The first Raw of the season, the last Raw before going to Hell!
In a Cell, that is. And even with both the Cell and The Fiend in his future, Seth Rollins must defend his WWE Universal Championship against THE Rey Mysterio! Will Rollins be able to retain before he has to face a living nightmare?
- Alexa Bliss VS Sasha Banks; Banks wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler VS Heavy Machinery; Roode & Ziggler win to retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Randy Orton VS Seth Rollins; No Contest.
- The Viking Raiders VS The OC; The Viking Raiders win.
- Ricochet VS Cesaro; Ricochet wins.
- WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles VS Cedric Alexander; Styles wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- Lacey Evans VS Natalya; Evans wins.
- WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Rusev; No Contest, Rollins retains the WWE Universal Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw is LEGENDARY!
A new season, a new logo, a new theme song, but something classic is back: PYRO! But another new change is the commentary team! Vic Joseph and Dio Maddin move over from 205 Live to join the King, Jerry Lawler!
Rey Mysterio heads to the ring!
The King of Lucha Libre is here ahead of his WWE Universal Championship on tonight’s stacked premiere. Phoenix is fired up to see the living legend, and Dominick is in the crowd to support his father from the front row. Mysterio speaks to the crowd, nothing that he has the Universal Championship match, and his son is why he’s here. Mysterio owes this to Dominick, and he loves him. “Tonight, I’m going to bring that Universal Championship-” Wait, is that Brock Lesnar?! He was announced to be in town, but no one expected him now! Lesnar and Paul Heyman head to the ring, circle it a moment, then hop in the ring. Mysterio gives Lesnar space but he doesn’t leave the ring. Heyman starts to introduce himself, but Mysterio snatches the mic! Mysterio talks to Heyman, but Lesnar gives him an F5! Fans boo and Dominick is certainly not happy, but Lesnar deadlifts Mysterio with ease, for another F5!
Lesnar paces as fans divided. Lesnar spots Dominick in the crowd, and then heads over! Dominick sits down, naturally not wanting trouble from The Beast, but the Beast grabs Dominick and drags him over the barrier! To then scoop up, and ram into the post! And slam him on the floor! Even Heyman seems shocked by this brutality! Lesnar puts Dominick in the ring with Mysterio, who has now come to. Mysterio watches as Lesnar gives Dominick a MASSIVE German Suplex! Mysterio rushes in to get between Lesnar and Dominick, but gets a third F5!! The referees rush out to tell Lesnar to stop but Heyman himself is speechless. Lesnar starts to leave, but then comes back! He hops right back in the ring, hauls Mysterio up, and gives him a HUGE suplex! Then he drags Dominick up for another suplex! Only now does Heyman shouts for Lesnar to stop, and Lesnar hops out of the ring.
Fans all boo as Heyman reasons with Lesnar, but it doesn’t matter! Lesnar goes after security! Fit Finlay gets a boot! Mysterio gets tossed out! Dominick gets tossed out! Fans boo and jeer while Lesnar paces. Lesnar seems oddly conflicted, but fans are all united in chanting, “A**hole!” The Beast tears off his shirt and laughs, holding the shirt up like he would a title belt. Is this just a sampler of what is in store for Kofi Kingston on SmackDown’s Fox premiere?
Raw shows footage from the commercial break.
Mysterio was able to get up under his own power, but he had to be there as his son was put on a stretcher with a neck brace. Mysterio apologizes to Dominick, but will Mysterio be able to compete after what he just went through, both physically and emotionally?
Alexa Bliss VS Sasha Banks!
The Goddess and The Boss have had heated and personal rivalries for years now, but now Alexa will just be used as a tune-up for Sasha before going against Becky Lynch. Will Alexa be a speed bump on Sasha’s road back to the Raw Women’s Championship?
Before the bell rings, The Man comes around! Becky is here and she holds up her Raw Women’s Championship! She joins commentary and the match begins.
Sasha and Alexa rush each other and Sasha throws Alexa down. Sasha rains down rights but lets up to put Alexa in a corner. Alexa blocks the bump to give the bump and stomps away! The ref backs Alexa up, but Alexa runs back in, only to be put on the apron. Sasha punches Alexa off the apron, and then she taunts Becky despite the distance. But Becky gets up on the desk to shout back. Fans are on Becky’s side, and Raw goes picture in picture.
Sasha and Becky keep talking trash, but Alexa yanks Sasha down to roll her up! TWO, and Alexa hip tosses Sasha to an armlock! Sasha endures and fights her way up while Raw returns to single picture. Alexa rolls Sasha to a cover, TWO! Becky takes the jacket off while Alexa dropkicks Sasha down. Sasha bails out but Alexa slides for a dropkick. Sasha takes a page out of Nikki Cross’ book and gets Alexa in the skirt, but Alexa knows that trick, too! Alexa punches Sasha away and gets out from under. But Sasha is ready and kicks Alexa down! Sasha wants after Alexa and drags her into the ring. Cover, TWO! Sasha gets angry but she sees Becky getting ready. Sasha stomps away on Alexa in a corner then snapmares her into a half surfboard. Becky is wrapping her fists while she watches! ALexa kicks Sasha and tilt-o-whirls her to buckles! Sasha staggers while Alexa catches her breath.
Sasha gets Alexa first but Alexa kicks her away. Alexa dodges and rallies with clotheslines! Alexa drops knees, Insult but no Injury, Sasha shining wizards Alexa down! Cover, TWO! Sasha keeps on Alexa with a scoop but Alexa slips out to SLAP then ROCK Sasha. Sasha shoves Alexa away and then calls for Bayley? No it was a fake-out! Sasha kicks Alexa down in her bad leg, then covers! Sasha wins!
Winner: Sasha Banks, by pinfall
Becky hops off commentary, and decides to head for the ring. Sasha welcomes it, and the two brawl! Fans are fired up as Becky gets Sasha down for furious fists! And then up for uppercuts! Sasha bails out through the crowd! Becky asks Sasha where she’s going. Sasha can run now, but come Sunday, she’s not leaving the Cell until Becky’s done. The attack has woken up the Irish fire inside. Sasha made it personal, Becky will make it painful. The Man, The Boss, The Cell and retribution are all coming around! Who leaves the sinister structure THE Raw Women’s Champion?
Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.
Charly Caruso wants to talk with him about The Fiend strangely coming to his aid last week, but Rollins would rather address what happened tonight. Lesnar attacked Rey Mysterio and Dominick. It isn’t a surprise because it’s Lesnar, but Rollins is disappointed and disgusted. As for Hell in a Cell, Rollins isn’t sure how to game plan for “some thing,” but this title means too much for him to go quietly. Rollins will find a way to #SurviveAndPrevail and stay champion. But tonight’s Raw season premiere from Phoenix. Mysterio is in no shape to compete, but he has a title match in his back pocket, Rollins promises it. But Rollins also promised a Universal Championship match. This is an opportunity for someone to step up. Rollins vows to #BurnItDown no matter who it is!
Raw Tag Team Championships: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler VS Heavy Machinery!
This GLORIOUS combination take on literally the biggest challenge they could as SmackDown’s Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic crossover for a title shot! Will the Raw Tag Team titles stay on Raw? Or will SmackDown return the favor by taking Raw’s titles for their own?
Introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the teams sort out. This match starts with Ziggler and Tucker!
Ziggler and Tucker circle and tie up. Ziggler keeps up and gets around to sleeper hold, but Tucker gets him on ropes. The ref calls for a break, and the two back off. They go again and Ziggler gets a headlock. Tucker powers out and bumps Ziggler with a shoulder. He didn’t even hit that hard and Ziggler staggers. Tucker runs and runs Ziggler over! Then he runs to leap over and dropkick Ziggler down! Cover, TWO! Tucker scoops Ziggler in a suplex and Otis tags in. Otis takes the hand-off and then manages to keep Ziggler up! Then he drops him down hard, covers, TWO! Ziggler reaches for Roode but Otis drags him up. Ziggler hits back with haymakers then dropkicks Otis down! Ziggler tags Roode, and they double whip Dozer to the ropes. Dozer bulldozes through and then tags Tucker! Heavy Machinery takes a man each, for stalling suplexes! Heavy Machinery then runs, to belly bump both men! And belly bump to celebrate! Fans are fired up with Tucker and Otis as we go to break.
Raw returns and Tucker has Ziggler in a headlock. Ziggler powers out but Tucker hits Roode’s cheap shot away. Tucker hip tosses Ziggler down, but Roode dumps Tucker out! Ziggler hurries over while Otis protests, and Roode tags in. Roode drags Tucker up to ram into the apron, then throws him into barriers! Roode stomps Tucker down and around, then puts Tucker in the ring. Roode stomps Tucker in the corner then Ziggler tags back in. Roode scrapes Tucker’s eyes then Ziggler gives him a neckbreaker. Cover, TWO! Tucker reaches but Ziggler is on him first with a sleeper hold. Fans rally up and Tucker fights as Otis fires up. Ziggler pulls Tucker away and grinds him down with the chinlock. Tucker endures, fights his way back up, and throws body shots.
Ziggler kicks low then tags Roode back in. They put Tucker in the corner and Ziggler whips Roode for Roode to whip him, BIG splash to a GLORIOUS Spinebuster! Cover, TWO!! Tucker toughs it out and Otis glares at Roode. Ziggler tags in and he mugs Tucker. Ziggler now taunts Tucker, but Tucker gets up, to catch the dropkick for a catapult! Ziggler hits the post! Both men are down but crawling, hot tags to Roode and Otis! Otis rallies! He flapjacks Ziggler and fires up again. Roode kicks Otis but that only gets the truffle shuffle going! Same for the CHOP! Otis scoops Roode for a Fall Away Slam! Roode is in the Dozer Zone, but Ziggler runs in. Otis scoops Ziggler for a spinning scoop slam! Roode is up but Otis squashes him in the corner! Now both Roode and Dolph are in the Dozer Zone, for the CATERPILLAR times two!
Otis scoops Roode but Roode slips away. Roode boots Otis then hops up, but leaps into Otis’ arms! Tag to Tucker, Tucker runs, but Ziggler hits a ZIGZAG outta nowhere! SUPERKICK to Otis! They both post Otis! SUPERKICK for Tucker, which leads to a GLORIOUS DDT! Cover, Roode & Ziggler win!
Winners: Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler, Roode pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
The Raw tag titles stay on Raw! But that’s just the first title match of the night! Will all the champions be as lucky as Roode & Ziggler?
Raw presents Miz TV!
The Miz returns to make the Raw season premiere even more must-see! But tonight will be even better, because the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show will have two amazing guests. Before all that, though, Miz must wish Mysterio and Dominick the best. As a father himself, he wouldn’t know what he’d do if someone ever went after one of his kids. But on to the “most highly anticipated Miz TV ever!” First up, the 16-time world champion, the two-time Hall of Famer, the Nature Boy, RIC FLAIR! “WOO~!” Flair makes his way out, and he marvels at Miz’s suit. He’s way too clean tonight. Miz dresses up for an occasion like this! But it’s not just Flair, it is both Jimmy Hart and the 13-time world champion, a Hall of Famer in his own right, the Immortal HULK HOGAN! Hogan and Jimmy head to the ring, and the pythons are still strong.
