A MASSIVE Monday Night Raw opens 2020!
A Raw Tag Team Championships Triple Threat! A United States Championship rematch! And the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion, BROCK! LESNAR! What goes down on the first Raw of the New DECADE?
- WWE United States Championship: Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Rey Mysterio; Almas wins and retains the WWE United States Championship.
- Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Viking Raiders VS The Street Profits VS The OC; The Viking Raiders win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Erick Rowan VS KJ Orso; Rowan wins.
- AJ Styles VS Akira Tozawa; Styles wins.
- Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan; No Contest.
- Drew McIntyre VS No Way Jose; McIntyre wins.
- Aleister Black VS Shelton Benjamin; Aleister wins.
- Six Man Tag: Seth Rollins & The Authors of Pain VS Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & ???; Owens, Joe & Big Show win, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Most Ravishing Wedding in history was RUINED!
Whether it was Lana’s first husband, Bobby Lashley’s first wife, or Liv Morgan revealing she and Lana were together, Lana and Lashley could not get through their “I do’s”! And then RUSEV popped out of the admittedly over-sized cake. No holy matrimony, only MACHKA! But the question is now, what comes next in WWE’s own personal soap opera?
Oklahoma City is SUPLEX CITY!
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman return to Raw to open the New Year! And while fans boo and jeer, The Advocate wishes them a “Happy New Year, b*tches.” Heyman then gives his usual introduction for the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Heavyweight Champion, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! And to kick off the New Decade, let’s make history. “Because that’s what Brock Lesnar does: Brock Lesnar makes history.” Lesnar told Heyman he wonders who will dare challenge him for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble. Heyman said back, “Well, Brock, who do you think is worthy of stepping into the ring with the Conqueror? The Beast! The single-greatest fighter in sports entertainment history!” Lesnar’s answer was, “There is not one single member of the Raw, SmackDown or NXT roster that is man enough to step into the ring, let alone worthy enough of sharing the spotlight.”
So to get it straight: fans aren’t allowed to boo Lesnar. But they do. Not when Lesnar is about to do something unprecedented. Something that is legitimately advertised as first-time-ever. Every time Lesnar makes history, it’s unprecedented. The Undertaker couldn’t lose at WrestleMania? Lesnar conquered the Streak! No man could ever be NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion, UFC Heavyweight Champion, WWE Universal Champion or WWE World Champion, and yet Lesnar is. So how about a dream match at the Royal Rumble? Every single challenger that wants Lesnar at the Rumble can have Lesnar at the Rumble, because here’s the official announcement: “Brock Lesnar hereby enters the Royal Rumble match!” Wait, wait, not just entering it! That would be slightly historic. “Let’s go all the freakin’ way.” Lesnar enters the Rumble… FIRST.
That means that if Roman Reigns is in the Rumble, it’s like Lesnar VS Reigns. If Seth Rollins is in the Rumble, it’s like Lesnar VS Rollins. Every single man that steps into the Rumble will be face-to-face with Brock Lesnar! Because while Lesnar takes the ring first, Lesnar will be victorious at the end. This is unprecedented, historic and even brazen! But The Beast will conquer the Royal Rumble, will WIN the Royal Rumble, and that’s not just a prediction, Heyman says that’s a spoiler. A huge move from the WWE World Champion! Will Lesnar clear out the field of 30 to deny everyone an automatic WrestleMania main event?
Rey Mysterio speaks backstage.
And in passionate Spanish, at that. He speaks about respect and excellence. Clearly tonight’s WWE United States Championship match means a lot to Mysterio. At this point in his career, it could be a matter of days left, not years. Mysterio thanks Dominic for convincing him to stay and compete against the best of the best. With the way El Idolo has been acting, Andrade Almas doesn’t deserve to represent the Latino community as champion. That is why Mysterio is taking that title back, and NOW!
WWE United States Championship: Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Rey Mysterio!
The King of Lucha Libre is as fired up as he’s ever been! He lost the title in Madison Square Garden but has been raring for this rematch! Will he be able to humble Andrade? Or is 2020 the Year of El Idolo?
Raw returns as Almas and Vega make their entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and Almas rushes Mysterio right away! Almas clubs away but Mysterio dodges to come back with a huricanrana! Then he slides to huricanrana again! Fans are fired up and Vega is panicking! Almas gets up but Mysterio kicks away. Mysterio puts Almas in and covers, ONE. Mysterio has fans cheering for “Lucha Libre!” but Almas throws forearms and body shots. Almas whips but Mysterio kicks him back. Mysterio runs, springboards and hops onto Almas’ shoulders. Mysterio headscissors Almas out but Almas holds on and still has Mysterio on his shoulders! Almas spins around but Mysterio pops out of the Electric Chair to victory roll Almas into steel steps! El Idolo is down and Vega is in shock!
The referee checks on both men but somehow Almas is okay to continue. Vega coaches Almas up but Mysterio stands first. Fans rally behind Mysterio as a ring count begins. Mysterio puts Almas in and takes his time aiming from the apron. Mysterio springboards but Almas dropkicks him out of the sky! Vega is relieved and Almas is back in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Mysterio has Almas up top. Mysterio climbs and the two brawl, but Almas sends Mysterio down. Almas sunset flips but Mysterio slips through to buzzsaw! Both men are down and Vega is worried again. Almas and Mysterio slowly rise as fans rally up again. Mysterio counter punches Almas and then throws haymakers. Mysterio whips but Almas reverses, only for Mysterio to huricanrana again! Almas ends up in a corner, Mysterio runs in but Almas puts him on the apron. Mysterio enziguris back then springboards, seated senton! Mysterio keeps moving, springboard but Almas catches him, only for Mysterio to tornado DDT! Cover, TWO! Almas lives and Vega is again relieved, but Mysterio keeps his cool.
