Raw begins the 2019 Superstar Shake-Up! Who will stay on the Red Brand’s Roster? And who will be moved here from SmackDown to start fresh?
- 8 Man Tag: Ricochet, Aleister Black, Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder VS ???; The Revival & The Viking Experience win.
- Finn Balor VS ???; Andrade Almas wins.
- Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS ???; The Usos win.
- The IIconics VS Bayley & ???; Bayley & Naomi win.
- EC3 VS ???; No Contest.
- Becky Lynch VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Lynch wins.
- Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Natalya VS Lacey Evans; Evans wins and will challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship.
- Six Man Tag: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & ??? VS Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush; Rollins, Reigns & AJ Styles win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Stephanie opens Raw as she heads to the ring!
Montreal has a mixed reaction to her appearance, but she takes it in stride. Stephanie picks up the mic and welcomes everyone to the show! She wants everyone to give a proper standing ovation to the Best in the World, Shane McMahon! Fans boo even stronger now as Shane O’Mac makes his way out. Shane gives Stephanie props on her introduction, but still asks Mike Rome give him a better. “The BEST, in the Wooooooooooorld~! SHAAAANE! McMAAAHON!” Shane approves, but now, in French. Fans chant “CM PUNK!” at Shane but that goes largely ignored. Shane gives his own French introduction, but the fans boo, so he gives it again. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Stephanie says Angle had his last match. Shane also points out he used proper French, not the “dirty” Montreal dialect.
But all that aside, Stephanie gets us to business: every superstar is eligible for the Shake-Up! There will be amazing match-ups, new contenders, or even tag teams broken up. The Superstar Shake-Up is one of their favorite nights of the year. Everyone starts their journey to Wrestlemania anew, so- Hold on, Steph, let’s take a look back the previous year. Shane has his highlights ready. Grabbing “that giant Muppet”, Papa Miz, then putting Miz in a triangle hold to choke him out in front of Papa Miz. But back to what Stephanie was going to say, the very first Shake-Up is… THE MIZ!! Shane panics, but where is he coming from? BEHIND! The Miz gets revenge with a rain of fists! And he chases Shane out of the ring! Shane hits back and tackles Miz into a post!
Shane kicks Miz to a barrier and throws hands! He clotheslines Miz over the barriers, but Miz comes back with a CHAIR SHOT! Miz SMACKS Shane more! Shane runs away but Miz, blood streaming down his face, stands tall. Will the grudge match sequel truly be a blockbuster?
8 Man Tag: Ricochet, Aleister Black, Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder VS ???
This 4v4 match confirms who is solid red for Raw! The King of Flight and Dutch Destroyer join forces with the Raw Tag Team Champions, but who will stand against them?
Raw returns, and we see The Revival make their entrance. But then, the WAR RAIDERS appear! The NXT Tag Team Champions have been called up?! And they’re renamed as the Viking Experience! Ebar and Erik join Dash & Dawson in the ring, and this tag war begins!
The teams sort out, and we begin with Hawkins and Dawson. Dawson and Hawkins circle then tie up. Dawson headlocks but Hawkins powers out, only to be run over. Things speed up and Hawkins gets hip tossed. He pushes Dawson away to arm-drag Dawson down. Hawkins has the armlock but Dawson moves around. Hawkins still tags Ryder, and the Major Bros combine Russian Leg Sweep and STO. Cover, ONE, but Ryder wrenches Dawson. Tag to Ricochet and Ricochet kicks the arm. Ricochet wrenches and yanks Dawson’s arm then tags in Aleister. Aleister hits the arm and wrenches to a standing lock. Dawson pulls hair to bring Aleister over. Tag to Dash but Aleister gets away to throw Dash! He throws Dawson, too, but Dash forearms him down.
Dash drags Aleister up and CHOPS him to the corner. Dash CHOPS again, then tags Warbeard Ebar. Ebar clubs and stomps Aleister down then tags Dawson. Dawson swaggers about and goes after Aleister’s nose! Dawson lets up but then drags Aleister up by his hair. Tag to Dash and the Revival mug Aleister. But Aleister powers Dash to his corner and rags Ricochet. They double whip, kitchen sink and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Ricochet keeps on Dash and brings him back for Aleister to tag. They mug Dash but Dash knees back. Dash headbutts Aleister to the ropes then throws uppercuts. Aleister hits back but Dash tags in Ebar. Ebar tags Erik and the vikings double whip. Aleister dodges to DOUBLE Quebradea, but is caught! Ricochet missile dropkicks them down!
The Revival run in but the champs get them. Aleister and Ricochet boot The Revival, then we get quadruple whips and double back drops! Ryder, Hawkins, Aleister and Ricochet control the ring while we go to break!
Raw returns and Hawkins fights out of Erik’s cravat, but Erik powers him to the corner. Ebar tags in and the Vikings work together for knees to Hawkins! Cover, TWO! Hawkins lives but Ebar grinds his forearm into Hawkins’ face. Ebar tags Erik and scoop slams Hawkins. Erik scoop slams Ebar for the human weapon senton! Cover, TWO! Erik keeps his eyes on Hawkins as he puts on a modified armlock. Hawkins endures as fans rally up. He fights his way up then hits The Revival and Ebar, only to be blasted by Erik! Tag to Ebar, and Ebar drags Hawkins up for a big shoulder! Ebar tags Dash and Dash kicks Hawkins in the head. Dash stomps Hawkins out then tags Dawson. The Revival combine for human weapon leg drop! Cover, TWO!
Dawson keeps on Hawkins with a seated abdominal stretch. Fans continue to rally and Hawkins fights his way back up. Hawkins arm-drags out but Dash tags in. The Revival clobber Hawkins then cover, TWO! Dash keeps on Hawkins with a chinbar but Hawkins powers up again. Dash throws in elbows to keep Hawkins down but fans keep cheering. Hawkins gets up and reaches, but Dash brings him around, so Hawkins uses that momentum to throw Dash into buckles! Tag to Dawson and he intercepts Hawkins. Hawkins still dodges to tag in Ryder! The Broski rallies and bumps Dawson off buckles. He whips corner to corner but Dawson reverses. Ryder goes up to knee Dawson away, then he dropkicks Dash down! Ryder runs at Dawson for a flapjack!
Fans fire up as Ryder hits Dawson with forearms in the corner. Ryder goes side to side, and the Vikings are intercepted by Aleister and Ricochet! Ryder wrecks the Revival with a double dropkick! He drags Dawson up and in, but has to fight Dash off first. Tag to Erik and Ryder punches Dawson. Ryder boots Erik and hops up, Rough Ryder leg drop! Cover, but Dash barrels in! Aleister knees Dash! Dawson knees Aleister! Ricochet leaps at Dawson but is caught, only to body scissor Dawson out! Aleister hits Meteroa on Dash! Ricochet moonsaults on Dash! Hawkins swings but Ebar cartwheel clotheslines Hawkins down! The Vikings loom over Hawkins and drag him up. They toss Hawkins out onto Aleister and Ricochet!
Ryder returns but gets Ace Ten Mao! Tag to Ebar and the Vikings drag Hawkins up. FALLOUT! Cover, The Vikings and Revival win!
Winners: The Viking Experience & The Revival, Ebar pinning
An impressive debut for these massive war machines! Will this lead to an even bigger title match? Will this lead to a new era already?
Raw, get ready to enter the Age of Alexander!
The former Cruiserweight Champion and Soul of 205 Live is starting a new chapter next week thanks to the Shake-Up!
Finn Balor VS ???
The Extraordinary Man is ready for any challenge, but will he be ready for a superstar handpicked by The McMahon Family who is making his Raw debut tonight?
Raw returns, and Finn’s opponent is El Idolo! Andrade Almas, along with Zelina Vega, is in Montreal! And Vega introduces them both to the Monday Night Raw crowd. Vega knows who Finn Balor is. But for the past year on SmackDown, Andrade has showcased his own talents, and has done rather extraordinary things himself. For one, Andrade is multilingual. Here in Montreal, English is a second language. Fear not, for she and Andrade will address the WWE Universe in their native tongue. Andrade uses French to say “Merci!” But then he changes to Spanish to insult Finn. Fans troll him back with “What?! What?!” even as Andrade tops off his message. The bell rings and this first-time match-up begins!
Finn and Almas tie up and Finn gets a waistlock. Almas elbows out hard then stomps Finn down. Almas whips and knees Finn in a corner. Finn sits down and Vega says “SI! SI!” Almas goes corner to corner for CIEN KNEES! Cover, TWO! Vega is annoyed already but Almas is confident as he stomps Finn. Almas drags Finn up and hammerlocks but Finn fights out. Finn throws hands but Almas clubs him. Almas tries to bomb lift but Finn back drops! Almas sunset flips but Finn rolls through to dropkick! Finn gets to ropes while Almas gets up. Almas waistlocks but Finn elbows out. Almas fires off knees but Finn reverses the whip to dropkick Almas down! Vega is worried for Almas as Finn gets to his feet.
Finn aims at Almas from the corner but he runs into a scoop. Almas spins Finn but Finn DDT’s Almas! Almas rolls out but Finn wrecks him with a dropkick. Finn aims from the apron to Penalty Kick, but Vega is Almas’ shield! Finn stops and Almas trips him up! Fans boo the cheat while we go to break.
Raw returns and Almas stomps Finn to a corner. Almas backs off at 4 then stomps Finn more. He backs off again but runs, only to miss! Finn gets up while Almas gasps for air. Finn grits his teeth and throws strikes on Almas in the corner! He backs off at 4 to come back with a dropkick! Finn gets up, one knee bothering him. Almas gets to ropes but Finn runs over to CHOP him in the corner. Finn whips corner to corner but Almas reverses. The Intercontinental Champion goes up and over but that bad knee bothers him, Almas gets him with a kick! Almas hops up but Finn kicks, only to get caught and kicked again! Almas drags Finn in for the inverted tornado. But Finn lands on his feet to counter with an elbow drop DDT! Cover, TWO!
Both men are slow to standing but Finn is up first. Vega coaches Almas up but Finn Slingblades him down! Finn grits his teeth to aim at Almas. Almas stands in one corner, and comes back with a handspring PELE! Cover, TWO!! Vega is furious while both men are down. Almas sits up first and drags Finn to a drop zone. Almas climbs up while fans rally. MOONSAULT! But Finn moves, and gets up knees for the second! Finn shotgun dropkicks Almas down! He aims at Almas but Almas trips him up! Almas climbs up from the other side and puts Finn in the Tree of Woe. Almas leaps but Finn gets clear. Finn gets up to kick Almas away! Finn climbs again and fans fire up, COUP DE GRACE misses! Boot feint to elbow! Hammerlock, cradle counter! TWO, but Finn clotheslines Almas out!
