Well we told you Mathew was gonna cover it, and he had a small break from Stardom to add his expertise to the first two days of New Year Wars 2019. All Japan coverage time!
Welcome to our first All Japan Pro Wrestling show of the new year and last time I covered AJPW, I did the Real World Tag League where The Bomber won the whole thing and they’ll be fighting Violent Giants in this show.
If you’re reading the title right, it’s showing two days on there and that’s because I will be covering the two title matches that happened on the January 2nd show and then cover the whole January 3rd show.
We got a lot to cover and 2018 was a great year for AJPW but now let’s see how 2019 will go for them. Let’s find out as we…dive right in.
World Junior Heavyweight Title Match
Koji Iwamoto (c) vs. Yusuke Okada
Review: Our first title match for this show is for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship where Koji Iwamoto will defend his title against Yusuke. The junior division I’m not too crazy about in the company due to the lack of depth, so I didn’t pay much attention to it during the last few months but gonna give it a shot instead of just covering one match on this show. Yusuke came back a couple of months ago and he looks to be back in the mix for a title opportunity as he fights Koji, who won it back from Shuji Kondo. Will Koji retain the title or Yusuke becomes the new champion?
Now that I’ve seen this match, I can say it’s a step in the right direction for the division as a whole since you got Koji Iwamoto, who is a very talented individual that could very well be the one that would be a great leader to the division and then someone like Yusuke Okada to be a strong contender. Koji is someone I’ve always enjoyed when I see him wrestle in the ring but the lack of depth in the division made it hard for me to care about it as a whole that this was a very pleasant surprise to see. Okada came back better than ever since his return from injury and would show his progress in the ring.
Okada would start to destroy Koji with his Lariats to weaken him a little bit but Koji would still find a way to kick out of them. Okada attempts to finish him off with a Fisherman Buster but Koji would fight out of it and hits a quick STO before he would get him up for a Superplex and the competitors are down. Koji went to look to finish Okada off as Okada would struggle for a little bit until he got caught in a Dragon Suplex and a German Suplex Hold for a two count. Koji would finally hit the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall victory and I wish Ronda Rousey would use this throw as her finish instead, would look amazing. Okada puts up a good fight but not at that level where he needs to be just yet, so hard to make it a bit believable for him. Nobody else came out to challenge Koji as he celebrates his victory in a solid bout.
Rating: Bruce Prichard
World Tag Team Title Match
Violent Giants (Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama) (c) vs. The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering)
Review: Our main event of this show and final match is Violent Giants defending their titles against the Real World Tag League winners, The Bomber. The two teams would fight in the finals of the tournament when The Bomber was able to pick up the win to know how this match here. We also found out on this show that Shuji Ishikawa is no longer a Freelancer and is now apart of the AJPW roster full-time. Will Violent Giants get some revenge to retain the titles or will The Bomber make lightning strike twice and take the titles with them this time?
The match is pretty much what you would expect it would go between these two and if you liked their first encounter during the finals, then chances are you’re going to like this one a lot better. The to would start off fairly evenly matched and the two teams would start to fight outside of the arena to the point where they would even fight up into the audience until they went back into the arena to get back to the fight. Dylan James keeps on improving and it’s about time he starts finding his voice in All Japan instead of just being a bust like the first half of his year in 2018, so I guess him teaming up with Joe Doering turned out to be the best thing to happen to him at the end of things. Violent Giants are always on point when it comes to tag team wrestling and no surprise why they’re Tokyo Sports Tag Team of the Year two years in a row.
