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.
Joe’s Lucha Libre Weekly: News & Analysis (12/9/10)
What happened in CMLL, AAA, and the world of Lucha Libre this week? Joe Dinan has you covered!
Last Friday Arena Mexico
So this was the Legends of Mexico show or Leyenda de Mexicana. The main event was a legends match which… wasn’t exactly good. It’s fun to see legends in the ring, and that’s why the fans were there but judging from a match point of view they couldn’t really move well. The match included Rayo de Jalisco, Atlantis, and Blue Panther vs Mascara Ano 2000, Canek, and Villano IV. In fairness Blue Panther can still move really well for his age. Rayo, Blue Panther, and Atlantis won the match. There was a 6 man tag titles match between Los Guerrero’s facing Sanson, Cuatrero, and Forastero. Los Guerrero’s retained their titles. Mano Negra, Solar, and Felino faced off against Fuerza Guerrera, Jerry Estrada who hasn’t been in Arena Mexico for 25 years, and Negro Navarro. That match was okay.
Arena Puebla Monday Show
The main event saw Rush and Terrible facing Volador and Diamante Azul. Volador and Azul won the match and at the end Terrible wanted to face Volador in a match. That’ll happen in the future I assume. Co Main event saw Atlantis, Soberano, and Valiente facing Felino, Bucanero, and Cavernario. It was a fun match with the latter winning.
Arena Mexico Tuesday Show
The main event of this show saw Sanson, Cuatrero, and Forastero facing Atlantis, Angel de Oro, and Niebla Roja. This was a fun match which saw the latter winning. I feel like they’re setting up an Atlantis match with Sanson out of this. Titan, Triton, and Esfinge faced off against Mephisto, Luciferno, and Ephesto. It was a really fun match with Mephisto, Luciferno, and Ephesto winning. Misterioso defeated Black Panther in a lightning match as well.
Arena Mexico Friday
The card this Friday sees the main event being Volador Jr facing Ultimo Guerrero in a singles match. It doesn’t appear that the heavyweight championship is on the line. Atlantis, Valiente, and Azul face Rush, Terrible, and Cavernario in the co main event. This really isn’t that big or important of a show based off the match card. I don’t expect the attendance to be over 10,000 this week.
AAA was live on Twitch on December 2nd. Every title was on the line but the story during the show was Brian Cage sent in a video message with Melissa Santos explaining in Spanish that he had a ton of injuries and couldn’t make it to the show. I think that was just to save face since Fenix also couldn’t wrestle because Cage just worked a match on Wednesday. Fenix comes out to cut a promo and explain things. The fans boo him because AAA stupidly kept promoting the match knowing for 9 days that Fenix wasn’t going to wrestle. He even mentioned it on their Lucha Capital show on Facebook the previous Wednesday. The false advertisement and use of card subject to change to trick the fans is bullshit. Subject to change means the card changes if an injury or last minute thing happens. It’s not a free pass to advertise matches you know you’re never going to do. Anyway on to the card.
Lady Shani won the title in the first match. Keyra was supposed to be in the match to make it a 5 way but she was at a WWE try out in Chile. So it was a four way and Scarlett Bordeaux left the match mid way through. So Shani won the match after Faby had a spat with the ref. The next match built on the angle of Mascara and Maximo. Mascara and his team win the match further continuing the feud. There’s talks of Maximo and Mascara being in a hair vs hair match.
Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo, and Angelikal who is now called Myzteziz Jr, as AAA La Parka pronounced him earlier in the show (Have fun typing Myzteziz.), faced Porde de Norte for the 6 man tag titles. The story going in here was the former team beat Porde de Norte 3 straight times so conventional thinking is they won’t win this match, but they actually did, crowning new champs. There was an impromptu match afterwards where Vikingo was taken out by the OGTs and La Parka replaced him. They still beat the OGTs, later we learned this match was because there was no Fenix vs Cage match.
Pagano and Joe Lider faced Ciclope and Miedo Extremo and Texano and Rey Escorpion for the tag titles in a hardcore match. It wasn’t as hardcore as the previous matches but it was still pretty hardcore. Texano and Rey retain their titles. Fantasma faced Drago to defend his Latin American championship. The story of the match was Fantasma was dominating and Drago just kept kicking out and Drago basically rolled him up for the win. As said before Cage and Fenix didn’t wrestle.
The main event was between Blue Demon Jr and Killer Kross facing Dr. Wagner Jr and Psycho Clown. Scarlett came out with Kross to distract. Vampiro came out to stop her but Kross kills him. Kross and Blue Demon ended up winning and Scarlett was hitting Wagner after the match. You know she’s going to get hers soon. Better not show anyone in the United States. They’ll complain to Roshfrans.
