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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Report: G1 Climax 28, parts 5 AND 6!

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NJPW G1 Climax 28 cover

AXS gives us a double dose of NJPW as we get days 6 and 13 of the G1 Climax! It’s Omega VS Tama Tonga, Ishii VS Goto, Tanahashi VS EVIL and Okada VS Suzuki!

 

Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • B Block: Sanada VS Zack Sabre Jr; Sanada wins.
  • B Block: Kenny Omega VS Tama Tonga; Omega wins, by disqualification.
  • B Block: Tomohiro Ishii VS Hirooki Goto; Ishii wins.
  • A Block: Yoshi-Hashi VS Jay White; White wins.
  • A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS EVIL; Tanahashi wins.
  • A Block: Kazuchika Okada VS Minoru Suzuki; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for B Block!

The Bullet Club Civil War looked to have ended at G1 Special in San Francisco, as Kenny Omega defeated Cody to successfully defend his newly won IWGP Heavyweight Championship. However, the Civil War took a new turn with the rise of the Firing Squad! The Bullet Club OG, Tama Tonga, led his brother and father in a heinous raid of the celebrating new generation. But after tensions have mounted to a boiling point throughout the rest of the round robin, it is finally time for Tama and Omega to face off. Will this only escalate the Civil War to a whole new level?

Meanwhile, Chaos members are made to face off as the Fierce Warrior and Stone Pitbull will see who is the sturdier Strong Style savant. Only one can move up the ladder tonight, who will break down first?

 

NJPW and AXS quickly review the rest of B Block’s Day 6!

Kota Ibushi took on Toru Yano, and in a shocking upset, Yano won! Of course, Yano made sure to tie Ibushi’s hands together, get his signature low blow and then the roll up, but a win is a win. Tetsuya Naito and IWGP US Heavyweight Champion, Juice Robinson, used all of their charisma against each other, and in the end it was the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon that got the win. Juice continues to be without a single point, so it seems his chances of making this year’s G1 Finals are also zero. Then there is LIJ’s Sanada and Suzuki-Gun’s Zack Sabre Jr, which we jump into right now!

Sanada VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The Cold Skull and Submission Master met in the New Japan Cup, and the one hold Sanada has wasn’t enough against ZSJ’s unlimited arsenal. Can Sanada make up for that loss in this rematch here? Or will he again #JustTapOut?

ZSJ and Sanada circle and feel things out. They tie up, ZSJ gets a full nelson and quickly shifts to a snapmare, but Sanada lands on his feet! ZSJ is a bit surprised by that, but the fans love the agility. The two circle again, and ZSJ gets around to another full nelson. Sanada breaks then gets his own full nelson. ZSJ breaks to get his, but Sanada breaks and gets another. ZSJ breaks out but just as he goes for his, Sanada is already behind him for the full nelson! Fans applaud as it repeats, ZSJ breaks free only for Sanada to get back around. ZSJ grows frustrated already, but he ducks down, only for Sanada to bring him back up in the full nelson.

They try again, Sanada wheelbarrows ZSJ into the full nelson. ZSJ gets out but just ends up back in it again. He stubbornly keeps trying but Sanada keeps pace. ZSJ arm-drags but Sanada drags ZSJ into headscissors. ZSJ pops out and has a foot, and he twists! He bends the shin and twists the ankle, then stands up. Sanada rolls over but ZSJ turns that into his deathlock Bow ‘n’ Arrow, but Sanada pops out to a cover. ONE, and fans applaud this stand-off. Both men back away to adjust and circle again. They tie up, and ZSJ puts Sanada in a corner. The break is tense, but then ZSJ European Uppercuts! He whips Sanada corner to corner but Sanada reverses.

ZSJ stops himself, slides under Sanada, then counters Sanada’s kick into a rolling takedown, then sunset cradle. Sanada rolls out to jackknife then sunset, but ZSJ gives it back. Sanada rolls out to high stack, ONE as ZSJ headscissors, but Sanada pops out. The two stand again and fans are loving this. Taka Michinoku coaches ZSJ while the fans rally behind Sanada. ZSJ and Sanada circle again, approach, and tie up. ZSJ gets the wristlock and bends the arms back. He keylocks, then half straitjackets. Sanada ends up in the full straitjacket, but he powers to his feet. ZSJ pulls back, but Sanada turns the jacket onto him. Sanada pulls back but ZSJ rolls through to reverse it back. Deja vu as Sanada reverses it back again.

ZSJ goes to get up but Sanada puts his weight on him. They still stand, and ZSJ even bridges back to reverse the jacket onto Sanada, but Sanada still reverses it back! Fans applaud but ZSJ is annoyed. Sanada keeps on him, but ZSJ gets back up. ZSJ works to put it on Sanada but Sanada puts it right back on ZSJ. ZSJ wiggles the hold down and puts it on Sanada again, but Sanada copies to put it right back on! Sanada’s ability to keep up with ZSJ is baffling the Submission Master. ZSJ tries the wiggle again, breaks free, gives a EuroUpper, but Sanada gives a EuroUpper in return! They both back off again, and Taka Michinoku coaches ZSJ up.

Sanada and ZSJ circle again, tie up, and ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. They circle again then tie up. They go to their knees in the collar and elbow, ZSJ gives a EuroUpper but Sanada gives it back. ZSJ gives another, but so does Sanada. Sanada’s hit harder, but then ZSJ fires off many. Sanada goes to backslide but ZSJ turns it around. They pull against each other and Sanada turns it back around, but ZSJ uses that to roll off his back into a double wristlock! ZSJ hops on for the floating wristlock!

Sanada endures, even as ZSJ turns it to a straight arm. Sanada uses that to pop out for Skull End! But ZSJ pops out to the Octopus Hold! Then he shifts for a sunset flip, but Sanada sits on it! ONE and ZSJ completes the sunset, TWO as Sanada comes back up! TWO as ZSJ almost gets caught there, but he Penalty Kicks Sanada down. Fans fire up while ZSJ catches his breath. ZSJ walks around Sanada, then brings him up for a facelock. He scoops but Sanada slips out, for Skull End! ZSJ goes up and over, trips Sanada up, body scissors into the European Clutch! TWO!! That was close, but no cigar. Sanada rolls up ZSJ, to Skull End! ZSJ again rolls out to go for EuroClutch, but Sanada pops out to copy it!! SANADA WINS!!

Winner: Sanada by pinfall; Sanada earns 2 points, ZSJ earns 0

The Cold Skull shocks the Submission Master using his own move against him! Whether or not this is an upset, Sanada winning this way upsets Taka as he gets in the ref’s face about the count. ZSJ himself is furious that he let Sanada outsmart him, even for just a second. He takes a page from the book of his mentor, Minoru Suzuki, and takes it all out on the Young Lions at ringside. Does ZSJ still have time to make up the points? Or has Sanada just played spoiler for the Submission Master?

 

Kenny Omega VS Tama Tonga!

The Bullet Club has been through many a revolution since its creation under Prince Devitt. After the Prince came the Phenomenal One, but then even AJ Styles would be overthrown by The Cleaner. In all that time, Tama seemed satisfied with staying close yet never sitting on the throne. But now, sensing weakness, Tama has decided to strike down the Best Bout Machine and his allies down! Will the Firing Squad’s coup d’état have its coup de grace? Or can Kenny keep control of the Club?

Naturally, the Tongan trio doesn’t roll alone, as Tonga Loa & Bad Luck Fale join Tama ringside. Omega goes it alone, so he’ll have to keep his head on a swivel with the numbers in Tama’s advantage. However, as introductions are being made, Tonga Loa pounces on Omega from behind! The Firing Squad stomps away on Omega as fans boo and jeer. Tama takes the belt and holds it up like it’s already his. Red Shoes tries to restore order but Tama throws the belt down to then kick it out of the ring. Tama whips Omega corner to corner for a corner clothesline, then Loa follows up with a splash and Fale with a clothesline.

Fans continue to boo but Omega is still all alone. Tama feeds Omega to Fale, but then Hangman Page and Chase Owens appear! They and the Guerrillas of Destiny brawl on the outside, and Omega escapes Bad Luck Fall. Omega hits back with a running V-Trigger, then Chase & Hangman clothesline Fale out! Fans fire up as this match still happens!

Omega kneels as the Terminator Drums begin. Hangman and Chase brawl with Fale and Loa, but Omega builds speed to FLY! He leaps onto the heap and almost doesn’t make it. Omega holds his ribs while he gives Loa one more clubbing forearm. But then Tama SPEARS Omega in the ring! Tama fireman’s carry to a flapjack! He circles Omega, “Did you think I was gonna make things easy?” He drives elbows into Omega, then says Omega isn’t special at all. Tama whips Omega and runs him over with a back elbow. Chase and Hangman head to the backstage area, but what of Loa and Fale?

Tama shouts at Omega that the Bullet Club could’ve been something more if they were all together. But Omega is the reason for the rift, so this is all on him. Tama drags Omega up and suplexes him. Cover, ONE, and Omega hits back. Tama hits Omega with elbows and haymakers, then stalks him around the ring. Tama fires body shots in the corner, but Omega hits back. They go back and forth, but Tama headbutts Omega to a corner. “Is this your hero?!” Tama will remind everyone who he is. But then Omega comes back with forearms. Tama hits back, then whips, but Omega holds ropes. Omega boots Tama, then runs for a body shot, then comes back around for a low dropkick.

Omega runs again, but Tama dodges the bulldog to run around and dropkick Omega down! Tama watches Omega flounder to a corner, then runs in for a big splash. Omega dodges, and comes back with chops. Tama swings but misses, Omega kicks and whips. Tama reverses but Omega dodges to hit a running DDT! Cover, TWO! Omega has control of the match while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Omega drags Tama up. Omega fireman’s carry, “You Can’t Escape!” Rolling senton and the moonsault both hit! But Tama is up quick, and goes for Gun Stun! Omega denies the cutter to give his V-Trigger! Omega drags Tama up in the underhook, but Tama denies the driver. Tama lifts and quickly Alabama Slams! Cover, TWO! Tama and Omega slowly stand, but Omega again denies a Gun Stun, and goes for a back slide. Tama rolls out and blocks Omega’s V-Trigger! He fireman’s carry but Omega slips out to a waistlock. Tama breaks free and runs but into a V-Trigger! Omega grits his teeth while Tama rests on the apron.

Fans rally up as Omega joins Tama, and wants a full nelson. Tama uses the ropes then breaks out. Tama runs but back into the full nelson. He grabs Red Shoes to both save himself, and give Loa the opening! Loa hits Omega in the leg with a chair! Fans boo but Loa keeps going as he brings Omega off the apron in powerbomb position. But Omega huricanranas Loa away! Omega goes after Tama, gets powerbomb position, for an apron bomb! Tama slumps down to the ground, but Omega drags him back up. They go back in, and Omega prepares the cross-leg fisherman. Aoi Shoudou! Fans fire up with Omega while Tama writhes. Omega takes aim and BANG! He runs, but Loa trips him up! Loa holds Omega in place, but then Omega escapes to send Tama into Loa!

