The Right to Challenge is on the line!
The Golden Star doesn’t have a briefcase, but he has a contract! However, will he still have his golden ticket after facing The King of Darkness?
- Minoru Suzuki VS Jushin Thunder Liger; Suzuki wins.
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship Right to Challenge Contract Match: Kota Ibushi VS EVIL; Ibushi wins and retains the Right to Challenge.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this second part of Sports Day!
After making New Japan his wrestling home, the Golden Star returned to the G1 Climax Finals, and finally took the coveted prize! Kota Ibushi is hoping to make it to Wrestle Kingdom 14 to take the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he must risk that right along the way. Ibushi dodged a bullet going against KENTA, but now he might be left in the dark as EVIL comes calling. Evil was the other man to beat Ibushi during the G1, and now wants Ibushi’s ticket to the title. Will Darkness Fall on Ibushi’s road to the top? Or will he shine brighter than ever before?
But first! After pushing the limits of what he could do to the living legend, Minoru Suzuki awoke something dangerous within Jushin Thunder Liger. The road to retirement brings about one more rematch, and the Warrior Beast, Kishin Liger, has returned! This fight will not be about records but about survival! Suzuki was laughing before, but will he even be standing by the end?
Minoru Suzuki VS Jushin Thunder Liger!
The fans are thunderous for this match right away, and Liger stares Suzuki down. They circle, approach, and feel out the grapple. Liger backs off, and the two circle again. Suzuki smirks while fans rally up again. Suzuki tests a kick but Liger stays clear. They tie up and Liger wrenches. Suzuki breaks free but Liger SPITS at him! Liger wants Suzuki to bring it, and even sits down to give him a target. Suzuki rushes in and Liger keeps him away, and the two scramble about before separating. The fans love the exchange as the two go again. Liger drop toeholds but Suzuki blocks anything more. Suzuki has the arm and rolls Liger to attempt the Kimura! Suzuki even has Liger’s leg, but Liger manages to roll around. Suzuki cranks on the arm! Liger endures, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki glares as he lets go.
Liger stands, but now Suzuki dares him to bring it by sitting down. Suzuki goes to kick from the mat but Liger stays clear. Liger gets in between the leg guard and keeps one leg down while grabbing the other. Suzuki resists, and the two tangle with leg locks. Suzuki stands and attempts something, but Liger drags him into a triangle! Suzuki kicks and turns, but Liger holds on tight! Suzuki reaches back with a foot to get the ropebreak, and Liger holds on until 4! Then he gets Suzuki again! The ref counts and Liger lets up, to then basement dropkick Suzuki out! Liger hurries after Suzuki as he staggers around. Liger whips Suzuki into barriers! Liger kicks Suzuki at the railing, and whips him back the other way! Suzuki hits hard and falls to the floor.
Liger gets a chair! He already breaks the seat off on the railing! The referee stops him, and Suzuki BOOTS Liger down! Suzuki has a chair of his own now! Suzuki leaves it where he found it, though, to whip Liger up into railing! Suzuki goes looking for more things, and finds more chairs. Suzuki SMACKS Liger on the back! And again! And again! And again! The chair shots ring out while fans boo and jeer! The ref lets this all slide, if only because there needs to be a real winner. Suzuki wraps Liger’s arm around railing and pulls! The ref counts this but Suzuki lets up, while also shoving the ref away. Suzuki has the ref by his collar, but the ref threatens disqualification this time. Suzuki lets him go so he can go back to Liger. And goes after the mask! Liger is already down to his third mask, Suzuki wants to humiliate Liger in his farewell!
The ref reprimands Suzuki but Suzuki trash talks Liger. Liger gives the trash talk back, but Suzuki plays with the mask. Liger CHOPS back! And CHOPS! Suzuki throws forearms back, then gets in the ring to keep the count from climbing too high. Liger slowly gets in but Suzuki drags him up by his mask! Suzuki still wants to rip that mask apart! The ref stops him, but Suzuki gets Liger in a triangle hold on the ropes! Suzuki lets go at 4, and lets Liger flop as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and Suzuki eggs Liger on to stand up. The ref checks on Liger and fans rally up for the legend, but Suzuki starts kicking at him. Suzuki toys and taunts Liger as he rises. Liger gives more CHOPS, but Suzuki gives one back. Liger knees low, runs but into a boot! Suzuki grabs the mask again to stand Liger. He whips Liger corner to corner to boot him down! Then he runs, but the Penalty Kick is blocked! Liger clubs the leg, whips Suzuki now, and hits a big corner clothesline! But Suzuki just shouts at him! Suzuki fires off forearms, but runs into Liger’s SHOTEI! Suzuki stands and Liger hits a rolling kick! Liger drags Suzuki up, suplexes, but Suzuki escapes to a sleeper hold! Liger fades already, and Suzuki lets him go?! Suzuki wants to make Liger suffer, but he gets caught into a LEBELLE LOCK! Then the Rings of Saturn!!