AAA on Twitch 12/8
There’s a show on the 8th which isn’t much of a star driven show. The main event features Dr. Wagner Jr, Psycho Clown, and Pagano facing Blue Demon Jr, Killer Kross, and Rey Escorpion. I’m sure Scarlett Bordeaux will be by ring side for that. The Co-Main event sees the OGTs facing Porde de Norte. That’s Averno, Chessman, and Super Fly vs Mocho Cota Jr, Carta Brava Jr, and Tito Santana. Aerostar will face Monster Clown in a special singles match. Laredo Kid, Hijo Del Vikingo and a luchador surprise who might just be Myzteziz Jr will face Taurus, Australian Suicide, and Jack Evans.
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (12/10/18)
TLC is on the horizon, and Raw is in the home stretch! The Architect looks to speak on both the state of Monday Night Raw, and the Lunatic’s state of mind!
- Raw Tag Team Championship 3v2 Handicap: The Authors of Pain & Drake Maverick VS Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; Roode & Gable win and become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
- Dolph Ziggler VS Drew McIntyre; McIntyre wins.
- Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Alicia Fox w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers; Bayley wins.
- Lio Rush w/ Bobby Lashley VS Elias; Rush wins.
- Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Tamina w/ Nia Jax; Moon wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship TLC Match: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
Seth Rollins starts off Raw!
The Architect is already in the ring and San Diego is ready to #BurnItDown with him. That will be Rollins’ rallying cry when his Intercontinental Championship is on the line against Dean Ambrose. But more importantly, that will also be the theme for tonight! Rollins isn’t here to call out Ambrose, he’s out here to “spit some truth.” We’ve all seen “General Manger Elect” Baron Corbin talking about being on the right side of history. Rollins calls Corbin out to get a dose of reality. The Lone Wolf appears and grins as he joins Rollins in the ring. Corbin still seems so confident that he’ll win by forfeit at TLC in the TLC Match, given there has been no word from anyone about Braun Strowman’s return to action.
The fans boo and jeer as Corbin takes up his own mic. If Rollins wants to talk, they can do this in private. Corbin’s door is always open to someone of Rollins’ caliber. Rollins wants Corbin to cut the crap, because no one wants to hear it. Just shut up and listen! Rollins admits these last few months, he’s been real warpped up with Ambrose, and hasn’t commented on Corbin’s quality as GM. It doesn’t matter if he’s appointed GM, GM elect, or Head Idiot in Charge, Corbin’s “leadership”, Raw has sucked. It has sucked because of Corbin! Corbin comes out all the time to make things all about him. He abuses power, ends careers, and more. Fans agree as they chant. What Corbin has done as GM is not okay, not right, and just plain wrong.
Corbin can tell Rollins is frustrated, but he’s allowing Rollins to vent. Just watch how you speak to him. Or what? Fire him? Corbin doesn’t even know what to do with his roster. Those are the most talented men and women ever, and Corbin cant’ even use them right. There are amazing tag teams like The Revival, who should be contenders, but they’re in these weird Lucha House Rule matches? What even is that? And if he fires everyone, what? It’s just Corbin, Lashley & McIntyre patting each other on the back. Or maybe more pee segments. Everything Corbin has done is to mask his own insecurities. Was Strowman being mean? Did he hurt Corbin’s feelings? To the point where Corbin had to hand that Universal Championship over to Lesnar, a man who only shows up when he wants?
The problem is, Lesnar doesn’t’ want to show up!! Where is he?! Not here! Because he didn’t’ want to be here. The last time Lesnar was on Raw in a match, was way back to 2002! So the “Baron Corbin Experiment” is an abject failure. The talent support, the morale, the fan support and TV ratings are all at an all-time low, because of Corbin. Corbin “appreciates” the feedback, but maybe write it down and put it on his desk to be filed under “I Don’t Give a Damna!” Corbin doesn’t care what anyone in the company thinks, let alone the fans! This is Corbin’s show, so if you don’t like it, too bad! Corbin’s gonna be in charge for a very long time. And it’ll only get worse for someone like Rollins. How can they get worse?
It’ll get worse when Ambrose beats Rollins for the title, and Corbin wins at TLC by forfeit! Which is too bad, because Corbin’s been wanting a TLC Match. But either way, Jojo will announce him as permanent GM of Raw! And then next week’s Raw, all the way until Rollins quits, he’ll be going through Hell! Corbin putting Rollins through Hell? Why wait until next week? If Corbin wants to put Rollins through Hell, start tonight in a match! Corbin will wait until he’s Permanent GM. True, 1v1 isn’t good enough. Well, Corbin’s always wanted a TLC Match, and the “tools of the trade” are all set up right here… So how about Rollins VS Corbin in a TLC Match!? Fans want that! Does Rollins understand what Corbin would do to him with a table, ladder or chair? It’d be the end of Rollins. Or a good tune-up for Sunday.
Corbin says Rollins being a hero will cost him everything. Corbin will use Rollins as an example to show everyone what happens when you disrespect the GM. But his answer is still now. “Coward.” Rollins and San Diego all call Corbin a coward. No matter what he says, he’s a coward! Maybe he’s Coward Elect! Corbin snaps and gives Rollins that TLC Match! But for the Intercontinental Championship! Will Rollins #BurnItDown and show Corbin he’s not fit to be the boss? Or will it be the End of Days for Rollins’ reign even before facing the Lunatic?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
He surely didn’t expect to be defending the title and in such a dangerous match type. It may not have been the smartest move, but Rollins refuses to let Corbin get away with things. If he wants to be a locker room leader, he has to take a stand. If Rollins is a true champion, he’ll take a stand. Otherwise he doesn’t deserve to be champion.