Things start to get more intense in the ring once Suwama starts beating Doering down onto the mat before he tags in Shuji for the hot tag as him and Dylan start pummeling each other with strikes and slams. Shuji would deliver a Double Stomp onto the middle rope as he goes for a pin but Dylan kicks out at two as Joe helps his partner out by giving Shuji a Lariat and am Elbow Drop to top it off. Violent Giants start to go for a Double Powerbomb onto Dylan but Joe would break it up before he got tossed into the ropes as Joe catches them both with a Diving Body Press and the crowd goes nuts. The Bomber would look to go for their Double Piledriver onto Shuji as Suwama would fight Joe off before they could finish them off. Violent Giants start acting in sequence onto Dylan as they would hit him with a German Suplex, Backdrop Driver, and a Double Lariat to knock him down. Shuji would hit the Fire Thunder Driver but Joe breaks the count before being tossed back out again by Suwama. Shuji then has Dylan all by himself as he hits him with multiple knee strikes and does the Giant’s Slam as the Violent Giants retain the titles! After the match, Daisuke Sekimoto and Yuji Okabayashi challenged them to a title match at the Big Japan Wrestling show on January 13th and it’s sure to be a fun time. Great match and very hard-hitting, what more could you ask for?
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Tag Team Match
Danji Tamura & Hokuto Omori vs. Atsuki Aoyagi & Yusuke Okada
Review: Our opening match is a regular tag team match with Yusuke Okada teaming up with Atsuki Aoyagi taking on the team of Danji Tamura and Hokuto Omori. Danji, Hokuto, and Atsuki are all new All Japan’s young lions as they made their debut on the January 2nd show and now I get to see them for this one. Will the new guys win or does Yusuke guide Atsuki to victory?
So how did our new guys fair off in this tag match? Well, I think that all three of them have potential and I don’t know who is who due to the music being cut out along with their names, but one of them had a really nice sequence with Yusuke. The match itself was an average tag match with the young lions getting showcased and all three of them had an equal chance to shine in this one. The match was about six minutes and Yusuke would have one of them in a Boston Crab to make them tap out for the victory. I wish all three of these men luck on their journey in the world of professional wrestling.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a half
Tag Team Match
Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
Review: Our next match is another tag team match with Hikaru Sato and Osamu Nishimura taking on Masanobu Fuchi and Yoshitatsu. It looks like another tag match with probably some humor involved due to Fuchi being apart of it. Which one of these teams will win?
Yoshi, dude, please get rid of that Hunter Club shit. What purpose does it provide for you now? Nothing, so why keep wearing anything related to it at all? Just get rid of anything related to it already. Anyway, not that I got that little vent out of my system, I thought the match was a little bit average. The pop Fuchi still gets is an incredible feeling with the fans showing their love and support to him in the ring and even has fans resent his opponents, like how Hikaru would just kick him down and the boos he gets, is one of the loudest I’ve seen for an undercard or most of the time in general, it’s incredible. Fuchi would be in the match for pretty much the majority of it since Yoshi was only in for the beginning sequence before tagging in Fuchi. It would be Fuchi and Osamu in the ring and they would be cradled up to try and go for the pinfall as the two kick out to hold the position to pin the other but wait, Hikaru would push his partner to make him pin Fuchi and they steal the victory!
Rating: Tony Schiavone
Six Man Tag Team Match
Sweeper (Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto & Ryouji Sai) vs. Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama & Zeus
Review: Our next match is a six-man tag match with our Sweeper members, Jake Lee, Koji Iwamoto, and Ryouji Sai taking on the team of Atsushi Maruyama, Jun Akiyama, and Zeus. I guess The Bodyguard is out with an injury since he’s not booked on this show at all. It’s always good to see Jake Lee in the ring and I feel like 2019 is going to be kind to him, but he needs to get a victory here to get some momentum. Can Sweeper sweep up the victory or will Uncle Jun and Daddy Zeus take it?
Ryouji and Zeus started the match off as the two would trade in some blows until Jake got tagged in as him and Zeus would have a little staredown before they got right into the action to fight each other. During the majority of this match was pretty much Zeus and Jun abusing Jake any chance they would get and I mean it since they just chop him down, stiff him, pretty much just beating the crap out of him and I feel like it’s tough love for Jake at this point. Once Jake was done being abused during this match, Koji would get tagged in now as he’s now in the ring with Atsushi for the remainder of the match and I wonder if he could be a potential contender for the Junior Championship? That question seems to be out of the question since Koji would just make quick work of him and hits the Koko no Geijutsu for the pinfall once Zeus was unable to break the pinfall in time. Decently paced match with more progression with Jake Lee and I wonder if he will encounter Zeus in singles action soon.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Six Man Tag Team Match
The Bomber (Dylan James & Joe Doering) & Gianni Valletta vs. Evolution (Atsushi Aoki, Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama)
Review: We got ourselves another six-man tag match with The Bomber teaming up with Gianni Valletta since TAJIRI has a title match coming up tonight as they take on Evolution and no, not WWE’s Evolution. Evolution has Violent Giants and Atsushi Aoki in it. Yesterday, Violent Giants defeated The Bomber to retain the World Tag Team Championships as it looks like they’ll be fighting again in this match-up. Wonder if Bomber wins again they would get another rematch for the titles, only time will tell.