Mysterio drags Almas up as fans chant “6 1 9!” Almas elbows free and runs in but into a boot. Mysterio climbs but Almas clubs him on the back. Almas climbs up from the outside and has Mysterio in a Tree of Woe! Almas aims from up high, WOE STOMPS but Mysterio evades! Almas stomps the apron and tumbles to the floor! Mysterio frees himself from the Tree of Woe, then builds speed to side and sunset flip! But Almas slips through, Point-Blank CIEN SHADOWS! A ring count begins again but Almas puts Mysterio in. Almas slingshot sentons then covers, TWO! Mysterio still lives and Almas grows frustrated. Almas rises and drags Mysterio up to suplex. Uno amigo! Almas spins through and suplexes, Dos Amigos! Almas wants the third, but Mysterio cradle counters! TWO!!
Almas runs but Mysterio dropkicks the legs out! Almas is on the ropes but gets clear, boot to ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Almas goes to drop knees but Mysterio blocks and jumps up, DESTROYER!! Cover, but Vega gives Almas the ropebreak!! The ref counts three but sees the leg on the rope just after! Mysterio does NOT win! This match has to continue because La Muneca gets away with another cheat! Fans protest, as does Mysterio, but this match does not end! The ref tries to explain it to Mysterio while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Almas whips Mysterio corner to corner hard! Almas runs in, but Mysterio dodges and Almas’ knee hits buckles! Almas tumbles all the way out of the ring! Mysterio goes to the apron and Vega is worried all over again. Mysterio leaps for a huricanrana, sending Almas into barriers! Fans fire up with Mysterio as he stares Vega down. Mysterio drags Almas up and into the ring, then hops on for another DESTROYER! Cover, TWO!! Almas survives and Vega coaches him up. Mysterio rises as fans rally behind him. Mysterio goes to where Almas is on the apron but Almas throws body shots. Mysterio kicks back and we have a brawl! Almas CHOPS but Mysterio dropkicks! Mysterio runs, SUNSET BOMB into post! Almas crashes down but Mysterio won’t let up. Mysterio drags Almas up as fans chant “This is Awesome!”
Mysterio has Almas in a drop zone and springboards, LEG DROP! Cover, TWO!! Almas shocks Mysterio and Vega is shouting for him to stand! Mysterio heads up top first, wanting another one. Mysterio leaps and wheelbarrows, but Almas makes it a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Almas and Vega are furious, but Almas puts Mysterio in the corner. Almas stomps a mudhole then backs off to run corner to corner! CIEN BUCKLES! Mysterio springboards, huricanrana puts Almas on ropes! Dial it up, 619!! Mysterio heads up top, but Almas bails out thanks to Vega. Mysterio runs and leaps! But Almas catches the seated senton, to toss Mysterio onto Vega! Down goes La Muneca! Mysterio can’t believe it, but Almas just throws him into steel steps!
Almas puts Mysterio in and leaves Vega behind to hammerlock. But the ref won’t allow it! Mysterio looks in bad shape and the referee tells Almas to leave him be. Mysterio rolls out of the ring to check on Vega, but he should be more worried about himself. Referees check on Vega while Mysterio seems to be very upset. Almas doesn’t care, NOW he hammerlocks and LA SOMBRA DDT! Cover, Almas wins!!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall; still WWE United States Champion
Only now does Almas care about Vega. Or, no, is he just grabbing the United States title? And then he SNATCHES Mysterio’s mask!! Insult to injury of the highest order! Almas hands the mask to Vega as a trophy of her own, but will watching the footage back nullify this good will?
Backstage with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe!
Seth Rollins has been trying to divide and conquer, and went onto Twitter to say these two are “individualists” who do not stand a chance against a “united front” like him and the Authors of Pain. Kevin wants to get this out of the way: Rollins is right about Kevin and Joe. Kevin doesn’t play well with others, and Joe just doesn’t play. But this situation has brought them together, “and the fact is, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” So against a force like Rollins & The AOP, Kevin and Joe need each other to watch each other’s back. That is what they will do here tonight. Joe admits he is prideful, but even he knows when back-up is needed.
So Joe poses a challenge to The Architects of Pain: the three of them against the three of them. Wait, he surely doesn’t mean including Charly in this. No no, Joe has a guy. Who is it? Just trust Joe, and let their opponents worry about the rest. Kevin still worries a little. But who is it that’s joining this battle against Rollins and his heavy hitting henchmen?
Backstage interview with Rollins & The AOP.
Charly asks for The Architect’s response to this Six Man Tag challenge. Akam and Rezar are already annoyed but Rollins handles this. They don’t need to be briefed on some challenge. They’ve faced challenges every single day of their lives! The only concern is about taking Raw to the next level. Rollins didn’t ask to be the Chosen One, but the WWE Universe made him that. Rollins has sacrificed everything he stands for to be the visionary and Messiah of Monday Nights. As for this “challenge,” KO, Joe and a surprise? No one stands with Kevin or Joe! The Architects of Pain are inevitable! And those who stand up against them, they will be taken care of. But with a variable in the equation, can Rollins and the AOP really #BurnItDown?
Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat: The Viking Raiders VS The Street Profits VS The OC!
