Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Results & Report! (11/26/18)
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable challenge AoP for their tag titles and Seth Rollins holds an Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge, both on tonight’s Raw!
- Elias VS Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush; restarted as…
- No Disqualifications: Elias VS Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush; Lashley wins.
- Lucha House Rules: Lucha House Party VS The Revival; Lucha House Party wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Bobby Roode & Chad Gable; The Authors of Pain win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Ember Moon w/ Curt Hawkins VS Alicia Fox w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers; Moon wins.
- Jinder Mahal w/ Alicia Fox & The Singh Brothers VS No Way Jose; Mahal wins.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Seth Rollins VS ???; Rollins wins and retains the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
- Baron Corbin VS Finn Balor; changed to…
- 2v1 Handicap Match: Finn Balor VS Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre; Corbin & McIntyre win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Acting Raw General Manager, Baron Corbin, is in the ring.
The Constable is also joined by Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, who also has Lio Rush with him. Corbin welcomes Milwaukee and thanks them for their “warm” welcome back. He’s sure everyone had a great Thanksgiving and shoved their mouths full of “disgusting carbs”. These three don’t eat that “garbage”, they keep their bodies in peak physical condition. It’s why they’re superstars and fans aren’t. Corbin is thankful for himself and his great run as GM. Lashley is thankful for the “betas” who waste their lives away while Lashley takes what he wants. McIntyre is thankful for the “brutal, savage, extended and well-deserved beating” these three gave to Braun Strowman. Corbin and Lashley agree. That moment will go down in history, but he plays the footage for those who missed it.
Strowman was the last man on his team in a Six Man Elimination Tag last week, but that’s when Corbin’s team stopped caring about winning. They instead got themselves disqualified and beat Strowman down every which way they could think of. They threw him into steel steps, hit him with steel chairs, and then finally combined the two to shatter Strowman’s elbow! The Monster Among Men is meant to have a TLC Match at the TLC Pay-Per-View, but he doesn’t look likely to make it after that. Corbin knows fans are wondering about Strowman. He assures them Strowman won’t be showing up for a “long, long, long time.” But he has some pull around here, so he made it possible for a camera crew to visit Strowman in Alabama before his surgery.
Strowman told them and the WWE Universe that he’s moments from having surgery on his bruised and broken elbow. “But I would much rather be in Milwaukee” so that he could take care of the spineless cowards who did this to him. Doctors think Strowman will be out for a long time given the state of the injury, and the size of Strowman’s arm. Is he worried? Maybe. But Strowman vows to be back and he’ll make that attack last week and the surgery right here look like paper cuts compared to what’s coming for Corbin and crew. He hopes they enjoy their holidays, because when he gets back, they’ll #GetTheseHands!
Corbin is annoyed by the chants, but he and the others aren’t afraid. They doubt Strowman will even be able to use both hands after what they did. Corbin is confident that Strowman will not be cleared for TLC, which is too bad because that match is still on. Strowman will surely forfeit and then Corbin will stay Raw GM. Everyone else needs to decide what side of history they’re on, because Corbin’s inauguration is coming. He’ll remember who stood with him and who stood against him, because- Wait what happened to the lights?! It’s ELIAS!
The Drifter introduces himself, and says he could no longer just sit back and listen to Corbin’s annoying voice. Elias plays his favorite rift, and says he’s been around the world, with the truth following him. But for some reason, Corbin’s crew can’t get it through their skulls. It’s that WWE means “Walk With Elias!” Elias sees Corbin talking about becoming permanent GM, and can’t think of anything worse. Anyone would be better, even Lio Rush, despite violating child labor laws. Drake Maverick pissed himself and he’s a GM! But that’s not what tonight is about, Elias has a match with “Bobby Trashley.” Elias has a song for Lashley and will sing it. So please silence phones, hold applause, and Corbin please shut your mouth.
Elias begins playing, “If this was body building, you’d be top of the class. But why you always bending over with Lio pointing at your ass?” If you’re ever done on your luck, just remember: you could be Bobby Lashley, and Bobby Lashley sucks. Fans sing along and the point is made clear. Elias heads down to the ring now, and it’s time for a match, after the break.
Elias VS Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush!
Raw returns as Corbin and McIntyre also join the Hype Man of the Hour in the corner of the Rocky Mountain Machine. Fans chant “Lashley Sucks!” as Elias and Lashley tie up. Lashley puts Elias in a corner, then backs off as the ref counts. Lashley taunts Elias, so Elias CHOPS away! Elias runs but into a big knee! Lashley puts Elias in another corner and rams his shoulder in again and again. Lashley brings Elias out for a neckbreaker, covers, TWO! He keeps on Elias with a chinlock but fans rally up for Elias. Elias gets up but Lashley switches to a waistlock and throws Elias down. Fans boo as Lashley knocks Elias down again. Lashley wraps the chinlock back on, but Elias works against it. Fans again chant “Lashley Sucks!” as Elias fights out.
Elias runs but Lashley jumps over him. Elias throws Lashley out, then Elias wrecks him with a dropkick! Lio coaches Lashley up, and McIntyre tells him to go beat Elias’ arse. Fans sing for Elias as he gets Lashley, but Lashley flapjacks and hotshots Elias! Lashley clubs Elias down then stomps away. Lashley keeps on Elias at the ropes, then scrapes a boot into him on the mat. The ref backs Lashley down but Lashley comes back to bring Elias up for a big clothesline. Cover, TWO! Lashley and his allies grow frustrated, but Lashley puts Elias back in a chinlock. Fans rally up and Elias feeds off their energy. Elias gets up but Lashley puts him in a corner. Lashley runs into an elbow, and then Elias blasts him with a dropkick!
Elias keeps on Lashley with chops around the corner. Lashley yanks Elias out, and McIntyre is there. The referee tells McIntyre to back off, and McIntyre obeys. Elias returns to the ring but Lashley rams him into a corner post! Elias slumps to the floor and is surrounded by rabid trash talk while we go to break.
Raw returns as Elias boots Lashley away! Elias rallies and Lio panics. Corbin is worried, too, as Elias stomps and punches away on Lashley in a corner. The ref backs Elias up but he’s ready for Lashley with a knee strike! Elias heads up top quickly as fans sing for him. He aims at Lashley, and leaps for the Macho Elbow! It hits! Cover, but Lio yanks the ref off?! The ref yells and rings the bell.
Winner: Elias, by disqualification
But Corbin shouts it down! He “forgot” to say this is a No Disqualification match! We’re starting over!
No Disqualifications: Elias VS Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush, Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre!
Lashley pounces on Elias! He stomps and punches and again, Corbin abuses his power. Lashley rams his shoulder into Elias, then looms over him as he flexes. Fans boo and jeer, but Elias back drops Lashley! Corbin drags Elias out but Elias fires off hands! McIntyre runs in but is sent into the post! Elias grabs his guitar, taking advantage of Corbin’s “forgetfulness”. But then Corbin clobbers Elias from behind! Fans boo and jeer again but Corbin grins and applauds himself. Fans now say “Corbin Sucks!” but Lashley stomps the guitar to pieces. McIntyre enters and Corbin has a chair, to SMACK Elias! Corbin continues to SMACK Elias until Elias falls out of the ring.
McIntyre rams Elias into the barriers, into the apron, and then feeds him to Lashley for more barriers! Lashley gives Elias to Corbin and Corbin throws Elias around all the same. Corbin then feeds Elias to McIntyre’s CLAYMORE! “How do you like that?!” McIntyre rains down rights, and Lashley prepares the steel steps. This trio looks to recreate what they did to Strowman last week as they keep Elias down. McIntyre hauls Elias up for the inverted Alabama Slam on the steel steps!! But Corbin still has more for Elias. “Let’s do this one for Braun Strowman!” Lashley takes off around the ring, much like Strowman would, and he SPEARS Elias! Corbin and his crew are the only ones enjoying this as they go back into the ring. Lashley takes his time to flex, then finally covers Elias, and wins.
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall
Lio makes the announcement for the “Almighty” Lashley. Lashley, McIntyre and Corbin look to make Raw their show one way or another, but that TLC match is still coming. Will Strowman make a miraculous return to stop the tyranny before it completely takes over?