Raw Tag Team Championship 3v2 Handicap: The Authors of Pain & Drake Maverick VS Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!
Drake Maverick may have rained on the parade of the #ReadyWillingAndGLORIOUS duo, but that hasn’t stopped Roode & Gable from fighting. The deck is stacked against them, surely courtesy of Corbin, but is a huge upset still possible?
Raw returns as the champs and Maverick stand in the ring ready for a fight. Roode & Gable make their entrance, both wearing matching replacement robes and even matching tights. The teams sort out, the belts are raised, and we begin! Gable starts against Akam, and Gable’s dropkick is deflected. Akam stomps then tags in Rezar. AoP feed Gable to a big knee, then Rezar chokes Gable on ropes. Rezar throws big forearms then clubs Gable down. He hits Roode for good measure, but Gable fights back. Gable’s kick gets caught and he gets clobbered again. Maverick tags in to cover, ONE! Maverick quickly tags out and lets Rezar stomp Gable more. Tag to Akam, and AoP double whip. Gable holds ropes and boots Rezar back. Gable dumps Akam out, tag to Roode! Double clotheslines send Rezar out!
Maverick shouts orders, but that gets Roode & Gable on him! Double hip toss! Roode and Gable then pick Maverick up to LAUNCH him out at AoP! The champs and manager are down while we go to break!
Raw returns and Rezar wrenches Gable’s neck. Fans rally up and Gable fights his way up, only to be wrangled back down. Rezar drags Gable over and tags in Maverick. Maverick throws hands and then taunts Roode. He stomps Gable and feels full of himself. Maverick slaps Gable, but Gable gets fired up! Maverick quickly tags out but is still caught. Rezar saves Maverick as he clobbers Gable, then tags in Akam. AoP mug Gable into a corner, then Akam trash talks as he drives in stiff elbows. Akam whips Gable corner to corner, then runs in but misses! Gable hurries, hot tag to Roode! Roode tackles Akam and dropkick Rezard. He dodges Akam to fires off haymakers and chops! He whips but Akam reverses, only to get kicked away. Roode runs but is put on the apron. Roode htis Akam away then climbs up, for a flying- Back drop!
Akam tags Rezar and they go after Roode. They bring Roode up for an atomic knee! Cover, but Gable breaks it! Akam whips Gable hard into buckles, and Maverick tells them to end this. The AoP bring each man up, Super Collider! But gable headsicssors through! Rezar boots Gable down, and the AoP both go after Gable. Suplex powerbomb neckbreaker! Maverick wants in to repeat last week, and Rezard obeys. Maverick mocks the GLORIOUS, but Roode rolls him up!! ROODE & GABLE WIN!!
Winners: Bobby Roode & Chad Gable, Roode pinning; NEW Raw Tag Team Champions
Victory out of nowhere! Maverick’s ego costs his own team, and now the tag titles are GLORIOUS! But a rematch will be happening to be sure, will Roode & Gable survive the next chapter?
Backstage interview with Roode & Gable.
They’re feeling great now that they’re champs. There haven’t been a lot of reasons to have hope on Raw, but they knew that putting int he work would bring them the titles. If you told them they’d do it in a 3v2 handicap, they would’ve thought you were crazy. But only one word describes this feeling: GLORIOUS!
Natalya heads to the ring!
The Queen of Harts looks for revenge on Ruby when the two compete in a Tables Match this Sunday! Before the match, Natty admits she’d usually have a smile on her face. But she needs to say something in regards to Ruby Riott. Natty loves this business, but Ruby doesn’t respect anyone or anything. Ruby made this personal when she destroyed The Anvil’s sunglasses. Ruby keeps talking about Natty’s been “spoon fed” because of her family. But Natty has overcome so much just to get in. Does Ruby not know what the Montreal Screw Job is? Does Ruby not remember when Uncle Bret punched Vince McMahon in the face? There was that and more in Natty’s way. So Natty is damn proud to be a Hart! Fans appreciate that.
Natty tells Ruby that she will learn respect, and it’ll be a match dedicated to the man who helped Natty get here. To the man Natty loves and respects more than anyone: her father, Jim The Anvil Neidhart! Fans cheer for the late great Anvil and Natty gets emotional. Natty vows to take these tears and more to drive Ruby through table! “And there’s not gonna be a thing you can do about it!” But it’s here that the Squad make an entrance, with a special table under a curtain. Ruby has her own mic to respond. “Aw, look! Natty’s crying again. Like we’ve never seen this before.” All Natty does is walk around feeling sorry for herself. And she’s coming out here talking about respect? Natty doesn’t need respect, she needs to get some counseling.
