Well we have reached the end of the road. G1 Climax 28, Grand Finals night.
Hiroshi Tanahashi won the A-ce Block and Kota Ibushi won our hearts…and…well…the B Block. Both have some history facing each other, and both are known to be more than competent wrestlers, so we’re looking at a great match.
Now it should be noted that Mathew and I will do this article jointly, similarly to how we did the Finals of the Champion Carnival.Also in an amusing turn of events, we both predicted this finals, but we’re rooting for the other’s block winner.
So if Tanahashi wins that would make me a perfect 3-0 in the tournaments we’ve covered, for the eventual winner coming from my block ( Marufuji won Champion Carnival, Masato Yoshino won King of Gate).
With that, I’m okay being wrong if Tanahashi wins. So let’s get to the show.
Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata, Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino
Average match, glad to see Honma again, but nothing special – Mathew
Yeah, basically what Mathew said, basic match, nothing super impressive. It is nice to see Honma back for his technically third match since returning from injury. But this was just a standard Young Lion opening match.
Winner: Makabe via King Kong Knee Drop
Toa Henare vs Bad Luck Fale
This was a glorified squash match. Henare got in a good headbutt, but this just went quick.
Henare dead – Mathew
Winner: Fale via Bad Luck Fall
Taichi & Iizuka vs Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI
Taichi got introduced and they kept cutting off his music with Iizuka’s music, so that messed up his singing idol gimmick. Iizuka doesn’t come out with Taichi, and instead jumps the CHAOS members form behind.
The match was fine, if anything it proves that Taichi would’ve been a better addition to the G1 than YOSHI-HASHI, since HASHI eats the pin.
Decent match, Miho Abe is gorgeous, HASHI needs to go away, and what does this all mean for Taichi? – Mathew
Winner: Taichi via Last Ride Powerbomb
Rating: ** 1/4
Cody & Hangman Page vs Juice Robinson & David Finlay
Cody’s first match since San Francisco, so he can’t really lose, can he?
Juice took the hand wrapping off before the match started, and wasn’t shy about throwing hands. Finlay did his usual thing, where it’s never quit enough to get the job done. Page blind sided Juice with a Buckshot Lariat, before everyone started wiping each other out with signatures. Cody finishes the match, countering the Pulp Friction into a Vertebreaker.
Solid match, everyone pulled their weight, except for Finlay. Cody decided to cut in line for the US Title, rude. – Mathew
Winner: Cody via Vertebreaker
Rating: ** 1/2
NEVER 6 Man Tag Team Championships: Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll & The Young Bucks
Decent match, felt more like an ROH match than New Japan. Not really sure how I feel about Taiji’s first belt being this one, but the blatant disregard for the belts at the end was fantastic. – Mathew
This wasn’t supposed to be a title match, but Tama talked some smack and Matt Jackson asked the President to make it official. So even though the Tongans are one wrong move away being suspended, now they get a title shot.
When we get down to the match, it was paced out like most ROH Trios matches, and never really got out of that gear. We saw a few more Super Kicks than usual, but a bunch each man’s signature moves. Double Sharpshooter into Chicken Wing spot popped the crowd pretty hard.
Tama makes the blind tag, so when the Bucks go for the Meltzer Driver on Taiji, the giant cluster happens. Tama slinks off into the corner to draw less attention, but eventually lands the Gun Stun for the win.
Winner: Tama via Gun Stun
Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr vs Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA & Bushi
Well the drama between these clubs goes back a few months when Suzuki and Naito had their match for the Intercontinental belt. This is just being furthered along by Zack Sabre ruining Naito’s chances to win the G1 Climax. So this should be entertaining.
Before the bell rings, Suzuki-Gun jumps Los Ingobernables de Japon and they spill to the outside. Naito and Suzuki have a chair based stand off and from there on we get the usual multi-man match. Each person comes in, does their thing, but with the tempers flaring.
The match ends with SANADA dodging Kanemaru’s Whiskey Mist and slapping on the Skull End while the rest of the members are on the outside going crazy.
Bit of a cluster, sloppy at points but it told a story and did what it needed to. Young Lion Lives Matter – Mathew
Winner: SANADA via Skull End
Rating: *** 1/4
Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs Kenny Omega, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi
Jay hasn’t played well with SHO and YOH, but how will he fair with Ishii and Yano? On the flip side, Omega could use a little momentum after 3 straight singles losses, included a singles loss to Ishii.
Entertaining, Pieter’s dance was the best part, but did a good job at what it was supposed to do. – Mathew
Like Mathew said, at one point in the match all six men are in and the Bullet Club members do the Row Boat spot, but Yujiro asks Pieter to come in an help. So she decides to get in the middle of all six men and urge them along by spinning and dancing all sexy. Yujiro gets infatuated first which allows Ishii to roll of the ring, and the rest of the men just stop and stare at Pieter. Kenny decides to be the party pooper and slap sense into his teammates and escort Pieter out of the ring.
Aside from that, we had a few good spots with Omega/Owens doing a Superkick/Pump Kick combo on Ishii, and good team work on both ends. Eventually Owens and Ishii are alone in the ring, Owens goes for the Package Piledriver, fails and gets a Vertical Drop Brainbuster for his troubles.
Winner: Ishii via Vertical Drop Brainbuster
Rating: *** 1/2
Kushida, Rey Mysterio & Pro Wrestler Sengokuenbu vs Kazuchika Okada, SHO & YOH
We have the debut of an unknown samurai wrestler from the Sengoku (Warring States) period of Japan. Time traveler, or just a big fan, he makes his appearance to help out Rey Mysterio and Kushida against the CHAOS members.
Best tag match on the show, everyone delivered, very entertaining. Sengokuenbu was the highlight, now we just need to figure out who he could be. Give us Mysterio vs Liger already, dammit! – Mathew
The match saw a lot of all three guys getting in good offense, a tease for a Double 619, that Okada stopped with his picture perfect Dropkick. But stereo Tope con Hilos at the end, set up Mysterio to get YOH into position for the 619 and West Coast Pop, to pick up the pinfall.
Nothing crazy happened during or after, just a good ole fashioned fun match with no storyline implications, just entertainment.
Winner: Mysterio via 619
Rating: *** 3/4
G1 Climax 28 Finals: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kota Ibushi
So these two have put on some great matches in the past. Does Ibushi avenge his loss at Power Struggle 2017? Does the Ace have one more run left in him? Enough hyperbole, time to find out.
Mathew’s sentiment is right on the level with mine. But we also saw some fantastic spots in this match. Ibushi countered a Sliding Dropkick from Tanahashi on the apron, and Double Footstomped perfectly on his chest, a quickly snapped off Avalanche Frankensteiner as well as his new Double Knees Moonsault. Tanahashi was in usual form also, with a couple Short Arm Slingblades mixed in with two Twist and Shout Neckbreakers.
Throughout the match, the story and struggle was painted plainly on both men’s faces. Ibushi kept trying to hold back his emotions, until the spirit of Shinsuke Nakamura overcame him. A few antagonistic kicks to the head, mixed with two or three Bomaye Knees from different angles. Hell Ibushi even hit his Outside-In Deadlift German Suplex on Tanahashi, but only for 2 counts.
Tanahashi had a hauntingly similar sequence to the Power Struggle match, but instead of 2 High Fly Flows, this time it took 3 for Tanahashi to finish the job. A momentous occasion of course, but it should be noted that Kota never hit the KamiGoye. For those who don’t know, KameGoye means “Beyond God”, and he named it such because of Tanahashi. It was the move he was going to use to finally surpass God, and God, to Kota Ibushi, is Tanahashi.
Not quite there yet for Kota, but words can’t adequately describe how amazing this match was.
Winner: Tanahashi via High Fly Flow
— GIF Skull (@GIFSkull) August 12, 2018
Tanahashi wins his third G1 Climax, and the winner comes from my block for the third time this year! Yes I know I picked Ibushi, but being wrong there, still kinda paid off. The match was tremendous, the undercard built like a normal New Japan show. So now we get to see when and where Jay White will challenge Tanahashi for the contract, and if Kazuchika Okada might make a challenge.
Even though all previous contract winners have lost at Wrestle Kingdom, we might finally see something change. Maybe Tanahashi wins, maybe he loses it before the big show. Guess we’ll just have to sit back and find out.
Mitchell’s NJPW WTL X Super Jr. Tag Results & Report! (12/5/22)
The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but do they squat?
Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi are the bad boys of NJPW, but are they mightier than The Mighty? We find out as World Tag League rolls on!
- Bad Luck Fale VS Oskar Leube; Fale wins.
- Tetsuya Naito & SANADA VS Ryohei Oiwa & Tomoaki Honma; Naito & Sanada win.
- Six Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & Kosei Fujita VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; LIJ wins.
- World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Coughlin & Kidd win.
- World Tag League 2022: Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare VS Aussie Open; Aussie Open wins.
- World Tag League 2022: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer; Goto & Hashi win.
- World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls; win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current World Tag League standings!
Aussie Open: 6-1, 12 points
The Mighty: 5-1, 10 points
Naito & Sanada: 5-2, 10 points
Goto & Hashi: 4-2, 8 points
Khan & Henare: 4-3, 8 points
Suzuki & Archer: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Yano & Tanahashi: 3-3, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Evil & Yujiro: 1-5, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Coughlin & Kidd: 0-6, 0 points [ELIMINATED]
Chase & Fale: [FORFEIT]
World Tag League 2022: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd VS EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi!
The Mechanical Bulls have yet to get on the board, and there’s not much time left! Can they bulldoze the House of Torture and finally score? Or will the King of Darkness & Tokyo Pimp have more tricks up their sleeves for this one?
Dick Togo comes out with the House of Torture, so Sho must be lurking somewhere else right now. The teams sort out, but Kidd tells Dick to leave. Dick does leave and fans applaud. Kidd and Yujiro start and fans rally up with the bell. Kidd and Yujiro circle, tie up, and Yujiro headlocks. Kidd powers up to pry at the hold, and he spins it around onto Yujiro. Fans applaud but Yujiro powers out of the headlock. Kidd runs Yujiro over! Evil runs in but Coughlin intercepts him with a kick! Coughlin ROCKS Evil with a forearm, knees him in a corner, and Kidd has Yujiro in the other. They double whip Evil and Yujiro at each other, then they both scoop and SLAM!
Fans fire up as the Mechanical Bulls roar and flex! Coughlin & Kidd double whip Yujiro, kick and knee lift and run him over with a shoulder! Kidd SENTONS, then covers, TWO! Fans rally while Kidd drags Yujiro up and tags in Coughlin. Kidd holds Yujiro for Coughlin’s CHOP! Fans fire up as Coughlin deadlifts Yujiro into a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Coughlin looms over Yujiro. Coughlin stands Yujiro up but Yujiro kicks low. Yujiro CHOPS, whips, but Coughlin reverses. Yujiro holds ropes, Coughlin runs in but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Evil runs in to BLAST Kidd off the apron, then he goes out after him!
Kidd kicks Evil but Evil claws the eyes! Evil brings Kidd around and takes aim at the timekeeper, but the ref reprimands! Evil lets off, and he CLUBS Kidd down. Abe-san is spared for now, and Yujiro stands Coughlin up in a corner. Yujiro throws elbows, but lets off as the ref counts. Yujiro brings Coughlin over and tags in Evil. Evil CLUBS Coughlin, then fakes the eye rake to CHOP! Coughlin eggs Evil on, so Evil CHOPS again! Coughlin eggs Evil on more and fans fire up. Evil CHOPS again and Coughlin feels that one! Coughlin CHOPS back and Evil feels that! Evil trips Coughlin for a toehold! But Coughlin reaches out, ROPEBREAK!
