Kazuchika Okada defends the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho! Will Y2J stop the reign of the Rainmaker? Or will Okada continue to raise NJPW to the next level?
Coverage of Dominion in Osaka-Jo Hall will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Jon Moxley VS Shota Umino; Moxley wins.
- Shingo Takagi VS Satoshi Kojima; Takagi wins.
- Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan; Taguchi Japan wins.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Dragon Lee VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Chris Jericho; Okada wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for this Summer blockbuster!
The Rainmaker reigns once again after his long road to redemption. Madison Square Garden was the beginning of Kazuchika Okada’s fifth reign, and Okada would be successful in his first defense back in Japan. But a darker Chris Jericho has come back to NJPW to be the Painmaker that ruins the Rainmaker’s Summer. Can Okada keep going? Or will he regret playing with Y2J?
But before that, the Aerial Assassin, fresh off his Best of the Super Juniors victory, wants the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back! Will Ospreay slayed the Muscle Dragon, Shingo Takagi, in the finals, but can he slay CMLL’s Dragon Lee? Or will Lee continue the reign that also started in Madison Square Garden?
Jon Moxley VS Shota Umino!
The Lunatic is free, and he has come to NJPW! He won the IWGP United States Championship in his debut, but will the Death Rider keep going strong as this Young Lion gets to show his stuff?
Umino is definitely eager to show what he can do, as he FLIES out onto Moxley before the bell! Osaka fires up with Umino as he gets Moxley in the ring. The bell does ring and Umino climbs up to missile dropkick Moxley back down! Umino runs in corner to corner, but gets a big lariat from Moxley! Moxley goes back to Umino to rain down rights, but the ref reprimands him for closed fists. So Moxley switches to elbows! Moxley walks off his annoyance before putting Umino in the corner for a CHOP! And another! Moxley grinds his forearm into Umino’s face but lets up at the ref’s count, for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer as Umino survives, and Moxley mocks them before dropping an elbow. Cover, TWO!
Moxley drags Umino around for a Queen Angelito Stretch. Umino endures the deathlock and crossface, but Moxley fish hooks the mouth. Fans rally and Umino crawls, but Moxley pulls back harder. Umino powers his way forward for the ropebreak! Moxley lets go just to hammer Umino down. Moxley walks off with some swagger, then returns to loom over a dazed Umino. Umino hits back but Moxley eggs him on. Umino throws more forearms but it’s not enough for Moxley. That third one still wasn’t, and Moxley headbutts Umino, only to run into a dropkick and a German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO! Umino stays fired up as he fishermen’s, but Moxley spins out to forearm Umino back. Then Moxley gives Umino the X-Plex! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer Umino’s heart and Moxley even laughs. Moxley drags Umino up, Death Rider DDT! Cover, Moxley wins!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall
That wasn’t as easy as Moxley thought, but he still puts the Young Lion away. When and where will the Death Rider strike again? How long will he be IWGP US Champion?
Moxley isn’t done, he grabs a mic. “I bring a message from Cincinnati, Ohio. Jon Moxley, international purveyor of violence, gentleman and all around sick son of a b*tch wants in on the G1!” A huge move for the newest star in NJPW! Will Moxley rise to the challenge of the G1 Climax to take it all?! Either way, he takes his belt, and Umino, with him to the back! Has the Young Lion won the veteran’s respect?
NJPW Media backstage interview
Moxley has a floundering Umino hold onto the IWGP US Championship belt for him as he compliments the Young Lion. “I like this kid. He could be my new Young Lion. I’m gonna need some help, I’m gonna need a partner.” A training partner, a guy to spot him on the bench, to drive him home from Roppongi. Does Umino drive? Well Moxley and his Young Boy will be fine. And Moxley made his intentions clear. “See you at the G1. Come, my friend.” Moxley helps Umino up and the two head out. Is this partnership really going to work out? And how is the Death Rider going to fare in his first G1 Climax tournament?
Shingo Takagi VS Satoshi Kojima!
The Muscle Dragon suffered his first loss in NJPW when he fell to the Aerial Assassin, but he looks to spring back already. Will his Pumping Bomber beat the legendary Cozy Lariat in this special first-ever encounter?
The bell rings and the fans are already fired up. They tie up, and Shingo keeps even with Kojima. Shingo puts Kojima on the ropes, then lets up to pat his shoulders. And then CHOP him anyway! Kojima doesn’t flinch, and kicks back. He headlocks Shingo but Shingo powers out. Kojima bumps Shingo but Shingo comes back to run him over! Fans marvel at the muscles as Shingo drags Kojima up. Kojima forearms Shingo but Shingo hits back. They brawl with fast and furious forearms, then Shingo headbutts. Shingo whips but Kojima runs him over! Fans cheer as Kojima shows he’s as strong as ever. Kojima flex the pecs then slingshots to topple Shingo down! Fans cheer as Kojima gets up. Shingo follows and they brawl on the outside.
The count climbs as the punches fly, but Shingo CHOPS! Kojima keeps hitting Shingo and Shingo keep shitting Kojima. But the count hits 15! Then 17! They hear 19 and jump in! Shingo goes at Kojima with a facelock but Kojima gets up. Shingo shifts to a cravat, but Kojima endures the grind, only to get an elbow. Kojima ends up in a corner, Shingo whips him to another. Shingo runs in but blocks the boot then jab and chop! Jab, chop, and repeat! Shingo lets up at the ref’s count and checks his hand. He whips Kojima corner to corner, but Kojima dodges and CHOPS! Kojima CHOPS over and over and over! Fans fire up as he tops it off with one more big CHOP! Shingo is stinging as Kojima whips him corner to corner. Kojima forearm smashes then goes up top! But Shingo knocks him down!
Shingo joins Kojima on the apron and says HE is going for something. Kojima denies the Death Valley, but Shingo holds on to deny the cutter. Shingo fireman’s carries, and hits the apron Death Valley Driver! Both men slump to the floor but Shingo sits up first. Kojima slowly follows, and sweeps Shingo’s legs on the apron! Shingo crashes and Kojima climbs up to join him. Kojima hits an apron DDT! Kojima puts Shingo in and brings him up for a cutter! Cover, TWO! Shingo survives and surprises Kojima a bit, but Kojima keeps his cool. He clubs away on Shingo and then puts him up top. Kojima climbs up to join Shingo, and hits a SUPER CUTTER! Cover, TWO! Shingo survives again!
Kojima drags Shingo up and Shingo denies the suplex. Kojima manages to get Shingo up but Shingo slips out. Shingo waistlocks but Kojima elbows free. Kojima runs, but into a back elbow of Shingo’s, then a JAB and LARIAT! But Shingo can’t make the cover, his arms are still stinging. Shingo whips Kojima and knees him against ropes. He suplexes Kojima for a big vertical suplex! Shingo drags Kojima back up but Kojima flops over. Shingo tries again, underhooks but Kojima resists. So Shingo knees and CHOPS him with both hands! Shingo runs, but Kojima blocks the bomber! Kojima runs, but Shingo blocks on one side, only to get Cozy Lariat from the other side! Kojima brings Shingo back up, BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!
Kojima keeps his cool as fans rally up both ways. He prepares the arm, whips Shingo, but Shingo flops over now. The ref checks on Shingo while Kojima eggs him on. Shingo stands, blocks the lariat, and underhooks, but Kojima fights free, only to get a DDT! Kojima gets to a corner and fans rally up with Shingo. Shingo runs corner to corner for a big clothesline! Then he runs to Pump- Kojima tanks the bomber?! Shingo tries again but Kojima stays up. Shingo runs but clotheslines collide! And it’s Kojima who stays up! Fans fire up as Kojima glares. Off comes the arm band! Kojima runs, but into a PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, ONE!? Kojima shows great heart, and throws forearms with Shingo back and forth again.