Omega rolls Tama up, TWO, and Omega is pushed into Loa’s chair toss! Tama rolls Omega, TWO!! Omega survives the screw job, but Tama wants that chair for himself. Loa sets it there, then goes somewhere else to distract Red Shoes. Tama positions the chair and goes for Gun Stun, but Omega slams him onto the chair! Omega drags Tama up onto Electric Chair, but Tama slips out. Tama tries again but is still denied Gun Stun with a shove. Omega goes to huricanrana, but Tama counters that by preparing a Styles Clash! He wants to do it on the chair, but Red Shoes kicks the chair away! Tama lets Omega go to get in Red Shoes’ face. Fans boo, but then are surprised to see Red Shoes push back! GUN STUN for Red Shoes!! Fans boo even louder now, but GoD go after Omega together, GUN STUN!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by disqualification; Omega earns 2 points, Tama earns 0

Fale returns, too, and he stomps away on Omega. The Firing Squad keep Young Lions out while putting a chair around Omega’s head. Tama prepares to drive Omega down, but in comes Kota Ibushi, as well as Hangman and Chase! They run the Tongans off, but Tama vows “I’ll end all of you!” Clearly this Bullet Club Civil War has only grown more intense, where and how will it end?

Backstage interview with Omega.

“Nothing much has changed since last year, has it?” Tama said the G1 doesn’t mean anything, and he hasn’t changed his opinion since. Tama doesn’t care about the finals, he only cares about making a statement. Omega is upset that Tama used his friends and a DQ win to mess up his match star rating average. “That, my friend, is unforgivable.” When and where will Omega get his revenge on Tama?

 

Tomohiro Ishii VS Hirooki Goto!

Both men are of Chaos, but that doesn’t mean they won’t compete against each other. Will the “Righteous Rascal” or the perennial NEVER Openweight Champion come out on top with two points?

The bell rings and fans duel for these battle-tested wrestlers. They tie up and Goto gets a headlock. Ishii pries his way out but Goto puts it back on. Ishii powers out and they collide. Neither man falls, and Goto dares Ishii to go again. Ishii does, and they collide again. They go again and collide, and collide, and collide! Ishii hits Goto, Goto hits Ishii, again and again and again! Fans applaud these two human tanks testing each other, just as Ishii starts firing off forearms! Goto gives some back, and they go back and forth. Ishii wants Goto to really hit him, and the brawl just intensifies with every shot. Forearm after forearm after forearm and neither man backs off.

Fans applaud just as Ishii gains an edge. Ishii runs and hits Goto. Goto comes back to hit Ishii on the rebound. Ishii does the same but it’s Goto who runs Ishii over! Fans applaud again as Goto catches his breath. Goto stomps Ishii, then drags him back up for elbows. Goto drags Ishii up and puts him in a corner for stomps. He whips Ishii corner to corner but Ishii reverses. Ishii catches Goto on the return for a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii is up first .Goto slowly follows but Ishii in on him. Ishii chops Goto, then chops him again. Goto reels back but Ishii keeps on him, chopping him down. Ishii kicks Goto while he’s down, then backs off just a moment to adjust.

Ishii brings Goto up and gives him a headbutt. Goto chops but Ishii doesn’t flinch. Goto chops and chops but Ishii just eggs him on. Ishii gives back one and Goto falls. Ishii toys with Goto a little, and stands on his chest. He keeps toying with Goto, then taunts him, “What’s wrong, Champ?!” Goto fires off palm strikes but Ishii just chops him. They run, dodge, but Goto fireman’s carry. Ishii slips out and shoves, but misses in the corner. Goto hits a solid corner clothesline, then whips Ishii corner to corner. Muramasa the rolling heel kick, to saido suplex! Cover, TWO! Goto has control while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns and Goto drags Ishii up. Goto wants to lift but Ishii resists. They struggle against each other, but Isshi gets free. Goto kicks Ishii hard in the chest and Ishii falls. The referee checks on Ishii but he’s okay. Goto gives another kick and Ishii falls again. Goto taunts Ishii back, then kicks him again. Ishii smacks his head on the mat to fire himself up. Goto gives another kick, but now Ishii feeds off it. Another kick and another kick, but Ishii grows stronger, and rocks Goto with a right! Goto and Ishii both gasp for air, but Ishii drags Goto to a corner. Ishii chops and forearms, chops and forearms, repeat. He whips corner to corner but Goto reverses, only for Ishii to run out and run Goto over! Ishii drags Goto back up, but Goto resists the back suplex.

Goto elbows his way free, then runs, but Ishii follows. Things speed up, and they collide! Goto staggers over into Ishii’s German Suplex! But Goto’s right back up to kick Ishii right back down! Goto fires up and drags Ishii into the sleeper hold. Ishii reaches but starts to fade. He still has life as fans rally up again. Ishii throws Goto off! Goto clotheslines Ishii but Ishii stays standing. Goto runs, but the clothesline only knocks Ishii backwards. Ishii rebounds and collides with Goto! Goto runs, but again his clothesline only staggers Ishii. Ishii teeters in a corner, but comes back with a clothesline. Goto still stands, and comes back for yet another.

Ishii wobbles, but still hits back! Goto runs to hit again, but Ishii returns it. Goto drops to a knee, Ishii runs, but into a clothesline! Ishii’s right back up and clotheslines Goto down! Goto gets back up and they both clothesline! Neither man falls, so they go again! The collision is still so solid, and they go again! Both men fall to the mat and fans fire up for the intensity! The referee checks on each of them, and somehow Ishii and Goto are still okay to continue. Goto sits up but Ishii follows. They each force themselves to stand. Goto is on Ishii first, with the sleeper hold! Ishii hits back with overhead backhands, faster and faster! He’s free, but Goto SLAPS him! Now Ishii’s mad.

Ishii fires forearms from both ends! He even counters a headbutt to give a headbutt, then a corner clothesline! Fans are thunderous as Goto slumps down. Ishii drags Goto up to the top rope, then climbs up to join him. Ishii wants a superplex, and hits it! Cover, TWO!! That wasn’t enough, but Ishii has more. He sits Goto up, runs, but into the sleeper! Ishii goes to counter but Goto counters, only for Ishii to reverse, only to end up in the fireman’s carry and Ushigoroshi! Goto doesn’t cover, he drags Ishii up. They brawl again, and Goto clobbers Ishii off his feet! Goto drags Ishii up again, Reverse GTR! Goto stands Ishii again, but Ishii slips out of the suplex! Into a dragon sleeper! Goto reverses it but Ishii reverses back but Goto pops out. Ishii kicks but Goto spins, into a saido suplex!

Both men are down again and fans fire back up. Fans duel while the referee checks on both men. Both men stir, neither man giving up just yet. They go to opposite ends before standing. They run at each other, for another clothesline collision! Goto counters a clothesline but Ishii counters back, then Goto blocks the enziguri! Goto runs, but into another clothesline! High stack cover, TWO!! How is either man still going!? Ishii fires himself up and he drags Goto up. He suplexes, but Goto fights out. Goto and Ishii fight for control, and Goto gets Ishii up for Shouten Kai! Cover, TWO!! Ishii and Goto are exhausted, but this match must continue.

Fans are thunderous as Goto drags himself away. Goto stands but staggers while Ishii stirs. Goto prepares to finish this, and hits the buzzsaw! He’s not done yet, as he drags Ishii up in the dragon sleeper. Ishii pops out but Goto headbutts, only for Ishii to give one. They headbutt again, then Ishii enziguris Goto down! Ishii comes back around, runs, and hits the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!? Goto is dazed but he still lives! Ishii drags Goto up again, for the brainbuster! Cover, Ishii wins!!

Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall; Ishii earns 2 points, Goto earns 0

Ishii wins in a match that was the epitome of Strong Style! He gains some ground, and perhaps even a shot at the NEVER Openweight Championship. Will Ishii be able to get himself to the Finals? If he doesn’t, will he want another match with Goto for that title?

 

NJPW and AXS set the scene for A Block!

There are do-or-die stakes on the line for three men at this point in the tournament! The Ace has the lead with 10 points, but the King of Darkness lurks just behind with 8. Hiroshi Tanahashi lost to EVIL way back in the 2017 New Japan Cup’s opening round. Will Darkness Fall to keep Evil’s hopes alive? Or will the Once in a Century Talent blaze a trail to the finals through him?

Meanwhile, The Rainmaker and the Man with the Worst Personality both have 8 points. They both lost back-to-back, but have rallied back since. These two renew their own rivalry from their two different time-limit draws. Two points never felt so important! Will Okada reclaim his former glory? Or will Suzuki use this to bring him his first ever G1 Climax championship?

 

NJPW and AXS quickly review the rest of A Block’s Day 13!

Bad Luck Fale and Michael Elgin went heavy hit after heavy hit, but the Firing Squad is always near. Even so, the Unbreakable took care of Tonga Loa and slammed Fale! Tama added the last shot, and though Elgin gets the win, there’s no telling if he’ll be able to continue competing. Meanwhile, Hangman Page and Togi Makabe battled just as hard as the young Problem Solver took it to the veteran Uncaged Gorilla. Hangman hit his Rite of Passage to gain himself points as well as some major respect. Lastly are Yoshi Hashi and Jay White for another Chaos VS Chaos showdown, which we jump into!

Yoshi-Hashi VS Jay White!

The Head-Hunter runs at the Switchblade in the corner for a chop. Hashi suplexes White and hangs him up on the ropes, for a dropkick! He hurries up top and aims at White, for a flying blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Hashi grows frustrated, but he keeps going. He drags White up and prepares a bomb but White slips out. Hashi forearms and chops, then whips. White reverses only to get more forearms, but then he catches Hashi into a Complete Shot and deadlift German Suplex! Hashi is down but White drags him back up. White suplexes and twists for the brainbuster! Cover, TWO! But White isn’t bothered, he prepares his blade. He drags Hashi up, but Hashi rolls him! TWO!!

Hashi kicks but is blocked. White gives a set of strikes, then runs, but into the lariat! Hashi lifts, powerbomb to jackknife! TWO!! Hashi hurries back up, but White grabs the referee. Then he trips Hashi up! Fans boo but White doesn’t care. White drags Hashi out, for Blade Runner! But Hashi counters to a pumphandle! White fights his way out, then baits Hashi into Red Shoes! Low blow! Fans boo louder, but White gets away with an underhanded move again. White brings Red Shoes over, drags Hashi up, but Hashi still counters with a kick, then SUPERKICK!

Hashi fires up and brings White in. White fights out, but misses his clothesline to get a backstabber! Hashi wants to end it now, as he fisherman lifts, to the Bunker Buster! Cover, TWO!! White survives, which shocks Hashi. But Hashi fires up with the fans as he grabs White for the pumphandle. Lift but White fights out, Blade Runner!! Cover, White wins!

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; White earns 2 points, Hashi earns 0

The Switchblade gets another win that’s tainted by his tactics. But he just knows he won and continues on to stay near the top of the block. Will White keep going all the way to the finals? Or will he be passed up by the other top stars in his bracket?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS EVIL!

The Ace of Air-Guitars and the King of Darkness go around one more time, and again for big stakes. Evil’s fate is in his own hands, can he win and join the conversation for the G1 Climax Finals? Or will Tanahashi push past to keep his hopes of another G1 Climax Finals appearance alive?