Baron Corbin chews out a stage hand.
How dare he turn the lights off just for Elias! The stage hand says it wont’ happen again, but Corbin says it won’t because he’s FIRED!! Alexa Bliss comes over. That was impressive. That guy was dead weight, always facetiming. Who does that? He doesn’t anymore. Alexa says he’s doing a great job, and if there’s anything he needs, don’t hesitate to ask. Well actually, as GM elect, he has a lot on his plate. And as a successful captain, Alexa Bliss is now chief overseer of the Women’s Division. Alexa thanks Corbin for the honor. The Goddess now has true power over the other women of Raw, will she look to abuse it the same way Corbin does?
Dean Ambrose visits the doctor’s office.
The Lunatic Fringe wasn’t going to the “toxic dump” of Milwaukee. Seth Rollins is surely disappointed, but he’s also relieved and feeling safe. Rollins is holding his Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge, so of course he feels safe. But Ambrose will be there next week, after getting this flu shot. He won’t stand for catching a cold from such “vermin” as the fans or Rollins. Ambrose has become a germaphobe because of the fans. He shows us the different injections he’s gotten as a precaution. Ambrose isn’t going to Houston without rabies. The next shot is a bit bigger, so Ambrose drops his pants. Ambrose says Rollins can’t take a shower hot enough to wash away his shame and his sins. There is no medicine to cure the sickness in Rollins’ soul. Ambrose will do the merciful thing for Rollins, and put him down.
Lucha House Party VS The Revival!
Kalisto, Lince Dorado & Gran Metalik have had some quick success on Raw, supported by their impressive run on 205 Live. They got the better of the #TopGuys thanks to “lucha house rules”, but will that trick work twice?
Raw returns as Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson explain they were “appalled” by what lucha house rules is. It’s meant to always be 2v2, but those three don’t respect rules at all, do they? These three don’t know anything like that. The fans need to show some respect, not shouting things like “Lucha! Lucha”! Fans chant that back at them, and that proves Dawson’s point. But the reason they asked for this rematch is that “if you can’t respect tradition, you don’t belong in The Revival’s division.” But again, it’s Lucha House Rules! Metalik starts with Dash, Dash whips but trips up the handspring. But Metalik keeps going, and handspring arm-drags!
Metalik dropkicks Dash then drags him over, tag to Lince. Lince tags Kalisto, and the splash party begins! Kalisto gets the boost from Lince and Lince adds his plank! Then Metalik springboards for the missile dropkick! Kalisto covers, TWO! Dash powers Kalisto over, tags Dawson, and then Dawson gets Kalisto with a torture rack drop! Dawson drops legs and elbows, and even a headbutt. Cover, TWO! Dawson keeps on Kalisto and tags in Dash. Dash lifts Kalisto and uses the Gory Special! Dash bends Kalisto back but fans rally up. Kalisto works against the hold and arm-drag sout. Dash tags Dawson but Kalisto evades both of them. The Revival corner him but he goes up and over! Lince flies in with a crossbody! Then Metalik springboards in! Lucha House Rules!
Kalisto swing kicks Dawson then hits Salida Del Sol! Metalik hits the swanton! Lince the shooting star! Cover, Lucha House Party wins again!
Winners: Lucha House Party, Lince pinning
That’s 2-0 for Lucha House Party under Lucha House Rules! Will Dash & Dawson figure out how to play by these rules? Or will they only keep complaining?
Lars Sullivan is on his way.
The Leviathan of NXT has decimated many opponents in many different ways, and has both Stephanie and Shane McMahon clambering to put him on their brand. Who will win the bidding war to get this new monster on their roster?
Nia Jax and Tamina head to the ring!
The Samoan Dynasty has been dominant itself, but it will be the #FaceBreaker Game Changer getting her shot at the title at TLC. Fans boo and jeer because of what she did to Becky Lynch, but Nia reminds us there’s a lot to be thankful for this year. Raw must be thankful for Nia. Nia was the sole survivor of her team that won at Survivor Series. But even more than that, Nia is thankful for breaking Becky’s face. That and putting Becky on the shelf. Seems “The Man” was no match for Nia. Ronda wanted her match with Becky, but Nia took that from her. And Nia promises to take the title from Ronda, too. Ronda was on top of the world when she arrived, but she’s gone downhill since. And it started after facing the Irresistible Force.
Nia has footage from Money in the Bank play to show us how she was moments from defeating Ronda with her overwhelming strength. Nia takes credit for being the unbeatable that sent Ronda down this path. The next part of Ronda’s downfall was facing Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series. Footage of that plays, as Charlotte went wild on Ronda, and even used a chair on Ronda’s neck. Nia mocks Ronda, she sure took a beating like a champion. That’s what true champions do, right? They stand atop the mountain and faces anyone that comes after them. They fight against sickness and health, and win by disqualification while getting the crap kicked out of them. Well, maybe not. Nia really liked “A true champion is the best even on her worst day.”
Ronda’s worse day wasn’t Survivor Series, it’ll be TLC. Because Nia’s been on a roll! Nia won the Evolution Battle Royal, she broke Becky’s face and then won Survivor Series! So the top of the mountain, is Nia’s! But wait, here comes Ronda Rousey! Ronda is all smiles looking at the fans, but she isn’t all smiles looking at Nia and Tamina. Ronda does give Nia credit, because Nia has done a lot of stuff lately. But with fans still on her side, Ronda says it wasn’t luck that won Nia a title shot. Nia is lucky to be from a warrior culture with punches heard around the world. And Nia is lucky that the receiver of that punch was a woman who changed the history of WWE and was so famous, Nia only became the #FaceBreaker because of her.
“But that’s where your luck has run out.” Ronda stands guard on her mountain, and will rip Nia’s arm off to slap Charlotte across the face with it! But if Nia wants to fight, Ronda is ready. Unless she and the “monolithic mute” have a hot double date. How about that title match here and now?! Milwaukee wants it, but Nia is content to wait. Nia could beat Ronda tonight, but she just got finished watching Becky’s blood off her knuckles, and y’know what, the cousins do have hot dates! Don’t make excuses, Nia! These aren’t excuses, she’s just stalling for time.
Tamina moves into position behind Ronda, but wait, here comes Natalya! Only for the Riott Squad to ambush her! Ronda goes to save Natty, but the damage is done. Ronda helps Natty up but the battle lines are drawn. Will Ronda be able to make it to TLC with these many enemies gunning for her?
Drake Maverick speaks.
He’s sure the fans had a laugh over Survivor Series. But 99% of the WWE Universe have ever experience real fear! Most people have never been grabbed by the throat with their life flashing before their eyes staring down a “seven foot giant”! And if they ever did, they would’ve lost control of their bodies, too. Maverick vows to have Bobby Roode & Chad Gable experience that same fear. “Laugh now, cry later.” Will the Authors of Pain leave anything left of the Ready, Willing & GLORIOUS duo?
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Authors of Pain w/ Drake Maverick VS Bobby Roode & Chad Gable!
There’s no more time for jokes, now is the time to get serious! Akam & Rezar are always aggressive, but now they’re angry on behalf of their mastermind manager. Will they write the Last Chapter on the GLORIOUS streak Roode & Gable have been on?
Before heading out, Roode & Gable have an interview with Charly Caruso. This is their biggest opportunity yet, any thoughts? Gable says last week was last week. He loves a good laugh, but this kind of opportunity is exactly why he asked Roode to team with him. They teamed up to be champions, and to make the entire Tag Team Division #AbsolutelyGlorious. Roode & Gable make their entrance and we begin!
Roode puts his robe away to start with Akam. Maverick wants the robe? This is a distraction so Akam can hit Roode and Gable! Maverick has confiscated the robe while Akam whips Roode corner to corner. Akam runs but misses in the corner. Roode chops and chops, then whips. Akam reverses but Roode sunset flips. Akam drags Roode up and puts him in another corner. Roode fights back with haymakers and chops, but Akam blocks the whip. Akam reverses, Roode goes up and over, but Akam catches him. Roode slips out but Maverick distracts him with his own robe. Gable tags in and leaps at Akam for missile dropkicks!
