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
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