Hogan and Flair shake hands in the ring and then each legend takes a seat. “I’m over it,” Flair says. “I’m ready,” Hogan says. And the fans are raining down cheers for them both. How many times do you see three legends in one WWE ring? Oh, sorry, Jimmy, Miz meant himself. Flair loves Miz, but he’s had it with Hogan’s theme. Hogan gives Flair a “WOO~!” Miz has both men agree they’re legends, and while Miz could soak in this moment, this moment is about Raw. What better guests than some all-time-greats? Hulkster, what’s it like being in the ring across from the Nature Boy? “Well let me tell you something, brother!” It’s great to be back on Raw, and it’s great to be in Phoenix! And greatness isn’t even enough, but it IS great to be with a friend and a legend, “WOO,” Ric Flair.
Flair feels put on the spot, but he’ll go with it. Hogan may be recognized as the greatest draw, along with Austin, but Flair was the best wrestler, “brother!” Flair will always feel that he’s the best in the ring. It sounds like Flair wants #OneMoreMatch with the 24 inch pythons, brother! Both legends get fired up and Miz is not sure what to say. So he just gets the chairs out of the way. Hogan pokes his finger at Flair, but Flair cools off. They shake hands and admit, they’re not going to have a match. They’re not spring chickens, to say the least. Phoenix wouldn’t mind seeing it, though. Hogan and Flair can add one more page to the legacy. For once, Flair wants a paycheck that matches Hogan’s! And Miz feels that’ll happen. Miz has a huge announcement: Crown Jewel, October 31st, Team Hogan VS Team Flair!! 5v5 with the legends as the coaches for a total of ten of WWE’s best! May the best team win! Then Hogan has a question: “Whatcha gonna do when Hulkamania and my team captain run wild on you, brother?”
Team captain? It’s SETH ROLLINS!? The Universal Champion is a natural pick to be on one of these amazing teams! Rollins has a lot going on right now, but his 5-year-old self would be kicking him if he didn’t do this! He is honored to be Team Hogan! So what is Flair going to do when Team Hogan mops the floor with his team to #BurnItDown?! Well Flair has his captain already: RANDY ORTON! Evolution connections are obvious, but The Viper is definitely a great choice in his own right, too! Flair is fired up as Orton tells Rollins to be 100% focused right now. Crawl out of Hogan’s ass and listen up. Rollins and Orton are the team captains, “WOO~!” So they’ll take their time choosing their teammates. But with this being the season premiere, and that they’re both here, maybe they should have a Captain’s Match. Well Rollins was hoping for a match, so here it is!
Randy Orton VS Seth Rollins!
The ring crew helps change things from Miz TV to regular wrestling, but wait. King Corbin appears? Orton attacks Rollins during the distraction! Rollins fights back but Corbin attacks Rollins with his scepter! The Viper and the Wolf King stomp away! And they jam Rollins! But to Rollins’ rescue, it’s RUSEV!? The Bulgarian Lion takes out Orton then hits a running windmill kick on Corbin! Rusev rams his shoulder into Corbin over and over but Orton pulls him off. RKO denied, MACHKA Kick connects! Rusev dodges Corbin, Rollins SUPERKICKS him! MACHKA Kick for Corbin! Rollins DIVES to hit Orton on the outside! Orton flounders and fans are fired up for Rollins and Rusev! Have each team captain found their first teammates already? Sure seems that way as Rollins and Rusev flex and pose with Hogan on stage!
Raw shares footage of Dominick being loaded onto the ambulance.
Mysterio is with his son every step of the way as the medics hurry to get Dominick out of the arena. Mysterio even has to toss his mask off, he is that emotional. The ambulance leaves, as was heard during the Sasha-Alexa match. What will be the emotional and physical state of both father and son?
Backstage interview with Rusev.
Charly congrats that Rusev is Team Hogan, but there is a question that needs to be asked: Where is Lana? Rusev has no words. Then let’s focus on Rusev. Rusev is back, what does he hope to accomplish? Rusev isn’t here to talk about his personal life. he is here to talk about Rollins’ problems. He was getting pummeled, but the only one to save him was Rusev! Rusev knows Rollins owes him, so he’s going to collect now! Rusev wants to be that Universal Championship challenger!! Is Team Hogan going to fall apart already?
The Authors of Pain speak again.
Akam and Rezar once again speak. They grew up “thousands of miles apart” but lived on “the same street corner of dystopia and atrocity.” They both learned that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Therefore, “he who dies from violence, lives for violence.” He who lives for violence, loves violence. he who loves violence, craves violence. He he craves violence, lusts for violence. He who lusts for violence, learns to bring forth violence. He who brings forth violence, becomes violence. He who is violence, is an Author of Pain. A dark message from these embodiments of violence. When and where will the AOP return to the ring?
The Viking Raiders VS The OC!
The war rages on as Erik and Ivar once again collide with Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows! But which way will the war sway with it being such a monumental Monday night?
Raw returns and Ivar starts against Gallows as the two big men of the match. The bell rings and the two collide! They brawl with big hands, Ivar whips but Gallows reverses to knee low and club Ivar down. Tag to Anderson but Ivar carries Anderson to the Viking corner! Tag to Erik, Erik feeds Anderson to Ivar’s knee, and then back again! Anderson goes to ropes, but Erik growls as he looms over Anderson. Erik drags Anderson up for big knees, then puts him in a corner. Tag to Ivar, and the Vikings mug Anderson before Ivar gives him another big knee. Ivar runs to knee Anderson in the head! Cover, ONE, but Ivar is on him with an arm wrench. Ivar grinds Anderson down, but Anderson fights his way up. Ivar wrenches and whips but Anderson kicks Ivar away. Tag to Gallows, and Gallows runs, into a scoop! Gallows slips out, shoves Ivar and hits a big elbow in the corner!
Gallows throws big body shots in the corner, and rocks Ivar with an uppercut! Gallows brings Ivar up for headbutts, then stomps! Gallows elbows and punches Ivar in the corner but Ivar hits back. They brawl but Gallows knees low. Gallows kicks Ivar and Ivar crawls away. Gallows runs to boot Ivar down again! Gallows runs to drop an elbow, then covers, TWO! Gallows grinds his elbow into Ivar’s face but Ivar hurries away. Gallows tags Anderson and then whips Anderson into Ivar. Ivar elbows away, rolls under Gallows, tag to Erik! Erik lifts then shoves Anderson, then fires off a strike fest! Gallows gets in but Erik stares him down. Anderson gets up to run at Erik, but he gets Ace Ten Mao! Erik roars and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Erik fights up out of a chinlock. Anderson clubs him down and tags Gallows, and The OC combine for a back suplex neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Gallows elbows away on Erik then wraps on a chinlock. Erik endures but fights up again. Erik fights free then ROCKS Gallows with a right! Both men are down, fans build to a rally, and hot tags to Ivar and Anderson! Ivar rallies with the sidewalk slam, to the basement crossbody! Fans fire up with the Warbeard as he runs corner to corner. Anderson dodges but gets a seated senton! Gallows misses as Ivar cartwheels to clothesline! Tag to Erik, and the Vikings have Anderson for the high-angler springboard lariat German Suplex! Gallows breaks the cover hard, then YAKUZA Kicks Ivar down! Anderson crawls over, but Erik keeps his eyes on Anderson.
Gallows tags in as Anderson uppercuts Erik away. Erik suplexes Anderson then fires off on Gallows. But Gallows gets the two-hand choke slam! Cover, TWO!! Gallows grows frustrated but he drags Erik up for a bomb. Ivar urns in but Gallows uppercuts him. Gallows whips, but Ivar dodges to DIVE onto Anderson! Ivar tags in, Erik has Gallows for a SPINEBUSTER! Ivar is up top, SUPER SPLASH! Cover, Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, Ivar by pinfall
The OC went through another #VikingExperience, and suffer another defeat! Will the warpath continue towards those Raw Tag Team Championships?
Charly Caruso shares critical information.
While Mysterio and Dominick are not returning to the arena, Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are still here. They demand a forum to explain themselves, but authorities are looking into what could be considered a “criminal act” from Lesnar tonight. But to interrupt all of this, Cesaro walks over to say, “Who cares what people think?” There was nothing criminal. If anything, it was entertaining. The only thing criminal is that Lesnar stole away the opportunity for Cesaro to do the same. But Ricochet stands up for Mysterio, saying Cesaro wouldn’t have done a damn thing. Cesaro might be taller than Mysterio, but he’s only half the man. But if Cesaro wants to prove he’s big and bad, then face Ricochet in the ring. Will the Swiss Superman be beat by the One and Only true superhero of Raw?
Ricochet VS Cesaro!
The bell rings and Ricochet dropkick-flips and enziguris Cesaro down! Cover, ONE, but Ricochet clobbers Cesaro at the ropes. Cesaro reverses the whip but Ricochet headscisosrs. Cesaro blocks that, Ricochet pops out, but Cesaro clotheslines him down! Things speed up and Cesaro catches Ricochet, but Ricochet slips out. Cesaro elbows Ricochet down, then runs, but gets flipped out of the ring! Then Ricochet FLIES to take him down! Fans fire up with Ricochet as he clubs Cesaro and puts him in the ring. Ricochet aims from a corner, hops up, and leaps, but Cesaro catches him for a backbreaker! Cover, TWO!
Cesaro stomps Ricochet around but the ref backs him off. Cesaro drags Ricochet up out of a corner to throw a big European Uppercut! Cover, ONE! Cesaro keeps on Ricochet with a chinlock. Fans rally and Ricochet fights his way up, and fights out with elbows. Ricochet runs, but Cesaro presses Ricochet up for a Go To Swiss! Cover, TWO!! Cesaro won’t let up, he drags Ricochet in. But Ricochet slides under, only for Cesaro to lift him up. Ricochet forearms, Cesaro boots, but Ricochet baits Cesaro into a post! Ricochet kicks Cesaro away, springboards and flips for a huricanrana driver! Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall
And with an homage to Mysterio himself with that West Coast Pop! Will this win on Mysterio’s behalf also be what helps Ricochet climb up the ranks towards a title match?
Raw returns with an all new Firefly Fun House!
All the puppets are cowering in fear. And Ramblin’ Rabbit is literally scared to death! He’s gone… Oh well! But Bray wants to know what’s going on. They’re all afraid of what will happen when The Fiend and Rollins fight. Mercy’s feathers are quivering already! It’ll be so horrifying! Just calm down. It’s okay to be afraid. To be honest, Bray’s scared, too. There’s nothing like a Hell in a Cell match. What is a Hell in a Cell match like? It’s like a world without chocolate, only worse! OH NO~! It is truly an awful place built to inflict pain and suffering. You enter, but you never truly leave. Not without emotional and physical scars, at least. And Rollins will be trapped in it, with him… What’s gonna happen?! Well he will always protect the Fun House, and the Fireflies! He will die on that hill. But surely he’ll come back no matter what! Yay~!