Rezar tags in but Gable fires off hands. Rezar clubs Gable down then puts him in a corner. He puts Gable on the top rope but Gable gets him in a hanging armbar! Gable lets go at 4, then leaps over. Roode tags back in, tilt-o-whirl headscissors sends Rezar for a loop. Gable and Roode work together to double suplex, but Rezar is too strong. Rezar double suplexes the challengers! Maverick takes the robe with him onto the stage, to mock GLORIOUS! Roode is seething, but Maverick runs away while we go to break.
Raw returns and Akam shoves Gable away. Akam then runs Gable over with a back elbow! Roode grows worried as Rezar tags in. Rezar goes out to fetch Gable, but Gable gets him with a DDT! Fans rally up while Maverick shows off the robe in the locker room. Tags to Roode and Akam! Roode rallies, bobs ‘n’ weaves, then kicks away on Akam’s leg. He chops and whips, but Akam reverses. Roode dropkicks Akam’s leg out, then dropkicks Rezar out. Fans fire up with Roode as he rams a shoulder into Akam. Roode goes for a neckbreaker but Akam powers out. Akam stops the boot, but not the other one. Roode hops up, but is caught! Akam throws Roode with a Fall Away Slam!
Tag to Rezar, and the AoP look to end this. They double whip Roode, but Roode dodges Rezar’s boot! He dumps Akam out, then hits Rezar. Roode calls for Gable, but Maverick still gloats in the robe. But it’d be a shame if something happened to it. Like, it got pee on it! Maverick puts the robe in the toilet, then unzips! Maverick pees on the robe!! Roode is devastated emotionally, but is then devastated physically when Rezar blats him into Gable! Tag to Akam, neckbreaker powerbomb! Cover, AoP wins!
Winners: The Authors of Pain, Akam pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
There’s no more laughter, only pain. Akam and Rezar continue to dominate with help from Maverick, will they continue to rain on all of Raw’s parade?
Bayley and Sasha Banks talk backstage.
They had so much fun at WWE Starrcade over the weekend, but Alexa Bliss comes in to ruin it. They’ve had their issues in the past, but The Goddess is now in charge of the Women’s Division thanks to them. And Alexa realizes the reason these three haven’t gotten along is because they haven’t gotten to know each other. Sasha and Bayley know all about Alexa, so go oversee yourself out of the room. Alexa says Sasha doesn’t have to be rude all the time. But let’s put egos aside. Alexa is giving them a chance to hold an open forum with the fans. Bayley isn’t falling for another “This is Your Life” kind of trap. Alexa assures them this isn’t a trick. It’s a way for the WWE Universe to get to know them better. Is Alexa being genuine? Or is she being her usual self?
Finn Balor speaks.
“Earlier tonight, Baron Corbin asked the Raw Roster if they wanted to stand on the right side or wrong side of history.” And then he went and abused his power to help his friend. Finn gets the message loud and clear: if you don’t stand with Corbi, there will be consequences. Surely some people will think Finn is jeopardizing his career to stand up against “a self-obsessed, megalomaniacal blowhard”, but as Finn sees it, he’s jeopardizing his career if he doesn’t. Finn fights for the real right side of history, but will he still lose because of it?
Ember Moon w/ Curt Hawkins VS Alicia Fox w/ Jinder Mahal & The Singh Brothers!
With #Mahalicia having made it into the Mixed Match Challenge Season 2 Playoffs, they have a chance to go for it all and win the 30th spots in both Women’s and Men’s Royal Rumbles. However, the War Goddess still stands in their way, even if she’s going from the Monster Among Men, to the man with the worst losing streak in wrestling today. But that’s for Tuesday, will Monday bring another Eclipse?
The bell rings and Curt gives Moon some tips, but Moon gets booted! Foxy covers, TWO! Foxy tries again, TWO! Alicia gets frustrated, so she runs a rolling neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Alexa watches backstage as Alicia wraps Ember in a chinlock. Alicia is a friend of hers, so she must be on Foxy’s side. Curt rallies the fans up for Ember and Ember feeds off the energy. Ember fights out but Alicia hops on for a sleeper hold and body scissors! Ember throws Alicia off hard, then hurries to a corner. Alicia runs in but into a forearm! Then an uppercut! Ember climbs up and grabs Alicia for the tornado snap suplex! Ember hurries back to the corner and takes aim, ECLIPSE! Cover, Ember wins!
Winner: Ember Moon, by pinfall
Curt celebrates a little too hard for Ember, but that’s only because he’s so unfamiliar with winning. Will he get a true taste of victory when he and Ember start in the Mixed Match Challenge Playoffs?
Wait, is that No Way Jose?! He’s gonna help them celebrate with the conga line! Ember is a bit confused, but she gets into it. Will Jose be dancing after his own match with the Modern Day Maharaja up next?
Jinder Mahla w/ Alicia Fox & The Singh Brothers VS No Way Jose!
Raw returns with the bell, but Mahal is right on Jose in a corner. Mahal stomps but calms down with Shanti. Jose hits back with big forearms, but Mahal knees low. Mahal whips Jose corner to corner but Jose goes up and over. Jose baits Mahal in for a dropkick! Mahal kicks back, then scoops Jose. Jose slips out, rolls Mahal, TWO! Mahal roundhouses Jose down! Mahal is seething over how close Jose got with that roll-up. He drops knees on Jose then grinds him against the ropes. Mahal backs off at 4, then drags Jose up to club him back down. Mahal wraps on a half nelson chinlock, but fans rally up for Jose. Jose gets up, and fights back with body shots. Mahal shoves Jose and runs him over! Mahal stomps Jose and drops more knees.
The ref counts as Mahal grinds in his knee, and Mahal backs off at 4. The Singhs mock Jose, his conga line isn’t here to help him. Mahal snap suplexes Jose then covers, TWO! Mahal drives elbows into Jose’s head then knees into Jose’s back. He wraps on another chinlock and Jose endures again. Jose gets up but Mahal yanks him back down. Mahal grinds Jose but Jose refuses to give up. Jose stands and fights out again. He counter punches Mahal then boots him away. Jose hops up and leaps for a big crossbody! He rolls off the cover but gets up again to rally with lariats and elbows! Jose dodges Mahal, and hip tosses into a neckbreaker! Fans fire up but Mahal hotshots Jose into the Kallas! Cover, Mahal wins!
Winner: Jinder Mahal, by pinfall
The fiesta is over, but the Shanti continues. #Mahalicia breaks even between both partners, can they go up again in the Mixed Match Challenge?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge: Seth Rollins VS ???
The Architect has a match with the Lunatic Fringe at TLC for this very title, but he might not have it if he loses it here. Rollins says “What up, Milwaukee?! Welcome to Monday Night Rollins!” He hasn’t been himself lately because Ambrose had him running around like he was lunatic. Fans deserve better than that and Rollins is better than that. And so that means getting back to being a fighting champion! Rollins is done chasing Ambrose, and Ambrose can vaccinate himself all he wants, he won’t be immune to Rollins. Ambrose promises to be here next week, but not tonight. Ambrose is a liar and a coward, so Rollins will be watching out for him. But honestly, it doesn’t matter, it’s time to throw down the gauntlet! Who answers this challenge? DOLPH ZIGGLER!
The Show-Off and Rollins have gone back and forth for this title, and Ziggler is glad to see Rollins wants to be his old self again. Ever since Ambrose betrayed Rollins, Rollins hasn’t been himself. But if he wants to be “Seth Freakin’ Rollins”, he’ll do what he really does best: lose to Ziggler. Because Ziggler gets to be The Best in the World. And then he’ll go back to being Intercontinental Champion. We get this match one more time, who wins this epic rematch?
The bell rings and these two rivals circle. They tie up and Rollins gets the waistlock. Ziggler gets the ropes, and Rollins lets him go. They go again, and tie up. Ziggler lunges in but Rollins sprawls. Rollins gets around and goes for a full nelson but Ziggler resists. Rollins wrenches the arm to a hammerlock but Ziggler hits out. Ziggler puts on a headlock, but Rollins endures. Rollins powers out and things speed up. Rollins hip tosses Ziggler then clotheslines him out! The fans fire up while we go to break.
