We have returned to All Japan for the Raising an Army tour as it’s expected to be a big show tonight.
We have three title matches planned with one of them being considered unpredictable due to Zeus and Kento Miyahara involved which could change the course of how AJPW will be within the next year. After this show, we got the tag league coming up on November 11th and I will be covering that one while I take my break from Stardom until their tag league is over.
Got a stacked card from top to bottom and now it’s time to see if it’ll deliver as we…dive right in.
Atsushi Maruyama vs. Yusuke Okada
Review: Our opening match is a singles match with the returning Yusuke Okada taking on Atsushi Maruyama. Around April, Yusuke would suffer an injury that would leave him sidelined for about six months until he made his return a couple weeks ago with his stable, Evolution. Will Yusuke get a singles victory or will Atsushi get the win?
The match was pretty much very basic since Yusuke is slowly getting into the groove of things after being gone for so long and has an easy opponent to work with also. Yusuke has done rather well for himself in the match while Atsushi did well helping him out to give him a smooth match and to get the crowd warmed up. Nothing really big happened in the match, but Atsushi would go for a Fisherman Buster but Yusuke would break out of it and Atsushi would try to do a Roundhouse Kick till Yusuke ducked both of them and quickly rolled him up for the pin.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Black Menso-re, Masanobu Fuchi & Takao Omori vs. SUSHI, Ultimo Dragon & Yutaka Yoshie
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with Ultimo Dragon getting involved with his partner’s SUSHI and Yutaka Yoshie as they take on Black Menso-re (aka Yohei Nakajima), Masanobu Fuchi, and Takao Omori. Menso-re is someone who has been pretty impressive when Yohei had this new persona and it’ll be interesting to see where it’ll lead him. Which os these two teams will win? Let’s find out.
The match really had nothing special to talk about when it comes to the in-ring aspect of the match, but it was pretty entertaining with the comical humor they would have here, especially with Mens0 and SUSHI at the beginning of the match when SUSHI would fail to jump onto the ropes due to him slipping each time he would. Fuchi would get his pop with the whole open hand gesture with the referee which still goes over well and is still funny when you watch it. Nothing wrong with small humor in a match when it’s not over the top and they do that part just fine here. Ultimo and Fuchi are in the ring now and once Fuchi missed the Dropkick, the crowd would just boo, they really do care for this guy still. Ultimo would hit the La Magistral in the match on Fuchi as he would get the win for his team.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Six Man Tag Team Match
Atsushi Aoki, Hikaru Sato & KAMIKAZE vs. Naoya Nomura, Yuma Aoyagi & Yoshitatsu
Review: We got another six-man tag match this time with our current All Asia Tag Team Champions, Naoya Nomura and Yuma Aoyagi teaming up with Yoshitatsu as they take on KAMIKAZE and Evolution members, Hikaru Sato and Atsushi Aoki. This is just another tag match to get some people on the card but if Evolution could get a win over the champions, then we could possibly get some new contenders. Which team wins?
I really enjoyed Yuma in this match and his interactions with Aoki and Hikaru as they were both solid sequences. If Yuma wasn’t considered a heavyweight, I would say that he would fit in pretty well with the junior division and could be someone to help elevate it. I thought the match was solid as the majority of them would have impressive performances, especially Yuma and Hikaru who has some very nice kicks that match his style. Yoshi didn’t do too bad either while still being inconsistent here and there, but his interactions with KAMIKAZE wasn’t bad at all. The one big thing that would hurt the match was the ending as Yuma would have Hikaru down on the mat for Nomura to go to the top rope so he could hit an Elbow Drop and go for the cover as he got the three count while he kicked out at the same time, but the referee would still call it as the finish to give Nomura the win. I don’t think that was the actual finish, but there’s nothing they can do about it and gotta play it like it is, unfortunately, it happens.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Tag Team Match
Black Tiger VII & Joe Doering vs. Koji Iwamoto & Ryouji Sai
Review: We have a regular tag match this time as Joe Doering teams up with Black Tiger VII to take on two members of Sweeper, Koji Iwamoto, and Ryouji Sai. I was expecting Dylan James to be Joe’s partner but it looks like he already has a match later on tonight. Dylan would betray Sweeper to join Joe Doering as the two would be teaming up together after their little encounter during the tournament. Now it looks like Sweeper would want to get revenge on Joe, but can they do it?
Joe looked like a beast here and I did say before that when he actually does look like he’s trying his hardest in his matches, he can actually go and give us a solid performance and he does that here when he overpowered both Koji and Ryouji in the match. Black Tiger is still someone that gives us an entertaining performance while still showing how agile he can be in the ring when he was wrestling with Koji during the match. While the pacing felt a little bit off in some areas of the match, the story of it was easy enough to follow and understand the brief scenario of Sweeper and Joe. Just seeing Joe manhandle these guys with his brute strength was alone enough to get that heat with the crowd while Tiger just did his little dance like he snorted a lot of cocaine before the match and is just getting jiggy with it as he hits a Shining Wizard. Ryouji would have Joe held down to the outside while Koji would get Tiger into the European Clutch for the three count as Sweeper would steal a victory! Solid tag match and curious to see what’s next, maybe Joe and Dylan fight them next time.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
GAORA TV Title Match
TAJIRI (c) vs. Chikara
Review: Our next match is our first title match of the evening as the GAORA TV Championship is on the line as TAJIRI is set to defend the belt against Freelancer, Chikara. What’s the GAORA TV Championship, you ask? Well, it’s a title that was planned by AJPW and Gaora TV in 2012, so it’s still fairly new to the company and has been getting some feedback from being about comedy or wrestling, kinda like the Open the Owari Gate Championship, but without the voting after the match. Will TAJIRI get his second defense in or will we have a new champion?
I was expecting the match to be a lot more comical than anything else, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it was treated as a regular wrestling match. This was my first time seeing Chikara wrestling and I gotta say that I was pretty impressed, and despite his goofy little outlook and facial expressions, he’s actually not bad in the ring at all. The two would fight outside for a bit and it looked like Chikara had an opening after delivering some chops, but TAJIRI would find a way to outsmart him as he moved out of the way of the next chop which caused Chikara to hit the turnbuckle post, injuring his arm as TAJIRI now has a body part to work on. What did you think was going to happen when you let TAJIRI stand still for you so you could hit him?
TAJIRI would start to take advantage of his arm in the match while still outmaneuvering Chikara in the match, but Chikara would be able to get a bit of a comeback during the match and get the crowd behind him. Despite his bad arm, he could climb up to the top rope and starts to call for the end as he jumped off the top to deliver a chop to TAJIRI’s head while TAJIRI tried to catch it before it would connect, but it was too late as it hits and TAJIRI goes down. Chikara went for the pin and TAJIRI kicks out but he would quickly turn it into the Kimura Lock as TAJIRI has it locked in tight while Chikara has nowhere to as he has no choice but to tap out and TAJIRI retains the title.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Dylan James vs. Jake Lee
Review: We now have a singles match with Dylan James taking on Jake Lee. This would be his first singles match as a heel after leaving Sweeper and now one of the members, Jake Lee is set to fight him to try and teach him a lesson. Jake has been slowly building momentum as a singles competitor and this could be another step for him if he is to win the match against James. Will Jake Lee avenge Sweeper or will Dylan knock him down a peg?
James would take the fight to the outside with Jake as he would get the early advantage until Jake would turn it around and would throw him into the guardrails and knee him around until he brought him back inside of the ring. Once they were in the ring, this is where James would start to have control of the match once again as he would just destroy Jake with his chops and just beating him down. James would even have him on the turnbuckle and just force his shoulders into his stomach over and over again for quite a while and would only stop if he felt like he was out of breath and do something else to torture Jake.
