The Beast, Brock Lesnar, finally returns to Raw! What will he and his Advocate, Paul Heyman, have to say to The Big Dog ahead of their newest title rematch?
All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter
- Finn Balor VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins.
- Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alicia Fox w/ Alexa Bliss; Alicia wins.
- Braun Strowman VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh; Mahal wins, by count-out.
- Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide VS Akam w/ Rezar; Apollo wins.
- Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre w/ Dolph Ziggler; Rollins wins, by disqualification.
- The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds; The Revival wins.
- Bayley & Sasha Banks VS The Riott Squad; Bayley & Sasha win.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE and Raw remember Nikolai Volkoff and Brian Christopher.
Brock Lesnar IS here!
The Beast and his Advocate are ready.
But Roman Reigns heads to the ring first!
The Big Dog is once again #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship, aka he gets another shot at Brock Lesnar. Roman still feels he’s the “Uncrowned Universal Champion” after the controversial ending to their Greatest Royal Rumble Steel Cage Match, but he’ll have to fight all over again in Brooklyn to prove it. He hears the energy and the noise, so he gives Miami a quick shout out for that. And shout out to Bobby Lashley, because while Roman said things, after actually facing him, Roman now respects Lashley. But that’s more than he can say for Lesnar, Roman has “zero respect for that fool.” Brock Lesnar never shows up for work, yet he’ll go to the UFC and call out Daniel Cormier. But we saw Lesnar is here, so Roman vows Lesnar won’t run his mouth out in The Yard!
“Ladies and gentlemen, and you, too, Roman Reigns,” Paul Heyman is here to introduce himself and the “reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Heavyweight Champion, BROCK! LESNAR!” But please forgive him, Lesnar has authorized Heyman to give Roman “profound congratulations” over his win over Lashley to earn another shot at The Beast at Summerslam. But from Heyman brings up the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and over again, expecting different results. With all due respect, Roman should be in a padded cell, not the ring at Summerslam. Roman can go on and on and on about the Spear that sent Lesnar through the cage, but mark Heyman’s words, he’s giving another SPOILER: Summerslam will see Lesnar put down the Big Dog and then go to the UFC to become a two sport champion!
“Just shut up, Paul.” Roman doesn’t care about any of that. He and the fans want Lesnar, so bring him out. Heyman reminds us that Lesnar is here in Miami, sitting in the comfort of his private locker room. Lesnar will come out to ringside, when and IF he feels like it. But don’t worry, Roman, because at Summerslam, Lesnar will- Will what? What’s he gonna do? Actually show up? For that matter, IF he shows up, Roman will send Lesnar back to the UFC, but not as The Beast. Lesnar goes back as The Bitch. The Big Dog’s bark is as bad as his bite, but is he barking up the wrong tree?
Brock Lesnar lounges in his locker room.
Paul Heyman returns in a huff over what Roman said. Lesnar didn’t hear what Roman said, because he doesn’t watch Raw. Why would he? Well, because of what Roman just said! Heyman pulls up the tweets all about it. Lesnar chucks the phone! The Beast doesn’t care, he just wants to read his magazine. Is Lesnar taking it too easy?
Finn Balor VS Baron Corbin!
The Extraordinary Man has taken the Constable’s insults and mistreatment all in stride, and that only irritates Stephanie McMahon’s appointed authority figure more. Will a rematch from Extreme Rules settle things between the “Big” Bad Lone Wolf and “Little” Finn?
The bell rings and the two men circle. Corbin tosses the vest off to tie up with Finn, then powers Finn to a corner. He backs off at the ref’s count but gives Finn a shove. Finn gives Corbin forearms! Corbin throws Finn out but Finn lands on his feet. Finn comes back in to throw more forearms. Corbin knees low then throws Finn out again. Finn gets back in again to throw more forearms. He puts on a headlock and holds on as Corbin tries to power out. Corbin endures the grind, then lifts Finn up. Finn brings Corbin back down, and fans rally behind him. Corbin fights out then powers out to run Finn over with a back elbow. Corbin drags Finn up to a corner, then to the top rope for forearms of his own. Finn hits back, then hits a missile dropkick!
Corbin rolls out, but Finn comes around the corner to run him over! Fans fire up and Finn goes back. Corbin puts Finn in the ring, but Finn is right on Corbin with stomps and haymakers. Finn drags Corbin up but is put in a corner. Corbin throws more forearms, then throws Finn at buckles. Finn evades but Corbin grabs him on the apron. Finn blocks then gives tries but Corbin blocks. Corbin clobbers Finn to the floor! Finn is dazed while we go to break.
