Will the Architect’s plan for Raw succeed?
Seth Rollins vows to stomp out doubt from Raw, and that starts by aiming for the top. Will he get the response he wants from Drew McIntyre?
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Aleister Black VS Austin Theory; Aleister wins and advances to the Men’s MITB match.
- Shayna Baszler VS Indi Hartwell; Baszler wins.
- Ricochet & Cedric Alexander VS Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink; Ricochet & Alexander win.
- Nia Jax VS Kairi Sane; Nia wins.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Apollo Crews VS MVP; Crews wins and advances to the Men’s MITB match.
- Ruby Riott VS Liv Morgan; Morgan wins.
- Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Rey Mysterio VS Buddy Murphy; Mysterio wins and advances to the Men’s MITB match.
- Charlotte Flair VS Kayden Carter; Flair wins.
- Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS Akira Tozawa; Almas wins.
- Bianca Belair VS Santana Garrett; Belair wins.
- Drew McIntyre VS Angel Garza; McIntyre wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw opens with Drew McIntyre!
The WWE World Champion heads to the ring for all the “cool cats and kittens,” and grabs a mic to welcome us to the show. This is truly the highlight of his week, so thank you for joining him. But to business. Last week, McIntyre was ambushed and left laying in this very ring. It wasn’t a surprise, really. McIntyre knows the title represents a lot of things. History, prestige, glory and fame. All great things, but it’s also a bull’s eye on the champion’s back. This title means you are the best of the best, and everyone wants to be in that position. They say it is lonely at the top, but they’re lying. It’s crowded at the top! Everyone wants the title! That brings McIntyre to Seth Rollins. Rollins was the one who stomped McIntyre’s head into the mat. Twice, even.
If you look past the Monday Night Messiah rhetoric, Rollins isn’t that complex. McIntyre is champion, Rollins wants to be champion, but does Rollins deserve it? McIntyre said those who are deserving get their shot. Many say Rollins isn’t deserving. But McIntyre took the week to think about it and came to a conclusion. He could make Rollins jump through hoops, but Rollins is one of the most decorated superstars today. McIntyre has been in the ring with Rollins so he knows firsthand how good Rollins is. If McIntyre wants to become the very best, he must beat the best. So at the Money in the Bank PPV, it WILL be McIntyre VS Rollins for the WWE Championship! McIntyre speaks to Rollins directly here. Don’t worry, Rollins, he won’t insult you. Because then he-
Wait a minute! Here comes Zelina Vega and her boys! McIntyre says he can talk later on, since he has Garza in a match. Zelina says hi, and he says hi back to the “number one thorn in my ass.” She knows she can’t speak for the entire WWE Universe, but her team is “so sick” of these speeches! McIntyre’s problem is he is too focused to MITB, that he is looking past tonight’s match with Angel Garza. And Andrade Almas attacks from behind! That’s why he wasn’t on stage! Almas dropkicks McIntyre into the corner and then stomps away! Almas runs corner to corner, but gets a CLAYMORE!! Zelina shouts for Garza and Theory to after McIntyre, but they’re not budging. McIntyre gives a countdown and… CLAYMORE! He sends Almas flying out of the ring! Vega’s stable regroups and retreats! Will McIntyre be the one feeling tranquilo tonight?
Raw shares the big news about MITB!
As announced on SmackDown just last Friday, Money in the Bank won’t just be with ladders. They’re going to compete inside WWE Titan Towers! The entire corporate headquarters will be the battlegrounds for both the Men’s and Women’s MITB briefcase matches! Who will climb the corporate ladder to success?
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Aleister Black VS Austin Theory!
We just saw #TheRealSuperstar be intimidated by the Scottish Stud, but he’ll have to refocus if he’s going to go #AllDay. Will Theory prove himself worthy of this massive opportunity? Or will he simply #FadeToBlack?
The bell rings and Aleister circles with Theory. They tie up and Theory goes for the wrist but Aleister gets away quick. The two go again, Theory goes after the wrist again and wrenches. Aleister spins and steps in to trip for a takedown. Theory tries to fight Aleister off but Aleister wrenches and wristlocks. Theory drags Aleister into a facelock but Aleister powers him off. Aleister has the arm again, and has a modified hammerlock. Theory endures, gets to his feet and reaches around to a headlock. Theory shifts to an armlock but Aleister rolls and trips Theory again, only for Theory to kick him away. Aleister catches Theory’s attack to arm-drag him away. Theory throws Aleister away and runs him over with a shoulder!