But Rollins won’t be so lucky. In fact, Bray has a “very very bad feeling” that he can’t wait to hurt Rollins. Idea! Bray will go find “him” and tell him to be nice! Woosh! And then Bray’s back in a flash, laughing like a madman. Because he got us with that one. #LetMeIn. Bye~~! Will this Hell in a Cell be the last one for Rollins?
WWE United States Championship: AJ Styles VS Cedric Alexander!
The Phenomenal One has had matches with the #EbonyLion time and again for this title, but they’ll go around one more time to make this Raw season premiere, well, phenomenal. Will Styles make it a clean sweep to keep the Age of Alexander down? Or is this the night it all comes together for the Soul of 205 Live’s Raw resurrection?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this third time around begins!
Styles throws his shirt at Alexander to ram him into the corner! Then Styles CHOPS Alexander to whip to ropes. Alexander still goes up and over and handsprings to headscissors! Fans duel as Alexander rolls Styles up, TWO! Alexander dropkicks Styles down! Cover, ONE, but Alexander keeps on Styles with haymakers. Styles jawbreakers but Alexander dropkicks again! Alexander knees Styles against the ropes and Styles bails out. Alexander builds speed but he runs into a haymaker from Styles! Styles runs in but gets a dropkick to the legs! Styles hits buckles, but he manages to put Alexander on the apron. Styles catches the springboard for a hotshot! Then Styles slingshots out to forearm Alexander down! Alexander is dazed as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again, and Styles has Alexander in a chinlock. Fans rally up and Alexander fights his way up and out with fast body shots. But Styles puts him on the apron, only for Alexander to shoulder back in. Alexander hits the step-in springboard Complete Shot! Both men are down but stirring. Alexander gets space between him and Styles, but Styles goes to the opposite end. Styles runs in, but Alexander knees him away! Then Alexander whips Styles, only for Styles to reverse. Handspring, Neuralizer enziguri! Alexander brings Styles up, Styles throws strikes but gets Alexander’s elbow! Alexander brings Styles up to a fireman’s carry, for the dropping PELE! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives and shocks Alexander! Alexander gets up and after Styles, but Styles resists the Lumbar Check. Fans duel as Alexander scoops but Styles slips out. Styles scoops and sets Alexander into the dragon sleeper for the inverted DDT! Cover, TWO!! Alexander shocks Styles now!
Styles gets up and drags Alexander in for the Clash! Alexander resists and they end up in a corner. Alexander puts Styles on the outside but Styles forearms back. Styles springboards but Alexander gets under, to scoop for the Michinoku Driver! Cover, TWO!! Styles shocks Alexander back again! But Alexander keeps his focus as fans duel. Alexander throws off the elbow pads, runs, but Styles gets under him! Styles German Suplexes Alexander once! He holds on to pop Alexander up, wheelbarrow facebuster! Cover, TWO!! Styles is shocked again, but Phoenix is still loving it! Styles brings Alexander up as fans duel. Styles wants the Clash, but Alexander flails and gets free to roll Styles! TWO, and Styles swings into a lift! Styles sunset flips, lifts, STYLES CLASH!! Cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
A truly phenomenal finish for this rematch, but it is still the Phenomenal One that holds the gold! Will anyone ever get that belt off of Styles?
The Street Profits are hyped.
The season premiere of Raw ushers in a new era! To answer the question everyone is asking: “When are the Street Profits going to be in action?” The answer to that question: Wednesday on the USA Network! Because they are STILL N X T! But Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins will face the Undisputed Era, to take back THEIR NXT Tag Team Championships! But that’s Wednesday. Tonight, Raw has Rollins VS Rusev! Then Rollins still has to face The Fi- don’t say his name. Who? The Fie- NO! No, according to an old janitor, if you say his name three times, poof! He appears. But why was Ford talking to a janitor? Raw feels like the Profits, because #WeWanttheSmoke!
Lacey Evans VS Natalya!
The Sassy Southern Belle keeps stealing the Sharpshooter, but now the Queen of Harts will show her how it’s done. Will Natty get even with Lacey to start the new season right?
The bell rings and Natty ties up with Lacey. Lacey headlocks but Natty powers out, only for Lacey to run her over. Lacey takes out that handkerchief early to wipe herself off. Natty gets up and goes at Lacey again with a waistlock. Lacey elbows out then throws Natty to a corner. Lacey fixers her hair but Natty evades in the corner. Natty drops Lacey down then walks over her to basement dropkick! Lacey goes to the apron, shoulder sin then sweeps the legs! She drags Natty out to swing her into the steel steps! The ref checks on Natty but she’s somehow okay. Lacey lounges on the steps as she admires her handiwork. Lacey then puts Natty in to cover, TWO! Lacey dribbles Natty’s face off the mat! Then wraps her up in a “classy” cobra clutch. Natty fights up but Lacey whips her hard into the corner. Lacey swings for a bronco buster! Cover, ONE!
Lacey keeps on Natty with another cobra clutch. Fans rally up for Natty but Lacey calls her “Nasty Natty.” Natty fights up and arm-drags Lacey off. Lacey comes back with a kick and a swinging neckbreaker! Lacey walks all over Natty now to go to the corner. Lacey takes her time climbing, but Natty yanks her down! Natty elbows Lacey and SLAPS her, too! Natty dodges again to fire off furious haymakers on Lacey! The ref pulls Natty off but Natty comes back with the DISCUS! Cover, TWO! Lacey lives but Natty has the legs! But Lacey resists with her strength, and bails out to the apron. Natty goes at Lacey with furious fists, but the ref pulls her off. Lacey rakes the eyes! That wasn’t ladylike! Lacey rolls Natty, holds onto the gear, and Lacey wins!!
Winner: Lacey Evans, by pinfall
The Sassy Southern Belle didn’t need to steal the Sharpshooter, but she will use the Woman’s Right to DECK Natty! She won, but she needed to make a statement. Will Lacey keep it “classy” as she tries to climb back up the ranks?
Raw shares John Cena’s huge announcement!
The other 16-time world champion in the WWE is backing a new movement: #FitOps! It uses exercise and charity to help keep veterans healthy both emotionally and physically. Donate now at Fit Ops’ official site, and he will match up to one million dollars!
Backstage interview with Paul Heyman.
Heyman won’t let anyone talk to Lesnar. Lesnar’s attack was wanton and reckless, yes. Heyman apologizes to the Mysterio family, but don’t blame Lesnar for that to happen. Blame Vince McMahon! Blame Vince for letting Lesnar on his show while he’s in “fight mode.” There are a lot of “wannabe tough guys” all over pro-wrestling and professional sports in general. But not ONE could do anything about what Lesnar did to Mysterio, Dominick, or will do to Kofi Kingston this Friday! If you want to see history, Kofi can thank God for the Power of Positivity, but the devil thanks Lesnar for lining up the victims! There is no prediction, this is a SPOILER that you will hear, “Your winner and NEW reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, Brock. Lesnar!” Heyamn storms off, but is it truly inevitable that Lesnar reigns again?
Backstage interview with Maria Kanellis.
The expecting mother has some explaining to do about this baby daddy drama. Is Rusev really…? Maria can’t believe she’d be asked that. No, Rusev is NOT the father. And Rusev has enough going on with Lana. What is wrong with Charly?
Sasha comes by to snatch the mic. If Becky is the Man, she’s not man enough for the Boss! The Blueprint! The standard in the WWE! Sasha will show Becky carnage when she makes her beg, cry and tap out. There have only been two Women’s Hell in a Cell matches, and Sasha was in the first. So no Man will win the Boss’s match. She hands the mic back to Charly and heads out. Is Sasha going to bank in inside the most sinister structure in wrestling?
A limousine pulls into the arena.
But who is inside?
WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins VS Rusev!
The Bulgarian Lion stepped up to save the Architect, but now he wants a golden favor in return. Randy Orton and Baron Corbin are lurking but Rollins won’t worry about Team Flair until Crown Jewel. For now, can Rollins #BurnItDown and make it to Hell in a Cell still champion? Or will Rusev crush his reign to truly make this season premiere historic?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this season premiere main event begins!
Rusev and Rollins circle, but Rusev offers a handshake. Rollins takes it but gets pulled down! Rollins escapes the Accolade, and has to smile at Rusev’s trick. Rollins mule kicks but Rusev avoids the stomp, and wants the Accolade again. Rusev avoids a Superkick, but Rollins avoids Rusev’s chop. Rollins clotheslines then fires off strikes, but Rusev stays up. Rollins runs and leaps but in Rusev’s arms for a Fall Away Slam! Rollins bails out to regain composure, but Rusev flex the pecs. Raw goes to break, and The Fiend is on screen saying, “Let Me In!” Will Bray Wyatt hijack the show before it returns?
Raw returns once more, and The Fiend has not appeared. Instead, the match continues and Rusev has Rollins in a bearhug. Rollins elbows but Rusev squeezes harder. Corbin and Orton still watch as Rollins breaks free. Rusev kicks Rollins to a corner but Rollins boots him back. Rollins hops up, BLOCKBUSTER! Both men are down, but fans rally up. Rollins goes at Rusev but Rusev throws forearms. Rollins hits back and the two brawl with big right hands. Rollins CHOPS, then forearms, then CHOPS again. Rollins keeps it up, whips but Rusev reverses. Rollins dodges to hit a Slingblade! Rollins brings Rusev up but Rusev resists the suplex. Rusev suplexes Rollins but Rollins slips out, to dump Rusev over and out! Rollins runs to DIVE! Direct hit but Rollins keeps moving, to DIVE again! Another direct hit, but Phoenix fires up for Rollins as he puts Rusev in. Rollins climbs up top and leaps, big crossbody! But Rusev rolls through to lift Rollins, only for Rollins to cradle counter, TWO!
Rusev ROUNDHOUSES Rollins, then picks him up for a swinging slam! Cover, TWO! Rusev keeps his focus as he goes to a corner. Rusev stomps as fans duel and rally. Rollins rises and Rusev aims, but Rusev misses the kick for Rollins to roll him! TOW, SUPERKICK! Deadlift but Rusev resists again. Rollins still gets Rusev up for the Falcon Arrow! Cover, TWO!! Rusev is tough and Rollins nods respect. But Rollins has more to give and fans cheer as he aims. Rollins mule kicks, runs, but Rusev avoids the stomp to put Rollins on the apron. Rollins elbows back then springboards, but into a MACHKA Kick! Wait, is that… Bobby Lashley!? What is the Rocky Mountain Machine doing back? He motions for the belt, but he isn’t alone. Because accompanying Lashley is… LANA!? Rusev’s wife is with another man!? They even kiss!! Rusev is appalled but he can’t look away. But then… THE LIGHTS GO OUT!!
THE FIEND ATTACKS ROLLINS!! THE FIEND ATTACKS ROLLINS! He smothers Rollins into the post with the Mandible Claw!! And he laughs as he does it! The lights go back out, and Bray’s laugh echoes out. Rollins keeps the title, but is he going to lose much more than that at Hell in a Cell?