Ruby knows no one else has the guts to say this, but Natty doesn’t represent The Harts. She disgraces them! Ruby isn’t going to be invited to the family Christmas party, she did pick Natty up a present. And believe her when she says this: “This is the gift that keeps on giving.” The special table, has a picture of The Anvil on it! Fans boo and jeer, but Ruby says that everyone knows how close Natty and The Anvil were. But this Sunday, when Ruby puts her through this exact table, they’ll be closer than ever. Has The Squad gone too far? Or will it just be more fuel for the fire when Natty gets to go after Ruby?
Dolph Ziggler speaks.
“Last week, I beat Drew McIntyre. And now we add that name to the long list of people who took me for granted.” But what Ziggler doesn’t’ understand is McIntyre’s attitude. He plucked McIntyre from obscurity, and he’ll throw him back into that. And make no mistake, Ziggler isn’t’ the good guy or the bad guy, he’s Dolph Ziggler. He also doesn’t understand why Finn Balor got involved. But McIntyre made the mistake of pretending he was Finn, and not remembering he was Ziggler. These two will settle the score, can Ziggler win on his own? Or will Ziggler get a Claymore meant for Balor?
Dolph Ziggler VS Drew McIntyre!
The Show-Off beat the Scottish Terminator thanks to The Extraordinary Man giving an assist, and McIntyre wouldn’t stand for it. McIntyre would find Finn later in the night and attack him, which is part of why Finn’s not here tonight. Now that it’s just 1v1, who will come out the superior superstar?
Before the match, McIntyre is interviewed in the ring. If he still has that match with Finn on Sunday, why risk a rematch with Ziggler? McIntyre lets us in on a little secret that no one else wants to admit. “Nobody stays undefeated forever.” Not Andre the Giant, not The Undertaker at Wrestlemania, and not even McIntyre. But that doesn’t make him any less dangerous. Just ask Finn. But you can’t, because he got beat up that badly. McIntyre vows to finish Finn at TLC. And when McIntyre talks, everyone listens. He is making this show a better place for the fans, so they will respect him. And as for Ziggler, it doesn’t matter if he’s a good guy or a bad guy, he’s the guy who’s gonna get his head kicked off! Speaking of, Ziggler makes his entrance and we begin!
Ziggler goes right at McIntyre with fast hands, but then he runs into McIntyre’s shoulder. McIntyre drags Ziggler up to CHOP him off his feet! McIntyre drags Ziggler up for another chop, and then into a modified clutch, just to CHOP him more. Ziggler gets to a corner but McIntyre stays on him. Ziggler fires back, but McIntyre launches him with a belly2belly! McIntyre covers, TWO! The Terminator looms over Ziggler as we go to break.
Raw returns as McIntyre CHOPS Ziggler on the top rope! McIntyre climbs up to throw more hands on Ziggler. McIntyre SLAPS Ziggler, but Ziggler fights back! They brawl up top fast and furious, and McIntyre gets the edge. McIntyre brings Ziggler up, SUPER Celtic Cross!! But McIntyre can’t make the cover from his own impact! He crawls to the cover, TWO! Ziggler survives and McIntyre is actually amused. Fans rally up as Ziggler crawls away. McIntyre stalks Ziggler to the ropes, then dumps him out. McIntyre follows after as Ziggler crawls. He deadlift suplexes but Ziggler slips out! Ziggler dodges to send McIntyre into a post! The ring count climbs as Ziggler leaves McIntyre behind! The count passes 8 before McIntyre sits up! McIntyre gets in at 9.5!
Both men are down but fans are loving this match. Fans rally up and Ziggler stands. Ziggler aims at McIntyre, but his legs give out before the superkick! McIntyre laughs, and he toying kicks Ziggler back. McIntyre mocks Ziggler as he climbs up the ropes. “Keep fighting! Don’t give up!” Ziggler stands but McIntyre grabs his hair. Ziggler kicks, ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre’s ego almost cost him there! Both men crawl to get up, and Ziggler fires up with the fans. Ziggler aims again, but into a CLAYMORE! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
The Scottish Terminator unloads his best move outta nowhere, but the Show-Off pushed him to his limits. With Finn Balor banged up from McIntyre’s attack, but McIntyre pulling this one out, will either man be ready for their match?
But McIntyre isn’t through with Ziggler! He throws Ziggler into the post, then throws fast hands on the ground! McIntyre throws steel steps around then drags Ziggler over to them. Fans boo and the ref warns McIntyre, but security and other officials fortunately come in to save Ziggler. McIntyre backs off, but then comes back to boot Ziggler into the LED! McIntyre laughs his way to the back, but will he have the last laugh at TLC?
Bayley w/ Sasha Banks VS Alicia Fox w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers!
The #LegitHuggable friends are ready to be the first WWE Women Tag Team Champions together, but for now they’ll support each other in singles competition. Bayley goes against #Mahalicia tomorrow in the Mixed Match Challenge Semifinals, but sadly NOT with Finn Balor. Instead of B’n’B, it will be A’n’B, for Apollo & Bayley are now a new dynamic duo! Can the Huggable One get some major momentum before teaming with a new star this Tuesday?