Erik & Ivar are the champions but Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson are the Best Tag Team in the World! However, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins have a win over the Good Brothers, and have taken on the raid and pushed it to its limits! So what will this make the Profits if they happen to win tonight? Who will be the Best Tag Team in the UNIVERSE after this match?
Before the match, Ford and Dawkins have mics. “Everybody seems to be talking about the Golden Globes, or who’s Kevin and Joe’s mystery partner here tonight. But we’re here to tell you that NOW, we are changing the conversation!” The first Raw of the DECADE, “and we ain’t ringing it in. We blinging it in!” So the OC can hold up their little hand signs, but there won’t won’t be kliq’ing. And the Raiders may be the champions, they may be Vikings, but the Profits are pillaging! The Profits are up, and #WeWantTheSmoke! Where there’s smoke, there’s fire! The OC make their entrance, followed by the war machines, Erik & Ivar! Will this match be the fire that blazes a trail into the New Decade?
Raw returns with the bell as Erik starts with Anderson. They tie up, Erik puts Anderson on the ropes but backs off. Anderson kicks low and headlocks but Erik powers out. Things speed up, Anderson dodges but collides solid with Erik! Erik trips Anderson and turns him over to waistlock and dead lift, to then slam Anderson down! Tag to Ivar and Erik feeds Anderson to Ivar’s knee. Ivar feeds to Erik’s knee and down goes Anderson! Cover, TWO! Ivar drags Anderson back over and tags Erik. Ivar rams his shoulders in then Erik rams his. Tag back to Ivar and Ivar drags Anderson up to scoop. Anderson slips out but Ivar bucks him off. Dawkins tags in off Ivar before Ivar runs Anderson over! Dawkins and Ivar stare down but back away.
Dawkins headlocks Anderson but Anderson powers out. Dawkins hurdles Anderson then throws him tot he ropes to dropkick down! Ford is fired up as he tags in. Dawkins whips and Ford dropkicks Anderson! Ford shoulder shimmies at the Vikings, but Anderson tags out to Ivar! That’s allowed in a Triple Threat, obviously. Ford isn’t as fired up now that the War Beard is back. Ford and Ivar circle and tie up, and Ford headlocks. Ivar powers out but Ford slides under. Ford tries but can’t arm-drag Ivar! Ivar whips Ford, Ford goes up and over and shows off his agility! Fans like that but Ivar runs at Ford. Ford dodges and ducks but Ivar rolls off Ford’s back! Ivar shoves Ford and Ford comes back, to handspring off Ivar’s back!
Ivar swings on Ford but Ford cartwheels. Ford swings on Ivar but Ivar cartwheels! Both men cartwheel! Fans are loving this stand-off, but the OC aren’t! They attack Ivar and Ford from behind, then take out Erik and Dawkins as they come in! The ref restores order but Gallows tags off Ivar. Gallows stomps Ford down then puts Ford in the open corner. Gallows throws big body shots and an uppercut! Gallows throws the Too Sweet up but fans boo. Gallows drags Ford to the OC corner and tags in Anderson. The Good Brothers mug Ford and Anderson throws European Uppercuts. Anderson rakes Ford’s eyes then pulls on his ears. Anderson throws haymakers and grinds a knee in! The ref backs Anderson off and Gallows tags in. Gallows butterfly suplexes Ford and covers, TWO!
Gallows keeps on Ford with big elbows into the shoulders and chest! And then he wraps on a thrashing chinlock! Ford endures and fans rally up. Ford fights to his feet but Gallows knees low and hard. Tag to Anderson, and the OC hit the back suplex neckbreaker combo! Cover, but Dawkins breaks it! Anderson protests but then he knocks Dawkins off the apron! Ford enziguris Anderson down! Both men are down but Gallows tags in. Gallows stalks up Ford and suplexes but Ford slips out! Ford doges, hot tag to Erik! Erik fires off strikes on Gallows, then lifts him for an EXPLODER! Dawkins returns but Erik gives him an EXPLODER! Anderson returns, but gets Ace Ten Mao! Shotgun knees for Gallows!
Tag to Ivar and the Raiders scoop slam Dawkins! Then Erik scoop slams Ivar onto Dawkins! The Raiders fire up and Erik tags back in. Ivar corner clotheslines Gallows, then is the human weapon, hip attack! But Ford tags in off Gallows! Ford runs in, avoids the clotheslines, but not THOR’S HAMMER!! Cover, but the OC break it up! Ivar throws Anderson out and Erik throws Gallows out. Ivar DIVES Onto Dawkins and Anderson!? Erik DIVES onto Gallows, but gets caught! And thrown into barriers! Then into the crowd! The Best Tag Team in the World has control as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Erik fights up and out of Gallows’ chinlock. Fans fire up but Gallows knees low. Gallows throws big hands on Erik in the OC corner then tags Anderson. Anderson drags Erik out for EuroUppers! Anderson rains down angry right hands then covers, TWO! Anderson keeps on Erik with a chinlock but fans rally again. Erik fights up and throws hands but Anderson EuroUppers back. They brawl in OC territory! Tag to Gallows and the OC mug Erik in their corner. Gallows stomps a mudhole then headbutts Erik against ropes. Gallows throws body shots then tags Anderson. Anderson snapmares Erik to a chinlock. Fans rally with “We Want the Smoke!” Anderson grinds Erik down but Erik is fighting his way up again. Erik pushes but Anderson throws more hands.