Shingo gives elbows from all sides, but Kojima comes back with his own! Kojima swings into a pump handle! Shingo lifts Kojima, for Made in Japan! Cover, TWO!! Kojima escapes the driver! But Shingo keeps going, PUMPING BOMBER!! Shingo won’t cover?! He gets up and brings Kojima into the pump handle fireman’s carry, Last of the Dragon!! Cover, Shingo wins!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall
The biggest Junior Heavyweight in NJPW defeats a legendary heavyweight! Takagi picks up the mic to say, “You saw it happen. I got the job done.” But he needs something more. A bigger thrill! Something heavier. You get what he means, right? Osaka has an idea, but Takagi gets to the point. He also wants in on the G1!! It doesn’t matter the size, the talent, the toughness, Takagi will take them all down, “just the way I am.” That is all. The Muscle Dragon drops the mic and also wants in the big Summer tournament! Will Takagi prove that he can be the best of both weight classes?
Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan!
Two factions of NJPW clash as Jay White leads Taiji Ishimori and Chase Owens into battle against Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and of course Ryusuke Taguchi. Will the Flamboyant One, The Ace and the Funky Weapon #BreathwiththeSwitchblade? Or will they take the Switchblade, Bone Soldier and Crown Jewel down on Dominion?
NJPW on AXS returns as the teams sort out. Chase starts against Juice with the bell. The two circle and tie up. Chase waistlocks then wrenches Juice, but Juice spins through to wrench back. Chase spins and headlocks, but Juice pries free to get a keylock to waistlock. Juice throws Chase down and keeps on him with a waistlock. Chase stands and backs Juice into ropes, and the break is clean, until Chase elbows Juice in that bad eyebrow! Chase goes after it with a headlock punch! The ref reprimands Chase but Juice just punches Chase back! Juice jabs and CHOPS in the corner over and over. The ref counts so Juice whips Chase corner to corner, to then run in for a big clothesline! Juice keeps moving, but Chase bails out.
The Bullet Club regroups while fans rally up for Juice. Juice dares Chase to get in, and Chase does, to tag out to Taiji. Taiji stares down with Juice, but Taguchi wants in. Osaka wants him in, too! Tag to Taguchi, and we revisit their resent Junior Heavyweight Championship match. Taguchi does his Sailor Boys dance, but that only gets him kicked. Taiji headlocks but Taguchi powers out and things speed up. Taguchi goes for a hip attack but gets an atomic drop! Taiji whips but Taguchi reverses to hit a corner hip attack! Then he whips Taiji corner to corner for another! Taguchi keeps moving, but misses that one! The Bullet Club blasts Taguchi’s teammates, and Taiji throws Taguchi out to join them.
White throws Tanahashi at the NJPW commentary while Chase punches Juice up the ramp. Taiji keeps on Taguchi on the other side while White CHOPS Tanahashi. Taiji whips Taguchi into barriers! White stomps Tanahashi down while Chase helps Taiji against Taguchi. Juice is down at the ramp while Taiji puts Taguchi in to cover. TWO, but Taiji tags Chase. Chase stomps Taguchi to keep him away from his corner. Chase bumps Taguchi off buckles then feeds him to White’s boot. Tag to White and Chase throws Taguchi out for White to ram into railing, apron and railing, repeat! White puts Taguchi back in while fans boo and jeer. He covers, TWO! Taguchi survives but White wraps him up with a chinlock.
Fans rally up and Taguchi feeds off the energy. Taguchi fights back and whips, but White reverses, and dodges the hip attack. The Funky Weapon has done more damage to himself than anything. He runs into another atomic drop! But he escapes White’s back suplex! Taguchi dodges and hits White with the hip attack! Both men are down and fans rally up. Taguchi and White crawl, hot tag to Tanahashi! The Ace has his hated nemesis and starts throwing forearms. He whips but White reverses, only to get a flying forearm! Tanahashi blasts the Bullet Club, then dodges White. He blocks the boot for a Dragon Screw! Fans fire up as Tanahashi hops up, for the senton onto White! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer “GO ACE!” as Tanahashi aims at White. White dodges Slingblade but Tanahashi elbows White away. Tanahashi runs but into a CHOP! But he keeps going! White blocks Slingblade to saido suplex! The Bullet Club take Taguchi and Juice out, then help White with Tanahashi. Taiji whips Tanahashi corner to corner, then Chase whips Taiji in to double knee Tanahashi. Chase adds a forearm smash, then White adds a running uppercut! White suplexes Tanahashi for a twisting suplex! Cover, but Juice and Taguchi both break it! Fans cheer but Bullet Club throws them back out. White drags Tanahashi up and slashes the throat. He has Tanahashi in position, but Tanahashi spins and palm strikes!
Tanahashi runs, but Slingblade is denied again! White wants but is denied Blade Runner into a Slingblade! Fans rally up while both men are down. Bullet Club hits Taguchi down and drags White to the corner, and Chase tags in! Chase grins as he aims at Tanahashi. He runs in corner to corner for a forearm, then snapmares for a Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi survives but Chase drags him up for a piledriver. Juice runs in but gets a SUPERKICK! Taguchi returns to kick Chase, then runs only to miss again! Taiji whips Taguchi into railing again while Chase drags Tanahashi up. Tanahashi goes to counter punch but Chase hits the bad arm. Chase hammerlocks and lariats, the Jewel Heist! But Chase isn’t done there, he double guns and drags Tanahashi up. Package-
No, Tanahashi escapes and trips Chase up! He laces the legs but Chase shoves him away into White’s cheap shot. But Juice yanks White down for the Left Hand of God! Chase drags Tanahashi up and whips, but Tanahashi reverses into a familiar position. But Tanahashi doesn’t steal Blade Runner, he hits a Slingblade DDT! Cover, Tanahashi and team win!
Winners: Taguchi Japan, Tanahashi pinning
The Ace gets the win for his team! But will this trios victory help Tanahashi in his newest NJPW comeback? Or is it a long road back for even the Once in a Century Talent?
Katsuyori Shibata returns to NJPW!
The man simply known as “The Wrestler” is back in Osaka-Jo Hall! But he is in a suit, so he’s not here to fight. Instead, his business is to introduce NJPW to a new star… KENTA!! Yes, the Innovator of the GTS is here! And as the shirt says, he’s ready to take over! Shibata helps Kenta into the ring and Osaka goes wild! And of course, Shibata picks up the mic to speak.
“Today, I brought a really close friend with me.” This is THE Kenta! And then the mic is given over to Kenta so that he may speak. “Hello NJPW fans, I’m Kenta.” He thanks Shibata for making this possible. And he is here because he followed his instincts. Kenta wants to show you his style of pro-wrestling. “I will see you at the G1 Climax.” Incredible! A third man declares for the tournament in one night! Will Kenta #TAKEOVER and make the rest of the field #GoToSleep?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Dragon Lee VS Will Ospreay!
The Best of the Super Juniors practically just ended, but the Aerial Assassin doesn’t take anything easy. The two-time tournament winner wants to go from two-time champion to three! Will he slay another dragon in just the span of a week? Or will CMLL’s dragon continue to reign over the NJPW Junior Heavyweight Division?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised then put carefully alongside Ospreay’s BOSJ 26 trophy, and the two rivals shake hands. The bell rings and we begin this battle of young and international icons!
Osaka is already thunderous for these two top Junior Heavyweights. The two circle and tie up. Ospreay wrenches but Lee handsprings through. Lee and Ospreay tie up again and Lee snapmares, but Ospreay handsprings through. They go again, and Lee headlocks, but Ospreay powers out. Things speed up and Lee shoves to follow then huricanrana, but Ospreay handsprings through that! Ospreay huricanranas but Lee also handsprings! Lee kicks but Ospreay dodges to handspring, but Lee just denies the Oscutter! Lee lifts for Desnucadora but Ospreay slips out. Ospreay swings a kick, but Lee ducks, and then they both dropkick! Those cancel out and both men kip up, but Lee dropkicks Ospreay back down! Fans cheer how fast and furious these two move!