Evil lets off, drags Coughlin over and he tags in Yujiro. The ref counts, Evil exits and Yujiro stomps Coughlin down. Yujiro drags Coughlin up to knee low, knee low again, then snapmare. Yujiro runs to basement BOOT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while Evil protests the count. Yujiro brings Coughlin up and ROCKS him with a forearm. And then ROCKS him in the corner! Yujiro stomps Coughlin, tags Evil, and Evil scoop SLAMS! Cover, TWO! Evil covers again, TWO! And again, TWO!! Evil is furious with the ref but the fans fire up again. Evil drags Coughlin up but Coughlin knees low! And UPPERCUTS! And CHOPS!
Evil kicks low, runs, but into a SCRAPBUSTER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Coughlin crawls over, hot tag to Kidd! Kidd rallies on Evil with shoulders and CHOPS! Kidd whips, Evil reverses but Kidd ducks ‘n’ dodges to DROPKICK! Fans fire up with Kidd but Yujiro runs in. Kidd kicks him, fires off forearms, then has him in a corner. Kidd clotheslines Yujiro, then runs corner to corner and clotheslines Evil! Yujiro runs in but Kidd sends him into Evil! Then Kidd uses Tenzan Power Mongolian Chop! Down goes Yujiro! Kidd blocks Evil’s kick to Tenzan Power Mongolian Chop! And then EXPLODER! Cover, TWO!
Fans fire up with Kidd as he drags Evil back up. Kidd calls his shot, suplexes, but Evil fights free and wrenches. Kidd CHOPS Evil first! Fans fire up again as Kidd runs in but Evil dodges the clothesline! Evil corner clotheslines then FISHERMAN BUSTERS! Cover, TWO! Kidd is still in this, Evil tags Yujiro. Yujiro stomps Kidd, drags him up, then knees him low. Yujiro CLUBS Kidd, reels him in, but Kidd suplexes first! TENZAN BRAINBUSTER! Fans fire up as Kidd and Yujiro crawl. Hot tag to Coughlin! The Android picks Yujiro up and RAMS him into a corner! And RAMS again and again, and then UPPERCUTS and CHOPS!
Fans fire up as Coughlin fireman’s carries Yujiro, for a RUNNING DEATH VALLEY! Cover, but Evil breaks it! Kidd kicks Evil and throws him out. Kidd goes out after Evil with more Tenzan Power! Coughlin powers up, runs, but Yujiro gets around the lariat to backslide! Coughlin rolls through but Yujiro reels him in. Coughlin powers out of Pimp Juice, but Yujiro bumps into the ref! Coughlin shouts, “YOU!” but he runs into a REVERSE DDT! And with no ref, here come Dick & Sho! Fans boo because they can now, but Evil CLUBS Kidd down. Dick & Sho get in the ring, fans tell them to go away, and then Evil & Yujiro say they can go?
Evil & Yujiro say they have this, they don’t need to cheat. Dick & Sho understand, and they exit. Fans applaud while Yujiro and Evil stand Coughlin & Kidd up. But then they DOUBLE LOW BLOW!! Well, they’re still cheating, just on their own. The House of Torture laughs and Evil stands Kidd up to kick him back down. Dick & Sho then return, and fans boo even more. The House was just tricking everyone, and now they all stomp away on Coughlin & Kidd! Evil drags Kidd up, throws him out, and Sho goes out after Kidd. Yujiro sits Coughlin up, PIMP JUICE! Dick puts the ref back in, he counts the cover, TWO?!?! Coughlin still lives and shocks everyone!!
Fans are thunderous but Evil gets a chair! Sho distracts the ref, Yujiro sits Coughlin up and Evil rushes in, but Kidd BOOTS the chair into Evil! Fans fire up more and Coughlin shoves Yujiro into Sho! Then Coughlin scoops Yujiro to the FALL AWAY SUPLEX! Bridging cover, The Mechanical Bulls win!!
Winners: Alex Coughlin & Gabriel Kidd, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Evil & Yujiro earn 0)
FINALLY! Kidd & Coughlin have their first win as a duo! They won’t win the league, but does this mean there’s hope for the Mechanical Bulls as a team? As for the House of Torture, are they ever going to give up their cheating ways?
World Tag League 2022: Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare VS Aussie Open!
With the way things are going, the All United Empire Finals might not be happening! Will the Dominator & Ultimate Weapon get a little help from Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher? Or will Dunk-Zilla & the Aussie Arrow make their senpai earn the dream?
Fans cheer as Gideon Grey makes his way out, along with the Karatsu City mascot, Karawan-kun the beetle-helmet wearing dog. The Orchestrator says good evening, and introduces himself. “And today is a very big day, but first, the Great-O-Khan has forged a new alliance.” The United Empire’s newest mascot is Karawan-kun! “And now, as a humble servant to the people of the United Empire, there is no greater joy that I can take than introducing you to your combatants.” That is to say, he gets to do introductions for BOTH teams of the United Empire! They wait to all go to the ring together, showing that the Empire is united, even when they are competing against each other.
The teams sort out and fans rally up. Khan starts against Davis, and they RAM each other at the bell! Fans fire up as they go again, and again, and then get forehead to forehead. Khan forearms, Davis gives it back, repeat, and fans rally as the shots go faster and faster! Davis and Khan get forehead to forehead again, run, but then Henare and Kyle trip them up! Henare and Kyle send Davis and Khan into railing, then rush in at each other to fire off forearms of their own! Fans fire up again as the shots go back and forth! Khan and Davis return, and they return to firing forearms back and forth with each other!
Fans are loving the brawling but the ref wants this to sort out to 1v1! Khan & Henare get the edge, then they both run, but Aussie Open dodges to pick them both up! They SANDWICH their senpai! Fans fire up and Davis tags in Kyle. Aussie Open drag Khan up, double whip him to ropes, but Khan ducks the double lariat! PONYTAIL CHOKE on Kyle! Henare dropkicks Davis’ legs out! Khan drags Kyle down to a HEAD ‘N’ ARM TRIANGLE! Henare runs over and has a HEEL HOOK! Kyle endures double submissions, but the ref counts! Kyle gets the ROPEBREAK with his free leg! The ref counts again, Khan & Henare let Kyle go.
Khan drags Kyle up, and has the PONYTAIL CHOKE! The ref reprimands Henare tags in, and the senpai mug Kyle. Henare stalks Kyle, ROCKS him with forearms, then throws knees. Henare snapmares and PENALTY KICKS Kyle in the back! Fans applaud while Kyle writhes. Henare drags Kyle back up, but Kyle throws body shots and a flurry of forearms! Henare DECKS Kyle in return! Henare drags Kyle back up, whips, but Kyle reverses. Kyle runs in but into an elbow! Henare goes up, FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO! Khan BLASTS Davis off the apron, then he and Henare drag Kyle back up. Fans rally as the senpai double whip Kyle to the corner.
Khan whips Henare in but Kyle goes up and over! Kyle ducks under Khan, hot tag to Davis! Fans fire up as Davis runs through Khan’s lariat to corner clothesline Henare! Davis CHOPS Khan, clotheslines Henare again, then CHOPS Khan again! Davis clotheslines Henare again but Khan ducks the chop. Khan & Henare mug Davis, they double whip but Davis handsprings and DOUBLE LARIATS back! Fans fire up and Davis drags Henare up. Davis shoves Henare to a corner, and CHOP LARIATS! And CHOP LARIATS! And CHOP LARIATS again! Fans fire up, Davis wrenches Henare and torture racks, but Henare fights free!
Henare BOOTS Davis down, then runs at the corner. Davis dodges and Kyle runs in to LARIAT! Kyle sits Henare down for Davis’ SLIDING FOREARM! Kyle then DIVES onto Khan! Fans fire up and Davis torture racks Henare, for the SPINNING RACK BOMB! Cover, TWO! Tag to Kyle and fans rally as Aussie Open coordinates. Fireman’s carry, POP-UP KICK! Kyle hops up and Davis scoops Henare for a LAWN DART CUTTER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Henare stays in this. Kyle fires up now and Davis helps him stand Henare up. They double pump handle but Khan saves Henare! But then Aussie Open double wrench and DOUBLE FOREARM!
Aussie Open dumps Khan out, they get Henare back up, double underhooks and lift, BUTTERFLY SPINEBUSTER! Cover, but Khan breaks it in time! Fans fire up while Davis stomps Khan. Aussie Open whips Khan to ropes, but Khan BOOTS Kyle and arm-drags Davis! Fans fire up as Khan goes to his corner and calls to Henare. Henare crawls over as fans rally, hot tag to Khan! Khan storms up on Kyle, for Mongolian Chops! And then more Mongolian Chops in the corner! Khan turns Kyle around, to sit up on his throne! Fans cheer but the ref reprimands. Khan hops off at 4, then dribbles Kyle off the buckles! Khan goes to TEN, then he SLAM DUNKS Kyle!
Kyle staggers into a PANCAKE PLEX! Bridging cover, but Davis breaks it! Henare CLUBS Davis then throws him out. Khan & Henare double whip Kyle corner to corner, then Khan runs in to clothesline! Henare runs in to SHINING WIZARD! Feed to Khan for HITSUJIGOROSHI! Henare hooks up the legs, FUBUKI! Kyle endures, but he gets MARINE! Cover, Davis breaks it! Henare CLUBS and HEADBUTTS Davis, then throws him out again. Henare tags in, he storms up on Kyle. Fans rally, Henare stomps Kyle then drags him up. Kyle CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! And then ROCKS Henare with a forearm!
Henare and Kyle stagger, but Kyle runs corner to corner. Henare dodges the kick, Khan rushes in to feed Kyle to Henare’s scoop, BERSERKER BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Kyle survives and fans rally up. Henare drags Kyle up, fireman’s carries, and Khan runs, but Davis clotheslines him out! Kyle slips free, Davis dodges Henare, SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Fans are thunderous as Aussie Open regroup. Davis goes to the corner, Kyle tags him in, and Aussie Open fires up as they go to opposite corners. They aim as Henare stands up, but he moves as they rush in! Aussie Open stop from colliding, Kyle rushes at Henare but he dodges.
Davis kicks but Henare blocks, to step-over WHEEL KICK! Fans fire up as Kyle SUPERKICKS Henare down, but then Khan LARIATS Kyle! Davis CLOBBERS Khan but Henare HEEL KICKS Davis! ELBOW JAB for Kyle, but DROPKICK for Henare! Khan dodges Kyle to NECKBREAKER DROP! But then Davis ENZIGURIS Khan down! Fans are thunderous again as the entire United Empire is down! The teams regroup and slowly rise. Aussie Open throw forearms first, but Khan & Henare give them back. Aussie Open hits again, #Khanare hits back! Aussie Open, Khanare, repeat! Fans fire up as they go faster and faster!
Aussie Open gets the edge, they fire up, but Khan Mongolian Chops and Henare body shots! The senpai have control as Khan puts some stank on his Mongolian- NO, Davis blocks! But Henare gets around to ROUNDHOUSE Davis in the back! Davis wobbles, the Monster Rage boils over! Khan scoops Davis, Henare SCREW HIGH KICKS and then Khan TENZAN TOMBSTONE DRIVERS!! Henare covers, but Kyle barrels in to break it!! Fans are thunderous again as Khan drags Kyle up. Kyle forearms Khan, CHOPS Henare, repeat! Kyle roars and runs, but into a BOOT SUPERKICK COMBO! Khan & Henare get Davis up now!
Fireman’s carry, Khan runs, but Davis slips off to shove the senpai into each other! Davis reels Henare in, Kyle gut wrenches Khan, DOUBLE DRIVERS!! Cover, TWO!?!? Khan & Henare both roar as they rise up! But Aussie Open aim from the corners! DOUBLE LARIAT SANDWICH! Khan falls, Aussie Open pump handle Henare, COREALIS!! Cover, Aussie Open wins!!
Winners: Aussie Open, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Henare & Khan earn 0)
The All United Empire Finals is no longer going to happen, but based on this, we know what would’ve happened! Davis & Fletcher best their senpai, will they soon prove they are the best?
