The Bella Twins return to action on Raw! Will Nikki & Brie show The Riott Squad how they get it done? Or will Ruby, Liv & Sarah #StartARiott in Ohio?
- The Bella Twins VS The Riott Squad; The Bella Twins win.
- Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Ascension; Roode & Gable win.
- Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alexa Bliss w/ Alicia Fox & Mickie James; Alexa wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The B-Team VS
The Revival???; Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler win and become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
- The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Keith Thompson & Jimmie Jacobs; The AoP win.
- Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Ember Moon & Dana Brooke w/ Titus Worldwide; Sasha & Bayley win.
- Finn Balor VS
Baron CorbinBraun Strowman w/ McIntyre & Ziggler; Strowman wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
BRAUN STROWMAN heads to the ring!
But he isn’t alone, because he has Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre in tow. These three shocked everyone last week when they actually worked together to beat down Roman Reigns and The Shield. The Monster in the Bank has his shot at Hell in a Cell in the Hell in a Cell match, but that’s not for another two weeks. Tonight, Strowman wants us all to relive the main event moment when the alliance was struck. As the recap shows, this is also all payback for when The Shield reunited to keep Strowman from cashing in weeks ago.
Fans are mixed between boos and jeers, but Strowman tells them all “that’s what I call justice.” Strowman wanted to do things face to face, Monster to Man, and look Roman in the eyes to cash in. All Roman had to do was accept his fate. But the Big Dog has a pack, and that pack was his Shield. Without them, Roman knows Strowman would’ve taken the Universal Championship. Strowman realized he had to do something different, and doesn’t care if the WWE Universe likes it or not. So, “Big Dog”, Strowman has a pack of his own. And now Strowman will make Raw HIS Yard! Then in HiaC, where no one gets in or out, Strowman vows to dismantle Roman. Strowman will break Roman’s spirit and body to take what is rightfully his!
McIntyre says we should take a moment just to look at this trio. The Shield had their time, and that time is over. “You’re looking at the new kings of the jungle around here, and we’re going to feast on their bloody carcasses.” Ziggler adds they’ll be the new most dominant force in WWE History. More than the Nation of Domination, more than Degeneration X, and “sure as hell more dominant than The Shield.” These three will embarrass and decimate The Shield. The Shield started this, but these three will end it. But speaking of The Shield, here they come! And from the stairs, like the old days! But Baron Corbin sends out superstars to intercept! The Shield just runs right through them!
Roman, Rollins & Ambrose flank the ring, also like the old days. Strowman’s pack is ready, but a second wave of superstars come out. The Shield has to deal with them first, but that’s easy enough. And then the brawl begins! They pair off, Roman and Strowman, Ambrose and Ziggler, Rollins and McIntyre. But then a THIRD wave heads in! The entire Raw men’s roster is fighting in the ring, trying to keep six rabid animals apart! But fans want to “Let Them Fight!” Rollins gets free and it erupts all over again! Somehow Strowman’s pack is led away, but The Shield pursue! Just as Strowman’s team is dragged backstage, The Shield break through the line of superstars at the ramp! We go to break, but who knows what will happen next!
There is still chaos when we return!
The Shield are truly like rabid dogs as they’re being arrested and put inside a police van to keep them from causing any more trouble. Constable Corbin claims he’ll handle this, because not even he can afford to have top level superstars behind bars. How will he do this without upsetting Stephanie McMahon?
The Bella Twins VS The Riott Squad!
Three years and we finally see the return of Nikki & Brie! They’re big hits with E’s Total Divas and Total Bellas, but are they going to continue where they left off when they go up against two-thirds of this red hot Women’s Trio?
Raw returns as the teams sort out. Nikki starts against the Juvenile Delinquent, Liv Morgan. Liv offers a handshake, but Nikki sees right through that. She rushes Liv and Liv rushes to ropes. Liv tags Sarah Logan in, and the Kentucky Viking ties up with Nikki. THey go power for power but Sarah gets the edge with pulling hair. Sarah gives forearms but Nikki comes back for a waistlock. Sarah hits out but Nikki gets a takedown. Cover, ONE, but Nikki is still on Sarah with arm wrench and yanks. Nikki wrings Sarah out, then puts on an armlock. Sarah endures while Ruby Riott coaches up her cohort. Nikki flips Sarah again, cover, TWO. Nikki fireman’s carry but Sarah flails out to drop Nikki by her hair.
Sarah drags Nikki up into an armlock of her own, and grinds her forearm into the shoulder. Nikki feeds off a fan rally and arm-drags Sarah away. Nikki runs in but misses in the corner. Sarah runs into an elbow, and walks into Nikki’s armbar tornado DDT! Cover, TWO, but Nikki drags Sarah up and over. Tag to Brie, and fans fire up for Brie Mode. Double arm wrenches and knees to the shoulders! Cover, TWO, but Brie has Sarah in a hammerlock. Sarah endures and powers Brie up. Brie sunset flips through, but Liv tags in. Sarah keeps Brie down so Liv can kick her. Cover, TWO!
Liv keeps on Brie with a chinlock, but fans rally up again. Liv knees Brie down, but Brie gets back up. Brie and Liv scrap but Liv talks trash. Brie SLAPS Liv, then gives forearms. Liv goes Matrix to yank Brie down! Cover, TWO! Tag to Sarah and Sarah slams Brie on the mat. Sarah throws forearms then whips Brie. Brie dodges and dropkicks Sarah down! Fans fire up as Brie starts up Yes Kicks as borrowed from her hubby. Liv runs in but gets a dropkick! Brie has Riott Squad on opposite ends, for Brie Mode knees! Ruby distracts long enough for Sarah to get out. Brie goes to DIVE, but she gets hung up on ropes while Sarah also clubs her down. The Bellas are now in trouble as we go to break.
Raw returns as Sarah thrashes Brie around in a seated cobra clutch. Nikki rallies the fans and Brie feeds off it. Brie reaches but fights out first. She yanks Sarah down then runs, but Sarah denies the tag. Sarah stomps Brie in the Squad corner, then howls. Brie fights back with boots, then a missile dropkick! Both Brie and Sarah are down but headed for their corners. Sarah tags Liv and Liv drags Brie away. Brie shoves Liv away, hot tag to Nikki! Nikki rallies and gives Liv the facebuster on the knee.
Fans fire up with Nikki as she runs in for the corner clothesline. She throws Liv out to hit with the Fearless Enziguri. Cover, but Sarah breaks it! Sarah whips but Nikki reverses to send her out. Nikki gives Ruby a shot, then the Bellas coordinate. Brie builds speed and DIVES! She just barely gets Ruby and Sarah, but Liv rolls Nikki up! TWO, to Rack Attack 2! Cover, Bellas win!
Winners: The Bella Twins, Nikki pinning
It wasn’t smooth, but it was a win. The Bellas are back, and Brie herself is getting ready to join Daniel Bryan against The Miz & Maryse at Hell in a Cell. Can Brie shake off more of that rust before helping her hubby fight the It Couple? At the same time, Super Show Down will have a Six Woman Tag where the Bellas team with Ronda Rousey to take on the full Riott Squad! Will both Bellas be ready to join the Baddest Woman on the Planet in battle?
Corbin assures Stephanie that everything is fine.