Zelina praises Theory while he jumps the leg sweep. Theory clubs Aleister on the back then throws forearms. He whips Aleister but Aleister simply rebounds and stands in Theory’s way. Theory runs but is put on the apron. Theory grabs hair but Aleister breaks free, and spins back! Black Mass narrowly misses Theory’s head as he jumps away! Aleister runs and wrecks Theory with a dropkick! Theory shakes the cobwebs out but Zelina heads off commentary. Zelina talks trash at Aleister, bringing up the past from NXT here like she has with McIntyre. Aleister doesn’t play fair? Theory throws Aleister into barriers! THAT isn’t very fair. But Zelina is pleased as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Aleister fights up out of a chinlock. He powers Theory into buckles but Theory elbows back. Aleister walks into a buckle bump, then Theory slingshots in for a somersault shotgun dropkick! Cover, TWO! Theory rains down lefts and rights on Aleister, then drags Aleister up for clubbing forearms. Theory torture racks and throws Aleister into buckles! Then another torture rack, for another throw! Theory wants a third, but Aleister fights back! Aleister lands out of the toss and BOOTS Theory away! Theory comes back to grab hair, but Aleister scoop slams Theory! Zelina grows worried again as Aleister wheelbarrows to the victory roll. TOW, and Theory blocks the strike fest to fireman’s carry. Aleister avoids ATL to roll Theory. Theory elbows out of the waistlock, but swings into a takedown!
Aleister has the arm but Theory stays on his feet! Theory fights the Triangle Hold and dead lifts, to a POWERBOMB! Zelina is excited to see that, but Theory can’t make the cover. A standing count begins, and Theory stands at 6. Theory drags Aleister up before 8, and fisherman lifts. But the bad arm gives out! Aleister goes after it with a standing armlock! Theory knees free and throws Aleister back to buckles. Theory tries again but Aleister cradle counters! TWO, and Aleister dodges to rally with big forearms! Aleister fires off the strike fest, sweeps the legs, and thrusts the KNEE! Zelina is frustrated as Aleister QUEBRADAS! Cover, TWO!! Theory lives and Zelina makes excuses, but Aleister looms close.
Aleister waistlocks and drags Theory up. Theory trips with a leg, but walks into a BOOT! Aleister runs, but Theory dodges the knee to SUPERKICK! Fisherman lift, USHIGOROSHI!! Cover, TOW!! Aleister survives and Zelina has had it with Byron. Theory keeps his focus, and claims he’s taking MITB. He drags Aleister up, fireman’s carries, but Aleister elbows back. Aleister is on the apron, blocks punches to give punches, and then climbs up top. Aleister leaps but Theory gets under! Theory runs into Aleister’s KNEE! Aleister GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Aleister grits his teeth and lifts Theory with his foot. BLACK- No! Theory dodges and elbows back. But runs into BLACK MASS!! Cover, Aleister wins!!
Winner: Aleister Black, by pinfall (advances to the Men’s MITB Ladder Match)
Zelina tries to convince herself that this is okay, but it certainly isn’t for Theory. Will Aleister make the entire field #FadeToBlack as they battle in Titan Towers?
In-ring interview with Aleister.
Byron Saxton congratulates Aleister on the big win, and he asks: What is the plan for climbing the “corporate ladder” in the most unique MITB match ever? Aleister doesn’t know much about the corporate life or the office. He’d probably have to cover up all of his tattoos. But when he enters the match, each floor will become his opponents’ personal hell.
Shayna Baszler VS Indi Hartwell!
The Queen of Spades quite literally broke Sarah Logan to qualify for the Women’s MITB match. Charly Caruso asks her on stage if that was taking it too far. Too far? Did Shayna break any rules? No. Just Sarah’s arm. Will Shayna break Indi like she did the Kentucky Valkyrie?