Finn gets that knee working but Vega is in his way again. He just FLIES over her! Direct hit on Almas! He puts Almas in but Vega gets away with a headscissor! Almas puts Finn in then drags him up, hammerlock, LA SOMBRA DDT! Cover, Almas wins!!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall
La Muneca pays dividends again as she helps El Idolo conquer the Extraordinary Man! But bigger than that, Almas just beat the Intercontinental Champion! Will Almas soon go from El Idolo to El Campeon?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter has come to Montreal, and he says his musical is so powerful that it summoned the Doctor of Thuganomics and The Deadman. Why are these legends interrupting his legend? What do they see in Elias that prompts them to ruin his performance? Elias vows he’ll be ready next time. It all boils down to a truth they don’t want to admit: WWE stands for Walk With Elias! Montreal seems to know that. The Bell Center is packed tonight, the energy is off the charts, and just think: the fans would feel this regularly if the Canadiens were good enough to make the NHL Playoffs. Montreal boos that, but Elias moves on. He has a special song for tonight, but he’s also getting flashbacks of Seattle. But Elias promises that if any superstar interrupts him, they will NEVER be able to show their face again!
Rey Mysterio appears! Well, he doesn’t need to show his face, he has his legendary lucha mask on! Elias rushes Rey but Rey dodges Elias. They go again and Rey fires off on Elias! Elias knees low and throws Rey to the apron. Rey lands on his feet to shoulder and kick Elias back. Rey springboards to a headscissors that throws Elias out. Elias gets up but gets kicked back out! Rey scares Elias off with a 619! The King of Lucha Libre comes to Raw, will he dial up a huge 2019?
Oh no! It’s LARS SULLIVAN! The Leviathan has been hunting legends, and he’s found one! Rey is ready and he dropkicks Lars first. Lars still gets in and Rey throws hands. Lars shoves Rey but misses in the corner. Rey kicks more and boots Lars from a corner. Rey springboards but into Lars’ monstrous grip! But Rey keeps fighting, gets free, and tilt-o-whirls, but into a scoop! He escapes and chop blocks, but Lars catches him for a FREAK ACCIDENT! The Leviathan warns Rey not to do that again, and then scoops Rey up for a gut wrench running powerbomb!! Lars leaves the lucha libre legend for dead, laughing at his own showing of power. Who else will become the prey of this new predator?
Bobby Roode & Chad Gable VS ???
The GLORIOUS Duo are already in the ring when Raw returns, and speak on the Superstar Shake-Up. There’ve been a lot of changes already, but one thing that will not change: when these two are on their game, they can defeat any team in the WWE! Gable tells the fans to “SHOOSH!” They’re on their game tonight, and it doesn’t matter who doubts that, this is an open invitation to prove them wrong. “Who wants some, boys?” The team that answers: THE USOS! Jimmy & Jey change from SmackDown blue to Raw red and bring the Uso Penitentiary with them! Will they put Roode & Gable on #Lockdown?
The bell rings and Gable starts against Jimmy. Fans are fired up for the Usos as Gable circles with Jimmy. Jimmy grins as he and Gable tie up. Gable gets a waistlock then a takedown. He waistlocks again but Jimmy gets up. Gable throws Jimmy again, then turns him for a chicken wing. Jimmy resists and pushes Gable to a corner. Jimmy whips but Gable reverses. Gable follows Jimmy as he slides and blocks the kick, only to get the enziguri! Jimmy tags Jey and holds Gable while Jey mugs him. Jey whips but Gable reverses, so Jey uses that to hit Roode. Jey runs Gable over, too, then builds up speed. Roode trips Jey up and Gable kicks Jey out! Roode then runs Jey over with a clothesline!
Gable tags Roode and Roode fetches Jey. Roode rams Jey into barriers and Gable taunts him. Jimmy comes over but has to stay back as Roode puts Jey back in. Roode covers, TWO! Roode stomps Jey then rains down rights. Gable tags in and Gable rolls Jey into a chinlock. Fans rally for the Usos and Jey fights out. Gable clubs him back then whips him to the corner. Tag to Roode and they mug Jey more. Roode snapmares and rams his knee into Jey’s back. Roode wraps on a chinlock but Jey endures. Jey fights back but Roode knees low. Roode whips but Jey kicks, only for Roode to block. Roode spins Jey but gets the dragon whip kick! Both men are down, hot tags to Gable and Jimmy!
Jimmy rallies on Gable with clotheslines, mule kick to uppercut! Gable swings but misses, ends up in the Samoan Drop! Fans fire up as Jimmy aims at Gable corner to corner. Jimmy runs and hits the hip attack! Cover, TWO! Jimmy keeps his cool but runs into a back elbow. Gable hops up and grabs Jimmy’s arm for a hanging armbar! He lets up at 4 and Roode tags ni. They combine for a blockbuster German Suplex! Cover, TWO! Roode grows frustrated and hits Jey for good measure. Tag to Gable and they coordinate again, but Jimmy denies the Glorious Combination. Gable dodges the Superkick to roll up, TWO! Gable waistlocks and rolls Jimmy but Jey tags in. Jey saves Jimmy from Chaos Theory, and then SUPERKICKS Gable!
Jimmy SUPERKICKS Roode out then the Usos DOUBLE SUPERKICK Gable! Fans fire up as the Usos take a corner each! They climb up and hit the DOUBLE UCE! Cover, The Usos win!
Winners: The Usos, Jimmy pinning
Whether it’s SmackDown or Raw, the Uso Penitentiary stands tall! Jimmy & Jey had the SmackDown Tag Team Championships for a long time, is it only a matter of time before they have the Raw tag titles?
It’s time for A Moment of Bliss!
The Goddess struts onto her set and takes a seat. Her guest will be Montreal’s own Sami Zayn, after the break!
Raw returns and welcomes everyone to the Superstar Shake-Up edition of her show. With everything up in the air, she could end up on SmackDown. But if that’s the case, then she’ll give a proper farewell in French, and her guest is perfect for that. She gives an introduction to Sami Zayn! Montreal is excited to see Sami and sing along with his song as he joins Alexa on set. Sami is just as happy to dance along with his theme and the cheers of his fans. So much so, the theme hits again for an encore! He then takes a bow and rejoins Alexa on set. Alexa is impressed by this reception.
But wait, round three? Sami gets into it with the fans, but he knew this was just fish in a barrel. He gets the fans to react to a BIG French shout out! “Too easy.” Then he goes to a classic, “Ole~ ole ole ole~! Ole~, ole~!” Sami has to stop now, because he could do it all night but they have a show to do. Alexa notes Sami’s great return last week, and she speaks for everyone when she says it’s fantastic to have him back. Sami agrees as fans chant “OUI! OUI!” He’s been in town all week, and it’s great to see friends, family and his hometown neighborhood. Sami even got some bagels from St. Viateur. He absolutely loves Montreal. The city is great. The people are the problem. Montreal can’t believe Sami is saying this!
Yes, this city has world class cuisine and architecture, but the people? Ugh. The lowest point of his week is right now! Being here with all these people, it’s just so… Quebec. To be honest, Sami didn’t want to be here, or do Alexa’s show. It’s not personal. It’s just, this is all funny because nine months ago, Sami would’ve looked forward to this reaction. But now the cheers just make him sick. The fans cheer for Kevin Owens now. That’s even worse! Sami knows the truth: the fans just project their unaddressed issues onto the superstars, like Sami. Sami is no longer accepting it. It is disgusting and shameful! These aren’t fans! These are fantasy players!
Alexa knows Sami said fans over-critique him. Sami thinks the fans are the problem, but Alexa says it bluntly: Sami’s the problem. Sami says he was born here, but these are not his people. He doesn’t even live in Montreal, he’s in Orlando, Florida! Sami chose to leave Montreal before, and chooses to do it again now. Fans mockingly sing, “Hey, hey, hey! Good-bye~!” Sami doesn’t care, he says “See you in Hell” and storms out. All the tension between Sami and the fans aside, will Sami be staying on Raw? Or will he end up on SmackDown tomorrow night?
The IIconics VS Bayley & ???
Peyton Royce & Billie Kay came across a sulking Bayley earlier tonight and teased that with no Sasha Banks around, they’d hear her out. Bayley told them to keep Sasha’s name out of their mouths. She vowed to find a new partner and take them on in the ring, but who is it that joined the Huggable One? It’s NAOMI! Will she and Bayley make the IIconics #FeelTheGlow?
Bayley starts with Billie, and goes right at her with the bell! She fires off furious hands and brings Billie to her corner. She bumps and stomps Billie then tags Naomi. Naomi bumps Billie on other buckles then fires off forearms. Naomi backs off at 4 but gets a boot from Billie! Peyton tags in and she clubs and kicks Naomi around. Peyton bumps Naomi on buckles then stomps a mudhole into her. She drags Naomi up for forearms then wrenches to another forearm. She drives elbows in then puts on a thrashing chinlock. Naomi endures as fans rally. Naomi fights her way up and out but Peyton keeps her from Bayley. Peyton knees low then hits Bayley, but Naomi comes back with a jawbreaker! Billie tags in and she throws Naomi down by her hair.
The IIconics coordinate but Naoim disrupts their bulldog! Naoim ducks a kick to feed Peyton to Bayley2BellY! Split-leg moonsault! Naomi & Bayley win!
Winners: Naomi & Bayley, Naomi pinning
The Glow and Huggable silence the IIconics tonight, but will this new duo be the ones to challenge for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships?
EC3 VS ???
The Top One Percent hasn’t gotten a lot to do since coming to the main roster, so he demands competition! The McMahons have obliged, but who have they set up against The Best Here, the Best There and The Best Anywhere?
Raw returns, and EC3’s mystery opponent is: BRAUN! Well, Strowman isn’t leaving Raw apparently, but EC3 will have wish he was. Will #VictoryAfterVictory come after EC3 #GetsTheseHands?
The second Strowman hits the ring, he runs EC3 over! Then Strowman throws EC3 across the ring! And then back the other way! The bell didn’t even ring as Strowman barrels in for a corner splash! Strowman throws EC3 out and chases him up the ramp to run him over again! The Monster Among Men drags EC3 to throw him into LED boards! EC3 crawls but Strowman is on him for uppercuts! Strowman throws EC3 around and brings him to the commentary area. Strowman CHOKE SLAMS EC3 through the stage!! The match ends before it begins, but has Strowman’s newest run of terror only just begun?
But Becky Lynch appears! The Man sees the Monster Among Men and simply raises her SmackDown Women’s Championship. She passes by the wreckage to go to the ring for her first match back on Raw since becoming the Champ-Champ!
Another superstar moves from SmackDown to Raw!
SAnitY is now without its chaotic captain, Eric Young! What will the madman do now that he’s come to new territory?
Becky Lynch VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!
The #StraightFire welcomes the challenge of being on both brands given she’s both brands’ champions. Will the Squad Leader get a second chance at challenging for the Raw Women’s Championship now that it’s not Ronda Rousey?
Raw returns as the Squad makes their entrance. The bell rings and fans fire up for Becky! Ruby and Becky tie up and Ruby throws a slapping haymaker. Becky comes back with a Thesz Press! Becky throws fast hands then yanks Ruby from the ropes. Ruby gets up but Becky knees her and puts her in a corner. Becky stops away but backs off at 4. Becky goes to bump Ruby but Ruby blocks. Ruby goes to bump Becky but Becky blocks. Becky hip tosses Ruby then calf kicks her down. Ruby rolls out to regroup with the Squad, but Becky wrecks Ruby with a dropkick! Becky aims from the apron for a leaping forearm! Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan glare at Becky as she puts Ruby in. Becky follows but has to swipe at Liv. Ruby gets Becky with an STO! Cover, ONE!