James would then use the Lariats into his arsenal now and delivers a stiff one but Jake would kick out of it at one until James would use this opportunity to go for it again to knock him down, but Jake still kicked out at two this time around. It looks like it would be the end of the match as he calls for the Chokeslam to end it, but Jake would reverse out of it by kneeing him in the face and it would be the same pattern for a couple more times until James would fall down on the mat. Jake would get back up to pull his kneepad off to have his knee exposed as he ran towards Dylan for another knee strike and he’s knocked out as Jake pinned him for the three count! This was a very solid match between the two and Dylan has impressed me during these past couple of months and I hope he continues to grow better from here.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
AJPW World Tag Team Title Match
Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama (c) vs. KAI & Kengo Mashimo
Review: We get our second title match for the night as the Violent Giants defend their Tag Team Championships against the Notice Me, Senpai team…I mean KAI and Kengo Mashimo, but it’s hard to tell the difference since that’s the kind of relationship these two would have together since KAI loves and respects him but the feeling isn’t so mutual for Kengo. At the end of September, both Suwama and Shuji would suffer some minor injuries that would have them sidelined for a couple of weeks until they came back. Are the Violent Giants healed enough to retain the titles or will KAI and Kengo sneak in and grab those titles?
I really do enjoy the dynamic between KAI and Kengo as a tag team and it’s mostly due to their chemistry and how they interact with one another since all KAI wants is Kengo’s approval and he won’t give it to him. Even when KAI went to go for a handshake, Kengo would just pat his head and tell him to go with his corner to pretty much tell him that he’s just his partner and nothing more. It might be just me but it felt like both Suwama and Shuji didn’t fully give it their all in this match for the most part and I think it’s due to them still being rather sore with the nagging injuries, but they would try their best for the most part, but it also didn’t feel like it at the same time which would affect the match very slightly and not enough to fully hurt it.
Kengo and KAI would slowly start to work together due to having a common goal of winning gold in the match as you can see them working better, but Violent Giants are still the superior team in the match as they would start kicking it up to high gear to ignore the pain so they could just destroy their opponents in the match. Both Suwama and Shuji would have their opponents set up for a Powerbomb, but KAI would flip Suwama over while Kengo would hit a Dragon Screw on Shuji as they start to get momentum back into the match. Shuji would get Kengo out of the ring to get him out as the two would hit a Double Powerbomb onto KAI for another kick out. Shuji would focus on Kengo as KAI and Suwama are alone in the ring to finish off the match as Suwama would try to go for the Backdrop Driver but KAI tries to power out of it until Suwama turned it into a Gutwrench Powerbomb. Suwama gets KAI back up for the Backdrop Driver and he hits it this time as KAI would kick out at two, but Suwama quickly picked him back up for the Last Ride and pins him to retain the titles.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
Triple Crown Title Match
Zeus (c) vs. Kento Miyahara
Review: It is now time for our main event of the show as Zeus is set for his second Triple Crown Championship defense against the ace of the company and winner of the Oudou Tournament, Kento Miyahara. The last time these two fought one on one, Kento was the champion and Zeus would beat him to finally win his first Triple Crown Championship. Zeus only had one defense in his name when he defeated Shuji Ishikawa and I was hoping he could have a couple more defenses under his belt before the two would cross paths again, but now it looks like it’s the time for them to fight. The outcome of this match is pretty crucial since it’ll decide the direction of the company going forward and how things would be booked for the upcoming months. Can Zeus defeat Kento twice in a row or will Kento become a four-time champion?
I’m gonna bring up one issue people had before I go any further and people felt like the crowd not fully interacting in the match hurt the feel of it to make it not as important and I’m gonna have to disagree here since I feel like the fans were just too invested into the match that they would just wanna pay attention to it since this match is a big deal since you have two of their top guys fighting for the biggest prize to see who should actually lead the company into the future out of these two fan-favorites. If I had to say one word to describe this match, it would have to be tremendous because that’s exactly what it was from the beginning to the end of it while the ring work was technically a masterpiece while the story of it was just breathtaking to give us a MOTY contender, and rightfully so.
This match just a lot of emotion and intensity between the two of them from every grapple, every strike, and just any move that these two would deliver or counter, it all meant something and you can feel it just by watching this match. This match should show you what exactly Zeus is capable of with how well rounded he is for a guy his size that can throw you with his power while moving quickly like a cruiserweight to throw you off guard, Zeus is the real deal and eyes should be on him. Kento is also no exception as he’s proving why he’s arguably the greatest in Japan right with how talented he is in the ring, his swagger, and just overall work with these two men should be more than enough for you to follow this company. Zeus would start to show a bit of frustration towards Kento as he would start to pummel him with mean forearms while he was on the ropes as the referee would try to pull him off until he got shoved out of the way and Zeus continue the attacking, but he would eventually be held back by the referee again to calm him down a little which looked like it worked thankfully because that would’ve been a bad way to end the match.
Kento started to get back into the groove of the match and use the energy of the crowd to get the strength to his a Blackout onto Zeus as he would hit his Shutdown German Suplex Hold as it looked like it’s the end, but Zeus would kick out of it and would be considered the first one to kick out of his finisher, leaving Kento speechless and the crowd going crazy! Kento would try to get him up for it the second time as Zeus broke free of the hold to hit a couple of Lariats and hits hit Jackhammer to try and put him away, but Kento would also kick out of it now as it looks like this match could go either way now! Both of these men were showing no surrender into the match and you can tell how important it is to win this match, but Kento would hit a few more Blackout’s and hits a second Shutdown German Suplex Hold as he pins Zeus to win his fourth Triple Crown Championship!
I was hoping Zeus would win to hold a little bit longer, but it was a bittersweet moment since the match was incredible and Kento showed that he’s the one to lead the company. After the match, Kento would tell Zeus that they should help build All Japan together to help it grow into what it used to be and the two would shake hands as the crowd would start chanting not for Kento or Zeus, but for All Japan as a whole. It was an incredible moment to end the show and they represented King’s Road Style very well here. I cannot express enough for you guys to start getting into All Japan Pro Wrestling if you haven’t done so already, they’re a great product that doesn’t get much appreciation anymore and does deserve praise for the year they’ve been having for professional wrestling. Just go to ajpw.tv and subscribe to their service, it’s only $8 a month and it’s well worth the money, you’d be crazy to say no to it and it’s not hard to catch up and follow the product, you can go to the Champions Carnival or the Oudou Tournament to start it off and get familiar with their roster, do it now. So what will be next for Kento now that he is champion again? The day after the show, Kento would talk in a press conference about his next goal which is to go for the most title defenses in the company as Toshiaki Kawada holds that record with 10 title defenses while Kento was only able to make it up to eight with his first run as the champion, so now he looks to try and break that record this time and I wish him luck in that.
Rating: Jim Cornette
Overall: With the first two matches being mediocre, the rest of the show was enjoyable with different aspects from the matches to give us quality throughout the show. We have a MOTY caliber match to end the show and have our ace leading the company once again to new heights, but where those heights will take them next is the real question, but I’m supporting them for the whole ride.
Favorite Match: Zeus vs. Kento Miyahara
Least Favorite Match: Atsushi Maruyama vs. Yusuke Okada
Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (4/22/19)
Raw settles in after the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up!
Raw is now Phenomenal AND Awesome! Both AJ Styles and The Miz moved from SmackDown, but what will they and the other new stars do next?