The bell rings and Shayna just ROCKS Indi with strikes! And then gut wrench SLAMS her down! Shayna stalks Indi, has the arm, and prepares to stomp! But Indi rolls her up! ONE and Indi hurries away from Shayna! Shayna is furious now, and she runs right at Indi. Indi BOOTS but Shayna laughs it off. Shayna runs in to ROCK and SLAM Indi down! And KNEES her right in the head! Indi is dazed, and Shayna STOMPS the arm!!
Winner: Shayna Baszler, by referee decision
Bully Baszler is more dangerous than ever as she sees redemption towards the Raw Women’s Championship. But will there be any women left on Raw if she keeps going like this?
Wait, what is Shayna doing with that ladder? She drags Indi out of the ring to SWING into the barriers! The ref reprimands Shayna but she isn’t listening. Shayna takes the ladder, sits it up against the steel steps, and then THROWS Indi into them! And then she puts the arm inside the ladder, to CRUSH!! The ladder breaks the arm like a nutcracker! Bully? Shayna is an evil villain. Will anyone be brave enough to stand in her way and the briefcase?
Ricochet & Cedric Alexander VS Shane Thorne & Brendan Vink!
The fast and furious combination returns, looking to get back on track in the Raw Tag Team Division. But can they best The Worst and the Smug?
The teams sort out and Vink starts against Ricochet. Ricochet and Vink tie up and Vink knees low! Vink tosses Ricochet to the corner and tags in Thorne. Thorne stomps Ricochet then throws European Uppercuts. Alexander avoids Thorne’s sucker punch and Thorne turns around into an elbow! Ricochet boots Thorne down then somersault shotgun dropkicks! Tag to Alexander and he knees Thorne low. Ricochet neckbreakers Thorne onto Alexander’s knee for a double breaker! Vink runs in but Alexander baits him into buckles! Enziguri sandwich! Thorne waistlocks but Ricochet tags in. Alexander elbows and suplexes Thorne down for Ricochet’s slingshot senton! Thorne flounders to a corner but Ricochet runs in. Thorne puts Ricochet on the apron and Vink trips him up! Vink CLOBBERS Ricochet then tags in.
Vink drags Ricochet up to throw into the ring. He stalks up behind Ricochet while Thorne talks smack. Vink DECKS Ricochet then brings him up again. He crucifix lifts, but Ricochet huricanranas Vink into buckles! Hot tag to Alexander and Thorne! The Ebony Lion rallies on Thorne and unloads a strike fest! He also dropkicks Vink’s legs out! Alexander has Thorne, props him up on Vink, and hits a one-man MAGIC KILLER! Alexander SUPERKICKS Vink away, but Thorne uppercuts Alexander! Ricochet tags in and Alexander knees Thorne. Alexander hits a tornado DDT! Ricochet hits a standing shooting star! Cover, but Vink breaks it! Vink DECKS Alexander, but Ricochet tilt-o-whirl DDT’s Vink! Ricochet is up, tags in Alexander, and Thorne runs into a kick! Ripcord RECOIL into LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander and Ricochet win!
Winners: Ricochet & Cedric Alexander, by pinfall
Raw’s tag team scene is about to shift into overdrive! Will anyone be able to keep up with this dynamic duo?
Backstage interview with The Kabuki Warriors!
Asuka and Kairi are still feeling good this week. The Pirate Princess lost her chance at being in the Women’s MITB match, but has a rematch with Nia Jax. Charly addresses the obvious size disadvantage being what lost last week. What makes Kairi think this week will be different? Asuka and Kairi says Charly is being stupid. Tonight, Kairi is ready for Nia! Right? Right! But no one is ready for ASUKA in Titan Towers! Will all this be true after tonight?
Bobby Lashley and Lana make a training video.
The Rocky Mountain Machine is going to show you how easy it is (for him) to flip this tractor tire. Lana says if you’re jealous of her now, wait until you see her Bobby in action. Will Lashley’s warm-up really make him mighty enough for this feat of strength?
Nia Jax VS Kairi Sane!
Raw returns as the Pirate Princess makes her entrance, followed by the Irresistible Force. Will this rematch change things from last week? Or just be a warm-up for Nia?