Lee goes after Ospreay with a hook to the face, then wraps an arm around the ropes. Lee CHOPS Ospreay then follow shim in a corner. He knees and forearms Ospreay, then whips corner to corner. Ospreay boots and enziguris Lee back, then hits a top-rope 619! Lee bails out but Ospreay slingshots for a big crossbody! Fans fire up as Ospreay stands tall! Ospreay takes a moment to walk off the landing then drags Lee up to CHOP him back down! Ospreay drags Lee up and into the ring, and covers, ONE! Fans cheer while Ospreay drags Lee back up for a big forearm. Ospreay whips and elbows Lee down, cover, ONE!
Ospreay keeps his cool as he drags Lee around. He hammerlocks one arm, then pulls on the other, for a recliner! Cover, TWO! Ospreay stalks Lee to a corner and CHOPS him back. He CHOPS Lee more, but Lee hits back with forearms. Ospreay back kicks then whips, but Lee puts Ospreay on the apron. Ospreay hits back then springboards, but his Pip Pip Cheerio gets caught into an STO! Both men are down but stirring as fans cheer. Lee gets up and goes to Ospreay in the corner to throw forearm after forearm. Lee runs but Ospreay follows to uppercut! Ospreay sweeps the legs and runs corner to corner, but Lee dodges. Lee throws more forearms to sit Ospreay down, then runs corner to corner for the basement dropkick! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Lee keeps his cool while fans cheer. Lee kicks Ospreay then whips, but Ospreay handsprings to PELE! Ospreay gets to the apron then springboards back in, flying forearm! Cover, TWO! Lee lives but Ospreay sees him bail out. Fans rally as Ospreay builds speed, Sasuke Special! Lee dodges but Ospreay still lands on his feet! Only to get Lee’s knee trigger! Lee drags Ospreay up onto the railing and throws forearm. NJPW commentary gets a good look as Lee builds speed and DIVES! They both go into the next section!! Even commentary is wiped out with that insane tope suicida! Red Shoes checks on both men, and somehow they’re okay to continue. Fans rally up behind commentary who got wiped out. Everyone is up and Lee pushes Ospreay over the railing back to ringside.
Lee puts Ospreay in the ring and deadlifts him. Ospreay fights the waistlock but Lee shifts to a full nelson. Ospreay breaks that, but gets caught into the Straitjacket German! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ospreay still escapes after all of that! Lee grits his teeth and checks his mask as he goes after Ospreay again. He puts Ospreay up on the back rope and Ospreay falls into the Tree of Woe. Lee climbs up but Ospreay sits up to start brawling! They hit each other with forearms back and forth, and with little where else to go. Lee headbutts Ospreay back into the Tree, then stands up, but Ospreay kicks Lee down! Ospreay is free of the Tree while Lee falls to the floor. Ospreay climbs up, CORKSCREW MOONSAULT! He takes Lee down with him!
Osaka fires up while Ospreay clutches his ribs. But Ospreay fires up to drag Lee into the ring! Ospreay drags Lee up into the dragon sleeper, for a Bloody Sunday! Cover, TWO! Lee lives again but Ospreay keeps his focus. Both men stand and Ospreay aims, Hook Kick! But Ospreay won’t stop there, he roars as he underhooks. Lee blocks so Ospreay kicks away on his face. Underhooks to Canadian rack, but Lee pops out of Stormbreaker for a gut wrench! But Ospreay slips through to gut wrench Lee, only for Lee to tilt-o-whirl DDT! And then springs up to a suplex, only to get the Osaka Street Cutter! Both men are down after an Osaka Street Cutter in Osaka! Fans rally up and the two slowly stir. The two crawl towards each other, and start throwing forearms again.
Fans cheer as Ospreay hits Lee and Lee hits Ospreay. Both men fire up and get to their feet. Ospreay hits Lee again, but Lee hits Ospreay again. They go back and forth, then Ospreay fires several! Lee hits one and decks Ospreay! Lee runs but into a HOOK KICK! Ospreay runs, but into a German Suplex! But he lands on his feet to dropkick-flip, into Lee’s knee trigger! Lee POISON RANAS! Lee runs, but into SPANISH FLY! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Ospreay crawls to a cover, TWO!! Lee just barely survives that one!
Fans rally up as Ospreay puts Lee in the drop zone. Ospreay climbs up again, but has to fight Lee. Lee SUPERKICKS Ospreay down to the apron! Lee runs side to side, for a FLYING HURICANRANA! But Ospreay lands on his feet?! Lee is stunned as Ospreay stares him down. Ospreay eggs Lee on, and gets him with an apron pop-up bomb! Ospreay puts Lee in, climbs up top, and leaps for the Shooting Star! Cover, TWO!! Lee still lives, but Ospreay vows to end it! Ospreay aims, Robinson Special! But that’s not all, Ospreay springboards, but into a knee trigger! Fans are thunderous all over again as both men slowly stir.
Ospreay goes back to the apron, but Lee pursues. Lee drags Ospreay up and throws forearms. Ospreay swing kicks Lee back! Ospreay hops up fast, but Lee trips him up! Into a Tree of Woe to the outside! WOE STOMPS!! Lee may have done as much damage to himself just on the landing! Red Shoes checks but again they’re somehow both okay. A ring count begins and climbs past 10, but Lee is up and in! Ospreay is still down as fans cheer. Ospreay stands at 14 but flops over at 15! The count reaches 18, Ospreay springs up at 19 and gets in at 19.5! Only to get another knee trigger! Lee drags Ospreay up, lifts, but Ospreay resists again! Ospreay elbows out and roundhouses Lee down! But Lee catches Ospreay for another STO! That Ospreay slips through! Powerbomb lift, but Lee hits a DESTROYER!!
Lee won’t end it, he runs to Shining Wizard! Cover, TWO!? How?! But Lee doesn’t take long to worry about that. He takes the knee pad down and runs again, but Ospreay blocks the Wizard! Only to get a knee trigger! Fans are thunderous again as Lee lifts Ospreay, tucks, but Ospreay lands out of Desnucadora to back heel kick Lee in the head! Then reels him out for a Hook Kick! Ospreay aims, Hidden Blade!! But not even this is enough for Ospreay! He hops way up, SUPER OSCUTTER! He holds on, to underhook, STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The Aerial Assassin wins his third Junior Heavyweight Championship as he slays his second dragon! Ospreay holds up both title and trophy, as THE Super Junior of NJPW today! How long will this newest reign last?
NJPW Media backstage interview
Ospreay says “The Junior Heavyweight wants in on the G1. I dare NJPW: put me in the G1 Climax this year! I’ll show that this trophy is just as good as the heavyweight trophy.” A fourth man makes his intentions known! Will Ospreay conquer both divisions in 2019?!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada VS Chris Jericho!
Y2J has already held championship gold in NJPW, but he isn’t going to stop until he holds the top prize. He dares the Rainmaker to come out and play, so Okada will play his game. But just what is a “Painmaker,” anyway? Jericho promises to show the world right here in this match. Will the Judas Effect kick in to end Okada’s fifth reign? Or is Okada still on a whole different level?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of true greats!
Okada throws his jacket at Jericho much like Jericho might do to someone else. Jericho doesn’t appreciate that but Okada laughs and grins as Jericho throws Okada’s jacket out. These two hear the fans already thunderous for Okada, and Jericho grows annoyed already. Jericho tells the “stupid idiots” to shut up, but they just boo him instead. Okada encourages the fans to cheer so they cheer loud and proud. He and Jericho finally circle and tie up. Jericho pushes Okada away and the two circle again. They tie up again, and Jericho pulls hair. Okada turns things around and the two go around the ring, with Okada on Jericho against the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, and Okada fakes Jericho out like all the rest. But Jericho pokes Okada’s eyes!