Erik pushes and fights out of the OC corner, but Anderson whips him away. Erik goes up and over, hot tag to Ivar! Ivar rallies and sidewalk slams Anderson! BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Ivar whips Anderson but Anderson dodges! But runs into a seated senton! Ivar cartwheels and clotheslines Gallows! Fans fire up and Ivar runs corner to corner, but Anderson avoids the bronco buster! Dawkins tags in off Anderson but Erik tags in off Ivar. Dawkins ROCKS Erik with a right, and dropkicks Ivar! Dawkins throws Ivar with an EXPLODER! And body blocks Erik into a corner! Dawkins decks Gallows, cyclone splashes and bulldogs Erik! Tag to Ford, and Dawkins whips him corner to corner at Erik. Erik puts Ford on the apron but Dawkins SPINE BUSTER!
Ford is up top but Anderson tags in before the WORLD STAR SPLASH! Anderson pushes Ford out of the ring! And hits Dawkins! Cover on Erik but Ivar breaks it! Dawkins hits a spinning back elbow on Ivar, but Gallows YAKUZA KICKS Dawkins! Ford dropkicks Gallows but Anderson whips Ford. Ford dodges to FLY out onto Gallows! Erik sneaks up on Anderson, but Anderson mule kicks and UPPERCUTS! Anderson runs side to side, but no Rocket Kick! Ivar tags in. POWERBOMB and VIKING SPLASH!! Cover, the Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, Ivar pinning; still Raw Tag Team Champions
The raid continues! Erik & Ivar keep the gold, even after facing two teams at once! Are they truly the Best Tag Team in the Universe? Or will a new challenge arise in this New Year?
Backstage with Samoa Joe!
Charly wants to ask Joe about this mystery opponent for tonight’s Six Man Tag. Will he give us who that is? Well Joe is sure that everyone is eager to hear about who Joe managed to recruit, especially the “Monday Night Messiah” and his disciples. But everyone will just have to wait. Kevin comes by, and says he’s probably the most eager. Kevin has done a lot of bad things to people in the WWE, so he just wants to know in case he has to smooth things over first. Perhaps it’s best of Joe shows Kevin who they have. Charly hurries after but we go to break. Just who did Joe get?
Raw returns as Joe, Kevin and Charly arrive at a door.
Is Kevin ready? Sure. Just go through this door. Cameras, please stay outside. Kevin peeks in, and has a smile on his face. Good? Yeah, that’s good. But Rollins & The AOP won’t be. Charly asks who is in there, but Joe has his mystery friend “lock it up.” Well it seems we have no choice but to wait.
Becky Lynch is here!
Oklahoma City is fired up to see The Man dressed up in her Kill Bill best! The Raw Women’s Champion takes the mic as fans chant her name. “Man, it is so good to hear your voices.” Becky says that she’s been walking around for months now, “wondering what kind of a champion I am.” She let the doubters get in her head and forced “the powers that be” to give her this coming title match with Asuka. But to be honest, Becky’s starting to doubt herself on this one. Becky’s life has changed so much in just the last year, living in a whirlwind. Over the holidays, she finally had time to think about “what it really means to be The Man.” Should she just be content to have made the history she has? Should she just be happy with being on cereal boxes and red carpets? Should she follow all the advice from the people backstage “looking out for her?” Should she avoid the one woman she just can’t seem to beat?
Footage replays of last year’s Royal Rumble, when The Man and The Empress fought for the SmackDown Women’s Championship that Asuka held. Becky was fired up and pulled out all the stops, but Asuka tapped her out! Of course, we do know that Becky would shift gears later that night to win the Women’s Rumble, but a loss is a loss. And footage now shifts to a tag team match back in November, The Man & The Queen VS The Kabuki Warriors. Becky tried but Asuka had an answer for her each time to get the roll-up. And of course, TLC 2019, the Women’s Tag Team Title TLC match. That was brutal to say the least, and in the end, Asuka had a trick up her proverbial sleeve to deny Becky a new belt!
Back to the present, Becky says she realized something in all of this. But before she can share that wisdom, Asuka appears! “Hey, hey, hey!” The Kabuki Warriors’ Asuka is here! And Becky, of course you can’t win against her! “Mudi mudi mudi,” it’s not going to happen! “Baka baka!” You dummy! Baka Lynch! The fans know! It will be “easy peasy” all over again! Asuka swaggers as she walks into the ring and around Becky. Becky DECKS Asuka! No matter what language you speak, actions speak louder than words! Asuka is furious but Becky is smiling. Who will be the one that can say they won it all in Houston?
Erick Rowan walks backstage.
And encounters Mojo Rawley. Mojo just wants to take one look at what’s in the cage. Please? Rowan considers it, and says “help yourself.” But don’t tell anyone. Mojo takes his peek, and FREAKS! “What is wrong with you, man?! What the hell!?” What the hell is in there to horrify Mojo!?
Backstage interview with Zelina Vega and Andrade Almas.
El Idolo is still holding onto Mysterio’s mask, so Sara asks if he feels he’s crossed a line tonight. Crossed the line? Almas says he has the mask of Mysterio after he just ended Mysterio’s final run. But Mysterio ATTACKS! He’s more concerned about revenge than he is of lucha libre tradition! Vega shouts at Mysterio to stop this but Mysterio gets his mask back. And now that he has it back on, he really fires off on Almas! Vega freaks as Mysterio snatches the belt away! Security backs Mysterio off but this is far from over!
Erick Rowan VS KJ Orso!