The Bomber would start the assault to Evolution to the outside of the ring once the bell would ring and they would start to get some of that heel heat in. Atsushi would now be the victim for the assault as he would just get chopped, slammed down, or just suffer a Lariat or two between the three men that are fighting him and Violent Giants. Suwama would help his partner out to get a little bit of offense in when he fights of Dylan a little bit, but Dylan would end his momentum with a few chops and a Lariat to the corner before hitting an Elbow Drop for a two count. Shuji would duck a Lariat for an STO and would tag in Suwama for a hot tag as he would start cleaning house for Evolution until Dylan tagged in Gianni for all three of them to try and gang up on Evolution, but Suwama would fight off Gianni and Joe for a little bit until Gianni was alone in the ring for Violent Giants to land their assault onto him. Suwama would pick Gianni up right away as he hits the Backdrop Driver for the victory as Evolution stands tall! Solid match and wonder who will Violent Giants defend the titles against next.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
GAORA TV Title Match
TAJIRI (c) vs. Minoru Fujita
Review: Our first title match for this show is TAJIRI defending the Gaora TV Championship against Minoru Fujita. TAJIRI has been on quite a roll with this title run with four successful title defenses under his belt with his last one being against Super Crazy. This is Minoru’s first match in AJPW during his entire career and he could very well take that title with him to Tokyo Gurentai. Can TAJIRI retain it again or will we have a new champion?
What can I really say about this match? I mean it wasn’t horrible by any means but at the same time, it just felt like a regular match without a title on the line, like just a special singles match. We all know TAJIRI’s glory days are long gone and he’s pretty much just having a good time with a lighter schedule to do as much as he can before he decides to fully hang it up for good. I haven’t really followed Minoru’s career all that much but I will say that he was still pretty mobile and would hit the moves he wanted to do without a problem like his dive to the outside and such. Don’t think were was anything really big that happened in the match except that Minoru would place a bag over TAJIRI’s head to blind him a little and hits a Splash off the top rope for a two count. Minoru would go back to the top rope and TAJIRI takes the bag off to spit green mist into his eyes once he jumped off the rope and does a Small Package to retain the title. Again, not a terrible match but just really standard.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and three quarters
All Asia Tag Team Title Match
NEXTREAM (Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi) (c) vs. Black Menso-re & Takao Omori
Review: Our next title defense for this show is NEXTREAM defending their All Asia Tag Team Championships against Takao Omori and Black Menso-re. These two teams are no strangers to each other as the two fought on October 10th where NEXTREAM would retain the titles and it looks like they want a rematch this time around. NEXTREAM has retained their titles twice during this run and would like to add a third defense if they can beat their opponents. Can NEXTREAM retain or do they lose it in the revenge match?
If we’re going to compare the two title matches these teams had against each other, I would say they were both equally as good but this one probably had a better flow throughout, so I think I would give the edge to this one at least for the time being, I don’t really recall how the partnership between Menso and Takao happened but for some reason they would work pretty well together with their different styles of speed and impact to make them a pretty solid team. NEXTREAM would keep proving themselves as a tag team and rise up in the ranks to better themselves as partners and individuals as Naoya and Yuma are both very talented wrestlers. Black Menso-re really is a talented guy and I hope to see him as a contender for the Junior title in the future since he would have a great match with Koji.