Fans boo but Jericho clubs Okada and CHOPS him. Jericho whips then runs him over with forearms! The fans boo but Jericho just mocks them. Jericho slaps Okada around but Okada throws forearms back. Okada whips but Jericho bails out to deny the dropkick. Jericho walks it off, but Okada gives chase! They go around the ring, into the ring, and then Jericho dodges Okada only to get a BOOT! Okada heads for a corner already, and leaps for a missile dropkick! But Jericho blocks it to the Walls of Jericho! Okada endures as Jericho sits down deep. Okada crawls while Jericho mocks the fans cheering him on. Ropebreak! Jericho lets go and Okada slumps out of the ring, but Jericho runs to wreck him with a dropkick! Okada tumbles over into commentary! Those guys are having a busy night…
Jericho climbs over to join Okada, mock the fans, and throw chairs! Jericho bounces Okada off the desk, then climbs up to stand Okada up. Flashbacks to Jericho’s matches with Naito, DDT to the table! Okada is stuck in the wood and Jericho rings the bell himself, as if he’s already won. Jericho goes back to Okada, tosses more furniture aside, and drags Okada up over the railing. He stomps Okada into the railing then drives in elbows. Jericho walks around the ring to go looking for something. He brings out a spare table! Jericho sets the table up, then shoves Red Shoes aside to fetch Okada. He brings Okada to the table, but Okada resists the lift. Jericho clubs Okada, but Okada powers Jericho into railing! Jericho BOOTS right back! And once again, Jericho confiscates a camera to get a close-up on Okada, while flipping the bird.
Jericho gives the camera back while he mocks the fans cheering for Okada. He puts Okada in the ring then climbs up top. Jericho dares Okada to stand, and then leaps to crossbody Okada down! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Jericho grows annoyed. Jericho slaps Okada around then drags Okada up for a BIG back suplex! Jericho stands on Okada but Red Shoes doesn’t count that as a cover. They argue and Jericho shoves Red Shoes again. Fans rally up for Okada but Jericho rains down rights. Jericho sits Okada up to drive in more elbows, then pushes the “piece of s*it back down.” He slaps Okada but Okada comes back for more. Jericho keeps slapping Okada so Okada throws forearms! Okada runs but into Jericho’s dropkick! Jericho grins as he mocks the Hulkster, too.
Jericho drags Okada up and chokes him on the ropes. He lets up at the ref’s count of 4 and even mocks the count, before kicking Okada down. Jericho chokes Okada against ropes again, then backs off to bring him up. Jericho suplexes and holds Okada up about 7 counts, then drops Okada down. He covers, TWO! Okada stays in this as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and Jericho drags Okada up to CHOP him. Jericho CHOPS Okada against ropes, then again. He throws forearms, too, then whips. Okada kicks Jericho back then throws forearms of his own. Jericho throws even more forearms, but runs into a flapjack! Both men are down, but then Okada kips up. Okada rallies on Jericho with elbows and forearms! He whips, but Jericho reverses, only for Okada to dodge and elbow Jericho down! Okada fires up and Osaka with him! Okada runs in for a corner elbow, then kicks to DDT Jericho down. Jericho slumps out of the ring, but Okada pursues. Okada whips Jericho across the way into railing! Then runs in to boot him over! Okada gets the fans rallying as he gets space. Okada runs back in, to FLY, into a Code Breaker!
Both Jericho and Okada are down but it’s Okada gasping for air. Jericho leaves Okada behind to get in the ring. Jericho wants the ring count to end Okada’s reign. The count climbs to 10 but Okada is up and hobbling over. Okada gets to the ring at 11 but falls at 12. Okada hops in at 16, but Jericho is on him with a basement dropkick. Cover, TWO! Jericho clubs Okada with crossface forearms, but fans cheer Okada on. Jericho gives them dirty birds as he goes back to Okada. He CHOPS Okada and follows him to a corner for another CHOP. Jericho whips corner to corner and hits a corner clothesline! He gut wrenches but Okada slips out! Okada gut wrenches Jericho, but Jericho tumbles back to get the lift back!
But Jericho slips through to grab the legs! Okada resists but Jericho gets the Walls all over again! Okada endures as fans cheer and Jericho talks trash. The champion crawls with all his might but Jericho just keeps up the pressure. Okada gives on more push, to a ropebreak! Jericho holds on until 4, then argues with Red Shoes. He chokes Red Shoes as he says Okada tapped out. But Jericho turns around into Okada’s dropkick! Jericho goes to a corner but Okada runs in, only to miss. Jericho runs in but misses, and Okada puts him up top. But Jericho kicks Okada before Okada could dropkick. Jericho leaps, into Okada’s dropkick! Okada drags Jericho up and gut wrenches, TOMBSTONE! And the Rainmaker Pose!
Okada drags Jericho back up, reels him in to wring him out, but Jericho spins through to underhook, Tiger Bomb! High stack, TWO!! Okada survives but barely! Jericho waits for Okada to stand again, runs in, but the Code Breaker is denied to the Air Raid neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he goes up top. But his back slows him down given all that time in the Walls of Jericho. Jericho runs in but Okada shoulders and punches him away. Jericho punches back but Okada punches again. Okada goes to bump Jericho on buckles, but Jericho blocks to bump Okada. Okada staggers, Jericho triangle dropkicks him down! Fans have to cheer that classic move from Jericho.
Jericho drags Okada back up to bump him off buckles. He drags Okada up to the top rope, but Okada resists. Jericho clubs Okada, but Okada hits back. Okada throws Jericho off! MACHO ELBOW! Fans fire up as Okada hits a proper Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Jericho up, wrings him out, but Jericho ducks to enziguri! Both men are down again, but fans continue to cheer. Jericho and Okada crawl to each other, and start throwing forearms on the mat. They go back and forth, and slowly stand as they do. Jericho CHOPS Okada, but Okada walks it off to forearm Jericho back. Okada throws more forearms and even European Uppercuts. Okada whips but Jericho holds the ropes to again deny the dropkick. LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!!
Jericho keeps his cool as he stalks Okada to a corner. Jericho kicks Okada while he’s down and even in the corner. He argues with Red Shoes, but gets Okada’s shotgun dropkick! Okada gives back those corner kicks, and grinds his boot into Jericho as he gives back all the trash talk! Red Shoes counts and Okada lets up. Okada gets mad at Red Shoes and stomps Jericho more. Okada goes corner to corner, but into a Code Breaker! Jericho crawls to a cover, TWO!! Okada barely survives that one. Jericho grows frustrated, and tells Okada to “Stay down!” Jericho unties a buckle pad and tosses it at commentary. “You see what happens?! Huh!? You stupid son of a b*tch?!” Jericho drags Okada up, gut wrenches, but Okada slips out to German Suplex!
Okada holds onto Jericho with that waistlock and drags Jericho up. He wrings Jericho out but Jericho ducks the waistlock. Jericho wrings Okada out and tries to steal Rainmaker! But Okada ducks it, to steal Code Breaker! Cover, TWO!! Jericho survives his own move, but Okada has more to give. Okada gut wrenches for a JUMPING TOMBSTONE! And then wristlock, but Jericho ducks to roll Okada into the Walls! And Jericho sits in deep! But Okada powers up to head for ropes! Fans rally up as Jericho demands they ring the bell! Okada reaches but Jericho drags him away! And then turns for a Lion Tamer! Jericho goes old school for this one! But Okada rolls around to pop through and spin Jericho off!