Raw returns and Corbin whips Finn hard corner to corner. Corbin puts Finn in a half nelson and thrashes him about. Fans rally up for Finn, and Finn feeds off the energy. Corbin wrangles Finn back down, wrenching on the chinbar. Finn endures more thrashing, and works his way back up. Finn fights out of the hold with haymakers, but Corbin powers him into a corner. Corbin runs in but Finn evades. Corbin slides out then in and clobbers Finn all over again! Cover, TWO! Corbin is furious while Finn checks his jaw. Corbin stomps Finn, then snarls as he drags Finn up. He puts Finn in a corner, and rocks him with heavy rights. Corbin sits Finn up for another chinlock, grinding Finn down to the mat. Fans rally up again and Finn gets back up.
Finn pries Corbin’s fingers apart, but Corbin knees low. Corbin runs, but into a dropkick! Corbin goes outside, but Finn keeps on him. Finn tries to bring Corbin up, but Corbin throws a stiff right hand! Corbin then lifts Finn for an apron back suplex! Finn writhes while Corbin catches his breath. Fans boo and jeer but that only makes Corbin grin. Corbin looms over Finn, daring him to get up. He drags Finn up, preparing a powerbomb, but Finn slips out! Finn gets the takedown for the double stomp! Corbin gets up but Finn puts him in a corner. Finn chops Corbin, whips but Corbin reverses, only for Finn to go up and over. Finn runs into a boot but gives a swing kick! Corbin tumbles out, but Finn takes aim to FLY! Finn wipes Corbin out while we go to break!
Raw returns again, and Corbin has Finn back in the chinbar half nelson. Fans boo but Corbin again just grins. Finn endures as Corbin thrashes him around again. Finn gets up and fights back, but Corbin wrangles him back down. Fans rally up and Finn feeds off their energy. Finn fights back one more time, but Corbin shoves him. Finn kicks on the rebound, but his Slingblade is denied. Corbin shoves Finn again and catches him around the throat. Corbin lifts but Finn slips out to victory roll! TWO, but Slingblade! Finn aims at Corbin from across the way, but runs into the Choke Slam Backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Corbin is furious as he rains down rights. Corbin stands over Finn, toying with him while fans chant “Corbin Sucks!” He drags Finn up and reel shim in, but Finn counters with a DDT!
Finn evades from a corner then swing kicks Corbin down. Finn goes up and fans fire up! Corbin gets up and avoids the stomps, then counters a slingblade with DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO! The Constable is beside himself. Finn drags himself up, and Corbin runs in for a big corner clothesline. Corbin gives another, but then Finn evades the third. Finn wrecks Corbin with a dropkick! Corbin is stunned, and he gets blasted by the dropkick! Finn puts Corbin back in, and blasts him again! Corbin falls, and Finn goes up! Finn aims, but Corbin rolls out of the way, End of Days!! Corbin covers, Corbin wins!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall
The Constable pulls off a win by the skin of his teeth, and the score is now 1-1. But Corbin isn’t finished with Finn yet! He drags Finn up but Finn fights back. Corbin knees Finn low and throws him out! Corbin bashes Finn’s face into the barrier! Finn slumps down while Corbin feels even better about his victory. Will there be a tiebreaker in the near future? Or will Corbin quit picking on Finn while he’s ahead?
Paul Heyman needs a phone.
But before he can get one, Kurt Angle walks over to him. Lesnar was to appear, by contractual obligation! Heyman points out that his client that the obligation was fulfilled by just showing up. If Angle wants more, then go to Lesnar’s locker room. This is not Heyman’s problem, it’s Angle’s. Angle turns that around and says that Heyman is also under contract, and that contract is under Angle’s control. If Lesnar doesn’t go to the ring, both their contracts are terminated. Really? Really. Seriously? Deadly serious. Will the Advocate be able to convince his Beast this is something he needs to do?
Raw recaps last week’s historic announcement.
With Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H in the ring, and with all the superstars of Raw, SmackDown and even NXT, it was announced. Another first-time-ever event will take place. It will be the first-ever ALL WOMEN’S PAY-PER-VIEW! The Women’s (R)Evolution culminates on October 28th with WWE Evolution!
Alicia Fox prepares backstage.