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: AJ Styles VS Rey Mysterio VS Samoa Joe; Styles wins and advances to the main event.
- Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce; Naomi wins.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: The Miz VS Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin; Corbin wins and advances to the main event.
- Cedric Alexander VS Cesaro; Cesaro wins.
- The Viking Raiders VS Lucha House Party; No Contest.
- Becky Lynch VS Alica Fox; Lynch wins.
- Ricochet VS Robert Roode; Roode wins.
- WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: AJ Styles VS Baron Corbin; Styles wins and will challenge Seth Rollins for the title at Money in the Bank.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple H returns to Raw!
The Game was victorious against The Animal in their No Holds Barred Wrestlemania match, and now he’s back as the COO! HHH gets Des Moines fired up as he picks up the mic. Because here comes Seth Rollins! Iowa’s own is here to #BurnItDown! Rollins stands with HHH in the ring and says, “This whole thing is too surreal for me, man.” To be standing in the ring, in his home state, after everything he and the fans have been through together, it’s unreal. HHH shakes hands with Rollins, and Rollins reviews how he was in the fight of his life at Wrestlemania. Rollins Slayed the Beast to bring the title home! Fans chant “Welcome Home!” to make it complete.
HHH agrees, Rollins walked in the Kingslayer and came out the certified BEASTSLAYER! Rollins did what he said when he stepped in the ring, stomped “bucket head” Brock Lesnar three times, then walked out THE WWE Universal Champion! And now Rollins stands in his home state (pause to hear the fans cheer again) but now with a new landscape. The Superstar Shake-Up changes everything. Rollins as Universal Champion and measuring stick has the whole world gunning for him. And Rollins knows that. Money in the Bank is coming, but if anyone knows a thing or two about that contract, it’s Rollins. He cashed it in and changed his career, but also had it cashed in on him. Rollins promises he won’t let Mr. MITB get the drop on him again.
HHH warns Rollins not to put the cart before the horse. Don’t worry about who wins that contract, be worried about who he defends against that same night. Did Heyman blow up HHH’s phone to get a rematch for Lesnar? No, surprisingly. Heyman hasn’t said a thing since Mania, and Lesnar must be licking his wounds. Then what’s next? That’s what tonight will determine! Because “the best of the best” are on Raw and will compete into two Triple Threats to then move on to a main event match. The winner of that goes on to Money in the Bank to face Rollins for the Universal Championship. Rollins likes the sound of that. But here comes one of those contenders, it’s Samoa Joe!
The current WWE United States Champion says “It seems I missed my invitation.” Joe reminds us that he does what he wants when he wants. And tonight, the champion has arrived! Joe admits, Becky Lynch came up with a real interesting concept of double champion. Joe has room for one more belt, “and that would be yours”, Rollins. But here comes another of the contenders, Rey Mysterio! The King of Lucha tells Joe that he’s not the only one wanting to make an impact. As for Rollins, Rey isn’t here just to drop knowledge. He’s here for a dream match. After tonight, at Money in the Bank, Rey VS Rollins. But yet another contender appears! It’s Drew McIntyre!
The Scottish Terminator makes himself clear. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks they deserve, McIntyre cleaned up Raw yet has had no title opportunities! This is DREW’S time! What was it HHH said? Rollins is the measuring stick here? The only reason Rollins is champion is because he got to Lesnar before McIntyre. Everyone knows what McIntyre is capable of. McIntyre promises to win his Triple Threat, go to MITB, beat Rollins and finally be Universal Champion! But now we get The Miz! The Hollywood A-Lister says that first and foremost, he’s back! And the more things change the more they stay the same, because Miz and Rollins are on the same brand and Rollins has something Miz wants. Miz has had a reboot thanks to the “Best in the World”.
This is not the same Miz as before, because he has seen the light. Miz can be a man worthy of the title. And what more must-see match for MITB than Rollins VS Miz?! But now we get Baron Corbin, who wants everything to stop right here. Corbin puts this in perspective for everyone: he is the most deserving of all to challenge Rollins. At Wrestlemania, Rollins slayed the beast, but Corbin retired a legend. McIntyre didn’t beat a gold medalist in his farewell match. Miz didn’t beat a gold medalist in his farewell match. Mysterio didn’t, either. But finally, here comes the Phenomenal One! He leaves the House that AJ Styles Built but looks just fine being on Raw.
And after hearing the fans cheer for him, Styles asks if Corbin ever shuts up. Because c’mon. Corbin’s face is almost as annoying as his voice. And speaking of annoying, it seems like everyone forgets Styles is Raw! Including Rollins. Styles promises to win his triple threat, then bet the other winner, and Raw will realize why SmackDown was the House that AJ Styles Built. But to that point, this is Raw, so Styles promises to give the fans what they’ve always wanted: Rollins VS Styles for the Universal Championship! HHH looks to Rollins, and Rollins sees what HHH meant. Everyone guns for the champ. Rollins is ready. It doesn’t matter who it is at MITB, because this is Seth Freakin’ Rollins, who will BURN IT DOWN! Mic drop from the champ, but who will make it through the special double header to be his contender?
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: AJ Styles VS Rey Mysterio VS Samoa Joe!
A match worthy of any title, the Phenomenal, the King of Lucha and the Destroyer fight for just the first step towards Rollins and Money in the Bank. Who backs up their words with actions?
Raw returns with the bell and all three men circle. Joe quickly headbutts Mysterio then brawls with Styles. Joe knees low then kicks Styles while he’s down. Mysterio returns and enziguris Joe, but Styles hits Mysterio, too. Styles whips Mysterio corner to corner hard then goes back after Joe with a forearm. Mysterio boots Styles then uses Styles to alley-oop to huricanrana Joe out! Now Styles and Mysterio are alone as they circle. Fans duel for these fan favorites as they approach. Mysterio kicks away on Styles’ leg but Styles reverses the whip. Mysterio slides under but Styles gets him with a backbreaker! Styles catches his breath and aims at Joe from the apron. Sliding knee rocks Joe down!
Styles goes back to Mysterio and snap suplexes hard! He drags Mysterio up but Mysterio throws hands. Mysterio runs but into a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Styles keeps his cool as he drags Mysterio up again. He wants the Clash but Mysterio scrambles out. Styles pursues but has to hit Joe first. He gets Mysterio back in the ring and back up for the Clash, but Mysterio manages to get ropes. Styles powers him up but the bomb is countered to a spike-rana! Cover, but Joe breaks it! Joe kicks Styles to a corner then bumps Mysterio off buckles. Joe drags Styles up to whip and run Styles over with the elbow! He drags Mysterio up to throw those swift jabs, then whips and slides Mysterio out to the floor!
Joe goes back to Styles but Styles fights back. Styles whips but runs into the urenage! Cover, TWO! The WWE United States Champion has control while we go to break.
Raw returns and Mysterio fights back against Joe. Mysterio runs but Joe gets him for the powerslam! Cover but Styles breaks it! Styles hobbles over to Joe in the corner and brings him up. Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz but Joe tanks it to fire palm strikes. Joe spins, misses, and gets Styles’ PELE! Cover, but Mysterio breaks it! All three men are down but Mysterio and Styles go after each other. Mysterio CHOPS then kicks Styles, then whips. Styles reverses but Mysterio kicks him back. Mysterio runs and wheelbarrows for a bulldog! Mysterio sees Joe coming and trips him into the ropes! Fans fire up as Mysterio dials it up, but Joe bails out. So Mysterio springboards and corkscrews to take Joe down! Mysterio hurries up to a corner, climbs, but Styles stop shim.