The Shield may be in jail but the rest of the show is on track. He’ll take care of the rest, so she can rest assured. But then Finn comes in with a grin. Finn wants a rematch with Baron Corbin. Corbin has no time for that, he’s busy. Plus, Corbin makes matches. Yes, he does. He also changes rules. Corbin is so proud of his temporary power. It’s like he’s compensating for something. If Corbin wants to prove he’s better than Finn The Man, then act like a man. A rematch with no tricks or games, to find out who the better man really is. Big talk for a little man. Corbin accepts the challenge, but in tonight’s main event. Fine by Finn. Will Corbin back up his power plays with a real victory tonight?
WWE and Raw unite with the V Foundation to again fund the Connor’s Cure.
Join the fight against pediatric cancer today by buying Connor’s Cure merchandise.
Backstage interview with Bobby Roode and Chad Gable.
These two have decided to join together. Gable has been “captivated” by how Roode carries himself in the spotlight. Gable wants in on that. And he’s best in a tag team. Very kind words from a former tag team champion. And now, it’s time to show the world this new duo.
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Ascension!
The GLORIOUS One and the Olympic Medalist are #ReadyWillingAndGLORIOUS, but will they be victorious over the Wasteland? Konnor & Viktor see a flash in the pan of the singles division, and then a “sawed-off duck butt.” Well that insult is confusing but it’s still an insult. The bell rings and Gable starts with Viktor. Gable throws Viktor overhead with multiple exploders, then manages to German Suplex Konnor! He gives a German to Viktor, then another one to Konnor! Fans fire up with Gable, btu Gable tags in Roode! Roode is a bit surprised, but he comes in. Roode bumps Viktor then chops him in a corner. He suplexes Viktor and covers, TWO.
Roode wrenches Viktor’s arm, but Viktor powers him over. Tag to Konnor and Konnor stomps in a mudhole. Konnor backs off while Viktor trash talks. Tag and The Ascension double punch, club and kick Roode down. Cover, TWO. Viktor keeps on Roode with a chinlock. Gable rallies the fans and Roode feeds off it. Roode fights back with body shots but Viktor clubs him down. Viktor drops a big fist drop, covers, TWO. Viktor tags Konnor, then holds Roode for Konnor’s kick to the ribs. Konnor drops an even bigger elbow drop, covers, TWO! The Ascension grow frustrated but Konnor wraps a chinlock on Roode. Gable keeps the fans going as Roode endures again. Roode powers up and fights back, but Konnor knees low. Tag to Viktor and the stomp Roode out. Cover, TWO!
Viktor keeps on Roode with another chinlock. Roode continues to endure while fans build to a new rally. Roode fights out again, but Viktor clubs him down. Viktor powers Roode to ropes but Gable tags in! Gable rallies but Viktor reverses the whip, only for Gable tog et a body check! Gable dropkicks Konnor then throws Viktor again! He ends up on the apron but cannonballs onto Konnor! Flying missile dropkick! Then CHAOS THEORY! Cover, Gable & Roode win!
Winners: Roode & Gable, Gable pinning
First time out and it’s already a win! This combination might be what both men need to keep moving forward. Will it go all the way to the Raw Tag Team Championships?
“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”
The Drifter has come to Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and he begins singing already. We live in an insane world, he was slapped by an insane girl. Take a stand and follow him to the Promised Land. Elias then asks the question he always asks: “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?” The Buckeyes seem up for it. Elias strongly dislikes women who hit men. That’s what Trish Stratus did, she wandered out here, interrupted Elias and embarrassed herself. Trish is struggling with the cold-hard truth that everyone else knows. It’s that WWE really stands for “WALK WITH ELIAS!”
Elias had all kinds of thoughts about his song for tonight. He thought about Christopher Columbus, who would’ve turned around back to Europe if he’d known a city like this would be named after him. But hey, what about them Buckeyes, huh? What is a buckeye? That’s the least intimidating mascot ever. Not like a wolverine in Michigan. Fans boo, but Elias is shaken by the “rotten people this city can produce.” Elias needs fans to silence phones, hold applause and most importantly, shut mouths. But here comes Alexa Bliss!
Alexa and her besties are in tow for this upcoming match with Natalya, but first she speaks to her crowd. Columbus, Ohio is the birthplace of The Goddess. Alexa graduated in this very building. There’s a chant here in Columbus, and it goes a little something like this. “O H! “I O!!” Hear that, Elias? That is the sound of all the “mindless Ohio imbeciles” being the sheep they are. Alexa admits Elias is 100% right, she could not get out of here quick enough. It was like being surrounded by zombies. She even recognizes some of them from high school. Time flies, right? Look where you are and look where she is! But Elias is in the ring with Columbus’ biggest star.
Alexa personally apologizes for Trish Stratus’ behavior. Is that something someone should do? Slap people more talented than you? And don’t get her even started on Ronda and Natty. Alexa will get Trish at Evolution, Ronda at Hell in a Cell, and Natty up next. But, could he play that song he was about to play? She wants to walk with Elias. Elias obliges, but here comes Ronda & Natty! The Rowdy Raw Women’s Champion leads the way for the Queen of Harts!
Natalya w/ Ronda Rousey VS Alexa Bliss w/ Alicia Fox & Mickie James!
The Goddess mocks Natty as Ronda’s pet, but will she be making fun of them when she’s put in a Sharpshooter tonight and an armbar at Hell in a Cell?
Raw returns as Alexa and Natty tie up. Natty gets a headlock and takeover, but Alexa gets the head scissors. Natty pops out but Alexa gets to ropse. The ref counts and Natty backs off, but dares Alexa to return. Alexa slowly returns to circle with Natty. They tie up again and Natty gets the wristlock. Alexa reverses and her friends cheer, but Natty rolls and handsprings to a hammerlock. Alexa slips through but Natty throws her down with a fireman’s carry. Natty has the arm again and fans fire up with Natty and Ronda. Alexa reaches up for another head scissor, but Natty pops out. Natty chases Alexa to the ropes, but has to back off again.
Alexa returns but her kick is blocked! She begs Natty let go but Natty grins as she drops the foot. They shake hands, but Natty stomps Alexa’s fingers! Alexa reverses a whip but Natty goes up and over for the rebound drop! Natty walks over Alexa to dropkick her down! Cover, TWO! Alexa scurries to a corner then dodges Natty to rock her with that wicked right! Alexa drags Natty up to stomp a mudhole into her. She backs off at the count but Mickie AND Alicia get cheap shots in! Alexa comes back to bring Natty up for the DDT! Alexa isn’t done, she wants Ronda to see the armbar! Natty endures while Ronda gets riled up. Natty endures but she has to tap! Alexa wins!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by submission
But she doesn’t let go until Ronda gets in the ring! Ronda checks on her friend, but Alexa rushes back in! Ronda catches her, so Alicia saves her. So Alicia gets rag dolled instead! But Alexa chop blocks Ronda then dumps her out. Alexa throws Ronda into steel steps, then back into the ring. Alexa grins but Ronda fights back with body shots! Ronda sends Alexa back out, and the Raw Women’s Division Mean Girls retreat. Ronda glares daggers at the Goddess. Will Alexa regret everything she’s said and done come Hell in a Cell?