The bell rings and we begin with fans already chanting strongly for Tanahashi. Evil doesn’t mind, he and Tanahashi circle. Evil kicks low then puts on a headlock. Tanahashi fights back and powers out. Evil runs Tanahashi over, then speeds things up. Tanahashi hip drops Evil down, then plays the air guitar. Tanahashi gets a headlock takeover, but Evil works against it. Evil sits up but Tanahashi grinds the headlock. Evil pulls hair to get out, then whips Tanahashi. Tanahashi holds ropes then dumps Evil onto the apron. Tanahashi swings on Evil but gets caught into a hotshot! Evil grabs that repaired arm and slams it on the mat. He looms over Tanahashi and does it again.

Evil drags Tanahashi up to wrench the arm, then puts it in a hammerlock. He shoves Tanahashi into buckles, then goes back after the arm with another wrench. Tanahashi breaks free, but gets run over and squashed under the back senton. Cover, TWO! Evil pulls back on the arm, then goes for the other. Tanahashi resists so Evil hooks his nose. Evil lets up at 4 to get both arms. He digs a knee into Tanahashi’s shoulders, then pulls back harder on the arms. Tanahashi endures and powers his way up. Tanahashi feeds off the fan rally and works to reverse the hold, but Evil just pulls back harder. The fans keep rallying and Tanahashi tries again, but Evil brings him back down. Tanahashi tries one more time, and turns Evil around, only for Evil to turn it back around. Tanahashi dropkicks Evil away and he’s free!

Both men catch their breath then slowly stand up. Evil kicks first, then whips. Tanahashi hits back with a flying forearm! He drops a big elbow then a flipping senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi drags Evil up and throws forearms. He backs Evil into a corner, then scoops him for the slam. Tanahashi hops up top, but Evil rolls away. Evil blocks the boot to club Tanahashi all the way out! The Ace is down while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Evil fetches Tanahashi. Evil whips Tanahashi into the railings, btu Tanahashi fires up, only to run into a clothesline. Fans rally up while Evil leaves Tanahashi to the count. The 20 count reaches 10 before Tanahashi stirs. Tanahashi rises up at 13, but falls back down! He hurries up again and into the ring at 17. Evil is ready, and he runs in at Tanahashi for a Bronco Buster! Cover, TWO! Evil drags Tanahashi back up, fireman’s carry, but Tanahashi fights out. Tanahashi goes to kick but Evil catches it to hand it to Red Shoes. Evil goes to kick but Tanahashi blocks that, and Tanahashi tells Red Shoes to let go. Red Shoes does, and then Tanahashi lets go of Evil, to give Evil a slapping palm strike!

Tanahashi runs but Evil pursues for a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he staggers back up. He drags Tanahashi up, fisherman suplex! Cover, TWO! Evil sits Tanahashi up to slash the throat. But Tanahashi snapmares to a small package, TWO! Tanahashi swings but misses. Evil mule kicks, but Tanahashi denies the STO to hit the spinning neckbreaker! Fans fire up as Tanahashi stands. Tanahashi runs and hits a Slingblade! Cover, TWO, but Tanahashi keeps going. He gets to a corner, but Evil shoves Red Shoes his way. Tanahashi saves Red Shoes from the collision, then he sees Evil coming. He hits back, then dragon screws the leg inside the ropes! Evil staggers away as Tanahashi climbs up. Crossbody!

But Tanahashi won’t end it there, he goes back up, for the High Fly Flow! But he flops as Evil escapes! Evil stands and drags Tanahashi around, rolling up into the fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi shocks Evil, but Evil still has more. He takes off his elbow pad, runs, and clobbers with a clothesline! Cover, TWO!! That was even closer! Evil calls for the end and drags Tanahashi back up. STO denied, but Evil breaks free of the full nelson. Evil whips and reels Tanahashi in, but Tanahashi steals the STO! Tanahashi gets to the top rope as fans are thunderous. High Fly Flow!! Cover, Tanahashi wins!!

Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi, by pinfall; Tanahashi earns 2 points, Evil earns 0

The Ace continues to rise up from his early loss! Evil is out of the running now, but it’s still on Tanahashi to keep himself going. Can Tanahashi go all the way while there is still much more to come?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS Minoru Suzuki!

The Rainmaker seeks redemption after his rocky start to the round robin, as does the Meanest Man in the World. They both sit at 8 points, but things can change with a single win. Who will move up into true second place now that Evil is out of the way?

But as Okada has his fun letting the balloons fly, Suzuki pounces! Suzuki throws Okada out of the ring as the bell rings, but the beating continues on the outside. Suzuki whips Okada into railings, then follows up the ramp. He takes a chair, and hits Okada with it! Suzuki rips the railings apart to then throw it down on Okada. He takes another chair and SMACKS the railings into Okada. Another chair, another SMACK! Suzuki brings the railings off Okada to thrust the chair into Okada’s throat. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki, but Suzuki gets in his face now. Red Shoes has to defend himself, so he gets a chair for a shield. Suzuki isn’t in any mood for fun and games, he and Desperado flank Red Shoes. But Okada comes back with a kick and forearms!

Suzuki hits back, and bounces Okada off the wood bleachers. Young Lions help fans get clear as Suzuki keeps on Okada. Suzuki clears out other fans, and goes bowling for chairs with Okada’s body! Suzuki doesn’t let up, as he takes another chair and jams it into Okada’s stomach, and SMACKS him across the back! Red Shoes tries to restore order while fans rally up for Okada. Suzuki leaves Okada for dead as he storms his way back to the ring. Suzuki searches around under the ring, and brings out some more chairs. Okada drags himself up and a count begins. The count reaches 7 while Suzuki waits with a chair. Okada arrives at about 13, only to get that chair! Suzuki SMACKS Okada again and returns to the ring at 17. Okada hears the count and gets in at 19.5!!

Suzuki is furious but he takes it out on Okada with forearms on the apron. He gives Okada a draping armbar! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki lets go at 4, to then boot Okada down! Okada hits railing and slumps back down, but Suzuki dares him to get back in. Suzuki grins, but fans rally up as a new count begins. The count passes 10 but Okada only now gets up. Suzuki grins as Okada gets in at 19, because he just gets to hurt Okada more. He grinds his shoe on Okada’s head, then his face. Suzuki stomps Okada and that wakes Okada up. Suzuki takes Okada’s shirt and uses it to choke him! Red Shoes can’t get a good look, so Suzuki gets away with it. Suzuki kicks Okada, but Okada stands up. Suzuki gives Okada forearms, but Okada grits his teeth.

Okada gives a forearm, Suzuki gives a forearm, and back again. Suzuki knees low then whips Okada to the corner. Okada boots him away, then blocks a kick into his own kick, neckbreaker! Okada stands and fires more forearms. Suzuki reverses the whip but gets Okada’s back elbow. Okada runs for a back elbow in the corner, then kicks for a DDT! Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps his cool. Suzuki stands but Okada lifts him up. Suzuki resists with a wristlock takedown, to armbar! Okada flails as Suzuki pulls on the arm. They get around, but Suzuki gets a leg. Okada uses the other leg for the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Okada go and backs off to a corner while we go to break.

NJPW on AXS returns as Okada gets himself to a corner. Suzuki runs in for a big boot! He snapmares and Penalty Kicks Okada down, then sits him up for the Fujiwara armbar! Suzuki pulls back and then gets Rings of Saturn! Okada endures the double armbar as Suzuki puts as much weight as he can on the hold. Fans rally but Suzuki lets go of one arm to do just the Fujiwara again. Okada gets another ropebreak, so Suzuki lets go. Suzuki talks trash while toying with Okada. Okada gets up and fires a forearm. That bad arm hurts as he does it, but he keeps trying. Suzuki gives Okada a shot and Okada staggers back. Suzuki keeps on Okada in the corner, elbow after elbow. Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki again, but Okada comes out with a shotgun dropkick!

Okada eggs Suzuki on now, wanting Suzuki to hit him! Suzuki grins, but lets Okada go first. Okada hits with the bad arm, but Suzuki’s arm is just fine as he hits Okada again. Okada goes again, and so does Suzuki. Suzuki hits, Okada hits. Okada hits, Suzuki dares him to hit harder. Okada tries, but it doesn’t really work. Suzuki hits Okada and then mocks the Rainmaker pose! Okada fires off more forearms, then pushes Suzuki around. Suzuki grins as he gives Okada one big forearm! Okada staggers about, but clears his head to hit back. Suzuki hits again, and they go back and forth again. Okada staggers but still comes back. Suzuki rocks Okada again but Okada always comes back. Now Suzuki starts to laugh! He’s enjoying this brutal back and forth with the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

They don’t slow down, and Suzuki SLAPS Okada! Fans fire up as Okada starts to fade. Suzuki brings Okada back up, but his piledriver is countered to a back drop and sit-down cover! TWO, and Suzuki kicks. Suzuki runs, but into the dropkick! Okada grits his teeth as he brings Suzuki up. Suzuki elbows out, then fires off fast shots! Okada can’t cover up, so he just gives EuroUppers! Suzuki slaps him again, so Okada slaps back! Okada runs, but into Suzuki’s dropkick! Both men are down but the fans are fired up. Suzuki sits up first, then brings Okada up. He fires off more shots but Okada goes to gut wrench. Suzuki headbutts out, then rocks Okada with a knee. Okada still tries but Suzuki fights him off with another knee. Suzuki has a facelock, squeezing the air out of Okada’s head.

Fans duel, Okada lifts Suzuki but Suzuki slips out to a sleeper hold! Okada sits down but he reaches for ropes. Suzuki drags him away, and Okada begins to fade. Suzuki shifts but Okada wants Rainmaker, only for Suzuki to SLAP him! Okada stays standing, so Suzuki slaps him again. Suzuki puts Okada in an Octopus Hold! Okada endures as Suzuki also digs his elbow into Okada’s hips. Okada pops out of the hold, gut wrench to TOMBSTONE! But Okada is too tired to cover!

Both men are down but stirring. They stand, and Okada goes for the wristlock. Suzuki fights out, but then Okada puts a sleeper on him! Okada shifts to steal the Gotch! Suzuki resists, and gut wrenches Okada! Suzuki wants to steal that driver, but then Okada turns and lifts Suzuki in the gut wrench, to make it a Gotch TOMBSTONE! Cover, TWO!! Okada is shocked but the fans are fired up. Suzuki resists the wristlock but gets a discus lariat. Then Okada swings Suzuki out, Rainmaker!! Okada covers, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; Okada earns 2 points, Suzuki earns 0

It was brutal to say the least, but in the end, the Rainmaker wins with the Rainmaker! Suzuki stumbles away in defeat without a word while Okada takes up the mic.

Okada pumps himself up, ready to speak, but the mic isn’t on! Well that’s embarrassing. He tries again, letting the fans chant as he pumps himself back up. “Win number five!” Okada is sweating, and not just from the Hakata heat. It’s also the warm welcome from the fans. Okada wonders, why are the fans fired up? Is it because he won? Is it because he’s so strong? Or is it that he’s good-looking, strong and won? Which is it? Fans seem to agree it’s C. He can see it on their smiling faces. The theme of summer is to smile. Even Suzuki was grinning during their match.