Styles climbs up from the outside but Mysterio fights him off. Mysterio wants a superplex but Styles denies him. Joe hurries up and in, and gets both men for a SUPER DOUBLE BACK DROP! All three men are down but Des Moines are fired up! “This is Awesome!” but far from over. Joe crawls to cover Mysteiro, TWO. Joe crawls to cover Styles, TWO! He tries Styles again, TWO! Joe grows frustrated while we go to break.
Raw returns and Mysterio fights against Styles. Mysterio runs but Styles clobbers him! Joe clobbers Styles! Cover on Styles, TWO!! Joe drags Mysterio up and puts him on the top rope. Mysterio fights Joe off and hits the seated senton! Mysterio tilt-o-whirls for a Crucifix Driver! But Styles breaks the cover immediately! Styles drags Mysterio up and whips him, but Mysterio goes up and over to headscissor Styles out! Joe attacks Mysterio and scoops, but Mysterio spins around for a tornado DDT! All three men are down but Mysterio is up first. He clubs Joe on the ropes then dials it up! 619 misses, into the Coquina Clutch! PHENOMENAL- COQUINA! Joe has Styles now but Styles uses buckles to make a cover, TWO! Joe swings but gets another PELE!
Styles brings Mysterio up but Mysterio pops through to headscissor Styles on ropes! DIAL IT UP on JOE! Then springboard but Styles BOMBS Mysterio, onto Joe! Then Styles Clash on Mysterio onto Joe! Cover on Joe, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; advances to the main event
The main event is already Phenomenal as Styles advances! Who will meet him from the other Triple Threat later tonight?
Naomi VS Billie Kay w/ Peyton Royce!
Iowa loves to #BurnItDown with Rollins, but will they #FeelTheGlow as Naomi goes against one half of the IIconics?
Raw returns as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions make their entrance. They say that what Naomi did last week can be summed up in a few words: “Thank you, next.” That song from that singer obsessed with them. Who is it? Trenta? Venti? Grande! Ariana, that is. This is why they’re the champions. Billie has Peyton’s back and Peyton has Billie’s. But who has Naomi’s? Bayley’s on SmackDown! Bayley said no to the glow! The IIconics laugh at their own joke, but they tell Naomi she’s living in the past if she thinks she can beat the future! And the future is… IICONIC! Strike the pose. The IIconics may say that now, but will Naomi show them what she can do solo?
The bell rings and Billie boots Naomi right down! She also throws Naomi around then covers, ONE! Billie keeps on Naomi with a grounded abdominal stretch. Billie claws Naomi’s face but the referee reprimands her. Naomi endures and fights her way up, only to get a knee. Naomi roundhouses back then lariats Billie down! She adds an elbow and a running jawbreaker, then a SLAP! Billie is furious but runs into Naomi’s headlock. Peyton gets up on the apron, Naomi gets both IIconics with the bulldog! Slingshot sunset flip, Naomi wins!
Winner: Naomi, by pinfall
The champions are furious! Naomi gets a win on one, but they point out this won’t change who the champs are. Will Naomi find yet another partner to help her challenge Billie & Peyton in the future?
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender Qualifier Triple Threat: The Miz VS Drew McIntyre VS Baron Corbin!
The reformed A-Lister takes on a tall task in facing the Scottish Terminator and the Lone Wolf. Will we see Awesome VS Phenomenal? Or will see one man rebound from losing to The Shield on Easter Sunday?
Raw returns as McIntyre makes his entrance. Corbin already made his entrance over the commercial break, but we can assume he’s not Des Moines’ Favorite Son. The bell rings and Miz sees he’s between two towering opponents. Miz throws hands on McIntyre but Corbin whips. Miz boots back then rolls Corbin up, but McIntyre pries him off. McIntyre scoops but Miz roll shim up, TWO! Miz bails out, and wags his fingers “Not so fast.” McIntyre and Corbin work together and flank Miz. He gets back in the ring and then wrecks McIntyre with a dropkick! But Corbin wrecks Miz with an uppercut! Corbin and McIntyre stomp away, then mock the fans who boo. McIntyre drags Miz up and in, then stalks him. He brings Miz up for a CHOP and Corbin likes the sound of that. Corbin drags Miz up but Miz fires hands!
McIntyre clubs Miz and Corbin adds on. They work together to mug Miz with a running body shot. Corbin drags Miz up for McIntyre, but then he sucker punches McIntyre! Corbin goes back to Miz, the alliance over, and throws him out. He pursues after Miz and rams him into barriers! Corbin whips Miz but Miz reverses to send him into barriers! But then McIntyre clobbers Miz from behind! McIntyre puts Miz in and deadlift suplexes Miz up and over! Cover, TWO! Corbin returns but stops when McIntyre glares at him. Corbin tries to explain that whole sucker punch, but gets a boot! McIntyre drags Miz up and CHOPS Miz back down. Then he clubs him down, then tosses him to a corner. Miz hits back but Corbin returns. Miz sends him out but Corbin slides back in, to clothesline McIntyre! Roll up, TWO!
Corbin runs into a corner at Miz but gets post instead! Miz has the fans behind him as he looks at both opponents. Miz blocks and counter punches Corbin again and again! He fires off It Kicks in the corner! Then he gives McIntyre double knees! And then Corbin! A-List Lariat on McIntyre! Miz springboards for ax handles on both men! Fans fire up as Miz sees both men on their knees. MIz gives them both It Kicks! Miz swings the buzzsaw at McIntyre, but McIntyre ducks to let it hit Corbin! And then McIntyre gives Miz the Glasgow Kiss! But it rocks McIntyre, too, so he staggers back. McIntyre drags Miz up for a fireman’s carry and then puts him on the top rope. He CHOPS Miz then climbs up to join him.
Miz hits back but McIntyre clubs away. The brawl is fast and furious and McIntyre backs off! Miz adjusts, but Corbin is sent right into him! McIntyre climbs over Corbin to get to Miz again. McIntyre CHOPS Miz again, then fireman’s carry, but Corbin adds on! SUPER CELTIC CROSS POWERBOMB!! But no one can cover, and we go to break!
Raw returns and Corbin throws hands with McIntyre on the outside. Miz is in the ring but he’s climbing up top! The brawl is back and forth, fast and furious, but Miz LEAPS onto them both! Miz wipes them out but has to get one in the ring. He drags Corbin up to throw him into the timekeeper! Then he puts McIntyre int he ring only to run into an elbow. McIntyre gets through the boot to give Miz another elbow, then the Inverted Alabama Slam! Cover, TWO! Styles watches backstage as Miz survives. McIntyre fires himself up while he dares Miz to stand. Miz does stand, but he gets clear of the Claymore to get a Figure Four! McIntyre endures the hold, and then shoves the ref to poke Miz’s eyes! Miz lets go and McIntyre hobbles only to be sent out.
Miz works on getting vision back while Corbin stalks McIntyre. Corbin ditches McIntyre to go after Miz, DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Corbin is furious with the referee but a two is two! He goes back out to hit Miz but runs into steel steps! Miz slides under McIntyre and rolls him up, TWO! BIG Spinebuster from McIntyre! Jackknife cover, TWO!! Miz still lives and McIntyre is even more furious. Fans chant for The Miz even as McIntyre looms over him. McIntyre drags Miz up for underhooks, but Miz slips out to kick low and DDT! Cover, TWO! Corbin returns and reels Miz in, END Of- No! Another low DDT! Cover, TWO!! Miz knows how close he was but he’s still so far!
All three men crawl, and McIntyre gets to a corner. Miz stalks Corbin but Corbin denies the Finale. Corbin runs but is clothesline’d out! Miz and McIntyre run, CLAYMORE!! but Corbin shoves McIntyre out, covers, and wins!!