Baron Corbin demands something of a staffer.
He needs it done and he needs it done right. But then Strowman and his pack walk in. Too bad about The Shield. Luckily these there are still here. So find them competition. They’re not asking, either. Corbin is GM, that’s great, but this is their show. Who do they have in mind? Well no Intercontinental Championship rematch tonight, but what about the Raw Tag Team Championships? But The Revival are getting that against The B-Team. Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson are good to go, as far as Corbin knows. And if they wren’t? Corbin would make new arrangements. Ziggler & McIntyre head out. Strowman stares Corbin down, and suggests he do his job and find Strowman competition. Corbin seems to be feeling what Kurt Angle had to deal with. Will he come through for these beasts?
Backstage interview with The Revival.
The #TopGuys have called The B-Team are mockeries of tag team wrestling. Webster ain’t got enough words in the dictionary to define those two. But here come Ziggler & McIntyre! They decimate Dash & Dawson, and we already know why. Will Corbin be forced to give these two wild dogs a shot at Bo, Axel and the tag titles tonight?
Raw Tag Team Championships: The B-Team VS
The Revival ???
We just saw what happened to Dash & Dawson, and as Corbin said, he would have to make an executive decision if something happened to them. The music plays, but no #TopGuys come out to #SayYeah. And with the record scratch, it’s confirmed! The Show-Off & The Scottish Psycho took out one team, and they’re about to do the same to the team in the ring!
The belts are raised and it’s official. Axel starts against McIntyre, but McIntyre hits Bo first. McIntyre then clobbers Axel and throws him overhead! Tag to Ziggler, and Axel is stood up. Bo trips up McIntyre and Axel rolls Ziggler! TWO, but Backslide, TWO. Axel gets a takedown, Bo tags in, and they both dodge Ziggler. Bo blasts Ziggler with forearms, then clotheslines Ziggler out. McIntyre comes in but he gets clothesline’d out, too! B-Team has control while we go to break!
Raw returns and McIntyre wrenches Bo in a mounted arm-lock. Fans rally and Bo stands up. Bo fights back but runs into an overhead suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre chops Bo, then stalks him to a corner. Ziggler talks trash while McIntyre suplexes Bo. Cover, TWO, but McIntyre grinds Bo down with another arm-lock. The fans chant “B-Team! B-Team! GO GO GO!” Bo feeds off that but McIntyre keeps him away from Axel. Tag to Ziggler and they stomp Bo out. Ziggler chokes Bo at the ropes but stops at 4. Ziggler taunts Bo while fans continue to cheer. Bo throws hands on Ziggler, but Ziggler kicks low to then dropkick Bo down! Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated, but he drags Bo over and tags McIntyre.
McIntyre takes Bo for haymakers, then chops. He hoists Bo up top, then chops him again. But Bo hits back! And hits a tornado DDT! Fans fire up as Bo and McIntyre crawl for their corners. McIntyre changes course to stop Bo, but Bo slips around to a neckbreaker! Bo and McIntyre crawl again, hot tags to Ziggler and Axel! Axel rallies on both men, then snapmares Ziggler for the neck snap! Axel’s all fired up, and the Buckeyes join him. He kicks low but Ziggler shoves out. Axel comes out, Perfect Plex! But McIntyre breaks it just in time, to then suplex toss Axel! Bo returns but McIntyre throws him into buckles! McIntyre backs off, and Ziggler walks over. Axel rolls him up! TWO, and a SUPERKICK! Ziggler tags McIntyre, and they take their frustrations out with a Claymore Zig-Zag! Cover, McIntyre & Ziggler win!
Winners: McIntyre & Ziggler, McIntyre pinning; NEW Raw Tag Team Champions
These two wolves took matters into their own hands, and now they have hands on titles. The Show-Off & The Psycho reign the Raw tag Team Division now, will anyone be able to take those titles from them?
WWE and Raw profile a new cast of Connor’s Cure Superstars.
Super Messiah tells cancer, “You Can’t See Me!” Can You Smell What Messiah’s cooking? Support the mighty Messiah and many more children dealing with pediatric cancer as part of cancer awareness this Fall.
The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Keith Thompson & Jimmy James!
Yes, Drake Maverick, the GM of 205 Live and the Cruiserweight Division. But why is he with Akam & Rezar, in full AoP gear? Maverick takes a moment to explain, because he’s now the personal manager to AoP. He vows to make these two the Raw Tag Team Champions! McIntyre & Ziggler should watch closely, because whoever that is in the blue, he just got beheaded. Then the one in red gets clubbed down while draped on the ropes. Akam brings blue over and puts him on the top rope. Rezar tags in and clubs him off the top rope! Akam tosses Red to Rezar for a Death valley Bomb! Tag back to Akam and each Author takes each opponent, for Super Collider! Cover, AoP win!
Winnesr: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning
A great start under Maverick’s management, though the Authors did what they always do. Will they finally reach the top of the tag division and be the team to take the titles from the Show-Off & The Psycho?
Ronda sits with Natty.
Natty is sick of the games. The Bellas come by. They are worried for the two, but Natty needs a minute alone. The Bellas were talking and Ronda is absolutely going to be the greatest women’s champion ever. But there’s more to being champion than winning. Ronda inspired The Bellas to return, and they thank her. If she needs more training partners, they’re there for her. Ronda appreciates the offer but Natty has been great. Then maybe advice for non-wrestling things? Of course, she’ll definitely hit them up for that. Ronda thanks the Bellas for looking out, but what about looking out for Natty?
SHAWN MICHAELS IS HERE!
The Heartbreak Kid is back, because he knows there’s a major match on the horizon. HBK hears the fans chant for him, and usually says he’s not worth it, but he’s changed his mind. Shower him with praise! The fans do, but he already can’t take it. HBK decides to shill a bit and advertise his new merchandise. And for those scoring at home, get the WWE Network right now, $9.99! While there, you can make sure to watch Super Show Down, the real reason HBK is here tonight. Before getting to predictions like everyone else, he wants to frame this match. The truly last time ever for Triple H VS The Undertaker, so HBK had to get up off the couch to go see this personally. This match will be something we never ever forget, almost guaranteed.
Having said that, HBK has some comments about the other Hall of Fame Legend predictions. HBK was surprised the majority went with The Undertaker. Now, they’d be right, if the Streak was still intact. The Streak is broken, so HBK is surprised people still think Taker will win. But Stone Cold is in agreement with him, because they both feel HHH will do it this time. Fans may not like that, and think HBK is biased towards his BFF, but even so, it is all professional. The Undertaker needs to understand that HHH is still The Game, the Cerebral Assassin, and “as far was what’s left in the tank”, HHH has more left than the Dead Man. Super Show Down in Melbourne, the Cerebral Assassin cerebrally assassinates the Undertaker, and there is nothing– GONG!! Wait, is it?!
The lights go out, the bell tolls, and the smoke rises! IT IS!! The Undertaker IS here! HBK knows that entrance all too well as the Phenom walks to the ring. Taker joins HBK in the ring, reminiscent of their own legendary Wrestlemania matches. The Buckeyes lose their minds over seeing these two at the same time and in person. “I think this just became personal.” Taker tells HBK that it has been 20 years of those HBK and HHH being best friends. But in those 20 years, he took the best both men had, and put them both down! Taker retired HBK, and DX’s egos just can’t accept it. HBK chooses HHH because Taker took HBK’s career.