Ruby keeps on Becky with furious forearms and a throw by her hair. Becky gets to ropes but Ruby is on her with a choke. Ruby lets up at 4 then puts Becky in a corner. Ruby stomps a mudhole of her own while the Squads taunt Becky Two Belts. Becky fights back but Ruby snapmares her down to a cravat. Fans rally and Becky endures as Ruby thrashes her around. Becky fights her way up and throws body shots. Ruby shoves Becky and brings her in, but Becy jawbreakers back. Becky kicks and lariats as she rallies up. Becky knocks Ruby down with double forearms then throws Ruby with a Becksploder! Ruby gets to a corner and puts Becky on the apron. Becky hits back and climbs up, but Ruby trips her up. Ruby yanks Becky off then climbs up, stage dive cannonball! Cover, TWO!
Ruby climbs up again but Becky gets clear of the stomps. Becky drags Ruby in for the Disarm-Her! But the Squad saves Ruby! Fans boo but Becky leaps onto them all! Becky follows Ruby into the ring but Ruby gets her again. Becky counters and brings her down, Disarm-Her is on! Ruby taps, Becky wins!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by submission
The Man fights the Squad as they rush the ring! She throws Sarah out with a Becksploder, then does the same to Liv! The Man holds up both her belts, but will she be able to hold her own going back and forth between the brands?
Backstage interview with Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre & Bobby Lashley.
Corbin’s Pack is back together, but he’s hoping Charly gets sent to SmackDown. Charly brings up the mystery man in the team they’ll be facing. Any speculation as to who that man will be? It doesn’t matter! McIntyre is only after Roman Reigns. Corbin knows Rollins and Roman are riding high, but Corbin retired Kurt Angle. Now his pack will run those boys off Raw. And after what Lashley did to Ambrose, the real question is: who is even dumb enough to team with those two? We do wonder who that man is, and we’ll have to wait for the main event.
Natalya heads to the ring!
The Queen of Harts sees Becky Two Belts is still in the ring, and must want to talk to her about one of those titles. We’ll see what she has to say after the break!
Raw returns and both Natty and Becky have mics. Natty congratulates Becky on her win here tonight, and her historic win at Wrestlemania 35. As a pioneer of the Women’s (R)Evolution, Natty dreamed of main-eventing Mania. Charlotte, Ronda and Becky turned dreams into reality, and Natty is proud of that. Becky is the first woman to pin Ronda! And the first woman to win both Raw and SmackDown Women’s Championships in the same night. Becky talked about taking on all comers, so Natty is here to let her know that the Best There is, the Best There Was and the Best There Ever Will Be is coming for that Raw Women’s Championship.
Becky respects that, and notes how she spent years in the trenches with other underappreciated talents. And she knew that the second she won, those other underappreciated talents would hunt her down, just like Becky hunted down “that little weirdo, Ronnie.” But that’s the nature of the business. To take over the world, you gotta take those at the top. Becky and Natty go way back and have fought anyone anywhere, and look at them now! Fans tell both women, “You Deserve It!” Becky thanks them, but admits Natty was there at the ground floor. It would be a pleasure to- Lacey Evans interrupts! “This dope again…”
The Sassy Southern Belle struts her stuff out again, and actually speaks! “Well isn’t this just adorable.” Lacey admires Natty’s determination, but that title can’t possibly be around the waist of a “classless has-been” like her. Stop all this nonsense about a title match, because a lady knows how to curry favor and use her influence exactly what she wants. And now that Lacey is officially Raw, what she wants is her shot at the championship! And per the McMahons, Natty’s match will be against Lacey. That winner will be the #1 Contender to the Raw Women’s Championship. Natty, stand by for an education from the Woman’s Right. And Becky, you pay attention, too. A Lady can teach a Man a thing or two. Lacey struts her way to the ring, her in-ring debut is huge! Who wins to move on to a title match?!
Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Natalya VS Lacey Evans!
The bell rings and Natty steps to Lacey. Natty waistlocks but Lacey works her way out with elbows. Lacey whips Natty to a corner but Natty dodges to give her a rebound sit-down! Natty walks all over Lacey to dropkick her down! Then discus clotheslines her back down! Natty tosses Lacey out hard and has control while we go to break.
Raw returns and Lacey drags Natty up by her hair. Lacey scowls as she slaps Natty around, but Natty trips her up! Natty wants the Sharpshooter but Lacey powers out. Lacey bails out but Natty wrecks her with a dropkick! Natty drags Lacey up for a SLAP of her own! Natty puts Lacey back in and powers her to a corner for furious hands! The ref backs hr off but Lacey uses that to throw Natty into buckles. Lacey stomps a classy mudhole into Natty then bangs her head against the buckles. Lacey lets up at 4 while Becky watches backstage. The Southern Belle yanks Natty out hard and puts on a cobra clutch.
Fans rally for Natty as she endures. Lacey digs her chin in as she leans on Natty. Natty powers up but Lacey wrings her out for a takedown. Lacey drops knees on the arm then drags Natty up by her hair. Lacey goes to suplex but Natty cradle counters! TWO, and Lacey drives elbows into Natty. Lacey puts the cobra clutch back on and thrashes about but Natty endures. Fans rally again as Lacey headstands to put all her weight on Natty’s neck. Natty stands and arm-drags Lacey out! Lacey runs into an elbow then a kick. Natty spins to discus lariat Lacey again! She wants the legs, and says “This B*tch!” is getting a Sharpshooter!
Montreal cheers for their favorite hold, and Natty keeps Lacey from the ropes! Lacey endures as Natty puts it on deep, and she gets a ropebreak! Natty lets go but fires hands as Lacey gets out of the ring. Natty chase Lacey and rams her into barriers. She SLAPS Lacey, then puts her back in the ring. Natty stalks Lacey but the Woman’s Right comes outta nowhere! Lacey turns Natty over and climbs up top for a double jump Moonsault! Cover, Lacey wins!
Winner: Lacey Evans, by pinfall; new #1 Contender to the Raw Women’s Championship
Lacey uses both her Woman’s Right and Lady’s Moonsault to become Becky’s first challenger! Will The Man really learn not to mess with a lady?
Backstage interview with Roman Reigns & Seth Rollins.
The Big Dog and the Universal Freakin’ Champion know what Corbin’s pack is planning. Will their third man be able to help? Everyone wants to know how that third man is, huh? Roman says we’ll just have to wait for the main event. Even though that door does open… But Rollins knows Corbin’s right: this is the honeymoon phase because both men are victorious after Wrestlemania. Life’s good for them, but for the Pack, life won’t be so good. The way this Shake-Up is shaping up, this could be everyone’s last night on Raw. And if so, they’ll tear the house down on the way out. That main event is next!
A creepy dollhouse…
A rocking chair rocking itself while trampling a stuffed animal… And a rocking chair with a laughing puppet…? Who or what is making its way to the WWE?
Six Man Tag: Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & ??? VS Drew McIntyre, Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush!
The Scottish Terminator and Rocky Mountain Machine again join [insert city here]’s Favorite Son to fight The Architect and The Big Dog. But with the Lunatic Fringe out of action and on his way out of the WWE altogether, who is joining the fight tonight?
Raw returns as Corbin makes his entrance with the lengthy list of his accomplishments, followed by Lashley & Lio making their entrance. Then Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins make their entrances, followed by the mystery partner… The Phenomenal, AJ STYLES! SmackDown was the House that AJ Styles Built, but now Styles’ home is Raw! Will this truly phenomenal addition to the team be what’s needed to silence Corbin and his pack?
Raw returns again and Lashley starts against Rollins. Lashley powers Rollins to a corner and rams his shoulders in. He backs off at 4 but throws hands now. Lashley runs corner to corner but Rollins kicks back. Rollins tags Roman and the Shield Bros whip Lashley for shoulders. They also split the wishbone! Roman uppercuts Lashley to a corner then headbutts him. Styles tags in and The Shield holds Lashley for Styles to throw hands. Lashley powers out and puts Styles in the Pack’s corner! Tag to Corbni but Styles gets away. Corbin and Styles circle and Styles throws chops and haymakers. Styles whips but Corbin blocks to uppercut. Corbin runs but Styles hurdles to speed things up, Styles dropkicks Corbin down! Styles fires up but Corbin tags out to McIntyre.
McIntyre tells Styles to tag out to Roman! Roman tags in and we have a Wrestlemania rematch. McIntyre talks trash but Roman throws hands! McIntyre kicks low then runs but into another uppercut! Roman gives close range clotheslines in the corner all the way to 10. Roman runs but into a belly2belly suplex! McIntyre gives Roman a Glasgow Kiss then covers, TWO! Roman almost didn’t, but McIntyre puts him in the corner, only to deadlift suplex him back out! Cover, TWO! McIntyre keeps on Roman with a rain of rights, making sure Roman sees the big one to top it off. Fans boo while McIntyre looms over Roman. McIntyre drags Roman up and tosses him out. Tag to Corbin and Corbin rams Roman into barriers! Corbin throws Roman into other barriers while his Pack taunts the Big Dog.
Corbin puts Roman back in the ring, then stays between Roman and the others. Fans taunt Corbin, and Roman headbutts! Roman throws hands but Corbin shoves him for the choke slam backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Roman escapes and Corbin is furious while we take one last break!
Raw returns once more, and Corbin tags in only to get uppercuts! Hot tag to Rollins! Rollins springboard clotheslines Corbin! Then he hits Lashley down! He boots Corbin then jumps over to build up speed for a Slingblade! Then he slingshots onto McIntyre! Rollins keeps moving but Corbin grabs him! Corbin lifts for the Choke Slam but Rollins sunset flips through! TWO, mule kick! Fans fire up and Rollins stomps to “Burn It Down!” Rollins kicks Corbin again but Corbin bails out. So Rollins builds speed, only to run into a right hand! Corbin gives Rollins an atomic slam! Cover, TWO! Corbin is furious with the ref but two is two. Corbin drags Rollins up to throw big rights. He hoists Rollins onto the top rope and throws more hands, then climbs up to join him.
Fans rally for Rollins and Rollins fights back! Corbin staggers away and Rollins kicks him. Rollins leaps for a blockbuster! Both men are down but crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Lashley and Styles! Styles bobs ‘n’ weaves with Lashley to then hit the Phenomenal Blitz! He hits McIntyre for good measure before giving Lashley a corner clothesline! Styles lifts Lashley but Lasjley powers out. Lashley runs into a boot and Styles leaps, only to be pushed off. Styles dodges to PELE Lashley down! Corbin returns, he gets a PELE! Lashley stands, Styles kicks low and wants the Clash. But a CLAYMORE stops that! Roman runs in but McIntyre throws him overhead! McIntyre pursues Roman, but a SUPERKICK stops him! Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES McIntyre into the crowd!