Winner: Baron Corbin, by pinfall; advances to the main event
The Lone Wolf grins as he takes advantage of McIntyre’s work! It will be Styles VS Corbin in the #1 Contender’s Match, but who moves on to face The Architect?
Backstage interview with AJ Styles.
He was watching that match, so how does he feel about facing Corbin in the main event? Corbin’s big, but it’s about the size of the fight in the dog. Styles is a Georgia bulldog with a lot more fight in him than the Lone Wolf, the “former” United States Champion. Yes, Corbin won that, won Money in the Bank and beat Kurt Angle. But Styles is a former United States Champion, a former WWE World Champion, and the longest champion on SmackDown in history! Styles beat up John Cena! But this isn’t about accolades, this is about picking a fight with a big bully, and winning. Hopefully Rollins watches later tonight, because he’ll hear, “and the winner of this match, The Phenomenal AJ Styles!”
Sami Zayn is here!
The zany Underdog from the Underground makes his way to the ring to speak, after the break.
Raw returns and Sami says he’s doing something no other superstar has had the courage to do: tell the WWE Universe the truth about themselves. No one wants to hear stuff like that, so the fans just used denial and deflection, and create a false narrative about Sami. Somehow Sami is “bitter”? Sami squashes that by saying he’s the exact opposite. Sami is jubilant and happy! In fact, those ten months away from the fans was the happiest time of his life! If fans don’t believe him, Sami will show us how beautiful life is. Sami hiked in Switzerland, reconnected with nature, and wept at the beauty all around him. Then Sami relaxed on a beach in Mexico! He’s snuggled up in a hammock!
Sami then went to Scotland to see the castles. “Look at that face!” Sami’s all smiles! Has anyone ever seen such unbridled joy? Sami lived the good life. But his return approached, he suddenly felt depressed and anxious. A dark cloud was over his head, but why? What was it about the WWE that made him sick? The corporate structure? Or perhaps the other superstars who are “total egomaniacs” and delusional? No, that wasn’t it. Sami dug deep, deep down, and he found the root of the problem: THE FANS! The fans perpetuate and impose a toxic environment on the superstars! Fans boo and Sami criticizes them for that. Y’know why that feels good? Because it’s easier to pass blame than to hold yourselves accountable! But fine, it doesn’t matter, Sami makes the fans responsible. Sami holds the fans accountable!
Fans think they get away with this because of the mob mentality, but it won’t keep them safe from Sami! Sami would much rather be back in Norway, Iceland or Sweden or Switzerland or Mexico. Anywhere but depressing Des Moines! Fans definitely boo that. But if fans have a problem with that, take a page out of his book. Take a trip. “Doesn’t that sound nice?!” They can all go… TO HELL! Sami laughs and spins around his way out of the ring. Will Sami’s mission against the fans get him anywhere?
But Cedric Alexander makes his entrance! The Superstar Shake-Up moved him to Raw full-time, now it’s time to see if the Age of Alexander can be reborn!
Cedric Alexander VS Cesaro!
Raw gives a highlight reel of the Soul of 205 Live and his incredible run through the Cruiserweight Division. But now 205 Live’s Soul goes against the Swiss Cyborg, a last-minute Shake-Up from SmackDown! Will Cesaro end the Age of Alexander’s newest chapter before it even begins?
Raw returns as Cesaro makes his entrance. The bell rings and Cesaro circles with Alexander. They tie up and Cesaro powers Alexander to the corner hard! Cesaro dares Alexander to get up, and Alexander ties up with him. Cesaro gets the arm and wrenches, but Alexander rolls and handsprings to reverse. Alexander headlocks and goes for a takeover but Cesaro powers out! Alexander lands on his feet but gets rocked with a right! Cesaro throws a BIG European Uppercut, then a chop. Cesaro CHOPS again, then stomps Alexander. He whips corner to corner but Alexander goes up and over to handspring headscissor and dropkick Cesaro out! Alexander builds speed as fans fire up, but Cearo gets in. Aelxander slides under and tries to scoop, but Cesaro gets out to scoop slam Alexander! Cesaro drops an elbow, covers, TWO!
Cesaro keeps on Alexander with a chinlock, then shifts to a cobra clutch. Fans rally up as Alexander endures. Alexander fights up and fights out but Cesaro shoves him. Cesaro runs into a boot, but catches Alexander for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Alexander clutches his back but he survives. Cesaro sits Aleander up for a running forearm! Cesaro keeps on Alexander with another chinlock. Alexander fights as fans rally again. Alexander gets up and fights with body shots. He throws forearms then runs, but Cesaro BOOTS him down! Cover, TWO! Cesaro keeps his cool as he stomps Alexander’s arm. Cesaro gut wrenches Alexander for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Alexander gasps for air while clutching his back, but Cesaro looms over him.
Cesaro stomps Alexander’s hand then reels him into another chinlock. Cesaro puts his weight on Alexander but Alexander keeps getting up. Alexander fights but Cesaro whips, only for Alexander to sunset flip. Cesaro stays up, then drags Alexander up for a lift. Alexander sunset flips again, TWO! Alexander CHOPS and punches Cesaro, then throws forearms. Cesaro shoves but Alexander blocks the boot to elbow! Alexander dropkicks the legs out then dropkicks Cesaro in the head! Fans fire up with Alexander as he knips up! Alexander runs in but is put on the apron. He boots Cesaro away then springboards in, but Cesaro overpowers the complete shot! Cesaro suplexes but Alexander slips out, and scoops to a Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!
Alexander brings Cesaro up but Cesaro EuroUppers, only for Alexander to backslide. Cesaro powers out, but Alexander dodges to handspring, NEURALIZER! Cesaro tumbles out and Alexander builds speed again, to FLY! Direct hit wipes Cesaro out! Alexander puts him back in the ring then aims from the corner. Springboard, EUROUPPER! Cover, Cesaro wins!
Winner: Cesaro, by pinfall
The Swiss Cyborg was just too much for Alexander’s first Raw opponent! Will Cesaro head for a title match of his own in the near future? What will it take for the Soul of 205 Live to revive himself now that he’s in the big leagues?
Backstage interview with The Usos!
Jimmy & Jey are ready to be on Raw. SmackDown was #LockDown, now Raw gonna be Uso Lit! Who is here? Lucha House Party! Party over! The Viking Raiders! Who? Those bearded brothers from Braveheart. FREEDOM~! The Major Brothers, Hawkins & Ryder. Those guys like toys, but here come the #TopGuys. The Revival see the Usos. Good hands in the tag team division, perhaps SmackDown’s greatest. But this is Raw, this is their territory. So the Usos aren’t locking down- Hey, wake up! Oh, sorry, they had a crazy dream about two guys talking about beating the Usos? Usos bring the Penitentiary with them, will Dash & Dawson be the first two put away?
The Viking Raiders VS Lucha House Party!
Erik & Ivar gave the WWE Universe quite the experience, but now Rowe & Hanson- Er, Erik & Ivar prepare for war! Will the fiesta survive the raid?
Raw returns as the LHP make their entrance. But the Vikings attack! They wreck Kalisto then dump down Gran Metalik. They attack Lince Dorado with big knees! Metalik returns bot Erik catches him. Ivar brings Kalisto over for Erik to have on his shoulders, for a powerbomb-powerslam combo! This isn’t even a match but the Vikings keep going. They grab Lince, and feed him to Thor’s Hammer! The Vikings leave the luchadors down and out, who else will suffer a brutal Viking Experience?