Raw returns and Rollins is down from taking buckle to face. Ziggler stands up and grinds Rollins into ropes. Ziggler trash talks Rollisn as he brings him up for a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Ziggler wraps Rollins up in a sleeper hold and body scissors. Fans rally and Rollins endures the squeeze. Ziggler shifts out of the body scissors to add weight to the sleeper. Rollins gets up but Ziggler wrangles him down by his hair. Fans continue to rally and Rollins feeds off the energy. Rollins jawbreakers free, then runs but into a dropkick! Ziggler covers, TWO but Ziggler gets Rollins again. TWO, and Ziggler goes after the eyes! The ref counts and Ziggler backs off, only to pull Rollins against the ropes. Ziggler backs off again and Rollins staggers away. Ziggler bumps Rollins off buckles then wraps him in the sleeper and scissors again.
Fans rally again while Rollins endures. Rollins fights his way up again and throws body shots. Rollins is free and whips Ziggler. Ziggler reverses and dropkicks Rollins again! Cover, TWO! Ziggler feels how close he is, but he still has a ways to go. He stalks Rollins and wraps on another sleeper. Rollins resists but Ziggler uses his forearm to grind Rollins’ face. Fans continue to rally and Rollins lifts Ziggler. Ziggler wiggles out of the suplex, then slips out. Rollins runs in but is tossed up and out! Rollins lands hard and is in trouble as we go to another break.
Raw returns and now both men are down. Rollins stirs and fires himself up. He goes after Ziggler and counter punches. The two brawl, Rollins chops and punches. Rollins whips Ziggler but Ziggler reverses, only for Rollins to hit a slingblade! Ziggler runs into a boot, but dodges the blockbuster, only for Rollins to Pele! Ziggler is down but Rollins fires up again. Rollins aims at Ziggler and runs in, but Ziggler puts him on the apron. Rollins punches Ziggler away, then springboards in for the flying clothesline! Cover, TWO! Rollins keeps his cool as he drags Ziggler into the drop zone. Rollins climbs up, but Ziggler trips him up! Ziggler climbs to join Rollins, saying “Now we’re done!”
Ziggler wants the superplex but Rollins resists. Rollins shoves Ziggler away, then adjusts. Ziggler’s back up but back down quick, Rollins Frog Splash FLOPS! FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives his own mistake! Both men are down again, but fans rally. Rollins stands first, and Ziggler follows. Ziggler’s ZigZag is denied, as is the satellite DDT! Rollins powers Ziggler up but Ziggler small packages, TWO! Ziggler ducks the kick to leap on for another sleeper hold! Rollins flails and runs around but starts to fade. He gets a second wind to backpack senton Ziggler! Rollins then SUPERKICKS and covers, TWO!! Ziggler is just as tough as Rollins, or else he wouldn’t be a former champion in his own right. But Rollins still has more to give, and it’s time to “Burn It Down!”
Rollins aims at Ziggler, mule kick but Ziggler dodges the stomp. Ziggler dodges it again, ZIGZAG! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives again! Ziggler is beside himself as both he and Rollins rest on the mat. Fans know “This is Awesome!” but Ziggler wants to end it. Ziggler tunes up the band as he aims at Rollins. Rollins doesn’t move and Ziggler grins. Ziggler drags Rollins up, questioning Rollins’ guts. “You don’t have it anymore!” But Rollins small packages, TWO!! Satellite DDT! But Ziggler isn’t through with Rollins, as he heads to a corner. Ziggler climbs, but Rollins springs up there for a SUPERLEX! Roll through to FALCON ARROW! Cover, Rollins wins!!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall; still WWE Intercontinental Championship
Beer City gives a standing ovation for The Architect! Rollins managed to focus on his match and keeps his title. He’ll have to prepare for the Lunatic now, will there be plan he can make for the unpredictable Ambrose? Or will Ambrose be the one to #BurnItDown at TLC?
Alexa Bliss heads to the ring!
The Goddess of Raw is now overseer of Raw’s Women’s Division, and is using her new authority to give two former enemies a forum to talk with the fans. She’s doing this because she wants us to know the stars, and says there are no limits to what they want to ask. Charly Caruso stands by to help with the mic, and Alexa introduces the special guests. The Boss & Hug Connection make their way to the ring, but are still skeptical. Alexa welcomes them and then asks who has a question. Many fans do, but Alexa already knows many of them: yes, she does look better in person. But to a question about Sasha & Bayley… Right up front in the Rousey shirt! “If either of you could change the Raw Women’s Division, what would you do?”
Bayley is proud of the Division, she’s not sure what she’d change. She’d just hope that they’d all be given fair chances. Alexa likes that. Sasha’s turn. Sasha has one thing she’d change: Alexa Bliss would be back on SmackDown. Sick burn! But she shouldn’t talk to someone in charge. And are you sure you mean Alexa? Bayley’s the one dragging you down from the title. You’re now just a tag team. Sasha says they’re great together. Alexa wonders if Bayley gets to talk. Bayley disagrees. Alexa wouldn’t be sent to SmackDown. She’d be sent back to Hell where she came from! Another burn! But wait, Alicia Fox and Mickie James and even Dana Brooke attack! There’s the trap Alexa set.
But Sasha and Bayley fight back! Dana is the last one standing, but even she’s thrown out. The #LegitHuggable BFF’s won’t let Alexa get between them! What more will Alexa do to abuse her new power?
Baron Corbin VS Finn Balor!
The Constable has drawn a line in the sand and dares anyone on Raw to stand on the opposite side. The one to dare is the Extraordinary Man! Finn knows who’s really right and right here, but will that help him win? Or will Corbin continue to abuse his power against one of his longest running rivals?
The bell rings, and Finn goes right at Corbin! Finn throws furious hands but Corbin shoves him away to run him over. Corbin rains right hands on Finn but fans chant “Corbin Sucks!” Corbin wraps Finn in a half nelson and chinbar. Finn endures and gets up, but Corbin wrangles him back down. Corbin continues to wrench Finn but Finn gets back up. Corbin knees low but runs into a dropkick! Finn keeps on Corbin but Corbin powers him to a corner. Finn slips out to chop and whip, but Corbin reverses. Corbin misses as Finn goes up and over and then Finn kicks Corbin down. Finn stomps away on Corbin until Corbin bails out. Finn gets on the apron and liens it up, Penalty Kick! Corbin’s down while we go to one more break.
Raw returns once more, and Corbin knees Finn low. Corbin tosses Finn out then goes out to ram him into barriers! Finn writhes while Corbin smirks. Corbin drags Finn up and brings him around the corner to ram Finn into more barriers. Corbin refreshes the ring count then returns to Finn. He throws Finn into barriers face first this time, then leaves him on the outside. Fans boo and jeer as Corbin smugly counts along. Finn gets in at 8, but Corbin stomps away! Corbin throws Finn out but Finn is on the apron. Finn shoulders back in, but slingshots into a haymaker! Corbin drags Finn in to cover, TWO! Corbin keeps his cool and drives in elbows. He wraps Finn back up in the half nelson chinlock.
Finn endures and fans build to a rally. Finn fights out but Corbin pushes him to a corner. Corbin runs but Finn dodges, so Corbin slides out and in to clobber Finn! Cover, TWO! Corbin grows frustrated but fans tell him “Corbin Sucks!” He pretends not to hear them as he stomps away on Finn again. Corbin drags Finn back into a chinlock, then bends him back. Finn endures again, and fans rally again. Finn feeds off the energy, but Corbin shoves him again. Corbin runs into boots, but kicks Finn back. Corbin powerbomb lifts but Finn slips out to trip Cirbin up, double stomps! Both men are down, but Finn crawls to ropes. Fans build to another rally as Finn and Corbin stand. Finn counter punches Corbin and then whips. Corbin reverses but Finn blasts him down!
Finn runs at Corbin for a chop! Then hits the slingblade! Finn runs in again, but into Deep Six! Cover, TWO!! Corbin can’t believe that Finn survives. He drags Finn back up and reels him in, but Finn turns the End of Days into a DDT! Then he hits the shotgun dropkick! Corbin is down and Finn climbs up! Coup de Grace misses as Corbin bails out. Corbin grabs a mic, and says he wants this match to be a Handicap Match! Finn VS Corbin and DREW MCINTYRE!
