Raw kicks off King of the Ring 2019!
This illustrious tournament returns and Raw begins its opening round! Who moves one step closer to the throne? Plus, the United States Championship is on the line between Phenomenal AJ Styles and the Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman!
- Roman Reigns VS Dolph Ziggler; Reigns wins.
- Ricochet & The Miz VS Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin; Ricochet & Miz win.
- WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles w/ The OC VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins by disqualification, Styles retains the WWE United States Championship.
- King of the Ring Raw Bracket: Samoa Joe VS Cesaro; Joe wins and advances to the next round.
- The New Day VS The Revival; The New Day wins, by disqualification.
- Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss VS Fire & Desire; Cross & Bliss win.
- King of the Ring Raw Bracket: Sami Zayn VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins and advances to the next round.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The OC w/ AJ Styles VS Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman; Rollins & Strowman win and become the new Raw Tag Team Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns returns to Raw!
And as he heads down to the ring, Jerry “The King” Lawler is on commentary! Corey Graves is on vacation but that’s fine since The King will try to get The Boss to give us the answers to #WhySashaWhy. As for Roman, he and the rest of the WWE Universe still doesn’t know who has attempted to take him out for good! If it isn’t Buddy Murphy, if it isn’t Rowan or Daniel Bryan, then who is it?!
Roman Reigns VS Dolph Ziggler!
The Show-Off makes his entrance and wants to say this face to face, as a gentleman and the bigger man, his Tweets aren’t like the usual keyboard warrior stuff. Ziggler is glad Roman is okay, really. But he just doesn’t get why Roman gets the attention while- Fans tell Ziggler, “You Suck! You Suck!” No he doesn’t! He’s the bigger man, so shut up! Ziggler knows Roman almost got hit by a car, but Ziggler actually got Speared by Goldberg three times! Now the Goldberg chants begin. Ziggler says it’s bad enough to get Speared out of nowhere three times, because he thought Goldberg had to wait six months after each one. Then he got Sweet Chin Music’d and tapped out to the Miz’s parody of Ric Flair’s move!
Ziggler knows Roman is the big man around here, but #ItShouldBeDZ! And then SUPERKICK cheap shot! Ziggler is man enough for this match now! “You Still Suck!” but the referee checks on Roman. Roman shakes the cobwebs out and wants this match. The bell rings and Roman uppercuts Ziggler out of the ring! Roman still steadies himself, and he spots Ziggler crawling outside. Roman goes out and comes around the side, FLYING- No, Ziggler sends him into barriers! ZIGZAG to the floor! Both men are down on the ground while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Ziggler has Roman in a chinlock. Ziggler kicks Roman’s knees then punches him to a corner. Ziggler soaks up the heat before running in, but Roman puts him way out of the ring! Roman catches his breath while Ziggler rolls on the ground. A ring count begins and Ziggler gets back to his feet at 5. Roman goes out and comes around again, Drive-By Dropkick hits! Roman throws Ziggler back in then dodges Ziggler’s attack for the leaping lariat! Fans fire up with The Big Dog as he gives Ziggler the point-blank lariats! Roman gets all 10, then runs to BOOT Ziggler down! Roman gets to a corner then locks ‘n’ loads! But Ziggler dodges and rolls Roman up, TWO! Satellite DDT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler grows frustrated but fans are rallying up. Roman sits up and Ziggler stalks him from behind. Ziggler wants Roman to stand, and runs in, but the ZigZag is denied.
Roman ducks but Ziggler sunset flips, TWO! Famouser countered into a powerbomb, but Ziggler pops out to send Roman into a post! ZIGZAG AGAIN! Cover, TWO!! Roman survives and Ziggler can’t believe it! Both men are down again but fans continue to rally. Ziggler grins as he goes to a corner to tune up the band. Fans boo as Ziggler watches Roman stand. Ziggler runs over, but the kick is blocked! Roman spins Ziggler for a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler shocks Roman! But Roman refocuses, and fires himself up. The fans fire up, too, as the battle cry is let out. But Ziggler counters spear into Famouser! Cover, TWO!! Ziggler can’t believe how close he is! Fans are cheering Roman on as Ziggler argues with the ref. Ziggler toys with Roman now, “I’m better than you!”
Ziggler says Roman had his chance and blew it. He starts slapping Roman around, then chokes Roman in the corner. The ref backs Ziggler off, and Ziggler comes in, to get a SPEAR!! Cover, Roman wins!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinfall
And once again, Ziggler’s ego gets the better of him! Roman wins tonight, but will his mystery assailant, or assailants, still try something before the night is over?
Becky Lynch speaks.
“Last week, Sasha Banks beat me stupid with a chair. “And we all want to know why. Why is Becky daring the Women’s Division to come after her? Because she wants the best, most aggressive version of everyone coming after her. Becky wants to fight the best, to fight everyone at their peak, and that is where Sasha is now. So Becky won’t be mad at her. Four months ago, Sasha ran away crying because her career went cold as ice. But now she’s hotter than ever. Why is that? What changed in those four months that made her this way? Nothing. It’s what Becky did. Sasha is the greatest on the roster to never be great.
So Becky directs this at Sasha: swing your chair and wear your dollar store glasses. But Becky did more work to keep Sasha here than Sasha did. Why did it take The Man to get the real Boss? The greats don’t need to be goaded into greatness, they seek greatness out. This is a cat ‘n’ mouse game, and then Becky will give Sasha something to run home about. Strong words from a strong champion, but what will Sasha’s response be in just a moment?