Alexa Bliss walks over to talk. Mickie James got hurt, which is why Alicia gets to take on the Queen of Harts. Of course, the “over-hyped rookie” is out of “detention”, so she’ll be around. But don’t worry, “the champ” will take Ronda, Foxy can handle Natty. Alicia is a trailblazer, and ahead of WWE Evolution, this can be Alicia’s chance to shine! So is she with The Goddess? Alicia will hurt Natty so bad, even her cats say “meow!” Get it?! MROW! The Foxy is ready to show her claws, and that match is next!
Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alicia Fox w/ Alexa Bliss!
It’s a showdown of former Women’s Champions, but both sides have back-up! Natty has Rowdy Ronda Rousey with her while Ms. Crazy Like a Fox has the Raw Women’s Champion. Ronda and Alexa are set to fight for the title at Summerslam, whose proxy will get big points on the Road to Evolution?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up and Natty gets a headlock takeover, but Alicia gets the headscissors. Natty pops out and the two circle again. They tie up and Natty gets another headlock. Alicia powers out but Natty runs her over. Natty runs but things speed up. Natty gets around and rolls Alicia up, TWO. Alicia flounders to a corner, then back elbows back. Alicia hops up, bumps Natty off buckles and sunset flips for a cover. TWO, and Natty goes after legs! Alicia struggles and gets a ropebreak. Natty lets her go while Alicia slips out of the ring. The referee has Alexa stay back, but Alicia trips Natty up on her own! She uses the apron to blind Natty as she furiously attacks! Alicia puts Natty in before the 10 count, then covers, TWO!
Alicia keeps on Natty and Natty’s bad leg. She wraps a chinlock on Natty, but Ronda and the fans rally up. Natty gets up but Alicia throws her back down. Alexa applauds the wily Alicia as she kicks Natty. Alicia mocks Ronda, then clubs Natty. Alicia grabs Natty for a standing armlock, almost an abdominal stretch. Ronda coaches Natty on, but Alicia adds bodyscissors for a floating armbar. Fans rally up again and Natty powers out! Alicia comes back with a big lariat, and Alexa mocks Natty. Alicia walks into a back elbow, then a kick. Natty blocks Alicia’s kick to throw her down on her face. Natty runs, walks all over Alicia then hits the basement dropkick! She clobbers Alicia with a clothesline, covers, TWO! Natty grabs Alicia bot Alicia pushes Natty for a Thesz Press! Cover, TWO! Alicia brings Natty up, Northern Lights, TWO!
Foxy grows frustrated, but then she swipes at Ronda! Ronda swipes back, Alexa gets a cheap shot on Natty! Alicia hits a big boot! Cover while Ronda protests, but Alicia wins!
Winner: Alicia Fox, by pinfall
Ronda’s rage boils over, she goes after Alexa! She chases Alexa into the ring, judo throw! Alicia saves Alexa from the armbar, only for Ronda to give Alicia the Rowdy Slam! Ronda isn’t done, she glares at Alexa, and intercepts her exit over the barriers! Alexa crawls away, but Alicia is back with a blindside attack! Alicia puts Ronda into barriers, then again! Alexa and Alicia have only angered Ronda more, so they retreat before Ronda can get up again. The Goddess and Foxy got the better of Ronda and Natty for now. Will there be retribution in Brooklyn?
Lesnar still lounges.
But Heyman theorizes a “total reverse of concept.” Maybe Lesnar goes out to the ring? First off, t-shirt sales! Network subscriptions! And promoting the UFC championship bout! That’s easy money all over! Heyman felt the love for The Beast. If Lesnar goes out for even just a minute, Miami will give Lesnar the “Conquering Hero’s Welcome” he deserves. Lesnar says Heyman has no idea how annoying he’s being. Lesnar doesn’t give a damn about the WWE Universe. He’d rather be on his couch, in his house. Go get a steak, medium-well with a baked potato and steamed broccoli. Go! Lesnar is treating his Advocate more like a butler. Will that last much longer if they’re both released?
Ronda and Natty talk with Angle.
Ronda is tired of Alexa using friends and lackeys! Don’t suspend Ronda over what she did, but she had to do something. Angle says Ronda will get her first ever match on Raw against Alicia Fox! They thank Angle. It’s great to be back for Ronda, but will she be ready in a week’s time?