Well, one thing about tonight’s “season premiere” for Raw, it wasn’t boring. Rey Mysterio opens the show, and the fact he wasn’t in ring gear was an early warning of something happening. As was his having Dominick in the crowd. I just didn’t expect it to coincide with Brock Lesnar’s appearance, and I definitely did not expect Lesnar to attack Mysterio and Dominick to that degree. It was definitely some shock factor to boost this episode’s opening hour, but it worked to get some major Heel heat on Lesnar ahead of what will surely get him more heat: beating Kofi Kingston on SmackDown’s Fox debut. Heyman’s promo later was pretty great, too, putting the blame on Vince essentially wanting ratings over safety. We could certainly blame Vince for a lot of things wrong with WWE in general, even for some of the things tonight that just felt odd.
Team Roode Dolph had a really great tag match with Heavy Machinery, and it seems fans still really like Otis’ antics. But it seems that the brands aren’t trading tag titles, so SmackDown gets theirs back in the Draft when The Revival surely move over. Viking Raiders VS The OC was another solid match, but the relative silence from Phoenix is proof that Vince is to blame for how those two teams have been portrayed, especially “Erik and Ivar.” The Vikings keep winning, surely they’ll step up to #RoodeDolph in time for the next PPV. Speaking of the next PPV, Crown Jewel is coming as our Halloween trick, but there is a treat in that Team Flair VS Team Hogan match. The Miz TV segment with them was fairly fun, but Flair was a bit too fired up. Rollins and Orton being team captains makes a lot of sense, but given the weird swerve of them having a match to introduce teammates was not in line with anything else tonight. They should’ve waited to name captains next week, so blame Vince for shoving stuff in just because.
Ricochet VS Cesaro was a great step forward from the story that was building between Cesaro and Mysterio, and it was a great match for both Cesaro and Ricochet. Ricochet wins to keep afloat, maybe he gets another shot at the United States Championship. Styles VS Alexander was a great match for that United States Championship. But even with this being the season premiere, it makes sense for Styles to retain. The Draft could easily swap midcard champions, as tends to be what happens with Drafts and Shake-Ups, so Styles goes into that with momentum. The AOP had a really good and very menacing promo, so whichever tag team division they’re drafted to, I can’t wait to see them go after tag titles and return to where they were a year ago, before Survivor Series 2018’s awful “AoPeePee” stuff that, again, we blame Vince for.
Lacey and Natty was filler, and not even equal to their previous matches. Blame Vince. Alexa VS Sasha was pretty solid, but it was of course just for Sasha’s momentum. Becky being on the desk the entire time was pretty great, as was her running Sasha off. Sasha has a decent response promo later that night, but the match will surely make up for any and all hiccups. Of course, there’s also SmackDown’s Horsewomen tag match for one last chance, that could go a long way to determining a winner on Sunday. And while brief, Maria confirms Rusev is NOT the father, so thankfully that is all over with since it felt like no one but Vince wanted it in the first place. Firefly Fun House was especially manic tonight, but that’s likely because we’re getting the payoff on Sunday.
Rollins VS Rusev was pretty good, and it works that Orton and Corbin were watching because of the coming Crown Jewel match. However, things go deep into “Blame Vince” territory when half the reason the main event ends is because Lana and Lashley are making out for way too long on the ramp. We’re getting some sort of marital dysfunction story out of Rusev and Lana now, just as we got away from the Kanellis stuff. But at least we got what we all expected, in The Fiend attacking! He didn’t attack who we thought in the legends of Hogan and Flair, and it would’ve worked better if we just didn’t have to deal with this new Lana-Lashley-Rusev angle so that Fiend could go after Rusev. That would’ve kept a parallel between what Fiend did last week, going after Strowman so that Rollins wouldn’t lose. But instead, Fiend reaches the point where he goes right after Rollins to bring Rollins’ health in question for Sunday. I hope the math doesn’t apply this time. Fiend should be able to stand tall at the end of Raw and still win the title on Sunday. Otherwise, it’ll be no different than how Vince has treated Bray this entire time.
My Score: 8.1/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (3/6/21)
A Dark Dozen before Revolution!
It’s a bonus Dark before AEW Revolution!
AEW Revolution is coming, but there is still some Dark to get through! Will the Murderhawk Monster be rolling into that Face of the Revolution Ladder match?
- The Natural Nightmares VS Cezar Bononi & Peter Avalon; The Natural Nightmares win.
- Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS JD Drake; Chuck wins.
- Penta El Zero M VS Azriel; Penta wins.
- Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake VS John Skyler; Archer wins.
- Ricky Starks & Brian Cage w/ Hook VS Angel Fashion & Fuego del Sol; win.
- Jack Evans w/ Angelico VS Jake St. Patrick; Evans wins.
- The Gunn Club VS M’Badu & D3; wins.
- Thunder Rosa VS Tesha Price; wins.
- Bear Country VS Ryzin & Cameron Stewart; win(s).
- Preston Vance & Alan Angels w/ The Dark Order VS LaBron Kozone & Vary Morales; win.
- Tay Conti VS Leila Grey; wins.
- The Sydal Brothers VS Chaos Project; win(s).
PLAY BY PLAY
The Natural Nightmares VS Cezar Bononi & Peter Avalon!
Dustin Rhodes & QT Marshall are ready for the Casino Tag Battle Royal, but so are the Brazilian V8 and “Pretty” Peter! Who builds some momentum before running into the Revolution?
The teams sort out, Bononi starts with Dustin, and they circle. Fans rally for Dustin but PPA tells them to shut up. Bononi and Dustin tie up and Bononi shoves Dustin to a corner. Dustin comes back to headlock but Bononi powers out. Dustin rams Bononi but Bononi stays up and shakes his head. Dustin runs again, he dodges Bononi’s clothesline to ROCK him with an uppercut! Dustin wrenches and puts Bononi in the corner, QT tags in and Dustin whips QT in to forearm smash! QT feeds Bononi to Dustin’s POWERSLAM! Fans fire up as QT ROCKS Bononi, whips him, but Bononi reverses. QT holds ropes, BOOTS Bononi, but Avalon gets a cheap shot in!
Bononi then stomps away on QT at the ropes! Tag to Avalon, they mug QT, and Avalon CHOPS! Avalon clubs QT to the other corner, wrenches and whips him corner to corner, and QT bounces off buckles. Avalon stomps QT but fans rally up. Bononi tags in, they mug QT again, but QT hits back! Bononi knees low and throws hard back elbows! Bononi dares QT to reach for Dustin, but QT throws body shots. Bononi throws elbows but QT handsprings for a NEURALIZER! Bononi staggers and Avalon tags in to drag QT from Dustin. QT boots Avalon away and hot tags to Dustin! Dustin dodges Avalon and rallies with clotheslines! Dustin whips and back drops Avalon!
Bononi gets in to kick low, then he whips Dustin. Dustin stops and uppercuts Bononi! Dustin CLOBBERS Bononi, and gets Avalon with a POWERSLAM! Dustin drags Avalon up but Bononi clubs him! QT gets in to ROCK Bononi with haymakers! Bononi knees low, throws QT out, but Dustin clotheslines Bononi out! Dustin dodges Avalon to hit a BULLDOG! Cover, Dustin & QT win!
Winners: The Natural Nightmares, by pinfall
The Natural is fired up because he and the Gift are ready for the Casino Tag Battle Royal! But will they win it and become contenders?
Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS JD Drake!
The Kentucky Gentleman and Freshly Squeezed will be in for a fight with the Superbad and Best Man! But first, can Chuck get through a scrap with Scrap Metal?
The bell rings, Chuck and JD circle and tie up, and JD puts Chuck on the ropes. The ref calls for the break, JD goes to chop but Chuck dodges! Chuck and JD reset, tie up, and Chuck waistlocks. JD pries free to a keylock but Chuck goes to hook a leg. JD blocks that but Chuck wrenches through and gets a headlock. JD powers out and throws Chuck to a corner, then runs in. Chuck dodges, hits an arm-drag and grinds JD down. JD fights up, fans rally, and JD pulls air to whip Chuck away. Chuck comes back and JD runs him over! Things speed up, Chuck hurdles over and arm-drags JD again! JD gets up but Chuck dropkicks him out! JD is frustrated, but Chuck goes out to pursue.
Chuck goes around the way, but JD pops him up against ropes to DECK him! JD takes a moment while the ref and Cassidy check on Chuck. JD then drags Chuck up to bump him off buckles and ROCK him with a right! JD puts Chuck in, and drops a senton! Cover, TWO! JD stomps Chuck to ropes, chokes him against the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts 3. JD brings Chuck up to CHOP him, then stalks him as he crawls. JD stomps Chuck’s fingers, throws haymakers then whips, and clotheslines to a falling headbutt! Cover, TWO! JD drags Chuck into a chinlock and digs his knee in. Cassidy rallies the fans and Chuck fights back with body shots.
Fans rally, JD shoves Chuck and atomic drops to a SHOTGUN BOOT! Cover, TWO! JD gets annoyed, drags Chuck up and CHOPS him! Chuck grits his teeth and CHOPS back! And CHOPS again! JD fires up but Chuck ducks to CHOP again! Chuck whips, JD reverses but Chuck reverses back to feed him SOLE FOOD! Chuck runs and BOOTS JD down! Fans fire up, Chuck drags JD up and whips but JD goes up and over. JD runs in but into a Sexy Chuckie Knee! Chuck gets JD for an URENAGE! Chuck double guns, Cassidy kinda double guns, and Chuck goes up top to MOONSAULT! JD moves and elbows Chuck away!
JD hops up top and leaps for a FLYING LEG LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Chuck lives but JD is right on him with a POINT-BLANK LARIAT! Cover, TWO! JD grows frustrated but fans fire up. JD goes to the corner, gives a thumbs down and climbs up. Chuck shoves him down onto his scrap metal! Chuck drags JD back for a SUPER AWFUL WAFFLE!! Cover, Chuck wins!
Winner: Chuck Taylor, by pinfall
That was a big win for the Kentucky Gentleman! But then Penelope Ford struts out on stage? And KIP SABIAN attacks from outta nowhere! Chuck goes after Kip but Miro grabs Chuck for a cobra clutch! Miro thrashes Chuck while Kip chokes Cassidy! Chuck fades out and Miro throws him down! Fans boo but Miro gets a mic. “Wake up, Charles! You’re not done.” He splashes water all over Chuck, and Miro tells him today is a day to learn. Chuck should’ve come talk to Miro like a man, but he ran to the office like a little boy! Chuck could’ve been something but now he’s just wasting their time!
Miro is better than Chuck and Cassidy, he should be AEW World Champion, but they’re taking up his precious time! Miro doesn’t need to be answering notes to make matches! So for that, Chuck is going to see his little friend get what Chuck will get at Revolution! Kip drags Cassidy up, Miro gives the shin kicks, then a BEST KICK! Cassidy is in a daze as he’s down on the stage! Miro tells Chuck will get twice as bad on Sunday! Will Miro & Kip break the Best Friends for good?
