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Mathew’s Stardom 5 Star Grand Prix Blue Stars Results & Review: Final Day

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Well, everyone, this is the final day of the Five Star Grand Prix.

I hope you all enjoyed both me and Andrew’s readings and since our final matches and the final day are all on the same show, we will be covering just our matches this time instead of doing a jointed show as we did for the previous ones and we’ll both be covering the final round in both of our reviews so you can get the perspective from both our sides. Who will win Blue Stars block and who will walk out the winner?

Will my block finally win the whole thing or will Andrew beat me with a clean sweep? All of these questions and more will be answered right now as we…dive right in.

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Review: Both of our women who are in last place are set to face each other in the opening match of the tournament. Even though they have no chance of winning the tournament and they’re not fighting anyone that would ruin their chances of advancing, they would still have to fight each other and will give us a good match at least without worrying about points. Which of these two will no longer be in dead last?

Would you look at that, Saki changed up her attire and looks a lot better here. This match is honestly the worst one in my entire block and it’s a real shame since both of them are talented, but it was just sloppy and poorly constructed. Saki did a botched Crucifix pin and the bell rang despite it being a two count and the referee had to correct the timekeeper, but that was one of the few problems with the match. None of them would help carry the other and it was poorly paced, but at least it was less than four minutes otherwise I probably would’ve given it a lower rating. Jamie barely held her up for a Suplex and hardly hits a Backstabber when she dropped her as she got the win. Think the only good thing I can say about this match is Saki’s new makeover.

Rating: Vince Russo and a half (My first Vince Russo after I introduced this rating system)

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Kelly Klein vs. Nicole Savoy

Review: Right now, Kelly Klein has a chance to win the whole block right now since she has eight points and can go onto ten if she would somehow win and even if Mayu would defeat Momo tonight, Kelly would still advance due to her defeating Mayu in the tournament. Kelly’s last opponent for the block is Nicole Savoy who has a middle record and she could spoil it for Kelly if she plays it right. Will Kelly win or will her goal be out of reach by the edge of her fingertips?

Okay, while this one wasn’t that great of a match, it was at least much better than the first match is all I can say as much. Kelly was doing what she does best and it was overpowering the technical female any chance she would get or so she would think as Nicole found an opening on Kelly’s leg, which is smart to take out someone bigger than you. It was a basic six-minute match and it was fine with what they did work with and Kelly was about to pick up Nicole to go for the Fireman’s Carry, but her leg started giving out and that was all Nicole would need to put her in the Boston Crab as Kelly taps out meaning she’s eliminated.

Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Hazuki vs. Natsu Sumire

Review: Nice Kelly was unable to win her match against Nicole, that means Hazuki now has a chance to advance and potentially win the whole thing if things work out in her favor. However, if she wants to get closer to advancing, she would have to defeat fellow Oedo Tai member, Natsu Sumire. This can work out in two ways, Sumire could eat the pin to help Hazuki advance despite it meaning she could fight their leader and Prime Minister for the title or she could fight and be the spoiler for Hazuki. What will Sumire do?

We have all of the Oedo Tai members here, Kagetsu, Sumire, Hazuki, Nao Yamaguchi, and Hana Kimura as they all do the dance together, this is awesome! However, Sumire would ruin the celebration as she attacked Hazuki from behind and the match starts. The match was just simply entertainment from Sumire’s character and Hazuki showing why she’s one of the companies top talents from her wrestling skills and how she can have control of the match so fluently to pretty much work with everyone. Sumire held herself pretty well when she was wrestling in the match and just played everything off exactly how she would in this type of match and I’m glad they actually had a match instead of her taking the pin and ending it. Hazuki gave Sumire a hard slap to the face and Sumire would give her one in return as Hazuki ran the ropes for Sumire to try and catch her into a cradle until Hazuki turned it around into the Hazukistral as she picked up the win and is now in first place! Sumire threw a tiny little tantrum before she shook Hazuki’s hand and they hugged it out before leaving the ring. Great work ladies and Hazuki is one step closer and it all depends on how the last match plays out.