“Is that what you think?” HBK corrects Taker, he is a man of his word. Someone had to restore faith in the system, someone had to stand and be committed to words spoken. Everyone else says what they want and sometime down the line they go back on the word, but guess who doesn’t? HBK. He has stayed retired because he’s a man of his word. He is a man of honor and integrity, out of respect for the system, for the fans, but most importantly, out of the respect for Taker. But fans wouldn’t mind “One More Match!” It’s been almost a decade and every superstar every year wants their dream match. HBK turns down millions of dollars for #OneMoreMatch! But yes, whether Taker believes it or not, HBK has respect for him.
Fans still chant for “One More Match!” but Taker doesn’t seem convinced. “Is it respect? Or is it fear?” Because if HBK had ever chosen to come out of retirement, the only person he’d come for is Taker. “And make no mistake about it, I’d put you down all over again.” HBK knows it, Taker knows it, the fans know it. And there’s more: in Melbourne, Taker puts HHH down, again! Taker takes his leave, confident he still has enough for this Last Time Ever match of living legends. Will the Phenom’s confidence carry him through? Is HBK’s confidence in his best friend shaken?
Finn Balor prepares backstage.
But Baron Corbin comes in with some “bad news.” He’s been on the phone non-stop and doing GM work. They can’t have their match tonight. This is an excuse. No, Finn still has a match against someone else: Braun Strowman. Corbin wishes him luck, but how will the Extraordinary Man fair against this “impromptu” change?
Sasha Banks & Bayley VS Ember Moon & Dana Brooke w/ Titus Worldwide!
The Boss & Hug Connection are best friends back on the same page, but the Statistician is looking to get on track in what’s left of 2018. Luckily for her, she has the Prophecy of Flame on her side! Can Ember help Dana Eclipse the #LegitHuggable duo?
Dana starts against Bayley and they tie up. Bayley gets a headlock then wristlock and whip. Tag to Sasha and the friends crisscross Dana for a backwards whip. They double snapmare, then Bayley sliding lariats and Sasha drops double knees. Dana bails out and regroups with Titus & Apollo while we take another break.
Raw returns and Bayley has Ember in an armlock. Fans duel but Ember fights her way out. Bayley catches the kick but gets a headscissor. Bayley intercepts the tag with an elbow drop, then drags her to the corner. Tag to Sasha and the friends double whip. Ember kicks them both then springboards for double crossbody! Ember grits her teeth but Dana tags in! Dana runs and rallies on Sahas! Sasha blocks the kick to give a kick! Sasha hits buckles in the corner and Dana fireman’s carry. Dana goes to drop but Sashas counters. Dana fights out and enziguris! Sasha ends up in a corner as Dana fires up. Dana won’t listen to her coaches, but she messes up! Sasha headscissors to a cover, Sasha & Bayley win!
Winners: The Boss & Hug Connection, Sasha pinning
Maybe Dana’s problem isn’t herself but her coaching staff. What will it take to rework her strategy and #MakeItAWin? Wait, she says she’s had it with both Apollo and Titus? Is she quitting Titus Worldwide?
Bobby Lashley just comes out of Baron Corbin’s office.
What was the meeting about/ It wasn’t much of a meeting, but more of a performance review. “Despite Mr. Lashley’s sunny and cool demeanor”, he’s a danger to himself and his opponents? Lashley needs an intervention, with Jinder Mahal as mediator? Lashley feels this really will be good for him. Because “my man”, Constable Corbin is helping Lashley be less angry. Lashley does feel he gets too tense, so he’s looking forward to finding some inner peace. Is Lashley going to do as Constable Corbin hopes?
Jinder Mahal heads to the ring.
He and Sunil Singh prepare to moderate an intervention for Lashley through meditation, after the break.
Raw returns having set out a nice rug. Bobby Lashley makes his entrance now, and joins Mahal in the ring. Mahal senses the hostility from within Lashley. Lashley smiles and is the “strong silent type” but there is much anger. Mahal can help Lashley harness his power and achieve inner peace. They sit on the rug, and Mahal asks the fans sit, too. Lashley obliges, sitting between Mahal and Sunil. He even puts on a nice scarf. Repeat after me. Repeat after me. No not that. No not that. Mahal says this is about affirmation. “I am like water.” Water. My man! We are like water. Shanti! Sunil gets tense being next to the upbeat Lashley. Water, Shanti, right? Yes. Lashley takes in deep breaths, as does Mahal. But then Kevin Owen attacks!! Didn’t he quit?!
The Prizefighter has rage, but now so does Lashley! Mahal helps Kevin but Lashley fights him off. SUPERKICK from Kevin! Kevin is beside himself with rage, but he directs it all at Lashley. He stalks Lashley on the outside, and gives him an APRON BOMB! Kevin leaves Lashley down and out, but what does this mean for his status with Raw?
Just in from WWE correspondent, Mike Rome: The Shield are free!
They were charged, they were fined, and they were released! Will Roman, Rollins & Ambrose be able to make it back to OSU before the night is over?
Finn Balor VS
Baron Corbin Braun Strowman w/ McIntyre & Ziggler!
A “last-minute” change of plans from the Constable leaves the Extraordinary Man now having a match with The Monster Among Men. At the same time, the newly minted Raw Tag Team Champions will be by Strowman’s side. Does Finn stand a chance here tonight?
The bell rings and Strowman stares down Finn. Finn is wary of Strowman, but he fires off kicks and forearms. Strowman whips Finn then runs him over! Strowman roars and lets Finn get up. He misses in the corner and Finn hops on for a sleeper hold! Strowman barrels back and breaks free with help from the buckles. He brings Finn up to headbutt him down, then brings him up to club him down.
Fans rally for Finn and Finn fires back, only to run into a sidewalk slam! Strowman circles Finn like a shark while Finn slowly sits up. Strowman runs to boot Finn right in the face! He puts Finn in a corner but then runs into Finn’s boots. Finn leaps into a scoop, but slips out to a sleeper! Strowman throws Finn off, then runs. Finn dumps him out! Finn wrecks him with a dropkick then double stomps! McIntyre & Ziggler rush over but Finn gets back in while we go to one last break.
Raw returns once more, and Strowman wrenches Finn’s neck. Fans rally up and Finn feeds off it. But Strowman pushes Finn back down to club away! Strowman returns to the vice grip on the neck and shoulder, then the full wrench. Fans rally again and Finn gets up once more. Strowman knees low then throws Finn out. The referee tells Ziggler to stay away, but Strowman comes out to build up speed. Finn slingblades Strowman down! Finn gets back in the ring to recover while the count begins. Strowman stands at 5, then climbs back in at 7, only for Finn to be right on him. Strowman shoves Finn away, then catches him on the rebound. He puts Finn in a corner but runs into boots. He still smashes Finn in the corner with the splash!