Suzuki endures, shouts and screams as Liger pulls way back on the hold! Will Pancrase be reversed today?! Suzuki fights forward, flips over, and gets the ropebreak! Liger sits Suzuki up to kick away, but then wrenches to a shoulder breaker! Liger spins Suzuki around for another shoulder breaker! Suzuki falls against the ropes, clutching that arm. Liger stands Suzuki up and wants another, but Suzuki counters to a sleeper hold! Liger starts fading again, but he manages to throw Suzuki! But Suzuki holds on! Liger sits up, fans rally up, and the ref checks. Liger’s arm falls once! But then he revives! Suzuki spins him around, Gotch hold, but Liger resists the piledriver! Suzuki keeps trying, he gets Liger up, but Liger powers out to a back drop! Fans cheer as Liger Thesz Presses to a cover, TWO! Liger keeps going, suplex to BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Suzuki survives!
Both men are down and the fans are thunderous! Suzuki and Liger slowly rise, and Liger powers up. Liger runs, into a dropkick! Suzuki drags Liger up by his mask again, and throws furious palm strikes from all sides! Suzuki SLAPS Liger, but Liger powers up! Suzuki dares Liger to give it all back, and Liger does! Liger slaps away, but Suzuki just sticks out his tongue. Suzuki comes back with more palm strikes, and Liger staggers! But Liger powers up again! Only to wobble over and give a faint chop. Suzuki wants the fans to make noise, and they certainly make noise for Liger to stand. Liger stands and CHOPS, but Suzuki still just takes it. Liger powers up, slaps away, but Suzuki isn’t satisfied. Liger wobbles again, grits his teeth, and slaps. Suzuki comes back to ROCK Liger with a right. The ref checks on Liger on the mat, but Suzuki brings him up. Liger chops again, but Still Suzuki stays up.
Liger keeps trying, and Suzuki keeps daring Liger to try. Liger does try, but Suzuki rocks him again! And then brings Liger in, Gotch… Wait for it… PILEDRIVER! Suzuki wins!!
Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall
And there it is! One more match between these two, and the Meanest Man in the World gets one last win over Liger. And yet Suzuki doesn’t seem satisfied. He grabs a chair and uses it on the Young Lions by Liger’s side! Suzuki raises that chair high over Liger, only to toss it aside?! Fans are surprised to see Suzuki kneel and bow to Liger!! The ultimate symbol of respect, and fans show their respect to Suzuki for that.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship Right to Challenge Contract Match: Kota Ibushi VS EVIL!
The G1 Climax 29 winner still had scores to settle, and he naturally put up his prize as part of it. The Golden Star got his loss back from KENTA, but now he must try again against the King of Darkness. Evil wants to be the one going to Wrestle Kingdom 14’s main event, even if it could be against Los Ingobernables de Japon amigo, Sanada. Will the WK14 card change in part tonight? Or will Ibushi solidify his road to the spotlight?
The introductions are made, the contract is presented and put in the new custom case fitting Ibushi’s specifications, and this match will begin after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell, and the fans duel as the two men stare down. Ibushi and Evil slowly start circling, but Ibushi is wary. They approach and Evil kicks low to then wrap on a headlock. Ibushi works against the hold but Evil just cranks harder. Ibushi keeps trying but Evil wrangles him back in. Evil grinds, and holds on even as Ibushi tries to push free. Ibushi tries again but Evil still holds on tight! Ibushi fights back now with elbows, and then powers Evil, only for Evil to run him over! But Ibushi kips up right away! Ibushi goes to headlock, but Evil slips out to get his headlock back on! Evil throws Ibushi with the takedown, but Ibushi keeps out of a cover. Evil grinds but Ibushi works his way up. Ibushi throws body shots and elbows, and powers out again. Things speed up and Ibushi dropkicks Evil down!
