Triple H returns to Raw once again to respond to The Undertaker’s claim that he’ll put The Game down again! Plus, fallout from the brutal Shield beatdown!
- Nikki Bella w/ Brie VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Nikki wins.
- The Authors of Pain VS Rodney Ace & Nathan Bradley; AoP wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Zigger VS The B-Team; McIntyre & Ziggler win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Kevin Owens VS Tyler Breeze; no contest.
- Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Ascension; Roode & Gable win.
- Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Alexa Bliss & Mickie James w/ Alicia Fox; Ronda & Natalya win.
- Finn Balor VS Elias; Finn wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Renee Young is now a FULL-TIME member of Raw commentary!
She is truly honored and humbled to take the chair, and we’re surely grateful to have her.
The NEW dominant trio heads to the ring.
The Show-Off and the Scottish Psycho aren’t just newly minted Raw Tag Team Champions, but they have the Monster Among Men with them! Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre & Braun Strowman lead the same swarm of superstars that joined them in their anti-Shield assault last week. Strowman and the tag champs take the ring while the rest of their “pack” flank the ring. Ziggler says, “We told you so!” He repeats it, and says that there’s only one way to describe last week: “We beat them down.” Strowman agrees with McIntyre from then, and says they feasted on The Shield’s bloody carcasses. But McIntyre says that if you don’t believe them, just watch the replay.
We relive the last few weeks, with The Shield uniting again to keep Strowman from cashing in. But Strowman gathered men to his cause to make this HIS Yard! However, The Shield wanted payback, only to be intercepted by the Raw roster, arrested by the police, then truly outnumbered by a majority of Raw’s roster to end the night. The three ring leaders were proven right as they beat down, embarrassed and just about left The Shield for dead. Back to the present, fans boo while Strowman says the only reason Roman Reigns is still Universal Champion is “because he’s a coward and can’t handle business on his own.” Roman has his hounds of justice, but Strowman has his dogs of war!
The Shield has been running rampant far too long, but their numbers have failed to match up to this pack! The men standing with them made the hard choice and stood up to The Shield’s “bullying” and “for what was right.” Things have shifted and now these dogs run wild! They vow to set an example for everyone when they truly dismantle and destroy The B-Team in tonight’s tag title rematch. And even that won’t compare to what Strowman does to make sure he can #GetTheseHands on the Universal Championship. But wait, The Shield’s music hits, and The Shield is back! Battered and bruised as they are, they’re going to go right at this pack of animals!
They get The Ascension first, then Drew Gulak and The Authors of Pain! Mike Kanellis and Mojo Rawley aren’t enough, either, as Dean Ambrose presents AX HANDLES! They swing wood on everyone, including Kevin Owens and Jinder Mahal! The ring leaders flee, so it’s the Modern Day Maharaja who takes a head-hunting swing from Ambrose! Strowman smirks, because he still gets after Roman at Hell in a Cell, but will The Yard be taken back by the Cerberus of WWE?
The Bella Twins find their locker room vandalized.
The Riott Squad left their names all over the walls, but that only angers the Total Divas stars. Nikki wants payback, will she succeed?
The Shield stands toe to toe with New Orleans police.
Constable Baron Corbin doesn’t want a repeat of last week, so he reasons with NOPD. He also reasons with The Shield. They should compete here on Raw, not destroy it. Maybe if The Shield listens, the police won’t arrest them. Otherwise, titles will be forfeit and they’ll be arrested for a long, long time. Ambrose wants to keep going but Rollins accepts the terms for the team. Roman drops his ax handle, as do Rollins and Ambrose. The trio walk it off, but will they keep level heads throughout the whole night?
Nikki Bella w/ Brie VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!
The twins returned but not everyone likes that. Ruby and her trio of misfits have always caused trouble in a general sense, but they’re focused on a target now. Will Nikki be able to keep momentum going against the red hot rocket Ruby’s been strapped to? Or will the former Diva’s Champion keep this aspiring superstar from #StartingARiott?
Brie almost gets in on the action, but The Squad clears out before she can. Nikki stands alone against Ruby as the bell rings. They tie up and Ruby gets a headlock. She gets a takedown, too, but Nikki works against it. Nikki rolls Ruby to a cover but ONE and Ruby has control again. Ruby and the Squad taunt Nikki while fans duel. Nikki gets up and fights out, but Ruby runs her over with a shoulder. The Squad celebrates but Nikki drops Ruby! Cover, ONE, but she gets a leaping snapmare. The Squad regroups and Nikki has to stay back. Nikki waits patiently, and ties up with Ruby again. Nikki powers Ruby to a corner and rams her shoulder in. She backs off at 4, but then misses and hits buckles. Ruby sees Nikki coming back out and stops her with an STO. Cover, ONE!
Ruby keeps on Nikki with pie faces, but she runs into a tackle! Nikki fires off forearms but Ruby gets free and to the ropes. Then she gets Nikki with a bicycle boot hotshot! Nikki falls out but Brie protects her twin. The Squad taunt Brie while Nikki recovers and we go to break.
Raw returns and Ruby has Nikki in a cravat. Nikki endures and fights back with forearms. Ruby knees Nikki in the face and sits her down. Ruby trash talks Brie but walks into Nikki’s spinebuster! Fans rally as both women are down. Nikki stands and swings Ruby into the cravat facebuster! Nikki rallies and drops Ruby with a dropkick. She runs in but into a mule kick. Ruby climbs and catches Nikki with a headscissor, but Nikki yanks Ruby down to the mat. Nikki hits the Fearless kick, covers, TWO! The Squad is relieved while Nikki grows a bit frustrated. Fans rally up again and Nikki lifts Ruby. Sarah Logan distracts but gets that Fearless forearm for it. Ruby catches Nikki into a complete shot! Cover, TWO!! Ruby grows frustrated, while Brie rallies New Orleans behind her twin.
Ruby stands Nikki up and toys with her. She wrenches the arm, but Nikki catches the Riott Kick into the fireman’s carry. Liv gets in but Brie takes her out with that right hand of her own! Rack Attack 2.0! Cover, Nikki wins!
Winner: Nikki Bella, by pinfall
The Bellas are back and have a quick 2-0 overall. Will Nikki & Brie find themselves climbing back up the Women’s Division ranks with this?
WWE and Raw honor the new Connor’s Cure roster.
Super Messiah conquers evil with love while the sweet and sassy Diva Supreme braves the brave fight. Charlie the Champ, Brayden the Punisher, Lae Lae the Unstoppable and many more are all here tonight with The Big Show. “Unlike what we do in the ring, we fight to win matches, these incredible superstars” are far braver, and fight for something far greater. He personally introduces them, and acknowledges they’re all from Louisiana! New Orleans supports its own, from Super 4 to Brayden, from Diva Surpreme to Super Messiah, from T-Vic the Skull Crusher to Charlie the Champ, and from The Quiet Storm to Lae Lae the Unstoppable.
WWE is very proud and honored to present these kids, and wish to acknowledge the many other real life heroes. They need our help, and ask everyone in the WWE Universe to join the fight. Give it up one more time for Connor’s Cure!
Drake Maverick prepares the Authors of Pain.
The general manager for 205 Live and personal manager to Akam & Rezar wants them to harness their rage and let no one forget the carnage they will cause. He leads the way tot he ring, will Maverick’s mind behind the Authors’ aggression be what they need to reach the top?
The Authors of Pain VS Rodney Ace & Nathan Bradley!
The former NXT Tag Team Champions may not have titles, but they’ve still got destruction and malice on their minds. Will Team Sweet ‘n’ Sour stand a chance of being anything but lambs to a slaughter? Rezar starts with Ace, picks him up, and throws him right at a post! Rezar then drags Ace off for a Fall Away Slam! He glares at Bradley, and Bradley retreats. But Akam runs him over! Akam puts Bradley in, tags in from Rezar, and then takes Ace and whips him for a powerslam onto Bradley! Tag back to Rezar, and each one takes an opponent. They Super Collide the two! Cover on Ace, AoP wins!
Winners: The Authors of Pain, Rezar pinning
As if there was ever any doubt. Maverick raises the hands of his duo of destruction. Will he lead them to those tag titles while McIntyre & Ziggler hold the gold?
A limousine pulls up to the stadium.
But who is riding in the back? Triple H! The COO is here to again bring back The Game!
Triple H heads to the ring!
The Game’s best friend in The Heartbreak Kid, Shawn Michaels, spoke in defense of his chances at Super Show Down, only to be confronted by The Phenom! The Undertaker vows to put HHH down again, but now he’s here to respond. HHH said the Era was back, and out of mutual respect they would go #OneLastTime in Melbourne. Legends came out of the woodwork to give their opinions and fans voted on polls. The Undertaker won that 81% to 19%, but that’s expected. However, at this level of competition, opinions and predictions don’t mean anything. “Or at least they shouldn’t.” Which is why HHH was shocked when HBK was giving his opinion, that it bothered the Dead Man so much. THE Undertaker felt he had to come out, HHH finds it funny somehow.
But Taker was so rattled that HBK said HHH would win and poof, there he was. “Angry, agitated, accusing Shawn of bitterness and fear.” But this is the Undertaker! HHH admits, he watched it again and it made him mad. HHH felt like Taker lost respect for HBK and HHH. But HHH watched it a second time. Taker hadn’t lost respect for the legends, but for himself. And look no further than the fact Taker didn’t appear to tell HHH to his face. If you look back at the four matches, Taker VS HBK and Taker VS HHH, things weren’t the same after those four. The aura faded, Lesnar would take the streak, and “all that was left is what you see of the Undertaker now: just a reputation.”
HHH says that series of matches were Taker’s last moments of greatness and he blames everyone else for it. But Taker did say one thing that was true: it’s personal. HHH says that in Melbourne, Australia, out of the last bit of respect he has for Taker, he will put him down! The Game looks to be back, as is The Phenom, but who really will end the other in this #OneLastTime match of living legends?
Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Zigger VS The B-Team!