Handicap Match: Finn Balor VS Baron Corbin & Drew McIntyre!
Well Finn still hits Corbin, and then FLIES onto McIntyre! Finn runs around the corner to blast Corbin with a dropkick! But McIntyre clobbers Finn from behind! And drops him on the barriers! McIntyre hauls Finn up and into the ring, then takes aim from a corner. Finn slowly stands, to get a CLAYMORE! Cover, Corbin and McIntyre win!
Winners: Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre, McIntyre pinning
But it’s not just them, Bobby Lashley & Lio Rush return! And Lashley hauls Finn up for the Dominator! Then he feeds Finn to the End of Days! McIntyre tells Finn he’s “a boy in a man’s world!” Corbin and Lashley stand Finn up, for another Claymore! The three towers of power stand tall, the 24 year old piece of gold looking on. If Braun Strowman fails to stop Corbin at TLC, will this be how every Monday ends?
This was definitely a shaky night for Raw. There was still good stuff that happened, but there was also a lot of bad. The good was the ongoing story of Corbin abusing his power in order to ensure he keeps it. The bad was a lot of the other stuff.
It was bad that The Revival loses to Lucha House Party in another misuse of what “lucha house rules”. They are making it as if the Lucha Hose Party are the Heels because they’re the ones using numbers against The Revival! Vince needs to stop misinterpreting things and reduce this to 2v2, unless he plans on bringing in more 205 Live talent to even things up. It was also bad that what could’ve been an amazing Raw Tag title match was reduced to Maverick peeing on Roode’s robe. Granted, it was good of Maverick to use pee as a proper weapon now, but the match could’ve been so much more before resorting to that. Another disappointment is that Roode didn’t turn on Gable after they failed, which has been an expected outcome the entire time these two have teamed together.
There was some good and some bad in everything connected to the Women’s Division. Alexa Bliss is promoted to being a sub-manager to the Division, a sign that she really is going to retire from in-ring action. But this will be good as she is still great on the mic. However, her little trap for Bayley & Sasha wasn’t good as it was expected. The same goes for her trying to turn the two of them against each other before, that’s cliche by now. In similar fashion, Nia talking trash on Ronda and Becky was only so good, and mostly fueled by the fan heat she has on her. Ronda’s response was much better, but I was surprised to see the Riott Squad helping Nia & Tamina go after Ronda and Natty.
The Intercontinental Championship match of Rollins and Ziggler was another example of both good and bad. It was a great match with all the action, but we’ve seen this match-up before so it’s hard for some to get behind it. If McIntyre wasn’t part of Corbin’s crew, he might’ve challenged Rollins instead and we would’ve gotten some fresh action. Rollins mostly needed this match to keep himself strong while Ambrose chooses to do nothing but talk. Sadly, Ambrose is not a lunatic, he’s just a guy who likes using visual metaphors for his promos. Hopefully their match gets a stipulation to make it worth the slow burn build.
As for Corbin, Strowman, and everyone attached to it, Elias and Finn getting beat down like this surely means they’ll stick by Strowman at TLC. The three of them working together is two birds with one stone: Corbin won’t be GM to ruin Raw, and Strowman gets to go after Lesnar at the Rumble. Fans have to remember that while villains winning leaves a bad taste in your mouth, you can’t let it ruin the show for you. Surely the story will take a turn to give us a happy ending, and that’ll be at the end of TLC’s TLC match.
My Score: 7.9/10
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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/21/23)
It all comes down to this!
Does NJPW need the Rebel?
David Finlay took out Jay White, but will he truly take over Bullet Club and NJPW? Or will he meet a Skull End at the hands of Sanada?
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuto Nakashima VS Taichi & DOUKI; Taichi & Douki win.
- Shota Umino & Ryohei Oiwa VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita; Shota & Ryohei win.
- Six Man Tag: Tama Tonga, Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Ryusuke Taguchi, Toru Yano, El Desperado & Ren Narita VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins.
- Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi VS Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan; Naito & Takagi win.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Lio Rush; Hiromu wins and retains the title.
- New Japan Cup 2023 Finals: SANADA VS David Finlay; Sanada wins the cup and will challenge Kazuchika Okada for the world title at Sakura Genesis.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Chaos VS The United Empire!
The IWGP World Champion teams with the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, their battle over the belts as water under the bridge. But will Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi be able to turn the lights out on Jeff Cobb & Aussie Open? Or will the Imperial Unit, Aussie Arrow & Dunkzilla score some golden tickets to the top?
The trios sort out and Kyle Fletcher wants someone to step up. Fans cheer as the Head Hunter obliges. The bell rings, the two circle, and fans rally up. The two tie up, Hashi headlocks, grinds, but Fletcher powers up and out. Hashi RAMS shoulders, Fletcher comes right back to run Hashi over! Fans applaud that, and Fletcher flexes on Goto. Fletcher stands Hashi up to CHOP! Fletcher whips, Hsahi reverses and Goto runs in, Bishamon double shoulder Fletcher over! Hashi runs, ZANMAI! But Davis storms in to attack! Davis runs, but into a DOUBLE HIP TOSS onto Fletcher! Cobb runs in, but into a DOUBLE DROP TOEHOLD onto Fletcher!
Fans fire up as Okada joins in to WAR DRUM Cobb down! Chaos stands tall and Goto brings Fletcher up. Goto bumps Fletcher off buckles, stomps him, then CLUBS him! Goto ROCKS Fletcher, whips him corner to corner, then runs in, but Fletcher puts Goto up top! Goto BOOTS back, but Fletcher GAMANGIRIS! Goto falls to the floor! Davis and Cobb drag Okada and Hashi off the corner to throw into railing! Cobb CHOPS Hashi, Davis rains down fists, but the ref reprimands them both. The Empire lets off, but Fletcher brings Goto out to RAM into railing right in front of commentary! Aussie Open throw up the crowns, then Davis puts Goto in the ring. Fletcher covers, TWO!
Fletcher sits Goto up to ELBOW him in the head, then ELBOWS him again. Fletcher stomps Goto to the ropes, tags in Cobb, and Cobb drags Goto up. Cobb snapmares Goto, and mocks the Rainmaker Pose before the GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Cobb and Okada stare down, but Cobb brings Goto up. Cobb suplexes Goto, but Goto slips free! Goto CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Goto runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Cobb says that was as good as Okada’s. Goto crawls to ropes, Cobb takes aim to mock Kenny Omega, BANG! Cobb runs to V-TRIGGER!! Fans fire up as Cobb tells the Cleaner to “Suck It!” Cobb covers, TWO!
Cobb keeps Goto down, then stands on his back! Cobb surfs while mocking Goto’s pose. Cobb then steps off, taunts Hashi and Okada, then tags in Davis. Fans rally as Davis drags Goto up, and Goto throws body shots! And CHOPS! Davis scoops to SLAM Goto and SENTON! Kneeling cover, TWO! Hashi kicks Davis, fires off hands, but Davis CHOPS Hashi down! And KICKS him out of the ring! Davis goes back to Goto, bumps him off buckles, and he tags Fletcher in. Fletcher taunts Hashi now, then brings Goto around. Goto CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Fletcher knees low, whips, but Goto reverses!
Goto runs in, but into BOOTS! Fletcher runs, Goto follows, but Fletcher gets around! Goto switches, Fletcher switches, repeat! Goto suplexes Fletcher high and hard! Fans rally up while both men are down! Hot tags to Cobb and Okada! Fans are thunderous as Okada fires forearms! Okada whips, Cobb reverses, Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to ELBOW Cobb down! Okada BLASTS Davis for good measure! Okada whips Cobb corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and- Cobb suplexes! Okada slips free, kicks low and DDTs! And then kips up! Fans fire up for Okada as he waits on Cobb. Cobb rises, and he blocks the Alabama Lift!