But in the end, the United Empire all stands together, along with Gideon and Karawan-kun. Gideon wants everyone to understand this was about more than just two points! “This was about the pride beating in the heart of each and every one of these men in this ring!” Fans applaud that. “You wanna achieve greatness? You wanna make a change? Then follow this example! NEVER give less than 100%! NEVER stop moving forward! And NEVER give up! And when your body gives out, which it will, have your allies pick you back up and do it all over again! Get off your ass and do something you can be proud of! This is why United Empire runs the world!”
Fans applaud that passion, and the four stand together at the center. Gideon says this was the best match from the best unit! “This is the power of the United Empire!!” Fans cheer as the faction hugs it out. Will the United Empire soon become the strongest faction in all of professional wrestling?
World Tag League 2022: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI VS Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer!
Bishamon is on the bubble, but they could find a way! Unless the Meanest Tag Team in World Tag League has something to say about it! If #EverybodyDies, does another run come to an end? Or will the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter #TurnItAllAround before the end?
Naturally, the Murderhawk Monster clobbers a Young Lion, and he goes after Oskar Leube. Then he goes to intimidate Milano Collection AT! Milano runs off, Archer sits in his seat and puts on the headset. Archer says hello to Jushin Thunder Liger, asks if he’s doing well, then says F U and gets back to the ring. Suzuki makes his entrance, he BOOTS Young Lion Ryohei Oiwa down, and fans take full advantage of being able to sing “KAZE NI NARE~!” Goto & Hashi make their entrance, but Archer & Suzuki attack after the introductions! Archer stomps Goto in a corner, Suzuki fires off on Hashi! The bell rings as Suzuki throws Hashi out!
Archer stands on Goto in the corner while Suzuki stomps Hashi against railing! Fans rally up while the ref reprimands. Archer tells the ref to shut up, then he stomps Goto more. Archer stands Goto up to ROCK him, then CHOKE him against the ropes! The ref counts, Archer stops at 4. Archer runs, but Hashi gets in and Bishamon RAMS Archer with double shoulders! Suzuki runs in but Hashi kicks him first. Bishamon drums Suzuki down! Fans fire up as Bishamon gets Archer now for drumming! But Archer explodes out! Archer runs to CLOBBER Goto, and Suzuki has Hashi in a HANGING ARMBAR!
The ref reprimands, Suzuki lets off at 4, and he drags Hashi out. Archer goes after Goto on the outside while Suzuki whips Hashi into railing! Archer digs his knee into Goto’s neck but the ref reprimands. Archer tells the ref to shut up again, but Suzuki brings Hashi around the railing. Abe-san moves aside so Suzuki can throw Hashi onto the timekeeper’s table! Suzuki then grabs one of the chairs and digs it into Hashi’s head! Archer meanwhile whips Goto hard into railing! Fans rally up while Archer take apart the railing! Archer uses that to choke Goto! The ref reprimands, he starts the ring count, but Suzuki brings Hashi up the ramp!
Suzuki reels Hashi in, Gotch holds, but Hashi resists the lift! The count is 10 of 20, Suzuki KNEES Hashi down, then goes back to ringside. Archer puts Goto in, reels him in and short arm LARIATS! Tag to Suzuki and he covers, TWO! Fans rally while Suzuki looms over Goto. Suzuki kicks Goto around, toys with him as he digs his heel into Goto’s face, then gives him some stomps. Goto sits up, Suzuki KICKS and KICKS, but Goto glares defiantly. So Suzuki KNEES Goto down! Suzuki drags Goto around by a leg for a HEEL HOOK, then turns the leg. Suzuki also gets an arm, but Goto still endures. Goto reaches out, but Suzuki lets off to keep him from the ropes.
Archer goes after Hashi on the outside, Suzuki drags Goto up but Goto CHOPS! And CHOPS! Suzuki CHOPS back! Suzuki has Goto in the corner, Archer holds Goto up, and Suzuki CHOPS! Suzuki throws body shots, then CHOPS again! Tag to Archer and Archer brings Goto around. Goto fires CHOPS in return! Goto KICKS but Archer kicks and ROCKS and whips! Goto hits buckles hard and bounces off! Archer waits on Goto to stand back up, fans rally up, and Archer runs in to back elbow! Archer keeps moving, he CLOBBERS Goto! Fans fire up while Archer has a cocky cover. TWO, but then Archer DECKS Hashi off the apron.
Archer stomps Goto, tags Suzuki, and Suzuki drags Goto up to wrench and double wristlock! Goto moves around but Suzuki wrangles him down! ARMBAR!! Goto endures, flails and moves around, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Suzuki lets off and fans applaud. Tag to Archer, he tells fans rallying for Goto to shut up. Fans rally harder for Goto and Archer eggs Goto on. Archer slaps Goto around but Goto fires off CHOPS! Archer knees low, runs, but Goto follows to LARIAT! Archer stays up, so Goto runs again, to LARIAT! Archer choke grips, but Goto breaks free, dodges, and hot tags Hashi! Hashi RAMS Archer, and RAMS again!
Archer pie faces Hashi to a corner, runs in but Hashi dodges. Hashi clotheslines, whips, but Archer reverses! Hashi comes back to dropkick the legs out! Hashi keeps moving to HEADHUNTER! Fans fire up with Hashi and he brings Archer up. Hashi goes to suplex but Archer blocks! Hashi keeps trying, but Archer still resists. Hashi kicks and kicks and fires up! Hashi suplexes, but Archer fights that! Archer wrenches but Hashi ROCKS and CHOPS and ROCKS Archer again. Archer still whips but Hashi holds ropes. Archer runs in, Hashi drop toeholds him into ropes! Hashi runs and SHOTGUNS Archer down!
Fans fire up and Hashi tags Goto back in. Hashi BLASTS Suzuki, Goto stomps Archer. Bishamon double whips Archer to a corner, Goto whips Hashi in but Archer elbows Hashi away. Goto runs in but Archer BOOTS him! Archer hops up and DOUBLE CROSSBODIES! Fans fire up and Archer tags Suzuki. Suzuki stomps Goto around, brings him up and whips him to a corner. Suzuki runs in to BOOT Goto, then he snapmares and runs to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while Suzuki argues the count. Suzuki kicks at Goto, drags him back up, and he HEADBUTTS! Goto drops to a knee but Suzuki brings him back up.
Suzuki HEADBUTTS again and again, but Goto throws a forearm! Suzuki snarls and storms up to forearm Goto back! Goto forearms, Suzuki forearms, repeat! Fans fire up as the forearms go faster and faster! Goto gets the edge, but Suzuki just grins through it all! Suzuki comes back to DECK Goto! Fans fire up as Suzuki looms over Goto. Suzuki eggs Goto on and then runs, but Goto blocks the boot! Goto hooks Suzuki up and Hashi runs in, GOTO GOTO HUNTER! Hashi BLASTS Archer off the apron! Fans fire up with Bishamon as Hashi calls for lights out! Goto drags Suzuki up, Hashi has th elegs, but Archer attacks them first!
Archer throws knees into Hashi, then he and Suzuki whip Goto and Hashi into each other! Archer then hauls Goto up and Suzuki runs, HART ATTACK!! Cover, Hashi breaks it! Archer drags Hashi up to throw him out! Suzuki drags Goto up and around but Goto’s dead weight. Archer sends Hashi into railing while Suzuki taunts Goto. Fans rally up while Suzuki drags Goto back up. Goto swings, misses, and Suzuki ROCKS him! SLEEPER HOLD!! Goto flails, reaches out, but Suzuki keeps him from the ropes! Suzuki squeezes tighter, Goto is turning purple! Goto sits down, he sputters, and the ref checks! Goto is fading, Suzuki covers, TWO!!!
Suzuki SLEEPERS Goto again and drags him up! Then he spins Goto around, reels him in, and Gotch holds! But Goto resists the lift! Fans fire up as the struggle continues, but Suzuki lifts Goto up! Goto kicks and flails but Suzuki still lifts! Goto fights to back drop free!! Goto roars, runs, but Suzuki follows to shoot around, SLEEPER! But Goto powers Suzuki to a corner! Hashi runs in to clothesline! Feed to the fireman’s carry, FIERCE- NO, Archer grabs Hashi by the hair! Suzuki slips off to SLEEPER! Hashi gets around Archer to waistlock, Archer elbows free, but then Hashi dumps him out! Fans fire up as Goto fireman’s carries!
FIERCE FLASH! Into SHOUTO!!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!
Winners: Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; Suzuki & Archer earn 0)
Goto & Hashi live to fight another round! Can Bishamon #GetBackUp to the World Tag League finals for a back-to-back victory?
World Tag League 2022: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls!
The Joker & The Ace were knocked out of the running just last round, but they aren’t going to let that stop them! Will they bring down one of the frontrunners in the block? Or will Shane & Mikey prove that The Mighty Don’t Kneel?
The teams sort out and the Mighty want Red Shoes to thoroughly check Yano. Yano says it’s all fine! Tanahashi takes off his jacket, and Yano says, “SUGOI~!” Yano gets the fans cheering for “HIROSHI! HIROSHI!” and Tanahashi starts against Shane. Shane does an air drum while Tanahashi air guitars. Fans rally for Hiroshi as he circles with Shane. They tie up, Shane powers Tanahashi to ropes, but Red Shoes calls the break. Shane lets off to flex his own muscles. Fans applaud as they are impressive, but Tanahashi shrugs that off. Tanahashi and Shane circle and tie up again, and Tanahashi puts Shane on ropes now.
Tanahashi lets off quickly, and he flexes his muscles. Fans cheer even more, and that annoys Shane. But Tanahashi blocks Shane’s kick to CLUB the leg then headlock. Shane powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Tanahashi hits a headlock takeover but Shane headscissors. Tanahashi kips free but Shane headlocks for a takeover. Now Tanahashi headscissors and Shane kips free. Tanahashi flexes and Shane backs away. Shane wants Tanahashi to back up, and Tanahashi steps away. Shane resets and circles with Tanahashi again. But then Shane tags Mikey and Yano calls to Tanahashi! Tanahashi tags Yano and fans fire up!
Yano and Mikey step up, and Yano squats! Fans want Mikey to squat but Mikey mocks it as sumo. Yano stands up and says it’s not sumo, but Mikey kicks him low! Mikey whips, Yano holds ropes to taunt Mikey, then he dodges to go for a buckle pad! Mikey storms over as Yano throws the pad away. Mikey kicks Yano and runs, but Tanahashi catches him! Yano runs in but Mikey moves! Yano stops from running into Tanahashi, but he turns around into a kick! Mikey runs, but Tanahashi gets in, both Yano & Tanahashi run Mikey over! Fans fire up as they both squat by him. Shane gets in to BOOT Tanahashi out of the ring!
Yano says, “Oh sh*t” and Shane BOOTS him down! Mikey gets up, he kicks Yano out, and then goes out after Yano to kick him more. Mikey smacks Yano off the apron, puts him in the ring, and covers, TWO! Fans applaud but Mikey drags Yano around into a CAMEL CLUTCH! Yano endures, Mikey fishhooks Yano’s face! Red Shoes reprimands, Mikey lets go, and he tags Shane. Fans rally for Yano but the Mighty mug Yano in the corner. Shane pushes Yano out while Mikey BLASTS Tanahashi! Shane sends Yano into railing! Shane puts Yano in the ring, drags him up by his hair, and he snapmares Yano back down for a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Shane squats! Fans applaud and Shane SLAMS Yano’s arm down! Then he SLAMS Yano’s other arm! Then he makes Yano clap really hard! Fans clap along, then Shane SLAMS both arms! Fans cheer and Shane flexes. Shane drags Yano over, tags Mikey in, and the Mighty drag Yano up. Yano fights back with forearms, but Shane UPPERCUTS and Mikey reels Yano in, BACK SUPLEX NECKBREAKER COMBO! Cover, Tanahashi breaks it! Mikey CLUBS Tanahashi and shoves him out. Mikey stomps Yano more, then drops knees at the ropes. Fans rally while Shane taunts Yano. Mikey eggs Yano on and Yano stands up.