“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”
The Drifter is in Miami, and Miami is happy to see him. As always, he plays his guitar, and asks, “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?!” Miami seems up for it. Elias has done it, he has dropped the greatest album of all time! Elias changes people’s lives as they hear his voice. He even beat out some of the top artists and bands, even Taylor Swift! Amen! “And it’s all because of one reason”, it is what the world knows: WWE really stands for “Walk With Elias!” Truthfully, Elias could’ve gone even higher on the charts, but he was interrupted by Bobby Lashley. Maybe Lashley was in a hurry to lose to Roman?
Miami, don’t just get on the bandwagon now. This is the same city that worships Pitbull and The Rock. Fans chant “Rocky! Rocky!” after that one. The Rock doesn’t want to take on Elias. Elias has a song, so silence phones, hold applause and shut mouths! But speaking of Bobby Lashley, here he comes!
Okay, cut Lashley’s music already! What’s Lashley doing out here? Lashley’s a big fan, and he heard his name, so he wanted a front row seat. Is that so? Well no matter what Lashley says, Elias sees through him. Lashley isn’t here to Walk With Elias, he wants to sing with Elias! No, no, Lashley is a fighter, not a singer. But Elias gets Miami’s opinion: do you want to see Lashley sing with Elias? “YES! YES!” In that case, one night only, Elias and Lashley! Elias will keep it slow and simple like Lashley himself, so try to keep up. Just start when you feel it.
Elias plays, Rockin’ Robin! Tweet tweet, Rockin’ Robin. Lashley sings, but Elias blindsides him! Elias stomps Lashley out, then pushes his stool aside. Elias ain’t letting it happen like that! But neither is Lashley, as he rocks Elias before throwing him! Elias rolls out of the ring to run away, but Lashley holds down the ring. The duet wasn’t much, but how about a fight the next time they meet?
Baron Corbin meets Kevin Owens backstage.
Great job wiping the smile off Finn’s face. Kevin clearly kisses up to Corbin, because with Braun Strowman falling out of his family’s grace, Constable Corbin is Kevin’s son’s newest favorite wrestler. Finally, a male authority figure in WWE they can look up to! That’s what Corbin is here to do: inspire. Speaking of authority, Kevin knows the Lesnar situation is concerning. Angle is disrespecting Stephanie’s authority by trying to put Lesnar in the cross-hairs of Strowman’s MITB contract! That’s not fair, so maybe the Constable can do something. Corbin will look into it, but Lesnar is Angle’s problem and Strowman having the contract is Kevin’s. Kevin’s plan didn’t go quite the way he hoped, but will there be anything to worry about before the night’s through?
Braun Strowman VS Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh!
The Monster Among Men was told the Modern Day Maharaja would be his anger management coach, but Strowman says he has his anger completely under control. It’s just that he uses it as his weapon, as he demonstrated when he threw both Mahal & Singh out of the ring last week. Will Mahal be able to maintain inner peace with the Monster barreling down on him? Or will he #GetTheseHands?
The bell rings and Mahal wants Strowman to take it easy. He tries his mantra of “Shanti~!”, but the chants of “Get These Hands!” overpowers it. Strowman then overpowers Mahal by pushing him to the mat! Strowman roars while Mahal backs to a corner. Mahal still tries to reason with him, but that’s so Strowman doesn’t see Kevin try to steal the briefcase! Strowman clobbers Mahal, then goes after Kevin. Kevin cowers back towards the timekeeper’s area, then runs! Strowman chases him down, Kevin tosses the briefcase to Sunil Singh, and Strowman PLASTERS Singh into the barriers. Strowman picks his briefcase up and chases Kevin backstage! But that’s a 10 count! Mahal wins!
Winner: Jinder Mahal, by count-out.
Mahal wins, but Strowman rushes back up to the ring. Strowman could officially lose his briefcase if something like this happens at Summerslam. Will the Monster in the Bank be able to avoid all the tricks in the Prizefighter’s playbook in Brooklyn?
Kurt Angle sees what just happened.
Baron Corbin comes in to give Angle a phone. It’s Stephanie. She knows how this will look, right? The live crowd will be very upset. She doesn’t care, so long as the Summerslam main event remains intact. But there has to be some other way. Angle accepts her orders, but what did she tell him to do? Or rather, what did she say not to do?
Mojo Rawley walks into the Raw Men’s Locker Room.