The King’s Court returns!
Jerry Lawler can tell Becky will want retribution on The Boss in the near future. But Jerry wants to remind everyone that the King of the Ring begins tonight! And The King loves this tournament. It’s not only a title, it can also be a launching pad. Legends like Bret Hart, Stone Cold Steve Austin and even Brock Lesnar were Kings of the Ring. The next few weeks will whittle 16 superstars down to one King of the Ring! Before Jerry names his pick, let’s take a look at that bracket!
Divided into Raw and SmackDown sides, we already know tonight will feature Cesaro VS Samoa Joe and Cedric Alexander VS Sami Zayn, but Raw will also have Ricochet VS Drew McIntyre and The Miz VS Baron Corbin! For SmackDown, there will be Kevin Owens VS Elias, Mustafa Ali VS Buddy Murphy in an incredible 205 Live rematch, Chad Gable VS Shelton Benjamin in a battle of former tag partners, and Apollo Crews VS Andrade Almas in a return of their rivalry just earlier this Summer.
Back to King, he likes quite a lot of those superstars. His Raw finalists will be Cedric and Ricochet, while SmackDown’s… Oh no. Not the lights! King saw the past few weeks, he’s bugging out! Jerry heads back for commentary, but too late!! When the lights come back on, King is surrounded by the strobe! The Fiend is behind him!! And the mandible claw clamps on!! Bray Wyatt smothers The King!! No King’s Court, no venue for The Boss to tell her side of things. Who will be The Fiend’s next victim?
Ricochet & The Miz VS Drew McIntyre & Baron Corbin!
The One and Only unites with the Hollywood A-Lister for a truly AWESOME duo to face off their respective King of the Ring opponents! Who wins this sampler before they compete in the tournament next week?
The teams sort out and Miz starts with McIntyre. Miz waistlocks but McIntyre elbows out to CHOP Miz back. Miz boots McIntyre, then runs but escapes the scoop. Ricochet kicks McIntyre and then Miz hits his A-List Lariat on the Scottish Terminator. Tag to Ricochet and he springboards to clothesline McIntyre down. Tag back to Miz and fans fire up as Miz boots McIntyre down. Ricochet adds a standing moonsault, and McIntyre bails out in frustration. Corbin runs over but is sent out! Ricochet helps Miz wreck them both with a dropkick, then Ricochet MOONSAULST to wipe them out! This awesome duo is standing tall as we go to break!
Raw returns and Miz counter punches Corbin! Miz clubs away then runs, only to get run over! Corbin throws off his suit shirt to rain down angry rights! Corbin glares at Ricochet but McIntyre chuckles. The Lone Wolf says he’ll be wearing the crown, but tags to McIntyre. These familiar friends mug Miz and McIntyre throws Miz overhead! Cover, TWO! McIntyre is on Miz with a mounted armlock and chinbar. Fans rally up and Miz fights to his feet to throw haymakers. McIntyre shoves and runs Miz over! Tag to Corbin, and Corbin stomps Miz down. Corbin brings Miz up to throw hands but Miz fights out! Miz backs Corbin down but COrbni rocks him. Corbin slides out then in to corner splash! Then he feeds Miz to McIntyre’s SPINEBUSTER! Jackknife cover, TWO!
Fans rally but McIntyre is on Miz. McIntyre CHOPS Miz then whips, but Miz gets McIntyre with a DDT! Both men are down and fans rally up. Miz and McIntyre crawl, hot tags to Corbin and Ricochet! Ricochet rallies on Corbin with big flying forearms! Dropkick-flip and enziguri! BOOT for McIntyre, but Corbi puts Ricochet on the apron. Ricochet hits back then springboards up and over. Ricochet hits McIntyre and slips out of Corbin’s back suplex. Corbin slides out then in, but misses to be baited into an enziguri! Somersault shotgun dropkick drops Corbin! Cover, ONE! Ricochet isn’t deterred, he runs corner to corner for a shoulder tackle and big kick! Springboard flying clothesline! Ricochet roars into his standing shooting star! Cover, but McIntyre breaks it!
Miz is after McIntyre and Ricochet helps. McIntyre shoves them away then BOOTS Miz! McIntyre grabs Ricochet and tosses him across the way! Ricochet crashes down and McIntyre takes aim. McIntyre wants Ricochet to stand, but Ricochet SUPERKICKS him into the FINALE! But Corbin has Miz for a Choke Slam! But Ricochet shoulders Corbin back, springboards again, but into a Choke Slam- to land on his feet! But Ricochet runs into DEEP SIX! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet lives and Corbin is furious. Fans chant “Corbin Sucks!” but Corbin tunes that out as he drags Ricochet up to the top rope. Corbin throws hands but Ricochet gives them back. Ricochet kicks Corbin away, leaps for a missile dropkick! Ricochet goes corner to corner, but Corbins ends him into buckles. Miz saves Ricochet and Corbin gets a RECOIL! Cover, RIcochet and Miz win!
Winners: Ricochet & The Miz, Ricochet pinning
The King of Flight and Mr. Most Must-See get a huge win, but will both men win their respective matches in the tournament?
Sasha Banks arrives.
With no King’s Court, the Boss will explain herself on a sit-down interview later tonight.
Booker T is here via Skype!