Mojo was SHOOK after seeing what Rowan’s pet really is. Will we ever see the nightmare inside the cage? Or will Rowan be the scariest thing in Oklahoma tonight?
Rowan doesn’t even wait for the bell to grab Orso with both hands! “You wanna see what’s in the bag, don’tcha?!” No, no he doesn’t! But Rowan still throws Orso out and keeps him from running away! “You want to look?! Take a look!” Orso breaks free to run away into the ring. He would rather take the beating than see whatever scared a grown man that badly. Rowan throws his jacket aside and gives Orso that fight. The bell rings and LEG LARIATS Orso down! Then corner to corner splash! IRON CLAW SLAM! Cover, Rowan wins!
Winner: Erick Rowan, by pinfall
That was scary fast, but also natural. But Rowan still won’t spare Orso, he makes Orso look at the pet!! Orso freaks out, and his face is all red!? Was that from the creature?! What did it do to him?! And why is Rowan laughing!? Will no one be laughing as Rowan runs roughshod over Raw?
AJ Styles VS Akira Tozawa!
The Phenomenal One is not in a good mood. And it isn’t just that The OC didn’t get the Raw Tag Team Championships, it’s that he got suckered by The Viper! Randy Orton faked a foot injury just to lower Styles’ guard and hit an RKO outta nowhere! Will Styles take his frustrations out on the Stamina Monster? Or will it throw him off his game enough for Tozawa to get his biggest win on Raw?
The bell rings and Styles talks trash to Tozawa but Tozawa pushes him. Tozawa dodges Styles’ punch and throws punches of his own! Tozawa has Styles in the corner but the ref backs him off. Tozawa whips, Styles reverses, then Styles runs in, to miss! Tozawa runs in but gets boots and a forearm. Styles springboards and PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, but Styles pulls Tozawa up! Styles is angry now and wants to make Tozawa rethink hitting him. Styles drags Tozawa up, in position, but thinks better of it. He puts Tozawa through the ropes and fans all get what’s going on here! Styles copies Orton with the draping DDT! Fans boo but Styles soaks it up as he looms over Tozawa. Fans chant for “Randy! Randy!” but Styles hears the voices in his head, just like Orton! RKO!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
The Phenomenal One copies The Viper and still gets the win! Styles even copies the Orton pose! But with a match next week between the two, how will Orton respond to Styles?
Bobby Lashley and Lana are here!
At least, their music hits. It makes sense they’d be hesitant to appear after the humiliation they must’ve felt after their on-air wedding went sideways. Lashley and Lana still go down the ramp and to the ring, and the wedding officiator is back! Lana snatches his mic to address the fans. They boo so she tells them to be quiet. “For all of you who didn’t want us to get married, that is too damn bad.” Because tonight, they’re getting married here and now! Yes, this is the Most Ravishing Elopement ever! With all the objections out of the way last week, “by the emergency power” invested in nWo Bill Belichick by the state of Oklahoma, he now pronounces Lashley & Lana husband and wife. Lashley may now kiss his bride. And they kiss.
Lana snatches the mic back and says the money she paid was not worth it. She is supposed to be happy, but she’s not. Lana is “extremely, extremely sad,” but not because of her or Lashley. It is not their fault what happened last week, it is “every single person” that does not want to see a ring on Lana’s finger! She therefore shows it off to everyone, and hopes they’re taking a long look at it. All these civilians should be honored to be in her presence! Those at fault for making Lana feel so sad are all the exes that literally interrupted the wedding ceremony over and over and over! Lana can’t even with their jealousy! They should be ashamed! Lashley says the worst one of them all is Lana’s “sorry excuse for an ex-husband,” Rusev. Rusev ruined the greatest day of Lana’s and Lashley’s lives, for what?! So that he and “these little idiots” can have a laugh? Fans chant for “RUSEV DAY!” as Lashley says Rusev wasn’t man enough to keep his own wife!
But wait, Rusev is on the titantron! Rusev says hi to Lana and “Bob” and congratulates them becoming “Mr. & Mrs. Bob.” Now they have a joint bank account. Rusev and Lana used to have one, “before she cleaned it out.” But with them claiming everyone else is miserable, it seems like those two “are more miserable than anyone else in the arena.” And now that they’re not on their honeymoon, Rusev took one of his own! He’s on a beach by a restaurant, but he doesn’t want to be selfish or rude. He got them a very special Lana & Bob wedding album as their present. “And oh boy are you going to like this. Enjoy.”
It is a slideshow from their wedding last week! Lashley slamming that first husband of Lana’s, Liv and Lana cat-fighting, and of course, Rusev popping out of the cake to tackle Lashley. And Machka Kick him. And Liv rubbing Lana’s face into the frosting. Rusev is tearing up. Lana and Lashley are not happy in the slightest. Lashley tells Rusev he’s an SOB and Lana shouts she HATES Rusev so much! But Lashley then tells Lana to shut up!? Lana is both shocked and furious, bu doesn’t speak up. Lashley continues to address Rusev, saying Rusev “used to be a man.” But apparently his ex stripped him of his manhood. So if Rusev has any balls left, he should show up next week so Lashley can castrate him and shove those balls down Rusev’s throat!
Rusev says NO! Because it won’t happen that way. This will be the return of THE Bulgarian Brute, and he promises to do “unspeakable things” to Lashley. Rusev will brutalize every part of his body, and whatever is left is Lana’s. The challenge has been made. Who will be the one to survive this battle full of hate and tainted love?
Backstage interview with R-Truth!