Penta El Zero M VS Azriel!
The third point of the Death Triangle is back! And though he’ll surely want revenge on Kenny Omega and his Biz Cliz, he’s going into the Face of the Revolution Ladder match! Will Cero Miedo strike fear into everyone with his Dark return?
The bell rings and Penta circles with Azriel. They tie up, Penta shoves Azriel, and then gets him to a half nelson, spin, hammerlock and a trip. Penta rolls Azriel but Azriel kips up to arm-drag Penta! Penta arm-drags back, then runs. Azriel bypasses but Penta CLUBS him and CHOPS him! Penta swaggers over, CHOPS Azriel in the corner, then whips him to ropes. Penta SPINEBUSTERS, but Azriel headscissors and swings to throw Penta away! Things speed up, Azriel rolls back but into a PENALTY KICK! Penta and fans fire up, and Penta swaggers as he stalks Azriel to a corner. Penta KICKS out a leg! Azriel clutches the knee, but Penta drags him up to put him against ropes.
Penta lets off to CHOP Azriel down! Penta drags Azriel up, whips him but Azriel dodges and RANAS! Azriel arm-drags again, and dropkicks Penta to a corner! Azriel runs but into a SUPERKICK! Azriel runs back in but misses, and Penta goes for a monkey flip but Azriel puts him on the top rope. Penta blocks Azriel’s haymaker, Azriel blocks the boot, and then Azriel DECKS Penta off the top! Penta goes to the floor, Azriel builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit and Azriel fires up! Azriel goes to the ring, puts Penta in and climbs back up, to leap INTO A SUPERKICK! Penta looms over Azriel, drags him up, and clubs him on the back.
Penta shouts CERO MIEDO in his face, runs, but Azriel knees him in the ropes! Azriel whips, knees Penta again, then whips for another knee! Azriel whips to wrench and knee again. Azriel wraps Penta into a cobra clutch for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Azriel grits his teeth, goes to the top rope, and FROG SPLASHES, onto knees! Penta drags Azriel up, pump handle half nelson for the PACKAGE DRIVER! Cover, TWO!?! Azriel survives and Penta can’t believe it! Penta drags Azriel back in, CERO MIEDO for the true package. Azriel slips out, Penta mule kicks and runs, SPRINGBOARD DESTROYER!!
But Penta isn’t done there, he’s going to make Azriel pay! DARK ARMBAR!!! Cover, Penta wins!
Winner: Penta El Zero M, by pinfall
Not only is Penta building momentum, he’s proving his edge is as sharp as ever! Will Penta do even worse to the others in order to become the Face of the Revolution?
Big Swole speaks!
“There’s a word going around that Big Swole is ‘underutilized.’ Nah, I’m under valued! I’ve scratched and clawed through Crohn’s Disease to become a contender. And when I did, I was met, nah, nah, I was slapped in the damn face with a tournament announcement for something that I have already earned!” Swole knows that the rankings are reset every year, but she was 38-hot about this! SO much, she took time off. And she kept thinking, “It doesn’t matter. The results of the tournament doesn’t matter. But it does.”
Swole is genuinely happy for Ryo Mizunami, and she’ll encourage everyone to watch as the “number one contender” takes on Hikaru Shida. And then whoever is champion after Revolution, congratulations! You’re a champion in debt! They owe Swole, and you don’t wanna owe Swole! Swole will “fight errybody and they momma to get what’s mine!” After Revolution, payment is due, and Swole’s price is gold! No more playing around, Swole’s going after the top spot! But will it be the Full Metal Warrior or Aneki that will be facing the REAL #1 contender?
Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake VS John Skyler!
The Murderhawk Monster is also heading into the Face of the Revolution Ladder match, and is ready to remind AEW that #EverybodyDies! Will the Southern Savior be no different in the Dark?
The bell rings and Archer circles with Skyler. They tie up, and Archer throws Skyler right down and kicks him to a corner. Archer bumps Skyler off buckles, ROCKS him with a forearm, then digs his knee into Skyler’s head. The ref counts, Archer lets off, but he drags Skyler up to CLUB him back down! Archer sits Skyler up to CLUB him again, and then paces around. Skyler gets up but Archer choke grips. Skyler pulls Archer’s hair, kicks a leg, then fires off forearms! Skyler CHOPS away on Archer but he doesn’t flinch! Skyler kicks a leg, headlocks, but Archer powers him to a corner. Archer runs in, Skyler dodges, runs back in and uppercuts! Skyler runs and hits another uppercut!
Skyler wants the hat trick but Archer BOOTS him down! Archer then runs to DERAIL Skyler! Fans fire up as Archer dares Skyler to get up. Skyler crawls, Archer puts him in a corner and runs in to back elbow! And then again! And then again! Archer pushes Skyler aside to talk to the camera that this will be nothing compared to Sunday. Archer turns around, Skyler hits back, but Archer DECKS him! Archer drags Skyler up for a full nelson SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Skyler actually survives and Archer applauds him. Archer drags Skyler back up, and TWO HAND SUPLEXES Skyler to a corner!
Skyler flounders up, Archer runs in, but Skyler boots him! Skyler hops up top but Archer ROCKS him with an uppercut! Archer drags Skyler out in the inverted crucifix, for the BLACKOUT BOMB!! Cover, Archer wins!
Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall
Jake gets a mic and says, “Lance, what have you gotten us into?” Six men, one is a mystery, but does it really matter? Jake likes surprises, don’t you? That’s what she said. But you put five men in the ring with Archer, and one of them being Cody Rhodes, Jake and Archer want to make him scream in pain. But how horrible, his wife is pregnant! That makes Jake weep. But what doesn’t bother Jake is taking what they thought was theirs and making it his! Archer takes the mic to say AEW will either give it to them, or they’ll take it. It has been a LONG year since debuting in AEW, and the TNT Championship was always meant to be his.
Archer is very, very happy Cody is in the match, because Archer is going to take Cody’s daughter’s daddy away from her. There will be no Daddy’s Little Girl. And all the other bodies in the ring, get in Archer’s way, he dares you! Nothing will stop Archer from taking the brass ring, putting Darby in pain like he’s never felt before, and becoming the rightful TNT Championship! Archer doesn’t care if you’re qualified or a random surprise, #EverybodyDies! Will the Murderhawk Monster be the Face of the Revolution?
Ricky Starks & Brian Cage w/ Hook VS Angel Fashion & Fuego del Sol!
Team Taz keeps trying to take the fight to Sting and Darby Allin but they keep getting checked. The Street Fight is coming, will the #AbsoluteMachines use the Fashionable Hombre and Fire of the Sun for a warm-up before Revolution?
The teams sort out, Starks starts with Fuego and circle. Fans rally for Fuego as he ties up with Starks but Starks waistlocks to slam him down! Starks brags that he didn’t even take the chains off, but Fuego fights up. Fuego reaches back, and flying-mares! Fuego mule kicks, runs but Starks scoops for a BIG back suplex! Starks strikes a pose, drags Fuego up, and suplexes. Cage tags in during the delay, then takes the hand-off into a stalling suplex! Cage holds Fuego up for a count of 10 before slamming him down! Fans boo but Cage soaks up the heat. Cage drags Fuego up, whips and CLOBBERS him with an elbow!
Cage drags Fuego back up, scoops him and uses Fuego for bicep curls. Fans boo but Cage tosses Fuego, only for Fuego to hot tag Fashion! Fashion runs, lariats, but Cage stays up! Cage runs, Fashion dodges to kick, kick and leap, into a SLAM! Fuego runs in but into a FLAPJACK! Starks gets in to SPEAR Fuego inside-out! Cage mule kicks, suplexes Fashion and holds him up, for a DRILL CLAW!! Cover, Team Taz wins!
Winner: Ricky Starks & Brian Cage, by pinfall
And it was that easy! But of course, things will be very different at Revolution. Will the #AbsoluteMachines take the sting out of the Icon and the Relentless?
Jack Evans w/ Angelico VS Jake St. Patrick!
The Hybrid2 are going into the Casino Tag Battle Royal, but the mouthier half is tuning up on his own. Will Evans win for both him and Angelico so they can be contenders?
The bell rings and Evans circles and ties up with JSP. Evans wrenches to a wristlock, then shifts through to drop toehold. Evans floats to a facelock, JSP fights his way up, and JSP back drops free! Evans gets a headlock but JSP powers out, only for Evans to run him over! Things speed up, JSP hurdles then drops to dropkick! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as JSP runs in and uppercuts Evans! JSP snapmares and runs to PENALTY KICK! And DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO! JSP grows frustrated already but he drags Evans up to uppercut! JSP whips Evans to a corner, Evans handsprings through and comes back to SCREW HIGH KICK! Fans boo but Evans is pissed with JSP.
Evans drags JSP up, throws big knees, then wrenches JSP to a whip, and BIG gamangiri! STANDING SKY TWIST! Cover, TWO! JSP survives but sputters to a corner and Evans is after him. Evans throws haymakers, wrenches and whips, but JSP reverses to run in and uppercut! JSP rolls and runs back in, but Evans sends him into buckles! Evans somersaults back to a Pele, then drags JSP down to a KIMURA! JSP clasps hands to resist and the two move around. JSP gets a ropebreak with his foot! Evans lets go and drags JSP up but JSP mule kicks, front kicks and enziguris, but Evans ducks the buzzsaw, only to get the second! Cover, TWO!!
JSP fires up, fans rally with him, and he drags Evans up to ROCK him! JSP whips Evans to ropes, Evans holds ropes to stop, and then Evans boots JSP to go to the apron. Evans kicks JSP low, slingshots up and over and backslides to then bridge! TWO, and Evans can’t believe it! JSP fireman’s carries to GO TO KICK! And then a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Evans survives and JSP is shocked! Fans fire up as JSP goes to a corner. JSP climbs up top, but Evans hurries to jump up behind! SPIDER GERMAN! Evans sits back up and adjusts to leap, 630 SENTON! Cover, Evans wins!
Winner: Jack Evans, by pinfall
Evans from the Heavens came crashing down on JSP and has the momentum! But will it help TH2 become THE #1 contenders?
The Acclaimed drop another new single!
“Ladder match, ladder match, make the haters sadder match! All the fans cheering for me, ‘Get up on the ladder’ match! Ladder match, ladder match, quiet down the chatter match. Going for the gold but you know my name is Platinum Max! Ladder match, battle raps, creatin’ all these bets like my kids, call ’em Cabbage Patch. They wanna beat me, they gonna need a magic act. Cody’s only it it cuz he’s got big leagued by the Shaq Attack. Facts are facts, Platinum Max, damn Cody how you not embarrassed? Tony Khan’s the Biden, you just Kamala Harris. Yep, vice-president. So what if fans are never rootin? Cody’s the office, he’s no Face of the Revolution!