Bo Dallas and Curt Axel are no longer “undefeated” under their rebranding, but do they even stand a chance against the ruthless wolves who hunted them and The Revival down to get those belts?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and Bo starts with Ziggler. Bo blocks the takedown then gets a standing switch. Ziggler gets to ropes but he elbows out of the ropebreak. Bo is dizzy while Ziggler drops him with a dropkick. Ziggler trash talks and grinds Bo into the ropes. He whips but Bo counters with a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Bo puts Ziggler in the B-Team corner and stomps and punches to the beat of “B-Team! B-Team! Go go go!” Axel tags in and does the same. Tag back to Bo for more of that, then tags Axel again. Bo clotheslines and feeds Ziggler to the DDT! Cover, TWO!
Axel has Ziggler in a corner but Ziggler hits back. Ziggler puts Axel in the corner and throws elbows. He trash talks but Axel throws haymakers. Axel hits McIntyre for good measure, but gets a SUPERKICK! Ziggler tags McIntyre, and McIntyre blasts Axel off the apron! The champions have control while we go to break.
Raw returns and McIntyre grinds Axel down. Fans chant “B-Team! B-Team! Go go go!” but Axel just gets a big back suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre stomps Axel’s hand and stands on it! Then he takes Axel’s other hand and bends the fingers way back. McIntyre kicks Axel down but Bo keeps the fans and the chant going. Axel fights back, but still gets caught by McIntyre! Ziggler tags in and adds a SUPERKICK to McIntyre’s inverted Alabama slam! Cover, but Bo breaks it up! McIntyre protests but Ziggler keeps aim on Axel. Axel stands, blocks the kick, and catapults Ziggler at a post! Axel crawls for Bo, but Ziggler grabs his foot. That’s not enough, as Axel shoves him away and tags in Bo!
Bo rallies on Ziggler and McIntyre! He hits low then boots on the run! He runs Ziggler over with a back elbow, covers, TWO! Bo knows he’s close and he keeps the chant going. He drags Ziggler up but McIntyre saves Ziggler from the neckbreaker. Ziggler tries to suplex but Bo counters into a small package! McIntyre kicks the pin apart then headbutts Axel! Bo drags Ziggler up but Ziggler slips out to rake the eyes! Tag to McIntyre, CLAYMORE ZIGZAG! Cover, McIntyre & Ziggler win!
Winners: McIntyre & Ziggler, McIntyre pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
But here come the Shield! Ambrose and Rollins are back in their normal ring gear and they knock Ziggler down! They then go after McIntyre together and clothesline him out! Ziggler returns and jumps on Rollins, but Rollins throws him off. Ambrose attacks Ziggler, but McIntyre saves Ziggler from the curb stomp! McIntyre & Ziggler get away with their belts, but what will the consequences for Rollins & Ambrose be?
Speaking of, Baron Corbin speaks with Ambrose & Rollins!
What’s it going to take to get it through their skulls? Do they want to get arrested? Corbin told The Shield to leave! Oh, the Shield did leave. And if Rollins knows those guys as well as he does, they’re probably off in a bar somewhere on Bourbon Street. This is just Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. Two isn’t The Shield. Semantics! And this is blatant disrespect. He’s having them arrested again. Oh like he did last week? No, he was preventing– Cut the crap! Someone got them arretsed. 25 years of Raw and only now does someone really get arrested? Why didn’t Braun, Dolph & Drew get arrested? And then what about those goons they had with them to jump The Shield alst week? They reminded The Shield of Corbin.
What’re they getting at? That the threats are as bogus as the charges. And those policemen, they’re pretty bogus. Oh who is he? A lawyer? No, but they do know the sheriff of New Orleans to issue a warrant for Corbin’s arrest. They have no proof! Then he’s all yours, sheriff. The sheriff reads Corbin his rights! Okay, hold on! They need to talk this out privately. Well… Okay. Stand down, sheriff. The Architect and the Constable talk things out while Ambrose talks with the sheriff. Whose idea was it to put a stop sign there? No idea. And did he have to search Ambrose’s car? It wasn’t really speeding. But anyway, Rollins finishes negotiations. They thank the sheriff, but there won’t need to be any charges pressed at the moment. But they’ll call if they ever do. What are the terms of Corbin’s agreement with Rollins?
Kevin Owens VS Tyler Breeze!
The Prizefighter claimed to have quit just a couple weeks ago, but then he shows up last week to brutally attack the Dominator while he was “meditating” with Jinder Mahal. But without giving reason as to why he’s back, Kevin’s back again! Will he regret going after Lashley unprovoked?
But for now, he faces the lone Fashion Officer, Prince Pretty himself. It’s a big chance for Breeze, but Kevin doesn’t wait for a bell! He kicks Breeze then throws him around ringside. Kevin puts Breeze back in and Breeze fights back! They brawl and Breeze enziguris Kevin out! Breeze slingshots but misses, and gets a SUPERKICK for it! Kevin then gives Breeze an APRON BOMB!! Kevin has endless amounts of rage and an insatiable thirst for violence. He then takes a mic to speak on him walking away. It felt great, but immediately, acting GM Corbin called him up and begged him to reconsider. “Because unlike all of you and the people in the back,” Corbin recognizes the true MVP of Raw.
Kevin agreed to stay, under one very strict condition. He won’t be held accountable for what he does to any of his opponents. He gets to do what he wants to anyone he wants, so beating down Breeze is just him doing his job. And going after The Shield was him doing it for himself. He’s sick of The Shield, so he was just doing his job. Kevin can do anything and everything to anyone and everyone, but there is one man you can blame: Bobby Lashley! That “sick maniac” is why Sami Zayn has been on the shelf! Kevin wanted to quit because of Lashley, but he also stayed because of what he wants to do to Lashley. And this is STILL the Kevin Owens Show! And on his show, expect Kevin to do three things: anarchy; agony; and destruction! “And it is all Lashley’s fault!”
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS The Ascension!
The duo that is #ReadyWillingandGLORIOUS returns for their second match together ever. Roode was skeptical, but he admits Gable is a great tag partner. They plan on making the entire Raw Tag Team Division Absolutely GLORIOUS, but will that happen with all the chaos and confusion these days?
The bell rings and Gable tags in right off of Roode? Gable goes after Viktor and spins around from headlock to waistlock to German Suplex! Fisherman suplex and another German, Gable is rolling. Gable hits Konnor then bucks off Viktor. He throws Viktor with an exploder, but Konnor boots him down! Viktor drags Gable up and tags Konnor. Konnor goes after Gable with stomps and a chinlock. Roode cheers his new teammate on as Gable endures. Gable stands up and fights back. Konnor elbows him down then throws hands. He tags in Viktor, and they double team to splash and knee Gable down! Cover, TWO!
Viktor stays on Gable with a chinlock. Roode rallies up the fans and Gable fights back again. Viktor knees low but Gable gets away. Gable reaches for Roode but Viktor yanks him back. Roode dodges Viktor, and Gable back drops Viktor away! Hot tag to Roode! Roode rallies on Viktor! Viktor reverses a whip but Roode hits back. Roode hits Konnor but runs into Viktor’s boot. Viktor runs into the GLORIOUS Spinebuster! Roode winds it up, but Gable tags in again!? Gable winds it up, and rolls Viktor for CHAOS THEORY! Cover, Gable & Roode win!
Winners: Roode & Gable, Gable pinning
Roode is still happy they won, because they’re 2-0 now! Will Roode and Gable be able to work out how… eager, Gable seems? Or will winning help them sail smoothly to the top?
The Pack are furious.
How did The Shield, incomplete or otherwise, get back in the building?! This is not what they agreed on. But in walks Baron Corbin. Did he take care of things or what? Not exactly. Louisiana has the Napoleonic Code, and that gets complicated. But this Sunday, the tag team champions are defending against Dean Abmrose & Seth Rollins. They’re being rewarded for that attack? Why!? Corbin has one big reason, outside of wanting to make his first PPV show huge. This title match will be epic, on top of Strowman VS Roman for the Universal Championship. Stephanie McMahon is behind Strowman all the way. That’s good, because right now, Strowman is going Big Dog hunting!
Ronda Rousey & Natalya VS Alexa Bliss & Mickie James w/ Alicia Fox!
The Baddest Woman on the Planet prepares to rip The Goddess apart again at Hell in a Cell, but tonight it’s about making sure at least one of Alexa’s “friends” stays out of it. Can Rowdy Ronda and the Queen of Harts keep Alexa and Mickie down this close to the PPV?
But as they get in the ring, Alexa riles Natty up by throwing her shirt at her! Natty brings teh claws out already, and asks Ronda let her start. Ronda obliges and the bell rings. Alexa runs away from Natty, using the ropes as a shield. But then she comes back into Natty’s headlock takeover! Alexa gets the headscissors, but Natty pops out. Alexa swings but ends up in a Russian leg sweep. Cover, TWO, but Natty grabs Alexa in a waistlock. Natty throws Alexa around but Alexa elbows out. Alexa whips but misses in a corner to get the rebound drop! Natty then walks all over Alexa to hit the basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty keeps Alexa down with a facelock, but both fans and Ronda herself want to see the champ. Ronda tags in, and Alexa runs away!
Alexa tags to Mickie, and Mickie circles with Ronda. Mickie gets a waistlock but Ronda pries her way right out to clothesline Mickie down! Natty wants Mickie, so Ronda tags her in. The friends double suplex Mickie! Mickie reaches but can’t get the tag. Cover, TWO, but Natty drags Mickie up. Mickie sunset flips but Natty rolls through to go for a hold! Mickie gets to the ropes and Natty has to honor the ropebreak. Natty comes back to get a roundhouse! Cover, TWO! Mickie chokes Natty on the ropes, then backs off at 4. Alexa gets a cheap shot, then Mickie drags Natty to a cover. TWO, but Mickie keeps on Natty with a chinlock. Fans rally and Natty gets up. Natty throws Mickie off but runs into a lariat!
Mickie stands on Natty’s hair and pulls! Then she drags Natty over to tag in Alexa. These “friends” throw Natty down together. Alexa trash talks, then hits Insult2Injury with those double knees. Cover, TWO, and Natty reaches for Ronda. Alexa kicks her while she’s down, then puts Natty in the armbar, only for Natty to roll her up! TWO, and Alexa lariats Natty down! Then she SLAPS Ronda!! Ronda glares and chases Alexa down! They go around the ring, and Natty grabs Alexa, HART ATTACK! Ronda scares off Mickie and Alicia while we go to break.