NEXTREAM would start to double team Menso with elbows into the corner as Yuma throws him into Naoya to catch him for a Gutbuster, then Yuma does a German Suplex, and Naoya finishes the combo with a Spear and goes for a pin but Takao jumped in to break the pinfall. Nomura would try to elbow Menso would counter it with a roll-up and no matter how many times Naoya would try to break out of it, Menso would somehow get him back into the same position until he was able to finally kick out and let go. Takao gets into the ring now and hits a few Ax Bombers onto Naoya before he had him up for a Package Driver as Menso tops it off with a Double Stomp for Yuma to break the near fall. Yuma would help his partner out by giving Takao a German Suplex and then Naoya does a German Suplex hold for Menso to break up the pinfall. Naoya isn’t done just yet as he would now hit a Splash off the top rope but Tako would kick out again as Naoya has enough and picks him up for the Death Valley Driver and NEXTREAM retains their titles!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Triple Crown Title Match
Kento Miyahara (c) vs. KAI
Review: Our main event for the night is Kento Miyahara defending his Triple Crown Championship for the first time in this reign against KAI. This match took place when KAI would pin Kento during the Real World Tag League and now he looks to be the one to dethrone the ace. Kento’s goal once he won the title back from Zeus was to surpass the record for most title defenses, which is currently held by Toshiaki Kawada with ten defenses under his final reign. This will be Kento’s first one so let’s see if he can fulfill this goal. Can Kento succeed in his first title defense or will KAI ruin his plans?
Pretty explosive start right away as Kento would attempt to go for the Blackout a couple of times once the bell rang but KAI would move out of the way every time he does and they have a stare down as the crowd starts cheering for them. KAI would pretty much outsmart him for the beginning of the match and it got to the point where Kento would even be outraged and throw him into the turnbuckle post, which looked like an okay idea but it would backfire once he attempted a Blackout onto the post as KAI moved out of the way and hits a Dragon Screw on his injured leg between the post. The two would keep fighting outside of the ring for a little bit until Kento would drop him against a guardrail and the two would get back inside. I think this was KAI’s best match that I’ve seen in quite some time as KAI is one of those wrestlers that can be a hit or miss depending on the opponent he fights and he was able to go toe to toe with Kento, even the crowd was supportive of KAI during the match at some point.
Kento starts to get a comeback in as he hits a German Suplex and then quickly gets up to hit not one but two Blackouts in the match to try and knock him out but KAI managed to kick out of it when he could. KAI would attempt to kick up Kento for a Powerbomb but he would struggle for a bit until KAI gathered enough strength to make it connect but Kento kicked out at two before KAI went to the top rope for a Frog Splash, only for Kento to put his knees up and risks hurting his leg a little bit more to get enough time to recover. KAI would deliver some kicks to the face and once he Irish Whipped him, Kento would duck and hit him with a Blackout and before he could hit one more, KAI would catch him to set up for a Fire Thunder Driver as he connected for a two count. KAI would have him up on his shoulders until Kento would get off to attempt a German, but KAI rolled out of it to get caught into a European Clutch for another two count. KAI attempts to go for his signature flash pin only for Kento to power out of it and catches him in a German Suplex Hold for a two count and he would eventually hit his Shutdown German Suplex Hold for the victory and his first successful defense in this reign.
So what was the big takeaway for this match? Well, it’s really because of KAI and not knocking his performance here since he did great but it was more of he wasn’t a very believable opponent for Kento and there was not one moment in the match where it seems like he had a chance to win the belt at all. If you have Kento make a claim to break a record, why would you have him lose in the first defense and against someone like KAI? So Kento retaining was the right call and a lot of people knew it would happen despite fans being behind KAI. No new challenger came out to fight Kento, so we’ll see who they pick next. Great match and a great way to close the show.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a quarter
Overall: I thought this was a pretty solid show with only two matches that were mediocre while the rest deliver us some solid matches for the most part. All the title matches except for the GAORA one were the highlights of these shows and it’s showing us promise of what’s to come in 2019.
Favorite Match: Shuji Ishikawa & Suwama vs. Dylan James & Joe Doering
Least Favorite Match: Hikaru Sato & Osamu Nishimura vs. Masanobu Fuchi & Yoshitatsu
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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