His Killer Instinct sees everyone else as “chumps.” Mojo’s been running through them relentlessly. He doesn’t hide behind keyboards, he calls people out for real. Tyler Breeze doubted Mojo. No Way Jose doubted Mojo. He relegated them both back to catering, like he did Zack Ryder not too long ago. But in walks Bobby Roode. A fantastic speech, Mojo. But if he’s in the mood to talk, Roode will ask him: “You got a problem with me?” What would Bobby do about him? Catchphrase him into submission? No, Roode TACKLES Mojo! The others watch as the two scrap it out on the floor, but then referees and security separate them! Things are tense backstage, what will happen when Mojo and Roode meet in the ring?
Apollo Crews w/ Titus Worldwide VS Akam w/ Rezar!
A rare occurrence is happening for the Authors of Pain: one of them is competing in singles action! But alone or together, the AoP warn all of the Raw Tag Team Division that while Titus and team will regret refusing the chance to bow out peacefully. Akam will not be so polite with Apollo. The book will be slammed shut, but will it be a bad ending for Titus’ star?
The bell rings and Akam gets a takedown. The two grapple and Akam puts Apollo in a corner to then throw him out of it! Akam trash talks in Punjabi, then throws Apollo again! Dana and Titus coach Apollo but he gets caught in a facelock. Akam puts Apollo in a cobra clutch but a rally builds. Apollo gets up and jawbreakers out, then sunset flips over. Akam rolls through but Apollo kicks, mule kicks, and runs to boot! Akam staggers and runs into the leaping lariat from Apollo! Apollo enziguris and standing moonsaults! TWO, but Apollo isn’t done yet. He drags Akam up but Akam throws him off! Akam runs in but hits buckles! Roll up, Apollo wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall
The Authors of Pain are clearly not used to fighting alone, and that becomes a deciding factor. This was the first loss in a long time for AoP, will they be able to right the story back their way?
Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre w/ Dolph Ziggler!
The Architect is ready to #BurnItDown as he gets payback on the Scottish Terminator who screwed him out of being the Intercontinental Champion at Extreme Rules. Rollins still gets another shot at the Show-Off at Summerslam, so can he eliminate a major obstacle before then?
The bell rings and they tie up right away. McIntyre puts Rollins in a corner, then stomps away. Fans are hotly behind Rollins while he staggers away. McIntyre throws more hands, then whips Rollins corner to corner. Rollins goes up and over to chop and punch back. McIntyre shoves Rollins but Rollins leaps, only to be caught into a suplex! Rollins gets to the apron but McIntyre pursues. McIntyre looks under the ring, but Rollins pushes him into barriers. Rollins gets up, builds speed and DIVES! Only to be caught and thrown into barriers! McIntyre improvises and catapults Rollins into the steel! Rollins gasps for air while we go to break.
Raw returns, and McIntyre glares at Rollins as he climbs back up. Rollins runs and dropkicks McIntyre off the apron! Rollins builds speed, and DIVES! This time it hits, so Rollins hits another DIVE! Fans are fired up as Rollins thinks about further payback. He exposes the bars under the ring, to throw McIntyre into them! They go back in the ring, and Rollins aims at McIntyre. Rollins runs in for the forearm smash, then suplexes him. McIntyre resists but Rollins fights out. Rollins runs but into a tilt-o-whirl. He lands on his feet from it, to then Falcon Arrow McIntyre! Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows panicked on the outside as Rollins grits his teeth and gets back up. Rollins stomps, “Burn It Down!” Mule kick, then the run, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO!
Both men are down from exhaustion, but McIntyre grits his teeth now. McIntyre stands first, then drags Rollins up. McIntyre double underhooks but Rollins slips out to enziguri. Rollins misses, and ends up in a deadlift gutwrench! Rollins fights out to huricarana and SUPERKICK! McIntyre dares him to do more, so Rollins SUPERKICKS him again! Rollins hurries up top, but McIntyre stops him. McIntyre chops Rollins, then climbs up to join him. McIntyre positions Rollins, SUPER EMERALD FUSION!
Cover, TWO! McIntyre and Ziggler can’t understand how, but fans are still cheering for Rollins. “This is Awesome!” as Rollins rolls away. McIntyre aims, rams him into the ropes, then swings him with the inverted- No, Rollins Victory Roll! TWO! CURB STOMP! But Ziggler attacks!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by disqualification
The Show-Off will not allow Rollins to win cleanly. He drags Rollins up, but Rollins turns it around! Ziggler gets up and elbows Rollins, but Rollins denies the Zig-Zag! Rollins clotheslines Ziggler out to then DIVE on him! The Kingslayer gets the win and the better of both men. Will Rollins finally get the better of them with the belt on the line in Brooklyn?
Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin visit Roman Reigns backstage.