“Speaking of faces, we got Penta, yo, this guy is frontin’. He’s wearin’ paint and a mask, must be hidin’ somethin’. Why you scared, man? What happened to the Cero Miedo? Platinum Max, I rock the ice and you got cero fuego! Scorpio, I read your horoscope and then died of boredom. If you won the title shot, you’d trade it for a pair of Jordans. I ain’t scared of Lance, choke him with ponytail. I am with the Acclaimed, Platinum Max, I’m the holy grail!
“Ladder match, ladder match, make the haters sadder match! Say a little prayer like their name is Burt Bacharach. Think you gotta chance, man? I gotta laugh at that. Going for the gold but you know my name is Platinum Max!” Once again, Catser is dropping bars, but will Platinum not get the gold as easily?
The Gunn Club VS M’Badu & D3!
Billy’s boys are teaming up as a duo again, but against the Nigerian Warrior and Prince of Roma! Will the Gunn Club still be hitting the mark on behalf of the Nightmare Family?
The teams sort out, and after rock-paper-scissors, Austin starts with D3. They circle, tie up, and D3 waistlocks. Austin headlocks free, but D3 wrenches out. Austin gets a hammerlock, D3 spins through and whips but Austin goes up and over. Things speed up and Austin trips D3 to then hit a Throwback! D3 hurries and tags M’Badu in! Austin is wary but he ties up with M’Badu. M’Badu shoves Austin away and Colten tags in. Colten and M’Badu tie up, and they’re in a deadlock so they break. They go again, M’Badu gets the arm but Colten wrenches back. COlsten ducks the haymaker and runs, then slips out of the scoop. Things speed up. Colten hurdles and dropkicks M’Badu!
Tag to Austin, Colten whips him and to uppercut M’Badu! Austin keeps going, but M’Badu catches him for a POWERSLAM! Cover, ONE!! Tag to D3, he clubs away on Austin, then eggs him on. Austin throws body shots but D3 uppercuts and neckbreakers! Austin flounders, D3 puts him in the corner. D3 kicks Austin’s ribs, tags in M’Badu, and they mug Austin. M’Badu fires up, runs corner to corner and SPLASHES! Austin staggers and swings but is probably seeing double. Austin falls over, M’Badu covers him, ONE!! M’Badu tags D3, they drag Austin up and double whip.
Austin holds ropes, kicks M’Badu but he runs into D3’s slingblade, to counter it into a BACKBREAKER! M’Badu runs in but Austin dumps him out, hot tag to Colten! Colten rallies on D3 with big clotheslines! M’Badu tags in but Colten dodges to neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Colten as he runs and SPLASHES D3! Then SPLASHES M’Badu! Then scoops D3 for a tilt-o-whirl SLAM! M’Badu whips but Colten throws him out and Austin dropkicks him down! The Gunn Brothers double whip D3, for the 3:10 TO YUMA! Cover, the Gunn Club wins!
Winners: The Gunn Club, by pinfall
Whether just two or the whole trio, the Gunns are shooting on all cylinders! Will they and Papa Gunn be sharp towards some kind of title opportunity?
Thunder Rosa VS Tesha Price!
La Mera Mera didn’t get to accomplish her 2021 resolutions in the AEW Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, but there’s still time! She’s going to get her shot at Britt Baker in the Revolution Buy-In, will Tesha be paying the price of admission?
Bear Country VS Ryzin & Cameron Stewart!
Bronson & Boulder are rolling as of late, and they’re ready to roll right into that Casino Tag Battle Royal at Revolution! Will this match be but a speedbump on their road to the top?
Preston Vance & Alan Angels w/ The Dark Order VS LaBron Kozone & Vary Morales!
Number 10 didn’t make it into the Face of the Revolution Ladder match, but he and Number 5 can still climb up the tag team rankings! Will they be rolling strong with the rest of the Dark Order going into Revolution?
Tay Conti VS Leila Grey!
The Brazilian Blackbelt could not overcome the Native Beast in the Women’s Title Eliminator Tournament, but she can always fight her way up the rankings! Will the stop the #UnstoppableDanger in Grey’s Dark debut?
The Sydal Brothers VS Chaos Project!
Two more teams who are entering the Casino Tag Battle Royal are battling it out for final momentum! But will Matt & Mike be able to overcome the Original Death Dealer and SNAKEMAN in this Dark main event?
Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/6/21)
New Japan Cup, day 2!
Will the Rainmaker redeem himself in the New Japan Cup?
Kazuchika Okada vows that it is time he returns to the top of NJPW! But this is only round ONE of the 2021 New Japan Cup! Can he make it to the end?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA; Kenta wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi; Takagi wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!
Tetsuya Naito lost in the first round of the NJCUP, Bushi couldn’t win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Sanada is still in the running! Will LIJ be a powerful obstacle in the way of Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay?
But as soon as LIJ gets in the ring, the Empire attacks! Cobb throws Bushi out while Ospreay goes after Sanada, and Khan keeps Naito in the ring to revisit their recent NJCUP match. The bell rings, Khan drags Naito around but fans rally up. Khan clamps onto Naito with a chinlock but also adds his claw into it! Sanada sends Ospreay into railing while Naito and Khan brawl with forearms! Khan ROCKS Naito then Mongolian Chops him at the ropes. Naito reverses the whip to atomic drop, Bushi dropkicks the legs out and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans cheer and Naito grabs Khan’s ponytail! Naito drags Khan around by it, fans rally up and Khan grabs the ropes.
The ref counts, Naito lets off but tags Sanada in. Sanada climbs up and drops ax handles on the ponytail! That still tweaks Khan’s head and fans fire up again. Sanada drags Khan up while Ospreay protests, and Sanada headlocks to punch Khan down. Sanada throws haymakers, brings Khan up for clubbing elbows, then tags in Bushi. Bushi clubs Khan, drags him up by the ponytail, and bumps him off buckles. Bushi CHOPS Khan, puts Khan’s leg on ropes and dropkicks the leg out! Cover, TWO! ans rally, Bushi drags Khan around and tags in Naito. Naito clubs Khan, drags him up and cravats for a standing neck wrench. Khan endures, reaches for the Empire, but Naito keeps him away.
Khan throws body shots but Naito throws an elbow, into a standing katagatami! Khan kicks a leg out and drags Naito down! Cobb and Ospreay attack Sanada and Bushi! They brawl on the outside, Naito gets a ropebreak but Khan holds on! Khan cranks on the hold, the ref reprimands and counts, and Khan lets go at 3. Brawling continues outside but Khan drags Naito around to stomp away on the leg! Naito clutches his knee and fans rally up, but Khan drags him up first. Khan tags Cobb in, the Empire mugs Naito, and Cobb gives Naito a headbutt! Naito ends up in a corner, Cobb whips him out to whip him back in hard! The Empire likes that and Cobb scoops Naito to carry him around.
Cobb taunts LIJ by holding Naito out to them, but then throws in knees! Cobb puts Naito in the Empire corner, tags in Ospreay, and then sets Naito up for Ospreay’s DRAPING DOUBLE STOMPS! Ospreay BOOTS Sanada, Cobb RAMS Naito back into the corner, and Ospreay digs his boot in. The ref reprimands and counts, Ospreay lets off to throw haymakers and more stomps! Ospreay digs his knee in, the ref reprimands and counts, but Ospreay lets off again. Ospreay snapmares and wraps Naito up in a chinlock. Ospreay grinds Naito down, fans rally up, and Naito endures. Khan keeps ropes away from Naito but the ref reprimands.
Ospreay drags Naito away, cranks on the chinlock then shifts to a facelock. Khan tags in, and Mongolian Chops Naito on the back! Khan drags Naito up for more Mongolian Chops! Khan mockingly asks what’s wrong and he eggs Naito on. Fans rally, Naito throws haymakers and forearms! Khan knees low, whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to block the DDT! Naito fights out of Khan’s grip, elbows him, then spins him for a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans fire up! Naito sits up but Khan follows. They both go to their corners, hot tags to Sanada and Ospreay! Sanada rallies, whips but Ospreay reverses, only for Sanada to reverse back and RANA!
Sanada dropkicks Cobb away, then blocks Ospreay’s boot to trip him! Sanada ties Ospreay up in Paradise! Fans fire up as Sanada encourages them to get loud. Sanada runs in and dropkicks Ospreay out of Paradise! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he drags Ospreay up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Ospreay elbows free and waistlocks, but Sanada resists the lift. Sanada elbows free, runs in but Ospreay puts him up top! Ospreay tucks him in, for CHEEKY NANDOS! Ospreay hurries and tags in Cobb! Cobb runs corner to corner to LEAPING back elbow! Cobb scoops Sanada, pops him up into the suplex, holds him up, but Sanada reverses to snap suplex!
Fans fire up again as Cobb goes to a corner. Sanada crawls and hot tags Bushi! Bushi runs corner to corner but Cobb dodges. Cobb runs in, Bushi slips out and swing kick shim away! Bushi goes up, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Cobb runs back at Bushi but into a basement dropkick to the legs! Bushi basement DDT’s and covers, TWO! Fans rally and Bushi brings Cobb up. Cobb throws forearms, whips Bushi to a corner, then runs in, but Bushi dodges! Naito rocket kicks and leg sweeps, COMBINACION CABRON! LIJ whips Cobb, Sanada elbows and snapmares, for a TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!
Naito dropkicks Khan down but Ospreay drags Sanada out. Bushi has Cobb, but no Fisherman Screw! Ospreay hits PIP PIP CHEERIO on Bushi! Sanada dropkicks Ospreay, but Khan BOOTS Sanada! Naito dropkicks Khan’s legs out, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to LARIAT him! Cobb goes back to Bushi as fans rally up. Bushi kicks, Cobb blocks then ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi runs in, but the Code Break is blocked and popped to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb drags Bushi up, reels him in and hits a TOUR OF THE ISLAND! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
The Hawaiian Hulk is building up power and momentum towards his NJCUP battle with Evil! The Dominator is also already in, and the newly deemed “Global Kingpin” Ospreay has his battle tomorrow, March 7th! Will the entire United Empire advance towards the finals?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki!
These two have been warming up in tag matches and finally get to throw down 1v1! Will Everyone’s Kokeshi be able to knock the Meanest Man in the World out of the tournament? Or will Suzuki brutalize and leave him behind while going for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
The bell rings and fans rally up already. Suzuki and Honma stare down, but then Honma shoves and CHOPS! And CHOPS! Suzuki CHOPS, Honma CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Fans rally as the CHOPS fly harder and faster! Neither man is backing down, but Honma does get the edge! Honma CHOPS and CHOPS then DOUBLE CHOPS! Suzuki eggs Honma on, Honma CHOPS and then scoops Suzuki to slam him! Honma fires up and runs, but Suzuki dodges the kokeshi! Honma gets mad and tries again, but again Suzuki dodges! Suzuki gives toying kicks to Honma and fans rally up. Suzuki throws knees and forearms and Honma goes to a corner.