Backstage interview with Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder.
The Raw Tag Team Champions just saw what happened to Lucha House Party, are they concerned? Hawkins isn’t sure what to say. We all saw the same thing! Those guys went berserk! They’re big, strong, agile but Ryder says they’re still new. The Major Brothers have been here for over a decade and are still here. They earned these titles, so they’re not letting these “smelly, horny, woolly mammoths” just take them away. But will they really have a say in it when the Viking Raiders come for gold?
Becky Lynch VS Alicia Fox!
The Man is the Champ-Champ, and she’s going strong towards her match with The Sassy Southern Belle at Money in the Bank. Will she stay strong against Ms. Crazy Like a Fox?
Raw returns and Becky Two Belts hears the fans chant for her. She then speaks, “There’s something in the air tonight in Iowa.” Becky sensed it backstage and in the locker room. It’s the Superstar Shake-Up. That time of the year where new challengers emerge. Becky didn’t have to wait long, she saw Lacey Evans win that shot. “The woman who likes to sucker punch The Man.” Becky doesn’t mind a good sucker punch, because she’s thrown her own here and there. It’s not the punching, it’s the woman behind them. Becky has made a career of slapping bleached blondes currying favors. Lacey is just the new take on an old approach. While Lacey is “furthering her career”, Becky will cement hers with a fight! But before Alicia can appear, Lacey does!
Lacey struts down the ramp and says Becky always wanting to fight, she can’t understand it. How can Becky let her emotions get the better of her? Is it because she’s Irish? Or like a man, she wants to be the center of attention? Lacey will educate Becky. Lesson 1: a lady is in complete control of her emotions. Lesson 2: a lady is not a show-off. And lesson 3, the most important of all: a man respects a lady. Lacey will teacher Becky that with her Woman’s Right, and then she’ll take both belts to put around her waist. Becky wants Lacey to back up. After everything Becky’s been through, she was just trying to enjoy herself. But “you absolute plank” is on her last nerve. Lacey talks about Irish emotions, those emotions wanna slap Lacey’s head off her shoulders!
Lacey may be new around here, but do not confuse happiness for content. Becky will go to MITB and dismantle Lacey because she can. And then The Man will collect on her debts. But now, Alicia does make her entrance, and we can begin this match!
The bell rings and Des Moines cheers Becky on again. Becky and Alicia circle and tie up, and Becky gets a headlock. She throws Alicia with a takedown but Alicia gets up. Alicia fights out and puts a headlock of her own. Becky powers out but Alicia runs her over with a shoulder. Cover, but Becky slips out and has a little fun. Things speed up and Becky deflects the dropkick to back kick Alicia to the corner. Alicia gets out but Becky wants at her. Becky dares Alicia to get in and fans rally up. Alicia draws near and Becky wrecks her with a baseball slide! Becky bumps Alicia on the apron then throws forearms. Becky brings Alicia around to bump off more apron, but then Alicia rams Becky into barriers!
The ring count hits 8! Alicia drags Becky up and in at 9, then slithers to a cover. TWO, but Becky is in trouble while we go to break.
Raw returns and Becky has Alicia in a corner. She brings Alicia out to whip but Alicia kicks back. Alicia boots Becky down then covers, TWO! Alicia tries again, ONE! She keeps Becky down in a chinlock, but fans rally up. Becky feeds off the energy and gets up to fight out. She throws EuroUppers but Alicia shoves to tilt-o-whirl. Becky headscissors through but Alicia denies the Disarm-Her. Alicia throws Becky to the apron then catches her breath. Becky crawls around the way but Alicia finds her. Alicia brings Becky up but Becky throws Alicia into barriers! Becky puts Alicia in but Alicia hits her back. Becky elbows from the corner then hops up for flying forearms. Fans fire up as Becky throws Alicia with a Becksploder! And then another!
But Becky’s far from done with Alicia as she runs in. Alicia rolls her up, TWO! Becky gets the Disarm-her! Alicia taps, but Lacey appears to throw her Woman’s Right!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission
The Sassy Southern sucker punch gets the better of Becky again! Lacey brushes herself off and puts her hat back on, to hit Becky with another Woman’s Right! Will Lacey be adding a belt to her ensemble after Money in the Bank?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin.
The Lone Wolf warms up for Styles. He’s already defied expectations, but if he does it again, he’ll not only earn a title shot, but he’ll have a chance to settle things with the man who was a thorn in his side during his GM days. Where is Charly getting these interview techniques? The same school that Kim Kardashian got her law degree? And who’s expectations did he defy? Those “grease balls” sitting at home in their basements on the computer? Those people didn’t think he’d beat Kurt Angle, either. The only thing better than proving “those idiots” wrong is getting revenge on Rollins. So he’s looking past Styles? No, he’s looking straight through him! But will Corbin even get through Styles to go to Money in the Bank?
Ricochet VS Robert Roode!
The One and Only is now on his own after more of the Superstar Shake-Up moves happened. Will he be able to overcome the slightly renamed GLORIOUS One after the break?
Raw returns as Roode makes his GLORIOUS entrance. And Bobby is now Robert, complete with a mostly shaven look. Roode explained in a WWE.com exclusive interview that with this Shake-Up, he’s been able to drop 150 pounds of dead weight named Chad Gable. But Ricochet is just as young, talented and also lacking that something special. That same something special is what Roode has to be GLORIOUS, but will his new name and new look really help give him a fresh start?
The bell rings and Roode circles with Ricochet. Roode and Ricochet tie up and Roode powers Ricochet to the corner. Ricochet turns it around but backs off at the ref’s count. Roode kicks low then throws hands on Ricochet in a corner. Ricochet punches back and backs Roode down. Roode headlocks but Ricochet powers out. Things speed up and Roode gets the headlock back. Ricochet endures then fights his way out. Roode knees low then stalks Ricochet. He CHOPS Ricochet to ropes then whips. Ricochet rolls off Roode’s back then rolls under to handspring headscissor and dropkick Roode down! Roode wants a timeout at the ropes but Ricochet dares him to come back. Ricochet walks over but is sent to the apron. He shoulders back in then dumps Roode out!
Fans fire up as Ricochet builds speed to fake Roode out! Roode swipes but misses, and gets the moonsault! The King of Flight is fired up while we go to break!
Raw returns and Roode has Ricochet in a chinlock. Ricochet fights his way up but Roode wrangles him back down. Roode grinds Ricochet down but fans rally up. Ricochet endures as Roode squeezes tighter. Ricochet feeds off the energy and fights out of the hold. He runs but into Roode’s knee! Roode drags Ricochet up to whip and knee again. He kicks away then suplexes Ricochet up and over! Cover, TWO! Roode grows frustrated but he keeps on Ricochet. He drags Ricochet into a half camel clutch but he also fish hooks Ricochet’s face. He lets go at 4 but then goes back to the camel clutch. Roode sits deep on it but fans rally. Ricochet powers his way up but Roode knocks him back down. Roode drags Ricochet up to whip him to a corner. Ricochet boots Roode away, then somersault shotgun dropkicks!
Both men are down but Ricochet slowly stands. Roode slowly follows and they start throwing hands. Ricochet dodges and runs to rally with forearms! Ricochet headscissors Roode to a corner, then goes corner to corner for a shoulder tackle. He slips out to the apron and bumps Roode on buckles, then kicks the buckle to snap Roode back. Ricochet aims and springboards for a leaping lariat! Standing Shooting Star! Cover, TWO!! Roode survives but Ricochet keeps his cool. Ricochet drags Roode up and to a fireman’s carry but Roode fights out. Roode waistlocks but Ricochet fights out. Ricochet grabs at Roode but Roode elbows back. Roode runs but Ricochet rolls him, TWO! Ricochet leaps into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Roode grows frustrated but he has one more move to try. He winds it up… GLORIOUS! Ricochet stands but denies the DDT to reel Roode in, TKO knee! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet drags Roode to a drop zone and climbs up top! He goes for the 450 but has to land on his feet as Roode dodges. Roode rams Ricochet into buckles! GLORIOUS DDT!! Cover, Roode wins!!