The bell rings and Bayley ties up with Alicia. Bayley powers Alicia to the corner, but backs off at 3. Alicia powers Bayley to a corner but backs off at 3. Bayley elbows Alicia away then hits a flying elbow! Cover, TWO! Bayley puts Alicia on the apron but Alicia slips out to hotshot Bayley back. Alicia runs in for the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Alicia keeps on Bayley with a chinlock, but Sasha and the fans rally. Bayley feeds off the energy but Alicia clubs her back down. Bayley stands but Alicia wrangles her back down. Sasha argues with Mahal and the Singhs, but Alicia thrashes Bayley around. Fans rally up again and Bayley gets up. Bayley powers out but Alicia goes up and over to sunset flip. Bayley rolls through to clobber Alicia with a clothesline!
The Singhs shout for Alicia but Bayley throws haymakers! Bayley saido suplexes Alicia down then fires up. She puts Alicia in a corner but backs off at 4. She comes back with a big knee, then puts Alicia out for the hotshot! Bayley checks the ponytail but the Singhs distract. They run off as Alicia boots Bayley down! But here comes Apollo! Bayley’s new buddy takes the Singhs out with back drops, and Sasha adds a meteora! Apollo goes after Mahal now, and throws Sunil into him! Sasha wants to be a weapon, so Apollo picks her up to throw at Mahal and both Singhs! Strike! Bayley dodges Alicia’s boot, and hits Bayley2Belly! Cover, Bayley wins!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall
Victories all around for the Boss, Hug & Crews Connection! Can Apollo & Bayley make it work as a tag team to go to TLC’s Mixed Match Challenge Finals?
Backstage interview with Dean Ambrose.
The Lunatic hates being called that. But what are his thoughts on Rollins’ speech earlier? The Architect? That’s just a name Rollins used to keep the spotlight on himself. But that’s not the man Ambrose knows. Rollins can’t think straight. He went out there with no plan, and now his title’s on the line tonight? Why? Because of his ego! Rollins always has to be The Man, but he steps on everyone else, like Ambrose and Roman Reigns. Rollins isn’t a man, he’s a piece of… Well, if Rollins is somehow still champion, it’ll just be easier for Ambrose to take it. And then he can tell Rollins what he thinks on Sunday.
Speaking of Roman, if he was aware of their bad blood, how would he react? Ambrose doesn’t care. Charly insists on getting an answer out of Ambrose, and plays the footage of that very night when Rollins and Ambrose won a match dedicated to Roman, only to betray everyone. Then the footage cuts to Rollins confronting Ambrose the next night, and Ambrose explaining the next week after that. Ambrose said The Shield only made him weaker. Ambrose would burn his Shield vest, and move on to last week, wearing a gas mask to visualize his disgust for the “vermin” of the WWE Universe. Rollins would attack back, only for Ambrose to beat him down. Back in the present, Ambrose simply says nothing. Will he have the last word after TLC? Will the title come along with it?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is in San Diego and plays his guitar. San Diego digs it. Elias isn’t sure if anyone’s heard Bobby Lashley on the radio, but Lashley said he’d take all the sports teams and move them to LA. Fans don’t like that. But what Lashley doesn’t realize is that if San Diego had their way, they wouldn’t let a loser like him perform. Elias would love to perform in the gas lamp district rather than in front of “a bunch of LA trash.” Everyone here knows what Lashley will find out, and that is that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias!” Now Elias considers himself a “pretty good guy”. Hitting children with his guitar is not on his list, but he made an exception for Lio Rush. Elias will teach Lio a lesson, but he has a song to perform. So please silence phones, hold applause and shut mouths.
Elias begins, saying “I’ve been in the air so long, waiting for something to come along. Bring me back down to Earth, keep my feet above the earth. But this life ain’t like no other, oh can you hear me, brother?” Actually hold on, Elias can’t stop thinking about how bad Lashley sucks. Speaking of, here come Lashley & Lio! Lio’s going to make his Raw in-ring debut, next!
Lio Rush w/ Bobby Lashley VS Elias!
Raw returns as we wait for a referee. It’s HEATH SLATER! The One Man Band beat his best friend, Rhyno, to stay on Raw, but it wasn’t until after the match that Corbin revealed he’d be staying as a ref. Slater rings the bell and we begin.
Lio and Elias circle, but Elias corners Lio. Lio slips uot and speeds things up. he redirects Elias and ducks under, but then gets caught. Elias flips LIo but LIo lands on his feet. Elias shoves and flapjacks Lio! Lio crawls to a corner but Elias is on him with a wristlock. Elias lifts Lio up and then drops him. Elias grins as he brings Lio up and. Lio sunset flips but Elias picks him right up. Elias says this’ll hurt him more than it hurts Lio, and he tosses Lio across the way! It still looks like it hurts Lio more. Elias smirks as he stalks Lio to a corner. Elias stands Lio up for a chop! Slater counts but Elias whips Lio corner to corner hard! Lio tumbles out in a heap but Elias continues after. Lashley caoches up his hype man but Elias puts Lio back in.
