHOP! Tanahashi still shakes it off, but runs into a waistlock. He elbows out but White chop blocks the bad leg! White catches his breath as he looms over Tanahashi.
White scoops Tanahshi but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi waistlocks but WHite standing switches to a saido suplex! Both men are down but White tags out to Fale. Fale corners Tanahashi and throws big body shots. Then he throws bit clubbing forearms! He taunts the fans and they boo back as he drags Tanahashi up. Fale whips corner to corner then runs in, but misses! Tanahashi waistlocks, but Fale’s too big for a German Suplex! Fale fights out of the waistlock, then suplexes Tanahashi. Okada saves Tanahashi, and then they double suplex Fale together! Fans rally up again and Tanahashi crawls, but he dropkicks White first! Hot tag to Okada!
The Rainmaker forearms and whips Fale, but Fale reverses. Okada hits Fale then hits the DDT! Okada kips up and fans fire up again! He drags Fale up and manages a scoop slam! Okada winces just a moment before climbing up top. Fale gets under and Okada rolls through. Okada runs back but into a Samoan Drop! Fale hits a big splash! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but White goes after Tanahashi! White puts Tanahashi into railing while fans cheer Okada on. Fale aims, grabs Okada, but the Grenade is denied with a dropkick! Okada wants to lift Fale!? Fale reverses but Okada slips out. Okada runs but gets run over! Both men are down but Tanahashi returns to the corner. Hot tags to Tanahashi and White!
The Ace and Switchblade each dodge each other. White trash talks Tanahashi but the brawl is on! Tanahashi hits, then White hits, repeat. They build up speed back and forth, then White throws several. Tanahashi gives them all back, but White kicks out the bad leg. White whips but Tanahashi reverses. Tanahashi dodges and slingblades White down! Cover, TWO!! Okada hits Fale then tells Tanahashi to finish this. Tanahashi gets the Cloverleaf but White rakes the eyes! White kicks Tanahashi away while Fale puts Okada into barriers. Tanahashi dragon screws White! Fale runs in but Tanahashi blocks, hands off to Okada and Okada dragon screws! Tanahashi returns to White, running, but Gedo swipes him! White gets Tanahashi with a Complete Shot to German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous again as White slashes the throat. He drags Tanahashi up into position, and Fale chases Okada. Okada saves Tanahashi then has to fight off Fale. Fale rebounds, Tanahashi slingblades him down! White rocks Tanahashi, but Okada dropkicks him down! The dream team have each other’s backs! And they both power up to combine forces! Gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! Hand off, to STYLES CLASH! Tanahashi rolls White, for Okada’s elbow! Fans are at a fever pitch, but Gedo distracts Tanahashi. Fale attacks Tanahashi and dumps him off the top rope! Red Shoes reprimands Gedo but it’s too late. Okada leaps but into the Grenade! Fale corner splashes Tanahashi, and gives him a Grenade! Fale crushes Tanahashi with his boot while White crawls over. White has Fale stand down so he can finish Tanahashi.
White drags Tananashi up, fireman’s carry, Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!? Tanahashi survives but White isn’t done. He slashes the throat, drags Tanahashi, but ends up in Twist ‘n’ Shout! Fale whips Tanahashi but Tanahashi reverses to another Twist ‘n’ Shout! Red Shoes keeps Gedo out of the ring, but White gets a chair in the distraction! White swings but misses, Tanahashi slingblades White down! Tanahashi sees Fale coming, and manages a German Suplex! Gedo is in, but his brass knuckles miss to get a slap! White SMACKS Tanahashi from behind! Fans boo as White gets away with it. Dragon screw to the mat! And another! And then an inverted Figure Four! Okada wants to get in but Fale drags him back out. Tanahashi endures while Okada fights Fale off. So Gedo drags Okada out! Fale SPLASHES Okada! Fale lifts Okada, Bad Luck Fall!
Tanahashi still endures as White wrenches and pulls as hard as he can on the hold! Fale keeps his eyes on Okada while Tanahashi reaches and flails. Tanahashi taps, White and Fale win!!
Winners: Jay White & Bad Luck Fale, White by submission
The unthinkable has happened! The Switchblade has made the IWGP Heavyweight Champion tap out! Is the Cutthroat Era inevitable?
White picks up the belt and the mic to address Sapporo. White looks down at Tanahashi and says, “I told you that I would beat you and take this belt from you.” People think it’ll be a shock when White wins, but it will not be! White’s already beaten Tanahashi and everyone NJPW has to offer. And he made Tanahashi submit! Gedo rubs it in, but can The Ace pull off a miracle in Osaka?
White says “You can give it multiple names.” Call it Tanahashi is White’s “b*tch”, you can call it TGU: Tanahashi Gave Up. No, TTO: Tanahashi Tapped Out. That’s what the inverted figure four will be! Put it everywhere! #TTO!
Tanahashi responds by saying he used his knee as bait. White took that bait, but he wasn’t as big of a fish as Tanahashi expected. Is The Ace putting on a brave face? Or are he and his reign in more trouble than he knows?
A really great hour for NJPW, especially with big tag team matches. Evil & Sanada VS Suzuki & ZSJ was great because they knew how to play up all the story from the many, many matches all four men have had in the past. I honestly was surprised Suzuki-Gun lost, I thought they were going to end up double champions. But LIJ has been red hot, hence why they are all champions at this point, so it makes sense to keep that hot streak going. LIJ probably won’t lose those tag titles for a long time from what I can tell. No other heavyweight tag team looks strong enough right now.
Then in the special tag match for the main event, the dream team of Okada and Tanahashi had some really good chemistry with each other, and there was plenty of story to fuel this match, too. I’m a bit surprised White won, but NJPW doesn’t really use the kind of math a company like WWE would. WWE’s math would put it that White winning now means he won’t win the title in their New Beginning Osaka match, but NJPW isn’t so back and forth like that. White’s on his own hot streak, and literally has Gedo by his side, so Osaka might be the night we all Breath with the Switchblade.
My Score: 8.5/10