Rating: Eric Bischoff

 

Grand Prix Blue Stars Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe

Review: Since Hazuki was able to defeat Natsu Sumire, she has a good chance of making it to the finals but we have one more match to go before we can decide a clear winner. Mayu Iwatani’s final match is up against the Wonder of Stardom Champion, Momo Watanabe. If Mayu somehow wins this match, she’ll be able to move onto the final round but if Momo wins then it would mean there will be a tie between her and Hazuki with nine points each and it’ll be interesting to see how management will decide who will advance there. Who will win it all, Mayu or Momo?

Soon after the bell rang, Mayu would start to go for the Dragon Suplex Hold and Momo would quickly reverse it to go for the Tequila Sunrise and I loved that was how they started this match off because it gave it that feeling that it could end at any given time if you’re not careful enough. One thing I enjoy about this match is that we now get to see how Momo does against a top talent in a singles match since last time that happened was when she defeat Io Shirai, so now this is just another test to herself. The match was smooth, intense, and gave both women an equal amount of time to showcase their stuff together in the match to make them both look strong. Momo started to step it up when she hits the Somato to Mayu and doesn’t stop there as she hits two more in a row to show how much she wants to win this match. I know I keep talking about how great Mayu is at selling and it still is with how she takes everything and selling the injuries of her elbow in the match, her selling is enough to tell the story of her matches and she just delivers in it. When they were outside the ring, Momo would hit her Package Driver on the floor and she brings her in to hit the Tequila Sunrise as Mayu kicks out of it. Momo went to go for another Tequila Sunrise but Mayu would roll under her to try and get the pin but Momo kicks out of it, but Mayu hits the Dragon Suplex Hold and just as the referee is counting, the bell rang meaning the match ended in a draw.

Since the match ended in a time limit draw, Mayu has nine points and Momo has eight points, meaning that Mayu and Hazuki are tied for first place. And now that both Mayu and Hazuki are tied for first place, it would go to the person that won the match involving these two, meaning that Mayu Iwatani has won the Blue Stars block and will now advance to the final round against the winner of the Red Stars block, which you should check out in Andrew’s coverage or you’re an idiot for missing out. Not all is lost for Momo Watanabe because in a press conference about a week ago, it was announced that Momo would be taking on Kagetsu and it’ll be a title for title match and it will take place on the September 30th show. I’m sure it’ll end in a time limit draw, but there are also different scenarios they could plan out if they do decide to go with one of them being a double crown champion.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Final Blue Stars Standings:
Mayu Iwatani: 4-2-1 (9 Points) (Winner)
Hazuki: 4-2-1 (9 Points)
Kelly Klein: 4-3 (8 Points)
Momo Watanabe: 3-2-2 (8 Points)
Nicole Savoy: 4-3 (8 Points)
Jamie Hayter: 3-4 (6 Points)
Saki Kashima: 2-5 (4 Points)
Natsu Sumire: 2-5 (4 Points)

 

Grand Prix Final Match
Mayu Iwatani vs. Utami Hayashishita

Review: It looks like I got one of my finalists right since I said Mayu and Konami would be fighting each other in the finals, but Konami was eliminated from the tournament and Mayu was able to advance due to a tiebreaker between her and Hazuki, so my top pick barely made it. Mayu Iwatani will be taking on the winner of the Red Stars block and Stardoms Super Rookie, Utami Hayashishita. I was very surprised to see Utami make it this far in the tournament since I expected her to have an average record, but she blew my expectations away as she only lost to Kagetsu and had two draws while she won the rest of her matches and even defeated Konami to advance to the finals. One of these two talented women will win and go on to fight Kagetsu for the World of Stardom Championship. Which one will win?

For those of you that do remember, I wrote an article about four months ago about the departure of Io Shirai in Stardom and I asked people who should take her spot as the top person and while it’s now both Mayu Iwatani and Kagetsu, we’ll soon have to look at the future of the company with Momo Watanabe being one of them, I saw another one right in front of me and that woman is Utami Hayashishita. Is it a bold thing to say? Probably and is she still green? Of course, she is, she’s only been wrestling for about a month and a half, but she’s already been in the ring with some of the best that the company has to offer and has been keeping up with them in a surprising pace to show that she is a quick learner. Utami just has the look of someone you see at first glance and go, “She’s a star.” and she is, in fact, a star in the making if you polish up her style a little bit more and in a couple of years, she could be the face of the company.