Rollins goes after Corbin but Corbin slides out, only to get a Drive-By Dropkick from Roman! And a DIVE from Rollins! The Shield takes care of Corbin and Styles forearms Lashley. Lio anchors Styles’ foot, but he fights him off. Lashley catches Styles, Dominator toss! Cover, CURB STOMP!! Roman aims and lets out the battle cry, to SPEAR Lashley! Styles takes aim, springboards at Lashley, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, Styles and team win!
Winners: Styles, Reigns & Rollins, AJ Styles pinning
A phenomenal return to Raw and Styles stands tall alongside The Big Dog and the Beastslayer! Will Styles only have bigger and better things now that he’s on the red roster? Will either Roman or Rollins end up on SmackDown tomorrow night?
There was a lot to worry about for this 2019 Superstar Shake-Up, but for the most part, this first night of it was actually alright. There was really only one massive and confounding mistake tonight: Vince McMahon not only called up Ray Rowe & Hanson while they were still NXT Tag Team Champions, he changed their team name AND their individual names!! The War Raiders are now the Viking Experience, Erik & Ebar?! Or Ibar or whatever Vince made it! Is Vince genuinely losing his mind?! Why would he change so much about their names?! The 8 Man Tag they were in was still great, and for the time being it’s great to know Aleister and Ricochet are sticking together. But what is going on with Vince that he thinks those name changes were good?! What possible reason could that geezer have when there was literally nothing wrong with their previous names?!
But again, the rest of tonight actually worked out. The Miz returns to Raw to beat up Shane, but also I would think to keep the USA Network Miz & Mrs plug since SmackDown will be leaving for Fox in the Fall. Almas and Vega come to Raw so that Vega can still be with husband Aleister, and Almas had a great match with Finn. Rey Mysterio comes over to silence Elias but then to get squashed by Lars Sullivan. Lars is looking like the new legend killer since Orton hasn’t done that in years, but Rey being on Raw also means he and Almas can continue their feud even with Almas possibly challenging for the Intercontinental Championship. The Usos come over to start fresh, which is great because Raw needed some extra seriousness. They did great against Roode & Gable, who might be on their way to SmackDown.
With the Usos, Naomi naturally comes over. Naomi and Bayley have a good match with the IIconics and win, and this does bring up the questions about Sasha Banks’ status with the WWE. I don’t see Sasha actually leaving, and this idea of Bayley teaming with someone else could just be a new angle in the story. Eric Young being moved over without a word is an example of how there will certainly be supplementary Shake-Ups that everyone will learn about through WWE’s social media and official site. SAnitY being without Eric is going to be interesting, but maybe that opens things up for Dain and Nikki Cross to interact more on screen since they’re another married couple. This might leave Wolfe out in the cold or just as a third wheel.
Superstars who might wish they’re moved to SmackDown should include The Riott Squad. They haven’t gotten to do much of anything for a long time on Raw. Ruby losing to Becky was natural, but still a shame given everything before this point. But it’s great to see the WWE is doing one thing right: they’re going to set Becky up to have opponents from both shows. Lacey VS Natty was specifically for the Raw Women’s Championship, meaning there can be a separate challenger for the SmackDown title. Lacey wins big in her first singles match on Raw, and I’m sure she’ll give Becky a good match, but we all know she won’t win the title here. If Becky’s dropping either of those belts, it’ll likely be the SmackDown belt and to someone like Asuka or Charlotte.
EC3 should want to either go to SmackDown, or back in time to before Vince called him up. I’m sure there was so much planned for him down in NXT under HHH, but Vince had to get his beef on with the Top One Percent. Of course, Vince hasn’t properly used EC3 since doing all that, so maybe he just wants to chuckle to himself about burying a star from TNA Impact. Either way, EC3 being destroyed by Strowman was great for Strowman, but EC3 should want his fresh start on SmackDown and Fox. But then a big surprise that basically wasn’t a surprise was AJ Styles coming to Raw! The Six Man Tag was great, obviously Styles scores the fall as the new guy, and this could mean a few things.
First, everyone imagines Roman going to SmackDown to fill Styles’ spot, that’s almost a given. Second, and a more personal desire, The Club reunites in full on Raw! I don’t see Finn going over to SmackDown because we didn’t see the United States Champion Samoa Joe coming over to Raw. Then all it would take is a supplemental Shake-Up to say The Good Brothers, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, are on Raw. After that it’s just having The Good Brothers get another push back to tag titles while Styles VS Rollins becomes the Universal Championship program. With a little bit of time, we could be seeing a GOLDEN Club around Summerslam time!
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s NJPW AXS Results: Wrestling Dontaku 2019 Part 2!
AXS wraps Wrestling Dontaku with TWO HOURS!
It’s the AXS finale of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019!
AXS and NJPW give us TWO hours and two championship matches! Jeff Cobb defends the NEVER Openweight Championship while Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
Coverage of NJPW Wrestling Dontaku 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii; Ishii wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic Wrestling Dontaku 2019 finale!
“Legacies will be defined” as The Rainmaker pushes past redemption and moves on to reestablish himself. It was through the 2019 New Japan Cup that Kazuchika Okada earned another chance at the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Jay White, and it was at G1 Supercard that he took that title back! The now five-time champion keeps his promise of giving Cold Skull Sanada the first shot! The story of Okada and Sanada goes back to Sanada’s debut in 2016, in which he attacked Okada on Los Ingobernables de Japon leader Tetsuya Naito’s behalf. Sanada has climbed the ranks in the singles division, but is this the night he finally proves he is worthy? Or will Okada continue to prove he’s on another level?
Meanwhile, the Stone Pitbull and the King of Darkness have recently renewed a rivalry. They teamed with Okada and Sanada in a tag team match on the first night, and it went Evil’s way when put Tomohiro Ishii in the Scorpion Deathlock, a move copied from Ishii’s mentor! However, it was the referee who called the match for the sake of Ishii’s well-being, Ishii did not submit. Will Evil finally make Ishii give in? Or will Ishii get revenge for Evil adding insult to injury?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Jeff Cobb VS Taichi!
The Hawaiian Hulk has a title belt in both ROH and NJPW! But that only means more work for the Olympic wrestler, and that includes facing the Sliest Wrestler in the World, backed by Suzuki-Gun! Will all the tricks in Taichi’s book amount to nothing against the colossal cross-promotion champion?
The introductions are made, the belt is presented, and the dramatic Taichi takes his time removing his entrance gear. Miho Abe takes care of his coat but Cobb makes sure Taichi puts his knapsack down, too. Taichi does, the bell rings, and we begin!
Cobb and Taichi slowly circle. Taichi goes back to his corner to have Miho fix his hair. Cobb grows annoyed but Taichi is in the corner so he can’t be touched. They circle but then Taichi bails out to regroup with Miho, Taka Michinoku and Kanemaru. Taichi takes his time returning, all to troll Cobb. Miho gets on the apron to be a distraction, and Taichi gets in from behind! He clubs Cobb, but it only annoys Cobb more! Cobb kicks Taichi then CHOPS him! Cobb CHOPS Taichi more, but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi whips but Cobb reverses and things speed up. Cobb hurdles and dropkicks Taichi! Fans applaud Cobb’s agility while Taichi bails out. Cobb builds speed, but Taichi uses Miho as a shield!
Fans boo but Cobb bails out. Cobb tells Taichi to man up but Taichi still “cowers” behind Miho. Red Shoes reprimands Taichi, but he doesn’t see Kanemaru attack Cobb from behind! Kanemaru’s forearms do more to Cobb than Taichi’s. But Cobb whips Kanemaru into railing! And he throws forearms on him! Taichi uses his mic stand on Cobb! Taichi chokes Cobb while Red Shoes is down. Red Shoes gets up with help from a Young Lion, and stops Taichi. Taichi whips Cobb into railing then brings him to NJPW commentary. He bounces Cobb off the announce desks then chokes him with cables! Taichi leaves Cobb behind long enough to take the NEVER Openweight belt. Taichi holds it up as if it’s already his. Fans boo and Red Shoes shakes his head.
Cobb drags himself up and gets in the ring before a count begins, but Taichi stomps away on him. Taichi stands on Cobb’s back and head, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. Taichi smirks as he stands Cobb up to choke him into a corner! Red Shoes counts again but Taichi lets up, only to grind Cobb’s face on ropes. Taichi smirks more as he rakes Cobb’s face! He stops at Red Shoes’ count but then brings Cobb up for a snapmare and swift kick. Cobb only gets mad and stands back up. Cobb throws big forearms on Taichi! Taichi mule kicks Cobb away, then runs in for a big corner clothesline. Taichi keeps moving, but Cobb dodges. Cobb wants a belly2belly but Taichi rakes the eyes! Taichi runs, but into a scoop to suplex! Cobb puts Taichi on the top rope, to CHOP him.
Cobb adjusts and climbs to join Taichi. Taichi holds on but Cobb gets up for a stalling SUPERPLEX! Taichi bounces up from momentum alone then flounders to a corner. Cobb slowly stands and gets himself to a corner while Taichi slowly sits up. Cobb runs in but Taichi dodges. Taichi misses his kick but Cobb chops and clotheslines with no wasted motion! Cobb whips corner to corner then runs in for a BIG elbow! Cobb fireman’s carries Taichi for a Samoan Drop! “Gochimuchi” Moonsault but Taichi dodges! Taichi kicks but misses and Cobb waistlocks. Taichi elbows free but Cobb shoves. Cobb runs but misses in the corner, Taichi hits his enziguri! Taichi brings Cobb in, but he can’t lift Cobb! He kicks away on Cobb’s face, then tries again, but that doesn’t change anything! Cobb back drops Taichi instead!
Taichi wrenches and hook kicks Cobb! Taichi hits the buzzsaw! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is tougher than that, so Taichi focuses his power. Off come the pants! Taichi aims and kicks, but Cobb deflects to hit back with a big right. Taichi kicks but it barely bothers Cobb. Neither does the next kick or the next kick. If anything, Cobb starts liking it. Cobb forearms Taichi and dares him to come back. He throws more forearms, and Taichi falls to his knees. Cobb dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi fires himself up. Taichi kicks away on Cobb’s chest, but Cobb blocks and brings Taichi in for a Fall Away Slam! Cobb runs as fans rally, but Taichi dodges to mule kick! But Cobb forearms back, so Taichi enziguris! Both men are down but fans are fired up!
Miho, Taka and Kanemaru coach up Taichi but the fans rally behind Cobb. Taichi grabs Cobb for a dragon sleeper, but Cobb powers out. Cobb arm-drags Taichi off, then scoops him for- No, Taichi gets out of the Tour for a BIG saido suplex! Taichi drags Cobb up again, dragon sleeper and armlock, but Cobb endures the “stretch bar.” Cobb reaches but Taichi cranks back. Fans rally again but Taichi shifts to a cover, TWO!! Cobb still has life and Taichi grows frustrated. Taichi stands Cobb up and brings him up in an Alabama lift. But Cobb is just too much! Cobb clubs Taichi and gut wrench suplexes! He holds on and rolls to bring him up for another! Cobb still holds on, for a PILEDRIVER! Cobb can’t cover, he’s too tired!