Winner: Robert Roode, by pinfall
The GLORIOUS Reinvention is successful! Roode revitalizes himself with the name change, but will this lead him to putting that new name on a title belt? Can Ricochet rebound and get on track as a singles competitor in his own right?
Welcome to Firefly Fun House~!
Who is that in the red sweater? Iiiiiit’s BRAY~! Brat Wyatt has missed us. But he knew we’d all be back together some day. He saw it in his dreams. Bray Wyatt promises we’ll all have fun. All the fireflies will feel safe here. And he can’t wait to show us what he’s learned. Tada~! Here are his very special friends! Mercy the Buzzard! Pammy the Witch! “You are going to love them.” Now, Bray admits he used to be a very bad man. Boo~! Yes, he deserves that. But Bray has been punished for that, so that part of him is dead.
However, he has a reminder so that he won’t ever go back to being that “pathetic slob loser.” Bray shows a cardboard cut-out of himself, and CUTS IT UP! YAY~! The fun is just getting started. So remember, fireflies: Bray will light the way, all you ahve to do is let him in. See you next week!
WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: AJ Styles VS Baron Corbin!
The Phenomenal One and the Lone Wolf made it through four other incredible superstars to make it to this match. But now, who will show they’ve still got more in the tank to punch their ticket to Money in the Bank?
Raw returns as Corbin makes his entrance. And this time, we do have to hear Mike Rome list Corbin’s accolades. But again, the former Raw General Manager, Golden Gloves boxing champion, United States Champion and Mr. Money in the Bank is NOT Des Moines’ Favorite Son. Corbin accepts that, and the bell rings so we can begin this major main event!
Corbin circles with Styles but obviously the fans are on Styles’ side. Styles and Corbin approach and Corbin talks trash. Styles gets Corbin with a right hand! Corbin comes back but gets CHOPS. Styles shows Corbin he’s just fine and then kicks away on Corbin’s leg. Corbin rocks Styles back with a right, then drags Styles up. Styles slips out and dropkicks Corbin away. Styles throws more hands against the ropes but backs off at the ref’s count. Corbin gets back up to knee Styles low. Corbin throws Styles out but Styles is on the apron. Styles shoulders in then slingshots but into a big right! Styles goes down and Corbin stomps away. Corbin whips Styles corner to corner hard and Styles goes down again. Corbin looms over Styles but fans still rally up. He stands Styles up to punch him back down.
Corbin sits Styles up to punch him back down again and again. He drags Styles up but Styles throws hands back! Styles runs and clotheslines Corbin out! Styles slingshots but lands on the apron when Corbin gets clear. Corbin trips Styles and Styles falls on the apron hard! Corbin whips Styles into the timekeeper area, but Styles roundhouses back! Fans fire up as Styles uses the barriers. But Corbin catches him to drop him on the barriers! The Lone Wolf has the advantage while we go to one more break!
Raw returns again and Corbin has Styles down in a half nelson. Corbin leans on Styles but Styles fights his way up. Styles fights out as fans rally, but Corbin throws another right. Corbin lifts and tosses Styles with a spin! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated but he still stalks Styles to a corner. He drags Styles up and puts him on the top rope. Corbin climbs but Styles fights back. Corbin rocks Styles again, then wants a superplex, but Styles slips out to trip Corbin up! Styles gets up and throws kicks into Corbin’s leg. Fans rally as Styles kicks Corbin off his feet. Styles wants the leg but Corbin shoves him away. Styles comes back with a sliding forearm! He clotheslines Corbin in the corner then goes for a fireman’s carry. But Corbin slips out, only for Styles to give him the Phenomenal Blitz!
Corbin grabs Styles and glares at him, for the choke slam. Styles wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! Corbin swings but Styles dodges to climb around for a sunset flip. But into the Clash! But Corbin is too tall and he kicks Styles away. Both men are down but crawling. Corbin stands in a corner but Styles dodges. Corbin slides out then in but gets the PELE! Styles keeps moving, but gets a DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Styles still lives and Corbin can’t believe it. Corbin crawls to ropes while Styles goes the other way. Corbin runs at Styles in the corner for a big clothesline! And then another! Corbin reels Styles in but Styles rolls him for the CALF CRUSHER! Styles pulls back hard but Corbin slams Styles’ head on the mat! Corbin is free but the damage is done.
Corbin crawls to a corner and drags himself back up. Styles runs in but Corbin boots him. Corbin puts Styles on the ropes then hops up, and leaps! Styles dodges and Corbin hotshots himself! Styles takes aim and springboards, Phenomenal Forearm! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; NEW #1 contender to the WWE Universal Championship
The Phenomenal One is victorious after a night of incredible action! Now he heads to Money in the Bank to take on The Architect! And speaking of, Seth Rollins comes out to meet his challenger! Rollins offers a handshake, and Styles accepts it! These two respect each other, but will that change with a month left to go?
A rather crazy Raw tonight, what with more changes after the backlash of Superstar Shake-Up. The most obvious is that the infamous Viking Experience name change was changed again. Viking Raiders is a better compromise to keep “War” out of the team name, but I wish they’d also just let Erik & Ivar be Rowe & Hanson. But then this compromise was ruined by Vince sneaking his choice in anyway, and now every match where they use Thor’s Hammer, the pop-up powerslam, will have commentary shouting “Viking Experience!” If only Vince felt the wrath of Thor’s Hammer… The next most obvious was Robert Roode’s new name and the change to his facial hair. I was surprised to see him win, but I suppose if he’s in a rivalry with Ricochet now, they’d need to go back-and-forth at least this much.
Cesaro VS Cedric was great, and I suppose it works that Cesaro wins. Alexander’s promotion to Raw works better if he has some trouble with the transition, and it’ll make his first win on Raw that much more exciting. Bray Wyatt turning all those creepy promos into this children’s show is a hilarious next step in this new story. His new self is great with this underlying just-barely-holding-on-to-sanity characteristic. I wouldn’t mind seeing some more interactions with Mercy and Pammy for a few weeks, maybe a couple months, to really explore how this is going. Maybe it becomes part talk show with an occasional guest.
I felt like The IIconics pointing out Naomi was all alone was going to prompt her new friend to appear to keep the IIconics from screwing her out of the match. But surprisingly, Naomi won clean. I still feel like Naomi will end up teaming with someone, perhaps Tamina. With Nia Jax out with injury and given the history and real-life bond between them, Tamina going to Naomi or vice-versa makes sense to me. Lacey Evans more than likely misspoke about having both belts after one match with Becky, she’s only the Raw Women’s Championship #1 contender. But either way, she had a pretty good showing without a match, as she gives a good promo and then a great sucker punch attack just as Becky’s match ended. Lacey’s push may be fast but I’m sure she’ll deliver in the match.