King Booker knows what just happened to Jerry, The Fiend is like a rabid dog. You either put them down or run away. Jerry was in the wrong place at the wrong time. But to King of the Ring, Booker is of course a former King, #KingBookah was a great king. What did that tournament win mean to him? Thinking to Harley Race, God rest his soul, or King Randy Savage, being a King of the Ring winner definitely puts you in great company and catapults you to great heights. Who does Booker thing will win this year? There are a lot of great stars this year, but his pick is #KingMcIntyre! Will the prediction come true?
WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles w/ The OC VS Braun Strowman!
The Phenomenal One didn’t like that the Monster Among Men ruined The OC’s official, original and only beat down of Seth Rollins and Ricochet that mattered, so he gave Strowman this chance to fight for the title! Obviously Strowman accepted, but will he be able to #GetTheseHands on his first singles championship in the WWE? Or will Gallows and Anderson be a critical factor again?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin!
Styles gets face to face with Strowman, or as much as he can with the height difference. Styles SLAPS Strowman but then avoids him in the corner. The chop block hurts Styles more than it does Strowman. Strowman shoves and runs Styles over! Styles flounders out of the ring but Strowman comes around the way! Styles runs while the OC get clear! Styles hits Strowman ash e gets back int he ring, but the ref counts. Strowman grabs Styles and lifts but Styles escapes. Styles mule kicks and stomps the leg, but runs into a pop-up back drop! Styles tumbles off Strowman but Gallows and Anderson get on the apron. Strowman swats them both down, then runs corner to corner at Styles! Styles boots Strowman back, and goes to the apron. Styles forearms Strowman away, then springboards, but into a SWAT of the hand!
Strowman drags Styles up, but here come the Good Brothers! YAKUZA KICK! Dropkick! BOOT!
Winner: Braun Strwoman, by disqualification; Styles retains the WWE United States Championship
The Good Brothers throw Strowman into a post! Strowman staggers into a ROUNDHOUSE! Then they ram Strowman into another post! Gallows drags Strowman out but here comes Seth Rollins! The Architect returns the favor as he takes on the Raw Tag Team Champions! SUPERKICK for Gallows! SUPERKICK for Anderson! Rollins clotheslines Gallows out and the OC is on the retreat! Rollins checks on Strowman, and they shake hands. But Strowman doesn’t let go… At least, not at first. Are these two unlikely allies? Or simply working together against a common enemy?
Seth Rollins catches up with Braun Strowman.
The Architect knows what is going on amidst all this teaming up. If Rollins could make matches, Strowman would definitely be a challenger for his title. But for now, they need to go after The OC. How about going for the Raw Tag titles first? Strowman likes that. A man of few words, that’s good. Will the McMahons approve of this match up of Monster and Beastslayer?
King of the Ring Raw Bracket: Samoa Joe VS Cesaro!
The Samoan Destroyer could make grandiose promises, but the truth is that the king has spoken. But will he dismantle the Swiss Cyborg on the way to the throne?
The bell rings and the tournament truly begins as Cesaro hits Joe with a HARD European Uppercut! Cover, TWO!! Joe gets to a corner but Cesaro is on him fast. Joe resists the suplex to fire back with CHOPS! Cesaro knees low then throws hands. Cesaro runs but Joe runs him over! Joe catches his breath as he drags Cesaro up and whips. Cesaro dodges and springboards for a flying EuroUpper! Cover, ONE! Cesaro keeps his cool as he drags Joe around by the legs. Joe pushes Cesaro away and CHOPS him again. Joe puts Cesaro in a corner to elbow and PELE! Cesaro bails out but Joe runs to DIVE! Direct hit sends Cesaro into the front row! Joe is seething while we go to break.
Raw returns and Joe jabs and chops away on Cesaro in a corner. Joe CHOPS again, but Cesaro CHOPS back! Cesaro throws more CHOPS, then runs, but into a clothesline! Joe grimaces as he looms over Cesaro. Joe drags Cesaro around for a neck wrench. Cesaro endures the twisting as fans build to a rally. Cesaro goes after Joe’s fingers! Joe uppercuts Cesaro! Joe argues with the ref about not reprimanding Cesaro, but Joe shrugs that off to drop a back senton, that misses! Cesaro got clear just in time and now both men are down. Joe stands but Cesaro follows with another EuroUpper! And more EuroUppers in the corner! From all sides! Cesaro runs, to BOOT Joe down! Cover, TWO! Joe just escapes but Cesaro won’t let up. Cesaro goes to suplex, but Joe is too big and strong. Joe suplexes Cesaro but Cearo resists, to get Joe up! He can’t hold Joe up, but tries again, and succeeds! Both men are down again but Cesaro crawls to a cover, TWO!
Fans cheer while Cesaro catches his breath. Cesaro drags Joe back up but Joe CHOPS him again! And again! Joe runs but Cesaro blasts him with another EuroUpper! Joe bails out and Cesaro follows. Cesaro goes around the side, for another EuroUpper! Joe falls but Cesaro puts him back in. Cesaro then goes to the far corner and climbs up. Cesaro flies for a crossbody! Cover, TWO! Joe holds his head from the constant uppercuts, but Cesaro stalks him to a corner. Cesaro runs into the urenage! Joe drops the senton! Cover, TWO! Cesaro survives but Joe keeps his focus. Joe drags Cesaro up and whips, but Cesaro dodges to give more EuroUppers. Cesaro trips Joe up, and takes him for a swing! But only a few rotations, before the Sharpshooter! Cesaro sits deep, then shifts to a crossface! Joe rolls him to a cover, TWO as Cesaro lets go.
Cesaro throws more EuroUppers, but Joe back drops out. Cesaro springboards, into the COQUINA! Joe has Cesaro down, Cesaro taps, Joe wins!!