Yano fires off forearms but Mikey hits back! Yano pulls hair but Mikey ROCKS Yano! Mikey whips, Yano reverses and throws Mikey down by his hair! Fans fire up and Yano crawls over, hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi fires off on Mikey, then whips to ropes. Mikey reverses but Tanahashi FLYING FOREARMS! Tanahashi BLASTS Shane for good measure, then he runs at Mikey. Tanahashi blocks a boot to DRAGON SCREW! Shane runs in but his kick is blocked, DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he brings Mikey up. Tanahashi scoops and SLAMS Mikey into a drop zone, then goes up the corner. SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Tanahashi waits on Mikey. Mikey stands, Tanahashi runs, but into an ELBOW! Mikey runs, ducks Tanahashi’s haymaker, and fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY BOMB! Fans fire up while both men are down. Tanahashi and Mikey crawl, hot tags to Yano and Shane! Fans cheer as Yano dodges to SLAP Shane! Yano whips, Shane reverses, but Yano stops from hitting bare buckles! Shane runs in but Yano sends him into the buckles! Roll-up, TWO! Yano is upset with Red Shoes but Red SHoes says his count was fair. Shane UPPERCUTS, but Yano atomic- NO, Shane slips off to BOOT!
Shane suplexes for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Yano is still in this but Shane snarls. Shane calls his shot, goes up the corner, but Yano knocks Red Shoes into the ropes to trip Shane up! Yano apologizes to them all, but Shane YANKS Yano into the bare buckles! Shane adjusts, Yano staggers, and Shane leaps, into an atomic drop! Fans fire up as Yano crawls and tags in Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to SLING- NO, Shane atomic drops Tanahashi! Tanahashi goes to a corner, Shane runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Shane’s boot misses and he gets hung up on the top rope again! Tanahashi runs, but Shane DROPKICKS him down!
Fans fire up as Shane and Tanahashi crawl. Hot tag to Mikey! Mikey drags Tanahashi up, suplexes, but Tanahashi slips free! Tanahashi waistlocks, but he ducks Mikey’s elbow, only for Mikey to DDT! Fans fire up as Mikey roars, and Mikey drags Tanahashi up. But Tanahashi throws a forearm! Mikey forearms back, they go back and forth and fans fire up! Tanahashi UPPERCUTS, runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mikey argues the count, and Shane sends Yano into railing! Mikey scoops Tanahashi, Shane runs in, TANKBUSTER! Cover, but Yano breaks it! Shane throws Yano out and then goes out after him.
Mikey drags Tanahashi up, reels him in, but Tanahashi fights the bomb! Tanahashi throws elbows, to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Fans fire up, Tanahashi runs, but into a scoop! MIKEY BOMB!! Cover, TWO!?!? Mikey can’t believe that Tanahashi survives! Fans fire up as Shane gets back in. The Mighty roar, they drag Tanahashi up, THUNDER- NO, Tanahashi fights free! Tanahashi fires off forearms and elbows, but Mikey SLAPS! Shane SLAPS! The Mighty DOUBLE SLAP! But then Tanahashi duck and the Mighty SLAPS each other! Tanahashi DRAGON PALMS Mikey while Yano shoves Red Shoes out of the way!
Tanahashi shoves Mikey into Shane, and Yano DOUBLE LOW BLOWS The Mighty! Tanahashi runs to SLINGBLADE Mikey down! Fans are thunderous as Tanahashi PLANCHAS Shane! Yano has Mikey up, ONIGOROSHI!! Tanahashi climbs up top, HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, the Joker & the Ace win!
Winners: Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall (gain 2 points; The Mighty earn 0)
The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but they FELL here tonight! And with Aussie Open as their last opponents, are they doomed to miss the finals?
As for Yano & Tanahashi, Red Shoes squats with them to confirm the victory, and then Yano calls in the Mayor! “Shichou” Toshiyuki Sakai says why not, and he gets into the ring! He takes off the suit jacket and puts his mask aside for the moment, so he can squat! Maybe he was a Yankee in his younger days? Fans cheer the photo op, and then Tanahashi gets the mic. “After 25 years, NJPW is back in Karatsu!” Fans cheer for that! Tanahashi thanks the fans for coming out and supporting NJPW, which fans also applaud. Tanahashi says “You all have really let me see so much of Karatsu. Thank you. Liger-san introduced me to this beautiful town. The food, the sights. Thank you for having us.
“But the thing that really struck me about this place was the warm reception all of you gave us. Thank you so much!” Fans cheer that, too. Tanahashi then says, “So next time, we’ll see you in another 25 years?” Fans laugh, then boo, because they hope not! “No? Okay, we’ll see you… next year!” Fans cheer but is Tanahashi putting NJPW in a spot promising that? Tanahashi thanks the fans again for supporting the show until the end. “Finally, to every single one of you in Karatsu… AISHITEMAAASU~!” Fans get to cheer along with that one, and getting to join Yano in “Y T R!” The Joker & The Ace take a victory lap around the ring, but then Tanahashi gets back in the ring.
“Sorry. I forgot the air guitar!” Fans cheer, at least he remembered before he left. Fans chant, “GI-TA-RU! GI-TA-RU!” and a fan sends theirs up to Tanahashi! “KARATSU~!” “OSU!” “KARATSU~!” “OSU!” “LET’S ROCK~!” The air guitar concert begins! Yano is even sitting in his red chair doing air drums! Big finish! Fans want an “EN-CO-RU! EN-CO-RU!” Tanahashi decides to return that previous air guitar, so he can borrow one from the other side of the arena! Another air guitar is sent up, and then Yano switches to air bass! They jam out and fans clap along! Fans cheer Yano for going hard on the bass. But they still want more!
The mayor has an air guitar! Tanahashi takes it, and Yano’s back on drums! Fans cheer the third round of the concert, and Yano is surprised when there’s actually a cymbal crash for his big finish! Tanahashi returns the mayor’s guitar, then gets the mic again. “I can’t just leave it at that, so I have to close on a second Aishitemasu for the first time ever!” Fans fire up as they get to be part of history! “Finally, and really this time, Karatsu… AISHITEMAAAAAAASU!” So much love, energy, comedy and music, will this help carry Yano, Tanahashi and all of NJPW into a bright future?
Here are the NEW World Tag League standings!
Aussie Open: 7-1, 14 points
The Mighty: 5-2, 10 points
Naito & Sanada: 5-2, 10 points
Goto & Hashi: 5-2, 10 points
Yano & Tanahashi: 4-3, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
Khan & Henare: 4-4, 8 points [ELIMINATED]
Suzuki & Archer: 3-4, 6 points [ELIMINATED]
Coughlin & Kidd: 1-6, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Evil & Yujiro: 1-6, 2 points [ELIMINATED]
Chase & Fale: [FORFEIT]
Another great round for World Tag League, and awesome stuff to see Coughlin & Kidd get a win off House of Torture. I like Coughlin & Kidd as a team, and I know Coughlin’s overall story is going to be hunting down JR Kratos, but maybe Kidd can be his back-up through that story. Aussie Open VS Henare & Khan probably had the actual best match of the night and that probably could’ve been the main event. But at the same time, I get they put this earlier on the card because it was still very clear Aussie Open was going to win. They have such a big lead, Aussie Open is already a lock for the finals, so it all comes down to their opponents.
Goto & Hashi had a great match against Suzuki & Archer to get a much needed win. But I have a feeling they’re going to be out next with Naito & Sanada still in the running, and Aussie Open VS The Mighty being a big match-up on Friday the 9th. Yano & Tanahashi beating the Mighty though being out of the running was big for them, and I really do hope those two keep things going past World Tag League. At the same time, they probably choose not to so that their high school bad boy act doesn’t get tired.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (12/5/22)
Who will be The Ones?
There’s a lot on the line for The Bloodline!
United though they may be, The Bloodline still needs to be on guard! Jimmy & Jey Uso return to Raw to defend their Undisputed Tag Team Championships against Matt Riddle & Elias!
- Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos VS Matt Riddle & Elias; The Usos win and retain the titles.
- Triple Threat: Bayley VS Rhea Ripley VS Asuka; Bayley wins and advances to next week’s Raw Women’s Championship #1 contenders match.
- WWE United States Championship: Austin Theory VS Mustafa Ali; Theory wins by disqualification and retains the title.
- JBL’s High Stakes Poker Invitational: Lumis wins.
- Six Man Tag: The OC VS Baron Corbin & The Alpha Academy; The OC wins.
- Dominik Mysterio VS Akira Tozawa; Dominik wins.
- Triple Threat: Becky Lynch VS Alexa Bliss VS Nikki Cross; Alexa wins and advances to next week’s Raw Women’s Championship #1 contenders match.
PLAY PY PLAY
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos VS Matt Riddle & Elias!
The Bloodline is here as Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa accompany Jimmy & Jey to the ring. The reign is over 500 days and counting, but could that time be up here in Washington, DC? Or will
As footage shows, it was earlier tonight when the Bloodline arrived. They were fired up, but Byron Saxton walked over to interview them. But then The Bro scooters in super fast! The Bloodline gets clear, and they’re upset. Jey says it doesn’t matter, they gonna get Riddle AND Elias tonight like they have every other team! If Riddle and Elias want at the titles, just look who showed up tonight? But then Elias comes out of his tour bus to ask what all the commotion’s about. Solo CLOBBERS Elias from behind! The Bloodline mugs The Drifter, and Solo whips Elias into spare railing! Sami says that’s what they get! Then he realizes Elias might be hurt.
In the present, Jey gets a mic to say, “The Bloodline is now in your city!” But Jimmy says there’s some bad news. The championship match that was supposed to go down is officially canceled! Cuz the Enforcer, Solo Sikoa, done bodied Elias in the parking lot. Now, everyone surely came here to see them compete, but here’s the bright side: Riddle won’t be humiliated, and Elias can go home to work on any song he wants to. Sami adds, “Bet! Sorry, it just felt like a good time for a ‘bet.'” Jimmy understands. But what you can look forward to now is the Usos focusing on being the best tag team ever!
The Usos will defend against any team that wants to run up, but those that run up will get done up! Because everyone else is the twos, and #WeTheOnes! But “Bro…” Riddle comes out to say, “First of all, it wasn’t so cool of you guys to take out my partner Elias tonight, dude. Like tonight was his first night to finally get WWE gold. And honestly, if I’m being real, it’s not really like The Bloodline to run from a fight. I would say it’s not very… How you say? Ucey?” Sami tells Riddle, “Yo yo yo yo yo yo! Hold up, my dawg.” Sami wants to explain something to Riddle. Riddle is not the one who decides what is or isn’t Ucey. Sami’s a bit of an expert in this field.
In fact, Sami is a certified Uceologist. What? Sami is the one to say what is and isn’t Ucey. For example, Solo Sikoa showing once again why he IS the Enforcer by destroying Elias, that is UCEY! The Usos continuing to be the longest reigning tag team champions in history, that is UCEY! Riddle coming out here, running his mouth, thinking he ever had a chance at beating them is NOT Ucey. So unless Riddle wants to suffer the same fate as Elias, just go home. Riddle says he did find someone else. And there WILL be a tag title match tonight! Now, Riddle and this guy aren’t really bros, but they both hate the Bloodline. It’s KEVIN OWENS!!
The Prizefighter and the Bro go to the ring but the Usos say that’s fine. Will the #KOBros be the ones to dethrone Jimmy & Jey?