The bell rings and Kairi circles with Nia. Kairi dodges Nia and says, “Kiss this!” She gets around and climbs up Nia to get a sleeper hold! Nia throws Kairi off fast, but Kairi runs at her. Nia blocks the dropkick and makes it a swing! She TOSSES Kairi to a corner! Asuka is watching backstage as Kairi grabs the ropes. Asuka cheers Kairi on but protests as Nia drags Kairi up by her hair and throws her again! Though, the ref can’t hear that if she’s backstage. Nia stalks Kairi but Kairi throws body shots. Those don’t affect Nia and she throws Kairi again! Kairi grits her teeth but Nia drags her up again. Nia reels Kairi in to clothesline! And again! Kairi crawls to the bottom rope and the apron, but refuses to quit.
Nia runs over but Kairi slides under! Kairi tries but she can’t tip Nia over with the sunset flip! Nia drags Kairi up and holds her up with body hands! For a BUCKLE BOMB! Kairi groans in pain but drags herself back up. Nia runs in, but Kairi dodges! Nia just stops herself but Kairi goes after the leg! Kairi is after the surgically repaired knees! But Nia drags her up for a military press! The knee gives out and Kairi is right on it again! Asuka likes what she sees as Kairi throws elbow after elbow on Nia’s head! Nia pushes Kairi away but Kairi comes back for more. Kairi roars as she throws even more elbows! The ref counts as Kairi grabs hair, but she BACK HANDS Nia down! Kairi roars more as she runs in, for the SLIDING D!
Nia is down and Kairi climbs up! Kairi weighs anchor, for the InSANE- No! She has to roll and bail out as Nia evades. Nia is up, scoops Kairi, and pops her up for the SAMOAN DROP! Cover, Nia wins!
Winner: Nia Jax, by pinfall
Two times in a row, Nia A-Nia-Lates Kairi. But has Kairi done damage enough to give Asuka and the other women a chance against Nia in the Women’s MITB match?
Raw has a message from Seth Rollins.
“You’re a brave man, Drew McIntyre. A fighting champion. I admire that. I respect that.” There aren’t many who know what it’s like to walk in McIntyre’s shoes. But Rollins does. They both won a title off Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Not many know what it is like to do that. But Rollins does. Rollins and McIntyre have a lot in common, actually. They command the respect of their peers. They have a deep, deep love and passion for this industry. Rollins accepts the challenge for the WWE World Championship. But not out disdain, because this isn’t personal. This is out of necessity. Because now, more than ever, the WWE Universe needs a leader. As much as Rollins and McIntyre have in common, the parallels stop with titles. Rollins is a proven leader, and McIntyre is not.
Rollins says he is the one who will sacrifice for the greater good! He is the one who will make the hard decisions! He will be the one the light in the darkness. At MITB, Rollins will take the title. And not because he wants to, but because he has to. What will McIntyre need to do to prevent that?
The Viking Raiders have a fight song now.
Erik and Ivar road around while coming up with verses back and forth. “Viking Raiders!” The raid is here and here to stay. They’re men with beards who all should fear. They worship Thor and knock them to the floor! Will the Viking Raiders sing their praises all the way to the Raw Tag Team Championships?
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Apollo Crews VS MVP!
The rising star returned to Raw but would #FadeToBlack against Aleister. Montel Vontavius Porter returned to the WWE ring with the Royal Rumble. But who takes the second spot Raw has to give in the Men’s MITB?
Before the MVP grabs a mic to say, “In my storied career, I have seen a lot of WWE superstars literally rise and fall in pursuit of that briefcase.” Because inside is a contract that entitles the bearer a shot at the world title anywhere, anytime. We’ve seen the dangerous Aleister Black punch his ticket. Later, we will see the absolute legend in Rey Mysterio compete for his. But right now is MVP’s turn. In his way is the extremely talented Apollo Crews, the most gifted athlete on Raw. But he is outmatched. When the WWE wanted to make this year’s MITB match the most unique, they called the most unique competitor. MVP is no stranger to wearing suits, going to the corporate headquarters to sit in boardrooms and sign big money deals. They called MVP.