Winner: Samoa Joe, by submission; advances to the next round
The first step has been taken, and the sinister Samoan Submission Machine is that much closer to the crown. Who will he meet after Ricochet and McIntyre have it out?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is in Minneapolis, but something is wrong with his sound. He has terrible news. Grab your loved ones and pull them close, because tonight is a night you won’t forget. This is Elias’ farewell performance. He has so much going on in his life, like these technical difficulties… Being the Uncrowned King of the Ring AND WWE 24/7 Champion is just too much, he cannot risk being out here live every week. But fear not, because he will leave us with an emotional ballad they’ll remember forever. So please silence cell phones, hold your applause and shut your mouths! Elias plays, but his guitar is way out of tune> Who is responsible for this?! There’s a reason for sound checks. Someone get him a guitar.
A guitar flops over. Pick it up and hand it to him! The stage hand slides in, but he looks familiar. He hands the guitar to Elias, but then reveals… It’s R-Truth! Elias sees the referee! Truth rolls Elias up!! TWO, and Truth tries again with a small package. TWO, but Truth kicks low. Truth hits the scissors kick! Cover, TWO!! Elias survives and Truth grows desperate. Truth grabs Elias’ guitar! And he takes aim at Elias! Fans chant “YES! YES!” as he swings, but Elias gets clear! Elias still has Truth’s “baby” but he also has a King of the Ring match coming up soon. Will Elias be able to retain and take a step closer to the throne?
Backstage interview with Rey Mysterio.
The King of Lucha Libre has been somber and cryptic as of late, mostly brought on by a shocking losing streak. He mentioned his family, so what can he tell us about that? Mysterio thanks everyone for their time and this forum to speak openly. He wants us to believe him when he says he is a fortunate man with a beautiful family and a wonderful career. Mysterio has wrestled since he was a little boy. He has inspired people all around the world. But recently, things just haven’t been clicking. And Andrade Almas ripping his mask, that is a disgrace! In lucha culture, that is the biggest insult. But the biggest thing is that Mysterio has failed to get back at Almas. Mysterio sees things several steps ahead, but his body can’t keep up. He’s had injuries, but his fear is that they’ve all caught up to him.
Mysterio takes a moment to compose himself before he says that “this day” comes to everyone at some point. But he just didn’t think it’d be today. Mysterio understands now that it is time to hang up the boots and the mask. Mysterio must let the new generation rise up. But Dominique stops his father from removing the mask on air! He wants his father to hear him out for a moment. Mysterio said Dominique’s debut would be by his father’s side. And he promised not to change a thing from the original Mysterio’s lessons. Dominique wants to tell his children, Mysterio’s grandchildren, that the great Rey Mysterio Jr was his partner. Please keep wrestling, so that Dominique can make him proud. Mysterio will, for his son. They hug, and it seems the legend will continue a little while longer.
The New Day VS The Revival!
AWWWWW~ Twin Cityyyy~! Xavier Woods and Big E bring their SmackDown Tag Team Championships over per the Wild Card Rule to show Raw how it’s done! Will the Power of Positivity be enough to get even with the #TopGuys from last week? Or will Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder prove they’re worthy of a cross-brand title shot?
The teams sort out and Dawson starts with Big E. Big E runs Dawson over and then throws him to a corner. Big E rams his shoulder in then whips Dawson for a big back elbow! Cover, ONE, but Big E won’t let up. HE brings Dawson over and tags Woods. Woods runs in for a forearm smash, then Big E rams his shoulder again. Big E feeds Dawson to Woods’ clothesline! Cover, TWO! Woods keeps on Dawson but Dawson throws hands. Dawson has Woods in a corner and tags Dash. Woods is fed to Dash’s knees then Dash throws uppercuts. Dash CHOPS Woods, but Woods CHOPS back. Dash kicks and bumps Woods off buckles in the open corner. Dash throws more uppercuts, then whips corner to corner. Woods boots Dash back then hits the Honor Roll!
Dawson runs in but gets hands and clotheslines! The New Day clotheslines The Revival right out! Fans fire up with Woods and Big E while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Woods fights off Dash on the top rope. Woods headbutts Dash down but Dawson tags in. Dawson hurries over but Woods headbutts him, too! Woods leaps to missile dropkick Dawson down! Both men are down and fans rally up. Both men crawl, hot tags to Big E and Dash! Big E throws Dash overhead! And he throws Dawson overhead! Dash runs in but gets the belly2belly! Fans fire up as Big E swivels those hips. Big E runs and hits the BIG SPLASH! Fans rally again as Big E waits for Dash to stand. Big E scoops but Dawson shoves Woods down! Big E hits Dawson then throws Dash out. Big E clubs Dash then runs, but into an RKO!!
Winners: The New Day, by disqualification
The Viper strikes! The Revival seem to be on his good side as Orton wants to keep getting at Kofi Kingston through the New Day! But speaking of, here comes Kofi! Kofi rolls in and takes Orton down! Kofi fights the Revival off, too! Big leaping ax handles take Dash and Dawson down, but Kofi gets another RKO!! The Viper vows to end Kofimania, but Woods fights Orton back! Woods runs, but into SHATTER RKO!!! The #TopGuys hear the voices, too, while Woods sputters. Orton has the Revival bring Woods around to “break his legs!” Throwback to NXT, Dawson has the deathlock, but Orton has Dash wait. Because Orton drags Kofi over to watch! Dash leaps to STOMP Woods’ knee!! Woods screams and writhes in agony and Kofi can only reach out in vain. Fans boo the heartless actions of Orton and his new cohorts, but is this only the beginning of the nightmares for the New Day?