Fans rally as both men are down! Cobb stirs but goes the wrong way. Miho panics and almost cries for Taichi but it’s Cobb who slowly stands up. Fans duel as Cobb drags Taichi back up. Taichi is dead weight but Cobb gets him up and whips him, but Taichi boots! Taichi is alive and whips, but Cobb reverses to the Athletic Plex! Cobb drags Taichi up, throws him, but Taichi holds ropes. Taichi boots and roundhouses! And rabbit ax bombers to another enziguri! Both men are down again, and it’s Taichi who can’t make a cover! Taichi revives and fires up! He takes aim at Cobb, who staggers over. Superkick blocked, for a Tour- No, Taichi escapes, but gets a LARIAT! GACHIMUCHI! And then, a Tour of the- No, roll up! TWO!!
Taichi pushes Red Shoes to LOW BLOW Cobb! Chicken wing cradle, TWO!! Not even a kick to the balls can stop Cobb! But Taichi aims, SUPERKICK!! Then Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
For the second time ever, the Sliest Wrestler holds this belt! And most surprisingly, he barely had to cheat! Cobb is no longer champion in both ROH and NJPW, but will Cobb be back for a rematch?
EVIL VS Tomohiro Ishii!
Again, the Stone Pitbull did not submit to the Scorpion Deathlock as put on by the King of Darkness. However, he was still trapped in it with no way out. Will Ishii fall for that trap again? Or will he have an escape plan this time?
NJPW returns after the entrances and we get right to the bell!
Evil and Ishii collide, then collide, then collide. Ishii runs and bumps Evil, who comes back on the rebound, but so does Ishii! They just keep ramming into each other! Evil and Ishii each fire up as the fans fire up. Evil throws a forearm but Ishii gives it back, and repeat. They go back and forth like this, fast and furious, and the fans rally up with them! The brawl keeps going, forearm for forearm, elbow for elbow! Evil gets rocked and Ishii keeps on him. Ishii runs but into Evil’s elbow! Evil runs but they go shoulder to shoulder again! They both run, and they both collide! Evil finally knocks Ishii down!
Fans cheer while Evil catches his breath and Ishii writhes. Evil drags Ishii up to toss him out. Evil follows to club away, then whip into barriers! Ishii hits the floor but Evil doesn’t let up. Evil brings Ishii up to throw into the post! You could hear that *BING* of head hitting metal! Evil stomps Ishii then drags him back up to throw back into railing. He puts Ishii’s leg through the rails to kick! Ishii hobbles as the ring count passes 15! Evil puts Ishii in at 17 and fans cheer. Evil stomps the leg now, but Ishii eggs him on! So Evil slams the leg and puts on a toehold. Ishii endures while pulling Evil’s hair. Evil pulls back on the leg and ankle, but Ishii drags himself to a ropebreak. Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go.
Evil looms over Ishii but Ishii throws body shots. Ishii chops but it doesn’t hurt. Evil CHOPS Ishii and he staggers back! Ishii chops but Evil CHOPS! They keep going back and forth, Ishii’s chop meeting Evil’s CHOP! Ishii fires off many chops but Evil just needs one double hand CHOP to floor Ishii! Evil keeps on that leg, clearly preparing for the Scorpion Deathlock. He puts it on, but Ishii resists being turned over! Ishii slaps Evil so Evil chokes and CHOPS Ishii. Ishii just takes the chops and stands up. He wobbles over to Evil to fire off forearms, but Evil kicks the bad leg out. Evil whips Ishii to a corner but Ishii comes back with a clothesline! However, Ishii hobbles, showing that Evil’s plan is working.
Evil stands but Ishii CHOPS him in a corner. Ishii CHOPS and forearms and repeats. He whips corner to corner but Evil reverses to forearm, only to run into a powerslam! Both men are down but Ishii’s up first. Ishii drags Evil up but Evil resists the back suplex with elbows. Evil brings Ishii towards a corner but Ishii rams his shoulder in! And again and again! Ishii runs back in but into a boot, only to clothesline Evil anyway! Fans rally both ways as Ishii gets his back and legs moving. Ishii drags Evil up and hoists him onto the top rope. Ishii climbs up to join Evil, but Evil resists. Evil holds onto the crossbars so Ishii headbutts him! Ishii lifts Evil for the SUPERPLEX! He crawls to a cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Ishii stands. Ishii wants Evil to stand, then he runs, but Evil boots the lariat and blocks the other. He passes Ishii’s kick to Red Shoes to mule kick Ishii’s leg! Evil suplexes Ishii into buckles! The Pitbull bails out of the ring but Evil pursues. Evil goes under the ring and tosses chairs around. Ishii hits back and brings Evil over. Evil blocks the suplex, but Ishii still tries. Evil suplexes to put Ishii on the rails, Anarchy Suplex! Almost a Magic Killer! Evil gets back up and grabs one of those chairs. He puts one around Ishii’s head and has the other! Red Shoes runs out to reprimand Evil but Evil shoves him away! Evil then swings and SMACKS the chair off around Ishii’s head! The Pitbull goes down while we go to break.
NJPW returns again as Evil drags Ishii up. Fans cheer as Evil wants to end this in the ring. Evil rallies the fans and takes aim at Ishii. He runs corner to corner and hits a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars while Ishii flops to the mat. Evil drags Ishii up for a suplex and he puts Ishii on the top rope. Now Evil joins Ishii up there but Red Shoes is worried. Evil stands Ishii up, for a SUPERPLEX of his own! He crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ishii’s far tougher than that, so Evil goes after the legs! Scorpion Deathlock! Ishii endures this hold all over again, but he also powers up! He crawls himself towards the ropes but Evil sits down deeper! Fans rally as Ishii powers up again. Ishii crawls again, but Evil sits back down.
Ishii grabs at Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping, and then he gets the ropebreak! Evil lets go and wipes the sweat from his brow. Evil looms over Ishii and drags him back up. He lifts Ishii but Ishii slips out. Ishii waistlocks but Evil elbows out. Ishii swings but Evil dodges to waistlock, only for Ishii to swing again, which Evil again dodges. Evil swings but Ishii blocks, and Ishii waistlocks only for Evil to elbow out. Evil swings again, but into Ishii’s back suplex! Both men are down but fans fire up again. Evil goes after the legs again with elbows to the knee. But Ishii eggs him on! Evil mule kicks the knee but Ishii fires off forearms. Evil ROCKS Ishii with that right!
Fans rally as Ishii falls to his knees, but Evil runs. Ishii blocks a clothesline with a clothesline, then runs. Evil runs from the corner, but Ishii sees it coming and clotheslines him down! Ishii grits his teeth while fans are thunderous. He puts Evil in the Scorpion Deathlock! Evil endures the move now as Ishii sits down deep! Evil powers his way over, but Ishii cranks back harder! But Evil still gets the ropebreak! Ishii lets go and is frustrated, but he doesn’t let up. He goes after Evil again, dragging him up by his singlet. Ishii goes after a leg with a knee jammer! Evil fights off the shin breaker, then spins, but into Ishii’s elbows from all sides! Evil spins again but into another big forearm! Ishii sits Evil up for the sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous all over again as Ishii stands Evil up. Ishii suplexes, but Evil knees out. Evil shoves and German Suplexes! But Ishii’s up to clobber Evil! Evil headbutts and LARIATS back! Ishii flounders but Evil is up again. Evil wants another and runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Ishii still lives! The fans are at a fever pitch as Evil catches his breath. Evil slashes the throat to say it’s over. He drags Ishii up, spins, but Ishii slips out! Evil spins Ishii again, but Ishii gets a waistlock and German Suplex! But now Evil’s up in an instant! Only to run into Ishii’s LARIAT! ONE?! Evil hits another lariat! Then lariats collide! Both men fall over! Red Shoes checks on both men but they’re somehow okay to continue.
Fans rally up and gives both men new life. Ishii and Evil stand, and head for each other. They collide with clotheslines again, and stagger on weak legs. Evil and Ishii run and collide yet again! Evil roars and runs, but Ishii tanks the clotheslines! Ishii headbutts then forearms then headbutts Evil again! Evil falls to a knee but Ishii stands him back up, only for Evil to hook the arm! Ishii spins Evil around but Evil spins out of the full nelson to suplex Ishii! Ishii knees free and spins Evil, only for Evil to get him with a Half ‘n’ Half Suplex! Evil drags himself to a corner while Ishii slowly stands. Evil runs but gets caught! Ishii wants to steal the STO!
But Evil spins Ishii around, full nelson to fireman’s carry, but Ishii slips out, clothesline blocked! Rolling elbow hits! Enzugiri! Evil is out cold but Ishii isn’t done with him! Ishii runs and LARIATS! Cover, TWO?! Evil still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! But he won’t stop, he suplexes to the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Finally, after a human demolition derby, the Stone Pitbull is victorious! Two of the toughest in NJPW went head to head and Ishii proves the tougher, but when and where will we see this match again?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Ishii says “That’s what you get, facing me in a singles match.” Did Evil learn his lesson? If not, Ishii will happily teach him it again.
But then Taichi walks in to smirk at Ishii. “Oi. Congrats on earning the right to challenge me.” What? You heard Taichi right, Ishii now has the right to challenge for the NEVER Openweight Championship. So Taichi wants after Ishii, huh? Well there’s no one else, so Ishii might as well be the new #1 Contender. Be happy to be chosen. Well if Taichi wants this, Ishii’s game. No it’s about Taichi throwing the Pitbull a bone. Then ask him nicely? As if. The Pitbull should be begging. Accept it and be grateful. Yeah, Taichi seems so grateful, the way he’s treated that belt already. It was broken when Taichi got it from Cobb. Whatever. Ishii accepts the challenge. No, no, Ishii is challenging Taichi, got it? Whatever you say. Weirdo.
But it’s been awhile since Ishii’s seen that belt. Taichi just wants revenge from the New Japan Cup. Reminds Ishii of another wrestler in NJPW. But Ishii’s up for this match anytime, because the results will be the same. When and where will NJPW give us this new NEVER Openweight Championship showdown?
Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to NJPW!
The Ace has been gone since suffering an elbow injury and going through the subsequent surgery to repair it. He surprises the fans here at Wrestling Dontaku, because he has something he wishes to say.
“Tanahashi desu. I had surgery on my left elbow. The cast came off the other day, and I got my stitches out. But I wish I could have competed here.” It was a year ago that here, in Fukuoka, that the crowd was behind him. He rode that wave of energy to win the 28th G1 Climax that August. And then he won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in the Tokyo Dome. But then in February, he lost, and his losses piled up. And he feels as low as the floor right now. Fans cheer, wanting him to rise back up.
Tanahashi knows he’s starting from the bottom. But as he stands back up, he vows that on June 5th, at Ryogoku, he’ll make another comeback! He continues to say that after that, he’ll again go after the IWGP Heavyweight title! Will the Once in a Century Talent make yet another heroic return?
But wait, here comes Jay White and Gedo! Fans boo as the Switchblade takes the mic from Tanahashi. Gedo tells White some things, and then White grins at Tanahashi. Fans boo as White begins to speak. “You want the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? You think you deserve the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?” The line starts behind White, and Tanahashi is at the back, even behind Hirooki Goto! White is the REAL champion, and it doesn’t matter who wins between Okada and Sanada, White’s turn is next. “Do you understand me?” Gedo makes a move on Tanahashi, but it’s just so White can get his cheap shot in! White stomps Tanahashi as fans boo and the bell rings. White rains down rights then stomps him more.