Raw returns and Mickie has Natty down in a body scissors. Natty endures while Ronda rallies the fans. Natty gets around and throws hands on Mickie! Mickie shifts to a guillotine, but Natty has the fans on her side. Natty powers up and heads for buckles! Mickie lets go and Natty throws elbows. Natty hobbles to Ronda but Mickie yanks her down by her hair! Mickie taunts Ronda while dragging Natty away. She bumps Natty off buckles and tags in Alexa. They grind and stomp Natty in a corner, then back off at 4. Alexa puts Natty in a corner and stomps another mudhole into her. She mocks Ronda but still gets scared off by Ronda swiping at her. Natty back elbows Alexa down and tags in Ronda!
Ronda stalks Alexa to the outside. Mickie distracts and Alexa throws her into barriers! Then the apron! Alexa puts Ronda into the apron again, picking on those sore ribs with kicks. The referee counts, Alexa puts Ronda in and covers, ONE! Fans are on Ronda’s side as Alexa bumps her off buckles. Tag back to Mickie and Mickie kicks away on Ronda’s ribs. Fans are thunderous as Alexa tags back in. They keep stomping those ribs. Alexa snapmares and kicks Ronda while she’s down. She pulls Ronda back in a bow ‘n’ arrow style stretch. Fans rally up again but Alexa keeps kicking her while she’s down. Tag to Mickie, and Alexa holds Ronda in the bow ‘n’ arrow for Mickie’s basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Mickie keeps on Ronda with the chinlock, even adding part of a cobra clutch.
Fans rally and Ronda throws Mickie off! Ronda catches her breath while staring Mickie down, so Mickie hits Natty! Mickie has Ronda isolated as she brings her back, but Ronda fires off jabs, and then a lariat! She even gets Alexa with a backhand! Mickie cowers to a corner but Ronda fires herself up. Ronda fires off more with those jabs and body shots! Those ribs slow her down, though, and Mickie kicks her there again. Mickie goes to whip but Ronda counters with those wicked judo throws! She makes Alexa watch as she puts Mickie in the armbar!! Mickie taps, Ronda & Natty win!
Winners: Natalya & Ronda Rousey, Ronda by submission
The Raw Women’s Champion is sore, but she’s still rolling on towards Hell in a Cell. that is, until Alexa gets that cheap shot in! The Goddess has a target, but will even that be enough to reclaim her title from Ronda?
Elias prepares himself.
But his drink is not up to code. He ordered chamomile, but that’s not this. But then Braun Strowman comes roaring through, asking anyone and everyone where Roman is. He even pins one staffer up against a wall, demanding to know where he is. The poor guy doesn’t know a thing, so Strowman just throws him onto trucks! What will Strowman do when he finally finds Roman Reigns? What will he do when he doesn’t?!
Backstage interview with Ronda and Natalya.
They won, but at what cost? Is Ronda going to be okay for Hell in a Cell? Ronda is fine, and would still show up even if she wasn’t. She doesn’t back out of her fights, because even on her worst day, she’s still the best! That may be true, but will a strong will be enough to stop the crafty Alexa Bliss?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is in the birthplace of Jazz and Rock ‘n’ Roll, and now Elias has perfected music. He begins to play, and asks “Who Wants to Walk With Elias?!” New Orleans does, but Elias says something feels off. They all feel so lost. Is it because the Saints lost? The boos don’t exactly deny it. Fans chant “Who Dat?! Who Dat?!” Elias says Drew Brees would never say this in public, but he’s actually sick of representing this “rundown, filthy city.” The season only just began but it’s already done, but Elias can save you. So please, silence cell phones, hold applause and most of all, shut mouths! Elias plays again, but here comes Mick Foley!
The Hall of Famer, former Raw GM and ECW legend is here on the 20th anniversary of his famous if not infamous Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker. And New Orleans is glad to see him! Foley apologizes, he’s actually a big fan of Elias. Elias has a “rich and resonant voice”, and is very good on the guitar. But as a lyricist, Elias doesn’t have a sincere bone in his body. Sincere? Elias knows Foley is out here to talk about the Cell match, but if Elias is to be sincere, “as hard as it may be to believe, I was a child once.” Elias was there that night as Foley fell from the Cell. Foley’s career was never the same after getting Choke Slammed through the Cell, and his life was changed forever.
Elias would be lying if he didn’t call that a special moment and say Foley is something special. But that was then and this is now. Foley stands with the great Elias, while Elias stands with a broken man. Foley sings the same song every year yet barely remembers the words. Fans hope Mr. Socko makes an appearance. Foley admits Elias has a point, but he’s actually here to talk about the future. Well you’re talking to the future. Maybe Elias is the future, so long as he keeps his eyes on the prize. But no, Elias just means the near future, the Hell in a Cell PPV. Foley went to Stephanie McMahon and asked that with the 20th anniversary, don’t let him just be on the couch. Let Foley be part of that PPV, even as just a timekeeper or bell boy.
Well if Elias knows Stephanie, Stephanie laughed. She did! But then he reminded her of that very match, where it looked like the match was over, there was something that made Foley feel tougher and stronger than he ever was or would ever would be. He got up, climbed the cell, felt the electricity that could’ve lit Pittsburgh for a week, Foley wants to feel that feeling again! Ten minutes after that match, a tooth in his nose, that Foley and Stephanie first met. Foley wants to be part of HiaC PPV so badly. So Foley won’t be keeping time, ringing bell or on commentary. Foley will collide with Strowman and Roman as the special guest referee! “BANG BANG!” Elias is impressed, that was a great speech. But Foley needs to take some advice from Elias and shut up, you’ve taken up enough of his time!
Foley gets back in the ring and makes sure Elias understands one thing. The Constable has a lot on his plate, so maybe Foley could make one more match for right here in New Orleans. And guess what? Up next, Elias VS… FINN BALOR! The Drifter is no stranger to the Extraordinary Man, will Finn make Elias eat his words of offense to Mrs. Foley’s baby boy?
Stromwan continues his hunt for Roman.
He throws down ladders and tosses trash cans while generally terrifying the staff backstage.
Finn Balor VS Elias!
The bell rings and the two circle. Fans are fired up for Finn as he ties up with Elias. Elias scoops and slams then covers, ONE. Finn sits up as fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Elias rocks Finn with a right, then chokes him at the ropes. Elias backs off at 4, then chops Finn. He whips and runs Finn over with a back elbow. Cover, ONE, but Elias keeps on Finn with a neck wrench. Finn endures and gets back up. Elias knees low and whips, but Finn reverses. Elias sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn kicks away on Elias’ leg, then pulls it at the ropes. Elias rakes the eyes, then whips Finn. Finn stops himself to kick and chop Elias back. Finn whips but Elias reverses hard. Elias covers, ONE, but he keeps on Finn with a snapmare and stomps.
Elias clamps on a nerve hold but fans rally for Finn. Finn powers up but Elias puts him back down with a tighter grip. Fans continue to rally for Finn and he gets up a second time. Elias scoops but Finn slips out. Finn boots Elias, then dodges to chop Elias. Finn chops Elias again, but Elias knees low again. Elias whips but Finn reverses to then dropkick Elias down. Finn trips Elias and hits double stomps, almost in the face! Fans fire up and Finn hits a slingblade! Finn runs but into Elias’ big knee! Cover, TWO! Elias takes control back while we go to break.
Raw returns once more, and Elias stalks Finn to the ropes. Elias kicks him and punches him while he’s down, then runs. Finn dumps Elias out, then takes a moment to catch his breath before building speed. Elias returns to clobber him with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Elias grows frustrated while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Elias puts Finn in a corner hard, then hoists him up for the electric chair. Finn fights out and hits the elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn grits his teeth, then throws a strike fest! He sweeps the legs but misses the stomps. Elias gets the electric chair, then the spin-out sit-out bomb! TWO!! Finn and Elias are down but Elias drags him up.
Elias chops Finn swiftly to a corner, then hoists him up to the top rope. Elias chops again, and Finn almost falls back. Finn fights back, sends Elias down, and takes aim… but the Coup de Grace misses! Elias hits a kick, but Finn gets a small package! Finn wins!
Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall
Finn gets a sorely needed win to stay afloat in the Raw rankings. Can Finn keep climbing back and see a title match in his future?
Bobby Lashley works out in the gym.
The Man of the Hour, Lio Rush, gives him props! Low weights, high reps, but Lio is here to give Lashley the support he needs. Lio does realize Lashley is busy, right? Sorry, he’s just here to motivate. Lashley appreciates that! Lio talks Lashley up again and that gets Lashley going again. Is this beginning of a new manager-client partnership?
Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.
But he cuts Charly off to ask where is Roman Reigns. She saw him leaving the building. Yeah, but Rollins & Ambrose returned. Therefore, Roman is here somewhere. Maybe if Strowman goes tot he ring, Roman will head there, too? That’s a good idea. Strowman decides to head to the ring. Will he and Roman end up breaking it down?
Braun Strowman heads to the ring!
The Monster Among Men is still seething, and is sick of waiting! He demands Roman get out there and face him like a man! Strowman shouts when nothing happens, but that’s just what he thought. This Universal Champion is a coward. But there’s nowhere to run and hide to inside the Cell. “It’s just a man locked inside a cage with a monster!” Rollins and Ambrose won’t be able to help Roman, nor will Mick Foley. Because if Foley does something, that fall from the Cell will look like a paper cut compared to what Strowman does! Strowman promises to take the Universal Championship and sending Roman to Hell itself! But then Roman’s music hits! Strowman goes looking again, and Roman stands on the announce desk! The two meet at the stage and SUPERMAN PUNCH!
Roman has Strowman reeling as he throws hands. Strowman pushes Roman into the LED stage again and again and again! Strowman headbutts Roman down, then decides to clear off the announce desk! He drags Roman up and over, puts roman on the table, then climbs up with him. Strowman drags Roman up but Roman scoops Strowman! Samoan Drop OFF THE STAGE!! They crash through the panels and to the floor! Roman drags himself from the wreckage, and takes his belt back. He lifts it up victoriously, but will he lift it up again after his Cell match? Or will Strowman come through on his promise to plunge the Big Dog to the depths of Hell, never to be seen again?