The teams sort out, Kevin and Jey start and the bell rings. Kevin blocks Jey’s superkick and fires off haymakers! Kevin has Jey in a corner, the ref counts and Kevin lets off at 4. Kevin drags Jey up to whip to ropes and he CLOBBERS Jey with an elbow, to then SENTON! Cover, TWO! Sami coaches Jey but Kevin drags Jey up. Kevin bumps Jey off buckles, JABS, then backs up to run corner to corner! CANNO- NO, Jimmy gets Jey out of the way. Fans boo but Kevin goes out after them all to CLOBBER Jimmy! Kevin whips Jey into barriers! Fans fire up with Kevin, Kevin asks Solo what he’s staring at, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Kevin covers, TWO! Jimmy survives the cannonball but Kevin knocks him back down. Kevin goes up and up and MOONSUALTS! Cover, ONE!! Jimmy scrambles to ropes, Sami is upset about things, but Riddle tags in. Riddle stands Jimmy up to ROCK him with haymakers. Riddle whips, Jimmy reverses but Riddle holds ropes to BOOT Jimmy. But Jimmy distracts the ref and Jey ENZIGURIS Riddle down! Sami is fired up but fans boo the cheap shot. Jimmy tags Jey, the Usos split the wishbone. Jey looms over Riddle, he drags Riddle around then stomps him down. Jey throws his shirt at Kevin but Kevin just throws it on the floor.
Jey CHOKES Riddle on the ropes, he lets off at 4, and Jimmy BOOTS Riddle down! The cheap shots continue and fans boo again. Jey drags Riddle up, scoops him and tags Jimmy. Jimmy climbs up, BACKBREAKER AX HANDLE COMBO! Cover, TWO! Riddle hangs tough and the Usos are annoyed. Fans rally but Jimmy drags Riddle up to ROCK him! Riddle ROCKS Jimmy back, fires off more shots, then he BLASTS Jey! Jimmy UPPERCUTS Riddle down! Jimmy BLASTS Kevin for good measure! But Riddle fires off forearms on Jimmy! Jey tags in as Riddle whips, and Jimmy reverses, the Usos DOUBLE SPINEBUSTER! Jey covers, TWO!
Sami is anxious and even Solo shows a bit of stress as Riddle is still in this. But Sami says Jey has Riddle where they want him. Jey stands Riddle up but Riddle CHOPS and CHOPS and fires off fast hands! Jey ducks the roundhouse, to POP-UP NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives but still in a bad way as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Riddle wipes out both Usos! Riddle BROTONS Jimmy then tags in Kevin! Kevin goes up top fast, to SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Sami is stressing out as Kevin keeps focus on Jimmy. Jimmy rises slowly and Sami tries to warn him, but Jimmy turns around into a kick! But Jimmy stops the Stunner! Kevin stops the superkick, to SUPERKICK back! Kevin whips, but Jimmy slips off the pop-up to SUPERKICK! Both men are down and fans fire up! Both men crawl, hot tags to Jey and Riddle! Riddle spins Jey around to PELE! Then Riddle kips up, but Jey mule kicks and UPPERCUTS!
Riddle goes to ropes, Jey run sin but Riddle headscissors him out of the ring! Riddle hurries back in, Sami helps Jey stand up. Kevin storms over but Solo stands in the way! The ref warns Solo, but then Riddle PLANCHAS to take Solo out! Jey SUPERKICKS Kevin! Riddle FLASH KNEES Jey! Riddle puts Jey in, tells Sami to back off, but Jimmy tags in! Riddle rushes Jey but Jimmy storms in. Riddle ROCKS Jimmy, Jey USPERKICKS Riddle! ONE D on the rebound!! Cover, USOS WIN!
Winners: The Usos, by pinfall (still Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions)
The Bloodline’s numbers game is the real unstoppable force in the WWE! And now Sami and the Usos mug Riddle! But Kevin has a chair! He SMACKS Jimmy, and he SMACKS Jey! Sami gets away but Kevin chases him to the back! Solo gets in the ring to SUPERKICK Riddle! Solo fires off on Riddle with heavy fists! Fans boo but the Enforcer isn’t done with Riddle yet. Solo has a taped up thumb, shoutout to Umaga with the SAMOAN SPIKE!! Riddle sputters and crawls to a corner, Solo runs in to HIP ATTACK!! Solo’s rage is unleashed as he gets a chair for himself.
Solo puts the chair around Riddle’s head, punches Riddle down, then goes to the far corner. Fans boo as hard as they can but Solo roars and runs in, FULL METAL HIP ATTACK!!! Riddle writhes and clutches his neck! Medics rush out and put Riddle in a neck brace and onto a backboard. Did Solo just sideline The Bro all on his own?
BREAKING NEWS for SmackDown!
Sheamus and Drew McIntyre wanted to challenge the winners to an Undisputed Tag Team Championship match this Friday, but the Scottish Warrior is unfortunately not cleared medically. That means the Celtic Warrior will have “Butch” as his new tag partner! Will Pete Dunne be able to help Sheamus against the Usos? Or will it be more of the same from The Bloodline?
The Judgment Day speaks.
Rhea says, “Bayley and Asuka, they’re both credible. They’ve both been Women’s Champion, they’ve both been Women’s Tag Team Champion. They’re both very, very good at what they do. But you know what they’re not? They’re not Rhea bloody Ripley! So when I’m done with them tonight and they’re laying in that ring crying their eyes out and I move on to Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship, and when I’m done with Bianca, the whole Raw Women’s locker room will be calling me Mami.” The Judgment Day like that, and then Rhea high-fives as she heads out. Will the Eradicator eliminate everyone in her path to the title?
JBL’s Poker Invitational begins!
Tamina, Dana Brooke, Shelton Benjamin, Dominik Mysterio and Akira Tozawa are one table, while Chad Gable, Luke Gallows and Baron Corbin are another. Otis has a huge plate of sausage but he isn’t sharing. JBL walks over to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the JBL Poker Invitational, an event that’ll become as big a tradition as The Masters, the Olympics, and as grand a spectacle as WrestleMania. Now, I know a lot of you don’t see eye to eye, and Tozawa… Nobody likes you. But poker is a gentlemen’s, and gentlewoman’s, sport. Especially in the high stakes room. The rules are simple: It is a dime ante. 10, 20K-”
BOOM! Dexter Lumis enters with Johnny Gargano, and he drops the Louis Vuitton bag full of cash he won from The Miz! JBL assumes Crystal Lake doesn’t get mail, but Jason Vorhees here needs an invitation. And JBL is pretty sure he didn’t invite the… one-and-a-half of them. Besides, Lumis can’t possibly have the 50K buy-in. So go stare at someone else. Gargano says “Show ’em.” And Lumis dumps the money out! Well okay! Welcome to the tournament! Lumis has a seat at the table, will anyone be able to crack that poker face?
Triple Threat: Bayley VS Rhea Ripley VS Asuka!
A Role Model, an Eradicator and an Empress walk into the ring, but this ain’t no joke! Only one can move on to the next round, who will be one step closer to facing The RawEST Women’s Champion?
But then surprisingly, Becky Lynch calls to Bayley from up in the bleachers! “Hey, ol’ pal! Well, I dunno if I can call ya pal anymore, seeing as how you and your cronies keep trying to jump me.” Fans cheer Becky on and she says, “I was just up at the merch stand, reminiscing about how fun it was last week, me beating up Bayley and her two cronies at one time. That was awesome.” Bayley says it’d be more awesome if Becky could hurry this up. Bayley has stuff to do. Well Becky wants Bayley to know that first, this is a great fan sign, #BigTimeBecky. But did Bayley also know that it’s been over three years since they faced each other 1v1?
Becky says they didn’t even scratch the surface back then. She was gone, Bayley showed up, but kudos to Bayley for carrying the WWE during the ThunderDome era! She really did! She was champion, Double Champion, sometimes doing double and triple duty. Bayley says the fans can cheer for that. The fans do cheer! Becky says Bayley was awesome, but then Becky came back right as Bayley was gone. And then Bayley came back right as Becky was gone. Bayley says she’s kinda repeating herself, and we all know the history. But Becky has a match so she should go, and also Bayley has a match right now that she’s about to win.
So the point is, Becky doesn’t need to tell Bayley’s history. That doesn’t matter now. Stop living in the past! Becky came down the stairs, she’s interrupting matches and Bayley’s “Magic!” Becky thinks she can just do whatever she wants, huh? Yeah, actually, she does. Becky was just trying to catch up. But Bayley says the difference between them, now more than ever, when Becky is here, it’s all about her, isn’t it? Fans cheer Becky because they definitely like her. Bayley says the fans just make it worse. Becky doesn’t care about the fans or anyone else! BAYLEY cares about the fans and the wrestlers!
And that’s what Bayley has been doing while Becky’s been gone. That’s why Bayley has Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky. She looks out of the future for the idiot fans! And the locker room! Bayley sees the bigger picture, but Becky just looks in the mirror! No one cheers, huh? That’s because no one has respect for what Bayley’s doing! Fans still cheer Becky. Becky says Bayley is looking out for people, and DMG CTRL has been successful. Well, two thirds have been, because there’s two champs and one loser. But hey, good luck tonight. Maybe they can finally go 1v1 again and make some history. If Bayley’s woman enough to face The Man, that is.
Becky leaves just as Rhea makes her entrance. Will Big Time Becks have to change her plans on who she’s facing next round?
Raw returns and Asuka makes her entrance. The bell rings and Asuka DROPKICKS Bayley! But Rhea rolls Asuka, ONE!! Asuka dodges Rhea’s haymaker but Bayley ROCKS her! Bayley grab at Asuka but Rhea rolls Bayley up, ONE!! Rhea kicks and stomps and KNEE SMASHES Bayley to then throw her out. Asuka runs in but Rhea catches her hip attack! Rhea CLUBS Asuka, suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Rhea CLUBS Asuka, CLUBS her more, then bumps her off buckles. Fans rally for Asuka but Rhea RAMS into her again and again. Bayley runs up, but Rhea blocks the roll-up! Bayley avoids the stomp, and the two stare down.
Bayley taunts “Mami,” then dodges her haymaker to waistlock. Rhea pries the hold, bucks Bayley at the ropes, then runs in again to scoop. Bayley slips off, but Rhea blocks the punch! Rhea throws body shots, RAMS Bayley into the corner and RAMS into her more! Rhea then brings Bayley out to snap suplex! Rhea looms over Bayley, goes back to Asuka, and whips her corner to corner hard! Rhea then goes to Bayley to CLUB her down. Rhea grins as she whips corner to corner and Bayley hits buckles hard! Rhea grins more as she storms over to Asuka. Rhea stands Asuka up but Asuka throws body shots!
Rhea kicks low, TOSSES Asuka aside, then TOSSES Bayley around! Fans rally as Rhea soaks up the heat. Rhea storms over to Asuka and drags her up. Asuka throws more body shots, then kicks and a SOBAT! Bayley runs in to BLINDSIDE LARIAT Rhea, Asuka SLIDING KICKS! Asuka and Bayley come to an understanding to mug Rhea, and they POST her! Then Bayley kicks Asuka and headlocks. Asuka fires body shots, powers out and runs Bayley over! Bayley goes to the apron, she avoids the hip attack and she drags Asuka out to throw her into barriers! Bayley CLUBS Asuka, but Rhea CANNONBALLS them both! Fans fire up as Rhea laughs, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Bayley paces around as Rhea smothers Asuka into the mat with a forearm. Seems Bayley and Rhea now have that understanding, and Rhea sits Asuka up for Bayley to stomp down. Bayley talks trash, Rhea slaps Asuka around, and they drag Asuka up. Rhea bumps Asuka off buckles, then Rhea whips Bayley in, but Asuka puts her on the apron! Asuka dodges Rhea, URAKEN, URAKEN, SOBAT, KICK and URAKEN to an AX HANDLE! But Rhea blocks the whip! Rhea whips Asuka to a corner, but Asuka dodges! ROUNDHOUSE! Bayley runs in but is sent into Bayley! Rhea SLAMS Bayley, but Asuka uses Bayley as a step to BOOT Rhea!