But the big thing was that Raw rightfully upped the ante for that Universal Championship now that it’s finally on TV. Both triple threats were incredible, worthy of a title in their own right. They both ended about how they should, and it made sense for Corbin to be opportunistic in that moment at the end. Samoa Joe and Mysterio can either have a proper US Championship match or be in the MITB ladder match, and MITB can also include Miz and/or McIntyre if they see fit. Styles VS Corbin was pretty good for under 15 minutes, and honestly I was surprised Corbin didn’t find a sneaky way to win. But Styles winning is great, we’ll get a dream match already with MITB PPV. I would think Rollins retains, but at least with Styles, it’d be believable if he’d take it so soon.
My Score: 8.1/10
(NOAH) WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.31~ 21ST APRIL 2019
With the Global Tag League in full effect, Hisame brings us those weekly NOAH updates! Read up on one of the best Japanese promotions that tends to fly under the radar!
With the Global Tag League in full effect, Hisame brings us those weekly NOAH updates! Read up on one of the best Japanese promotions that tends to fly under the radar!
CURRENT TOUR RECAP
NOAH’s first show back on the mainland was held on a midweek night, and while the attendance was not good (819), the show was intense and the fans that did not go were lamenting that they were prevented from going due to it being a midweek night, and therefore, a work night.
Due to Quiet Storm sustaining a concussion after receiving a kick to the head from Kenoh in Sapporo, NOAH have changed their cards (no date has been given for a return of either himself or Kimya Okada yet), and 50 Funky Powers have so far been deducted four points, as per the rules of Global Tag League which counts a team being unable to compete as an automatic loss and a win for the other team (hence the reason why The Tough have two points), and Rocky Kawamura was drafted in to compete at Korakuen Hall. His gimmick is Rocky (the character from the films), and Mohammed
Yone took his name from Mohammed Ali, so you had two boxing fans together.
Yone laughed afterwards and said that he himself might try coming to the ring in boxing gloves.
True to his word, NOSAWA Rongai bought a “friend” to Korakuen Hall.
The “friend” turned out to be Hideki Suzuki who had a match in 2018 in NOAH against Naomichi Marufuji and Atsushi Kotoge (he teamed with Jay Bradley), but wasn’t seen at all again until 2019.
Suzuki got in the ring and asked for a tag match against Marufuji (Suzuki will team with NOSAWA), as he was at ringside (and all of the heavyweights are tied up in Global Tag League), Marufuji, after telling Suzuki that he should build his own gang, said “lets just have a match” and nominated Junta Miyawaki to be his partner. Miyawaki told NOSAWA that he was going to get the victory over him.
Match has been set for the last night of Global Tag League on May 4th.
When asked why he was here, Hideki said he was “job hunting” and hadn’t been employed since the beginning of the year. He later admitted that he was here for himself.
As if the Korakuen Hall crowd weren’t wound up enough, there was a HUGE upset for AXIZ when Masao Inoue (whom the crowd had been cheering on), got the sneak win over Katsuhiko Nakajima.
After the match, Inoue and Saito went to imitate AXIZ’S pose, but at the last moment Saito walked away leaving Inoue to crash to the floor.
The crowd laughed.
Saito laughed louder.
Nakajima, however, didn’t find anything amusing and said that Masao Inoue has borrowed something big, and he will be coming to take it back.
Whatever it is that is going on between Stinger and Daisuke Harada took another turn at Korakuen Hall.
Yoshinari Ogawa offered his hand to Daisuke Harada again, and Harada went to take it, but Tadasuke objected. Harada shoved him aside, and Tadasuke fell against the ropes with a look of surprise. Ogawa tried again, but this time YO-HEY came between them. After that, Harada looked at his hand and just left the ring.
AXIZ were not the only team to have a bad night at Korakuen Hall, their rivals in KAIOH did too.
Takashi Sugiura (complete with stitches after the headbutts from Atsushi Kotoge in Sapporo) stood still and staring at his two former protegees as they entered the ring.
They probably knew that it was a very very bad sign. This match was not about “The Sugiura Army” beating KAIOH, this was about Takashi Sugiura beating down two upstarts, and although they put him through hell, he prevailed with the headlock choke on Kaito Kiyomiya. After the match he got on the microphone and told Kiyomiya that he wouldn’t push the issue now as it was Global Tag League, but he wanted Kiyomiya to remember, that he would be coming for the title.
NOAH held their next event on Sunday 21st April at a new venue (which had been a former fish market) in springtime Niigata. Attendance was a full house of 865.
Naturally, being an event by the Shinano River, a fight went outside and to the riverside, and Marufuji almost threw YO-HEY in. Tadasuke thought it would have been funny, but YO-HEY said that the next time NOAH come to the venue, he is going to bring goggles and a flotation device for Marufuji.
Marufuji’s response was basically, “bring them for yourself”.
Fact is, that if NOAH go back there in the summer or autumn, someone will most likely go in (probably Kotoge in his cape).
Daisuke Harada made the first defense ever of the IPW Junior Heavyweight title against Hitoshi Kumano. While I don’t have too much details on the match itself, one fan did liken it to a fight that one of the Four Pillars would have put on. It was that intense.
Harada said that he wants his next challenger to be British, and said it would be interesting to see if anyone came over to NOAH. He also said that with Global Junior Tag League starting, he was equally interested to see if a team would enter.
When asked about the handshake with Ogawa, Harada walked away.
Yoshinari Ogawa had said that you could see how the situation was developing, as Kotaro Suzuki added, “If the leader’s heart is swayed, then the team is over”
Kaioh were almost beaten in Global Tag League by The Inferno. That was until Kiyomiya changed the tide of the match, and got the pin via the Tiger Suplex on Maybach Taniguchi.
So far Kenoh has not managed to get a single win at Global Tag League. Once the league is over, and especially if Kaioh do not win the titles, then his resentment is going to erupt.
As of the time of writing, The Sugiura Army lead the scoreboard with eight points.
Fortune Dream6 & “TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2”
On the 17th April at Korakuen Hall, Kenta Kobashi announced that Fortune Dream6 would return on June 10th. NOAH participation was announced as Go Shiozaki and Yoshiki Inamura vs Yuji Okabayashi & Kazusada Higuchi. Addtionally, Masa Kitamiya will team with Yuya Aoki against Shoki Kitamura & Towa Iwasaki.
Yoshihiro Takayama has announced via his official blog, that “TAKAYAMANIA EMPIRE 2” will be held on Monday, August 26 2019 at Korakuen Hall.
Card to be announced.
Although Takayama cannot be at the show (although he wants to find a way to be there), there is good news on the horizon as he says that his condition is improving gradually and he can now feel the soles of his feet.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
- GHC Junior Champion: Minoru Tanaka
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: AXIZ (Go Shiozaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: Stinger (Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa)
~ Although he cannot wrestle due to concussion, Kinya Okada has been seen at ringside doing his usual duties. Poor boy looks sad, like he did when he was unable to debut due to injury.
~ Minoru Tanaka was hungover at the Niigata event. Said he hoped it would help his hangover. It didn’t.
~ Each time Atsushi Kotoge went to do the “Revolutionary Hero” pose, Marufuji smacked his arm down (Yoshiki Inamura in Niigata was a little more game)
~ Takashi Sugiura said there are to be no further entries into the “Sugiura Army”, he also doesn’t like NOSAWA being put at the center of the group in the official photographs for the new “Sugiura Army” t-shirts.
~ I don’t want to know exactly what a “YO-HEY Teriyaki McBurger” is
~ Takashi Sugiura’s most infamous dog video this week was him on his lap, and chewing the cord of his tracksuit pants.
The 4th May Global Tag League finals will be broadcast at 10pm JST on Samurai TV
The 28th May show will be broadcast live at 6.30pm JST on G+ (its the first night of Global Tag League)
PICTURE CREDITS: NOAH GHC, PKDX, Daisuke Harada
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