Gedo ups the ante by bringing out chairs! White grabs one and puts it around Tanahashi’s newly recovered arm! He grabs the other chair, but Young Lions save Tanahashi! White fights them off but Tanahashi is safe from further harm. White picks up the mic again to tell Tanahashi, “I am next!” Fans boo White and cheer Tanahashi. Will the Switchblade and The Ace settle things in the ring to decide who really is next to face the top champion in NJPW? For that matter, we still have the main event to go. Who will be the top champion in NJPW after the dust settles?
NJPW and AXS advertise G1 Climax 29!
Mark your calendars, because on July 6th, 2019, AXS will begin coverage of the Summer’s major heavyweight tournament! The biggest and best of NJPW will once again compete in a round robin tournament to crown a #1 Contender to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS SANADA!
The Rainmaker’s redemption was completed in Madison Square Garden during the history G1 Supercard event! Now Okada returns to give Cold Skull first crack at this fifth title reign. With the Switchblade already calling his shot, who will have the Bullet Club’s cutthroat leader targeting them through the Summer?
The introductions are made, both men take off their elaborately decorated jackets, and the belt is presented. The bell rings and fans are already thunderous as we begin!
Okada and Sanada hear the fans duel before circling. They approach and watch the other closely. Okada backs off so Sanada does the same. They circle again and tie up. Okada waistlocks but Sanada wristlocks and standing switches. Okada switches back but Sanada drops to an armlock. Sanada waistlocks but Okada wrenches free. Okada wrenches more but Sanada reverses it back. Okada rolls and trips up Sanada, and gets the toehold. Sanada endures as Okada cranks back. Sanada tries to chinlock but Okada cranks again. But Sanada manages to sit up and gets Okada’s arm, but Okada blocks the armbar. Okada rolls but Sanada denies a cover. Okada has the leg for a standing toehold, but Sanada works on an escape. Sanada rolls and rolls and breaks free, and fans applaud.
Okada backs off and takes his time circling with Sanada. Sanada and Okada go again, and Okada rolls to get the wristlock. He brings Sanada to the mat then back up for a wrench. Okada gets both arms for a standing stretch, but Sanada endures. Sanada goes to power up but Okada brings him back around. Okada digs his head into Sanada’s back, but Sanada works on turning it around. Sanada and Okada struggle but Okada gets it back. Sanada tries again, and though he gets it, Okada quickly turns it back around. Okada throws Sanada down but Sanada throws Okada from the mat. Okada rolls Sanada, ONE! Sanada rolls Okada, ONE! Okada sweeps Sanada but Sanada gets off to sweep. Okada gets out and both men knip up!
Fans cheer as these two are evenly matched to this point. Okada and Sanada have to nod in respect to the other, too. They circle again and tie up. They stare down as they shift from knuckle locks to collar and elbow. Okada puts Sanada on the ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Classic Okada fakes the chop to pat Sanada’s shoulder. But Sanada comes back with fiery kicks and forearms! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, and boots Sanada to a snapmare. Okada runs and basement dropkicks Sanada down! Okada catches his breath while Sanada checks his head. The champ stands Sanada up and laces the arm through for a modified stretch. Sanada endures but Okada lets go.
Okada brings Sanada around to scoop slam him, then slingshot senton! Sanada clutches his ribs while Okada takes his time returning. Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps on Sanada with a chinlock. Sanada endures the knee in his neck while Okada pulls back. Sanada works on an escape but Okada just brings him back. Fans duel as Sanada works his way back up. Sanada elbows free but Okada clubs him on the back. Okada whips and runs in, but Sanada boots him away. Sanada dropkicks Okada’s legs out! Okada grits his teeth and clutches his knee. Sanada brings Okada up, blocks Okada’s kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes him away but runs into a huricanrana! Sanada rolls through to get the arms and legs!
Okada powers out of Paradise and speeds things up, but Sanada dropkicks the leg again! Dragon screw, to Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada hears them out. Fans duel and rally as Sanada takes aim from a corner, to kick Okada out of Paradise! Cover, TWO, but Sanada keeps cool. Sanada chinlocks but Okada endures. Okada works on an escape but Sanada elbow drops him down. Sanada puts the chinlock on again, but Okada reaches for ropes. Sanada wrangles Okada away and cranks back on the chinlock. Okada scrambles and uses his long legs to get the ropebreak! Sanada lets go but comes back to bring Okada up. He puts Okada in a corner to whip corner to corner. He hits a back elbow then snap suplexes Okada down! Cover, TWO!
Sanada keeps his cool while bringing Okada up again. Okada hits low with a shoulder, then throws forearms. Okada runs but into Sanada’s elbow! Sanada moonsaults but Okada dodges to hit a running uppercut! Both men are down but fans continue to cheer. Okada sits up first, and he runs at Sanada to rally with forearms and elbows! He whips but Sanada reverses. Okada dodges but so does Sanada, but then back to Okada and he runs Sanada over with an elbow! Fans fire up with Okada and whips Sanada corner to corner. Okada hits a back elbow to DDT! Cover, TWO! The champion is still in control while we go to break.
NJPW returns and Okada aims at Sanada on the outside. Okada slingshots but Sanada trips him up. Sanada whips Okada but Okada reverses to send Sanada into barriers! Then he boots him over! Okada fires the fans up as he gets space. He runs back to FLY and crossbody Sanada into more barriers! Both men are down and Red Shoes checks on them both. Okada clutches his leg again, that leap was double-edged. A 20-count begins and passes 10 before Okada stands. Okada drags Sanada up but brings him to ringside at 17! He gets Sanada in at 18 and fans cheer that he wants to end this in the ring. Okada still clutches that leg but manages to stand.
Okada drags Sanada up again to scoop slam him down. He goes to a corner and climbs up, but has to leap over Sanada. He uppercuts Sanada then runs, but Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Okada out of the ring! Now Sanada slingshots and wipes Okada out! Fans fire up as Sanada walks off the pascado. Sanada takes a lap around the ring while Okada is still down. Sanada returns as the 20-count begins again. He lets it reach 10 before bringing Okada up. He puts Okada in at 14 and covers, TWO! Sanada keeps his cool and brings Okada back up. Okada blocks the back suplex and elbows Sanada off. Okada runs but Sanada reels him in. Sanada suplexes but Okada lands on his feet. Okada swings but into the dragon sleeper! But he arm-drags out to flapjack Sanada down!
Both men are down, catching their breath and clutching their legs. Fans rally up and Okada forces himself to stand. Sanada follows but Okada boots him. It doesn’t have as much power, so Sanada boots. Okada blocks it and throws uppercuts to then go for a lift. Sanada fights out, but Okada blocks the boot. Sanada blocks Okada’s boot to give him a forearm. Okada staggers into a boot, then a rolling sabat! Sanada whips but Okada reverses, only for Sanada to fake out the dropkick! Sanada fireman’s carry but Okada slips out. They trade standing switches and Okada German Suplexes, but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada whips but Okada reverses again, but Sanada tumbles and springboards to missile dropkick Okada down! Fans fire up again as the tide looks to be turning.
Okada gets to a corner and fans duel again. Sanada runs in but is popped up to the Air Raid Crash neckbreaker! Okada catches his breath but he crawls over to Sanada. He positions Sanada before climbing up top again. Okada leaps, Macho Elbow hits! But he’s not done there, Okada hits the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags Sanada up and wristlocks, but Sanada drops down to roll Okada! TWO, and Okada has a cover! TWO and Sanada has it back, TWO! Okada sunset flips, TWO! Sanada sits on Okada, TWO! Okada again, ONE, Sanada jackknifes! TWO, Sanada drop toeholds Okada to a leg nelson, Japanese Clutch, TWO!! Okada has Sanada in a cobra clutch! Sanada endures and flails while fans rally again.
Sanada sits up and Okada drags him up, to wring him out! But Sanada dropkicks the clothesline away! Sanada drags Okada up to whip but Okada reverses to hit his dropkick now! Okada drags Sanada back up, gut wrench but Sanada wriggles to the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Okada rolls through to gut wrench! Tombstone piledriver! But Okada isn’t done, because he still needs his namesake. He wrings Sanada out but Sanada spins to Salida, into the dragon sleeper! Okada endures and maybe even fades under the first part of Skull End! But Okada fights back up and scoops, only for Sanada to counter lift to Anarchy Suplex! Just like Evil earlier, Sanada gets a Magic Killer style move!
Fans duel again as Okada and Sanada sit up. They might even be turning towards Sanada more. Sanada drags Okada up, double chicken wing to the Tiger Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Okada escapes but barely! Sanada keeps on him, scoop and backbreaker. He goes to a corner and climbs up, Moonsault! But he lands on his feet as Okada evades! Sanada staggers back, one of his knees buckling. He still runs at Okada, only to get a boot. Sanada tries again, but into another boot. Okada runs out but Sanada dodges the shotgun. Sanada spins but int a spinning Rainmaker! Okada roars as he drags Sanada back up, wristlock but Sanada full nelsons to another Salida! Okada blocks this one, so Sanada uses the buckles for the climb! He has the Skull End dragon sleeper again!
Okada endures but Sanada takes him for a swing! Then drops down for the body scissors! Skull End in full, but Okada refuses to quit! Red Shoes checks as Okada fades, but Okada revives. Okada flails with his arms then pops out! Sanada keeps the body scissors to get the sleeper with the other arm! He cranks back hard as fans duel and rally. Okada endures and flails again, not fading out. Red Shoes watches Okada like a hawk, but Okada pops out again. Sanada fights to get the head again but Okada crawls for ropes. Okada reaches, but Sanada wrangles him away with a wristlock! Skull End returns a third time, but Okada still flails. Red Shoes checks, his arm drops once. It drops again. Sanada gives up the hold to drag him over?! MOONSAULT to the back! And then again, to knees!!
Both Sanada and Okada are down again! Fans are thunderous again as they duel and rally. Sanada and Okada are exhausted but still push themselves back up. They head for each other, and grind forehead to forehead. Okada throws an elbow, but Sanada returns it. Okada gives Sanada another, but again Sanada gives it back. Another forearm from Okada, and another forearm from Sanada as they stand. Okada, Sanada, repeat. They pick up speed, but Okada dazes Sanada. Okada keeps hitting him, but Sanada refuses to fall. Okada hits Sanada a third time, but Sanada gives him an uppercut! Sanada shakes the sweat from his hair as fan return to a fever pitch. He drags Okada up for another heavy uppercut! Okada falls to his knees, but Sanada brings him back up.
Sanada throws another but Okada backslides! Sanada rolls of and dodges the rainmaker! He waistlocks but Okada bucks him off. Okada runs to shotgun dropkick Sanada down! Okada watches Sanada in the corner, then runs in, only to get elbows! Sanada springboard moonsaults to a dragon sleeper! But Okada uses the buckles to turn it around! Okada has the dragon sleeper, then gut wrenches! But Sanada wiggles to battle over the gut wrench! He gets Okada up, but Okada wiggles and flails! Okada manages to get the gut wrench back! But Sanada slips up and around to a waistlock. Okada tries but can’t buck Sanada off, and Sanada gets the dragon sleeper!