Just when I thought Raw was gonna have a good go-home by addressing that anti-Shield “Pack” thing, Vince decides to let the air out of the tires and have Raw limp into Hell in a Cell. When it seemed almost obvious to have The Shield be joined by all the Faces in the locker room (Finn Balor, Titus Worldwide, Roode, Gable, etc) they chose to try and keep it to just The Shield VS Strowman’s Pack. Granted, The Shield geared up with ax handles, but it still seemed like they came out too strong. I do appreciate the accusation of a Constable Conspiracy, and even the silly loophole that The Shield is only The Shield when they wear the old gear. Roman brawling it out with Strowman at the end there was standard, and that Samoan Drop spot sure looked like an attempt at something Gargano and Ciampa did.
The interesting developments coming out of all this is the Raw Tag Team Championship match and Mick Foley as a special referee. Strowman has a point, Foley can’t do too much to stop him, but I’m sure Foley will try. And win or lose, I still feel McIntyre & Ziggler will try to help Strowman, Rollins & Ambrose will meet them, and that in itself might spur Foley to do something to try and keep this just between Roman and Strowman. I’m thinking the Shield will alternate, meaning that something happens where Rollins & Ambrose won’t win, because Vince McMahon will surely want Roman to retain. In a way, that’s fine, because The Shield shouldn’t be so strong as to become a golden trio again. At the same time, it’d be so much more surprising (aka better) if Strowman wins the Universal Championship while Rollins & Ambrose got the tag titles back.
But outside of “THE story”, Raw was quite truly phoned in. There were too many recap packages, and most of them were for SmackDown! SmackDown’s go-home will probably have recaps of their own, but for Raw to waste its time with filler packages was a horrible move. Honestly, I would’ve welcomed filler matches if it meant the live audience in the arena got to watch something. Instead, Nikki Bella buries Ruby Riott just because, and Akam & Rezar squash “Sweet ‘n’ Sour”. McIntyre-Ziggler VS B-Team was alright, but it was obvious this was a formality even before the HiaC match was made. I thought Ronda-Natty VS Alexa-Mickie (originally supposed to have Alicia) was going to be the main event but it was still really good either way. Finn benefits by winning in the “main event”, he needs to be given more chances or just go to SmackDown.
I do like the development in Kevin Owens’ story with Bobby Lashley. Kevin with a blank check as far as his brutality goes is actually a pretty good story, the only thing that marred it is the idea that he was sick of The Shield and joined up with Strowman’s Pack just because. But then Lio Rush being thrown in as Lashley’s hype man (of the hour) is just odd. Between Lio with Lashley and Maverick with AoP, I really hope Vince isn’t insisting on incorporating Cruiserweights with Raw again. That was happening back in the Enzo Amore days and those were not good days. They need to stop this before it gets any worse.
My Score: 7.3/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Part 2!
AXS wraps Wrestling Dontaku with TWO HOURS!
It’s the AXS finale of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019!
AXS and NJPW give us TWO hours and two championship matches! Jeff Cobb defends the NEVER Openweight Championship while Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
Coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic Wrestling Dontaku 2019 finale!
“Legacies will be defined” as The Rainmaker pushes past redemption and moves on to reestablish himself. It was through the 2019 New Japan Cup that Kazuchika Okada earned another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Jay White, and it was at G1 Supercard that he took that title back! The now five-time champion keeps his promise of giving Cold Skull Sanada the first shot! The story of Okada and Sanada goes back to Sanada’s debut in 2016, in which he attacked Okada on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito’s behalf. Sanada has climbed the ranks in the singles division, but is this the night he finally proves he is worthy? Or will Okada continue to prove he’s on another level?
Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull and the King of Darkness have recently renewed a rivalry. They teamed with Okada and Sanada in a tag team match on the first night, and it went Evil’s way when put Tomohiro Ishii in the Scorpion Deathlock, a move copied from Ishii’s mentor! However, it was the referee who called the match for the sake of Ishii’s well-being, Ishii did not submit. Will Evil finally make Ishii give in? Or will Ishii get revenge for Evil adding insult to injury?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!
The Hawaiian Hulk has a title belt in both ROH and NJPW! But that only means more work for the Olympic wrestler, and that includes facing the Sliest Wrestler in the World, backed by Suzuki-Gun! Will all the tricks in Taichi’s book amount to nothing against the colossal cross-promotion champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is presented, and the dramatic Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear. Miho Abe takes care of his coat but Cobb makes sure Taichi puts his knapsack down, too. Taichi does, the bell rings, and we begin!
Cobb and Taichi slowly circle. Taichi goes back to his corner to have Miho fix his hair. Cobb grows annoyed but Taichi is in the corner so he can’t be touched. They circle but then Taichi bails out to regroup with Miho, Taka Michinoku and Kanemaru. Taichi takes his time returning, all to troll Cobb. Miho gets on the apron to be a distraction, and Taichi gets in from behind! He clubs Cobb, but it only annoys Cobb more! Cobb kicks Taichi then CHOPS him! Cobb CHOPS Taichi more, but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi whips but Cobb reverses and things speed up. Cobb hurdles and dropkicks Taichi! Fans applaud Cobb’s agility while Taichi bails out. Cobb builds speed, but Taichi uses Miho as a shield!
Fans boo but Cobb bails out. Cobb tells Taichi to man up but Taichi still “cowers” behind Miho. Red Shoes reprimands Taichi, but he doesn’t see Kanemaru attack Cobb from behind! Kanemaru’s forearms do more to Cobb than Taichi’s. But Cobb whips Kanemaru into railing! And he throws forearms on him! Taichi uses his mic stand on Cobb! Taichi chokes Cobb while Red Shoes is down. Red Shoes gets up with help from a Young Lion, and stops Taichi. Taichi whips Cobb into railing then brings him to NJPW commentary. He bounces Cobb off the announce desks then chokes him with cables! Taichi leaves Cobb behind long enough to take the NEVER Openweight belt. Taichi holds it up as if it’s already his. Fans boo and Red Shoes shakes his head.
Cobb drags himself up and gets in the ring before a count begins, but Taichi stomps away on him. Taichi stands on Cobb’s back and head, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. Taichi smirks as he stands Cobb up to choke him into a corner! Red Shoes counts again but Taichi lets up, only to grind Cobb’s face on ropes. Taichi smirks more as he rakes Cobb’s face! He stops at Red Shoes’ count but then brings Cobb up for a snapmare and swift kick. Cobb only gets mad and stands back up. Cobb throws big forearms on Taichi! Taichi mule kicks Cobb away, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. Taichi keeps moving, but Cobb dodges. Cobb wants a belly2belly but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into a scoop to suplex! Cobb puts Taichi on the top rope, to CHOP him.
Cobb adjusts and climbs to join Taichi. Taichi holds on but Cobb gets up for a stalling SUPERPLEX! Taichi bounces up from momentum alone then flounders to a corner. Cobb slowly stands and gets himself to a corner while Taichi slowly sits up. Cobb runs in but Taichi dodges. Taichi misses his kick but Cobb chops and clotheslines with no wasted motion! Cobb whips corner to corner then runs in for a BIG elbow! Cobb fireman’s carries Taichi for a Samoan Drop! “Gochimuchi” Moonsault but Taichi dodges! Taichi kicks but misses and Cobb waistlocks. Taichi elbows free but Cobb shoves. Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Taichi hits his enziguri! Taichi brings Cobb in, but he can’t lift Cobb! He kicks away on Cobb’s face, then tries again, but that doesn’t change anything! Cobb back drops Taichi instead!
Taichi wrenches and hook kicks Cobb! Taichi hits the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is tougher than that, so Taichi focuses his power. Off come the pants! Taichi aims and kicks, but Cobb deflects to hit back with a big right. Taichi kicks but it barely bothers Cobb. Neither does the next kick or the next kick. If anything, Cobb starts liking it. Cobb forearms Taichi and dares him to come back. He throws more forearms, and Taichi falls to his knees. Cobb dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi fires himself up. Taichi kicks away on Cobb’s chest, but Cobb blocks and brings Taichi in for a Fall Away Slam! Cobb runs as fans rally, but Taichi dodges to mule kick! But Cobb forearms back, so Taichi enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up!
Miho, Taka and Kanemaru coach up Taichi but the fans rally behind Cobb. Taichi grabs Cobb for a dragon sleeper, but Cobb powers out. Cobb arm-drags Taichi off, then scoops him for- No, Taichi gets out of the Tour for a BIG saido suplex! Taichi drags Cobb up again, dragon sleeper and armlock, but Cobb endures the “stretch bar.” Cobb reaches but Taichi cranks back. Fans rally again but Taichi shifts to a cover, TWO!! Cobb still has life and Taichi grows frustrated. Taichi stands Cobb up and brings him up in an Alabama lift. But Cobb is just too much! Cobb clubs Taichi and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on and rolls to bring him up for another! Cobb still holds on, for a PILEDRIVER! Cobb can’t cover, he’s too tired!
Fans rally as both men are down! Cobb stirs but goes the wrong way. Miho panics and almost cries for Taichi but it’s Cobb who slowly stands up. Fans duel as Cobb drags Taichi back up. Taichi is dead weight but Cobb gets him up and whips him, but Taichi boots! Taichi is alive and whips, but Cobb reverses to the Athletic Plex! Cobb drags Taichi up, throws him, but Taichi holds ropes. Taichi boots and roundhouses! And rabbit ax bombers to another enziguri! Both men are down again, and it’s Taichi who can’t make a cover! Taichi revives and fires up! He takes aim at Cobb, who staggers over. Superkick blocked, for a Tour- No, Taichi escapes, but gets a LARIAT! GACHIMUCHI! And then, a Tour of the- No, roll up! TWO!!
Taichi pushes Red Shoes to LOW BLOW Cobb! Chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Not even a kick to the balls can stop Cobb! But Taichi aims, SUPERKICK!! Then Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
For the second time ever, the Sliest Wrestler holds this belt! And most surprisingly, he barely had to cheat! Cobb is no longer champion in both ROH and NJPW, but will Cobb be back for a rematch?
EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii!
Again, the Stone Pitbull did not submit to the Scorpion Deathlock as put on by the King of Darkness. However, he was still trapped in it with no way out. Will Ishii fall for that trap again? Or will he have an escape plan this time?
NJPW returns after the entrances and we get right to the bell!