Angle tells Roman that Stephanie McMahon called, and with Lesnar heading out to the ring later, they need to remove Roman from the building. Who cares what Stephanie said? She’s not here. But it’ll cost Roman his Universal Championship opportunity if he doesn’t leave. When’s this gonna stop? Roman gets the pressures of the job, but Angle’s been in Roman’s position. Yes, he has. They’re both dogs, champions, and have felt pressure. But Roman isn’t some Yes Man. That’s fine by Corbin, he has police ready to escort Roman out. Roman has no choice now, but he dose get a shot in on Corbin first! Will The Big Dog pay for hitting Stephanie’s Lone Wolf?
Charly Caruso interviews The B-Team in the ring.
The “undefeated” Raw Tag Team Champions have done what no one ever imagined, including themselves. They have defeated the Deleters of Worlds time and again. It was thanks to chaos and luck, but that still angered WOKEN Hardy & Bray Wyatt. Bo Dallas & Curt Axel renamed themselves and have become the best. The B in “B-Team” stands for Dream! Huh? Their point is that they feel like they’re living their dreams. And they never want to wake up! The support of their B Teammates in the WWE Universe is overwhelming! Thank you! But Hardy & Wyatt aren’t as happy about this. Yes, it was weird. They applaud Bo & Axel, then attack? What’s with that? They’re sore losers! But the B Team ain’t scared, they’re champions! They can beat anyone!
So the Deleters appear! Bo & Axel are scared, and Charly gives them all the ring. Hardy speaks, saying “you’re success is a cosmic anomaly!” The balance of the universe is off, and it is up to Hardy & Wyatt to correct it. The B Team talks about dreams as if they mean something? Dreams are fleeting. They cannot be touched, but nightmares are very real. They’re made of insecurities and fears. The Deleters are their nightmares manifested, ye-e-e-e-es. They will haunt The B Team until they are DELETED! But wait, here comes The Revival!
The #TopGuys aren’t letting this happen. Bray, Matt, nothing you said made sense. And more than that, how are these four atop the Raw Tag Team Division? News Flash: Dash & Dawson defeated Lashley & Roman! Therefore, Matt, Bray, move aside and let some real contenders get the job done. Bo & Axel speak up, saying that they will be more than happy to step aside to let the Revival talk to Matt & Bray. But then Bray shoves Bo and a fight breaks out! The B Team gets away, but the Deleters throw Dash & Dawson out! With two teams wanting the B Team’s titles, will the B soon stand for former champions?
The Revival VS The Deleters of Worlds!
That brawl from before has now become a full on match as Dash & Dawson go up against Hardy & Wyatt for the first time ever. Raw returns as Hardy bumps Dash’s head off buckles, “DELETE! DELETE!” The B-Team is on commentary watching this to watch their contenders beat each other up. Wyatt tags in and together back drops Dash with Hardy. Wyatt goes to a corner, and Spider Walks over! Dash panics, and he runs into a headbutt. Wyatt tags Hardy, then adds a headbutt to Hardy’s leg sweep. Cover, TWO. Hardy brings Dash up but Dash fights back. Dash puts Hardy in a corner but Hardy fights his way out. Hardy can’t get away as Dash tags Dawson. They hit Hardy with Boston Crab leg drops!
Fans rally for the Deleters while Dawson clobbers Hardy down. Cover, TWO, but Dawson keeps on Hardy with a chinlock. Hardy feeds off the fan energy, but Dash tags back in. hardy throws Dawson ff only fro Dash to grab him in a chinlock. The B Team gives them credit for being a great team. Dash throws Hardy down by his hair, cover, TWO. Dash puts a chinlock back on, but Hardy fights out again. Hardy jawbreakers, but Dash tags Dawson. Dawson intercepts Hardy but gets a Side Effect! Both men are down and crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Dash and Bray! Wyatt rallies on Dash, then clobbers Dawson. Wyatt goes corner to corner for a corner splash. Then he hits the body check! Wyatt grabs Dash but Dawson flies in. Dawson and Dash double team, but Wyatt fights them off.
Wyatt grabs Dash but Dawson dropkicks him down. Hardy comes in and throws Dawson out. He goes to Twist but Dawson rams him into barriers. Dash kicks Bray but Bray clobbers him down again. He prepares Sister Abigail, but Dash pulls hair to get out of it. Dawson tags in, and SHATTER MACHINE! Cover, The Revival wins!