Strowman runs but into another boot! Finn goes after the legs but Strowman is too big. Strowman lifts Finn but Finn slips back to a sleeper! Strowman backs up into buckles again, and is free. But then Finn dodges and Strowman hits post! Strowman’s pack regroup with him, but Finn FLIES onto them all! Finn fires up and flexes with the Buckeyes! But then Strowman throws him back in. Finn goes to the other side, and suckers Strowman into the swing kick! Finn climbs up top, but Strowman grabs him by the throat. So it’s back to the sleeper! Finn brings Strowman down into a triangle hold! Strowman powers up to deadlift and powerbomb Finn! Strowman drags Finn back up, scoops him, and gives him a Monster Slam! Cover, Strowman wins!
Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall
The Monster conquers the Man, and rolls on towards The Big Dog in the Cell. But the pack of wolves isn’t done with Finn. They feed Finn to another Monster Slam! All three smile, but fans chant for “Shield! Shield!” Strowman tosses Finn out, and McIntyre prepares the steel steps. Strowman gives a thumbs down, in an obvious reference to Roman, Rollins & Ambrose. McIntyre & Ziggler bring Finn up for Strowman, but then sirens sound? That’s because a police van pulls up! And yes, that’s THE SHIELD coming through!
Strowman, McIntyre & Ziggler are ready in the ring, but then Kevin Owens and Mahal attack! Other superstars attack the Shield, too? Elias, The Ascension, the Authors of Pain, even Drew Gulak from 205! They’re ALL going after The Shield, shouting “You don’t run this anymore!” Strowman hits Roman with steps! Mahal, Mcnityre, Kevin Owens and Elias throw Ambrose into the stage LED, then Rollins into the police fan windows!! Roman gets steel steps to the face again while Ambrose is being mugged right in front of his wife, Renee Young, at the announce desk! Rollins gets smacked by the van door, and Ambrose gets a Claymore! Ziggler even gets a SUPERKICK on Rollins! Strowman gives Roman a Monster Slam on the floor!
The Ascension help drag a bleeding Rollins over, and the others drag Ambrose over. The Shield is lined up while Storwman, Ziggler and McIntyre stand in the ring as the ring leaders of this raid. What is this massive anti-Shield alliance about?!
This was both a good episode and a bad episode of Raw. The opening with Strowman’s “pack” declaring they’re in charge now, then the truly massive brawl with The Shield that followed was great. I give kudos to Constable Corbin for not sending all of the men out at once, but instead did it in waves. That gave the brawl a feeling of escalation. However, The Shield being “arrested” only to be “released” was definitely their not-so-subtle way of making Roman and the trio as a whole the new Stone Cold Steve Austin(s) of Raw. When they announced the Shield was released from custody, I knew they were going to show up.
However, I did not predict the kind of beating they’d get, and certainly not from that many superstars. I thought it was going to be a bookend, brawl to start and brawl to end, but then it turned into this All Heels VS The Shield thing, no Faces coming out to help. Granted, Baron Corbin being in charge, he could’ve made special orders to allow only the Heels to go out, and it almost worked, aside from certain glaring contradictions. Kevin Owens should want nothing to do with Braun Strowman because Strowman has thrown him off of no less than three precarious perches. The Authors of Pain should want to stay neutral towards McIntyre & Ziggler because they now have what Akam & Rezar want in the Raw Tag Team Championships. Heels can still disagree with other Heels, regardless of common Face enemies.
For that matter, why is Drake Maverick the Authors’ new manager? Why not Dana Brooke since she just dumped Titus Worldwide? Why give them a new manager at all to replace Paul Ellering? Akam & Rezar have dominated well enough, they could just be named future contenders. Plus, Raw is going to need some more Faces with all these Heels going against The Shield. And speaking of Dana, I’m surprised this break-up happened this way. It should’ve been when Titus Worldwide kept losing to the AoP because of how their veteran advice didn’t even help them out. Dana could’ve easily used the winning records and percentages as reasons enough to join a team like the AoP.
But all that aside, there were still other confusing things that relate to other stories. The Bellas were obviously going to win, but boy did Brie take some scary falls out of her own suicide dive. She’s going to need to really work off the ring rust before trying that with Bryan against Miz & Maryse. Alexa does great doubling down on being a Heel with Elias, and the way things are going, the only reason Alexa wins the title back is because of cheating. And why are Roode & Gable a team at all? They did great in their match, but this just seems like an excuse to give them things to do. The same goes for Kevin attacking Lashley out of nowhere. They can explain things next week, but right now it’s just confusing.
However, seeing Shawn Michaels and then the surprise of The Undertaker was so great. People might downplay it as WWE cashing in on nostalgia, but in this case it doesn’t matter because it’s HBK and Undertaker! They are truly two of the best, and I loved Undertaker taunting HBK with his own pride. Fans want #OneMoreMatch but I liked HBK vowing to respect the retirement stipulation he and Undertaker agreed to all those years ago. This could lead to HBK breaking that vow to have his own #OneLASTTime with Taker, but only if that means he interferes with HHH VS Taker. I’m really intrigued now, because this could bump Super Show Down up to a truly important event, just for that match.
My Score: 7.6/10
Joe’s CMLL Review & Results (12/7/2018)
Another week of CMLL, and another week of Joe’s coverage. Indulge in the Lucha information if you couldn’t find time to watch it yourself.
Arena Puebla Monday
Sonic, Meyer, and Astro vs King Rocker, Sombra Diabolina, and Guerrero Especial
Rocker and Astro start out doing some ground grappling. They do a lot of acrobatic transitions into submission holds. Especial and Meyer are in next and they continue to do grappling as well. Especial hits an arm drag to the outside and feigns a dive. Sonic is in now with Diabolina. They do some freestyle wrestling while exchanging pins. Sonic arm drags him to the outside and in comes Astro and King Rocker again. Especial launches Astro into Diabolina and he hits a hurricanrana for the pin. Sonic victory rolls Rocker and Meyer submits Especial with a neck crank. First Fall: Meyer submits Guerrero Especial with a neck crank.
Sonic and Diabolina start this round off. Sonic goes wild hitting a very elaborate arm drag then feigns a dive. Especial and Meyer are in next and they trade strikes and they start to trade moves. Especial hits a power slam, Diabolina hits a basement drop kick, and then Rocker hits a splash on Meyer for the pin. Diabolina submits Sonic with an arm bar. Second Fall: Sombra Diabolina submits Sonic with an arm bar.
Rocker and Astro stare each other down then exchange strikes. Especial and Sonic get in and Especial works him over for a bit. Diabolina and Meyer are in and Diabolina hits an Alabama Slam on him followed by a basement drop kick. Meyer hits a splash off the top on Diabolina and then launches Astro into him and Especial for a double drop kick. He does a hurricanrana off the apron on Rocker. Sonic hits a swanton bomb on Especial while Meyer gets Diabolina in a knee bar. Third Fall: Meyer submits Sombra Diabolina with a knee bar.
Winners: Sonic, Meyer, and Astro
Mellinum, Arkalis, and Tigre Rojo Jr vs Espanto Jr, Fuerza Chicana, and Police Man
Police Man and Mellinum start out the match with grappling and submission trading. Tigre Rojo and Espanto come in next and they start to fight for position. Rojo using his speed, Espanto using his size. Espanto sits on his knees frustrated that Rojo won the grappling exchange. Fuerza Chicana and Arkalis are in next. Arkalis does a victory roll, into a basement drop kick. Arkalis does a double splash to Espanto and Chicana. Rojo gets Police Man in an abdominal stretch and Arkalis pins Chicana with a sunset flip. First Fall: Arkalis pins Fuerza Chicana with a sunset flip.