Cobb CLUBS away on Okada’s back! Cobb runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Fans fire up, Okada covers, TWO! Fans rally for Okada as he clamps on the MONEY CLIP! Cobb fights up, powers Okada back but Okada sends him to a corner. Okada runs in, is put on the apron, but he ROCKS Cobb first! Okada climbs up, leaps, but into Cobb’s arms! For a BIG suplex! Fans fire up again while both men are down! Cobb tags in Davis and Davis storms up on Okada. Davis fires off forearm after forearm in the corner! Davis then whips corner to corner, runs in, and clotheslines! Okada staggers, Davis wrenches and scoops!
Okada slips free of the torture rack but Davis elbows him away. Davis runs, but Okada pops him up tot he Alabama Lift! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up and Okada tags in Hashi! Hashi powers up, runs, but Davis swats the lariat! Hashi CHOPS! Davis staggers, but he blocks the superkick to spin Hashi for a BIG back suplex! Davis powers up now, he runs, but Hashi dodges the lariat to DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi runs to LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans are thunderous and Hashi fights up! Hashi full nelsons, pump handles, but Davis fights Karma! Goto runs in to ROCK Davis! Hashi SUPERKICKS! Bishamon coordinates, but Davis fights free!
Fletcher CLUBS Goto! Aussie Open double wrench, but Goto ducks the double forearms! Goto runs to DOUBLE LARIAT Aussie Open down! Cobb ROCKS Goto, runs, but Okada DROPKICKS! Fans fire up as Okada leaves it in Bishamon’s hands. Goto clotheslines Davis in a corner, then Hashi clotheslines, too! Feed to the clinch, and Hashi runs, but Fletcher intercepts with a DROPKICK! Davis fireman’s carries, AUSSIE DENTAL PLAN! Fans are thunderous as Aussie Open aims at Hashi! Off come the elbow pads! DOUBLE LARAIT SANDWICH!! And then, double pump handle, to COREALIS!!! Cover, the Empire wins!!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
They may not be in the New Japan Cup finals, but Davis & Fletcher may just gotten themselves an IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Aussie Open prove they ARE the best tag team in the world?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Lio Rush w/ YOH!
The Ticking Timebomb has been going back and forth with the Bad Child in the background of the tournament, but now their battle gets the spotlight! Will Hiromu keep this title tranquilo? Or is this going to be his final hour as champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and time keeps on ticking into the future!
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two stare down. Fans rally for “HI-RO-MU!” as he circles with Lio. They rush in, Lio dodges and the forearms fly! Lio runs, Hiromu runs, Lio redirects, both men dodge, but then they avoid crashing into each other to go the other way. DOUBLE LARIATS collide, but neither man falls! Hiromu fires a forearm, Lio gives it back, they go back and forth, but Hiromu gets the edge! Hiromu whips, Lio reverses and leaps, but into a fireman’s carry! Lio slips free, mule kicks the legs out, but Hiromu ducks the heel kick! Hiromu whips again but Lio reverses again, but Hiromu reverses back!
Hiromu follows Lio, Lio dodges Hiromu, then dodges again! Lio whips, Hiromu reverses to follow, but Lio drops down! Hiromu drops down, Lio springboards and RANAS! Hiromu comes back, Lio handsprings under the lariat, then mule kicks and ENZIGURIS Hiromu out of the ring! Fans fire up, Lio builds speed, and Lio DIVES! Direct hit and Hiromu hits railing! Fans fire up with that fast ‘n’ furious exchange! Lio drags Hiromu up, puts him back in the ring, and fans applaud as Lio waits on Hiromu to get up. Lio says he’s gonna win that title, and he suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hiromu is still in this but Lio keeps cool.
Lio brings Hiromu up but Hiromu rakes eyes! The ref reprimands, but Hiromu fireman’s carries. Lio sunset flips, Hiromu sits on it, TWO! Lio has the sunset, TWO! Hiromu fireman’s carries gain, to TOSS Lio out of the ring! Lio bumps off the apron but he stands back up. Fans rally up as Hiromu runs, to SUNSET FLIP, but Lio holds the ropes! Lio throws down fists, then backflips and goes up, to RANA- NO! Hiromu blocks to APRON POWERBOMB! Fans fire up, Hiromu drags Lio off the apron into a fireman’s carry! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER into railing! Fans fire up again while both men are down!
The ref checks Lio, and though he writhes in pain, Lio doesn’t give up. Hiromu stands up, paces, and he brings Lio up. Hiromu puts Lio back in and fans applaud. Lio flounders to a corner but Hiromu whips him corner to corner. Hiromu runs in to clothesline, snapmare and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Lio into a headscissors squeeze! Fans rally as Lio endures, and Hiromu puts on more of a squeeze! Lio reaches out, Hiromu grabs that arm to keep it from the ropes! Hiromu puts on more pressure, but Lio rolls to get the ROPEBREAK! Fans applaud, and Hiromu lets off before the ref counts.
Hiromu drags Lio up from the ropes, fireman’s carries, but Lio slips off! Hiromu blocks a kick, flips Lio but Lio lands on his feet! Hiromu mule kicks, front kicks and whips, but Lio reverses! Lio runs in, but into a BOOT! Hiromu goes up for a HANGING HEADSCISSOR! the ref counts, Hiromu lets off and drags Lio out to RAM him into railing! And then snap suplexes to the floor! Hiromu catches his breath while Lio writhes again. Fans rally, Yoh and the ref check on Lio, but he’s okay to continue. The ring count starts, and Lio sits up slowly. Hiromu grins, he brings Lio up at 9 of 20 and puts him in at 10. Cover, TWO!
Fans rally while Lio hangs tough. Hiromu paces around Lio, sits him up and eggs him on. Lio throws a forearm, but Hiromu eggs him on. Lio stands to SLAP Hiromu! Fans fire up, but Lio drops to a knee from the pain in his back. Hiromu stands Lio up again, but Lio SLAPS him again! Hiromu swings, Lio bobs ‘n’ weaves and fires back! Lio kicks, whips, but Hiromu blocks to SLAP! And SLAP! Lio fires off fast hands! Lio whips but Hiromu reverses. Lio slides to a stop, BOOTS back, and he runs up to shove Hiromu to a corner. Lio runs in to clothesline, whip, and LEAPING LARIAT! Fans fire up while both men are down!
Lio crawls to a corner, goes up the corner, but Hiromu bails out to the apron. Lio joins Hiromu out there, but Hiromu fireman’s carries! Lio slips back in, and handsprings Hiromu down! Then Lio DIVES! Direct hit into railing again! Lio then goes up to SPRINGBOARD TORNILLO! Direct hit and both men are down! Fans fire up and the ref checks on both men. They’re okay to continue so the ring count begins. Both men stir at 5 of 20, but are still down at 10. Lio starts to drag himself up with the apron, stands at 14 and slides into the ring. Hiromu is still down at 15! And at 17! Hiromu springs up and in at 19!!
Fans fire up again as now Lio and Hiromu are down in the ring. Lio drags Hiromu around in a facelock, sits him up, but Hiromu throws a forearm! Lio wobbles but comes back, only for Hiromu to throw another forearm! Lio comes back again, but Hiromu throws yet another forearm! Lio fires off forearm after forearm in return! Hiromu drops to his knee, and Lio staggers away. Lio drags Hiromu up, fisherman’s, but Hiromu blocks! Hiromu CLUBS away on Lio’s back to bring him down! Lio goes to ropes, stands up, but Hiromu ELBOWS him! Lio blocks the superkick, kicks back, and STUNNERS!
Hiromu wobbles, Lio fires up, and Lio runs, into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! Hiromu then drags Lio back up, fireman’s carries, but Lio pops up to POISON-RANA!! Lio runs, to RUSH HOUR!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives two stunners and fans are thunderous! Lio removes some wrist tape, grabs at Hiromu, but Hiromu grabs at Lio’s leg. Lio stomps Hiromu into letting go, and Lio goes to the corner. Lio pounds the buckle pad, the fans clap along, and Lio climbs. But Hiromu ROCKS Lio first! Hiromu climbs up, fireman’s carries Lio again, but Lio fights back. Lio HEADBUTTS Hiromu down!