Slater is busy checking on Lio, so Lashley goes after Elias! Elias kicks Lashley off and rocks him with a right! But Lio wrecks Elias with a dropkick! Then a handspring kick! Elias gets back in but Lio ducks and kicks to rock Elias back! Lio whips but Elias reverses. Lio goes up but gets caught into the Electirc Chair. Elias spins Lio around, for the sit-out powerbomb! Cover, but Lashley attacks! Slater hesitates, and tells Lashley to stop. Lashley tells Slater to stand down, because this means Slater’s job. Slater lets Lashley continue, and he gives Elias the SPINEBUSTER! Lashley then helps Lio up, and Lio wants to use Elias’s guitar. Lio grabs it, brings it into the ring, and Slater tries to tell them to stop. Lashley takes the guitar and SMACKS Elias on the back!
Elias writhes, Lio covers, and Lashley makes Slater count. Slater counts, Lio wins.
Winner: Lio Rush, by pinfall
The 24 year old piece of gold gets a win, but it was with a lot of help. Will Elias get back at both Lashley & Lio at TLC when it’s someone else refereeing the match? Will Slater be able to live with himself over being bullied into a screw job? Or are these just more signs of what the Corbin Era will be?
Baron Corbin finds Heath Slater backstage.
Corbin doesn’t get why Slater’s so down. He did a good job out there. How’s Rhyno doing? Get over how you ended his career. Slater wants to go home, but Corbin says there’s still another match for him to officiate tonight. Is it the match we dread it is?
Alexa Bliss heads to the ring!
The Goddess is also Women’s Division manager, and has called for a face-to-face of both champion and challenger for the Raw Women’s Championship. However, the Samoan Dynasty heads to the ring without waiting for any introductions. Nia Jax has wanted after Ronda Rousey for weeks, but she tells Alexa that before we do the questions, she has a statement. “This Sunday, I’m going to become the Raw Women’s Champion.” Fans don’t like the sound of that. And it will be at the direct expense of Ronda. “Getting cracked in the head with those four ounce gloves in the UFC has really done a number on Ronda.” If Ronda had half a mind, which she doesn’t, she’d just give the title over. That way, she can avoid the humiliation that’s coming to her.
Nia knows Ronda is from a world about trash talking to hype things up. Nia doesn’t talk trash. She is a six foot, 300 pound Samoan woman, and Ronda’s worse nightmare. She is the “Anti-Rousey”. And her secret to success? The hand that breaks faces, like Becky Lynch’s. And it only took the one punch. But when the bell rings and Ronda goes Ronda, Nia will punch her in the face. And not just once, but over and over and over, until Ronda gives up. Nia isn’t just the most imposing force in the WWE, she’s also a strategist. Ronda is a world-class judoka, a Strike Force and a UFC champion, so if by chance she avoids this punch to go for the armbar, Nia will open her fist to pry free and then still break Ronda’s face.
This hand took Becky from her fans, and this hand will hold “MY TITLE”, as she erases the myth of Ronda. But speaking of Ronda, here she comes! Ronda isn’t here to talk or pose. She’s here to fight! And Ronda rushes the ring! Alexa, Tamina and Nia clear the ring for the Baddest Woman on the Planet. The Samoan Dynasty flank Ronday, but here comes Ember Moon! The War Goddess still wants after Nia for her betrayal, but she’ll settle for the Daughter of Superfly, next!
Ember Moon w/ Ronda Rousey VS Tamina w/ Nia Jax!
Raw returns as Tamina headbutts Ember down. Tamina whips Ember but Ember slips through the hip toss to arm-drag Tamina. Ember then dropkicks Tamina right out of the ring! Fans fire up as Ember builds speed. Nia saves Tamina from the baseball slide, but fans boo and jeer. Ronda comes up to reinforce Ember and stare Nia down. Nia taunts Ronda but Ember keeps after Tamina in the ring. Ember rolls Tamina up, TWO, and Tamina shoves Ember. Things speed up, Ember springboards into a SUPERKICK! Now Ember rolls out of the ring, and Nia wants the count out. Tamina waits as Ember slowly climbs back in. Tamina is right on Ember with a cover, TWO! Nia coaches her cousin up as Tamina bumps Ember off buckles.
Tamina whips Ember corner to corner and crushes her with a corner splash. She snapmares Ember to a cover, TWO! Nia wants a faster count but Ronda rallies the fans. Tamina wraps on a chinlock, but Ember fights her way up. Ember fights back but Tamina wrangles her back down. Tamina squeezes tight but fans still rally. Ember gets up again and fights back. Tamina rocks Ember with an uppercut! Tamina whips Ember again, but misses in the corner. Ember gasps for air but she kicks Tamina away. Ember reaches up to headscissor Tamina! She fights back with kicks now, and sweeps the leg. Ember urns to hit the sliding shot! Cover, TWO! Nia is relieved and Ronda cheers Ember on. Ember runs but into a powerslam! Cover, TWO! Nia is surprised.