Evil and Ishii collide, then collide, then collide. Ishii runs and bumps Evil, who comes back on the rebound, but so does Ishii! They just keep ramming into each other! Evil and Ishii each fire up as the fans fire up. Evil throws a forearm but Ishii gives it back, and repeat. They go back and forth like this, fast and furious, and the fans rally up with them! The brawl keeps going, forearm for forearm, elbow for elbow! Evil gets rocked and Ishii keeps on him. Ishii runs but into Evil’s elbow! Evil runs but they go shoulder to shoulder again! They both run, and they both collide! Evil finally knocks Ishii down!
Fans cheer while Evil catches his breath and Ishii writhes. Evil drags Ishii up to toss him out. Evil follows to club away, then whip into barriers! Ishii hits the floor but Evil doesn’t let up. Evil brings Ishii up to throw into the post! You could hear that *BING* of head hitting metal! Evil stomps Ishii then drags him back up to throw back into railing. He puts Ishii’s leg through the rails to kick! Ishii hobbles as the ring count passes 15! Evil puts Ishii in at 17 and fans cheer. Evil stomps the leg now, but Ishii eggs him on! So Evil slams the leg and puts on a toehold. Ishii endures while pulling Evil’s hair. Evil pulls back on the leg and ankle, but Ishii drags himself to a ropebreak. Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go.
Evil looms over Ishii but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii chops but it doesn’t hurt. Evil CHOPS Ishii and he staggers back! Ishii chops but Evil CHOPS! They keep going back and forth, Ishii’s chop meeting Evil’s CHOP! Ishii fires off many chops but Evil just needs one double hand CHOP to floor Ishii! Evil keeps on that leg, clearly preparing for the Scorpion Deathlock. He puts it on, but Ishii resists being turned over! Ishii slaps Evil so Evil chokes and CHOPS Ishii. Ishii just takes the chops and stands up. He wobbles over to Evil to fire off forearms, but Evil kicks the bad leg out. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back with a clothesline! However, Ishii hobbles, showing that Evil’s plan is working.
Evil stands but Ishii CHOPS him in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and forearms and repeats. He whips corner to corner but Evil reverses to forearm, only to run into a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii’s up first. Ishii drags Evil up but Evil resists the back suplex with elbows. Evil brings Ishii towards a corner but Ishii rams his shoulder in! And again and again! Ishii runs back in but into a boot, only to clothesline Evil anyway! Fans rally both ways as Ishii gets his back and legs moving. Ishii drags Evil up and hoists him onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Evil, but Evil resists. Evil holds onto the crossbars so Ishii headbutts him! Ishii lifts Evil for the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Ishii stands. Ishii wants Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil boots the lariat and blocks the other. He passes Ishii’s kick to Red Shoes to mule kick Ishii’s leg! Evil suplexes Ishii into buckles! The Pitbull bails out of the ring but Evil pursues. Evil goes under the ring and tosses chairs around. Ishii hits back and brings Evil over. Evil blocks the suplex, but Ishii still tries. Evil suplexes to put Ishii on the rails, Anarchy Suplex! Almost a Magic Killer! Evil gets back up and grabs one of those chairs. He puts one around Ishii’s head and has the other! Red Shoes runs out to reprimand Evil but Evil shoves him away! Evil then swings and SMACKS the chair off around Ishii’s head! The Pitbull goes down while we go to break.
NJPW returns again as Evil drags Ishii up. Fans cheer as Evil wants to end this in the ring. Evil rallies the fans and takes aim at Ishii. He runs corner to corner and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars while Ishii flops to the mat. Evil drags Ishii up for a suplex and he puts Ishii on the top rope. Now Evil joins Ishii up there but Red Shoes is worried. Evil stands Ishii up, for a SUPERPLEX of his own! He crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ishii’s far tougher than that, so Evil goes after the legs! Scorpion Deathlock! Ishii endures this hold all over again, but he also powers up! He crawls himself towards the ropes but Evil sits down deeper! Fans rally as Ishii powers up again. Ishii crawls again, but Evil sits back down.
Ishii grabs at Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping, and then he gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go and wipes the sweat from his brow. Evil looms over Ishii and drags him back up. He lifts Ishii but Ishii slips out. Ishii waistlocks but Evil elbows out. Ishii swings but Evil dodges to waistlock, only for Ishii to swing again, which Evil again dodges. Evil swings but Ishii blocks, and Ishii waistlocks only for Evil to elbow out. Evil swings again, but into Ishii’s back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Evil goes after the legs again with elbows to the knee. But Ishii eggs him on! Evil mule kicks the knee but Ishii fires off forearms. Evil ROCKS Ishii with that right!
Fans rally as Ishii falls to his knees, but Evil runs. Ishii blocks a clothesline with a clothesline, then runs. Evil runs from the corner, but Ishii sees it coming and clotheslines him down! Ishii grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. He puts Evil in the Scorpion Deathlock! Evil endures the move now as Ishii sits down deep! Evil powers his way over, but Ishii cranks back harder! But Evil still gets the ropebreak! Ishii lets go and is frustrated, but he doesn’t let up. He goes after Evil again, dragging him up by his singlet. Ishii goes after a leg with a knee jammer! Evil fights off the shin breaker, then spins, but into Ishii’s elbows from all sides! Evil spins again but into another big forearm! Ishii sits Evil up for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous all over again as Ishii stands Evil up. Ishii suplexes, but Evil knees out. Evil shoves and German Suplexes! But Ishii’s up to clobber Evil! Evil headbutts and LARIATS back! Ishii flounders but Evil is up again. Evil wants another and runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still lives! The fans are at a fever pitch as Evil catches his breath. Evil slashes the throat to say it’s over. He drags Ishii up, spins, but Ishii slips out! Evil spins Ishii again, but Ishii gets a waistlock and German Suplex! But now Evil’s up in an instant! Only to run into Ishii’s LARIAT! ONE?! Evil hits another lariat! Then lariats collide! Both men fall over! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.
Fans rally up and gives both men new life. Ishii and Evil stand, and head for each other. They collide with clotheslines again, and stagger on weak legs. Evil and Ishii run and collide yet again! Evil roars and runs, but Ishii tanks the clotheslines! Ishii headbutts then forearms then headbutts Evil again! Evil falls to a knee but Ishii stands him back up, only for Evil to hook the arm! Ishii spins Evil around but Evil spins out of the full nelson to suplex Ishii! Ishii knees free and spins Evil, only for Evil to get him with a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Evil drags himself to a corner while Ishii slowly stands. Evil runs but gets caught! Ishii wants to steal the STO!
But Evil spins Ishii around, full nelson to fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out, clothesline blocked! Rolling elbow hits! Enzugiri! Evil is out cold but Ishii isn’t done with him! Ishii runs and LARIATS! Cover, TWO?! Evil still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! But he won’t stop, he suplexes to the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Finally, after a human demolition derby, the Stone Pitbull is victorious! Two of the toughest in NJPW went head to head and Ishii proves the tougher, but when and where will we see this match again?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Ishii says “That’s what you get, facing me in a singles match.” Did Evil learn his lesson? If not, Ishii will happily teach him it again.
But then Taichi walks in to smirk at Ishii. “Oi. Congrats on earning the right to challenge me.” What? You heard Taichi right, Ishii now has the right to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship. So Taichi wants after Ishii, huh? Well there’s no one else, so Ishii might as well be the new #1 Contender. Be happy to be chosen. Well if Taichi wants this, Ishii’s game. No it’s about Taichi throwing the Pitbull a bone. Then ask him nicely? As if. The Pitbull should be begging. Accept it and be grateful. Yeah, Taichi seems so grateful, the way he’s treated that belt already. It was broken when Taichi got it from Cobb. Whatever. Ishii accepts the challenge. No, no, Ishii is challenging Taichi, got it? Whatever you say. Weirdo.
But it’s been awhile since Ishii’s seen that belt. Taichi just wants revenge from the New Japan Cup. Reminds Ishii of another wrestler in NJPW. But Ishii’s up for this match anytime, because the results will be the same. When and where will NJPW give us this new NEVER Openweight Championship showdown?
Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to NJPW!
The Ace has been gone since suffering an elbow injury and going through the subsequent surgery to repair it. He surprises the fans here at Wrestling Dontaku, because he has something he wishes to say.
“Tanahashi desu. I had surgery on my left elbow. The cast came off the other day, and I got my stitches out. But I wish I could have competed here.” It was a year ago that here, in Fukuoka, that the crowd was behind him. He rode that wave of energy to win the 28th G1 Climax that August. And then he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome. But then in February, he lost, and his losses piled up. And he feels as low as the floor right now. Fans cheer, wanting him to rise back up.
Tanahashi knows he’s starting from the bottom. But as he stands back up, he vows that on June 5th, at Ryogoku, he’ll make another comeback! He continues to say that after that, he’ll again go after the IWGP Heavyweight title! Will the Once in a Century Talent make yet another heroic return?
But wait, here comes Jay White and Gedo! Fans boo as the Switchblade takes the mic from Tanahashi. Gedo tells White some things, and then White grins at Tanahashi. Fans boo as White begins to speak. “You want the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? You think you deserve the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?” The line starts behind White, and Tanahashi is at the back, even behind Hirooki Goto! White is the REAL champion, and it doesn’t matter who wins between Okada and Sanada, White’s turn is next. “Do you understand me?” Gedo makes a move on Tanahashi, but it’s just so White can get his cheap shot in! White stomps Tanahashi as fans boo and the bell rings. White rains down rights then stomps him more.
Gedo ups the ante by bringing out chairs! White grabs one and puts it around Tanahashi’s newly recovered arm! He grabs the other chair, but Young Lions save Tanahashi! White fights them off but Tanahashi is safe from further harm. White picks up the mic again to tell Tanahashi, “I am next!” Fans boo White and cheer Tanahashi. Will the Switchblade and The Ace settle things in the ring to decide who really is next to face the top champion in NJPW? For that matter, we still have the main event to go. Who will be the top champion in NJPW after the dust settles?
NJPW and AXS advertise G1 Climax 29!