Jericho and Okada crawl then stand. Okada runs in but is sent into the bare buckles! Jericho clotheslines Okada, then demands Okada stand! He wants to use that elbow, but Okada ducks Judas Effect! Okada wrings Jericho out but Jericho again dodges Rainmaker. Jericho jumps but Code Breaker is denied again, and Okada pops Jericho up. Jericho sunset flips but Okada sits on it! Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion
But Jericho won’t take that sitting down! He hammers away on Okada! Jericho is a sore loser, and shoves Red Shoes away to keep punching Okada in the head. Jericho throws Red Shoes right out of the ring, to then fetch something else from under the ring. A steel chair! Jericho brings that into the ring, and as Okada stands up, Jericho SMACKS him in the face!! Fans boo and jeer as Jericho holds his weapon up high. Jericho waits for Okada to stand again, Judas Effect! Fans continue to boo as Jericho takes a seat in his chair.
Jericho drags Okada outside the ring and then wraps the chair around Okada’s head! And rams him into the post!! Fans boo even louder but Jericho just soaks it up. Jericho goes back to Okada and brings him around to that table. Jericho finally lifts Okada, but Tanahashi hops in to save Okada! Tanahashi goes after Jericho but Young Lions hurry to keep them apart. Jericho throws things as he retreats, not wanting to face The Ace right now. Jericho grabs a mic to tell “Tana Bakahashi” that if he wants to start stuff, just look at what happened to Okada. “The Painmaker never loses! The Painmaker always wins! Chris Jericho is the Greatest of All Time, even here in this bulls*it country of Japan.” Osaka boos even more while Jericho says he’ll see them both later. “Happy Championship, B*tch!”
Tanahashi is still seething as Jericho heads up the ring. Jericho grabs Okada dollars and wipes the sweat from his pits. The Young Lions turn their attention to helping Okada while Jericho grabs more Okada dollars. He sticks one to his forehead, then rubs the other down his pants to throw at the camera. Jericho’s crude displays aside, when and where will he man up to face The Ace? Will Jericho also get another shot at Okada and the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? What even is the state of Okada after Jericho’s sore loser attack? Tanahashi helps Okada stand and head to the back, these two rivals again on the same side.
NJPW Media backstage interviews
Chris Jericho (with that Okada dollar still stuck to his head) says if Okada wants to know what a Painmaker is, ask if he understands now. He probably can’t even talk. No event closing speech from him tonight, that’s for sure. But Jericho will speak for him. “Hello, my name is Okada. Chris Jericho just kicked my ass.”
Jericho wants to know if Okada will be in the G1 this year. And Tanahashi, for that matter. If so, then maybe Jericho will be in it, too. Jericho will beat up Moxley, too, since he still owes Jericho $15,000 from ripping up that LED jacket three years ago in the WWE. Even that “little bastard, Kenta,” he’ll beat him, too. All the G1 field, for that matter. He’ll become Chris G1-icho, how about that? A major move for the Best in the World at What He Does, but will he’s the best in NJPW against the best in NJPW?
These two-hour nights for NJPW on AXS are so great! We are getting so much more of these events now, but I suppose Best of the Super Juniors Finals and Dominion are big enough to warrant it. Moxley makes his squash match with Umino even better by deciding Umino is his “Young Boy.” I wonder if this will really continue as the kayfabe for Moxley in NJPW. If this were an American promotion, we’d be getting goofy gags with them, which would actually be fun to see on social media. Takagi VS Kojima was a great match between these heavy hitters, and Kojima of course gives Takagi the rub by putting him over. Then the Six Man Tag was mostly filler, but it was a good match to keep Tanahashi going in his newest comeback.
Hooray to finally see Hideo Itami/Kenta somewhere! Granted, he got hurt a lot while in NXT and WWE, but when he was finally ready to go, they didn’t let him go full speed. Now in NJPW, and hopefully by extension ROH, Kenta really can show us what he’s capable of. Lee VS Ospreay, another amazing match for the Aerial Assassin. Just when it seemed like there wasn’t another way to recreate the spot where Ospreay lands on his feet out of a steiner, they do this one. Ospreay winning makes a lot of sense, as he is the BOSJ 26 winner, is moving to Japan to truly be full-time for NJPW, and is making a push to be an even bigger big name for the company. We got so many declarations for the G1 Climax this year, this field is looking amazing.
And of course, Okada VS Jericho was amazing, too! Two greats, who knew the other pretty well but especially Jericho knowing Okada. Okada wins but with a surprise cover, so that keeps Jericho strong for a rematch. Of course, Jericho going after Okada after totally fits his “Evil Jericho” persona. It also gives Tanahashi his heroic moment in saving Okada. Jericho was great in his promo, too, as he just straight face talks with that Okada dollar stuck to his head. And great continuity to even reference his WWE feud with Moxley/Ambrose. Jericho VS Tanahashi better happen in the G1, but I would also hope at the right moment. It either needs to open Block competition, or close a Block to lead to the G1 Climax Finals. And either way, Jericho VS Tanahashi will be amazing.
My Score: 9.3/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.10.2021
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Given the fact the incumbent champion lost his first round, the ace lost and there were a few main event players that picked up hard fought wins but don’t have an easy day today, this should be interesting. What kind of tournament are we looking at?
Since the tournament is 1 block, each person gets 9 matches, similar to the G1. So using G1 logic, 2 losses puts you on the bubble of being out, and 3 losses is basically death with the exception of weird breakers or fun rock/paper/scissors situations.
So for everyone’s sake, let’s hope we end up at mostly parity to continue to keep everyone alive for most of this single block tournament!
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino: Aoyagi wins via End Game @9:22 – ** ¾
- Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi: Doi wins via Murder Lariat @4:52 – * ½
- Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus: Zeus wins via Arm Trap Facelock @10:41 – *** ½
- Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara: Kento wins via Blackout @13:23 – *** ¾
- Jake Lee vs Suwama: Suwama wins via Last Ride Powerbomb @18:23 – ****
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino
So very similarly to the match against Otani, Aoyagi starts slow. The match begins with a handshake, then he gets driven to the ropes, Ashino slides under his legs during the break to trip him up and starts working over the leg. An early Stretch Muffler indicates that Ashino is most likely aiming to win with the Ankle Lock.
Aoyagi was on the move and constantly clawing for an opening. A few strikes and early knockdown give Aoyagi hope as he goes for End Game, but Ashino powers up and slams him into the corner. Ashino controls most of the tempo until we get a German Suplex trade off spot. Aoyagi ends up taking the worst of it, and Ashino goes for the Ankle Lock.
While in the Ankle Lock, Aoyagi tries to roll through 3 times, but Ashino moves with the roll and holds the move in place. Right before Aoyagi looks like he’s going to tap, he adjusts, grabs Ashino’s head for the Small Package; Ashino manages to kick out. But before Ashino can really re-orient himself, Aoyagi slaps on the full version of End Game. Ashino tries to fight through, but succumbs.
Ashino with two big losses almost writes him out already. Hopefully he makes a small run to suspend disbelief for a little bit and this isn’t his swan song from AJPW.
Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi
Doi comes out of a loss to a major player, Shuji Ishikawa, of current AJPW and Sato avenged his loss to the current Triple Crown Champion Suwama. So at face value, one should think this is a perfect time for Sato to gather some momentum to make sure he gets another shot at the title.
Contrary to logic, this match was interesting. Doi starts off with a quick flurry and picks Sato up into a Torture Rack. Sato eventually fights out and then we get a chop battle, which Sato is notoriously bad at and throws some of the lamest looking chops. Granted, even though he was losing the chops, apparently a well-placed Forearm rocked Doi enough to have Doi selling the forearm for nearly the rest of the match.
Referee Nikkan Lee gets up to seven before Doi starts responding enough to be on the receiving end of a Soccer Ball Kick from Sato. Sato senses the match is over, picks Doi up real cocky for a Brainbuster, but it gets countered into a Brainbuster of Doi’s own! A short range lariat rocks Sato afterward and then off the ropes for Murder Lariat! Sato is stacked up, Doi covers and Doi gets the win!