Tamina whips Ember, Ember goes up to hit a flying code breaker! Ronda cheers Ember on to finish this, but Nia makes a move. Ronda trips Nia up and then throws her over the barriers! Ember dodges Tamina for a hotshot! Ember is back up, and hits the Eclipse! Cover, Ember wins!
Winner: Ember Moon, by pinfall
The Rowdy One helps the War Goddess celebrate, and even raises her hand. Will Ronda be able to do the same to Nia at TLC? Or will things be very different for the Baddest Woman on the Planet?
Backstage interview with “General Manger Elect” Baron Corbin.
His match is coming up next, just days before the TLC pay-per-view. Isn’t this an abuse of power? That sounds like a loaded question. Is she trying to get shipped off to SmackDown? Just kidding. This is just Corbin accepting a challenge. Corbin wants the fans to see him in a TLC Match, since he won’t be getting one from Strowman this Sunday. But there are rumors- Rumors? Was that from the internet or something? Strowman is a one-armed man after what Corbin did to him. Just imagine how Rollisn will feel after what Corbin does to him. Rollins is getting a taste of what the future holds. And as for the rest of Raw, “All Hail Baron Corbin.”
Lars Sullivan speaks.
“What happens this Sunday will be a minor tremor compared to the catastrophic earthquake that will occur when I come to the WWE!” The one of a kind Leviathan is lurking. Is he coming to Raw to shake things up? Or will he go to SmackDown to crush everything in his path?
WWE Intercontinental Championship TLC Match: Seth Rollins VS Baron Corbin!
The Architect called the Constable out and the Constable accepted. However, we can already see “General Manager Elect” Corbin is rigging things in his favor as he appoints Heath Slater as the referee! Will Slater be again stuck between a rock and a hard place as Rollins defends his title before Sunday?
Raw returns as Rollins and Corbin make their entrances. The belt hangs high above the ring per championship TLC rules, so all Slater has to do is signal the bell. Rollins and Corbin circle, and Rollins fires off hands! Rollins stomps a mudhole into Corbin, but stops after about a dozen. Corbin kicks back and clubs Rollins back. Corbin whips but Rollins kicks him away. Rollins runs but into a knee. Corbin suplexes Rollins but Rollins knees out. Rollins knees Corbin out of the ring, then goes out after him. Rollins throws more hands and then bumps Corbin off the apron. Fans fire up as Rollins picks up a chair! Rollins brings it but Corbin gets in the ring. Rollins slingshots, but into a haymaker!
Corbin tells Slater to go fetch him a ladder. Slater does as ordered, but Rollins springboards and clotheslines Corbin! Corbin runs off while we go to break.
Raw returns as Corbin keeps Rollins down. Corbin grabs a chair and takes aim. He SMACKS it across Rollins’ back! Fans boo and jeer but Corbin smirks as he SMACKS Rollins again! Corbin stalks Rollins, and stands on him to jam the chair into Rollins’ ribs. Corbin holds the chair up triumphantly despite all the boos. He taunts Rollins to get up, but SMACKS Rollins again. Rollins rolls out and Corbin follows. Corbin brings Rollins up to throw him into barriers! Then into other barriers! Corbin taunts Rollins, then goes for a ladder. He brings the ladder around into the ring, but Rollins dropkicks it into Corbin! Rollins goes out to pick up the ladder and put it in the ring. He leaves Corbin behind to stand the ladder up, but Corbin returns to clobber him!
Corbin stands the ladder up in a corner, and brings Rollins around. Corbin suplexes Rollins into the ladder! It proves just a touch double-edged as Corbin clutches his ear. But Corbin still stands up to wedge a chair in a corner. Corbin goes back to Rollins, drags him up by his hair, and whips Rollins. Rollins reverses but Corbin slides out then in to clobber Rollins again! Fans boo and jeer, but Corbin ignores them all to go for a table. Corbin stands that table up in a corner, then mocks Strowman’s roar. He drags Rollins up to scoop him, and wants his own Monster Slam, but Rollins slips out! Rollins dodges and rocks Corbin with a right! Rollins runs but is tossed out of the ring! Corbin then grabs the ladder to stand it up under the belt! Corbin climbs, but Rollins returns to leap right up!
Rollins fights Corbin down, so Corbin yanks him off. Rollins mule kicks but misses the stomp. Corbin elbows Rollins and then shoves him into the ladder! Both Rollins and ladder fall over, but Corbin isn’t done. Corbin dropkicks Rollins out of the ring! We go to one last break as Corbin watches Rollins writhe.
Raw returns once more, and Rollins leaps at Corbin! Corbin gets under, and hits the Deep Six! But Corbin is down, too, from exhaustion. Fans rally up for Rollins as he and Corbin stir. Corbin is up first, and he brings Rollins back up. Corbin punches Rollins down, and then does it again, and again. Fans boo and jeer as Corbin continues to rain rights. Slater stays back as Corbin watches Rollins stand up. Corbin punches but Rollins counter punches! Rollins fires off chops and haymakers, but Corbin knees low. Corbin whips but Rollins reverses. Corbin slides out then in but misses to get a Pele! He staggers about, but is baited into the chair he set up earlier! Both Rollins and Corbin are down as Slater checks on them.