Mark your calendars, because on July 6th, 2019, AXS will begin coverage of the Summer’s major heavyweight tournament! The biggest and best of NJPW will once again compete in a round robin tournament to crown a #1 Contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Rainmaker’s redemption was completed in Madison Square Garden during the history G1 Supercard event! Now Okada returns to give Cold Skull first crack at this fifth title reign. With the Switchblade already calling his shot, who will have the Bullet Club’s cutthroat leader targeting them through the Summer?
The introductions are made, both men take off their elaborately decorated jackets, and the belt is presented. The bell rings and fans are already thunderous as we begin!
Okada and Sanada hear the fans duel before circling. They approach and watch the other closely. Okada backs off so Sanada does the same. They circle again and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Sanada wristlocks and standing switches. Okada switches back but Sanada drops to an armlock. Sanada waistlocks but Okada wrenches free. Okada wrenches more but Sanada reverses it back. Okada rolls and trips up Sanada, and gets the toehold. Sanada endures as Okada cranks back. Sanada tries to chinlock but Okada cranks again. But Sanada manages to sit up and gets Okada’s arm, but Okada blocks the armbar. Okada rolls but Sanada denies a cover. Okada has the leg for a standing toehold, but Sanada works on an escape. Sanada rolls and rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud.
Okada backs off and takes his time circling with Sanada. Sanada and Okada go again, and Okada rolls to get the wristlock. He brings Sanada to the mat then back up for a wrench. Okada gets both arms for a standing stretch, but Sanada endures. Sanada goes to power up but Okada brings him back around. Okada digs his head into Sanada’s back, but Sanada works on turning it around. Sanada and Okada struggle but Okada gets it back. Sanada tries again, and though he gets it, Okada quickly turns it back around. Okada throws Sanada down but Sanada throws Okada from the mat. Okada rolls Sanada, ONE! Sanada rolls Okada, ONE! Okada sweeps Sanada but Sanada gets off to sweep. Okada gets out and both men knip up!
Fans cheer as these two are evenly matched to this point. Okada and Sanada have to nod in respect to the other, too. They circle again and tie up. They stare down as they shift from knuckle locks to collar and elbow. Okada puts Sanada on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulder. But Sanada comes back with fiery kicks and forearms! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, and boots Sanada to a snapmare. Okada runs and basement dropkicks Sanada down! Okada catches his breath while Sanada checks his head. The champ stands Sanada up and laces the arm through for a modified stretch. Sanada endures but Okada lets go.
Okada brings Sanada around to scoop slam him, then slingshot senton! Sanada clutches his ribs while Okada takes his time returning. Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps on Sanada with a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his neck while Okada pulls back. Sanada works on an escape but Okada just brings him back. Fans duel as Sanada works his way back up. Sanada elbows free but Okada clubs him on the back. Okada whips and runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grits his teeth and clutches his knee. Sanada brings Okada up, blocks Okada’s kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes him away but runs into a huricanrana! Sanada rolls through to get the arms and legs!
Okada powers out of Paradise and speeds things up, but Sanada dropkicks the leg again! Dragon screw, to Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada hears them out. Fans duel and rally as Sanada takes aim from a corner, to kick Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO, but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada chinlocks but Okada endures. Okada works on an escape but Sanada elbow drops him down. Sanada puts the chinlock on again, but Okada reaches for ropes. Sanada wrangles Okada away and cranks back on the chinlock. Okada scrambles and uses his long legs to get the ropebreak! Sanada lets go but comes back to bring Okada up. He puts Okada in a corner to whip corner to corner. He hits a back elbow then snap suplexes Okada down! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool while bringing Okada up again. Okada hits low with a shoulder, then throws forearms. Okada runs but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada moonsaults but Okada dodges to hit a running uppercut! Both men are down but fans continue to cheer. Okada sits up first, and he runs at Sanada to rally with forearms and elbows! He whips but Sanada reverses. Okada dodges but so does Sanada, but then back to Okada and he runs Sanada over with an elbow! Fans fire up with Okada and whips Sanada corner to corner. Okada hits a back elbow to DDT! Cover, TWO! The champion is still in control while we go to break.
NJPW returns and Okada aims at Sanada on the outside. Okada slingshots but Sanada trips him up. Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses to send Sanada into barriers! Then he boots him over! Okada fires the fans up as he gets space. He runs back to FLY and crossbody Sanada into more barriers! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them both. Okada clutches his leg again, that leap was double-edged. A 20-count begins and passes 10 before Okada stands. Okada drags Sanada up but brings him to ringside at 17! He gets Sanada in at 18 and fans cheer that he wants to end this in the ring. Okada still clutches that leg but manages to stand.
Okada drags Sanada up again to scoop slam him down. He goes to a corner and climbs up, but has to leap over Sanada. He uppercuts Sanada then runs, but Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Okada out of the ring! Now Sanada slingshots and wipes Okada out! Fans fire up as Sanada walks off the pascado. Sanada takes a lap around the ring while Okada is still down. Sanada returns as the 20-count begins again. He lets it reach 10 before bringing Okada up. He puts Okada in at 14 and covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and brings Okada back up. Okada blocks the back suplex and elbows Sanada off. Okada runs but Sanada reels him in. Sanada suplexes but Okada lands on his feet. Okada swings but into the dragon sleeper! But he arm-drags out to flapjack Sanada down!
Both men are down, catching their breath and clutching their legs. Fans rally up and Okada forces himself to stand. Sanada follows but Okada boots him. It doesn’t have as much power, so Sanada boots. Okada blocks it and throws uppercuts to then go for a lift. Sanada fights out, but Okada blocks the boot. Sanada blocks Okada’s boot to give him a forearm. Okada staggers into a boot, then a rolling sabat! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, only for Sanada to fake out the dropkick! Sanada fireman’s carry but Okada slips out. They trade standing switches and Okada German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada whips but Okada reverses again, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Okada down! Fans fire up again as the tide looks to be turning.
Okada gets to a corner and fans duel again. Sanada runs in but is popped up to the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Okada catches his breath but he crawls over to Sanada. He positions Sanada before climbing up top again. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! But he’s not done there, Okada hits the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags Sanada up and wristlocks, but Sanada drops down to roll Okada! TWO, and Okada has a cover! TWO and Sanada has it back, TWO! Okada sunset flips, TWO! Sanada sits on Okada, TWO! Okada again, ONE, Sanada jackknifes! TWO, Sanada drop toeholds Okada to a leg nelson, Japanese Clutch, TWO!! Okada has Sanada in a cobra clutch! Sanada endures and flails while fans rally again.
Sanada sits up and Okada drags him up, to wring him out! But Sanada dropkicks the clothesline away! Sanada drags Okada up to whip but Okada reverses to hit his dropkick now! Okada drags Sanada back up, gut wrench but Sanada wriggles to the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Okada rolls through to gut wrench! Tombstone piledriver! But Okada isn’t done, because he still needs his namesake. He wrings Sanada out but Sanada spins to Salida, into the dragon sleeper! Okada endures and maybe even fades under the first part of Skull End! But Okada fights back up and scoops, only for Sanada to counter lift to Anarchy Suplex! Just like Evil earlier, Sanada gets a Magic Killer style move!
Fans duel again as Okada and Sanada sit up. They might even be turning towards Sanada more. Sanada drags Okada up, double chicken wing to the Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada escapes but barely! Sanada keeps on him, scoop and backbreaker. He goes to a corner and climbs up, Moonsault! But he lands on his feet as Okada evades! Sanada staggers back, one of his knees buckling. He still runs at Okada, only to get a boot. Sanada tries again, but into another boot. Okada runs out but Sanada dodges the shotgun. Sanada spins but int a spinning Rainmaker! Okada roars as he drags Sanada back up, wristlock but Sanada full nelsons to another Salida! Okada blocks this one, so Sanada uses the buckles for the climb! He has the Skull End dragon sleeper again!
Okada endures but Sanada takes him for a swing! Then drops down for the body scissors! Skull End in full, but Okada refuses to quit! Red Shoes checks as Okada fades, but Okada revives. Okada flails with his arms then pops out! Sanada keeps the body scissors to get the sleeper with the other arm! He cranks back hard as fans duel and rally. Okada endures and flails again, not fading out. Red Shoes watches Okada like a hawk, but Okada pops out again. Sanada fights to get the head again but Okada crawls for ropes. Okada reaches, but Sanada wrangles him away with a wristlock! Skull End returns a third time, but Okada still flails. Red Shoes checks, his arm drops once. It drops again. Sanada gives up the hold to drag him over?! MOONSAULT to the back! And then again, to knees!!
Both Sanada and Okada are down again! Fans are thunderous again as they duel and rally. Sanada and Okada are exhausted but still push themselves back up. They head for each other, and grind forehead to forehead. Okada throws an elbow, but Sanada returns it. Okada gives Sanada another, but again Sanada gives it back. Another forearm from Okada, and another forearm from Sanada as they stand. Okada, Sanada, repeat. They pick up speed, but Okada dazes Sanada. Okada keeps hitting him, but Sanada refuses to fall. Okada hits Sanada a third time, but Sanada gives him an uppercut! Sanada shakes the sweat from his hair as fan return to a fever pitch. He drags Okada up for another heavy uppercut! Okada falls to his knees, but Sanada brings him back up.
Sanada throws another but Okada backslides! Sanada rolls of and dodges the rainmaker! He waistlocks but Okada bucks him off. Okada runs to shotgun dropkick Sanada down! Okada watches Sanada in the corner, then runs in, only to get elbows! Sanada springboard moonsaults to a dragon sleeper! But Okada uses the buckles to turn it around! Okada has the dragon sleeper, then gut wrenches! But Sanada wiggles to battle over the gut wrench! He gets Okada up, but Okada wiggles and flails! Okada manages to get the gut wrench back! But Sanada slips up and around to a waistlock. Okada tries but can’t buck Sanada off, and Sanada gets the dragon sleeper!
Okada endures again but flips over as Sanada drops back. He drags Sanada up but Sanada dodges! Sanada wrings Okada out but Okada still tries! Sanada ducks that clothesline, to wring Okada out and steal the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move! Sanada finally shows frustration, but then he vows to end it. He drags Okada back up, cravat to Salida, but Okada slips out. Okada spins but Sanada blocks to then spin for a roaring elbow! Cravat, Sliced Bread, but into a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And the TRUE Rainmaker!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
The first defense of this fifth reign and The Rainmaker is STILL the top champion in NJPW! Okada goes 6-0 against Sanada all-time, but it gets tougher and tougher each time! Will we get to see lucky number 7 in the future? Will Sanada finally break through? Or is Okada just on too high a level?