Onto the match now, Utami was again able to keep up with the best wrestler Stardom has to off and that right now is Mayu as they gave us fans a great match to end the whole tournament. Utami displayed her power with her strength and technical ability to wear and tear Mayu’s body, especially her elbow which was exposed in the match and you can see the bandages surrounding it. Mayu has done an excellent job in the match to make Utami look like a real threat in the match with her selling and how she was telling the story in the ring, and that’s one of the reasons why Mayu is great at what she does and has been for quite some time. Utami had Mayu up for the Torture Rack and she was gonna try to make her tap out but she decided to do a Reverse Samoan Drop which was a thousand times better than when Kona Reeves did it and Mayu was able to kick out of it. Mayu starts to get fired up as she would deliver a stiff kick to her head for a two count but quickly goes up the top rope to hit the Frog Splash as Utami kicks out again just barely. Mayu would pick Utami back up and she held her for the Dragon Suplex Hold and she hits it for the pin and Mayu has won the Five Star Grand Prix!

One year ago, she injured her elbow and was forced to vacate the World of Stardom Championship and for the past year, Mayu would try to prove herself in the ring to crawl all the way back to the top spot, she failed to capture the title twice, lost the Cinderella Tournament, and she now won the Grand Prix to show that she’s the best Stardom has to offer. After the match, Mayu was presented with a robe and a crown that was placed on her head until it fell off of her, way to go. The rest of the participants would get a smaller trophy as a little participation thing as least while Mayu would get the bigger trophy. Mayu grabs the microphone to talk about that she won the tournament and how her journey has been for her these past few years about how she would start off in three-way matches and now she’s on the top of the promotion. She said she had to talk about something important to the audience despite winning the tournament and it was about retirement, and how she’s not gonna retire soon and her wrestling life is far from over, but she did have someone she would like to introduce to people. Arisa Hoshiki has made her return to Stardom!

Arisa was one of the first graduates of Stardom and has competed in their very first show, they also paired up together when they were rookies, but she left the company around 2012 and had the Saki Kashima route where she hasn’t wrestled ever since. However, she said after being away from wrestling for six and a half years, the 23-year-old wrestler has announced that she will be making her return to Stardom and hopes to tag with Mayu again real soon. I think this is wonderful news and from what I have seen from her old matches, she was a lot of fun to watch and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next. Mayu talked about how every time she wins a big match, someone would return to Stardom like how Yoko Bito came back when she won the Cinderella Tournament a couple years ago and now Arisa Hoshiki when she won the Grand Prix, so now she believes that if she keeps winning big matches that everyone will come back to Stardom. She’s aware that Kagetsu and Momo are fighting in a few days in a double title match and she said she’ll challenge the World of Stardom Champion whoever it is out of those two next month. So what’s next for Utami? I thought it would be a good idea for her to win the Future of Stardom Championship as her first belt, but Andrew did bring up a good point about how while she does have the qualifications to go for the belt, it would feel a little bit of a downgrade due to the fact that she fought all of these big names and is now a well-established star in the making that it wouldn’t feel right and he has a point there, plus she’d be too good compared to the others in that division with the exception of Starlight Kid and AZM of course. Since that’s the case, maybe she could be the one that could possibly dethrone Momo if she still has her Wonder of Stardom Championship? Either that or go for the Goddesses of Stardom Championships if she can get a partner. Anyway, congrats to Mayu Iwatani, you have earned this and now go do what you gotta do and that is win it all next month.

Rating: Bruce Prichard

 

Overall: The tournament is now officially over as my block finally won the whole thing after losing the last three tournaments and it couldn’t have happened to a better wrestler. Both blocks have had enjoyable matches with great stories and probably one of my favorite events this year and tied in G1 with tournament quality. Now that Mayu has won the Grand Prix, can she reclaim what’s hers?

Favorite Match: Mayu Iwatani vs. Momo Watanabe

Least Favorite Match: Saki Kashima vs. Jamie Hayter

Score: 7.5/10


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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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Coverage

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

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CURRENT TOUR RECAP
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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