Sasha Banks is ready for her interview.
The Boss was to be on King’s Court, but The Fiend stopped that before it began. Sasha attacked Natalya out of nowhere, can she explain her actions? Sasha says it has been a very emotional week for her, and she will start from the beginning. Last week, she looked in the mirror, and she told herself, “Blue is your color!” Isn’t it? It’s all over social media, “She looks good! She’s better than ever!” Sasha will show up, show out, and not only dose she look good, she feels better. Michael Cole says the hair is not the news, it’s her attack on Natty on a night when Natty was herself emotional. And then she fought a fellow NXT Horsewomen. Why last week? Why at all? Sasha gets serious, and simply says, “You’re welcome.” She gets up and leaves, but will we ever hear the answers?
Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss VS Fire & Desire!
The Loony Lass and the Goddess are determined to be the fightingest team in the short history WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships. The titles aren’t on the lien tonight but Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville could earn a shot with a win. Will they beat the “odd couple” on the road to Clash of Champions?
Raw returns as Mandy and Sonya make their entrance. The teams sort out, and Nikki starts against Sonya. The two circle and tie up, Sonya gets a waistlock and slam. Sonya has the facelock and holds on as Nikki rolls around. Nikki slips out and throat chops Sonya! Alexa tags in but into the body scissor takedown! Cover, ONE! Oklahoma roll, ONE! Sonya knees low then tags Mandy. Fire & Desire whip ALexa and double kick to ram in knees in turn. They both throw Alexa down then Mandy covers, TWO! Alexa throws a hand but gets Mandy’s own killer right! Mandy scoops but Alexa slips out to waistlock. Mandy elbows out then trips Alexa, but then cartwheels over Alexa and taunts The Goddess. Alexa swings but misses and gets a dropkick! Then she gets a running knee! Cover, TWO!
Mandy keeps her cool but Alexa powers her to ropes. Alexa lets up at 4 but Nikki gets a cheap shot in! Mandy gets mad and chases Nikki down to give another hard right! But then Alexa wrecks Mandy with a dropkick! Alexa kicks Mandy while she’s down, then throws her into the ring. Cover, TWO! Alexa grows annoyed but she keeps on Mandy. She whips Mandy to the corner then tags Nikki. Alexa whips Nikki in for a splash, then runs in to SLAP Mandy! Nikki snapmares Mandy into a thrashing straitjacket stretch! Mandy endures and fights her way up. Nikki throws Mandy down by her hair, then drags her up to put her in the corner. Tag to Alexa, and ALexa whips Nikki in for another splash> But Mandy hits Alexa with a Knee from a Rose!
Both women are down but crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Nikki and Sonya! Nikki runs into Sonya’s right hands! Sonya kicks, kicks, and sweeps! Sliding Wizard! But Alexa distracts Sonya to give Nikki time. Nikki boots Sonya away then rams Mandy into a post! But Nikki runs into a SPINEBUSTER! Sonya roundhouses Alexa but Nikki gets her with the PURGE! Cover, Nikki and Alexa win!
Winners: Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss, Cross pinning
The Women’s Tag Team Champions survive a fast and furious match! Will they be able to keep up this pace? Or will these #TinyTerrors eventually be caught?
Rollins and Strowman prepare backstage.
AJ Styles can’t get involved or it will be a disqualification. The OC are bad dudes but they’re not these two. Strowman, c’mon. Before the Universal Championship, focus on these championships. Follow Rollins’ lead and they might be tag team champions. Strowman is focused, but he is the leader, so that they will become tag team champions. Will Beastslayer and Monster be able to coexist and take the gold from the Good Brothers?
King of the Ring Raw Bracket: Sami Zayn VS Cedric Alexander!
Another opening round match pits the Critic of the Critics against a former WWE Cruiserweight Champion. The Age of Alexander is ready to rise again while Sami would rather just lord the accomplishment over the WWE Universe. Will Sami save his WWE career at the expense of Alexander?
The bell rings and Sami waistlocks and clubs Alexander down. Sami kicks Alexander then whips him to clothesline Alexander down! Cover, ONE, but Sami tries again, ONE! Sami keeps his cool as he stalks Alexander to the ropes. Sami chokes Alexander but lets up at 4. Fans boo but Alexander chops Sami back. Sami scoops Alexander for a backbreaker! Cover, ONE, but Sami again tries again, TWO! Sami hooks Alexander’s arm to wrap on a chinlock. Alexander endures and fans rally up. Alexander fights up and out with an arm-drag. Sami scoops Alexander for Michinoku! Cover, TWO! Sami grows frustrated, but he stomps and clubs Alexander over and over. Sami wraps on a chinlock again, but fans rally up. Alexander powers out and fights back, to CHOP Sami. Sami kicks low then whips, but Alexander stops that to rock Sami with an elbow!
Things speed up and Alexander hits Sami with flying forearms! Sami runs into Alexander’s boot, then Alexander goes up and over to handspring back, and headscissor Sami down. Alexander dropkicks Sami out of the ring! Fans fire up as Alexander runs, to DIVE! Down goes Sami! Alexander puts Sami in fast, then hits the Neuralizer enziguri! LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall; advances to the next round
The Age of Alexander takes that first step to a resurrection on Raw! But will he be facing The Miz or Baron Corbin in the second round?
The Street Profits check their brackets.