Okada offers a hand to Sanada to help him up. Sanada declines, helping himself up. However, Sanada does take the hand in a small handshake, to then give a fist bump. It sounds like there will be a seventh round one day, we can only wait and see.
NJPW skips to after Okada is again wearing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, to when Okada takes up the mic. “Sanada-san! At the signing ceremony, you honored me by calling me your rival.” That made Okada very happy. So in front of Hakata, he wants to say something to Sanada: he is Okada’s rival, too! Their story has just begun! “But I’m not gonna lose.”
Okada addresses the fans again as he notes “We have changed over from the Heisei Era to Reiwa.” What do the NJPW fans think? Hard to tell. But Okada wonders who will entertain the pro-wrestling world in this Reiwa Era. Okada promises he’ll bring the excitement. He vows to be the star of the new era for the true fans! He’ll bring the heat! “As the 69th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I will keep the new era exciting.” As long as he’s NJPW’s top champion, he’ll- Wait, the lights go out! A video plays. Is that… CHRIS JERICHO!? The dark clown that Y2J has become says “I’m the Painmaker! And on June 9th at Dominion in Osaka, I will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! And I’m gonna win.” Jericho shouts he’ll win, but then hushes himself. Y2J is returning to NJPW and aiming for the top!!
Okada just tells Jericho, “Bring it on, you bastard!” Because Okada vows HE will win! Okada will win and return as champion, to again make it rain! Will Okada continue to be the best in NJPW by beating the Best in the World at What He Does? Or will Jericho completely turn NJPW upside-down at Dominion?
One hour of NJPW on AXS alone is great, so two hours is amazing! Especially when they know how to properly book surprises. I didn’t think Taichi would win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Jeff Cobb in a mostly clean way. Sure he had Miho be his distraction and his shield, but the Suzuki-Gun antics weren’t even deciding factors this time. Well, an argument can be made that they amounted to something, especially the low blow. But for the most part, Taichi managed to just keep on Cobb until Cobb couldn’t get up. At the same time, Cobb being a dual ROH and NJPW champion wasn’t going to last forever, so it was a good move to make it someone mostly unexpected. Now Taichi VS Ishii will be a good first defense for Taichi, I’m just not sure Taichi survives.
For that matter, Ishii VS Evil was insane. It really was just a demolition derby slug fest type fight, and that’s exactly what it should’ve been. Ishii wins not just because he’ll challenge Taichi but because that was the story of him and Evil. Evil got him last time with the Sharpshooter, and that was a great part of the match’s story, but for that reason, Ishii survives the hold and puts Evil away with a standing finisher. And with another G1 Climax on the horizon, Evil can snap back in the NJPW Heavyweight ranks with an impressive showing. I’m honestly surprised Tanahashi is making another comeback, but NJPW without him would also seem odd. White obviously wants to finish Tanahashi for good, that’s another good story going into G1 Climax 29.
NJPW is also building stars properly. Sanada’s history with Okada has been building over the last three years, and it clearly works in getting fans behind Sanada as we heard from the Fukuoka fans. Okada VS Sanada VI, the longest and best match so far of their series, and I really do look forward to a seventh. If anything, the day Sanada beats Okada is the day Sanada reaches that heavyweight/world championship level. He will be the face of NJPW one day, but not until Okada stops. Okada has been such a strong force in NJPW and with that heavyweight championship, he’s almost the NJPW John Cena or Randy Orton. If it weren’t for his matches always being great, I’d say he should move on. If anything, he should still think about going after a different title once this fifth reign ends.
Jericho returning to NJPW is also great, Okada VS Y2J at Dominion will be great, but I don’t think Jericho is the one to end this fifth reign, and certainly not at this point. Beating Jericho will help build Okada’s fifth reign up, and perhaps solidify Okada’s legacy.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (5/11/19)
It’s Speed VS Strength in the main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 399
Battle lines have been drawn in ROH! LifeBlood’s Bandido takes on the Notorious Hitman, who takes a big win on War of the Worlds Weekend?
- Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers; The Bouncers win.
- Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
- Bandido VS Shane Taylor; Bandido wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers!
Ryan Nova & Cheeseburger have Eli Isom in their corner, but they’re up against the salty Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni and the massive Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas! Triple S got a Six Man Tag victory over C2C and Colin Delaney on the Road to G1 Supercard, but can they pull off another shocker against even bigger and badder competition? As for C2C and The Bouncers, they lost together at this year’s Masters of the Craft, but Ali & LSG refused to share a #ToastofHonor in commiseration. Will that chip on C2C’s shoulder go away or only grow bigger tonight?
The Bouncers keep the Code of Honor with the Shinobi but C2C refuse to shake hands with anyone. Fans cheer “Beer! Beer!” for BCB and Milonas while they let Nova start with LSG. LSG and Nova tie up, and LSG gets the wristlock. Nova rolls and reverses, but LSG handsprings and reverses back. LSG waistlocks and slams Nova hard, then headlocks. Nova powers out and things speed up, LSG waistlocks Nova again but Nova bucks him off. Things keep moving and Nova counters a backslide with an arm-drag. LSG runs back in and waistlocks, but Nova slips out of the back suplex. Nova boots LSG away from the corner, then somersaults to neckbreaker! Nova knips up and fans fire up as he tags in Burger. Whip to atomic drop to sweep, then they split the wish bone to double kick LSG down!
Fans fire up with Triple S but Ali runs in. Ali misses Burger and Nova to hit the Bouncers! Ail runs into a double hip toss! Nova and Burger high-ten, but then the Bouncers come in to sandwich them! Bruiser whips Nova while “Brawler” whips Burger, and then they trade partners to squash them in the corners. And then they go corner to corner to squash the other! The Bouncers see Ali and LSG and squash them! And then the other way! Milonas feeds Ali to BCB to bite! LSG runs in but he gets bit, too! And Burger! And Nova! But remember, he ain’t got no teeth! The Bounces high-five and say bottom’s up, but C2C boot them both! And again!
The Bouncers tumble out and C2C give the shinobis CHOPS! C2C whip Nova and Burger at each other, but Burger and Nova do-si-do to dropkick C2C! The shinobi slingshot but are caught! The Bouncers sandwich them again, but then C2C wreck them all with dropkicks! They keep moving, Ali FLIES! Ali bowls everyone over, then drags Burger in while we go to break.
ROH returns as Ali slingshot sentons onto Burger. Cover, TWO! Ali is just annoyed as he tags in LSG. Fans rally up for Burger but Ali holds him in place for LSG’s shoulder tackle. Ali adds an enziguri, then feeds Burger to LSG’s butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! LSG drags Burger back up for an armlock and chinbar. Fans rally behind Burger and Burger fights back. Ali tags in and C2C mugs Burger. Ali gives Burger a big European uppercut, then covers, TWO! Burger fights back with big CHOPS! Fans fire up but Ali brings Burger away to then hit Nova! Burger dodges and dodges, and tags in Milonas! Ali waistlocks but Milonas breaks free with a big butt bump! Milonas rallies and drops the seated senton! Cover, but LSG breaks it!
Bruiser goes after LSG then whips, Samoan Drop! Back senton from Milonas! BCB whips Ali into Milonas’ scrapbuster slam! Cover, but Nova breaks it! BCB shoves Nova all the way out, but LSG shoulders in. LSG slingshots to hit Milonas then springboards to hit BCB! C2C regroups to go after Milonas. LSG climbs while Ali scoops Milonas. Milonas is too heavy, he falls onto Ali! BCB uppercuts LSG then tosses him onto Ali! The Bouncers grab LSG and toss him out. Ali rolls and Nova tags in! Nova leaps at Bruiser for the flying Complete Shot! Nova fires forearms on Milonas! Milonas grabs him and scoops him, but Burger saves him. Double SUPERKICKS! They focus their chakra, buzzsaw mule kick combo!
BCB runs over Nova but Burger dodges to FLY onto C2C! Fans fire up but Burger runs into an uppercut from BCB! Nova knees Bruiser but runs into Brawler’s boot! CLOSING TIME! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad doesn’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. But they also argue with Coast 2 Coast, who are sore losers all over again. As for Bruiser and Milonas, they celebrate with the #ToastofHonor! Will they soon be toasting with a shot at the ROH tag titles?
ROH has a huge night set for Episode 400!
Matt Taven is finally the ROH World Champion, because he earned it. He won a Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, also becoming a Grand Slam Champion. But when it comes to having a shot at his title, Taven tells the entire locker room that they’ll have to earn it. Cue Flip Gordon! The Captain of Flip Army reminded Matt Taven that he earned his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. And with his knee at 100%, Flip finally gets his shot as the new #1 contender! Who ends the milestone episode of ROH having earned the world championship?
But not only that, the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships will be on the line! Villain Enterprises will defend their titles against a star-studded though makeshift team of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Rush! Will Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO keep hold of the gold against the Franchise, the Hawaiian Hulk and El Toro Blanco?
ROH looks back at the G1 Supercard Honor Rumble!
Kenny King CHOSE to be number one in this massive match, that featured huge stars across ROH and NJPW, such as Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Thunder Liger and even THE GREAT MUTA! It looked to be down to just the two masked legends, Muta and Liger, but Kenny wasn’t actually eliminated! He threw both legends out in one fell sweep and won his shot at the ROH World Championship, but he would get some karma in the way of Muta’s mist!
Kenny King is here!
The Honor Rumble winner is apparently still blinded? He has a walking stick and assistance walking out from ROH timekeeper, Amy Rose. Fans chant “Thank You, Muta!” as King struggles to get a mic. “I should be…” Wait, face camera. “I should be the happiest dude alive right now.” But he’s not and why is that? You see, King is the only man in professional wrestling who does exactly what he says he will. He told everyone that he’d start at number one and “molly whop all them other chops” to become the first man to win the Honor Rumble from number one. King is now #1 Contender, but he shall now be known as Kenny Shawn Michaels King.