Winners: The Revival, by pinfall
The B Team is surprised to see this, but they’re not afraid of taking on these two #TopGuys. Will Dash & Dawson #SayYeah after finally getting their shot at the titles?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
The Architect overcame numbers, but it must be so exhausting to do it all alone. It is, but what Dolph & Drew don’t understand is that there’s no quit in Rollins. Rollins will stop at nothing to win that title back. But then Ziggler and McIntyre attack from behind! They beat him down 2v1, wanting to make sure Rollins is worse for wear. If this continues, will Rollins even make it to Summerslam?
Bayley & Sasha Banks VS The Riott Squad!
The Squad is still without its leader, but the Juvenile Delinquent & the Country Viking are still a strong duo. Meanwhile, the Huggable One and the Legit Boss only just reunited as friends. Will the repaired bond of the “Boss & Hug Connection” hold up against the perfectly stable bond between the unstable Liv & Sarah?
The bell rings and Bayley starts against Sarah Logan. They tie up, and Sarah gets a waistlock. She throws Bayley down, then looms over her. Sarah grabs an arm to wrench it, but Bayley stands up. Sarah wrenches again but Bayley reverses to a takedown. Bayley has a leg, then puts Sarah in her corner. Tag to Sasha, and the #LegitHuggable duo throw Sarah backwards. Bayley snapmares and Sasha adds double knees. Cover, TWO! Sasha goes after Sarah’s arm now, but Sarah stands up. Sasha wrenches then goes acrobatic for an arm-drag! She dropkicks Sarah down, cover, TWO! Sasha drags Sarah back over, tag to Bayley. Bayley rolls Sarah up, TWO.
Bayley brings Sarah up but Sarah fights back. Sarah runs in but is snake eye’d on the buckles. Bayley runs while Sasha tags in, BIG knee for Sarah in the corner. Then on the apron, Sasha gives more double knees! Liv protests but the reunited duo is in control while we go to break.
Raw returns and now Sarah has Sasha in a cobra clutch. She grinds Sasha down but Bayley and the fans rally up. Sasha feeds off that energy and throws Sarah off. She runs but is kept away from Bayley. Sarah powers Sasha all the way over, and tags to Liv. Liv climbs up for Sarah to throw Sasha into her knees. Liv adds a tornado facebuster, covers, TWO! Fans rally while Liv thrashes Sasha around in a chinlock. Liv tries to drown it out with her shrieks, but Sasha still gets up. Sasha fights out and then rolls Liv up, TWO. Liv tackles Sasha down to prevent a tag. Liv drags Sasha up but Sasha throws her off into ropes! Hot tag to Bayley!
Bayley throws Liv to the apron then hotshots her. She keeps moving to Thesz Press and fast hands! Bayley runs to knee Liv in the face! She hits Sarah for good measure, then runs in for shoulder tackle and the wacky waving elbow! Bayley goes in for another but gets a knee from Liv! Liv hops up, but Bayley stops her with a forearm. Bayley climbs up and Sasha tags in. SUPER Steiner throws Liv, for Sasha’s SUPER Meteora! Cover, but Sarah breaks it up! Bayley throws Sarah out, then gets back to her corner. Sasha and Liv crawl around, and Sasha drags Liv up. Jawbreaker but Bayley tags in. Sasha Backstabber into the Bayley2Belly! Cover, Boss & Hug Connection wins!
Winners: Bayley & Sasha, by pinfall
The bond is stronger than ever, and that leads to victory! With WWE Evolution still on the horizon, can this renewed friendship lead them to something big?
Lesnar still lounges.
But Heyman barges back in. The show’s almost over. They go out, Lesnar bows and waves, hello good-bye, and they’re in a private steakhouse in 25 minutes. And what could go wrong? Roman is removed from the arena! Lesnar thinks it over. Are they getting paid? Of course they are! Lesnar showed up, the contract obligations were met. But to put it bluntly, they have a contract as client and manager, but there’s the WWE contracts they have to worry about. If Lesnar doesn’t go out, they’re both fired. Heyman begs Lesnar to just go out for a minute. If not as a client, than as a friend.
Lesnar stands up, and grabs Heyman! They’re not friends. Heyman works for Lesnar, not the other way around! Understood? Yes… By the way, how long has Heyman been leaching off him? Heyman needs to do his job, got it? Yes, sir… Heyman hurries away from the tyrant Beast. Is Lesnar honoring his contract? What could possibly go wrong?
Kurt Angle and Baron Corbin head to the ring.