Montez Ford’s got it good but Angelo Dawkins already has a bust. He thought it would be Cesaro taking it to the finals. It’s fine, you can still make up for it in the SmackDown side. Andrade VS Apollo, KO VS Elias! Then on Raw, Miz VS Corbin, McIntyre VS Ricochet! Wait, wait. Why isn’t there some kind of tag team tournament? Kings of the Ring. Silly Dawkins, the Street Profits are already kings up in this piece. Ford has his crown, gold on his neck, but wait. The OC defending their Raw Tag Team Championships against Seth Freakin’ BRAUN-LINS! That is going to be a spectacular, show-stopping, heart-dropping match! And that match is… NEXT!
Anderson and Gallows don’t get this.
Rollins and Strowman don’t deserve a match! But Styles says this is how the OC can truly prove they’re the greatest trio! They can show that the Universal Champion and the Monster are no match for them! Too Sweet, boys!
“I just came from the WWE doctors, again.” One week since baring her soul to the world. Between preparing for her SummerSlam match to nearing the anniversary of her father’s passing, Natty expected things to be emotional. She did not expect Sasha Banks to do what she did. Sasha was Natty’s friend. One of her closest. That is why Natty can’t understand why Sasha would do this! Then all Sasha does this week is smirk and laugh- SASHA ATTACKS AGAIN! She throws Natty around while daring her to keep talking. She puts the bad arm in an open drawer and STOMPS it! “Go to Hell, Natty, and tell Daddy I said hi.” Just why is Sasha treating everyone like this?!
Raw Tag Team Championships: The OC w/ AJ Styles VS Seth Rollins & Braun Strowman!
The favor was returned, and now Beastslayer and Monster Among Men look to really stick it to the Good Brothers. Can Rollins become a dual Universal and tag team champion alongside an unlikely ally? Or will the original, official and only team that matters still be Gallows and Anderson?
Raw returns as the champions make their entrance. Strowman glares at them all as they make their way out. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and Styles talks trash the entire time. The teams sort out, and we start with Gallows and Strowman. Gallows talk trash but Strowman shoves him back. The two men tie up and Strowman puts Gallows in a corner for big hands! Strowman runs and runs Gallows over! The Monster roars and brings Gallows over to tag Rollins. Rollins drops a punch into Gallows then wrenches the arm. Gallows haymakers Rollins off his feet, then bumps him in the OC corner. Gallows throws hands on the bad ribs, then tags Anderson. Anderson puts Rollins in another corner to also go after the ribs. The ref backs him off but Anderson comes back, to get a CHOP!
Rollins backs Anderson down with haymakers and CHOPS! Anderson reverses the whip but Rollins kicks him back and clotheslines him down! Rollins drags Anderson up for a suplex, but Anderson slips out to waistlock. Rollins standing switches but Gallows tags in. Rollins knees Gallows and tosses Anderson out. Rollins dropkicks Anderson and hits a flying knee on Gallows! Rollins even punches Anderson back down. Gallows uppercuts and hauls Rollins into a fireman’s carry. Gallows drops Rollins on the barriers, ribs first! And again! Rollins falls down in a heap and Styles talks trash as Raw goes to one last break.
Raw returns once more, and Rollins fights out of an armlock. Rollins punches but Anderson reaches for Gallows. Anderson whips Rollins but Rollins kicks back. Rollins hits Gallows but runs into the SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives despite the bad ribs, but Anderson is right on him again. Anderson hoists Rollins up top and throws hands. Anderson punches Rollins then climbs up to join him. Rollins resists the superplex, but Anderson keeps trying. Rollins fights back and sends Anderson down with a headbutt! Fans rally and Rollins catches his breath, but he boots Anderson away. Rollins leaps for a Block Buster! Both men are down and fans rally up! Hot tag to Gallows and he clobbers Rollins! Gallows chokes Rollins on the ropes but lets up at 4. Styles comes around but Strowman keeps him away. Gallows goes out to shove Strowman into a post!
Gallows BOOTS Strowman down before going back to Rollins. Rollins SUPERKICKS Gallows but Anderson tags in. Anderson runs into a Slingblade! Rollins goes corner to corner with forearm smashes! Gallows catches him, scoops hi but Rollins slips out to dump Gallows out. Rollins DIVES to wipe Gallows out into barriers! Then he goes at Anderson, Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!! Rollins can’t believe how close he was, but he doesn’t lose focus. Fans rally up as Anderson gets to a corner. Rollins runs in, but Anderson puts him on the apron. Rollins punches Anderson away then climbs, but Anderson distracts the ref for STYLES to trip Rollins up! Gallows tags in and the OC have Rollins in the back suplex neckbreaker combo! Cover, TWO!! Rollins still lives!
The OC are furious but tag to Anderson. Gallows drags Rollins up as fans rally again. Anderson helps hold Rollins up but Rollins fights them back! The OC stomps Rollins down, then toss him out. Gallows holds Rollins up and Styles gets ready to do something. But Strowman runs Styles over! And then runs Gallows over! Fans are thunderous as the Monster evens the score! Rollins escapes the suplex, hot tag to Strowman! And now Strowman runs Anderson over! And puts him in a corner for a BIG splash! Gallows urns in but gets run over, too! Strowman splashes Anderson again! Then scoops, to a MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, but Styles slips in! Rollins CURB STOMPS Styles! Strowman and Rollins win!!