Fans fire up as Asuka SOBATS Rhea again. Asuka headlocks Rhea, runs at Bayley, but only the LRIAT Hits as Rhea fights the bulldog. Rhea runs in, Asuka dodges, CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Asuka fires up and fans are with her as she watches Rhea and Bayley sit up. Asuka KICKS Rhea, she KICKS Bayley, then back to Rhea! Another for Bayley! Rhea! Bayley, but she ducks! Roll-up, TWO! Bayley kicks but into an ANKLE LOCK! Bayley flails, reaches out, pulls at Asuka’s hair but that won’t stop this. Rhea gets up and storms over, but Bayley grabs Rhea’s hair! Rhea HEADBUTTS Bayley, and Asuka GERMAN SUPLEXES her!
Asuka avoids a kick from Rhea to ROUNDHOUSE Rhea down! Fans fire up but Bayley drags Asuka out! Bayley hurries back in, she calls to Rhea, and Rhea shakes out the cobwebs. Rhea stands up and Bayley still wants to work together. Rhea says she won’t let Bayley boss her around. Bayley says okay, and then she lunges! Into a choke grip! Rhea know that was coming, but Bayley ROCKS her with a forearm! Rhea ROCKS Bayley, Bayley ROCKS Rhea, repeat! Bayley pulls hair but Rhea throws body shots! Bayley hits back, Rhea throws more! Asuka leaps for a DOUBLE CODE BREAKER!! Cover on Rhea, TWO!! Cover on Bayley, TWO!!
Fans fire up and Asuka hurries to a corner. Asuka climbs but Bayley is after her! They brawl, Asuka sends Bayley down then leaps, MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! ASUKA LOCK!!! Bayley flails, reaches out, crawls around with her one free arm, but Rhea returns! Rhea basement dropkicks them both! Cover on Asuka, TWO! Rhea is frustrated but fans rally up. Rhea drags Asuka up to short arm LARIAT! Rhea drags Asuka up again, for another short arm LARIAT! Fans fire up, Rhea drags Asuka up again, but Asuka turns lariat to ARMBAR TAKEDOWN!! Rhea flails, kicks, but Bayley MACHO ELBOWS Asuka! Cover on Asuka, TWO!!
Bayley frowns as she drags herself back up. Bayley runs to CLOBBER Asuka, then she rains down fists! Bayley drags Asuka back up, BAYLEY2BELLY! Cover, Rhea breaks it!! Rhea reels Bayley in for a HEADBUTT! And another! And another! And then a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Rhea grows frustrated but she turns her attention to Asuka. Asuka kicks, but into an Electric Chair Lift! And SLAM!! Cover, TWO!!! Asuka survives and Rhea cannot believe it! Fans fire up, Rhea hurries to DROPKICK Bayley out of the ring! Rhea hurries outside, runs in around the way, but Bayley KICKS her legs out! Bayley hurries in, ducks a kick and clinches! BAYLEY2- ROLL UP! TWO!!!
Asuka URAKENS! URKAENS! SOBATS! Bayley ducks the next hand, RAMS Asuka to a corner, then runs in, into a ROUNDHOUSE!! Asuka goes up, MISSILE- NO, Bayley deflects it! ROSE PLANT!!! Cover, BAYLEY WINS!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall (advances to next week)
Rhea is furious, but she takes it out on Asuka! Rhea kicks Asuka around, then pump handles for the RIPTIDE!! Bayley grins as she moves on, but who will she meet in the #1 contender’s match?
Seth Rollins is here!
DC sings for The Visionary as he swaggers his way to the ring. Rollins is here in DC to welcome them to Monday Night Rollins! “you know me, you love me. I am the Visionary, I am the revolutionary, I am Seth… “FREAKIN’ ROLLINS!” And Rollins has big news for DC! “One week from tonight, yours truly is going to go one-on-one with The All Mighty Bobby Lashley! And the winner of that there little match will be your new #1 contender to the United States Championship.” And he’d love to say a lot of things to ol’ “Bob,” but it’s not fun if he’s not out here. And DC wants to have fun, right? The fans cheer and Rollins says they had fun singing his song.
Fans sing again, “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” But then here comes Lashley! Fans cheer as he walks out on stage in a crimson and black suit to counter Rollins’ sky blue and white one. Lashley goes to the ring with a mic of his own to say, “So, Seth, I’m here. So what would you like to tell me. Now be careful with that.” Rollins wants Lashley to hold on. Lashley just hasn’t been the same since Crown Jewel and that loss to Brock Lesnar. And there’s no shame in losing to Lesnar! Been there, done that. But what is with Lashley’s Lesnar obsession? Is Lashley… scared of Lesnar? Rollins knows Lesnar is bigger and stronger-
Lashley stops Rollins there because he knows Rollins is just trying to get under his skin and rattle his cage. No, no, no! Rollins accepts Lashley isn’t afraid. So then… He must be jealous of Lesnar. That’s it! Because Lesnar’s a bigger star, won more championships. That’s gotta be it. Lesnar had the career Lashley wishes he had. Lashley grabs Rollins by his hair to tell him this is NOT about Lesnar! This is about Rollins, Lashley, and the US Championship that should be around Lashley’s waist. Rollins says okay, but just relax. Bob knows as well as Rollins does that the US title won’t fill the void in Lashley’s heart left by the fact that he can’t beat Lesnar.
If Lashley doesn’t get his head right, he can’t get his temper right, and beating him will be a lot easier for Rollins than the first. time. Lashley DECKS Rollins for that! Rollins gets up and they brawls! Fans fire up as Lashley has the edge on Rollins! Lashley throws knees, then he throws Rollins out! Lashley goes out but Rollins jumps on him! Lashley RAMS Rollins into barriers, whips him into more barriers, and DC fires up as Rollins comes back for more! They go around, brawling right on the barriers! Referees and security rush out to stop this! Rollins claws Lashley’s face! The fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and Rollins gets free to CLOBBER Lashley!
The brawling keeps going, Adam Pearce tries to stop this, and Lashley stands down while Rollins slides into the ring. Fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~” and Lashley storms back in! They brawl in the ring again! Lashley RAMS Rollins into a corner! The hands keep flying but management and referees separate them again. Lashley gets loose, Rollins moves, the SPEAR hits one of the producers! Pearce shouts at Lashley and Rollins says Lashley has done it now! Producer Pete Williams is hurting, will Lashley have to face the consequences?
Backstage interview with Austin Theory.
Byron Saxton asks the WWE United States Champion what we just saw in the “absolute chaos” between Rollins and Lashley. Theory says he saw the past. Two former champs are fighting over scraps, oblivious to the fact that the business has evolved and forgotten about both of them. This business lives in the now, where it’s Theory’s time, and he has all the cards! And let’s face it, what’s a couple of challenges to Theory’s reign when the forever is just beginning? But then he turns around into Mustafa Ali! “Forever, huh? Theory, you just love writing checks that you know you can’t cash in. Oh, ‘cash-in,’ you probably don’t like hearing those words.”
Theory says Ali is annoying! He constantly whines and complains about opportunities, then gets beat down. Why doesn’t Ali just quit? Because Ali isn’t like Theory. Ali has to fight for what he has. He has to fight for opportunities! So know this: Theory can put Ali down but he’ll get back up, back in Theory’s face, and become US Champion. Fine! If Ali wants his shot, and his chance to shock the world, then they’ll do this tonight. But after Theory finishes with Ali, Theory never EVER wants to hear the word “opportunity” comes out of Ali’s sorry mouth again. Theory storms off, but will The Beacon bring the end to “The Now” that is Theory’s reign?
Raw checks back in with the JBL Poker Invitational.
Lumis still has fat stacks while the others mull over their hands. JBL has his Ugandan whiskey brought in by the waiter, and gives him a great tip. JBL watches as Corbin’s table moves along. Gable folds, a thank yew. But gentlemen, ladies, the game of poker is about intelligence. The intelligence to know when to push forward, and when to walk away. Gallows says, “NERD!” Gable shouts, “SHOOSH!” “NERD!” “SHOOSH!” This goes back and forth and Corbin has them stop. Take some chill pills. Corbin can’t get a ready on the freak show over here with those two shouting nonsense.
Corbin says Lumis has to be bluffing. He sees through those eyes. Lumis has nothing in his hand, or his head, and Corbin will take all his money and send him back to the loony bin where he belongs. Corbin calls! Corbin has a Straight, 5 through 9! Lumis has… a FULL HOUSE! Three Aces, two Jacks! JBL can’t believe it, either! Corbin says it’s been this way all night! Lumis is some kind of savant. Otis likes croissants. No, savants. Well, those are good, too. Lumis has to be a cheater! No way could he beat Corbin! There have to be cards up his sleeves, in those gloves. Gargano, don’t defend him! Corbin is gonna hand Lumis a-
Lumis has an AX! Whoa, okay, easy now. Corbin and JBL accept Lumis is just that good. Meanwhile, Tozawa is cleaning up on his table! But then Tozawa catches Dom trying to palm a few chips! THIEF!! Thief? This is DOM’S show! Whatever he wants, he gets. And if Tozawa has as problem with that, then the Judgment Day has a problem with Tozawa! Oh, yeah? Well, Tozawa doesn’t care! Dom is the problem. The two stand up, and Dom says Tozawa’s almost as short as his deadbeat dad. JBL has these two settle down. No fighting in the poker room. Go outside if you wanna fight. Tozawa will see Dom in the ring! Yeah he will!
Dom and Tozawa back out of the game for now, but who will be the big winner in the ring?
WWE United States Championship: Austin Theory VS Mustafa Ali!
The self-proclaimed Now of WWE has always had a big ego, and many times that ego has cost him. Will it cost him everything he’s worked for here tonight? Or will Theory leave The Beacon in the dark after this high stakes showdown?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who truly represents the future of the WWE!
Fans boo Theory as he and Ali tie up. Theory shoves Ali down and tells him Ali’s wasting his time. Ali comes back to headlock, but Theory powers up. Ali thrashes, Theory powers out and runs Ali over. “What’d I say? You’re wasting your time! You’re in the now.” Theory stands Ali up but Ali puts him in the corner. Ali CHOPS, but Theory just scowls through it. Theory CLOBBERS Ali, brushes himself off, and storms after Ali again. Theory digs his knee into Ali, dares him to do something, but lets off as the ref counts. Theory storms around, whips Ali corner to corner, then he runs in. Ali goes up and over, keeps moving, ducks ‘n’ dodges and tilt-o-whirl RANAS!
Theory bails out but Ali dropkicks him off the apron! Ali builds speed, and he DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp and fans fire up! Ali stalks Theory, brings him up, but Theory breaks free. Theory baits Ali and Ali runs in, Theory POSTS him with an alley-oop! “You’re in the now! You hear me? You’re in the NOW!” Theory RAMS Ali into barriers! Theory asks Ali how that feels while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Ali throws haymakers on Theory! Ali backs Theory down to a corner but Theory turns it around. Theory swings but Ali dodges to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Ali whips corner to corner, Theory reverses but Ali slips out and ROUNDHOUSES Theory away! Ali slingshots, somersaults, and NECKBREAKERS! Fans fire up but Theory fireman’s carries! Ali slips off to BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Theory crawls to a corner and Ali stands up. Ali storms over, but into an elbow! Theory goes up but Ali ROCKS him first! Ali climbs up after Theory, to SUPER- NO, Theory blocks! Wait, they tip over and Theory still hits the mat!
Theory flounders up, Ali runs in, tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO!! Theory survives the rough landing then the rougher impact, but Ali is not losing focus yet. Ali hurries to a corner but Theory anchors a foot. Ali stomps him down then climbs back up. Fans rally but Theory trips Ali up! Theory throws haymakers, puts Ali in a Tree of Woe to the outside, and then Theory stomps away on the apron! The ref counts, Theory backs off, only to go back in for more! The ref counts as Theory stomps away. Theory finally gets in the ring, then he drags Ali up to rain down fists! Fans boo, the ref has Theory back off.