Suzuki throws body shots, whips him corner to corner but Honma reverses. Honma runs in but Suzuki boots him. Suzuki slips to the apron, and catches Honma’s arm to a DRAPING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3 and then drags Honma out to join him. Suzuki whips Honma into railing! Suzuki slaps Honma then throws forearms and elbows! Suzuki puts Honma’s head through railings and pulls him back against the top bar! The ref reprimands and counts but Suzuki stops at 3. Fans rally but Suzuki puts Honma in a cravat! Suzuki grinds Honma down, the ref reprimands but Suzuki holds on until the ref counts. Suzuki stands Honma up and RAMS him into railing!
Suzuki digs his knuckles into Honma’s eyes! Commentary is really close to the action but Suzuki leaves Honma behind as the ring count climbs. The count is already 10 of 20 as the fans rally. It passes 15, Honma stands at 18 and gets in at 19.5! Suzuki drags Honma into a facelock, then shifts to a chinlock stretch! Suzuki digs a knee into Honma’s back as he pulls him back! Fans rally as Honma endures, and Honma fights, only for Suzuki to crank harder on the hold! Honma reaches with feet and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go and eggs Honma on. Suzuki gives Honma more toying kicks but Honma rises as fans rally again.
Honma throws forearms but Suzuki laughs them off. Suzuki eggs Honma on then ROCKS him! Honma wobbles, Suzuki ROCKS him again! Honma wobbles and falls over! Suzuki runs to PENALTY KICK! Honma stays seated up!? Suzuki PENALTY KICKS again but Honma just gets stronger! Suzuki runs, Honma blocks the kick, elbows it, but swings into Suzuki’s grip! Honma spins through and gets Suzuki for a DDT! Fans rally up as both men slowly rise. Honma reels Suzuki in but Suzuki throws elbows, only for Honma to power through and hit the back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Honma CHOPS Suzuki to a corner!
Honma CHOPS more, and more, and then whips Suzuki corner to corner. Honma runs in to back elbow then hit a BULLDOG! Honma fires up to hit the KOKESHI! Fans fire up again as Honma dares Suzuki to get up. Suzuki rises, Honma runs, but Suzuki ducks the lariat to waistlock! Honma counters with a facelock, but Suzuki wrenches the arm! Suzuki ducks Honma’s haymaker, back hand, and fires off SLAPS! And kicks and clubbing elbows! Honma falls over again but Suzuki brings him back up. Suzuki reels Honma in as fans rally up, and that only angers Suzuki more. Suzuki Gotch holds but Honma resists the lift! Suzuki powers through but Honma flails his legs!
Honma powers up to back drop Suzuki over! Suzuki gets up and he looms over Honma. Suzuki gives more kicks but Honma eggs him on! Fans rally as Suzuki stomps but Honma growls. Suzuki fires off slapping palm strikes and big forearm shots but Honma just gets stronger! Honma ROCKS Suzuki with a right! Suzuki comes back to palm strike, but Honma POINT-BLANK KOKESHIS! Both men are down again and fans fire up! Honma rises, drags Suzuki up and throws more forearms! Honma has Suzuki in the corner but now Suzuki eggs Honma on. Suzuki leans into the forearms as Honma throws them, no guard at all! Honma headbutts!
But Suzuki roars, so Honma throws more forearms in the corner! The ref wants Honma to let off but Honma ROCKS Suzuki again! Honma clubs Suzuki at ropes, brings him up to the top rope backwards, then clubs him more. Honma climbs up behind Suzuki and fans rally up. Suzuki resists, throws elbows, then cravats Honma to grind him down! Fans still rally but Honma ends up tumbling to the apron! Suzuki adjusts, brings Honma up, but Honma RISING KOKESHIS! Suzuki falls, fans fire up and Honma climbs! Honma leaps for a FLYING KOKESHI! Cover, TWO! Suzuki survives but fans rally for Honma!
Honma drags Suzuki by a leg, and hooks him up with the step-over deathlock! Suzuki resists the crossface but Honma still tries. Honma gets an arm in it for a chicken wing STF! Suzuki endures, Honma shifts to a cover, TWO! Fans rally again as the two stand. Honma brings Suzuki around to scoop but Suzuki slips out to get the sleeper hold! Honma snapmares Suzuki away and throws a LARIAT! Suzuki stays up with pure anger, and he eggs Honma on! Honma runs and LARIATS, but again Suzuki stays up! Suzuki ROCKS Honma with a palm strike, Honma wobbles, but he powers up! Suzuki SMACKS him again, Honma staggers back, but he powers up to ROCK Suzuki in return!
Suzuki throws a forearm, Honma returns it, and again! Fans rally as these two pick up speed again! Suzuki laughs as things get faster, and he ROCKS Honma, to then ROCK him again! Honma wobbles around and staggers to a knee! Honma stands as fans rally, but Suzuki ROCKS him a third time! Honma wobbles and Suzuki seethes, but the two keep going! Forearm for forearm, Honma wobbles and stumbles about again but he comes back to palm strike. Suzuki ROCKS Honma, and again, and then palm strike! Suzuki gets Honma in the SLEEPER! Fans rally as Honma manages to stay standing! Honma turns red and Suzuki squeezes tighter!
The ref checks, the hand drops once! The hand drops twice, but Suzuki turns Honma around! Gotch hold, but Honma’s second wind helps him resist! Suzuki KNEES Honma, and reels him in, but Honma makes it a GANNOSUKE CLUTCH! Cover, TWO!! Honma runs into palm strikes and haymakers! GOTCH PILEDRIVER!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!
Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
Honma gave it his all, but in the end, it wasn’t enough! Will Suzuki take the Cup and then the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA!
The Flamboyant One and Fang Revived are back in Japan in time for the Cup! But who moves on towards the next round and faces Suzuki?
The bell rings and Juice has fans rally up. Juice and Kenta circle, tie up, and Juice uses leverage to power Kenta to ropes. The ref calls for the break but Kenta turns things around and pulls Juice’s hair! Kenta brings Juice into a headlock, Juice powers out but again Kenta pulls hair. Kenta grinds the headlock but Juice powers up to power out, only for Kenta to again get the hair. Kenta grinds Juice down and talks trash, but Juice throws body shots. Juice powers out but Kenta rams him with a shoulder. Juice stays up, Kenta eggs him on but then pulls Juice’s hair. Juice powers up to back suplex high and hard! Fans fire up as Juice drops the back senton! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally as Juice keeps cool. Juice drags Kenta up, JABS, CHOPS, and whips him to a corner. Juice wrenches, whips corner to corner, and then runs in to clothesline Kenta down! Fans fire up with Juice as he runs corner to corner again, but Kenta bails out before the cannonball. Kenta walks around the way, the ref keeps Juice in, but Kenta grabs the ring bell! Finlay tries to tell the ref as Juice storms over, but Kenta CRACKS Juice with the ring bell! Kenta gets in to drop knees on Juice’s head and then dig knuckles into the eye! The ref counts, Kenta lets off at 3 and Juice gets to ropes. Kenta goes after Juice to choke him and claw his eyes!
The ref counts, Kenta stops at 3, and Juice checks his eye. Kenta drags Juice up to throw him out of the ring, and then he pursues. Kenta drags Juice up and whips Juice hard into railing! Juice slumps down and Kenta digs his face into railing! The ref reprimands, Kenta stops and Juice crawls away. Fans rally up but Kenta traps Juice’s head in between the gate and railing! Kenta squeezes tight but stops as the ring count starts. Kenta drags Juice up at 7 of 20 and puts him in at 10. Kenta stomps Juice, throws haymakers, but Juice gets up! Kenta throws more haymakers then rakes at Juice’s eye! Juice gets to a corner, the ref reprimands and warns Kenta.
Fans cheer the ref while Kenta drags Juice up. Kenta headlocks and punches Juice, then scrapes Juice’s face on ropes! The ref counts and Kenta lets off. The ref checks Juice’s eye while Kenta makes up his mocking clap rhythm. Kenta boots Juice down then clamps on a facelock. Kenta grinds Juice down but fans rally up. Juice fights up, fights out, but Kenta claws Juice’s eyes! Kenta runs but Juice hits a SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down! Kenta gets to a corner, Juice rises and runs in, but Kenta boots him away! Juice fires up, runs back in and clotheslines! Juice whips Kenta corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines again!
Juice keeps moving to LEAPING LARIAT Kenta down! Fans fire up and Juice watches Kenta rise. Juice pumps up and fans clap along. Juice JABS, JABS, JABS, then powers up, but Kenta claws his eyes! Juice claws Kenta’s eyes in return! The ref reprimands, Juice headbutts Kenta to a corner! Juice runs in but Kenta boots him! Kenta hops up, reels Juice in and hits a tornado hotshot! Kenta climbs up while Juice staggers, and he hits a FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta clamps onto Juice’s arm but Juice flails and gets the ropebreak! It’s not Game Over yet! Fans rally, Kenta drags Juice up and reels him into a waistlock.
Juice elbows free, runs, but Kenta BOOTS him! Kenta runs but into Juice’s boot! Juice fires up and runs, but Kenta sends him out! Kenta runs to BOOT Juice off and at the railing! Kenta goes out to fetch Juice and drags him up. Kenta goes to bump Juice off the timekeeper’s table but Juice blocks to bump Kenta! Juice powers up but Kenta dumps him up and over onto the timekeeper’s table! Fans rally but Kenta drags the table aside to get Juice up. Kenta rains down rights, the ref has him back off and Kenta goes back to ringside while Juice slowly rises. Kenta climbs the corner?! Juice hurries to stop him with a body shot and a headbutt! Juice has a target and he grabs Kenta!
Kenta rakes Juice’s eyes and clubs him down! Juice staggers away, Kenta goes to the apron and leaps, into Juice’s arms! Juice moves Kenta around, fireman’s carries, and DEATH VALLEY DRIVERS Kenta to the floor!! Fans fire up as both men slowly stir. The ring count begins again and reaches 10 of 20 before Juice puts Kenta in. Juice drags Kenta back up, reels him in, and lifts, for a RUNNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Kenta survives and but Finlay coaches Juice up. Juice fires up and brings Kenta up. Juice chicken wings and turns Kenta, but Kenta rolls Juice up! TWO, and Juice runs at Kenta, only to be put on the apron!
Kenta drags Juice through the ropes for a DRAPING DDT! Fans rally and Kenta rises first. Kenta goes to one corner, Juice is in the other. Kenta runs in to JUMPING BOOT! Kenta keeps moving, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta climbs up the corner while Juice is down, but Juice avoids the double stomps! LEG LARIAT! Both men are down, fans rally up again! Juice and Kenta stir, and Juice stands first! Juice drags Kenta but Kenta gets the arm! Juice rolls out of the hold but Kenta BOOTS him! Juice fires up, Kenta blocks the clothesline but Juice ducks the back hand! Juice fireman’s carries Kenta to the JUICE BOX! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and Juice is beside himself!