Okada endures again but flips over as Sanada drops back. He drags Sanada up but Sanada dodges! Sanada wrings Okada out but Okada still tries! Sanada ducks that clothesline, to wring Okada out and steal the Rainmaker! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives his own move! Sanada finally shows frustration, but then he vows to end it. He drags Okada back up, cravat to Salida, but Okada slips out. Okada spins but Sanada blocks to then spin for a roaring elbow! Cravat, Sliced Bread, but into a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! And the TRUE Rainmaker!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
The first defense of this fifth reign and The Rainmaker is STILL the top champion in NJPW! Okada goes 6-0 against Sanada all-time, but it gets tougher and tougher each time! Will we get to see lucky number 7 in the future? Will Sanada finally break through? Or is Okada just on too high a level?
Okada offers a hand to Sanada to help him up. Sanada declines, helping himself up. However, Sanada does take the hand in a small handshake, to then give a fist bump. It sounds like there will be a seventh round one day, we can only wait and see.
NJPW skips to after Okada is again wearing his IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt, to when Okada takes up the mic. “Sanada-san! At the signing ceremony, you honored me by calling me your rival.” That made Okada very happy. So in front of Hakata, he wants to say something to Sanada: he is Okada’s rival, too! Their story has just begun! “But I’m not gonna lose.”
Okada addresses the fans again as he notes “We have changed over from the Heisei Era to Reiwa.” What do the NJPW fans think? Hard to tell. But Okada wonders who will entertain the pro-wrestling world in this Reiwa Era. Okada promises he’ll bring the excitement. He vows to be the star of the new era for the true fans! He’ll bring the heat! “As the 69th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, I will keep the new era exciting.” As long as he’s NJPW’s top champion, he’ll- Wait, the lights go out! A video plays. Is that… CHRIS JERICHO!? The dark clown that Y2J has become says “I’m the Painmaker! And on June 9th at Dominion in Osaka, I will challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship! And I’m gonna win.” Jericho shouts he’ll win, but then hushes himself. Y2J is returning to NJPW and aiming for the top!!
Okada just tells Jericho, “Bring it on, you bastard!” Because Okada vows HE will win! Okada will win and return as champion, to again make it rain! Will Okada continue to be the best in NJPW by beating the Best in the World at What He Does? Or will Jericho completely turn NJPW upside-down at Dominion?
One hour of NJPW on AXS alone is great, so two hours is amazing! Especially when they know how to properly book surprises. I didn’t think Taichi would win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Jeff Cobb in a mostly clean way. Sure he had Miho be his distraction and his shield, but the Suzuki-Gun antics weren’t even deciding factors this time. Well, an argument can be made that they amounted to something, especially the low blow. But for the most part, Taichi managed to just keep on Cobb until Cobb couldn’t get up. At the same time, Cobb being a dual ROH and NJPW champion wasn’t going to last forever, so it was a good move to make it someone mostly unexpected. Now Taichi VS Ishii will be a good first defense for Taichi, I’m just not sure Taichi survives.
For that matter, Ishii VS Evil was insane. It really was just a demolition derby slug fest type fight, and that’s exactly what it should’ve been. Ishii wins not just because he’ll challenge Taichi but because that was the story of him and Evil. Evil got him last time with the Sharpshooter, and that was a great part of the match’s story, but for that reason, Ishii survives the hold and puts Evil away with a standing finisher. And with another G1 Climax on the horizon, Evil can snap back in the NJPW Heavyweight ranks with an impressive showing. I’m honestly surprised Tanahashi is making another comeback, but NJPW without him would also seem odd. White obviously wants to finish Tanahashi for good, that’s another good story going into G1 Climax 29.
NJPW is also building stars properly. Sanada’s history with Okada has been building over the last three years, and it clearly works in getting fans behind Sanada as we heard from the Fukuoka fans. Okada VS Sanada VI, the longest and best match so far of their series, and I really do look forward to a seventh. If anything, the day Sanada beats Okada is the day Sanada reaches that heavyweight/world championship level. He will be the face of NJPW one day, but not until Okada stops. Okada has been such a strong force in NJPW and with that heavyweight championship, he’s almost the NJPW John Cena or Randy Orton. If it weren’t for his matches always being great, I’d say he should move on. If anything, he should still think about going after a different title once this fifth reign ends.
Jericho returning to NJPW is also great, Okada VS Y2J at Dominion will be great, but I don’t think Jericho is the one to end this fifth reign, and certainly not at this point. Beating Jericho will help build Okada’s fifth reign up, and perhaps solidify Okada’s legacy.
My Score: 9.1/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (5/11/19)
It’s Speed VS Strength in the main event!
ROH Wrestling Television, Episode 399
Battle lines have been drawn in ROH! LifeBlood’s Bandido takes on the Notorious Hitman, who takes a big win on War of the Worlds Weekend?
- Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers; The Bouncers win.
- Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods; Woods wins.
- Bandido VS Shane Taylor; Bandido wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Shinobi Shadow Squad VS Coast to Coast VS The Bouncers!
Ryan Nova & Cheeseburger have Eli Isom in their corner, but they’re up against the salty Shaheem Ali & Leon St. Giovanni and the massive Beer City Bruiser & Brian Milonas! Triple S got a Six Man Tag victory over C2C and Colin Delaney on the Road to G1 Supercard, but can they pull off another shocker against even bigger and badder competition? As for C2C and The Bouncers, they lost together at this year’s Masters of the Craft, but Ali & LSG refused to share a #ToastofHonor in commiseration. Will that chip on C2C’s shoulder go away or only grow bigger tonight?
The Bouncers keep the Code of Honor with the Shinobi but C2C refuse to shake hands with anyone. Fans cheer “Beer! Beer!” for BCB and Milonas while they let Nova start with LSG. LSG and Nova tie up, and LSG gets the wristlock. Nova rolls and reverses, but LSG handsprings and reverses back. LSG waistlocks and slams Nova hard, then headlocks. Nova powers out and things speed up, LSG waistlocks Nova again but Nova bucks him off. Things keep moving and Nova counters a backslide with an arm-drag. LSG runs back in and waistlocks, but Nova slips out of the back suplex. Nova boots LSG away from the corner, then somersaults to neckbreaker! Nova knips up and fans fire up as he tags in Burger. Whip to atomic drop to sweep, then they split the wish bone to double kick LSG down!
Fans fire up with Triple S but Ali runs in. Ali misses Burger and Nova to hit the Bouncers! Ail runs into a double hip toss! Nova and Burger high-ten, but then the Bouncers come in to sandwich them! Bruiser whips Nova while “Brawler” whips Burger, and then they trade partners to squash them in the corners. And then they go corner to corner to squash the other! The Bouncers see Ali and LSG and squash them! And then the other way! Milonas feeds Ali to BCB to bite! LSG runs in but he gets bit, too! And Burger! And Nova! But remember, he ain’t got no teeth! The Bounces high-five and say bottom’s up, but C2C boot them both! And again!
The Bouncers tumble out and C2C give the shinobis CHOPS! C2C whip Nova and Burger at each other, but Burger and Nova do-si-do to dropkick C2C! The shinobi slingshot but are caught! The Bouncers sandwich them again, but then C2C wreck them all with dropkicks! They keep moving, Ali FLIES! Ali bowls everyone over, then drags Burger in while we go to break.
ROH returns as Ali slingshot sentons onto Burger. Cover, TWO! Ali is just annoyed as he tags in LSG. Fans rally up for Burger but Ali holds him in place for LSG’s shoulder tackle. Ali adds an enziguri, then feeds Burger to LSG’s butterfly suplex! Cover, TWO! LSG drags Burger back up for an armlock and chinbar. Fans rally behind Burger and Burger fights back. Ali tags in and C2C mugs Burger. Ali gives Burger a big European uppercut, then covers, TWO! Burger fights back with big CHOPS! Fans fire up but Ali brings Burger away to then hit Nova! Burger dodges and dodges, and tags in Milonas! Ali waistlocks but Milonas breaks free with a big butt bump! Milonas rallies and drops the seated senton! Cover, but LSG breaks it!
Bruiser goes after LSG then whips, Samoan Drop! Back senton from Milonas! BCB whips Ali into Milonas’ scrapbuster slam! Cover, but Nova breaks it! BCB shoves Nova all the way out, but LSG shoulders in. LSG slingshots to hit Milonas then springboards to hit BCB! C2C regroups to go after Milonas. LSG climbs while Ali scoops Milonas. Milonas is too heavy, he falls onto Ali! BCB uppercuts LSG then tosses him onto Ali! The Bouncers grab LSG and toss him out. Ali rolls and Nova tags in! Nova leaps at Bruiser for the flying Complete Shot! Nova fires forearms on Milonas! Milonas grabs him and scoops him, but Burger saves him. Double SUPERKICKS! They focus their chakra, buzzsaw mule kick combo!
BCB runs over Nova but Burger dodges to FLY onto C2C! Fans fire up but Burger runs into an uppercut from BCB! Nova knees Bruiser but runs into Brawler’s boot! CLOSING TIME! Cover, The Bouncers win!
Winners: The Bouncers, Brian Milonas pinning
The Shinobi Shadow Squad doesn’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. But they also argue with Coast 2 Coast, who are sore losers all over again. As for Bruiser and Milonas, they celebrate with the #ToastofHonor! Will they soon be toasting with a shot at the ROH tag titles?
ROH has a huge night set for Episode 400!
Matt Taven is finally the ROH World Champion, because he earned it. He won a Triple Threat Ladder match at G1 Supercard in Madison Square Garden, also becoming a Grand Slam Champion. But when it comes to having a shot at his title, Taven tells the entire locker room that they’ll have to earn it. Cue Flip Gordon! The Captain of Flip Army reminded Matt Taven that he earned his shot in the Sea of Honor tournament. And with his knee at 100%, Flip finally gets his shot as the new #1 contender! Who ends the milestone episode of ROH having earned the world championship?
But not only that, the ROH World Six Man Tag Team Championships will be on the line! Villain Enterprises will defend their titles against a star-studded though makeshift team of Jay Lethal, Jeff Cobb and Rush! Will Marty Scurll, Brody King & PCO keep hold of the gold against the Franchise, the Hawaiian Hulk and El Toro Blanco?
ROH looks back at the G1 Supercard Honor Rumble!
Kenny King CHOSE to be number one in this massive match, that featured huge stars across ROH and NJPW, such as Minoru Suzuki, Jushin Thunder Liger and even THE GREAT MUTA! It looked to be down to just the two masked legends, Muta and Liger, but Kenny wasn’t actually eliminated! He threw both legends out in one fell sweep and won his shot at the ROH World Championship, but he would get some karma in the way of Muta’s mist!
Kenny King is here!