Theory snarls but then DOLPH ZIGGLER SUPERKICKS him!!!
Winner: Austin Theory, by disqualification (still WWE United States Champion)
Ali can’t believe it! Theory wins and it isn’t even because of him! Ali gets mad at Ziggler but Ziggler says his beef is with Theory. Ali and Ziggler argue now, but then Theory CLOBBERS them both! Theory rains down fists on Ziggler, then he drags Ali up to POST him! Fans chant “YOU STILL SUCK!” as Theory drags Ziggler up for A-TOWN DOWN! The Show Off cost Ali and didn’t even get the better of Theory. Will Theory stay the now and become the forever of the WWE?
JBL is on the phone with someone.
He’s loving this! No one could’ve put on a better poker tournament. The money is everywhere! The Miz then walks in and JBL hangs up. JBL is happy to see Miz, and Miz says there was probably a slight oversight not inviting Miz. Oh, sorry, he didn’t know Miz played cards. Miz can jump in, if he has the 50K. Right… About that… After Miz’s “financial improprieties,” he isn’t very liquid. JBL knows how crypto can be, right? But c’mon, JBL knows Miz is good for it! JBL says he’d love to, but Miz hasn’t been good at paying off debts. Everyone had cash on them. Miz can give him his Rolex! Oh, that is a nice watch… Wait. Miz does know this isn’t real, right?
What?! The second hand ticks… Miz is offended and he hurries off. Well, so much for that. Will Miz find a way to get in on the game where a certain you-know-who is playing?
Raw returns and we continue with the poker game.
Corbin says read ’em and weep! Four of a Kind, KINGS! The table can’t believe it, but Corbin says Lady Luck is just on his side. But as Corbin leans over to grab the pot, MORE cards fall out of his sleeve! Corbin accused Lumis and he’s the one cheating?! Corbin says he’s not a cheater, someone put those in there! Styles and Corbin start shoving! JBL stops this, he JUST said no fighting! What is wrong with all of you!? They’re ruining his tournament! Okay then. Corbin, get your gear on and bring the Alphas with you. The OC heads out, will they make Corbin pay for playing dirty? JBL shouts, “What is wrong with these idiots?!”
So… Does Lumis win his table by default? Big tip for the dealer. That was easy! Great job, man! Let’s get this stuff in the bag. Tamina sneaks a few bills for herself. Will Lumis be the big winner by the end of tonight?
Backstage interview with Bianca Belair.
Cathy Kelley asks the RawEST Women’s Champion that Bayley is moving on to next week’s #1 contenders match, against whoever wins the second Triple Threat. How does Bianca feel knowing Bayley will get another opportunity? What Bayley did was impressive, but Bianca knows how to handle Bayley. But Bianca would be proud to face any of the women in the Triple Threat matches, even Rhea Ripley, who could’ve handled the loss more gracefully instead of taking her frustrations out on Bianca’s girl, Asuka. Then who does Bianca see winning the second Triple Threat?
Bianca knows Alexa, Becky and Nikki are all dangerous competitors in their own right. Bianca and Alexa grew closer taking on DMG CTRL, but she knows why Alexa was once champion and running the whole division. Nikki, on the other hand, is just unpredictable that could surprise anyone at anytime. And Becky has challenged Bianca more than any rival ever, but at the end, they have to be ready for Bianca. Bianca stays ready so she doesn’t have to get ready. Will Bianca be ready for whoever it is that comes out the NEW #1 contender?
Six Man Tag: The OC VS Baron Corbin & The Alpha Academy!
AJ Styles and the Good Brothers may not have come out the winners against Judgment Day, but they aren’t about to let JBL’s golden boy get the better of them at poker! Will the Original, Official and ONLY Club that matters be Too Sweet in DC? Or will Chad Gable & Otis help the Modern Day Wrestling God continue his winning ways?
Raw returns as JBL leads the way for his protégé. Corbin makes his entrance, followed by “SHOOOOSH~!” The trios sort out and JBL joins commentary. Corbin and Styles start, they tie up and Corbin knees low! Corbin ROCKS Styles, CLUBS him down, then runs to run Styles over! Fans boo but Corbin soaks up the heat. Corbin drags Styles up but Styles JAWBREAKERS! Styles CHOPS and ROCKS and whips, but Corbin reverses. Styles KICKS Corbin, and hits a DDT! Styles tags Karl but Corbin gets away. Gable tags in, and Gable circles with the Machine Gun. They tie up, Gable waistlocks and spins Karl to a snapmare.
Gable pushes Karl down, facelocks, gator rolls, and he waistlocks to then get a leg. Gable ties the legs up and says, “A THANK YEW~!” Gable floats to a facelock, headlocks, but Karl fights up to power out. Gable runs Karl over, “A THANK YEW~!” Gable runs, Karl drops to then hip toss! Fans fire up as Karl tags Gallows and the Good Brothers double whip. They run Gable over, then Gallows drags Gable up. Gallows wristlocks, Gable endures and rolls to bridge and handspring. Gable spins, breaks free, then says, “SHOOOOSH~!” Gallows says, “NERD~!” They start this up again, “SHOOOSH!” “NERD!” then Gallows UPPERCUTS Gable!
Tag to Karl, Karl brings Gable out but Gable throat chops! Gable bumps Karl off buckles, tags Corbin, and Corbin mugs Karl. Corbin puts Karl in a corner, fires off hands, then tags Otis. Otis RAMS into Karl, and again, and again! Otis picks Karl up to DUMP him down, then he snarls at Gallows. Otis drags Karl around to CLUB him down! Tag to Corbin, they mug Karl, then Corbin CLUBS Karl down. Fans rally but Corbin stands Karl up. Karl ORCKS and CHOPS and ROCKS Corbin again, but Corbin shoves him away. Corbin runs in, Karl moves, but Corbin slides out to slide in and LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Corbin argues the count but the ref defnds it was just two. Corbin shouts out JBL and JBL cheers Corbin on. Corbin stands Karl up, CLUBS him down, then throws down elbow after elbow! Gable soaks up the heat for Corbin while Otis says that’s hammer time. Fans chant at “BUM ASS CORBIN!” Corbin back suplexes Karl but Karl lands on his feet! Hot tag to Styles! Corbin rushes in but Styles ROCKS him! Styles springboards, but Corbin gets under! Styles rolls through to ELBOW Gable, BLAST Otis, and runs back at Corbin to fire off a Phenomenal Blitz! Corbin flounders, Styles runs, but Gable dumps him out!
Otis CLOBBERS Styles! Fans boo but Gable says, ‘SHOOOOSH~! A THANK YEW~!” Fans boo more but Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and the Academy stomps a mudhole into Styles! The ref counts, they let off, and Otis drags Styles up. Otis CLUBS Styles, CLUBS him again, then drags Styles up to snapmare. Otis runs to SPLASH! Styles writhes and Otis snarls. Otis drags Styles up again, tags in Corbin, and they mug Styles. Corbin ROCKS Styles with a haymaker, then throws him up and out. Styles shoulders into Corbin, slingshots up and in but Corbin DECKS Styles out of the air! Cover, TWO! Corbin rains down fists while JBL talks down on the “flippy floppy” styles. Corbin puts Styles in the corner, tag to Gable, and the mugging continues.
Gable snapmares Styles and has a mounted armlock. Gable steps over to wrench the arm, fans rally up and Styles fight sup. Styles throws haymakers and reaches out, but Gable keeps him from the Good Brothers. Styles throws more hands but Gable throws him down! Gable BLASTS Karl, then tells Gallows to “SHOOSH~!” Gable drags Styles up, reels him in but Styles back drops! Hot tag to Gallows! But the ref was busy with an angry Karl! He says Gallows isn’t legal! Gable drags Styles up, and feeds him to a DEEP SIX!! Gable covers, TWO!! Styles survives and Gable is stunned! Tag to Otis, the Alphas drag Styles up to put him in a corner.
Otis SPLASHES, then whips Styles corner to corner. Otis runs in but Styles dodges to PELE! Down goes Otis! Fans fire up as Styles crawls, hot tags to Gable and Karl! Karl rallies on Gable, scoops him and SLAMS him! Karl runs to drop a SENTON! Then he BLASTS Corbin off the apron! Gable runs in, into a BOOT! Karl goes up, FLYING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Karl drags Gable up to fireman’s carry. Gable fights off, shoves, dodges, but Gable rolls to pick the leg to an ANKLE LOCK! Karl rolls to throw him away! Gable goes up, leaps, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, Corbin breaks it!
Styles runs in, but into a CHOKE SLAM BACKBRAEKER! Corbin ELBOWS Gallows, puts Karl in a corner, and then he runs. Karl moves, Corbin slides out, but slides into a SLIDING FOREARM! Gallows BOOTS Corbin for good measures! Otis ROCKS Gallows, scoops him and EXPLODERS! Fans fire up as Styles PHENOMENAL FOREARMS Otis!! Gable gets in to GERMAN SUPLEX Styles! Karl waistlocks, Gable victory rolls, TWO!! Gable ROCKS Karl, Karl ROCKS Gable! ROLLING ELBOW from Gable! UPPERCUT from Karl! Both men are down and DC fires up again! Even JBL admits “This is Awesome!”
Karl crawls to tag in Gallows! Gable avoids Karl, O’Conner Rolls, but Gallows tips it over! Gallows kicks Gable, he and Anderson hit MAGIC KILLER!! Cover, The OC wins!!
Winners: The OC, by pinfall
JBL claims cheating, but he clearly missed a move or two. The OC wins fair and square, unlike Corbin. Will Styles & The Good Brothers turn their fortunes around and take over Raw?
Backstage interview with Candice LeRae.
Byron congratulates her on a victorious return to the ring last week, beating Dakota Kai. And because of that win, Candice has to face the other half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Iyo Sky. Does Candice feel that now she’s a marked woman by DMG CTRL? Absolutely. She may be new to Raw but she’s known all those women a long time. Last week, Candice returned from an injury they were responsible for, so she had to send a message. Yes, Candice is here with burnt pixie wings, but she’s also a new mom. She has so much to fight for now. She won’t let anyone push her around. But little does she know, Nikki Cross is spying on Candice…
But then Johnny Gargano walks over to say hi to the wifey. She says hi to hubby, and how did poker go? Lumis won! He killed it! Look at all the money! WHAT THE- Uh… Sorry. Candice hates to be that person, but this is a lot of money. They’re gonna go now. What will The Garganos and Lumis do with that huge amount of money? And what is Nikki plotting for the Poison Pixie?
Dominik Mysterio w/ The Judgment Day VS Akira Tozawa!
The rebellious son of Rey Mysterio thinks Raw belongs to him now, but pretty much everyone outside the Judgment Day disagrees. Will the Stamina Monster prove Dom can’t do whatever he wants? Or will he end up just another victim?
The bell rings and Dom circles with Tozawa. Tozawa dodges Dom to SOBAT, but Dom ducks the spin kick! Tozawa slides under to ROLLING ELBOW! Dom staggers, Tozawa whips, but Dom stops. They kick each other, Tozawa fires off more hands, then he whips Dom to a corner. Dom reverses, runs in, but Tozawa boots him away. Tozawa goes up, leaps and RANAS Dom to the other side! Fans fire up with Tozawa but Dom stays back. Dom wants mercy, but then he YANKS Tozawa into buckles! Dom stomps a mudhole into Tozawa and the Judgment Day cheers while fans boo. Dom drags Tozawa up to snap suplex! Uno Amigo!
Fans boo as Dom snap suplexes again, Dos Amigos! Dom gives some Latino Heat before THREE AMIGOS! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally but Dom clamps on with a chinlock. Tozawa fights up but Dom CLUBS him. Dom whips, Tozawa pops up to RANA again! And then SHINING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Dom survives and Judgment Day gets worried. Tozawa CLUBS Dom, whips, but Dom reverses. Tozawa BOOTS Dom down, then waits on Dom to get up. Roll-up, BUZZSAW! Dom is dazed, Tozawa drags him to a drop zone. Fans fire up as Tozawa climbs! Rhea shouts at Dom to get moving, Tozawa leaps! SUPER SENTON FLOPS as Dom moves!