Fans fire up as Lio adjusts, and Hiromu runs in! Lio BOOTS Hiromu down, to FINAL HOUR to Hiromu’s back! Lio isn’t done, he goes back up top! FINAL HOUR onto knees!! Hiromu rolls Lio into the fireman’s carry! TIMEBOMB!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Lio survives and fans are thunderous again! Hiromu rises up, drags Lio up, and Hiromu roars. But Lio spins Hiromu around! Hiromu dodges the lariat, ROCKS Lio with a forearm, then spins for the ROLLING ELBOW! Lio dodges the Superkick, rolls and cartwheels around, but Hiromu still SUPERKICKS him down! Fans fire up, Hiromu roars and runs, but Lio dodges! DOUBLE LARIATS collide!!
But both men roar as they sit back up!! Fans are electric as they run again, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls, but Hiromu drops to his knees! Lio roars, he runs, but Hiromu dodges! Into a SPANISH FLY!!! Cover, TWO!!! Hiromu survives but Lio hurries to fisherman! Hiromu slips free, spins Lio, wrenches and tuck shim, HIROMU ROLL!! TWO!!! Lio escapes, dodges the lariat, and CALF KICKS Hiromu down! Then Lio fisherman’s for a POLE SHIFTER!!! Cover, TWO!??! Fans are volcanic as Hiromu survives!! Lio goes to a corner as he slaps sense back into himself. Lio goes back up top! FINAL-
NO, Lio has to bail out as Hiromu moves! Lio runs at Hiromu again, but into an OVERHEAD suplex into the buckles! Fans rally as hard as they can while both men are down! Hiromu stands up and storms his way over to Lio. Hiromu drags Lio up by his hair, dragon sleepers and inverted suplexes, but Lio slips out to turn things around on Hiromu! But Hiromu standard suplexes, tucks Lio in, and then throws him back to a dragon sleeper! Lio still fights it off, so Hiromu suplexes for VICTORY ROYALE!! Cover, TWO!!! Lio survives and fans are electric again. Hiromu pounds the mat and roars, and the fans rally back up!
Hiromu drags Lio up, runs, but Lio SUPERKICKS first!! Yoh is fired up even, and Lio roars! Lio drags Hiromu up, tucks his arms, for DIRECT DRIVE!!! Lio uses his tag partner’s move to set up him going to the top rope! FINAL HOUR FLOPS!!! Hiromu moves out of the way and survives, and Lio is furious! Lio powers back to his feet, he roars again and he runs in at Hiromu, but Hiromu back drops! Lio sunset flips, TWO!! Lio swings, into a fireman’s carry! DYNAMITE PLUNGER!! Cover, TWO!! Now Hiromu is furious! Hiromu runs, to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!!! And then dragon sleeper to inverted suplex, TIMEBOMB MK II!!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
The Timebomb went off, and there is still time on his reign! Will he have to keep fighting this hard to continue proving he’s the Best of the Super Juniors?
Wait, Zack Sabre Jr. comes out to the ring? What business does the Front Man have out here? ZSJ gets the mic to say, “Alright, alright, calm down. Hiromu-chan, tranquilo please. I’m not a Junior Heavyweight.” But ZSJ does know who is. Hiromu, your next challenger is the newest member of TMDK! He’s got a little video message for you, so please watch. The video rolls, and someone is making a lot of people tap out. Joining The Mighty is… ROBBIE EAGLES! “Surprise!” Eagles is making his return at Ryogoku, for Sakura Genesis! “The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion will surrender to the Sniper, because Robbie Eagles is Mighty, and The Mighty Don’t Kneel.”
Everyone is going nuts learning of Robbie’s defection from Chaos to TMDK, and ZSJ wishes Hiromu luck. “Matane, dickhead.” ZSJ leaves, and now Hiromu gets the mic to respond. He starts by saying Zack scared him, he really thought Zack was challenging for a second. And to think it was Robbie. Why’d Robbie join TMDK? And challenging Hiromu for Ryogoku? It’s March 21st, that only gives them a couple weeks. There have been an awful lot of video messages making challenges these days. Is it about who can upload a video to the editors faster? That doesn’t seem fair. But naturally, CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!
And Hiromu is ready to go to Sakura Genesis to have fun with Robbie! Then they’ll have more, more, more, more, more, more, MORE fun. The Timebomb is ready for the Sniper of the Skies’ Mighty return, will Hiromu continue to be the Best of the Super Juniors?
New Japan Cup 2023 Finals: SANADA w/ Just5Guys VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!
Two men who are very different yet very similar meet in the final match of this tournament. The Cold Skull is no longer tranquilo, he’s “one of the guys.” And the Rebel sharpened his edge to take out the Switchblade, and now he’s just Too Sweet. These two have grown, but who will prove they’ve grown stronger when they take the Cup?
The introductions are made, the cup is presented, and only one man can take the golden ticket that comes with it!
The bell rings, fans are thunderous already, and they rally behind “SA-NA-DA!” Finlay shrugs that off as he feel things out with Sanada. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Sanada powers Finlay back to the ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, Finlay mocks Sanada as a “strong boy,” but he and Sanada slowly let off. Fans applaud the sportsmanship, and the two reset. The two tie up again, and now Finlay powers Sanada back. But then Sanada powers Finlay back! They go back and forth, and Finlay puts Sanada on ropes. Red Shoes again calls the break, and Finlay lets off, but he swings on Sanada! Sanada avoids the sucker punch and fans applaud.
Finlay smirks while he and Sanada reset. Fans again rally up for “SA-NA-DA!” Gedo tells Finlay to show everyone who’s boss, and the two circle. Finlay and Sanada feel it out, tie up, and Sanada headlocks. Finlay powers up and out but Sanada runs him over. Sanada keeps moving, Finlay hip tosses but Sanada makes it an arm-drag! And then Sanada DROPKICKS Finlay out of the ring! Sanada aims, PLANCHAS, but Finlay moves! Finlay fireman’s carries to ROLLING SENTON on the floor! Gedo fires up while Finlay dares Taka and Douki to do something. Finlay then taunts Taichi on commentary before he stomps Sanada!
Finaly rains down fists on Sanada, then stomps him! Red Shoes reprimands but Finlay taunts Taichi more. Finlay drags Sanada up, puts him in, and fans rally up. Cover, ONE!! Sanada hangs tough but Finlay stands on Sanada’s hand! Red Shoes reprimands, Finlay lets off, and fans continue to rally. Finlay stomps Sanada more, brings him up, but Sanada throws a body shot! And another! Finlay UPPERCUTS Sanada right down! “That’s how it’s done!” Finlay rains down fists on Sanada again and again! Red Shoes reprimands and Finlay “apologizes,” before he drops a leg! Cover, but Red Shoes says that’s not enough of a press.
Finlay is annoyed, but he snap suplexes Sanada and lateral presses, TWO! Fans fire up for Sanada but Finlay is annoyed. Finlay SLAMS Sanada’s bad arm on the mat, then he clamps on a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his back, but Finlay then shifts to a cobra clutch! Gedo says to ask Sanada but Sanada endures. Sanada fights up but Finlay cranks on the hold more. Finlay grinds Sanada back on and then thrashes him around. Sanada fights back up again, throws body shots, but Finlay knees low! Finlay whips, Sanada reverses and dropkicks the legs out! Finlay swings, but into a BIG back suplex! Fans fire up while both men are down!
Sanada sits up first and fans rally behind him. Sanada drags Finlay up, but Finlay ROCKS him and whips him. Sanada reverses, then hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! Fans are thunderous as Finlay bails out again. Sanada takes aim, to PLANCHA! Direct hit and down goes Finlay! Sanada encourages the fans to get louder and the fans oblige! Sanada goes back to Finlay, drags him up and into the ring, and then covers, ONE!! Finlay hangs tough but fans continue to rally behind Sanada. Sanada goes to fireman’s carry but Finlay CLUBS away! Sanada knees low, whips, but Finlay reverses to TACKLE Sanada out of the ring!
Finlay RAMS Sanada into railing! And then RAMS him in again! Taichi is only annoyed on commentary as Finlay lets off. Red Shoes tells Finlay to bring this back into the ring, so Finlay APRON BACK SUPLEXES Sanada! Finlay pushes Sanada in to cover, TWO! Sanada hangs tough but Finlay says fine. He sits Sanada up to CROSSFACE FOREARM! Gedo wants more so Finlay gives Sanada another CROSSFACE FOREARM! And then another! And another! And another! Sanada crawls but Finlay sits him up to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up again as Sanada stays in there.