The Honor Rumble winner is apparently still blinded? He has a walking stick and assistance walking out from ROH timekeeper, Amy Rose. Fans chant “Thank You, Muta!” as King struggles to get a mic. “I should be…” Wait, face camera. “I should be the happiest dude alive right now.” But he’s not and why is that? You see, King is the only man in professional wrestling who does exactly what he says he will. He told everyone that he’d start at number one and “molly whop all them other chops” to become the first man to win the Honor Rumble from number one. King is now #1 Contender, but he shall now be known as Kenny Shawn Michaels King.
And that’s not even the best part! We were all treated to something special at G1 Supecard! Two men stood, Jushin Thunder Liger and the Great Muta, and tension was palpable. No one knew what was going to happen, until King slid in the ring to throw their “700 year old Japanese wrinkly asses” out to win the Honor Rumble! They say never meet your heroes. King did, he wanted to shake hands with Muta, and Muta spit the red mist in his face! Fans think it’s funny? It’s awful! It smelled like laundry detergent and Popeye’s Chicken, and it burned Kenny’s face and eyes! Now King needs emergency eye surgery, so that’s why he won’t be wrestling tonight. But that brings him to Matt Taven. King wants to tell us something we might not know about Taven. “Matt Taven is my homie.”
The two kings are friendly with each other. Kenny was proud of Taven at G1. One day they’ll have to discuss the terms of Taven’s surrender, but until then, he wants Taven to fight. Taven is not King’s target. He is not the man who upsets King. Who here thinks Jay Lethal is great? Kenny doesn’t. Lethal’s not tough, and the only time he’s savage is when he’s cosplaying Randy. So to Jay Lethal, when King gets through his surgery to see again, both eyes will be on Lethal. Because then Kenny will prove he’s the K I N G, and he’ll make Lethal #BendTheKnee. Amy helps King get his walking stick and exit the ring carefully. Will King see clearly and get his hands on Lethal? Or will Lethal make him see all of that trash talk wasn’t worth a thing?
Flip Gordon speaks on his leg injury.
It was at ROH Honor Reigns Supreme, in a match with Hot Sauce Tracy Williams. All seemed same as always, but as Flip dropkick’d Tracy in the corner, his knee gave out. Flip feared the worst, and wanted to finish the match, but his springboard spear only made it worse. He could only take another step, so he had to call it there. Flip feared the worst, but the MRI gave him a time frame. What did he have to do to beat this? Physical therapy. Flip stuck to the schedule, and trusted his doctors. Now his knee is ready, and he is ready! The other ROH World Championship contenders fell to Lethal, but then Taven rose up to win. Now Flip’s turn comes as episode 400 arrives! Will Flip’s return be one of the greatest in ROH history?
Flex Simmons VS Josh Woods!
An ROH dojo graduate makes his television premiere as he flexes his… fairly good physique. But he’s up against The Goods, Mr. Top Prospect 2017, who returns after returning to his roots. Now Woods is #DownToFight, will he end Flex’s television career before it begins?
The Code of Honor is upheld, and the bell rings. Woods SPEARS Flex! Flex staggers up into a waistlock slam! Woods grimaces as he drags Flex up for an exploder suplex! Flex can only flounder around into a fireman’s carry, Seismic Toss slam! Cover, Woods wins!
Winner: Josh Woods, by pinfall
Woods returns more focused and more aggressive, and doesn’t care to shake hands with Flex again. He wants his money and the next fight, who will be #DownToFight The Goods?
ROH interviewer Quinn McKay interviews Josh Woods.
The 2017 Top Prospect Tournament winner, the NCWA National Champion, and multi-time All American wrestler is also captain of the US MMA team, and is back in ROH with an impressive showing. But he’s been gone for some time. What’s he been up to? It isn’t about what he was up to, but about what he just did and has done his entire career. Woods has always been #DownToFight. Will he finally fight his way to an ROH championship?
Bandido VS Shane Taylor!
Though they have beef with Bully Ray over the attack on Tenille Dashwood, LifeBlood’s luchador will take on the Notorious Hitman who has been known to pall around with the Hall of Famer. Will Bandido’s speed or Taylor’s strength win out in this first-time-ever face-off?
Bandido wants to uphold the Code of Honor, but Taylor spits on Bandido’s hand! The bell rings and Bandido fires off with kicks. Bandido runs and slides but Taylor catches him. Taylor whips but Bandido counters to throw forearms. But Taylor stays up! Taylor grabs Bandido but Bandido slips out of the choke slam. Taylor elbows Bandido away, but Bandido elbows back. SUPERKICK! Fans fire up as Bandido whips, but Taylor blocks. Taylor whips but Bandido dodges and kicks, but Taylor blocks again. Taylor flips Bandido but Bandido lands on his feet to sunset flip! Bandido can’t get Taylor down, but he gets out of the way as Taylor sits down!
Bandido keeps moving to basement dropkick Taylor out! Fans fire up as Bandido builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Taylor into the barriers! Bandido keeps moving, and FLIES! He wipes Taylor out again, and celebrates with fans while we go to break.
ROH returns once again, and Bandido gets Taylor back in. Bandido stands Taylor up to chop, but Taylor shrugs it off. Bandido tries again, but then Taylor CHOPS Bandido to a corner! Taylor trash talks Bandido but Bandido CHOPS back! Bandido eggs Taylor on so Taylor CHOPS Bandido off his feet. Taylor drags Bandido up but Bandido fires forearms back! Bandido tries to fireman’s carry but Taylor fights him off. Taylor swings but Bandido ducks, only to get caught in a choke slam! Taylor mocks the fans as they cheer for Bandido. Bandido gets to a corner again but Taylor is on him with big knees. Taylor throws a big right and Bandido goes down! Taylor taunts Bandido more as he drags him back up. He tosses Bandido across the ring! Bandido stirs but Taylor trash talks the fans.
Taylor stalks Bandido as fans rally up. Taylor stands Bandido up again, to throw him by his hair! Bandido hits hard and flounders to ropes. Taylor drags Bandido up again and whips him corner to corner. He runs in and clotheslines Bandido down! Fans boo Taylor but he just stands on Bandido’s head! Taylor lets up at 4, but comes back to drag Bandido back up. Taylor talks trash the entire time but Bandido revives to throw forearms! Bandido dodges one clothesline but gets the other! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up again as Taylor sits Bandido up to elbow away! Taylor covers, TWO! Taylor drags Bandido back up and slaps him around. He whips Bandido corner to corner but runs into a boot!
Bandido boots and enziguris, then hops up top. He leaps, into the One Hitter Quitter! Cover, TWO!? Bandido survives Taylor’s right hand! Fans rally up and Bandido has new life, but Taylor is right on him again. Bandido fires forearms then fireman’s carries again. Taylor is still too much but Bandido elbows him back. Bandido boots but gets blocked, Taylor rolls Bandido for a big knee to the face! Cover, TWO!! Bandido still lives while we go to one last break!
ROH returns once more, and Taylor still slaps and toys with Bandido. Bandido blocks the slaps to fire off slaps of his own! Taylor SLAPS Bandido, but Bandido still comes back with more! Taylor CHOPS, but Bandido fires off kicks and knees! Bandido runs, but into a clothesline! But he’s right back up!? Taylor is shocked, but Bandido fires off slaps and kicks. Bandido knees and SUPERKICKS! Taylor staggers, but still gets Bandido with another choke slam! Both men are down but fans fire up! A standing count begins as fans rally. The count passes 5 before Taylor sits up. Bandido stirs but Taylor stands. Taylor brings Bandido up for big haymakers, but Bandido returns with forearms. They go back and forth, with fans on Bandido’s side.
Bandido gets an edge then spins, into a headbutt! Hammerlock rip cord, End of Days! Cover, TWO!! Taylor is frustrated he couldn’t finish Bandido off! Bandido stands and boots Taylor away. Then he swing kicks from the apron, only to slingshot into the One Hitter! Taylor slingshots Bandido in, London Tower! Cover, TWO!?! Bandido is superhuman! Fans keep cheering Bandido on and he revives again. Taylor shakes his head as he CHOPS Bandido in a corner. And CHOPS again, and again! Bandido flops over and Taylor vows to end this. Taylor drags Bandido up, whips him corner to corner, but Bandido boots him away. Bandido uppercuts then springboard tornillo crossbody! Bandido takes aim, and fireman’s carry! GTS, BANG to 21 Plex!! Cover, Bandido wins!!
Winner: Bandido, by pinfall
The luchador triumphs over the titanic Hitman! But wait, here comes Bully Ray! Bandido sees him coming, and has LifeBlood’s Tracy and Mark Haskins with him! Bully wants a time-out, he wasn’t expecting to be the one outnumbered. But wait, who are these attacking LifeBlood?! The Soldiers of Savagery, Moses Maddox and Jasper Kaun, are the newest recruits to ROH and they’re already making an impact! They stomp out Bandido, Tracy and Haskins, then slam Haskins down for a Vader Bomb! They lift Bandido for a gutbuster drop! And they go after Hot Sauce with a feed to a SPEAR! Then an elevated DDT! Even Bully seems confused. SOS did this without any help from Taylor or Bully, or without an invitation. But will they be Bully’s new back-up against LifeBlood?
A really great episode to act as a go-home to episode 400. We get a pretty great Triple Threat Tag to open the night. It’s an interesting development for C2C to take a slow transition into Heel with this salty new attitude of theirs, but that might be the spark they need to take that next step up in the ROH tag division. The Bouncers continue their own rise up, perhaps they’ll finally get their own shot now that we’ll be past War of the Worlds. Bruiser & Milonas against Guerrillas of Destiny would be a pretty fun match, though obviously another match GoD would retain the titles in.
Kenny King playing up being blinded was pretty hilarious here tonight. And even without that, he gave us a great promo overall, though obviously while he’s waiting his turn at the world title, he’s going after Lethal. Lethal VS King all over again should make for a good match or two, and I’m pretty sure King wins to go right at the world champion, whoever that is. We got a good video package and promo from Flip, but I’m not sure if he wins that title off Taven, even on a milestone episode. Regardless of it being his return, Woods was obviously going to win against Flex Simmons tonight. In fact, anyone going against Flex Simmons tonight was going to win because Flex was obviously the generic jobber.
Woods being back, I wonder if he’ll get a better push than he did before. I don’t think he can take the ROH World Television Championship off Jeff Cobb, but I hope we can get a great match out of them. And I’m sure we’ll get a great Six Man out of Lethal, Cobb and Rush VS Villain Enterprises. But such a random team is not beating an established trio like Villain Enterprises. I don’t think Scurll and his team lose the titles until a rematch with The Kingdom. Bandido VS Taylor was amazing, worthy of leading to title contention. It was great story for Bandido to win, both in the match and overall.
It was a great bait and switch for Bully to be the one surrounded, but then to swerve back and debut a new duo. I suppose Bully would need new allies with The Briscoes likely reserved for a rematch with GoD. I’d expect at least a Six Man Tag, Bully & SoS VS LifeBlood, but you could throw in Taylor on Bully’s side and get Juice Robinson involved for an Eight Man Tag. Either way, this looks to be building to the LifeBlood VS Bully and crew story I was hoping for.
My Score: 8.3/10