Fans rally up as Ibushi catches his breath. Ibushi stands and aims a swift kick into Evil’s chest! And another! Evil falls over but rises back up, and Ibushi gives him another kick! Evil falls over again and Ibushi wants to give more. Evil sits up, blocks that kick, gives it to Red Shoes and mule kicks Ibushi back! Then clotheslines him out of the ring! Evil takes a moment to catch his breath after going out to fetch Ibushi. Evil wrenches then whips Ibushi into barriers! Evil drags Ibushi up and whips him back the other way but Ibushi reverses, only for Evil to reverse and send Ibushi into railing even harder! Ibushi writhes but Evil won’t let him rest. Evil drags him up by the ears and puts him in the ring. Fans duel as Evil looms over Ibushi. Evil stands Ibushi up, turns him around and drops him with a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE, but Evil is not upset.
Evil grabs the arms for the half surfboard, digging his knee in Ibushi’s back. Ibushi endures and fights his way to his feet. Ibushi works to turn things around, literally, but Evil cranks harder! Ibushi keeps trying, going the other way now. Evil manages to hold Ibushi back! Ibushi won’t quit, he keeps turning, and he gets Evil around! Only for Evil to keep it going all the way back around! Ibushi falls to his knees and fans rally up again. Ibushi grits his teeth and stands up, to dropkick back! But Evil dodges! Evil leaps for a senton, but Ibushi dodges him now! Both men are down, catching their breath. Evil stands first, shaking his head. Ibushi throws forearms but Evil kicks low. Evil whips, Ibushi dodges, and Ibushi hits a flying kick! Both men are down again, but Ibushi rises first.
Ibushi stands Evil up, ducks a punch to fire off a strike fest! But he runs into Evil’s boot! Evil runs out, into Ibushi’s spinning powerslam! Ibushi moonsaults immediately, hits and covers, TWO! Fans rally and duel again while both men are down. Ibushi is up first, and he fires himself up. He waistlocks Evil but Evil resists the lift. They standing switch and Evil shoves, but Ibushi dodges in the corner. Ibushi runs in, but is put on the apron. Ibushi counter punches, then springboards, but Evil gets under. Evil runs in, blocks boots and spins Ibushi around to club him on the back! Ibushi is stuck in the ropes, Evil jumps up to STOMP Ibushi down! Fans rally up again as Evil takes in the energy. Evil drums the mat and the fans follow along. Evil runs at Ibushi corner to corner, but into DOUBLE STOMPS! Both men are down again, but Ibushi stands first.
Evil is on the apron, and Ibushi climbs the ropes. Ibushi brings Evil up in and into the waistlock, but Evil fights out! Evil hotshots Ibushi down! But they’re both down and catching their breath as we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns again as Evil starts looking for things under the ring. He of course finds several chairs, and then brings Ibushi out to join him. Evil knees low but Ibushi fires haymakers. Evil CHOPS and Ibushi sits down! Evil has the chairs but Red Shoes reprimands him. Evil puts one chair around Ibushi’s head, shoves Red Shoes aside, and has the other chair! Evil SWINGS the chair against the other! That’s a home run for Evil! Red Shoes reprimands Evil again, but Evil has no shame. Evil drags Ibushi up and into the ring, and prepares his arm. Fans rally up as Ibushi rises in the corner. Evil winds up, runs in corner to corner, for a BIG corner clothesline! Evil roars and fans fire up as Evil has Ibushi up. He hoists Ibushi to the top rope, climbs up to join him, and hits the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi still lives and fans cheer!
The dueling continues as Evil stands over Ibushi. Evil drags Ibushi up, reels him in, but Ibushi resists the fireman’s carry! Ibushi elbows Evil in the head, but Evil CHOPS back! Evil whips, Ibushi reverses, but Evil denies the dropkick by holding ropes. Evil has his arm at the ready again, runs, but Ibushi dodges. Evil follows, but Ibushi knows about the misdirection and hits a huricanrana! Ibushi grits his teeth as fans rally again. He looms over Evil now as they end up in the corner. Ibushi hoists Evil up top now, and throws forearms before climbing up. They’re on the very top, but Evil resists! Ibushi throws big forearms on Evil, but Evil headbutts back! Ibushi sits down and Evil shoves him to the apron. Evil sits up but Ibushi springboards up for a SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO!! Fans duel again as both men are down.