The Raw GM and Constable pave the way for this make or break moment. Angle calls Heyman out to bring Lesnar out, and reminds them that Roman Reigns has been removed from the building. If Heyman and Lesnar don’t appear, it’s their last night on Raw. Heyman reluctantly comes out, sweating bullets. His introduction is far from its usual enthusiastic tone. He joins Angle and Corbin in the ring while fans sing, “Nana na na, Hey Hey Hey~, Good Bye!” Heyman lets us know his client refuses to walk out to the ring. Angle has had enough! A real champion shows up!! A real champion defends his title at all costs, and goes the extra mile. Real champions do charity work! But Lesnar does none of that! Lesnar is the worst champion of all time! Fans agree with that!
Heyman won’t argue with Angle, because yes, Lesnar is the worst. And Heyman tried to help Lesnar, tried to mold him into not just a UFC fighter but a WWE superstar! But Lesnar barely respects anyone, and barley tolerates Heyman! Heyman wanted to make Lesnar more like Angle, who was a Gold Medalist, legendary superstar and now GM of Raw! So if Angle has someone to punish, it’s not Heyman, but Brock Lesnar! Angle’s pretty sure Heyman’s full of crap. Heyman is genuine, though! He’s tried and tried and tried! But Lesnar doesn’t care! Lesnar doesn’t respect anyone here! But Heyman respects Angle. Heyman would like a better working relationship. No, their contracts are TERMINATED! Get off him! Heyman crawls and begs, but here comes Lesnar! The Beast isn’t about to be fired like that. He heads down to the ring and Heyman is thankfully joyful now.
Lesnar takes his time pacing about the ring before entering. He puts his championship belt on Heyman’s shoulder before speaking. “Do you have a problem with me?” He asks that to both Angle and Corbin. Then he gives Angle an F5!! Corbin is slowly backing away. Lesnar looms over Angle, and Heyman grins. The Beast takes his belt back and slings it over his shoulder. But then he grabs Heyman by the jaw! “Look at him! You see that?!” Lesnar pins Heyman to the mat and Heyman begs him to stop, he can’t breathe. Lesnar shows his Advocate mercy, for now. The Beast has become a tyrant, can Roman Reigns hope to dethrone him once and for all?
What a filler of a Raw. While Raw really played up the uncaring Heel Lesnar to great levels, they did not at all capitalize on what they could’ve done tonight to save fans from Vince’s fantasy. Of course, Vince doesn’t care about us, he already has so much money coming in from television networks. But that’s a rant for another article. What I’m getting at is that logically speaking, Braun Strowman should’ve appeared at the end to go after Lesnar to attempt a MITB Cash-In. But because WWE wants to preserve their match card in both kayfabe and reality, that didn’t happen. Strowman still runs the risk of losing that briefcase to Kevin Owens should shenanigans happen like in Strowman VS Mahal. I would hope WWE doesn’t do that, but you can’t trust Vince anymore.
Then almost every match, if not all of them, barely mattered. Corbin ties his series with Finn in a good match, so I guess that means they’ll continue into Summerslam. Alicia subs in for Mickie and wins thanks to Alexa, but that match would’ve probably gone the same if Mickie wasn’t hurt. Ronda VS Alicia next week will be some fun, though, assuming that even ends cleanly. Titus Worldwide VS AoP is continuing with singles matches, it seems. This is still just a hold over feud for AoP, I’m pretty sure they’ll be in the Raw Tag Title scene after Summerslam. It’s good The Revival got a win over Deleters of Worlds, but I’m starting to think we’re getting a Triple Threat for the titles. I’d go with that, and perhaps it unites B Team & Deleters against Dash & Dawson. Just whatever gets us to Bo & Bray Wyatt Brothers.
Rollins VS McIntyre was turning into another great match, but it just had to have a Heel attack finish. Then there’s the blindside attack backstage. If this isn’t leading to Dean Ambrose coming back to help Rollins, I’m not sure what it could be. At the same time, there is talk of a change to the Intercontinental Championship match, so that seems intriguing. Elias VS Lashley is being established, and this will be another easy win for Lashley. Maybe WWE will wise up and give him some kind of title soon. Oddly enough, I think Bayley-Sasha VS Riott Squad was the highlight for both live and home audiences. WWE missed an opportunity not calling the team “Legit Huggable” but oh well. It’s at least a sign that they’re on the way to a Women’s Tag Division, eventually.
My Score: 7.7/10
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