Well we look to be in an interesting starting spot so far. Who would’ve figured Koji Doi would have more points than Shotaro Ashino…ever. Also for clarity, the low rating is because the match was so abrupt. It wasn’t inherently bad, just not really anything to sink teeth into beyond an upset win.
Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus
There is history with these two, most notable in my head is during Zeus’ only Triple Crown championship reign, Shuji was his first and only defense. So Zeus looks to continue momentum this year, possibly running back the undefeated record of last year; while Shuji is trying to protect his position and title as Gaora TV champion.
This goes the way most of their previous meetings have, where Shuji tries to overpower Zeus. Because even though Zeus is a bodybuilder, he’s a bit on the short side (5’10”). So with Shuji standing about 6 inches taller and not being of a slight build, Shuji loves to buckle Zeus and play the power struggle. Tests of Strength, Shoulder Tackles, Lariat battles, it’s all great power wrestler spots.
Shuji does however start to catch Zeus. So after a chagrining Lariat into the corner, the middle rope Mushroom Stomp and a few Tsunamis; it looks like Shuji is setting up to win with a Fire/Thunder Driver – but Zeus slips out the back! Zeus locks in the Arm Trap Facelock, and Shuji is dead to rights. Stuck in the middle, twisted about in the move, it only takes a few moments before Shuji is forced to tap and Zeus moves on with 4 points!
Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara
Dueling boots start the match, which Kento bails after being on the losing end of the exchange. Otani decides to remind him that recovering on the apron isn’t safe, so he charges and lands the Bootwash through the bottom rope sending Kento flying. As the match plays out on the outside, Kento regains his swagger, talks smack to referee Wada and does his “headbutts around the ring” spot.
After rocking Otani, Kento gets cocky, poses back in the ring and the smug Kento from his previous Triple Crown champion days starts making a return. He gives Otani too much space though, charges the corner, and takes a Drop Toe Hold into the bottom turnbuckle, and then Otani revs up the old kicking boot across Kento’s face for a few Bootwashes.
From this point, both men’s stubbornness comes out in spades. Kento gets a little cocky, Otani catches him on the corner, they fight back and Otani refuses to fall before hitting Kento with a Superplex. Then we go into a strike exchange where both are just wailing on one another. Otani manages to rock Kento and then catch him with a Dragon Suplex for a near fall.
Moving quickly, Otani hits Spiral Bomb, but again only two. So he tries a Dragon Suplex again, but Kento fights out. Kento hits a Blackout to the back of Otani’s head, and now they are throwing haymakers. Kento catches Otani with another Blackout, but Otani returns the favor with one of those Hashimoto Overhand Chops that put down Aoyagi yesterday! Otani goes for another, but Kento Blackouts the chop. The clash leaves Otani in more pain, another Blackout and Otani powers out of the pinfall at 1, but is scrambling and stumbling around, unable to find his feet. Kento hits one more point blank Blackout, and picks up his first points of the 2021 Carnival!
Jake Lee vs Suwama
So watching this second tournament match for Jake, I’ve come to realize what I’m referring to him as during this Total Eclipse gimmick. He is very much “Light Yagami” Jake Lee. He’s cackling when he accomplishes something, unbridled frustration and nearly schizophrenic reactions do really scream Death Note crazy Light.
This match was interesting since early on Suwama didn’t really know what to make of Jake, and Jake tried the same stuff he pulled on Ashino, where he was a little awkward, took advantage of situations and tried to bait Suwama into bad spots. The difference is, Suwama is a veteran and Triple Crown champion; so even though Jake got a few early shots, Suwama eventually forced him back into old habits.
Jake was forced to wrestle, hitting interesting flying kick and knee variations, pulled out the old Kitchen Sink and put in a lot more effort than the first match. Suwama managed to stay resilient and push our new Total Eclipse Death Note wielder. This match was built more around Jake coming into his new persona, and yet still not being able to get passed certain old hurdles.
Suwama absorbed a lot, hit some short range lariats, his Double Chop comeback, and the spinning chop. Jake hits the back of the head Giant Killing, attempts D4C, but Suwama blocks. Jake keeps the pressure up, attempts and old Giant Killing/Knee Lift, but Suwama catches the leg, lifts him into a Last Ride, and puts him away!
Suwama finally gets on the bored, and Jake is left stunned and seething. Which plays perfect for Jake to win the Carnival and earn his Suwama shot, and prove his evolution then.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
So this ended a little stronger over all than day 1, but both days so far have been a fun start. The mixture of upsets and oddly abrupt matches are perfect for a tournament even if they don’t rank high. In the larger picture of things it’s nice to see that a competitive match can end in less than 5 minutes without comedy tactics.
Seeing how Jake took the loss to Suwama gives me hope for this anime antagonist character. I’m honestly a little surprised that the whole tournament is knotted up except for Zeus at the 2-0 and Ashino at 0-2. I really did not think Ashino would be the slow kid in the pool right now. But I suppose since he was just betrayed he’s still finding his footing. Like I alluded to before, it would be nice if he’s just getting broken down to be built back up and not just putting people over on his way out.
Now since the only unique records are first and last, the rest of the tournament isn’t hard to figure out, but here are the standings! Solid first 2 days so far!
- Zeus: 2-0 – (4 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Suwama: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Koji Doi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-2 – (0 Points)
Mitchell’s WWE WrestleMania 37 Results & Report! (4/10/21)
The two night extravaganza begins!
WrestleMania sets sail once again!
The first of two epic nights begins, and Sasha Banks VS Bianca Belair will be its main event! Will Boss Time end as this becomes WrESTleMania?
- WWE World Championship: Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Drew McIntyre; Lashley wins and retains the title.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders Tag Team Turmoil: wins and will challenge Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler for the titles on night two.
- Seth Rollins VS Cesaro; wins.
- Steel Cage Match: Braun Strowman VS Shane McMahon; wins.
- Damian Priest & Bad Bunny VS The Miz & John Morrison; win.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS AJ Styles & Omos; win(s) and
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks VS Bianca Belair; wins and
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the WrestleMania 37 kickoff show!
Join Kayla Braxton, Booker T, JBL, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Peter Rosenberg in discussing, analyzing and predicting, finally back in front of a LIVE CROWD!!
The Night Panther is here!
But R-Truth keeps interrupting his commercials! Truth wants to be Old Spice Guy tho! Good thing he didn’t have his 24/7 Championship on him, Truth might’ve lost his baby tonight.
Sonya Deville joins the panel!
Fans are excited as the new assistant WWE official discusses the Women’s Tag Team Turmoil. She loves having fans back, and she has history with women’s tag team wrestling. She is ready to see what we get out of Billie Kay & Carmella. Finally, Billie has a spot! She has been selling herself, as it were, Mella finally accepted, and Billie’s just so entertaining so Sonya is ready to see that. And what of her former partner, Mandy Rose…? Well, they were a stronger team back in the day, but that was on Sonya. But she still wishes every team luck. JBL is so happy to have Sonya over Peter. Sonya doesn’t mind that.
And of course, today’s main event, Banks VS Belair. Sonya is a boss in her own right, so what does she make of Boss VS EST? Both very talented, but sometimes people get a nickname and it’s just that. The words better back up the names. Being a “boss” is more than just what’s on the surface. Like the suit? Yeah. You walk the walk, talk the talk, wear the suits. But Sonya will definitely be watching closely.
Vince McMahon is here!
He stands on stage with the superstars featured tonight as he speaks! “Throughout this pass year, our superstars performed tirelessly for all of you.” But there was something missing. And that was the fans of the WWE! As we now emerge from the pandemic, and on behalf of the entire WWE Family, Vince would like to say thank you, and welcome you back to WRESTLEMANIA!
Bebe Rexha performs America the Beautiful!
We’ve waited patiently for this moment.