Winners: Braun Strowman & Seth Rollins, Strowman pinning; NEW Raw Tag Team Champions
The Architect is a DUAL Raw Tag Team and Universal Champion! Strowman himself is a two-time tag team champion! Is this duo going to dominate all the way through Clash of Champions? How is Rollins going to handle the extra target on his back? Especially if Strowman is aiming for that top prize…
A pretty solid episode of Raw right here. One thing about tonight was that it all went smoothly for a faster pace to the show. Nothing really dragged on and nothing was filler, per se. Reigns VS Ziggler was a match that didn’t necessarily need to happen, but it was such a good match because these two really are among the best workers in the WWE right now. Bliss-Cross VS Fire & Desire was a pretty solid match and a good sampler of what could be a Women’s Tag Championship match. The New Day VS Revival was a great match, and a truly surprising appearance by Orton. Orton making Kofi watch as Woods has his knee kayfabe busted was some powerful stuff, and definitely brings into question if New Day can defend the SmackDown Tag titles at Clash of Champions. This story could even turn into Kofi having to defend both the tag titles and the world title via Freebird rules.
In fact, there might be some parallels in the world and Universal title stories. Sadly it was all but obvious Strowman wasn’t going to win that United States title just on how The OC were there to be with Styles. Rollins making the save i return made a lot of sense, and even wanting to have a tag match made sense. The tag titles being thrown on top of it was a nice touch but I would’ve thought Styles helps the OC retain. But wouldn’t you know, Rollins has another tag title reign and is the first superstar to be dual Universal and Raw Tag champion in their career. More boosting to Rollins’ resume, though at the expense of the OC. However, here come the parallels I mentioned. Whether or not Styles finds a new opponent for his US title, Strowman clearly wants the Universal Championship. Rollins will surely have to worry about his Raw Tag title and top title, but the question is how all that comes about.
I could easily see Strowman ditching Rollins for them to lose the tag titles if it helps him win the Universal title, though that could also turn into Rollins surviving Strowman to leave Strowman with nothing. There’s ways for Styles to get thrown into the mix, and some of this unpredictability is really good. I don’t think this will come down to a new Winner Takes All scenario, but there has to be some double duty pulled by someone in this. This could also involve some of the King of the Ring results. Joe VS Cesaro was so good! It is a shame this wasn’t a later match-up because that is how good this match was. Alexander VS Sami was a pretty good match, too, but it was pretty fast. Sami’s been getting buried ever since the start of this Critic of the Critics thing, but at least we’re a step closer to Alexander VS McIntyre in the Raw Finals. And those who will end up losing this tournament, except for Sami, could easily go against Styles. It would be a shame for Ricochet to be out in the opening round, but another US title match would be a great consolation.
The Raw Women’s Championship story was an interesting one tonight, and perhaps controversial. First, The Fiend attacking Jerry Lawler, another great shocking appearance and it keeps Bray consistent in going after legends. Second, Becky has a great promo to respond to Sasha’s actions, and Sasha has a solid “interview” promo as a partial response. However, where things might go sideways is when Sasha attacks Natty backstage. And not even the attack, but Sasha’s line about going to Hell and the late Jim Neidhart. It seems that while WWE have learned how to book their women, they still haven’t learned how to write their women. I remember back to both the Bella VS Bella story and the Paige VS Charlotte story, there being lines that were just a bit too controversial all for the sake of escalating things. But this will blow over quickly so let’s just focus on the chances of Natty coming back for revenge on Sasha at some point, and the possibility of all four NXT Horsewomen being on the Clash of Champions card.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)
Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!
NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!
NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?
- Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
- KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!
The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?
As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!
Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!
Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.
Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.
Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!
Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!
Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?
YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!
Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?
The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.
Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!
Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!
Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!
Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!
Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!
Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!
Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!
Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall
Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!
Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.
Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!
Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!
But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall
What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?
KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!
Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?
The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!
Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!
Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!
Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!
Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!
Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.
Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!
Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!
Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!
Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)
And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?
White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.
White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!
Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.
White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.
White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.
White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.
Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!
Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!
The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!
The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!
White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!
Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.
White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.
White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.
Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!
White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?
The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!
Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!
Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.
Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!
Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!
Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!
Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!
Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.
Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.
Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!
Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!
Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!
Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!
Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall
The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”
Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!
The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?
A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.
In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.
White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Kazuchika Okada finally gets his hands on EVIL, Jay White gets his “get right match” against Ishii after the last month of issues, and just generally a lot of feud building. The obvious thread is all of the CHAOS versus Bullet Club going on, but I don’t think any of us are excited for Tanga Loa and YOSHI-HASHI.
We also have The United Empire kicking things off to help give Great O-Khan more momentum going into his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Even if the card seems a little flat, maybe we get surprised?
- The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ospreay wins via Oscutter @10:22 – * ½
- Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI: Loa wins via Ape Shit @12:58 – (-*)
- Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @6:39 – ** ¼
- KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens: Yano retains @12:50 – ** ½
- Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii: White wins via Blade Runner @25:42 – ****
- Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Okada wins via Rainmaker @28:11 – *** ¼
The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So we saw a lot of dynamics that we’ve grown to expect. Tenzan struggles to not use the Mongolian Chops, O-Khan continues to prove himself a credible enough threat to Tanahashi, but this was a sloppy match. Between an early awkward exchange that made it seem like O-Khan didn’t know how to sell Kojima’s flurry, Ospreay slipped on the rope when he was coming in toward the end; even though he kinda saved it, it was obviously screwed up.
Interactions were clumsy, the match never got exciting and really just did what these kind of matches usually do, but not even as well as most Young Lions.
Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI
Welp, this match was straight garbage. The sad thing about this match was that Loa did a pretty solid job at trying to vocally antagonize HASHI and keep things interesting, but HASHI was in slow motion. HASHI would visibly confirm things too much, his moves were bad, kept trying to rally the crowd but they didn’t respond; so there were a ton of times he waited a beat to see if the crowd would ever come alive, and they never really did.
Tanga Loa was his usual self with better verbal interactions. He kept trying to get HASHI to fight and prove what he had instead of cursing, but HASHI just fell into the waste of space mannerisms he was known for 99% of his career. He should go back to Loose Explosion on his tights, because he is the drizzling shits.
So Tama comes out to distract Hashi allowing for Loa to turn the situation and hit Ape Shit. Bullet Club beatdown ensues, Goto runs out, clears out Loa…and the referee decides to just start the match since Goto and Tama were supposed to wrestle anyway!
Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto
A quick start is stifled by the malaise that is known as Castle Attack so far. Tama dumps out Goto, Goto starts reviewing his life choices and why he’s here today, and then spends enough time on the outside to build a bird house before Jado eventually limps over and hits him with a kendo stick shot. Like…why? Goto saw it coming. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. The terrible decisions of YOSHI-HASHI have polluted Goto’s mind as well!
When things get back into the ring, at least Tama and Goto are good wrestlers. Tama hits the Tongan Twist and Veleno, but a missed Stinger Splash and countered Gun Stun gave Goto some space. Tama tried for Gun Stun again, but he got caught, Goto throws him on his shoulders Ushigoroshi style, but drops him into the GTR and lands it! So a surprising GTR gives Goto a victory from the jaws of defeat, and at least the in-ring action was serviceable enough to get the highest rating of the show so far.
I really hope the back half blows my socks off, because this is sad so far.
KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens
Now the gimmick here is instead of touch the 4 corner pads, you have to remove the 4 corner pads. So it seems like the person to remove the last pad, will be the winner.
We get a mostly expected Yano gimmick match. He made small references to his earlier gimmick of being a cheating, violent, always disqualified heel; when he started whipping Chase early and being more aggressive than we usually see. But Chase was clever using the outside to a great advantage. Yano was forced to go after Chase because Chase was going to take the pads off from outside, and then used Yano’s momentum against him by ramming him into posts and barricades.
The last pad was solid comedy where both took turns knocking the other out, too far from the last pad. So we had some goofy “drag the dead body” spots. Chase nearly had things won until Yano came to, pulled him close for Oni Koroshi! Yano makes it to the corner, takes it off and the God of all KOPW continues!
Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii has had White’s number lately, and just added to the broken status of his mental health after the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Within the first minute or so, Jay looked to have tweaked his hamstring, and that added an interesting layer to his early attack. But much like the strategic genius that he is, he lays Ishii over the barricade, and Ishii starts selling a rib injury.
Everything in this match mattered, the leg and ribs came back to play into aspects of the finishing sequence. Ishii was slow transitioning between some of his power moves since he was hampered with the rib injury, and Jay got caught a bit more than usual because his quickness was taken away.
A huge Avalanche Brainbuster after a Jumping Headbutt nearly gave Ishii the win, but a slow cover as he wanted the high stack, kept Jay alive. They fight back and forth, then we get a great counter wrestling sequence to finish the match. Ishii slips suplexes and Blade Runners, Jay slips the Brainbuster and eats a strike. It was up, down, back and forth, just hard to call until Jay finally slips a hold and catches Ishii with Blade Runner for the win!
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 27, 2021
THANK GOD we got a match worth watching! Great pacing, solid story, this is something to watch.
Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo
Ugh, okay so we know what we get with EVIL any more right? Okada tried to eliminate Dick Togo early when he hit Double DDTs on the ramp, but then the trek back to the ring was awkward. Okada bringing EVIL back to the ring, was a microcosm of the match, where it was just very slowly paced, inactive and not a good idea.
Part of the point in this match was for Okada to finally get closure on EVIL beating him during last year’s New Japan Cup; but he wanted to drag out the old aggressive EVIL. EVIL fired up late, and the crowd responded excitedly expecting something good, but it was short lived. Plus, we have Okada being a complete moron. He was shoved into Red Shoes, fights off Dick and lays EVIL out and goes for the stupid Money Clip. He goes for a submission after he was driven into the referee. This is a gap in logic so embarrassing, just so Dick could interfere again with the garrote.
All the garrote did was possibly foreshadow when Okada Tombstoned Dick, and then had a moment where he considered using the weapon. This is either a throw away for Okada to continue to be the Golden Boy, or it’s a hint that darker things are on the horizon for Okada.
Either way, Fire/Thunder Driver lead to the Rainmaker again, and we’re finally at a point where Okada is beating people with the move that started it all! No more Money Clip! It looks bad and it’s just sad.
Overall Score: 4.25/10
At least we got one match really worth watching out of this show. Jay White versus Tomohiro Ishii is truly the only thing to watch from this whole show.
I don’t know how some people didn’t find the YOSHI-HASHI embarrassing, but it completely was. The opener was sloppy to the point of uselessness. Tama and Goto was just flat given how the story was being told. Then we’ve got the gimmicky goofball match being a highlight before the semi-main and main events. I’ve seen more salient card structure and match booking from Dragon Gate during the waning days of ANTIAS.
Tomorrow has to be better because if it’s worse, then I think 2015 TNA would be happy to know they aren’t the bottom of the barrel anymore. This show was so embarrassing I think I’m just gonna end the article with the hockey coach from Letterkenny:
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