There are just two more G1 Climax matches left. If Okada doesn’t win, no one will have a reason to smile. He has to win so they can celebrate. That’s fine, just two more and the finals! Okada delcares it right now, he will definitely win it all! That’s all for now, so thank you… VERY MUCH! Okada is tired but he’s on a roll. Will he roll all the way to the finals like he promised?

 

Backstage interviews.

“Even for title matches, I don’t usually sit down for these,” Okada says. But he’s so tired from this grueling G1 Climax. He’s still winning, because he’s just that good. “It’s tough, but I’m having fun.” With Jaw White nipping at his heels and Tanahashi just up ahead, will Okada be able to take the A Block? Or will he at least be a spoiler for someone else?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Two great hours of NJPW in a row from AXS is always great for viewers. We skipped a lot going from Day 6 in B Block to then Day 13 in A Block, but AXS did well in getting the essentials. It was nice of them to also sneak in Sanada VS ZSJ because that was exciting and surprising. Sanada is probably one of the more improved wrestlers, and is a very balanced wrestler, too. He kept pace with ZSJ the entire time, then beats ZSJ with his own signature pinfall. I know from other sources that with the round robin format, there was some tension mounting between Sanada and Naito, but I’m sure they won’t go for a Civil War story like Bullet Club and even Chaos have done.

Speaking of, I thought Tama Tonga having his Firing Squad going after Omega to then bring out Hangman and Chase was going to negate their G1 Climax match for a tag match, but then I remembered that’s more a WWE Teddy Long thing. But anyway, Omega did great overcoming things for a time, but obviously Tama and crew just turn things into more anarchy. I’m looking forward to this part of the Bullet Club Civil War getting a great blow-off match. Ishii VS Goto was stiff as stiff could be, and that made it great. Ishii getting a NEVER Openweight title match would be amazing, and he might be the one guy who could keep that belt away from Goto for a considerable amount of time.

AXS also sneaks White VS Hashi in, that was just to fill for time really. White wins to keep pace with Tanahashi and Okada, and with his wins over them acting as tiebreakers should they all get 12 points, this will at least tease that the upstart young star having a chance of going over the veterans. Tanahashi gets the win over Evil because Evil is not yet at a G1 Climax Finals level. Plus, I was expecting Evil to go after Chris Jericho for the IWGP Intercontienntal Championship. Okada keeps his redemption story going with this great win over Suzuki, but with him facing Tanahashi soon, that’s definitely changing. Okada’s story wouldn’t be as compelling if it was all turned around with this one tournament. He needs to keep exploring who he is after losing the title again.

My Scores: Part 5 = 8.5/10; Part 6 = 8/10; Overall = 8.5/10


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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (10/15/18)

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Last week’s Raw saw the return of Degeneration X, and their challenge of the Brothers of Destruction! Will Kane & The Undertaker give us all their answer?

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE World Cup Qualifier: Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre; Rollins wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
  • Ember Moon & Nia Jax VS Tamina & Dana Brooke; Moon & Jax win.
  • WWE World Cup Qualifier: Dean Ambrose VS Dolph Ziggler; Ziggler wins and qualifies for the WWE World Cup.
  • Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox & The Singh Brothers; Finn wins.
  • Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Tyler Breeze; Lashley wins.
  • 2v1 Handicap Match: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Kurt Angle; The AoP wins.
  • Natalya VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Natalya wins, by disqualification.
  • Six Man Tag: The Shield VS The Pack; The Shield wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Philadelphia is BRAUN!

The Monster Among Men and his Pack head out to the ring, still feeling great after having defeated The Shield in a Six Man Tag Team rematch last week on Raw. Braun Strowman moves on towards the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel in a Triple Threat against Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, while the Raw Tag Team Champions split the other two Shield Brothers in their Crown Jewel World Cup qualifiers. Dolph Ziggler speaks first, saying the WWE Universe is looking at the greatest trio in WWE History. Drew McIntyre says they didn’t need matching outfits to do it, either. Strowman says they proved it last week, and will prove it again against anyone, anywhere! But if you didn’t see it, here’s the footage.

A highlight reel plays to show the final moments, where Ambrose would be caught off guard by a Claymore kick. Ambrose would be so upset that he just stormed out of the ring. Afterward, Ambrose was interviewed, and said, “I don’t get it. Maybe I just don’t belong anywhere anymore.” McIntyre claims he hates to tell us “I told you so,” but he does. The Pack broke The Shield, and can only imagine where Ambrose is as he tries to figure out where he belongs in the Shield agenda. Roman and Rollins are the only members who ever benefited from that team. But The Pack has spoken the truth, and only now has Ambrose opened his eyes to see it, and the Shield has been shattered. Strowman adds that at this rate, The Shield won’t be around to help The Big Dog at Crown Jewel!

And speaking of, that brings us to the WWE World Cup. McIntyre will mow through Rollins, then the entire field of eight, and prove he’s the best in the world! However, Ziggler points out his own qualifier, and who knows, these two might meet in the finals and Ziggler wins. That would be a shame, Ziggler. Ziggler’s great, but buddy, you’re no McIntyre. He knows, because he’s the most consistent superstar in WWE, just check the math. Strowman says that as great as both these two are, Strowman makes sure Roman and Lesnar both #GetTheseHands! But wait, here comes The Shield! Not from the stands, but from the stage. However, it’s only Roman and Rollins?

Rollins speaks up, saying there’s some bad news. The Shield isn’t shattered or broken, they’re alive and well! But they were also listening about who is the best in the world, and there’s news for McIntyre & Ziggler. Rollins will win and prove to everyone that he is the best. What a great speech from two-thirds of The Shield! But seriously, where is their “brother” Ambrose? Not that these two egomaniacs care that Ambrose accepted the truth. Ziggler doesn’t really care, either, he’ll take a forfeit. Shut up, Ziggler, you’re not getting a forfeit. Ambrose runs on Ambrose time, so he’ll do what he wants when he wants. Ambrose always shows up. But the funny thing is, they should worry more about these titles. Well, not that they’re ever get near them. And Strowman goes to the back of the line after Crown Jewel.

Rollins has always liked Philly, but you know why? The cheese steaks, but also because Philly is a fighting town! McIntyre’s already out here, Rollins is already out here, so let’s have their match NOW! McIntyre accepts, and no one comes out to say “no”, so it’s happening next!

 

WWE World Cup Qualifier: Seth Rollins VS Drew McIntyre!

Raw returns as The Architect and the Scottish Stud both fight for the right to join the eight-man, one-day tournament to crown the best in the WWE today! They circle while fans chant “Burn it Down!” McIntyre powers Rollins to a corner, then dares him to come out. Rollins does and he circles with McIntyre again. Rollins gets a waistlock but McIntyre pries it off. McIntyre gets the headlock but Rollins works his way out, only for McIntyre to put it back on. McIntyre grinds Rollins down, and holds on as Rollins works to power out. Rollins works against the hold again, ad pops out the back. He wrenches the arm and yanks on it, but gets a forearm for it! McIntyre puts the headlock back on, but Rollins powers out. McIntyre runs him over, then things speed up.

Rollins tries a hip toss but ducks McIntyre’s clothesline counter to then dropkick McIntyre. He keeps moving but runs into a kick from McIntyre. McIntyre lifts Rollins but Rollins headscissors him out. Fans fire up and Rollins builds speed, to DIVE! But McIntyre catches him for an overhead suplex! McIntyre drags Rollins up and in, then stalks him to the far side. Rollins bails out, but McIntyre pursues. He exposes the ring frame, but Rollins rams him into it! Then into the barriers! Rollins drags McIntyre up but here comes Ziggler! The Show-Off distracts Rollins and McIntyre crawls under the ring. Ziggler backs off and McIntyre reels Rollins into the frame! The Pack helps each other out to get control while we go to break.

Raw returns and Rollins fights his way out of the armlock. Ziggler stays ringside to coach McIntyre, and McIntyre chops Rollins. McIntyre runs in but into a SUPERKICK! Both McIntyre and Rollins are down, but Rollins gets to the apron. Rollins fires himself up, then springboards in. McIntyre gets under but Rollins evades him to slingblade! Rollins gets to a corner but McIntyre is on him with a back elbow. McIntyre drags Rollins out by his legs, but Rollins turns the inverted Alabama Slam into a victory roll! TWO! Rollins dodges and sends McIntyre into the post! Then he hops up and jumps for the blockbuster! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but Ziggler is relieved. Fans rally up with “Burn it Down!” and Rollins stands up. Rollins climbs up a corner, but McIntyre stops him with a right.

McIntyre chops Rollins, then climbs up to join him. He lifts Rollins but Rollins fights out. Rollins swing kicks McIntyre into the Tree of Woe! Rollins climbs back up, but McIntyre sits up to throw him off! Both men are down again, but now McIntyre climbs up. Rollins stands, leaps up and SUPERPLEX! Roll through, Falcon Arrow from McIntyre! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down again as Rollins survives the halfway counter. McIntyre stands and punches Rollins, but Rollins throws punches back. McIntyre kicks and chops, but Rollins reverse the whip. Rollins dodges the boot and hits the enizguri, to mule kick! Rollins stomps but Ziggler distracts again. But Rollins still stops McIntyre, and clotheslines him out, to DIVE on Ziggler! Then DIVE on McIntyre!

Rollins keeps moving and McIntyre gets back in, Mule kick, but Ziggler holds the ropes to send Rollins tumbling out! But here comes Ambrose! From behind! Ambrose throws Ziggler down but McIntyre clobbers Ambrose. CURB STOMP for McIntyre on the ground! A ring count has reached 8, McIntyre misses it!

Winner: Seth Rollins, by Count-Out; qualifies for the WWE World Cup

The Lunatic Fringe helps out his brother and now The Architect joins a star-studded field at Crown Jewel! But #AmbroseTime is still to come, can he defeat the Show-Off to bring all three Shield brothers to Saudi Arabia?

 

The Shield walk together backstage.

Rollins knew Ambrose would show up, he runs on Lunatic Time but it all works out. What did Rollins call him? What? He didn’t call him anything. Ambrose is the funny one, right? The one they need in case of emergencies. It’s not like that! Ambrose knows they didn’t mean it like that, but he’s got his own problems to take care of now. Ambrose’s mood seems more unstable than usual. Are Rollins and Roman sure there aren’t cracks in their Shield?

 

From the bowels of the arena, The Brothers of Destruction speak.

“Respect? Triple H and Shawn Michaels want to lecture us on respect?” The respect Undertaker and Kane had for DX died from DX’s own dishonesty. This reunion is built on a bed of lies. Michaels claims he stayed away out of respect, but deep down in his soul, what killed him in the shadows was nothing more than fear. The fear that HBK would feel helpless all over again. Fear that he’d be humiliated again. And fear that Taker would put HBK so far down, he’d never be able to return.

Crown Jewel will see the Brothers of Destruction reunite to face DX for the first time ever! And it will be where all of HBK’s fears come true. HHH won a battle in Melbourne, but he started a war that begins and ends at Crown Jewel. Then he can slink back to his boardroom while HBK can shuffle away to retirement. “Are you ready?” Their answer: “Rest… In… Peace…!”

 

Ember Moon & Nia Jax VS Tamina & Dana Brooke!