Rhea and the Judgment Day laugh, Dom drags Tozawa into a drop zone. Dom climbs up now, gives Latino Heat before the FROG SPLASH! Cover, Dom wins!
Winner: Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall
The Judgment Day is proud of their boy, but Dom drags Tozawa up. Fans boo but here come the Street Profits! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins rush out to run the Judgment Day off. Finn, Dom, Priest & Rhea don’t sweat the Profits, but will they cross paths down the road all the same?
Adam Pearce finds Bobby Lashley backstage.
Pearce tells Lashley they need to talk about what happened earlier tonight. Lashley can’t hit one of Pearce’s officials. That Spear damn near cut Pete Williams in half. Lashley chuckles but then sees Pearce is serious. Yes, he’s serious! It’s a problem that they can’t have happen. Now, Pearce knows it was an accident, he was there to see it. He’s not going to punish Lashley or take away the #1 contender’s match. But if it happens again… Or what, Pearce? Well, put yourself in his position. If it happens again, Pearce’s hands are tied, and he doesn’t want it to happen. Lashley says if one of the cronies gets in the lion’s den and gets mauled by a lion, the lion gets punished?
No, that’s not what he means. Pearce knows this was an accident, but he just wants Lashley to be careful not to have another one. Then make sure no one stands in Lashley’s way. Lashley leaves, will he be able to focus on just Rollins next week?
Triple Threat: Becky Lynch VS Alexa Bliss VS Nikki Cross!
The Man made a big time promise, but she has to make it through both the Five Foot Fury and the No Longer a Superhero. Bayley awaits the winner, who is heading to Milwaukee for that #1 contenders match?
Raw returns and Becky makes her entrance. The bell rings and fans fire up, and Nikki swings her jacket around all wild. She shoves Becky, shoves Alexa, but then Becky throat jabs her! Alexa SHOTGUNS Nikki and Nikki flounders out of the ring! Becky waves bye, and then circles with Alexa. Fans rally for Becky but Alexa gets around her to waistlock. Becky bucks that, runs in but Alexa side steps to jump, into a FLAPJACK! Becky steps over but Alexa rolls her up, TWO! Becky sweeps and covers, TWO! Alexa trips to jackknife, but Becky bridges up! Becky spins Alexa around, backslides, TWO!
Becky avoids a sweep but not the CHPO! Snapmare, cover, TWO as Becky goes Matrix! Becky mule kicks Alexa, dropkicks Nikki off the apron, and then turns around, into a clinch! You don’t think…?! But Becky fights out of that to clinch back, only for Alexa to wheelbarrow and victory roll! TWO, Alexa hurries to wrench and STO! Fans fire up while Becky clutches her head. Alexa storms up to drop knees! But Nikki stops Insult2Injury to throw Alexa onto Becky! Nikki then grins as she watches both women crawl. Nikki runs at one corner to SPLASH Alexa! Then she SPLASHES Becky! Then SPLASHES Alexa! Then back to Becky!
Nikki keeps going but Alexa dodges! Becky uses Alexa as a step, BIG TIME IN MOTION! Becky fires forearms and stomps a mudhole into Nikki, then JUMP KICKS! And then she JUMP KICKS Alexa! Becky reels Nikki in for a BECKSPLODER! Nikki flounders away but Alexa storms up. Alexa SLAPS Becky, ROCKS her, then KNEES her, then SHOTGUNS her down! Fans fire up as Alexa runs in at the corner, but Becky dodges the double knees! Alexa blocks the jump kick this time, puts Becky on the apron, but Becky ROCKS Alexa! Becky brings Alexa over to bump her off buckles! Becky throws Alexa down, but Nikki trips Becky!
Nikki dribbles Becky’s face off the apron! Nikki growls, then RAMS Becky into steel steps! Alexa leaps off those steps, but Nikki blocks the DDT to RAM Alexa into the apron! Then THE PURGE to the floor! Nikki fires up and she pulls the desk apart! DC fires up as she clears it off, chugs water and splashes it all around! Nikki laughs and flails around while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Nikki thrashes Alexa around before clamping on a chinbar half nelson combo. Alexa endures, claws at the hold, fights up and fans rally. Alexa throws body shots but Nikki throws her down! Nikki laughs at Alexa and wraps her up in a straitjacket stretch. Alexa endures again, even as Nikki grinds her into the mat. Alexa kicks around, Nikki keeps her down, and fans rally up. Alexa fights to her feet and throws body shots. Alexa ROCKS Nikki with forearm after forearm but Nikki shoves her away. Nikki kicks, ties her up, STRAITJACKET NECKBREAKER! But Becky CLOBBERS Nikki with flying forearms!
Fans fire up as Becky rocks and uppercuts and SOBATS Nikki, then repeats the process! Fans fire up more and Becky blocks a kick to sweep the legs! She rolls Nikki to then hit a BULLDOG! Becky puts Nikki in a corner, KICKS her in the back and hits an STO! Nikki flounders in the drop zone and Becky goes up. Fans fire up for the MAN’s LEG DROP! Cover, TWO!! Becky is amused that Nikki survives, and fans rally up. Becky eggs Nikki on. “You wanna be crazy? Get the hell up!” Becky slaps and CLUBS Nikki, then reels her in. Nikki fights the clinch, Becky shoves her away to try again, BECKSPLODER!
But Alexa returns to SOBAT! Alexa reels Becky in but Becky wrenches out! Becky has the arm but Alexa denies the takedown and puts Becky on the apron. Becky ROCKS Alexa, Nikki grabs at her but Becky kicks her away. Alexa POSTS Becky! Becky falls, Alexa to the apron to CANNONBALL Nikki and Becky together! Fans fire up as Alexa drags Nikki up and puts her in. Alexa hurries to cover, TWO! Alexa grows frustrated but she drags Nikki around to a drop zone. Alexa stomps Nikki on her way to the corner. Alexa climbs up, but Becky grabs at her. Alexa kicks Becky away but Nikki trips Alexa! Nikki climbs, she and Alexa brawl!
Nikki brings Alexa up but Becky joins in! TOWER OF DOOM!! Cover on Nikki, TWO!! All three women are down from that powerbomb superplex combo, and Alexa crawls her way out of the ring. Fans rally and Becky drags herself up. Becky stalks Nikki, she ROCKS Nikki but Nikki ROCKS Becky! They go forearm for forearm and fans fire up as Becky gets the edge! But Nikki headbutts low, then throat chops! Nikki runs in but is put on the apron! Nikki ROCKS Becky, climbs up top, and CROSSBODIES! Cover, Alexa breaks it in time!! Nikki is fuming, but Alexa drags Nikki up. Nikki RAMS Alexa into the corner! And again, and again!
Nikki keeps on Alexa with a mudhole stomp and a SPLASH, to a BULLDOG! Nikki storms back up on Alexa but Alexa ROCKS Nikki with a right! Alexa tosses Nikki out of the ring, catches her breath and runs, but Nikki stops the dropkick! Alexa and Nikki brawl more, Nikki shoves Alexa and CROSSBODIES her against the apron! Nikki drags Alexa up and puts her in the ring. Nikki drags Alexa up through the ropes, but Alexa fights with body shots! They brawl, Alexa SLAPS Nikki but Nikki HEADBUTTS Alexa! Nikki drags Alexa out onto the ropes, but Becky is up top! THE MAN’S LEG DROP DDT COMBO!!! Becky hurries to cover Alexa, TWO!!!
Becky can’t believe it but Alexa survives! Alexa flops out of the ring now, leaving Becky and Nikki alone. Nikki crawls to the apron but Becky goes out after her! Becky clinches, but Nikki fights it! Nikki holds the ropes as Becky waistlocks! Becky keeps trying but Nikki elbows her away. Nikki knees low, then reels Becky in! Fans fire up as Becky fights the lift! Becky fights free, clinches Nikki, APRON MANHANDLE SLAM!!! Becky shoves Nikki in, but DMG CTRL rushes out there!! Kai & Sky drag Becky away from the cover!! Fans boo as they mug Becky! Dakota RAMS her into the apron!
But Becky fights back with forearms and elbows! Dakota blocks a boot and Iyo helps haul her up! They bring Becky around, DOUBLE POWERBOMB through the announce desk!!! Fans lose their minds, but Alexa hits TWISTED BLISS!! Cover, Alexa wins!!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall (advances to next week)
DMG CTRL screwed Becky over big time! Is Bayley that afraid to face The Man 1v1? Will Alexa make Bayley regret it by taking that golden ticket from her instead?
A pretty good Raw here, but I guess with no RawDown event between now and The Royal Rumble, they’re really having to stretch builds out. That said, we got some great Triple Threats to get a lot of the women’s roster going tonight. Pretty good promo from Becky and Bayley, though maybe a little awkwardly paced. I don’t know if they were trying to pad for time or they only had a loose idea of what they were to say, but this is all just to set up the feud we knew was coming. Both Triple Threats were awesome, but I should’ve known DMG CTRL would screw Becky. Alexa VS Bayley will be a great match but I would think Bayley loses. We can’t have Bianca VS Bayley again so soon, and there’s a lot of great story for Alexa and Bianca to use.
Rhea going after Asuka after the loss was also an interesting detail. I suppose Rhea and Asuka can feud to bide their time. Bianca and Rhea are surely going to have a feud of their own soon, and it makes all the sense for Street Profits to join in on that. They come to Tozawa’s rescue, we’re getting a Six Man Tag of that first, but then we can bring Bianca and Rhea around into another big Mixed 8 like we saw for Judgment Day VS OC. Speaking of that, why didn’t Dom VS Tozawa happen before OC VS Corbin & Alpha Academy? They left the JBL Poker Invitational first, they should’ve been dressed and ready to go first.
And speaking of the Poker Invitational, those were a pretty fun handful of segments, but I feel like it all fell apart way too soon. Corbin should’ve won one table, Lumis wins the other, and then the final showdown is the set-up to the Six Man Tag. Miz trying to get in and failing was kinda funny, especially with JBL exposing Miz having a fake Rolex. It was a very subtle way to say Miz isn’t done with Lumis, and I’m still thinking we’re getting Miz & Maryse VS Indi & Dexter at some point. Hell, we could even get Miz & Maryse VS Gargano & Candice after that fun little interaction where Candice couldn’t believe that Lumis won such a huge haul. Also Nikki stalking Candice, that’s an interesting story in the works.
Great stuff out of the US Championship scene, but I guess they couldn’t have Ali lose legit. Ziggler looks like a jerk, but maybe we’re building to something huge for the US title. Ali and Ziggler probably fight each other for sure, maybe we see some kind of ladder match for the title by the time Rumble comes around. We also got great stuff out of Rollins and Lashley, from the promo to the brawl to Pearce more or less warning Lashley. Rollins plays the line of Face and Heel with how he was poking at Lashley with the Lesnar loss. Lashley’s temper could be what costs him against Rollins, and then Rollins faces Theory for the title before the year is over, and who knows how that goes.
And what a wild start to the night. I didn’t think the tag title match was going to be first, but that gave it a lot of time to breathe. Great little way to sub Elias out to keep Kevin Owens in the story, and Solo just going nuts on Riddle with all those Umaga references was wild. Riddle being sidelined is a clever way to delay Elias going after him. But then a bit of a shame that McIntyre isn’t cleared for right now. Dunne is going to have a great part of the match now, but I think he also takes the loss for his team so Sheamus isn’t hurt too much. They’re taking a long game approach to things, I like that, and we’ll see some good stuff in building towards Sheamus VS Roman for the Rumble.
My Score: 8.6/10
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