Fans rally up and Juice gets to his feet. Juice drags Kenta back up, reels him in and chicken wings, but Kenta slips through to fireman’s carry! Juice fights off to chicken wing and turn, but Kenta slips out again to fireman’s carry! GO TO- NO! Juice blocks and rolls Kenta up, TWO!! Juice powers up but Kenta blocks the left Hand to BACK HAND! Kenta fires off palm strikes over and over, but he swings into the chicken wing! Kenta elbows out, but the back hand is caught! Juice swings, Kenta ducks, but the RIGHT HAND O’ GOD hits! Juice drags Kenta up, chicken wings and turns, but Kenta slips out again! Kenta drags Juice down, hooks up the arm and gets the crossface! GAME OVER!!
Juice endures, moves around, but Kenta cranks way back! Juice taps, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by submission (advances to the next round)
And it was indeed Game Over for the Flamboyant One! Will the Fang Revived sink his teeth into Suzuki next round?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi!
The Rainmaker said at Castle Attack that it’s about time he returns to the top of NJPW! But in his way is the Dragon! Will Takagi end Okada’s road back to redemption already? Or will Okada slay the dragon and head back for the gold?
The bell rings, and fans rally up already for “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Okada gets the clap-clap-clap-stomp going already while he stays back in the corner. Takagi is patient, and he waits as Okada steps forward. They circle, feel out the grapple, but Okada backs off to focus. They tie up right away, Okada powers Takagi to ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Okada lets off and fakes the chop to pat Takagi. Takagi ROCKS and CLUBS and CLUBS Okada back! Fans cheer as Takagi toys with Okada. Takagi brings Okada up, Okada fires off forearms and elbows! Okada reels Takagi into a headlock, but Takagi throws body shots. Takagi powers out, rams Okada but both men stay up!
Fans cheer as Okada runs, and he rams Takagi! Takagi stays up and eggs Okada on. Okada runs, rams Takagi, then drop toeholds on the rebound to elbow drop Takagi’s back! Okada is after Takagi at the ropes, brings him up and throws forearms. Takagi goes to a corner, Okada heads over and throws back elbows. Okada throws more elbows, then brings Takagi around for a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE! Okada keeps his cool, clamps onto Takagi with a chinlock, and digs his knee into Takagi’s back. Takagi fights up, gets a ropebreak with a foot, and Okada lets go quickly. Okada keeps close, brings Takagi up and elbows him again.
Okada snapmares and runs to then basement dropkick Takagi out of the ring! Fans fire up, Takagi gets annoyed and the ring count begins. Takagi takes his time, and gets back up on the apron at 9 of 20. Okada keeps his distance but then Takagi dares Okada to come out after him. Takagi continues to take his time, and the count restarts. Okada gets impatient, Takagi gets on the apron but draws Okada in to drag him out! Takagi bumps him off apron, and again, then whips Okada, only for Okada to reverse and send Takagi into railing! Okada reels Takagi in, puts him on the apron, but Takagi fights off to RAM Okada into railing! And then RAM him into the apron!
Takagi fireman’s carries to SNAKE EYES Okada off the apron, and then kick to DDT! Fans fire up and Takagi flexes as he looms over Okada. The ring count starts again, Takagi drags Okada up and puts him in the ring. Takagi slingshots to STOMP Okada! Takagi digs his knee into Okada, then stands on him, but steps off as Red Shoes counts. Takagi kicks at Okada, drags him up and throws forearms into the back! Takagi whips and KNEES Okada against ropes, then runs to run Okada over! Fans fire up with Takagi and they clap “TA-KA-GI!” “O-KA-DA!” again. Takagi drags Okada up, suplexes, and drives Okada down hard! Cover, TWO!
Takagi clamps onto Okada with a chinlock and grinds him down. Okada endures, fans rally up, but Takagi shifts. Okada fights up, throws body shots to fight free, but Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS him down! Takagi mockingly asks what’s wrong and eggs Okada on. Takagi brings Okada up, Okada throws forearms back! Takagi ROCKS Okada with one! Takagi brings Okada up, Gory Especial, but Okada fights it! Okada gets the arm for the MONEY CLIP! Takagi powers Okada to a corner and is free, then runs but into a BOOT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Fans rally as Takagi and Okada stir. Okada stands first and fires off forearms.
Okada whips, Takagi reverses but Okada ducks and ELBOWS Takagi down! Okada fires up and the fans fire up, too! Okada whips Takagi to a corner, runs in and elbows him, then kicks to DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus while fans continue to rally. Takagi gets to ropes, then a corner, and Okada storms over. Okada hoists Takagi up top, but Takagi boots him away! Takagi runs but into an uppercut! Okada runs but into the elbow! JAB! LARIAT! Takagi fires up and the fans fire up, too! Takagi drags Okada up again, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Takagi is copying Okada’s style and LARIATS him down again!
Takagi scoops and slams Okada and goes to a corner, also formula Okada! For the FALLING ELBOW! Takagi keeps moving and mocks the Rainmaker pose, to then double gun flex! Takagi drags Okada up, wristlock ripcords but Okada stops the steal with a BOOT! Okada fires forearms, throws EuroUppers, but Takagi blindside LARIATS! Takagi runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous now as the two stir! Okada sits up, Takagi follows and the two go forehead to forehead. Okada forearms, then again, but Takagi fires up to forearm back! Okada eggs Takagi on so Takagi hits again! They go back and forth, faster and faster and fans rally up!
Takagi gets the edge, ROCKS Okada, and brings him back around to whip. Okada reverses but Takagi holds ropes to avoid the dropkick! Okada avoids the sliding lariat, but Takagi gets Okada in a fireman’s carry! Okada slips off, Takagi elbows him away, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi runs, Okada catches him for the MONEY CLIP! Takagi fights out, Okada goes to backslide, but Takagi counters to NOSHIGAMI! But Takagi can’t make the cover! Fans rally up, Takagi crawls over, and fires himself back up. Okada slowly rises, Takagi runs but into the dropkick! Okada gut wrenches to a TOMBSTONE! Okada gets the arm for MONEY CLIP!
Takagi endures and fans rally up again. Okada cranks on the hold but Takagi reaches with his legs, and gets the ropebreak! Okada lets go quickly and both men are down again. Fans rally up, Okada stands first, and he hobbles over to Takagi. Okada drags him up, scoops and slams him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs slowly and Takagi hits him first! Takagi climbs up, clubs away on Okada’s back, then talks some smack as he drags Okada up. Okada resists but Takagi gets him up for the SUPERPLEX! The fans are thunderous again as both men writhe from that impact! Takagi rolls over towards Okada, sits Okada up, and hits a SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer but Takagi grits his teeth. Takagi gets the fans rallying with “OI! OI! OI!” Takagi gets up, runs again, but Okada ducks the lariat to backslide! Takagi rolls through, Okada reels him in but Takagi avoids Rainmaker to pump handle! MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO?!? Okada survives and Takagi can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous as Takagi catches his breath. Takagi drags Okada back up, reels Okada in and pump handles again. Okada clubs free of that but Takagi POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Fans rally, Takagi kicks at Okada then drags him back up. Takagi gives Okada forearms from all sides, then ROCKS him!
Okada leans against ropes, Takagi whips but Okada reverses and dropkicks! Okada grabs at Takagi’s arm and gets the MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures, fights up, but Okada gut wrenches for the SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Back to MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures as Okada squeezes tight! Takagi fights up again, reaches out for ropes, but Okada drags him back to a back2backbreaker! And back to the MONEY CLIP! Takagi is turning red and is fading as Okada squeezes as tight as he can! Red Shoes checks on Takagi, the hand drops once. But Takagi gets a second wind now and he powers towards ropes, starts to fade again, but still gets a ropebreak! Okada lets go and fans are thunderous again!
Okada catches his own breath while he stands up. Okada grabs at Takagi but he resists. Takagi throws body shots but Okada stomps Takagi down. Takagi grits his teeth and rises, but Okada SHOTGUNS him! Takagi’s right up to LARIAT! Okada stays up!? Okada gets Takagi’s wrist, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada is going to show Takagi how it’s done as he brings Takagi up, but swings into a full nelson! Okada breaks free, catches Takagi for a spin but Takagi swats the discus! Takagi ripcords, PUMPING RAINMAKER!! Cover, TWO!!! Okada survives and the fans are electric! Takagi gets to a corner, fires himself up by smacking the padding, and then aims at Okada.
Okada rises as Takagi runs in, to PUMPING BOMBER! But Takagi isn’t done, he pump handle fireman’s carries, but Okada slips off! Okada ducks the back hand to back drop, and sit on Takagi! Cover, TWO!! Takagi stays close to Okada and brings him up, but Okada gut wrenches again! Takagi fights free, and hits a BACK SUPLEX BACKBREAKER! That was rough, even for Takagi! Fans rally up again, Takagi drags Okada up and runs, for MAX PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Takagi can’t believe it but this is the Rainmaker fans have come to know! Takagi fires up and drags Okada back up to the pump handle fireman’s carry.
Okada fights free again, ripcords, but into the pump handle! LAST OF THE DRAGONS!!! Cover, Takagi wins!!!!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
This is almost unbelievable! Okada called his shot at Castle Attack, but falls in the first round!! The Dragon slays Okada, and the Rainmaker’s return to the top stops already! What does this mean for the rest of Okada’s 2021? Takagi gets the mic to speak! “Ota Cityyy~!” It feels really good to have won. But seriously, that was a tough match! Takagi hopes everyone enjoyed the match, and Takagi tells Okada that he’s one tough opponent. But the winner here is Takagi.
Takagi can tell NJPW is entering a new era, and Kota Ibushi is the champion after the 49th Anniversary. Takagi thinks the world title is going to be pretty awesome. But in the NJCUP, Takagi vows to make this his time! Ibushi better be ready to defend that new belt against Takagi! Will the “Pumping Maker” be heading for the top now that he’s beaten one of the best in the world?
A great event, especially the NJCUP matches. The Empire keeps winning in solid Six Man Tags, and with Cobb finishing it off. Cobb is going to build momentum all week until he faces Evil on 3/11, that’s a given. Ospreay has momentum for his match, too, but it’d be a great twist if he lost to Tenzan after getting a big head. Honma VS Suzuki was really good, perhaps a touch better than Kenta VS Juice, but maybe it was just all the brawling and wobble selling. I figured Suzuki would win, and it makes sense for Kenta to win against Juice. Just something about pacing felt better in Honma VS Suzuki.
Okada VS Takagi is probably match of the week, and is so far leading the way as best match of the opening round. It’s going to be really hard to beat that, especially because Takagi won! I really thought there was going to be a moment for Okada to turn things around, but that’s huge for Takagi to win. Takagi also has a lot of guts for copying the Rainmaker formula, but I wonder if this is some kind of Okada seal of approval that Takagi won here. Takagi VS Goto is going to be another great match given their NEVER Openweight Championship matches in the past, but I would think Takagi keeps winning until the semifinals now. The Suzuki VS Kenta winner faces Takagi on 3/16, Takagi can totally beat Kenta but Suzuki is a harder choice. But if there’s a chance we could get Takagi VS EVIL, I hope NJPW gives us that.
My Score: 9.3/10
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