The historic 29-time 24/7 Champion is here on the first Raw of 2020, and what is in store for him? Well Liv Morgan appears first, and Charly is excited to interview her, too. Of course she is. Liv wants to congratulate Truth on his record-setting reign with the title. Thanks, much obliged. But Liv couldn’t help but hear about Rusev VS Lashley. That means Lana is going to be in Lashley’s corner. So Rusev will need someone in his corner, right? And that is a moment she’d live for. Truth likes the word play. Will Liv be dying to get her hands on Lana at the same time Rusev goes after Lashley?
Charlotte Flair VS Sarah Logan!
The Queen is the first woman to officially declare for the Women’s Royal Rumble match, but you can be sure there are many others to follow her into that huge match. Will the Country Valkyrie make a mark in her own return to Raw?
Attacking from behind sure helps! Sarah clobbers Charlotte and stomps her down! Sarah rams Charlotte into the post, then pursues Charlotte on the outside with a BIG KNEE! Sarah shows no mercy as she clubs away on Charlotte! The ref backs Sarah off but that doesn’t last long. Sarah whips Charlotte but Charlotte reverses to send Sarah into barriers! Now Charlotte fires off clubbing forearms on Sarah! Charlotte dumps Sarah out to the crowd but Sarah brings Charlotte with her! The fans enjoy seeing this brawl up close, and Charlotte shoves Sarah over the barriers the other way. Charlotte climbs over but Sarah shoves her back into the post! The ref can barely keep Sarah off Charlotte, but Sarah goes into the ring on her own accord.
Sarah circles Charlotte’s feathered robe and paws at it. She drags it up to show it to Charlotte, and then thrashes it around! Charlotte sees Sarah wipe her feet on the robe before throwing it out. Sarah goes out after Charlotte again, but Charlotte SPEARS her down! And then rams her back into barriers! The ref pleads these two stop but Charlotte throws Sarah all around, EXPLODER into the barriers! Fans “WOO~” for The Queen as she drags Sarah up to bounce off the apron. Sarah shoves Charlotte into another post! Sarah stomps and kicks but Charlotte hits back. Charlotte shoves then BOOTS Sarah down! Charlotte dusts herself off and demands the ref fetch her robe. The ref does as told and Charlotte puts her robe back on. She didn’t have a match but she did win this fight. First Natalya scraps with Charlotte and now Sarah, just how violent will the Women’s Rumble be this year?
Drew McIntyre VS No Way Jose!
The party might be over as the Fighting Fiesta faces the studly Scottish savage! Will it all be over but the crying here in OKC?
McIntyre starts off by going after the conga line! Jose is furious as McIntyre TOSSES the hula fire dancer! The bell rings and Jose fires off fists on McIntyre! Jose whips, McIntyre reverses but Jose goes up and over, only for McIntyre to kick him out of the air! McIntyre runs in corner to corner to then overhead suplex Jose across the way! Jose writhes but McIntyre goes back out to target the man in the kilt! The kilt wearing hipster trips and McIntyre has him! McIntyre rips the man’s shirt off to CHOP him! And then inverted Alabama SLAM into the apron! McIntyre returns to the ring at 8 but Jose BOOTS! Jose throws fast ball haymakers from all sides but McIntyre boots him away. McIntyre runs corner to corner, misses, Jose rolls him up, ONE! FUTURE SHOCK! McIntyre kips up just to show off!
McIntyre aims from the corner as Oklahoma is divided. But McIntyre gives the countdown, CLAYMORE! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
McIntyre has almost too much fun destroying his opponents. But he’s not done with Jose, he throws him out onto what’s left of the conga line! Then he gets the mic to address Oklahoma City. “Who dares me to do one more Claymore?” No no, who double dares him to do another Claymore?! Oklahoma City does! McIntyre drags Jose back into the ring and takes aim from the corner again. The countdown begins again, CLAYMORE!! And a kip-up! “Didn’t even drop the microphone, thank you very much.” And don’t expect an apology, because McIntyre’s always hated conga lines. Though Mr. Cheeseburger seems like an nice guy.
But does anyone want to know a “not so fun fact” about McIntyre? He has never had one opportunity to fight for the world title. Fans are upset by that. So since everyone is too scared to fight McIntyre, he seems he has to put himself in maybe… the ROYAL RUMBLE! So who has declared? AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns, and apparently Brock Lesnar. McIntyre doesn’t care if you’re from Raw, SmackDown, NXT or walked in off the street, “lads, when it’s all said and done there can only be three… two… ONE!” Mic drop. Will McIntyre have a Claymore in store for all 28 men and The Beast?
Aleister Black VS Shelton Benjamin!
The Embodiment of the End meets the Gold Standard in the City of Thunder. Who wins this first-time-ever match as we travel down the Road to the Royal Rumble?
The bell rings and Aleister circles with Benjamin. Aleister blocks a kick and avoids the dragon whip to also deny Pay Dirt! The two stand off and fans cheer. Benjamin and Aleister tie up and Benjamin waistlocks. Aleister resists the lift to victory roll, TWO! Aleister comes in but Benjamin shoves him away, only for Aleister to roll off Benjamin’s back and sit down. Benjamin keeps his cool as he slides to headlock, but Aleister slips out to a facelock. Benjamin trips and goes to cover but gets caught to a hammerlock! Aleister grabs at arms but Benjamin resists, so Aleister just cranks the arm. Benjamin powers his way up and around to dead lift Aleister! Electric Chair Drop! Benjamin is free and shakes out his arm as he looms over Aleister.