The War Goddess and Irresistible Force know that the enemy of an enemy is a friend. Therefore, they’ve become fast friends over having common enemies in Alexa Bliss, Alicia Fox & Mickie James. However, Dana has a returning superstar on her side as the Daughter of Superfly is back on Raw! These four women, plus Alicia and the IIconics are just the first of many to enter the WWE Evolution Battle Royal! The winner of that match gets a future Women’s Championship match on their brand, but who here tonight will gain major moment towards that monumental night?

Ember and Dana start with the bell and tie up. They push each other around the ring, and Dana puts Ember in a corner. Dana bounces Ember off buckles, then backs off at the ref’s count. Ember comes out but Dana gets her in a waistlock. Ember pries against the hold then bumps Dana off. She runs but Dana follows to run Ember over. Ember kips up while Dana brags, then sweeps the legs! Oklahoma roll cover, TWO! Ember whips but Dana reverses to a knee. Dana bounces Ember off buckles to then tag in Tamina. Tamina stomps and snapmares Ember into a chinlock and armlock. Fans rally up and Ember powers up to her feet. Tamina drags Ember back down while we learn of more SmackDown entrants, from Asuka to Lana to Carmella.

Ember endures and fans rally up. She stands and arm-drags Tamina off, but Tamina runs her right over. Tamina brings Ember over to then toss her to Nia’s corner! Tamina dares Nia to tag in, so Nia does. These two powerhouses circle, and Tamina dodges Nia’s punch to fire off her own. Nia pushes Tamina to corner splash, then rolls for a blockbuster! She kicks Tamina to a corner but runs into buckles. Tamina stomps then headbutts Nia. Nia headbutts back, so Tamina gives another. Tamina adds another headbutt, but Nia dodges the superkick to scoop her. Tamina slips out of the Samoan Drop to then lift Nia. Nia slips out and headbutts Tamina back. But Tamina still gets the Samoan Drop!? Both women are down but fans are loving this!

Nia and Tamina crawl for their corners, hot tag to Dana! Dana goes after Nia with fast hands, but Nia throws her at the corner. Nia runs in for a big splash, then tag to Ember. Ember climbs up while Dana staggers, into an Eclipse! Cover, Ember & Nia win!

Winners: Nia Jax & Ember Moon, Ember pinning

The Prophecy of Flame and the Game Changer win this one, but Tamina wants more! She and Nia stare down while Ember tries to keep the peace. Tamina shoves Ember, Nia shoves Tamina, Tamina SUPERKICKS Nia! But then everyone in the ring realizes that battle royal is coming, so Ember and Tamina dump Nia out of the ring! There are no friends in a shot at the Women’s Championship, so Ember goes after Tamina! Tamina fights Ember off and then powers Ember up on the ropes. Ember resists, Dana comes in to dump them both out! Can the former statistician use numbers to her advantage and become #1 contender?

 

Ronda Rousey heads to the ring!

The Raw Women’s Champion stood tall with The Bellas both in Melbourne and on last week’s episode, but Nikki & Brie waited until they were back in the states to blindside and betray the Baddest Woman on the Planet! Nikki gets her shot at the title but Brie will be in her corner at WWE Evolution. Tonight, Ronda has Philly on her side as she speaks. Everyone knows what happened last week. Ronda wants an explanation. The Bellas owe her that much. Ronda waits, and the Bellas appear.

Nikki & Brie says that no one here paid to see Ronda, they paid to see the twins. Fans boo, because that’s not true. But as for that explanation, Ronda isn’t owed one. This is show business, not show friends. Ronda disrespected The Bellas first by disregarding what they’ve down for the WWE. Did Ronda think they’d sit back and just watch? Ronda is why they’re back, because they were cringing at Ronda leading the (R)Evolution. She doesn’t deserve to be here, she’s a loser! She never deserved that title match, nor deserves to have that title. Nikki gives us a history lesson: they made Diva mean something. They made “Diva” strong. Total Divas and Total Bellas are what put Women’s Wrestling on the map! They’ve done more in that ring than Ronda ever will. Nikki is the longest reigning Diva’s Champion, and that current championship wouldn’t exist without the Bellas.

Ronda tries to speak but Nikki interrupts. Is she going to try and break their arms? Philly wants her to! But Ronda stays in the ring as she says she was trying to be respectful. She knew WWE was their home first, and was trying not to be judgmental, even though the Diva’s Era made her sick to stomach. They did the best they could with the best they had. When the Bellas came up to her, she thought they were so cool and accepting. She hoped they could be sister soldiers driving this (R)Evolution together! But that was Ronda’s mistake for being idealistic and naive. The Bellas are the embodiment of a stereotype: DNB, the Do Nothing Bellas.

The Bellas weren’t supporting Ronda, they were just after the spotlight, and Ronda has never seen such desperation for attention. The only thing the Bellas did that was impressive was how far they got with minimum talent! They leech off the names of their men! They plagiarize and dilute those men’s moveset. The Bellas are just relics of the past waiting to be eliminated ilke smallpox. The wait is over, because Ronda could easily rip their arms off and beat them with them! Only the referees will be able to stop Ronda and even they’re not that good. But Ronda is more than a pretty face. She will ruin them. It doesn’t matter how much money is poured into marketing, “Bella” will become a four letter word!

Oh so the Bellas are talent-less diseases? “YES! YES!” Anyone who thinks that is just jealous! The word “Bella” has done more last week than Ronda has her entire WWE career. “You’re welcome.” The Bellas are the ground breakers, have knocked down more barriers and doors. Ronda doesn’t even compare. Really? Knocked down doors? Ronda’s been doing that her entire career, from judo to Strike Force to UFC and now, in the Bellas’ home of the WWE! The only door Nikki ever knocked down was to Cena’s bedroom! WHOA~! Brie holds Nikki back but Philly explodes with that one! Oh, and Cena threw Nikki out that same door. So are those two gonna catch this ass-whooping or is she gonna have to go up there?

Nikki & Brie throw down the mics, storm down the ramp, but then Nikki simply swivels those hips while security backs them up. Ronda meets the security, and knocks them down! The Bellas go running and Ronda holds down the ring. Philly is on fire and Ronda is just as heated. Will Evolution see a Diva holding her own? Or will she only be holding her broken arm after the Rowdy Women’s Champion gets through with her?

 

Bobby Roode and Chad Gable talk with someone back stage.

It’s Kurt Angle! He looks so relaxed. Yes, Angle owes Stephanie so much for this “vacation”. His stress level is way, way down. Gable would love a hat like that. Check out that shirt, though. It’s absolutely… GLORIOUS! They move on but Angle now parties with No Way Jose and his conga line! But then, Baron Corbin comes by. Angle must think he’s pretty smart, huh? How long has it been since Angle wrestled 1v1 anyway? 12 years. Then to help Angle prepare, Corbin has a match for him. But Angle didn’t bring his gear. Corbin’s sure Angle will figure something out, in this Handicap Match with the Authors of Pain! Does the Olympic Gold Medalist stand a chance against two behemoths at once?

 

WWE World Cup Qualifier: Dean Ambrose VS Dolph Ziggler!

The Lunatic Fringe may no longer like that nickname, but he’s still very much that with his behavior tonight. Will he be able to focus his frenzy and qualify for the World Cup like the Architect? Or will the Show-Off take advantage of his instability instead?

Raw returns as Ziggler makes his entrance, then the bell rings as we begin. They circle and tie up and Ambrose gets the hammerlock to headlock. Ambrose gets a headlock takeover, but Ziggler powers up and out. Ambrose runs him over with a shoulder, covers, TWO! The Lunatic keeps on Ziggler with a snapmare and crossface forearms. Cover, TWO! Ambrose snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Ziggler rolls to a corner but Ambrose is on him. Ziggler elbows him away, then gives Ambrose a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO, so Ziggler wraps him up in a sleeper hold and body scissor. Ambrose endures, then rolls to his knees. Fans rally up as he stands up and powers out. Ziggler kicks him low then turns him, but Ambrose powers out of the neckbreaker. Things speed up and Ambrose catches Ziggler to a Fall Away Slam!

Ziggler rolls out of the ring but Ambrose is on him. Ambrose throws Ziggler hard into barriers, then all the way to the other side! He drags Ziggler up and into the ring, then climbs up top. Ambrose leaps for the Lunatic Elbow but Ziggler gets under. Ziggler turns Ambrose around but Ambrose trips him up. Ambrose wants the Cloverleaf but Ziggler denies. Ziggler runs into a boot, then Ambrose heads up. Ziggler leaps up to join him, for a SUPER Facebuster! Both men are down as we go to break!

Raw returns as Ziggler scrapes his laces on Ambrose’s face. Ziggler then aims, but Ambrose counters the superkick into a catapult! Ziggler hits off the post then slumps to the mat. Ambrose gets up while Ziggler comes back out. Ambrose ducks to then club and clothesline Ziggler. He whips Ziggler to run him over with an elbow, then drags him back pup for a suplex onto the ropes! Ziggler bounces off and to the mat, where Ambrose is ready with double chicken wings. Ziggler fights out, then leaps, but the DDT is denied. Sunset flip but Ambrose turns it to a Cloverleaf! Ambrose bends Ziggler back in the middle of the ring! Ziggler drags himself towards ropes, and gets the ropebreak! Ambrose holds on to 4 before letting go.

Ambrose gets up but walks into a hotshot on the ropes. Ziggler runs in but misses his corner splash. Ambrose double chicken wing, DODON BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! The Show-Off survives but the Lunatic Fringe is far from out of ideas. Ambrose climbs back up but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler climbs up to join Ambrose, but Ambrose resists to then send Ziggler down with a gordbuster! Ambrose adjusts but McIntyer comes out! Rollins stops him but Ambrose decides to jump on McIntyre! Rollins helps Ambrose up but Ambrose shoves him away. Ambrose runs into the ring, and into a SUPERKICK!! Cover, Ziggler wins!!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by pinfall; qualifies for the WWE World Cup

The Raw half of the tournament is full, and Ziggler is the last man in! Rollins can’t understand why Ambrose pushed him, but Rollins enters the ring to try and talk to Ambrose. Ambrose stands up and sees Rollins, but Ambrose just pushes past his friend. Rollins pursues, not giving up on Ambrose, but they start shoving each other. Roman comes out to keep the peace, and now Baron Corbin comes out!

The Constable sees The Shield bickering and wonders if they’re still having problems. The last thing he wants is for this team to break up on his watch. So he’ll give them a chance to redeem themselves in a special rematch from last week. The Shield VS The Pack III, tonight! Even if The Shield wasn’t arguing within itself, two members have already competed and exhausted themselves. Will they be able to survive the wild dogs of war? Or is this night the last night The Shield will be standing together?

 

Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre talk backstage.

The Show-Off is so fired up, because he knew they’d get the better of The Shield. Tonight will finally be the night! The Shield is cracked and will shatter. Ambrose is vulnerable, and while Strowman wants after Roman, he needs to first crush Ambrose & Rollins while Roman watches. Strowman isn’t dumb. He knows how to hurt The Shield, so the other two need to listen. If they screw up out there, he promises they’ll #GetTheseHands, too. The Pack doesn’t seem as well-put-together, either. Will The Shield or The Pack break first?

 

Finn Balor w/ Bayley VS Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox & The Singh Brothers!