“Finally…!” The biggest event in LIVE entertainment is BACK! Back with the spectacle, the excitement and the pageantry! WrestleMania is #BackInBusiness! And tonight, WWE sets sail on the high seas with epic epicness bigger than the history of history! Wait, what? Did he just say all that? That’s what was written. Okay, mate, let’s get this cold open done right. We pick up where we left off just last year. Our heroes are obnoxiously heroic as they battle for the ultimate prize: immortality. But no more tall tales, let’s get real, as the kids say. Tonight, we witness the global event that spans decades, created unforgettable moments, and has the memories we will remember forever.
But let us tip our caps to you, the fans, who made this possible. You over there, and them up there, and even those at home who “can’t not watch.” We raise the sails as fate still awaits. The course was corrected, the wind cannot be stopped, and the quest continues! Now how’s that? Impressive. But where’s the big finish? That’s cold open 101. Good point. Pyro montage! “Welcome back… to WrestleMania!”
There’s a rain delay!?
It seems Tampa wants to tease us by keeping things stalled a little longer.
Backstage interview with Shane McMahon.
How is he feeling after that moment on stage? Goosebumps, of course! Being back with LIVE fans, Shane is pumped! He’s going for the knockout on Braun. But what is his problem with Braun? Shane’s just poking fun is all. But he’s been more or less bullying him. What? How? What did he say? He said he was stupid. Well, Braun turned out not so stupid because a steel cage is a great choice. Shane is using is noodle to figure out what to do to Braun while he’s in there. Shane does have experience in that match. And the Monster Among Men is big, but shouldn’t Shane pick on someone more Shane’s size? Sure, maybe, but when the opportunity is there, he has to do it.
Bobby Lashley & MVP interrupt but Shane doesn’t mind, He lets them have their time. MVP says the time for talk is over. This is the crowning moment for Lashley and the All Might Era! No words can convey what is going on. The only language Lashley can speak right now and that Drew McIntyre can understand right now is VIOLENCE. MVP has said it before, the WWE World Championship changes you! McIntyre will agree with that because he has had that title and wants it back, but that isn’t happening! MVP told McIntyre that it’s over at Mania, and that McIntyre would lose his dignity, lose consciousness and lose the match. But McIntyre storms over to get in their face!
You want to go now, McIntyre?! MVP keeps the peace because this match will happen soon enough. McIntyre says Mother Nature can’t save Lashley. If they have to fight backstage, they will! McIntyre will not be stopped! MVP tells Lashley to stay calm, referees hurry over to keep this from getting any more heated, but that’s hard to do. McIntyre wants Lashley to keep that energy up. Sarah now asks McIntyre how he’s feeling. McIntyre is at a 10, he is just trying to keep his emotions in check. But last year, in the Performance Center, his first shot at the world title, he won it. McIntyre lost it for a few weeks, go it back.
But now to fight in the first match with live fans, if it’ll happen now, McIntyre is just fired up with MVP’s crap. WrestleMania or not, McIntyre just wants to drop Lashley’s ass! This WILL happen tonight!!
Kevin Patrick interviews the New Day.
They’re ready BABYYY~! People in the building has them excited! This feeling is hard to understand until you feel it! Even before Kevin was here! Kevin is happy to see these two against AJ Styles and Omos. But why? Because they’re fighting champions! Kevin had to be watching! The New Day fights the best. Omos & Styles might still not be registered, this might not happen. Oh they did? Then let’s go! Woods has felt Omos’ force but he is not afraid! Woods and Kofi have always been this size, so there are guys bigger, but they signed up for the titles! It doesn’t how big Omos is, how great Styles is, but the New Day has beaten every single other team! They cannot hang!!
OMG Big E!? Big E is THE Intercontinental Champion and he’s gonna do work on Night 2! Big E says we’ll see what makes these two one of the greatest tag teams ever!! You will see two men at their very best, so consider yourself BLESSED! Woods feels delivered! Kevin gets it, right? Yes, he does.
Backstage interview with Braun Strowman.
He has his steel cage match with Shane, but what’s he feeling? he’s just ready to do this. He isn’t doing this just for himself but for every person who has been bullied and called worthless! Braun is ready! Shane’s made the bed, he’s gonna lay it in, Braun will beat Shane within an inch of his life so let’s GO! Braun is in the best shape of his life, Shane has made a mistake getting into this. You can only poke a bear so much before it bites you. Braun is proving that bullies don’t win! You will see Braun stand over a corpse tonight, and we will be praying Shane can still breathe after tonight!
Backstage interview with Bianca Belair.
The EST’s first title match is at WrestleMania, in the main event! Where is she emotionally? Nervous, but that means she cares, just like she said on SmackDown. Yes, she’s against The Boss, she is all that, but Bianca doesn’t run from competition but runs to it. She is going to put the EST in The BEST, and will put it all on the line. And the best part? The fans are here! Bianca is going to do this not just for her, but for the world! Making #Herstory!
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins!
Mike- Er, Kevin, welcome! Your first Mania! Rollins is fired up as it’s just a wild night already. But given what’s happened since his return, with disrespect from Cesaro and the swing- MIKE. KEVIN. LISTEN. We don’t have to go over all that. You just had to bring up Cesazzlo. But that’s fine, and Rollins has wanted to address it. Since coming back, week after week, Zassoro has disrespected Rollins. Why? Maybe to use Rollins as a springboard into the potential that he’s been wasting. When the storm clears, the moon and stars will all shine on SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS, because he IS the NEW Mr. WrestleMania! And he’ll prove it again with the match of a lifetime when he trounces that joke Sazzaro in Raymond James Stadium! Have a great night Mike-Kevin. My Kevin? Hyphen it to Mi-Kevin.
Backstage interview with The Miz & Morrison.
They say they don’t need luck, because they have skill. You can tell a lot about a man from the company you keep. And Bad Bunny hanging out with Damian Priest means they’re scum. The fun and games are over. This isn’t the Super Bowl, the Grammy’s or SNL. This is WRESTLEMANIA! And you are up against the ONLY TWO-TIME Grand Slam Champion, and the Mayor of Slam Town, the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century! *Stare off into distance* #BeJealous!!
The hosts of WrestleMania are here!
Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan walk out on stage! Titus starts by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to Raymond James Stadium!” Welcome to Titus’ city of Tampa Bay! Rain, sleet, snow, it doesn’t matter! The WWE Universe has the energy we’ve been wanting for a whole YEAR! For one year, one month and a day, for the first time, we’re #BackInBusiness live! Not just that, Brother Titus! They need to hear ya! Titus says alright. Let’s try this again. For the first time in one year, one month and a day, WE ARE BACK IN BUSINESS, LIIIIIVE!!
Tampa gets loud to join in and Hogan says, “Let me tell you something, Titus!” We’re making history tonight, tomorrow night and even right now, with their very first match in front of the WWE audience, brother! But not just any match! They are kicking off with aggression, violence and the WWE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! And it’s the All Mighty Lashley and his dangerous Hurt Lock! If he gets the neck of a 747, he could break it! But McIntyre’s Claymore could kick the faces off of Rushmore in just one go! Then there’s one question to ask, Titus! Whatcha gonna do when Titus WORLDWIDE~ and ALL the Hulkamaniacs-
Whoa whoa whoa, and what about the two nights!? We’ve got TWO NIGHTS! And then ALL the Hulkamaniacs, run wild on you!?
WWE World Championship: Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Drew McIntyre!
The Chief Hurt Officer tried but failed to remove the Scottish Warrior from the equation, and now he will pay for it! Will McIntyre become a three-time world champion in the span of just one year?
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and this All Might WrestleMania Weekend opening contest FINALLY begins!