Fans chant “We Want Tables!” but Rollins takes that chair from the corner. Rollins aims at Corbin, and SMACKS him back! And SMACKS and SMACKS and SMACKS! Rollins keeps on Corbin with that chair for everything Corbin has done. Corbin bails out, but Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Corbin reeling, but Rollins keeps going, to DIVE again! Corbin goes down but Rollins won’t stop. Rollins runs once more, to DIVE, into a CHOKE SLAM through a table!! But Corbin is down from exhaustion again, and Slater checks on them both. Fans admit “This is Awesome!” even if Corbin’s involved. Corbin returns to the ring to stand the ladder up again. He begins the climb, but Rollins is stirring.
Corbin goes up a rung at a time, but Rollins returns to SMACK him with another chair! Rollins SMACKS Corbin off the ladder, but then Corbin dodges and Slater takes the hit!! Corbin clobbers Rollins out of the ring, and rolls out to follow Rollins. Corbin brings Rollins up, but Rollins slips out of End of Days. Rollins dodges to send Corbin into the steel steps! Rollins mule kicks Corbin, then puts him on the table. Fans fire up as Rollins does the math. Rollins climbs a corner, aims at Corbin, and leaps! FROG SPLASH through the table!! Fans are thunderous as Rollins leaves Corbin for dead. Rollins hurries to the ladder and up the rungs. His body is sore but that won’t stop him. Rollins is fingertips away, but Slater grabs the ladder?! Slater needs this job, so he tips the ladder over!!
Fans boo as Slater stands the ladder back up. Slater drags Corbin up and into the ring. Corbin is dead weight as Slater drags him to the ladder. Corbin grins as he sees the title. He climbs, reaches, but Rollins returns!? Rollins hits Slater, then drags Corbin off for a buckle bomb through a table!! Corbin eats wood again, but Slater pleads with Rollins. Rollins SUPERKICKS Slater! Then Rollins stomps, and runs at Corbin, for the Curb Stomp! Rollins scrambles up the ladder, grabs the belt, and takes it off! Rollins wins!
Winner: Seth Rollins; still WWE Intercontinental Champion
The Architect reigns, if only for now. Rollins will have to regroup for TLC, and Ambrose appears to remind him of their coming war. Will Ambrose cure himself of his disgust for Rollins? Or will Rollins #BurnItDown even brighter than before?
Another Raw go-home, with another mixed bag of good and bad. It would seem, after the two incredibly sour weeks, Corbin becomes the kayfabe face for how everyone, even other WWE talent, sees everything from ratings to booking. In the absence of other top Faces, such as Finn Balor from his injury (both kayfabe and possibly real from the South American tour), Rollins takes up the role of being the person to say all this. I’m thinking that this is more damage control than it is elaborate planning from Vince McMahon, but it can still work out in the end. Hopefully now that they’ve called out the things like the pee gag and the Lucha House Rules, we won’t ever have to worry about those again.
The Raw Tag Team Championship handicap match was an interesting choice, and I suppose that means Maverick & AoP can now Freebird the titles, if they get them back. It was a good moment for Roode & Gable to get these titles. This entire time, fans were expecting this team to fall apart when Roode turned on Gable, but I’m actually glad they’re still together this far in. And maybe now we can get things back on track in the Raw Tag Team Division with The Revival being allowed to actually win, the Lucha House Party playing things by normal rules, and maybe AoP ditching Maverick to go back to being independent.
The Women’s Division does a touch better tonight. I was surprised Natty didn’t have a match with a Riott Squad member, but the “Hart-breaking” promo Ruby gives instead at least gives some good story build towards their Tables Match. The Mixed Match Challenge tie-in was done well, and just like the other major players that are also busy at TLC, Finn Balor is out so he can focus on his match with McIntyre. Apollo Crews will make a good replacement, but he’s mostly stepping in by default because there’s almost no one left. This is where I would’ve thrown in Lars Sullivan, but there’s only a route to wasting him if he’s not going to win the Rumble after winning the MMC Finals. Then the championship scene was great, Ember gets a great match with Tamina and Ronda looks ready to retain against Nia.
Ziggler VS McIntyre was a great match, if perhaps just a high-level filler. Hopefully this isn’t the last for these two, we need at least one more go in a fuller feud between them. It was great to see Lio competing on Raw, up until we found out Slater was being made the special referee to then screw Elias over. I also saw Slater being ref for tonight’s main event coming a mile away. Slater will have his moment soon enough, maybe even at TLC PPV. Rollins VS Corbin was pretty great because of Slater’s involvement, too, but obviously Rollins retains. This might all just be a precaution in case Strowman really doesn’t show up at TLC, just as Corbin sarcastically said in his backstage promo. I’m still banking on a Strowman surprise and maybe an all out brawl with the superstars Finn united against Corbin.
My Score: 8/10
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