The Extraordinary Man has his Huggable Mixed Match Challenge partner by his side in another match with the Modern Day Maharaja! Will Finn keep his win streak going? Or will #Mahalicia finally get some semblance of payback here in Philly?

Raw returns as both men stand in the ring. They circle with the bell and Mahal kicks low. Mahal scoops and slams Finn fast, then covers. TWO, so Mahal drives in his knees. Mahal wraps Finn in a chinlock, but fans rally up for Finn. Finn stands up but Mahal brings him back down to the mat. Alicia high-fives with each Singh brother as Mahal keeps Finn down. Finn feeds off the energy as the fans rally up again. Mahal knees low but FInn reverses the whip. Mahal sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick him down! Finn drags Mahal up but Mahal powers him to a corner. Mahal runs into boots, Finn hits the slingblade! Finn shotgun dropkicks Mahal down, then climbs up top! COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

But wait, Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush are headed out here? The Manager of the Hour leads his client down to the ring, and then into the ring. Lashley stares down with Finn as Lio says that Finn wishes he looked more like Lashley. Lashley shows off as Lio talks him up. Bayley backs Finn off while Lashley continues to literally flex on him. The Rocky Mountain Machine and his 23 year old piece of gold rain on Finn’s parade, but has his own match next. Will his new found ego be his downfall? Or is he truly the Heavyweight that’s back to Dominate?

 

Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush VS Tyler Breeze!

Raw returns and Lio continues to hype up “My Man, Bobby Lashley!” He tries to start up a chant but Philly boos. The bell rings and Breeze is wary of Lashley. But Lio says The Big Man isn’t ready yet. Show them the money pose! There it is! Lashley postures on the top rope again, showing that vascularity, but Breeze is actually wanting to have this match. Lio says no one looks as good as Lashley, and Lashley continues to flex. Breeze and Lashley finally circle, and Lashley powers Breeze to a corner. Lashley toys with Breeze and continues to flex. Breeze dodges but is powered away. Breeze ducks to enziguri! Lashley is stunned, Breeze hops up, and he leaps, but into Lashley’s arms! Lashley switches to the Vertigo Suplex! One handed! Lashley slams Breeze down and Lio cheers him on.

But Lashley isn’t done with Breeze, he lifts him for a Full Nelson! He thrashes Breeze around then throws him down. Lio likes what he sees as Lashley tackles Breeze in the corner. Lashley brings Breeze out and flexes again. Breeze fires off with fast hands and a dropkick! Breeze runs, but into a powerslam! Lio continues to chant for Lashley but Philly still boos. Lashley deadlift gut wrenches Breeze onto his shoulder, then drops him with the AK! Cover, Lashley wins!

Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall

The Rocky Mountain Machine only lets Lio Rush raise his hand in victory. This new combination of Lashley’s strength and Lio’s mouth look to run all over the Raw roster. Does anyone stand a chance of stopping them?

 

Trish Stratus & Lita are here!

The two Hall of Fame women’s champions were powerful rivals during their time in the WWE, but now they’re allied against the sassy little Goddess and her own former six-time Women’s Champion best friend. WWE Evolution will have a tag team match with no less than 20 title reigns in total, but tonight, Lita and Trish address Philly. They feel great to be back, because one week from Sunday is the first ever All Women’s PPV. Lita knows Trish knows they’ll– Before she can finish her statement, Alexa Bliss & Mickie James appear! Alexa says she’s got this. From a present hall of famer to a future one, Alexa knows. Lita is worried that she and Trish will be humiliated! How are they going to compete with The Goddess? She’ll run circles around them! Judging from the looks on their faces, Alexa nailed it.

Mickie says Alexa was spot on. She’ll be Trish. Oh yes, if anyone knows Trish, it’s Mickie. Mickie’s Trish believes Mickie continues to elevate herself every single night. And they’ll finally end Stratusfaction! Alexa says Mickie nailed it. But Mickie forgot the Stratus point, too. It’s in the hips. But to face facts, Trish & Lita haven’t been in a ring in a long, long, looooong time. And while those two were kicking back, Mickie & Alexa have been kicking butt. This is the epitome of nostalgia, but nostalgia is fleeting. If Trish & Lita think they can walk right in and beat two of the best, they’re so wrong. Mickie & Alexa travel the world, it’ll be so easy. Trish & Lita should just go home, find their wrestling gear way in the back of the closet. If they think they can just win right off the couch, they’re sadly mistaken.

Are these two serious? Evolution will allow all the women in the WWE to make history, and you’re out here talking ’bout practice? Practice? Alexa & Mickie could make their careers with this match, but they’re talking ’bout practice. Practice? Philly likes the reference. But maybe Alexa & Mickie are right. The Hall of Famers should practice. Yes, some practice. Right now! Lita & Trish dare Alexa & Mickie to go, but Alexa & Mickie says they practice how they play. The jackets come off, but then go right back on. The Goddess and friend will wait for October 28th, but will they regret overlooking two hall of fame superstars?

 

Bayley encounters the Riott Squad.

Aw no, someone save Liv Morgan from a hug! Sarah Logan can’t see anything from that blinding smile. But Ruby says there’s no worries. Bayley doesn’t have her best friend Sasha Banks, and can’t call on Finn Balor. Bayley’s only real power is running away from a fight. Will the Squad get away with teasing the Huggable One?

 

The Conquistador is in the ring!

The last we knew, the man in gold was the gold medalist. Is Angle resorting to his golden bodysuit because he doesn’t have his ring gear?

2v1 Handicap Match: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Kurt Angle!

Akam & Rezar don’t care about Angle’s legacy, they only destroy what they’re aimed after. The Constable plans for this 2v1 beating to be payback on Angle for Angle taking away his shot at the World Cup. Will his plans go the way he wants? Or does Angle have something up his golden sleeves?

The bell rings and Akam starts while Corbin has a seat on the stage. Akam swings on Conquistador Angle but ends up in a waistlock. He elbows out before Angle can throw him with a German Suplex. Akam powers Angle to a corner then whips him corner to corner. Angle dodges an drolls Akam but Rezar tagged in. Rezar boots Angle down before he can put on the Angle Lock. Rezar runs him over with a clothesline, then tags in Akam. The AoP drag Angle up, and give him the suplex powerbomb neckbreaker! Cover, AoP wins!

Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning

Corbin is proud of these two, as is Maverick. But then Maverick realizes this isn’t Angle at all! Akam sits Conquistador up and takes off the mask. That’s definitely NOT Angle! Especially since Angle comes up behind Corbin to give him an Angle Slam! Angle gets the better of Corbin and AoP, but will he still be able to enjoy his “vacation”? Or will Corbin come up with something worse for him later?

 

The Riott Squad “decorate” Natalya’s dressing room.

They give it a heaping helping of ketchup and mustard. They think it’s hilarious, but will Natty have the last laugh?

 

Natalya VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!

The Queen of Harts still owes the Squad for the beating weeks before Super Show-Down, but she doesn’t have any back-up right now. Can she survive against such numbers at ringside? Or will Ruby and her girls #StartaRiott?

Natty has a mic as she comes out, because she says, “Ruby, Ruby, Ruby. Did you honestly think that I’m gonna walk blindly to the ring with you and your hooligan friends ready to attack me three on one?” No. She has back-up after all! It’s Bayley! AND Sasha Banks! The Legit Boss is back from injury, and is ready to team with her friends! The bell rings and Natty goes right at Ruby! Ruby gets to ropes but Natty is on her. The ref brings Natty back and Ruby mule kicks her. Ruby throws forearms, then throws Natty down by her hair. Cover, ONE, but Ruby keeps on Natty with a chinlock. Ruby stares Bayley & Banks down, but Natty fights out of the hold. Ruby throws her down again, then covers, TWO!

Bayley, Banks and Ruby trash talk, Natty rolls Ruby up! TWO and Ruby kicks Natty down. Ruby covers, TWO, and the Squad grows frustrated. Ruby puts Natty in a cravat, but fans rally up again. Natty gets up, arm-drags out, but runs into an STO! Cover, TWO! The Squad is further frustrated, but Natty gets to a corner. Ruby is on Natty with shoulders into the stomach, then backs off to run back in. Natty dodges and denies Deadly Nightshade to then dump Ruby out. The Squad regroups while Natty recovers in the ring. Ruby gets in and grabs Natty by her hair. She brings Natty up but Natty SLAPS Ruby! Then takedown, to the Sharpshooter! Ruby endures, Sarah chopblocks!

Winner: Natalya, by disqualification

The fight is on! Sarah & Liv brawl with Bayley & Banks and toss them back out. The Squad focuses on Natty, lifting Natty up for Ruby to run. But Bayley & Banks drag Ruby out then double Thesz Press! Sasha knees Sarah and Bayley gives her a saido suplex. Liv runs into the backstabber, to Bayley2Belly! Natty has Ruby with a German Suplex! The Queen of Harts stands tall with the #LegitHuggable duo. Will they get the better the Squad? Or will it take just a little longer to #StartaRiott?

 

Elias sees his daily selection of guitar picks.

However, he is very upset. There is not a single green one among them! The stagehand says he couldn’t find a green one, so Elias tosses the whole bunch back in his face. The green one was in his hair. It was a test, and this guy failed. The Drifter is ready for his performance, will he go uninterrupted this time?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

“My eyes are like a crystal ball and you are looking into the future.” The future hinges on the one universal truth that even John Cena knows deep down, that WWE really stands for ‘Walk With Elias!” Elias says that he was having lunch with Carson Wentz earlier today, and talked about his injuries from last season. The injuries were painful but the real pain was psychological, like pretending to care about the city of Philadelphia. Philly of course boos, but Elias continues to say that “Gritty” is not a good mascot. But Gritty is the spitting image of the people: a fat, googly-eyed slob! So please, silence phones, hold applause and while it’s hard for Philadelphians to do, shut mouths! But here comes Apollo Crews!

Elias calls for the guys to cut the music. Apollo apologizes, but just wanted to interrupt Elias once. It felt like his turn, that’s all. Well of course Apollo interrupts Elias, Elias is the best thing going. But Apollo better pray to stay on Elias’s good side, because Apollo’s career is in Elias’s hands now. Elias is not gonna make a start out of Apollo tonight. Apollo admits he’s not like Elias, with the guitar and the singing and the jokes. But that doesn’t matter when he steps inside the ring. True, Apollo is apparently talented. But Elias has never seen it. Like how no one’s seen Bigfoot of the Flyers win the Stanley Cup. Or like Elias being taken serious as a musician. Apollo has hold himself back for too long, seeing so many people pass him up, including Elias. “And straight up, I’m sick of it.”

Elias can understand, being compared to such a star as himself! Compared to him, who is Apollo? Is Apollo not getting this? Elias can show you what happens when you interrupt him. Elias puts his guitar and stool aside, takes off the scarf and headset, but Apollo is ready with an enziguri! Then the trophy lift, that he holds onto for a good 10 seconds before dumping Elias down! Apollo says “That’s who I am!” Apollo has all the talent he needs, but when and where will he get the opportunities?

 

Six Man Tag: The Shield VS The Pack!

The Hounds of Justice won in Melbourne, but the Dogs of War won in Chicago. Philadelphia is the site of this major tiebreaker, but both teams are looking ready to crack at any moment. Can Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose hold it together? Or will Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler outlast them on the road to Crown Jewel?