Aleister kicks from the mat and Benjamin staggers. Aleister boots but Benjamin forearms! And again! Benjamin has Aleister on the ropes but he whips. Aleister springboards but Benjamin gets under. Aleister bobs ‘n’ weaves but Benjamin grabs hair. Aleister back elbows HARD, but Benjamin ROUNDHOUSES! Aleister wobbles but KNEE TRIGGERS! Benjamin falls to a knee, but Aleister lifts him up with his foot. BLACK MASS! Cover, Aleister wins!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall
But Buddy Murphy attacks?! The Aussie Juggernaut is furious after his defeat to Aleister before the New Year! He whips Aleister HARD into the post! Then into the apron, and the barriers! Murphy drags Aleister up to DECK him, then whip him into the timekeeper’s area! Murphy won’t let up, he rains down hands! Fans boo but Murphy scowls as he KNEE TRIGGERS Aleister down! Fans want “One More Time!” but Murphy gets a chair first. Aleister crawls but Murphy looms over him with that chair. Murphy uses his foot to lift Aleister’s head onto the edge of the chair and shouts, “I can beat you, Aleister!” FULL METAL AUSSIE-GOYE!! Murphy grins as he sits with crossed legs and watches Aleister. Will Murphy be the one to make Aleister #FadeToBlack?
Six Man Tag: Seth Rollins & The Authors of Pain VS Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & ???
Akam and Rezar enter first as harbingers of the “Monday Night Messiah” before The Architect makes his entrance. This “united force” looks to #BurnItDown and #ImposeHisWill on all of Raw, and Rollins grabs a mic to first address the crowd. “I have been chosen to lead Monday Night Raw to the Promised Land!” He was chosen by the WWE Universe. “You did this. I gave you Monday Night Rollins, and that was not good enough for you.” But the truth is, the fans don’t know what’s good for them. But Rollins does and always has! He knows what is BEST for them and all of us is to “eliminate people who impede progress.” Tonight, those are Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and whoever it is that took up arms with them. So Rollins dares them to meet their fate!
Kevin Owens enters first, followed by Samoa Joe. But who is their mystery third man? “Welllll~…” It’s THE BIG SHOW!! The World’s Largest Athlete returns to Raw and the Architects of Pain can’t believe it! Big Show’s come to set things right, will he be just the thing Kevin and Joe need to stop Rollins and the AOP?
The teams sort out and Big Show starts against Akam. Akam goes right at Show but Show reverses the whip and runs him over! Then Show hits Rezar! And throws in Rollins! Show has Rollins in the corner to CHOP! It’s been a long time since someone’s felt one of those! Rollins bails out to regroup with the AOP as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns once more and Joe has Rollins in a corner to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Rollins’ chest is red like raw steak! Joe whips Rollins corner to corner and back elbows, to the PELE! Rollins is down in the corner, Joe tags Kevin and Kevin says “SUCK IT” before hitting the CANNONBALL! Kevin covers, TWO! Kevin mocks Akam and Rezar before giving Rollins another CHOP! Kevin whips and redirects Rollins but Rollins goes up and over to run the ropes. Rollins dodges Kevin’s clothesline but can’t avoid the tilt-o-whirl backbreaker! Cover, TWO! Kevin keeps on Rollins by putting him in a drop zone. Kevin climbs but Akam distracts the ref so that Rezar can attack! Rezar knocks Kevin right down to the ground and Big Show protests!
Rollins tags to Rezar and Rezar storms right over to Kevin to throw him into barriers! And then the apron! Fans chant for Big Show as Rezar pushes Kevin in. Rezar hammers away on Kevin’s head! Rezar talks trash to Kevin before cranking on the neck. Kevin endures and fans rally up. Kevin fights up and back but Rezar knees low. Tag to Akam and the AOP combine for the sidewalk slam STOMP! Cover, TWO! Akam keeps on Kevin with more stomps and more hammering hands. Akam looms over Kevin and brings him up, but Kevin CHOPS! And haymakers! But Akam tackles Kevin down for more hammering fists. Tag to Rollins, and Rollins waits for Kevin to stand. Kevin does, but Rollins springboards to hit the flying knee! Cover, TWO!
Rollins stares right at Big Show as he drags Kevin around to ram elbows in. Rollins wraps on a chinlock to grind Kevin down but fans keep rallying. Kevin fights up but Rollins clubs him back. Tag to Akam and Akam mugs Kevin. Akam whips Kevin into a corner but Kevin boots back! Kevin reaches but Akam keeps him from Joe. Kevin elbows the waistlock off and enziguris! Akam staggers but Rezar tags in to sucker punch Joe! Big Show swipes at Rezar, Kevin SUPERKICKS and SHOTEIS Rezar! Kevin gives a shout out to Jushin Thunder Liger, on this, the day Liger officially retired! Kevin and Rezar are down but fans are thunderous! Hot tags to Rollins and BIG SHOW! Rollins freaks out as Big Show runs him over! And runs Rezar over! And Rollins again!
Big Show whips Rollins to a corner and back bumps him! Then keeps moving to shoulder block Rollins upside-down! Fans fire up but Rollins bails out. The AOP target Joe on the outside and throw him into steel steps! Big Show glares at them but Rollins returns with a FLYING- No! Show catches him with one hand! The AOP rush Big Show but he shoves Rollins away to catch them in one hand each! Big Show holds them back but that’s a lot of power. Rollins returns with a chair and USES IT! SMACK on Big Show’s back!