Rojo and Police Man start the round and Rojo uses his quickness, getting him in a back breaker. He feigns a dive and hits a pose. Espanto and Mellinum go at it but Mellinum uses his quickness to his advantage getting Espanto out with an arm drag. His two teammates knock everyone off the apron and get Mellinum in the corner. Espanto kicks him in the groin. Ref doesn’t see it apparently. Espanto pulls on Arkalis’ mask. Police Man splash pins Arkalis for the pin. Chicana hits a back drop on Mellinum the goes for a pinning combination for the fall. Second Fall: Fuerza Chicana hits a back drop then pinning combination on Mellinum for the fall.
Rojo gets teamed on to start the round. When he’s taken care of they move the attack to Mellinum. A come back gets made as Arkalis hits a hurricanrana then a back breaker. Rojo and Mellinum hit arm drags to the outside, then Rojo and Arkalis go for dives but gets their feet pulled to the outside. Espanto and Mellinum are in the ring. Mellinum hits a hurricanrana for a pin but no three. He goes to the top for a move but Espanto gets the feet up. He hits a back stabber for the win on Mellinum. Third Fall: Espanto Jr pins Mellinum with a back stabber.
Winners: Espanto Jr, Fuerza Chicana, and Police Man
Titan, Triton, and Stigma vs Kawato San, Okumura, and Tiger
Triton and Okumura start the match out and they lock up and quickly go to the ground. They grapple briefly and Kawato and Titan come in next. Kawato whips Titan to the corner but Stigma replaces him and kicks him. Now everybody is trading big moves. Okumura hits a cross roads on Stigma then Titan comes in and takes care of Kawato. Tiger hits a Canadian destroyer on Triton for the pin. Kawato hits an handspring elbow on Titan followed by Okumura with a clothesline. They do a hangman’s neck breaker for the fall. First Fall: Kawato pins Titan after him and Okumura hit a hangman’s neck breaker.
Tiger is beating on Stuka on the ramp while Okumura and Kawato team on Titan. Stuka is getting teamed on now and he makes the tag to Triton but the ref acts like he doesn’t see it. This ref is either awful or a heel. Triton is standing back on the ramp in protest or disgust. Titan makes a come back hitting some super kicks. Stigma drop kicks Kawato’s inner thigh while he’s tied up on the rope. Triton tries but gets pulled out. ThenTitan and Stigma hit middle rope dives on Kawato and Tiger. In the ring Triton gets Okumura down for a 450 splash and the fall. Second Fall: Triton pins Okumura with a 450 splash.
Stigma and Okumura start out the round and Stigma gets him out and Tiger comes in. Triton answers the call for Tiger. Triton hits an arm drag to the outside then feigns a dive and hits a pose. Titan and Kawato are in next and they trade strikes in the middle of the ring. Titan runs wild, taking out Kawato eventually, and then kicking Tiger off the apron. Okumura catches him with a cutter off the top. Stigma breaks up the pin. Kawato catches him with a splash off the top. He hits him with a 1 percenter but Triton breaks up the pin. He hits a power bomb into a pin but Tiger breaks it up. Triton goes for a handspring attack but is caught in a back stabber. Titan breaks up the pin. He gets him in a pinning combination with a neck bridge but Okumura breaks that up. Sheesh. Triton hits an asai moonsault on Okumura and in the ring Titan gets Tiger in an elaborate neck stretch submission. Stigma hits Kawato with a falcon arrow for the win. Third Fall: Stigma pins Kawato San with a falcon arrow.
Winners: Titan, Triton, and Stigma
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: Power Struggle 2018 Part 2!
NJPW Power Struggle continues as Tetsuya Naito once again battles Zack Sabre Jr! Will Tranquilo #JustTapOut? Or will ZSJ lost to The Ungovernable Charisma?
This coverage of Power Struggle will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi; RPG3K wins the 2018 Super Junior Tag League.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
Los Ingobernables de Japon continues to war with Suzuki-Gun! The leader of LIJ, Tetsuya Naito, has lost to the Submission Master, Zack Sabre Jr, twice this year in both the New Japan Cup and the G1 Climax! ZSJ angered Naito when he picked the bones of Evil after a vicious attack from Chris Jericho. Naito looks to get back at ZSJ for both Evil and those defeats, but ZSJ talks of retiring Naito himself. Who will win in this third time around in 2018?
Meanwhile, the Super Junior Tag League Tournament bring together familiar foes as the factions of LIJ, Suzuki-Gun and Chaos battle again! The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions are still Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and they look to show true dominance over the division. However, Roppongi 3K’s Sho & Yoh look to repeat as tournament winners while Bushi has LIJ’s newest member, Shingo Takagi, by his side. Who comes out of this finals match primed to rule over the Junior Heavyweight Tag Division?
Super Junior Tag League Finals Triple Threat: El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru VS Roppongi 3K VS Bushi & Shingo Takagi!
The round robin format of this tournament makes it so that the teams with the best records qualify for this tournament climax, and this year it ended up being three! All three teams have a 10-0 record going in, impressive to say the least. And naturally, the winners of this tournament, if they’re not the champions, get a shot to face the champions for the belts in the future. Will Sho & Yoh become back-to-back tournament champs? Will the tag champs come out as supreme rulers of Junior Heavyweight Tag wrestling? Or will this new combination of ungovernable stars be the key to victory?
Suzuki-Gun’s duo bring their belts, and a bottle of whiskey for Kanemaru. Kanemaru tags a swig then spits it to the sky, before attacking Bushi! Desperado goes after Shingo, but Sho & Yoh go after them! The match starts with the bell and Suzuki-Gun throws Yoh out of the ring. Kanemaru keeps on Sho with an eye rake, and Desperado adds a kick. Suzuki-Gun mug Sho then double whip, but he hits back! Desperado kicks Sho and chops him. Desperado runs, Sho ducks and Yoh comes back! They drop toehold and dropkick Desperado, then double dropkick Kanemaru. LIJ returns but they get dropkick’d out. Yoh goes back to Desperado while fans rally up. Sho keeps on Desperado with a big scoop slam. Sho drags Desperado up but Desperado rakes eyes.
This kind of Triple Threat Tag, anyone can tag anyone so long as it doesn’t create a match-up of the same team. Therefore, Bushi is allowed to tag in from Desperado. He goes after Sho, then drags him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Bushi keeps his cool as he tags in Shingo. Shingo hits Yoh for good measure before bringing Sho up. Sho chops, but Shingo chops back. Sho leans against ropes, but Shingo double chops him down! Shingo drags Sho up and whips, follows after and rams his knee into Sho. Then he suplexes Sho up and over, floats to cover, TWO! Tag to Bushi and LIJ double whip. They double hip toss and combine back senton and leg drop. Bushi covers, TWO! Bushi uses his shirt to choke Sho, but lets up at 4.