The tension is high as both teams stand across from each other. The bell rings and the ref asks the teams to sort out. Rollins steps up for The Shield, Strowman tells Ziggler to carry his weight. Ziggler takes the start and circles with Rollins. They tie up and Ziggler gets a headlock. Ziggler wants Strowman to see what he’s doing because he can do it all day long. Rollins powers out and things speed up. Ziggler leaps into Rollins’ arms, for a scoop slam! Rollins brings Ziggler over, tags to Ambrose, and snapmares Ziggler for Ambrose’s sliding lariat. Rollins adds a knee drop and Ambrose drops an elbow. Cover, ONE, but Ambrose keeps on Ziggler. Tag back to Rollins and they double whip Ziggler into double shoulders and a split of the wishbone.

Strowman protests the double teaming while Ziggler scrambles away. Ziggler shoves Rollins into Ambrose! Ambrose takes offense but Rollins says it was Ziggler’s doing. Ziggler gets away while Roman comes in to keep the peace again. The Monster Among Men wipes them all out! Ziggler hits Roman with the DDT! Cover, TWO!! The Pack almost finished it here, but the match continues while we go to break.

Raw returns and McIntyre grinds Roman into the mat with a forearm. Fans rally up and Roman fights up to his feet. Roman punches out of the hold, then runs, but into a spinebuster! Cover, TWO! Again the Pack almost ended it but Roman survives. Tag to Ziggler and the Raw Tag Team Champions mug Roman on the mat. Ziggler stomps and stalks Roman, then puts on an armlock of his own. Roman endures again as fans build to another rally. Roman fights Ziggler off and arm-drags him away. He rallies with lariats, then crawls for his corner. Strowman shouts for the tag, but Ziggler gives it to McIntyre.

McIntyre whips Roman but Roman leaps for another lariat! Roman again crawls for his corner and McIntyre rolls. Hot tag to Strowman, who is right on Roman. He whips and squashes Roman in the corner, then says “This is how you take care of stuff!” But McIntyre tags back in! McIntyre stomps a mudhole but then Strowman tags back in. The tension mounts as Strowman barks at McIntyre. McIntyre dares Strowman to get the job done then, so Strowman drags Roman out for a headbutt and a one-handed whip. Strowman runs corner to corner, but into a boot! Roman staggers but lifts Strowman. Strowman is too much, but he still misses in the corner. Roman tries again, and gets the Samoan Drop! Both men crawl for their corners, but McIntyre & Ziggler ditch the tag to blast Rollins & Ambrose down!

The Pack regroups, Ziggler tags in then tags McIntyre. They both go after Roman, Claymore ZigZag! Cover, but Rollins AND Ambrose break it! They kick Ziggler out then coach Roman up. Roman comes to and crawls for his corner, but McIntyre climbs up top. McIntyre leaps into an uppercut! Tag to Rollins! Springboard clothesline, then tag to Ambrose. They double clothesline McIntyre around then out of the ring. Strowman runs back in but misses, they double shoulder him out! Ambrose & Rollins build speed, to double DIVE on the tag team champions! Rollins & Ambrose keep moving, to double DIVE on Strowman! But he catches them both, so Roman saves them with a flying SUPERMAN PUNCH! Ambrose climbs up top, to leap at McIntyre, but McIntyre boots him. McIntyre goes for the legs but Ambrose jackknifes! Ziggler breaks the cover, but Rollins throws him out.

Rollins enziguris McIntyre, Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds! Cover, but Ziggler barrels Rollins into Ambrose again! Everyone is down again, but Ambrose and Rollins sit up first. Rollins again explains, but Ambrose is again upset. Ambrose turns around, but Rollins turns him back around, and Ambrose goes for Dirty Deeds! Rollins powers out of it, Ziggler shoves them into each other again!! ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler is furious, but McIntyre is back. They bring Ambrose up, but SUPERMAN PUNCH! SUPERMAN PUNCH for Ziggler, but Strowman scoops Roman. Roman slips out, and dodges Strowman again. McIntyre runs in but Roman dodges, the Claymore takes out Strowman!! McIntyre realizes what happened, but runs into a SPEAR!!

But Ziggler is lurking, only to be denied his ZigZag. SHIELD BOMB OUTTA NOWHERE! The Cerberus hits, Ambrose covers, The Shield wins!!

Winners: The Shield, Dean Ambrose pinning

In the end, the brotherhood survives! Ambrose knows who his friends are, and holds tight with Rollins & Reigns. If not eve The Pack can break them up, can anything stop this trio?

As for Strowman, Ziggler & McIntyre, The Monster is NOT happy. He joins them in the ring and Philly hopes they “Get These Hands!” Strowman drags Ziggler up and shouts “What did I tell you!?” He scoops Ziggler, for a Monster Slam! But then McIntyre gives Strowman another Claymore! That one was on purpose. McIntyre leaves Strowman behind and even ditches Dolph. However, Strowman eventually stands up, and dares McIntyre to fight him. Is The Pack the team that fell apart? Will McIntyre regret standing up to a Monster?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This Raw wasn’t as good as recent weeks in my opinion. For one, we are getting more Shield and Pack and all that as we build to Crown Jewel, a PPV that might not even happen given current political climates. It was rather obvious the actual dialogue never once mentioned Saudi Arabia, so it seems WWE is just waiting to see how things turn out before making any substantial changes. And just looking at how the WWE World Cup qualifiers were left between The Shield and Pack, it’s rather disappointing they aren’t giving a chance to other stars. Finn Balor was relegated to squashing Jinder Mahal and then being overshadowed by Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush attempting to get heat. Philly didn’t really go for it, and I myself am just hoping we get to Finn VS Lashley now before fans just stop caring about Lashley altogether.

It seems like the WWE is scrapping the Women’s Tag Division at the moment, they’re instead just throwing in all the women they would’ve had in tag teams into that #1 Contender’s Battle Royal. I suppose that’s fine, it’ll allow them to get more women on the card and get that 50 Stephanie McMahon promised. The best moment of the night, though, was Ronda and The Bellas. It was probably the best promo battle the Bellas have ever been in, and Ronda’s burn on Nikki was atomic! Their match is finally feeling good and will probably be worthy of the main event. The tag team match of Alexa-Mickie VS Trish-Lita sounds good given their promos, too, and could be used as a great opener or halfway point match.

Tamina’s return was a nice surprise but it was almost too out of nowhere, no one really knew how to receive her. Her standing against Nia, that either needs to be a feud or a new tag team. When The Riott Squad picked on Bayley out of nowhere, it almost gave away that Sasha Banks was coming back tonight. And given the two of them backed up Natty against The Riott Squad, I’m thinking a Six Woman Tag at Evolution, after I assume next week’s Raw go-home gives us a Boss & Hug Connection return against Liv & Sarah. I’d like to see Natty, Sasah & Bayley win, it just works for the sake of the Women’s Tag that we’re still waiting on.

Angle getting the better of Corbin was great. I almost thought the Not-Angle Conquistador was going to turn out to be Heath Slater given his encounter with Corbin a few weeks ago, but seems Slater can’t even get himself a squash match now. This is good long-term build towards Survivor Series, Corbin VS Angle to be GM of Raw. I hope Slater teams up with Angle to continue fighting Corbin, but chances are WWE won’t think of that. Though they did seem to realize Apollo Crews needs something to do, so he’s having another go at Elias. But if this is a push for Apollo, it’ll be his third time trying. Maybe Apollo just needs to go to SmackDown instead so that, as his promo implied, he can focus on his athletic ability. Plus, I’d love to see Apollo go against any of the SmackDown superstars.

But of course, the show ends with The Shield VS The Pack III. The match itself was great again, just as the other two times before. Story wise, I actually like that, for all the pushing of this Shield break-up where Ambrose no longer gets along with Rollins & Reigns, the team that’s breaking up is The Pack. What’s interesting is that after he stood up to Strowman, McIntyre didn’t drag Ziggler away with him. Perhaps their team-up might be over soon, after they end up losing the Raw Tag Team Championships to either Rollins-Ambrose or The Authors of Pain. And of course, I bet their break-up happens during the match, which ensures the other team becomes the new champions.

My Score: 8/10


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Joe’s CMLL Review & Ratings (10/15/2018)

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CMLL Arena Puebla Monday

Lestat, Rey Samuray, Asturiano vs Rey Apocalipsis, Joker, and Guerrero Espacial

Samuray and Joker start off and Samuray is so much taller than Joker. They start grappling on their feet which soon becomes mat wrestling. Asturiano and Guerrero make their way in and continue the trend of grappling. They hit a stale mate and shake hands bringing in Lestat and Apocalipsis. They pick up the pace as Lestat attacks his partners in the corner. Lestat gets Apocalipsis out of the ring, and hits Guerrero with a fireman’s carry. Then Samuray hits a springboard 450 for the pin. Asturiano hits a lionsault on Joker for the fall. First Fall: Asturiano hits a lionsault on Joker for the pin.

Lestat and Apocalipsis start off the next fall. Lestat hits a hurricanrana and goes for a top rope dive but Rey’s female companion covers him. Asturiano comes in with Joker briefly but he hits a pose and Samuray and Guerrero enter. Samuray hits a head scissors then a springboard arm drag, then feigns a dive. Lestat comes in with Apocalipsis. Rey has him in his corner and they take him out. Asturiano comes to make the save but he suffers the same fate. Samuray gets triple teamed until he’s hit with a fireman’s carry then a splash off the top by Joker which pins him. Lestat comes in and gets double teamed and then Guerrero submits him for the fall. Second Fall: Guerrero Espacial submits Lestat with a stretch for the fall.

Third fall starts with Lestat being triple teamed. Samuray makes the save and they start to exchange spots. Lestat comes in and hits a springboard leg drop on Apocalipsis but the count is broken up. Rey Samuray hits a lionsault but gets up after 2. Samuray hits a rotating dive off the top on Guerrero for the pin. Joker then hits him with a canadian destroyer for a pin. Apocalipsis and Lestat get in. Lestat hits a death valley driver. He goes to the top and misses the swanton bomb. Apocalipsis gets him in a leg roll which leads to an arm bar for the win. Third Fall: Apocalipsis submits Lestat with an arm bar.

Winners: Rey Apocalipsis, Joker, and Guerrero Espacial

Marcella, Lluvia, and La Vaquerita vs Dayls, Tiffany, Amapola

Tiffany starts with Vaquerita. They exchange submission holds and counters. Lluvia and Dayls make their way in. They start to work at a faster pace until Lluvia stops and takes her shirt off. Dayls doesn’t let up and attacks her after. Lluvia hits a face buster and feigns a dive. This brings in Marcella and Amapola. Marcella hits a head scissor take over then a foot stomp from the top. The match starts to break down, Vaquerita hits a drop kick off the top, then Lluvia hits one in the corner on Dayls for the fall. First Fall: Lluvia pins Dayls with a corner drop kick.

Marcella starts with Tiffany and they’re slapping each other in the chest to start. It quickly breaks down and all 6 women are in the ring. The two other are taken out and Vaquerita gets triple teamed. She gets taken out and Lluvia comes in and she gets drop kicked to the ramp. Marcella tries to help but she’s drop kicked to the floor. Tiffany gets Vaquerita in a torture rack like submission for the fall. Second Fall: Tiffany submits La Vaquerita with a modified torture rack.