McIntyre and Lashley tie right up as fans fire up! They go around, McIntyre puts Lashley on ropes but Lashley pushes back. They end up in a corner, go around more ropes, but break. Fans rally and duel as the two go again. Lashley waistlocks, McIntyre resists the lift and pries free to wrench and headlock. Lashley powers out, follows then runs McIntyre over! McIntyre stands right up and the two reset. They feel things out, knuckle lock and McIntyre reels Lashley into another headlock. Lashley powers out again, hurdles but McIntyre shoves to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! McIntyre even says “UP YOURS” with his fist.
Lashley is furious and he gets in McIntyre’s face to pie-face him! McIntyre throws a forearm, Lashley returns it and it’s a brawl! Lashley knees low, fires off more hands in a corner, then pushes McIntyre. McIntyre turns things around to stomp and windmill some haymakers! The ref counts, McIntyre lets off but Lashley throat chops! Lashley fires off hands, forearms, and then whips. McIntyre reverses, Lashley holds ropes but McIntyre clotheslines him out! Fans fire up as McIntyre pursues. MVP checks on Lashley, and Lashley RAMS McIntyre into barriers! Lashley fires off more hands, brings McIntyre around and whips him into barriers!
MVP is fired up, Lashley drags McIntyre up and whips him into more barriers! Lashley refreshes the count, goes back out after McIntyre, and puts him in the ring. McIntyre goes to a corner, Lashley runs in and RAMS into him! Lashley turns McIntyre for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE!! Lashley is right on McIntyre with a rain of fists! McIntyre goes to ropes but Lashley chokes him and throws clubbing forearms! The ref backs Lashley off, but Lashley returns with more hands! McIntyre tries to hit back but Lashley chokes him on ropes again! Lashley stands on McIntyre, lets off as the ref counts, and fans boo as Lashley looms over McIntyre.
McIntyre hits back with body shots and CHOPS! Fans “WOO~” but Lashley RAMS McIntyre into a corner. Lashley roars, goes corner to corner, but McIntyre POSTS him! McIntyre hits an ARM CODE BREAKER, to an ARMBAR! Lashley endures, clasps hands, and fights up. Lashley hammers away, gets free and fires of more hands! McIntyre is dazed as Lashley lets off. Lashley brings McIntyre up, SLAPS him, and taunts him in a corner. McIntyre gets up but Lashley RAMS into him again! And again and again! Lashley fires off haymakers and elbows, and fans are divided as Lashley paces around.
Lashley whips corner to corner but McIntyre comes back with a LARIAT! And another! McIntyre whips, Lashley reverses but McIntyre ducks and OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes again! Lashley staggers up, into the clinch and ANOTHER OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! McIntyre gets around Lashley to hit a NECKBREAKER! McIntyre kips up and fans fire up! McIntyre watches Lashley get up, kicks and underhooks, but Lashley powers McIntyre into a corner! Lashley rams in again and again, but lets off to go corner to corner, but into a back elbow! McIntyre waistlocks but ducks the counter elbow to NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO!
MVP coaches Lashley up but McIntyre is after the arm! Lashley resists the wristlock with knees to the stomach and forearms to the back. Lashley shoves but McIntyre KICKS! Lashley comes back to LARIAT! Lashley reels McIntyre in, gut wrench to the DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and Lashley is already seething! MVP says Lashley has McIntyre where he wants him, he just has to stay on him. Lashley waits for McIntyre to get up, then reels him back in for a suplex, only for McIntyre to wrench out and GLASGOW KISS! But McIntyre runs into an ALL MIGHTY SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Lashley is getting mad but he still has his ace card to play!
McIntyre staggers up, Lashley full nelsons! McIntyre resists the Hurt Lock but Lashley throws more low knees! Lashley fireman’s carries but McIntyre elbows free, shoves and runs in. Lashley elbows McIntyre, but McIntyre gets through the boot to elbow and CHOP and ROLLING ELBOW! McIntyre gets the legs, drags Lashley up, INVERTED ALABAMA SLAM! Cover, TWO! Lashley is still in this but McIntyre keeps his focus. McIntyre brings Lashley up, fans fire up again and McIntyre puts Lashley on the top rope. McIntyre CHOPS, climbs up and throws clubbing forearms! Lashley resists and trips McIntyre up! Lashley throws haymakers, but McIntyre gets a KIMURA!
Lashley endures, throws body shots and forearms, and he puts McIntyre in the Tree of Woe! But McIntyre sits up to SUPER Belly2Belly! And then CLAY- NO! SPINEBUSTER!! Lashley is fired up and fans are thunderous as he paces around. McIntyre kips back up!? Lashley is shocked, but McIntyre says, “Bring it, bitch!” They brawl, Lashley gets the edge and has McIntyre on the ropes. Lashley roars, whips, but McIntyre reverses to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly again! McIntyre then gets Lashley into the FUTURE SHOCK! But he’s not done there, ANOTHER FUTURE SHOCK! But that’s still not enough?! A THIRD FUTURE SHOCK!! Cover, TWO!??! Lashley still lives and McIntyre is beside himself!
“This is Awesome!” and we’re just starting WrestleMania! McIntyre wants the countdown, and fans count along! But Lashley drops to get away from the Claymore! Fans boo as MVP helps Lashley get away, but McIntyre FLIES!! All three men go down in a heap and Raymond James Stadium is thunderous as they lose their minds! McIntyre gets up, drags Lashley into the ring, and then climbs a corner. McIntyre leaps but into a clinch! Lashley spins McIntyre around, throws some knees, and HALF NELSON SUPLEXES! Then a clinch for the COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley dares McIntyre to get back up! McIntyre rises, Lashley is stalking up behind him, but McIntyre blocks the Hurt Lock!
McIntyre is prying it open! And then he RAMS Lashley into buckles! McIntyre gets up and runs in, into another SPINEB- NO! KIMURA! McIntyre has Lashley down on the mat and stuck in the center of the ring! Lashley endures as fans rally and duel so hard! Lashley reaches out, McIntyre cranks as hard as he can, but Lashley gets the ROPEBREAK! McIntyre holds on until the ref counts and lets Lashley go in frustration. McIntyre gets up and fans build back to a rally. Lashley rises, both men glare at the other, and the brawl is on again! They go haymaker for haymaker, kick for kick, elbow for elbow, but Lashley clinches to throw McIntyre into buckles.
Lashley runs, into a BOOT! McIntyre gives another GLASGOW KISS! McIntyre goes corner to corner, but MVP distracts! Lashley drops to avoid the Claymore again! McIntyre staggers, Lashley CLOBBERS him in a corner! HURT LOCK!! McIntyre is caught, endures, powers up, but fades! The ref checks on McIntyre, Lashley leans on the hold as much as he can, but McIntyre gets that second wind! McIntyre stands, uses the corner to push, it’s a cover, but Lashley rolls right back to stand! Lashley still has the Hurt Lock clamped on tight! McIntyre fades again!! The ref calls it, Lashley wins!!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by submission (still WWE World Champion)
INCREDIBLE! This clash of titans ends with the Rocky Mountain Machine still on top of that mountain! If McIntyre couldn’t stop him, then who in the WWE possibly can?
DING DONG! Bayley is backstage!
And she’s found Titus and Hogan, and the nWo. She hosts a big show, the biggest who, the Ding Dong Hello show. Heard of it? Titus doesn’t have cable. Well if anyone needs help, she’s Too Sweet. Kevin Nash leaves Bayley hanging! Titus is hungry. Wanna go get something, guys? X-Pac gives Bayley the Too Sweet, at least, but then the legends head out with Titus. Well, just call her, brother!
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Tag Team Turmoil!
The Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades have gotten every time between Raw and SmackDown all riled up, and now they’ll have to be ready for whatever team survives tonight! Will it be the Riott Squad, the Ravishing Glow, the Sexy Muscle Friends, the second generation superstars or the last minute but still FABULOUS Carmella and Billie Kay?
The first teams out are…
Naomi & Lana VS Carmella & Billie Kay!
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