Fans cheer while Bushi clubs Sho. Bushi runs but Sho hits him with the kitchen sink knee! Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies on LIJ, ducks the enziguri and dragon screws Shingo. Yoh gives Bushi a backbreaker to necbreaker and kips up! Fans rally up as Yoh back elbows Bushi in a corner. Yoh suplexes but Bushi slips out. Bushi fires off forearms, then runs, but Desperado trips him up. Kanemaru tags in off Bushi and goes after Yoh. Desperado drags Bushi down to beat him up while Kanemaru hits Shingo. Bushi and Shingo go into barriers while Kanemaru whips Yoh. Kanemaru gives Yoh a kitchen sink, then tosses Yoh out. Desperado uses the backing of a chair to SMACK Yoh in the head. Then he whips Yoh into barriers! Desperado feeds Yoh to Kanemaru for a scoop slam.
Kanemaru grinds his foot on Yoh’s face, then tags Desperado. Desperado kicks Yoh down, and taunts Sho to return. Desperado chops Yoh back, but Yoh chops back. Yoh keeps firing strikes but Desperado shrugs it off. They go back and forth, but Desperado rakes eyes. Desperado runs but Shingo gets him to stop. Desperado hits Shingo, but turns around into Yoh’s calf kick! Hot tag to Kanemaru and he stops Sho from tagging in. Suzuki-Gun work together to start a corner train, and then Desperado cradles Yoh for Kanemaru to shotgun dropkick-start the slam! Cover, but LIJ breaks it. LIJ goes after everyone else, and double whip Kanemaru. Kanemaru holds ropes and dumps Shingo out. He puts Bushi on the apron and Desperado knocks him off. Kanemaru helps Desperado build speed to DIVE on LIJ! Desperado ends up safely on the announce desk!
Fans fire up, even if it’s for Suzuki-Gun. Desperado returns as Kanemaru brings Yoh up. Suplex to inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! Kanemaru grows frustrated, but he keeps on Yoh. Yoh hits back and they brawl with forearms and European Uppercuts. Kanemaru tilt-o-whirls for a DDT! He drags Yoh up again, but Yoh gets him back with a Falcon Arrow! Yoh is too sore to make the cover, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as fans rally up. Yoh and Kanemaru stir but Desperado attacks Sho! Desperado comes in but Bushi hits him first. Bushi grabs Yoh and throws him to the LIJ corner. Shingo tags in off Yoh, and then goes after Kanemaru’s inner thigh. Desperado saves Kanemaru by whipping Shingo but Shingo reverses. Shingo then starts up a clothesline train, first hitting Desperado then going corner to corner to hit Kanemaru. Desperado staggers into a shoulder from Shingo! Fans fire up as Shingo grabs Kanemaru. Sho comes in but gets caught, DDT and complete shot! Shingo goes back to Kanemaru for another suplex, but Kanemaru slips out. Kanemaru has a waistlock but Shingo fights out. Shingo whips and pop-up Death Valley Driver on Kanemaru! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru barely survives but Shingo is not bothered.
Muscle Dragon Shingo stalks Kanemaru, but misses in the corner. Kanemaru misses, too, and Bushi hits a knee! Bushi feeds Kanemaru to the spinebuster, adding a backstabber! Cover, but RPG3K break it! RPG3K is thrown out and LIJ coordinates. Shingo lifts Kanemaru in a wheelbarrow, but Desperado intercepts Bushi! Kanemaru victory rolls, TWO! Bushi fights Desperado off to slingshot headscissor Desperado! Shingo runs but to a basement dropkick! Kanemaru staggers into a tag from Sho! Sho then rocks Kanemaru with a right, and throws Kanemaru out. Sho runs at Shingo for a big corner clothesilne. He whips but Shingo reverses, and they collide with clotheslines. Neither man falls so they try again. Shingo runs but into a dropkick!
Sho fires up, as do the fans. He deadlifts Shingo but Shingo fights back. Sho runs, but Shingo rocks him with an elbow and an uppercut! Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, but Sho slips out. Shingo runs, but into RPG3K double knees! Yoh takes out Bushi while Sho brings Shinogo back up. Backstabber feeds into the shotgun dropkick! RPG3K fire up and stalk Shingo. Shingo stands but Bushi stops Yoh with a backstabber of his own. Sho gets Bushi in a deadlift German Suplex! Desperado spears Sho, but can’t spear Shingo! Shingo and Desperado brawl, but Desperado rakes the eyes. Shingo still waistlocks Desperado, Desperado kicks Sho but Shingo shoves Desperado into Sho. Sho and Desperado turn around into Shingo’s clotheslines!
Shingo lifts Sho in the chicken wing, for the Gory Bomb! Shingo gets up and builds speed, to clothesline from hell! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives and Shingo can’t believe it! Shingo roars as he drags Sho back up. He lifts Sho with a wristclutch, but Yoh SUPERKICKS! RPG3K hit 3K!! Cover, but the ref is yanked out! Kanemaru gets in and kicks away on Yoh! He stomps away on Sho, then drags Sho up. Desperado is in with a belt, and he clobbers Sho! Desperado drags Shingo over to a corner and uses him to tag in. Then he goes back to Sho while Kanemaru takes out Bushi. Desperado lifts Sho in the torture rack, for the slam! Cover, TWO!? Sho lives again! Desperado is furious and vows to end this.
Desperado brings Sho up in the double underhook, but Bushi jumps over the ref to use the GREEN MIST! You SUPERKICKS Bushi! Kanemaru goes after Yoh, but Yoh ducks the Whiskey Mist to dropkick Kanemaru out! Yoh builds speed and FLIES onto Bushi and Kanemaru! Sho is up, and clobbers Desperado! Sho drags Desperado up again, powerbomb lift, double knees! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but fans are thunderous. Sho fires up and wants another, but he tucks the arms this time. Package driver, the Shock Arrow! Cover, RPG3K win!!
Winners: Roppongi 3K, Sho pinning
Sho & Yoh win their second Super Junior Tag League! And best of all, it was on the tag team champions! Can Sho & Yoh use this momentum to get the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles back?
Tetsuya Naito VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Los Ingobernables de Japon and Suzuki-Gun are not through with each other, and these two are far from through with each other on top of it. Will Naito make ZSJ Tranquilo? Or will ZJS make Naito #JustTapOut?
As always, Taka Michinoku takes up the mic before the match. He welcomes everyone to “Zack Sabre Time.” This is a special singles match between ZSJ and Naito. “Who is gonna win this one?!” ZSJ is the man who can finish you with any lock anytime, anywhere, who has the deadly Zack Driver, and when he locks on, you #JustTapOut! This wrestling master is Zack Sabreeeeee Junior~! So Naito, you will repeat the New Japan Cup and G1 Climax. You can’t beat Zack, so “come on over here!” Naito makes his entrance, and takes his time as always with undressing. ZSJ doesn’t let the mind games get to him, but we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Fans cheer for Naito as he circles with ZSJ. Naito and ZSJ tie up and ZSJ gets the headlock. ZSJ throws Naito but Naito shrugs it off. He and ZSJ circle again and feel it out. ZSJ gets a wristlock but Naito reverses quick, so ZSJ breaks and slips away. They circle again and tie up. ZSJ gets the arm again and wrenches for a hammerlock. Naito rolls and goes for a leg but ZSJ gets his legs into a deathlock. Naito manages to pop free and get a headlock, but ZSJ headscissors. ZSJ squeezes tight as Naito tries to escape. Naito moves around but ZSJ goes for an arm. Naito frees himself from the headscissors to go for an armbar. ZSJ moves around and gets a leg again, Bow ‘n’ Arrow! But Naito pops out to a cover, ONE, Tranquilo!