And that’s not even the best part! We were all treated to something special at G1 Supecard! Two men stood, Jushin Thunder Liger and the Great Muta, and tension was palpable. No one knew what was going to happen, until King slid in the ring to throw their “700 year old Japanese wrinkly asses” out to win the Honor Rumble! They say never meet your heroes. King did, he wanted to shake hands with Muta, and Muta spit the red mist in his face! Fans think it’s funny? It’s awful! It smelled like laundry detergent and Popeye’s Chicken, and it burned Kenny’s face and eyes! Now King needs emergency eye surgery, so that’s why he won’t be wrestling tonight. But that brings him to Matt Taven. King wants to tell us something we might not know about Taven. “Matt Taven is my homie.”
The two kings are friendly with each other. Kenny was proud of Taven at G1. One day they’ll have to discuss the terms of Taven’s surrender, but until then, he wants Taven to fight. Taven is not King’s target. He is not the man who upsets King. Who here thinks Jay Lethal is great? Kenny doesn’t. Lethal’s not tough, and the only time he’s savage is when he’s cosplaying Randy. So to Jay Lethal, when King gets through his surgery to see again, both eyes will be on Lethal. Because then Kenny will prove he’s the K I N G, and he’ll make Lethal #BendTheKnee. Amy helps King get his walking stick and exit the ring carefully. Will King see clearly and get his hands on Lethal? Or will Lethal make him see all of that trash talk wasn’t worth a thing?
Flip Gordon speaks on his leg injury.
It was at ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, in a match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. All seemed same as always, but as Flip dropkick’d Tracy in the corner, his knee gave out. Flip feared the worst, and wanted to finish the match, but his springboard spear only made it worse. He could only take another step, so he had to call it there. Flip feared the worst, but the MRI gave him a time frame. What did he have to do to beat this? Physical therapy. Flip stuck to the schedule, and trusted his doctors. Now his knee is ready, and he is ready! The other ROH World Championship contenders fell to Lethal, but then Taven rose up to win. Now Flip’s turn comes as episode 400 arrives! Will Flip’s return be one of the greatest in ROH history?
Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods!
An ROH dojo graduate makes his television premiere as he flexes his… fairly good physique. But he’s up against The Goods, Mr. Top Prospect 2017, who returns after returning to his roots. Now Woods is #DownToFight, will he end Flex’s television career before it begins?
The Code of Honor is upheld, and the bell rings. Woods SPEARS Flex! Flex staggers up into a waistlock slam! Woods grimaces as he drags Flex up for an exploder suplex! Flex can only flounder around into a fireman’s carry, Seismic Toss slam! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
Woods returns more focused and more aggressive, and doesn’t care to shake hands with Flex again. He wants his money and the next fight, who will be #DownToFight The Goods?
ROH interviewer Quinn McKay interviews Josh Woods.
The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner, the NCWA National Champion, and multi-time All American wrestler is also captain of the US MMA team, and is back in ROH with an impressive showing. But he’s been gone for some time. What’s he been up to? It isn’t about what he was up to, but about what he just did and has done his entire career. Woods has always been #DownToFight. Will he finally fight his way to an ROH championship?
Bandido VS Shane Taylor!
Though they have beef with Bully Ray over the attack on Tenille Dashwood, LifeBlood’s luchador will take on the Notorious Hitman who has been known to pall around with the Hall of Famer. Will Bandido’s speed or Taylor’s strength win out in this first-time-ever face-off?
Bandido wants to uphold the Code of Honor, but Taylor spits on Bandido’s hand! The bell rings and Bandido fires off with kicks. Bandido runs and slides but Taylor catches him. Taylor whips but Bandido counters to throw forearms. But Taylor stays up! Taylor grabs Bandido but Bandido slips out of the choke slam. Taylor elbows Bandido away, but Bandido elbows back. SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Bandido whips, but Taylor blocks. Taylor whips but Bandido dodges and kicks, but Taylor blocks again. Taylor flips Bandido but Bandido lands on his feet to sunset flip! Bandido can’t get Taylor down, but he gets out of the way as Taylor sits down!
Bandido keeps moving to basement dropkick Taylor out! Fans fire up as Bandido builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taylor into the barriers! Bandido keeps moving, and FLIES! He wipes Taylor out again, and celebrates with fans while we go to break.
ROH returns once again, and Bandido gets Taylor back in. Bandido stands Taylor up to chop, but Taylor shrugs it off. Bandido tries again, but then Taylor CHOPS Bandido to a corner! Taylor trash talks Bandido but Bandido CHOPS back! Bandido eggs Taylor on so Taylor CHOPS Bandido off his feet. Taylor drags Bandido up but Bandido fires forearms back! Bandido tries to fireman’s carry but Taylor fights him off. Taylor swings but Bandido ducks, only to get caught in a choke slam! Taylor mocks the fans as they cheer for Bandido. Bandido gets to a corner again but Taylor is on him with big knees. Taylor throws a big right and Bandido goes down! Taylor taunts Bandido more as he drags him back up. He tosses Bandido across the ring! Bandido stirs but Taylor trash talks the fans.
Taylor stalks Bandido as fans rally up. Taylor stands Bandido up again, to throw him by his hair! Bandido hits hard and flounders to ropes. Taylor drags Bandido up again and whips him corner to corner. He runs in and clotheslines Bandido down! Fans boo Taylor but he just stands on Bandido’s head! Taylor lets up at 4, but comes back to drag Bandido back up. Taylor talks trash the entire time but Bandido revives to throw forearms! Bandido dodges one clothesline but gets the other! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Taylor sits Bandido up to elbow away! Taylor covers, TWO! Taylor drags Bandido back up and slaps him around. He whips Bandido corner to corner but runs into a boot!
Bandido boots and enziguris, then hops up top. He leaps, into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, TWO!? Bandido survives Taylor’s right hand! Fans rally up and Bandido has new life, but Taylor is right on him again. Bandido fires forearms then fireman’s carries again. Taylor is still too much but Bandido elbows him back. Bandido boots but gets blocked, Taylor rolls Bandido for a big knee to the face! Cover, TWO!! Bandido still lives while we go to one last break!
ROH returns once more, and Taylor still slaps and toys with Bandido. Bandido blocks the slaps to fire off slaps of his own! Taylor SLAPS Bandido, but Bandido still comes back with more! Taylor CHOPS, but Bandido fires off kicks and knees! Bandido runs, but into a clothesline! But he’s right back up!? Taylor is shocked, but Bandido fires off slaps and kicks. Bandido knees and SUPERKICKS! Taylor staggers, but still gets Bandido with another choke slam! Both men are down but fans fire up! A standing count begins as fans rally. The count passes 5 before Taylor sits up. Bandido stirs but Taylor stands. Taylor brings Bandido up for big haymakers, but Bandido returns with forearms. They go back and forth, with fans on Bandido’s side.
Bandido gets an edge then spins, into a headbutt! Hammerlock rip cord, End of Days! Cover, TWO!! Taylor is frustrated he couldn’t finish Bandido off! Bandido stands and boots Taylor away. Then he swing kicks from the apron, only to slingshot into the One Hitter! Taylor slingshots Bandido in, London Tower! Cover, TWO!?! Bandido is superhuman! Fans keep cheering Bandido on and he revives again. Taylor shakes his head as he CHOPS Bandido in a corner. And CHOPS again, and again! Bandido flops over and Taylor vows to end this. Taylor drags Bandido up, whips him corner to corner, but Bandido boots him away. Bandido uppercuts then springboard tornillo crossbody! Bandido takes aim, and fireman’s carry! GTS, BANG to 21 Plex!! Cover, Bandido wins!!
Winner: Bandido, by pinfall
The luchador triumphs over the titanic Hitman! But wait, here comes Bully Ray! Bandido sees him coming, and has LifeBlood’s Tracy and Mark Haskins with him! Bully wants a time-out, he wasn’t expecting to be the one outnumbered. But wait, who are these attacking LifeBlood?! The Soldiers of Savagery, Moses Maddox and Jasper Kaun, are the newest recruits to ROH and they’re already making an impact! They stomp out Bandido, Tracy and Haskins, then slam Haskins down for a Vader Bomb! They lift Bandido for a gutbuster drop! And they go after Hot Sauce with a feed to a SPEAR! Then an elevated DDT! Even Bully seems confused. SOS did this without any help from Taylor or Bully, or without an invitation. But will they be Bully’s new back-up against LifeBlood?
A really great episode to act as a go-home to episode 400. We get a pretty great Triple Threat Tag to open the night. It’s an interesting development for C2C to take a slow transition into Heel with this salty new attitude of theirs, but that might be the spark they need to take that next step up in the ROH tag division. The Bouncers continue their own rise up, perhaps they’ll finally get their own shot now that we’ll be past War of the Worlds. Bruiser & Milonas against Guerrillas of Destiny would be a pretty fun match, though obviously another match GoD would retain the titles in.
Kenny King playing up being blinded was pretty hilarious here tonight. And even without that, he gave us a great promo overall, though obviously while he’s waiting his turn at the world title, he’s going after Lethal. Lethal VS King all over again should make for a good match or two, and I’m pretty sure King wins to go right at the world champion, whoever that is. We got a good video package and promo from Flip, but I’m not sure if he wins that title off Taven, even on a milestone episode. Regardless of it being his return, Woods was obviously going to win against Flex Simmons tonight. In fact, anyone going against Flex Simmons tonight was going to win because Flex was obviously the generic jobber.
Woods being back, I wonder if he’ll get a better push than he did before. I don’t think he can take the ROH World Television Championship off Jeff Cobb, but I hope we can get a great match out of them. And I’m sure we’ll get a great Six Man out of Lethal, Cobb and Rush VS Villain Enterprises. But such a random team is not beating an established trio like Villain Enterprises. I don’t think Scurll and his team lose the titles until a rematch with The Kingdom. Bandido VS Taylor was amazing, worthy of leading to title contention. It was great story for Bandido to win, both in the match and overall.
It was a great bait and switch for Bully to be the one surrounded, but then to swerve back and debut a new duo. I suppose Bully would need new allies with The Briscoes likely reserved for a rematch with GoD. I’d expect at least a Six Man Tag, Bully & SoS VS LifeBlood, but you could throw in Taylor on Bully’s side and get Juice Robinson involved for an Eight Man Tag. Either way, this looks to be building to the LifeBlood VS Bully and crew story I was hoping for.
My Score: 8.3/10
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