Ibushi is up first and drags Evil up. Ibushi has both hands but Evil resists! But Ibushi still forces him to sit up, but Evil gets the fireman’s carry! Ibushi slips out, scoops Evil, but Evil slips out to German Suplex! Ibushi lands on his feet! And runs in to LARIAT! But Evil stays up!? Evil hits a rolling elbow and a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Both men are down but fans are fired up even more! Evil sits up, frustrated but still focused. He goes back to Evil, has him up in the fireman’s carry, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi still lives and angers Evil. Evil slashes the throat, vowing to end this! He drags Ibushi up, reels him in, spins him around, but Ibushi wheelbarrows to a victory roll! TWO, and Ibushi scoops Evil! Ibushi hooks the arms, PACKAGE TOMBSTONE! But he’s too tired to cover! Evil only survives because Ibushi can’t finish!
Ibushi drags Evil up and has a powerbomb lift, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!? Evil survives that one on his own merits! But Ibushi goes to a corner and calls upon the King of Strong Style with his “YAO~!” He runs at Evil, into a LARIAT! Both men are down again but the fans are still fired up! Evil gets up, runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO?! Evil is seething but he is not through with Ibushi yet! He drags Ibushi up, reels him in, spins him around, but Ibushi dodges the STO to get a full nelson! Evil breaks free, but Ibushi just makes it a straitjacket German! Bridging cover but it wobbles off before a count can be made! Ibushi keeps the wrists, but Evil dodges Kamigoye to hit a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Ibushi flops around but Evil drags him right up into another Half ‘n’ Half! Fans are thunderous as both men are down! Evil fires himself up, he can feel how close he is! He throws off the elbow pad, runs in, but Ibushi LARIATS!
Ibushi roars while Evil is dazed! Ibushi sits Evil up with the wristlocks, but Evil dodges! EVERYTHING- No, Ibushi slips out, but Evil headbutts! Ibushi headbutts, but his roundhouse is blocked! Evil spins, into Ibushi’s V-TRIGGER! KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Evil shocks Ibushi but he won’t stop. KAMIGOYE AGAIN! Cover, now Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; retains the Right to Challenge contract
The Golden Star shines in the darkness and keeps his golden ticket! That also means he gets to keep his new briefcase. Will Ibushi still make it to the main event? And who will he meet there, Rainmaker or Cold Skull?
NJPW Media Backstage Interviews
Ibushi sits with his briefcase, and says “This is what I came here for today.” He was fighting to protect the briefcase. He is fulfilling not just his dream, but everyone’s dream. At this point, who could he lose? This was no surprise, but he does admit it was very close. “I still haven’t shown the best of Kota Ibushi. So you all still have a lot to look forward to.” Ibushi himself wonders who he will meet in the WK14 main event. But he can’t afford to worry about that. Ibushi will gladly face Evil again, “that was fun.” Will Ibushi and Evil meet again, but as champion and challenger?
A great and fast-moving episode for NJPW on AXS here. Suzuki VS Liger was pretty good, and seemed over so fast. It was quite an interesting finale to the history between these two. And on top of the win, it was such a great moment for Suzuki to bow and show respect to Liger one last time. Then the main event of the hour, Ibushi VS Evil was pretty great. There was a lot of story, especially at the start, and commentary made sure to plug that Evil had been on a streak against Ibushi in the tag team matches leading up to this. Ibushi was therefore worried to start, but then things got going and it was another great chapter for a growing rivalry. But in the end, it made a lot of sense for Ibushi to win. With the chance that Sanada wins the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, NJPW wasn’t going to set up an LIJ VS LIJ match, certainly not at this point. Ibushi winning keeps us in suspense for Okada VS Sanada, but either possibility of Ibushi VS Okada or Ibushi VS Sanada will be amazing.
My Score: 8.7/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?
The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!
“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
- Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
- Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
- Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
- 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.
Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.
But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”
Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.
But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.
Chad Gable prepares a speech.
“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!
Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!
Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!
Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?
Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.
Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.
Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?
Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?
Kevin heads to the ring!
The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.
Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.
“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!
That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!
Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.
And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?
In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?
Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.
Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!
Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.
What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.
And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?
The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.
Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?
Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.
But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.
Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.
Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.
Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.
Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.
Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.
Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.
Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!
But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?
Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!
Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.
But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!
Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?
Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.
What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?
Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!
Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?
Maryse heads to the ring!
As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.
Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.
But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.
Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!
Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?
8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!
Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked
Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!
Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!
Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall
Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?
WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.
“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.
After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.
“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.
A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.
These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?
The Miz & Maryse are heading out.
Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.
Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?
Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.
She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.
The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!
Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!
Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!
Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!
MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!
Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!
Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?
This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?
Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.
We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?
Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.
The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.
Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
A lucky seven for Elevation!
AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!
- Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
- Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
- Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
- Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
- Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
- Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.
Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.
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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin' Doudrop?
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (1/14/22)
The tag champs are on a Rampage!
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/14/22)
SmackDown gets extreme!
POD is WAR: Back In The Saddle
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