Winner: Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe & The Big Show, by disqualification
The AOP beat down the Giant as fans boo and jeer. But Joe returns to fight AOP off. They spill outside but Rollins aims at Show from the corner. Kevin anchors Rollins’ foot, and then Big Show hits the BIG punch! Rollins is out, but the AOP drag him to safety. Akam and Rezar have to drag Rollins in their retreat, and Big Show stands tall with The Prizefighter and Samoan Submission Machine!
BREAKING NEWS for next week’s Raw!
Things are already big with Rusev VS Lashley and Orton VS Styles, but it’s only getting bigger! Aleister VS Murphy will have another rematch after what happened tonight, and it’s already been decided by WWE management that we will have a special rematch of the Six Man Tag we just witness! BUT it won’t be just a normal match, it will be the first ever “Fist Fight” match in WWE history! But what does that even mean!? And what will it mean for Raw when the dust settles and one side is left standing?
What a wild Raw to start the new year! What’s really wild is, I honestly can’t say there was anything bad this time! Lesnar entering the Royal Rumble as the number one entrant is pretty crazy. I suppose that while Lesnar has been a part-time wrestler for quite some time, he’s at least putting in a lot of work Rumble night. At least, that’s how it might look. The way they are probably going to book this, and probably should book this, is that a lot of the early entrants are midcarders or jobbers that everyone knows won’t win so that Lesnar gets some easy eliminations. Bigger names should come in later, perhaps from spots 7 and up just so it isn’t “Lesnar waits, eliminates, repeat.” This really does give a lot of great potential showdowns we wouldn’t normally get. But Lesnar better not win. There needs to be someone, or even a group of superstars, that eliminates Lesnar so that we’ll get a contender for a top title. Personally hoping it’s McIntyre so he can turn Face. He had a lot of fun squashing Jose and the conga line, and fans had fun watching him do it.
Even though we all knew Rowan was going to win his match, and we all knew we wouldn’t get to see Rowan’s pet tonight, I love that we got some development in that tonight. Mojo did a great job selling the horror, and now that only increases the intrigue. I am having a hell of a time imagining what could possibly be in the cage. Styles was also obviously going to beat Akira Tozawa tonight, but it was great that he did it using Randy Orton’s moves. A bit disappointed their blow-off is supposedly next week to get it before the Royal Rumble, but hopefully that match will be as great as they’ve built this rivalry up. Aleister VS Benjamin was good, I could tell they were going for a “real fight” feel with the strikes and how quick it was, and then WOW Murphy’s attack on Aleister. Aleister VS Murphy Round 3 will be incredible!
I’m only a little disappointed they got the two big title matches out of the way so early, but I suppose it has to do with ratings and viewing habits with so many other things on TV these days. The United States Championship story was incredible tonight. Mysterio’s passion, the match itself with Vega taking that bump, Almas taking Mysterio’s mask and the subsequent attack to take it back, that’s good stuff. There seemed to be a bit of a hiccup with the timing on getting refs out to check on Vega and Almas wanting the finisher, and I’m pretty sure I heard John Cone tell Mysterio to go outside to stretch things. But in the end, this is a great story they’re telling with these two and I can’t wait for the next part. The Raw Tag title Triple Threat was really good, and I’m just a little disappointed there wasn’t a title change. But I suppose even the New Year Raw wasn’t the right time in WWE’s eyes for one. Maybe the Royal Rumble PPV in another epic Triple Threat?
Sarah Logan and Charlotte Flair had a great brawl, which I did not expect. Technically Sarah doesn’t lose despite Charlotte standing tall, but Sarah got her shots in so that’s about as good as if she were to have fought and lost a match. It does make me think the rest of the Women’s Division is finally being built up so there are more opponents for the Four Horsewomen. Becky and Asuka had a pretty good segment, too. Not sure if we needed all that recap but the package itself was well done. And Asuka going on and on for Becky to simply respond with one punch was a great exchange. Their match is going to be great, too. I just hope Kairi Sane makes her recovery, and that WWE gives her fat checks given how Stardom is courting her to return.
Good to know that Liv will be on Rusev’s side for next week, if only to spite Lana. And the Lana-Lashely-Rusev segment was actually not cringey this time! The eloping made sense, it was actually good that they didn’t make a big deal of Liv claiming she and Lana were together behind the scenes, and Lana actually hit the right level of annoying where it wasn’t nails on a chalkboard. Rusev had a great promo and just Lashley’s “Shut up!” was amazing. This is already showing signs of his relationship with Lana breaking down, and next week’s match could break them up already. This might be the best case of WWE salvaging their own mess in a long time.
The main story of the night, Rollins & AOP against Kevin, Joe and a mystery man, was handled fairly well. It was an interesting tease for Joe and Kevin to go to a door and peek in. Maybe they were trying to make it seem like Aleister was joining them, but that would’ve been a shame since he’d ditch his story with Murphy. Unless Murphy was going to join Rollins, but that doesn’t fit Murphy. I don’t think I would’ve guessed Big Show in a long time, but it was great to see him back in the ring. The Six Man Tag was pretty great, and I suppose it works for the best for things to end in a Disqualification. I just worry what this “Fist Fight” stipulation is. I don’t know if this is the time to think up new match types. I’m sure a No DQ Six Man would’ve been good enough. Also why announced so soon? Maybe give us time to breathe at the end of the show and tell us about this on social media or even the night of Raw next week. I guess as long as it’s really good, we can’t complain.
My Score: 8.6/10
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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