Third round begins with more triple teaming on Marcella. They take one out and move on to triple teaming the next. They make a come back and get a triple submission in the center of the ring but it’s broken up. Marcella goes for a vertical suplex but Dayls reverses it into a small package for the win. Third Fall: Dayls pins Marcella with a small package.

Winners: Dayls, Tiffany, and Amapola

Diamante Azul, Kraneo, and Volcano vs Hechicero, Templario, and El Felino

Volcano starts off with Templario and I don’t think you’re going to see much mat wrestling with Volcano. Templario tries to move around Volcano but he can’t because he’s too big. Volcano hits a big boot on Templario sending him to the outside. All of them stare down for a moment before Azul and Hechicero come in. Hechicero tries to unmask him while they’re grappling on the ground. Felino gets in their next with Kraneo next. Kraneo body slams Felino and is about to go for a splash but then Templario and Hechicero come in to attack him and this leads to a brawl. They hit Kraneo with a triple team spine buster but sell their backs afterwards. They get him in a triple submission afterwards. Hechicero hits a running knee on Azul and Felino pins him. First Fall: Hechicero hits a running knee on Diamante Azul and Felino pins him.

Second fall begins with them interacting with the midgets that are ring side. Hechicero and Templario hit a double suplex on Volcano. Hechicero, Templario, and Felino continue to triple team everybody. They start to make a come back and Kraneo hits Felino with a hip attack in the corner. Volcano hits a sit out press slam on Templario for the pin. Azul body slams Hechicero and Kraneo goes up to the top for a splash and pin. Second Fall: Kraneo pins Hechicero with a splash off the top.

Third round starts with Kraneo and Felino in the ring attacking each other. Kraneo hits a double splash on Hechicero and Templario after they try to double him. Templario then is in there alone with Volcano and he’s trying to get him down again. He gets Templario out of there, Hechicero comes in and tries to hit a springboard attack but he’s caught and slammed. Felino tries his hand but to no avail, and Volcano feigns a dive when Felino goes to the outside. I don’t think we’ll be seeing him dive. Templario is in there with Azul now. Azul gets off rapid fire tilt-a-whirl back breakers. Azul hits a hurricanrana on Hechicero then goes for a middle rope dive. Leading to Templario and Volcano in the ring again. Volcano hits a spine bsuter then his handspring splash. Kraneo sits on Felino after a failed sunset flip for the win. Third Fall: Kraneo sits out on El Felino after a failed sunset flip.

Winners: Kraneo, Volcano, Diamante Azul

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(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.5 ~ 12TH OCTOBER 2018

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As Noah head towards the end of the year, Autumn Navigation began on October 7th in Gunma. I am afraid I don’t have too much information about the first two shows.

Naomichi Marufuji’s feud (not so much Akitoshi Saito’s) with Mitsuya Nagai and “The Hooligans” began in earnest. Marufuji came out with a weary expression like he had to deal with something that was tiresome (and to him it is, as he says that The Hooligans are not worthy of the title shot, although he’s had to begrudgingly give them one), and this match was to prove just to be that as Nagai came out to “second”.

“Second” in this case being another word for “interfere”, which he did by pulling the referee out of the ring when Marufuji went for the pin on Taniguchi. While the ref and Nagai argued, Cody Hall used the distraction to creep into the ring and ambush Marufuji with “The Hooligan” bomb, meaning that Taniguchi got the win when the ref got back in the ring.

Afterwards The Hooligans stood over Marufuji, Cody Hall & Taniguchi holding the heavyweight tag belts, and Taniguchi with his foot on him.

Marufuji said afterwards that he was irritated before, but he’s angry now, and he’s had enough. This wasn’t enough, however, to stop The Hooligans from running over them again on the 11th October.

Noah have started the pre-matches for Global League; on the 11th October, Masa Kitamiya and Katsuhiko Nakajima faced off against each other after a long while. Nakajima, as ever, smirking when kicking someone, this time his tag partner.

NEWS

NOAH MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE IN EUROPE & USA
IPW have announced that they have become the official merchandise vendor for Noah for Europe, and I understand they also deliver to the USA. I am afraid for any other country, you would need to check directly with them. Shop can be accessed via the link above.

“COME AT ME YOU BASTARDS”
Kenoh’s column this week is thought to be generally not too interesting (aside from maybe the end about appearing in a quiz show), but he does give some interesting insights into life in Noah and how wrestlers branching out into other programs beyond wrestling, can help a product.

Speaking of Kenoh, I read a very sweet story in an interview earlier this week.

When Kenoh was a tiny infant (about two or three), he used to stand at the window of the Nippon Kempo watching them practice until his mother removed him. Even when it snowed, he would stand at the window.

His mother later asked if he could see inside, and then enrolled him in the school.

NAOMICHI MARUFUJI VS HIKARU SHIDA
For her tenth anniversary in wrestling, Hikaru Shida challenged Naomichi Marufuji to a rematch. They had last clashed on April 17th, and she had been knocked out within a few minutes (108 seconds to be precise). This time she managed to last eighteen minutes with him. He took knee attacks, and she took chops.

Marufuji won with the high knee, and said afterwards that “the match was fun, and with so much potential, I want you to be the top girl”.”.

WINTER NAVIGATION 2018 & EARLY DATES FOR JANUARY 2019
Noah have announced the dates for “Winter Navigation 2018”, plus “Great Voyage in Yokohama Vol.2” and “NOAHFul Gift in Differ”.

They have also announced dates for January 2019.

Last year NOAHFUL Gift was held in ShinKiba, this year it will be being held at Korakuen Hall. Although Noah have announced no plans for the format as of yet, it will most likely feature the flea market in which Noah sell their old ring wear to fans (in the old days they would also serve Dojo chanko) and the usual battle royal and comedy matches.

Genba Hirayanagi threatened to appear last year in some gnarly old pants when he heard there was a flea-market. Sugiura said no one would want them, and Marufuji told him that it was “called obstruction of business”.

Thankfully Genba’s questionable taste in clothes is not a recurring feature, but Akitoshi Saito in cosplay is. In past years we have seen a lounge singer (complete with frilled cuffs, cummerbund and a velvet suit), and a pigtailed joshi. 2017 saw him in a video which was played in installments throughout the evening flanked by Moose in a Burger King hat, Eddie Edwards in a Santa hat (both were trying not to laugh), and Saito in various stages of undress whilst wearing a wig and make-up.

During the Battle Royale last year, everyone dressed up; well, almost everyone, as Kenoh appeared in an old karate outfit, and HAYATA came as himself in DOVE Pro. Other highlights included Takashi Sugiura being labelled a “vulgar and tasteless Santa” by Tokyo Sports, Hi69 was a “Panda” (his costume was purple tights and Panda face-paint, and according to Hajime Ohara he had gone out and bought his costume the night before, leading Sugi to point, laugh and say “that’s not a Panda, that’s a monster), Hajime Ohara as Kiki from “Kiki’s Delivery Service” complete with satchel full of bakery goods, a Jiji on his shoulder, black wig with a bow and a broom, Hitoshi Kumano as a bear, Daisuke Harada as HAYATA (which HAYATA did not appreciate and glared at him afterwards) and of course the inevitable Mr. Koto (Atsushi Kotoge).

Needless to say its a fun show, and if you are going to be in Tokyo over Christmas\New Year, I not only envy you, I also highly recommend you go and see it. All grudges, rivalries and title matches are put aside, and the roster relax and have fun.

OUTSIDE PARTICIPATION
Naomichi Marufuji and Hi69 will miss Noah’s event on the 18th November as they will be participating in Ryuku Dragon Pro in Okinawa

Kenoh will be appearing for KAIENTAI DOJO on Sunday October 28th, he will team with Tank Nagai against Yuri Asakawa & Kengo Mashimo.

Junta Miyawaki will make his second appearance for YOUNGDOMS (FREEDOMS sub brand) on the 5th November, he will team with Shunsuke Sayama vs Toru Sugiura and SUSUMU

GHC BELT NEWS

Current champions

  • GHC Heavyweight Champion: Takashi Sugiura
  • GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
  • GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito
  • GHC Junior Tag Champions: Minoru Tanaka & Hi69

The GHC Heavyweight Championship currently has no challenger as Global League will begin in late October to determine the number one contender.

Daisuke Harada and Atsushi Kotoge will clash over the GHC Junior Championship on October 30th at Korakuen Hall (match signing to be held the same day)

Naomichi Marufuji & Akitoshi Saito will defend the GHC Heavyweight Tag Championship against “The Hooligans” (Maybach Taniguchi and Cody Hall) on Sunday October 14th in Kobe.

The GHC Junior Tag Championship has not been challenged for yet.

TOUR TIDBITS

  • Naomichi Marufuji was involved in a minor car accident this week when someone reversed into him, he is fine fortunately.
  • Noah released Halloween Revolutionary cloaks for kids which were sold on the 11th October, with the Revolutionary Hero on hand to sign them. Atsushi Kotoge has said that the manufacturing cost is too high to make them for adults.
  • Takashi Sugiura gave a defense match interview, in it he said he wants to be the first reigning champion in history to win Global League, and if that happens he will nominate his own opponent, which will be Masato Tanaka. They have fought against each other in the past, but they have never had a title match over a single belt.
  • Mitsuya Nagai called a lady in the crowd “you old bag” because she was mouthing off to him.
  • Mohammed Yone’s disco ball for his entry has become a thing
  • People would like to see Atsushi Kotoge and Kaito Kiyomiya tag together and challenge for the belts
  • HAYATA has a new online diary, “HAYATAbot”, I am afraid that to access it requires a paid subscription
  • Kenoh will finally get his wish for a singles match with Naomichi Marufuji on the 8th November at Korakuen Hall for Global League 2018.
  • Like Hi69 does, Atsushi Kotoge did a short question time with fans on Twitter, highlights included; Kotoge saying he doesn’t drink at home, and Go Shiozaki asking what the capes were made of to which, Kotoge said playfully, “asshole, I’ll go and look”. He never actually answered Shiozaki’s question.
  • Kenoh’s friend, Masahiro-san (whom Kenoh has blocked, and who Masahiro-san calls “that asshole who blocked me”), posted a few candid pictures of when he stayed at Kenoh’s home for the night on Twitter. Masahiro-san usually deletes them a few minutes after posting, but they were there long enough to ascertain Kenoh bought tourist fodder Union Jack boxer shorts when he visited London for Frontline Pro Wrestling.
  • Hajime Ohara is holding exercise classes in Kawasaki which are open to adults of every age and sex. The classes will be simple exercises in how to build, tone and maintain muscles and how to exercises with a water bottle.

KING SHAMLESS’S CORNER
None this week, he’s managed to behave himself.

EVENT RECAPS
7TH OCTOBER 2018, NEW SUNPIA TAKASAKI, GUNMA
11TH OCTOBER 2018, OYAMA CITY CULTURAL CENTER SMALL HALL, OYAMA, TOCHIGI

LINKS
English language translation of Naomichi Marufuji’s biography, “Heir to The Ark”
Takashi Sugiura’s sixth defense interview
Akira Taue loved the “Talk Battle” with Toshiaki Kawada
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