Finlay argues the count but Red Shoes says he was being fair. Finlay gives toying kicks to Sanada, then runs, but into a fireman’s carry! T K O!! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Sanada storms up on Finlay, but Finlay throws a forearm! Sanada CHOPS in return! Finlay ROCKS Sanada with a forearm, but Sanada CHOPS again! Finlay UPPERCUTS and eggs Sanada on. Sanada UPPERCUTS in return! Fans rally as Finlay staggers, and he UPPERCUTS again! Sanada UPPERCUTS! Finlay shakes it off, to UPPERCUT again! And again! And again! Finlay runs, but Sanada dodges to O’CONNER- NO, Finlay slips free to roll him up! TWO!!
Sanada and Finlay stand, Sanada spins Finlay to SLICED BREAD INTO DRAGON SLEEPER! Finlay flails but Sanada drops back, SKULL END!! Finlay fights as Gedo shouts, but Sanada has him caught in the body scissors! Finlay fades, Gedo freaks out, but Finlay grabs at Sanada’s new haircut. Red Shoes reprimands and Sanada pulls back harder! Sanada then lets go to go up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Finlay saves himself and both men are down! Finlay snarls as he stands up, and he storms over to Sanada. Gut wrench to Canadian Rack, but Sanada slips free, only to run into the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!!
Fans fire up but Finlay just gut wrenches again! CLIFFHANGER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up again while Finlay and Gedo are frustrated. Finlay says it’s time, and he brings down the kneepad. Finlay slashes his throat and he drags Sanada back up. But Sanada suplexes first! Finlay slips free, backslides, suplexes, but Sanada slips out! Sanada waistlocks, Finlay elbows free and runs, but into a POP-UP CUTTER!! Fans fire up again as Finlay sputters. Sanada hears the fans rallying so he brings Finlay up to chicken wing, and TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Finlay escapes but he’s in the drop zone!
Sanada goes up top, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! Cover, TWO!!! Finlay survives and Gedo is only moderately relieved! Sanada slashes his throat now, to dragon sleeper! SKULL SWING! But Finlay spins things around, PRIMA NOCTA!! Cover, TWO!!! Sanada survives and both men are down, but the fans rally up again. Finlay waits on Sanada to rise, and Finlay runs in, into an ELBOW! Sanada QUEBRADA, to the SKULL- NO, Finlay fights up and snapmares free! But Sanada DROPKICKS! Finlay comes back, but Sanada gets around, only for Finlay to buck the O’Conner! Sanada runs in, but into DEEP SIX!!
Finlay aims from the corner and he wants Sanada to stand! Sanada rises, Finlay runs in, and SPEARS!! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives again and fans are thunderous! Finlay fumes, he drags Sanada back up, and he suplexes, but Sanada knees free! Sanada blocks the lariat, dodges the next, CORRIENDO SHIKI DRAGON SLEEPER!! Sanada uses some Naito moves to get to his! And then, SIDE- NO, Finlay slips around to GERMAN SUPLEX! But Sanada stands right up!? Finlay CLOBBERS Sanada, but Sanada stands right up again! ROLLING ELBOW from Finlay, and a flurry of HEADBUTTS!
Finlay spins, into a FOREARM from Sanada! And then a ROLLING ELBOW! Sanada runs, into a HEADBUTT!! Finlay suplexes, for TRASH- NO, Sanada slips free! SHINING WIZARD!! Shoutout to Keiji Mutoh, before the SIDEWINDER!!! Cover, SANADA WINS!!!
Winner: Sanada, by pinfall (2023 New Japan Cup Winner)
Just 5 Guys get in the ring to celebrate with Sanada! His shoutouts to the Stardust Genius and the Wrestling Genius help him take the cup! But then, what happens to Finlay? Does the world NOT need the Rebel after all?
As for the Cold Skull, he is presented the cup by NJPW President Obari, and they pose for the photo ops. Then Sanada gets the mic to say, “I won the New Japan Cup for my first time, here in my hometown. However, I’m not satisfied. Next is the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Okada-san, are you still here or have you left? If you are still here, I want you out here.” Fans cheer for that, and chant for “O-KA-DA!” Just5Guys wait, and here comes the Rainmaker! Okada brings the world title to the ring, and he stares Sanada down. Sanada tells Okada that the world title belt will be Sanada’s as he changes the landscape here.
As such, Sanada tells Okada, “Thanks for all your work.” Okada takes the mic to say, “Sanada-san, congratulations on winning the New Japan Cup. And, thank you for all your work. My rival, I’ve been waiting for this. But what took you so long, huh!? What is this talk of a new landscape? Just because you changed your hair and your allegiance, you think that means you can beat me? On April 8th, I will show the difference between the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and New Japan Cup winner! I will beat the living daylights outta you in Ryogoku!” Okada has said his piece, and he raises the belt as he exits the ring.
Sanada tells Okada, “Nobody understands what you just said more than I do. But seeing as I won the main event, please get out of here.” Okada says okay and fans applaud as Okada walks up the ramp. Sanada continues to say, “Just5Guys will take the top spot in NJPW, and I will be the NEW IWGP World Heavyweight Champion the next time you see me. So for now, are you ready for the gift?” The spotlight shines on Sanada, Taichi even gets his phone out to be one of the “stars” in the night sky. Sanada says that he must confess, out of everywhere in Japan, he loves Nagaoka the most. “OI, NAGAOKA! See you next time!”
The Cold Skull is red hot after joining Just5Guys, changing his look, and winning the New Japan Cup! The streamers fly, will Sanada truly change everything in NJPW?
A great finish to the New Japan Cup, as well as the additional matches included on the night. Great Six Man Tag of Chaos VS United Empire, big win for the Empire with Aussie Open pinning one of the tag team champions. Aussie Open VS Bishamon is going to be an awesome match, it could really go either way, but it feels like if they’re gonna do it, they might as well do it now so Aussie Open can use the Summer for their reign before the G1 Climax comes in.
And that IWGP Junior Heavyweight title match was quite the show-stealer. Lio and Hiromu went all out, the fans loved it all, and as great as Lio is, Hiromu winning makes sense. Hiromu has NJPW’s backing since they also helped him down that All-Star Junior Fest event, so Hiromu is of course leading the way for the division. And it seems the theme of 2023 in NJPW is change. Robbie Eagles is leaving Chaos to join TMDK, though I honestly thought it was gonna be United Empire because of Will Ospreay, but TMDK is filling out its division bingo card, so Robbie is the Junior Heavyweight singles guy now. Probably won’t beat Hiromu, though.
And that New Japan Cup finals match itself was awesome stuff. It is as I figured the other day: Finlay lost here because his real story is with the Bullet Club, and his story is about whether or not he can truly be leader after taking out Jay White. Sanada and Okada get to revive their rivalry, Sakura Genesis is going to be huge. And it would be even bigger if Sanada actually won. Okada’s only had the world title since WrestleKingdom, four months feels short for such a title reign, but maybe Gedo will want to shake things up outside of just shuffling faction members around.
My Score: 8.9/10
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Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (3/21/23)
Toni Storm gets Dark!
AEW Dark is on #ToniTime!
The Outcasts have drawn a line in the AEW Women’s Division, and are daring everyone else to cross it! Will Toni Storm strike down another “entitled rookie?”
- The Iron Savages VS The Wingmen; win.
- Juice Robinson VS Leon Ruffin; wins.
- Kiera Hogan VS Leila Grey; wins.
- The Renegades VS Avery Breaux & Mafiosa; wins.
- Toni Storm VS Billie Starkz; wins.
Another surprisingly short line-up for Dark, with a couple matches that could go either way. The Iron Savages, formerly Bear Country, and the Wingmen will be a good one, but I’m leaning towards Bronson & Boulder winning that. Kiera Hogan VS Leila Grey, former Baddie taking on Jade’s last sidekick standing, could also go either way, but I’m leaning towards Kiera. But it’ll be good to see Robyn & Charlette Renegade get a win here to build that unofficial Women’s Tag Division AEW has.
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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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