Naito rolls out to catch his breath but ZSJ stays in the ring. Naito takes his time returning, and circles with ZSJ again. They approach and tie up, and ZSJ brings Naito’s hands down to stand on one and wrench the other. ZSJ shifts to a headlock, then throws to the takeover. Naito endures and rolls ZSJ to a cover, ONE. Naito sits up and gets up, and powers out of the headlock. He arm-drags ZSJ around, then runs him over with an elbow to hit the basement dropkick! Naito poses but ZSJ runs in with a leaping triangle hold takedown! Naito gets a ropebreak but ZSJ lets go at 4. ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath now while Naito bails out again. Naito comes back but ZSJ presses a knee down on him.
ZSJ loops Naito’s arm through the ropes and then a leg and uses them to pull in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow. ZSJ backs off at 4, so he can mock the LIJ posing. Naito sits up but ZSJ is on with the double wristlock, then top wristlock to stomp! Naito writhes but ZSJ circles him like a shark. ZSJ brings Naito up for a EuroUpper, but Naito chops back. ZSJ gives another EuroUpper, but Naito gives back a CHOP. That stuns ZSJ, but ZSJ still kicks and whips Naito. Naito reverses, then run sin. ZSJ puts him on the apron to sweep the legs! ZSJ goes after Naito on the ramp and uses a calf killer! Then he shifts to a modified half crab! ZSJ tortures the legs, then rams the knees on the ramp. ZSJ leaves Naito behind as the 20-count starts.
Naito slowly gets up but the count is at 16! He hurries and gets in at 19! ZSJ is on Naito again with another trapped leg toehold to a half crab! Then a heel hook, then a deep crab! ZSJ just keeps combining holds, such as a trapped arm and another deep crap. But Naito gets the ropes and is freed. Fans rally up as Naito gets to a corner. ZSJ stomps the legs, but Naito hits back. ZSJ kicks the legs but Naito hits back. They continue to go back and forth, a kick for a forearm and back again. Naito goes down after another kick to the leg, but he crawls to a corner. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Naito gives an atomic drop and running headscissors!
Both men are down as Naito tries to get feeling in his legs. Michinoku coaches ZSJ up but Naito stands first. Naito hits ZSJ with punches and kicks, then gets the dragon sleeper to backbreaker, and adds a basement dropkick! ZSJ gets to a corner, but Naito hits the jump kick and leg sweep. Naito slingshots but into the cravat! Naito arm-drags out, but ZSJ runs back in. ZSJ is put in a corner, but he boots Naito. Naito spits then spins ZSJ sideways for the draping neckbreaker! Naito then scoops ZSJ into the reverse DDT! Cover, TWO! Naito has things back in his favor as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Naito gives ZSJ elbows in the corner. Naito drives elbows into ZSJ even as ZSJ sits down. Then Naito hoists ZSJ up top and climbs up to join him. Naito drives in more elbows and then stands up for a SUPER STEINER! But ZSJ makes it a cradle into a leg lock, into an STF! ZSJ keeps shifting to modify the crossface, then keeps pushing with his weight. Naito pushes back and gets the ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go, and both men are down from exhaustion. Fans rally up, and ZSJ slowly stands. ZSJ grabs Naito’s leg for a spinning toehold. Naito clutches that bad leg, but ZSJ does the spinning tweak to his arm! ZSJ stalks Naito as he stands, and gives him a EuroUpper. Naito hits back with a forearm, but ZSJ gives another EuroUpper. Naito CHOPS ZSJ and sits him down.
ZSJ gets up to kick Naito in the leg again. Naito CHOPS, but ZSJ stays standing this time. ZSJ eggs Naito on so Naito fires off forearms until ZSJ sits down. Naito goes side to side for the basement dropkick! He brings ZSJ up but ZSJ gets a full nelson! Naito arm-drags ZSJ away but ZSJ comes back with another EuroUpper. ZSJ tries again but Naito back slides and back elbows to the tornado DDT! Naito keeps going, hammerlock and lift, GLORIA! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ lives but Naito keeps his cool. Naito brings ZSJ up again, wrenches the arm but ZSJ kicks it! Naito kicks back and then whips. ZSJ reveres and catches the lariat into an Octopus! Naito endures as he steps towards ropes. ZSJ shifts to go after the arm, then cradles to a Calf Killer!
Naito endures leg pain, but he rolls. ZSJ keeps him trapped for a calf slicer, but Naito fights with his free leg. But ZSJ grabs it to make it part stretch muffler! Naito gets free and gets another ropebreak! ZSJ lets Naito go but he grows frustrated. Fans rally for Naito again, but ZSJ gets up first. ZSJ EuroUppers Naito again and again and again, then even more in the corner. He throws Naito out to Penalty Kick him! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives, but barely. Michinoku keeps ZSJ focused as he gets up again. ZSJ lifts Naito but Naito slips out to waistlock. ZSJ elbows out and wants the Octopus, but Naito breaks free. Naito runs into an uppercut but enziguris, only for ZSJ to make it an ankle lock! ZSJ then reels Naito in but Naito standing switches, for a German Suplex!
Naito runs, DESTINO!! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ barely survives, but Naito keeps on him. Naito wrenches the arm but ZSJ drops down, only for Naito to sit on it! TWO and ZSJ drags Naito into the European Clutch! TWO but barely! ZSJ and Naito go to opposite ends as they stand up. ZSJ kicks but Naito catches it to enziguri back. Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but into ZSJ’s scoop! But Naito slips out to scoop ZSJ, brainbuster! Fans are thunderous as Naito wrenches and whirls, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
The Ungovernable finally wins against the Submission Master! Naito did not tap out and he didn’t fall to the Zack Driver, but can Naito use this to launch himself back towards a title?
Taka Michinoku explains that Zack only just arrived yesterday. This loss was because of jet lag! He was battling jet lag and an opponent at the same time. But ZSJ dares Naito to come to England and see if this still happens. ZSJ will even fight him in a pub if he wants.
As for Naito, he finally got his revenge. To be precise, Naito won in last year’s G1, but yes he did lose in the 2018 New Japan Cup and G1. Therefore, Naito is 2-2 against ZSJ all-time. Naito appreciates ZSj, because this match had no upside for him and yet he took it. He has Naito’s thanks, “Gracias, amigo.” When and where will there be a tiebreaker for their overall series?
Another great hour version of this event. While there wasn’t a lot of Super Junior Tag League coverage on AXS, this triple threat finals was great to see. It was all an impressive match and I was really impressed to see that RPG3K got to repeat. I really hope this means Sho & Yoh get those titles off of Desperado & Kanemaru, that would be great for them. The evolution of these two from being the Tempura Boyz to the gold ‘n’ silver duo has been great to see, and while they’ve already had the titles, getting the titles again would just add to their great growth. Naito VS ZSJ 4 was also great, just as good as their previous matches. I’m glad to see Naito won this time, it works for his story of coming back around strong towards the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.7/10