“No hard feelings, Aleister Black. Er, no, uh, Apollo Crews. That guy.” But MVP called his agent to book a private jet already to go to Stamford. MVP vows to be in MITB. Money talks, and what it says is that MVP is the future. But Apollo makes his entrance to interrupt. Will MVP put his money where his mouth is?
The bell rings and Crews stares down with MVP. MVP throws hands but Crews counter punches! Crews whips but MVP holds ropes. Crews handsprings through to dropkick MVP down, and down again! MVP gets to the apron and calls for a timeout. Nope! Crews blasts MVP off the apron! Crews slingshots but MVP sweeps the legs! MVP’s experience has the edge as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as MVP has Crews in a camel clutch. Crews endures but MVP says he can just make it easier on himself and give up. Crews refuses and powers up instead! He rams MVP into buckles! Crews is free and he runs back in, but into MVP’s LARIAT! Cover, TWO! MVP drags Crews back into the camel clutch, and throws clubbing crossface forearms! MVP drops names like Mysterio and Kane as past opponents. He brings Crews up for the Play Maker, but Crews powers out to a SPINE BUSTER! MVP writhes and flounders to a corner while Crews catches his breath. MVP stands in the corner but Apollo grits his teeth as he runs in. Crews hits a big splash then rains down hands! The ref counts and Crews backs up, to SUPERKICK! Crews runs to BOOT! Then keeps going to LARIAT back!
Crews isn’t done there, he scoops MVP for a BIG powerslam! Cover, TWO! Crews keeps his cool and brings MVP up. He scoops and slams MVP down then heads up top. Crews leaps, but the frog splash gets knees! MVP drags Crews into position, PLAY MAKER! Cover, TWO!! Crews survives and MVP can’t believe it! MVP argues the count but two is two. MVP looms over Crews as he makes it rain. He runs but gets an enziguri! Crews military presses and tosses MVP, for the standing moonsault! And shooting star! Crews wants MVP to stand up again and MVP does. Crews gets him for the CREWS MISSLE!! Cover, Crews wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (advances to the Men’s MITB match)
An incredible comeback for Crews! He shouts, “This is MY time!” But will that be the case when fighting for the case?
Backstage interview with Ruby Riott.
Charly brings up the Riott Squad, the old trio of Ruby, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan. Ruby and Liv are set to compete in a matter of moments, but how did the group go from so close to so divided? Ruby sets it straight: it was never really a squad to her. She had to have double surgery because she was carrying Sarah and Liv on her back! Ruby made them look strong! And now look. Sarah’s arm is broken, and Liv will be lucky if Ruby doesn’t break both arms. Liv still suffers from the delusion that she’s all grown up. But Ruby is going to show her just how lonely and small and weak Liv is without her.
Ruby Riott VS Liv Morgan!
Raw returns as Liv makes her entrance first, then followed by Ruby. Will the former Juvenile Delinquent prove Ruby wrong by winning with her own strength?
The bell rings and the two go right at each other. Liv powers Ruby to a corner but backs off at the ref’s count. Ruby sucker punches Liv! Then clubs her on the back. Ruby stomps Liv down to a corner then kicks her in the ribs! Liv sputters but Ruby bounces her off the mat! Ruby drags Liv up but Liv throws body shots. Ruby clubs Liv back down then drags her back up. Liv throws more haymakers and then kicks low to BOOT! Liv LARIATS Ruby on the rebound, and again! Then enziguris Ruby to a corner! Liv runs in but Ruby dodges. Liv jumps, jumps and dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Liv keeps her cool as she clubs and pushes Ruby around now. She drags Ruby up to suplex but Ruby blocks. Ruby stomps feet to then hang Liv out to dry. And BOOT her down! Cover, TWO!
Ruby grins as she sits Liv up for a cravat. She cranks on the neck but Liv endures. Ruby leans on Liv but Liv refuses to give up. Liv elbows free but Ruby bounces her off the mat again. Ruby drags Liv up and has her against the ropes to club away. The ref counts but Ruby lets up to run. But Liv ROCKS Ruby back with a forearm! Liv runs, but Ruby gives that forearm back! Ruby runs, Liv reels her in but Ruby elbows out hard! And SUPERKICKS! Ruby slaps Liv around and wants the “puppy” to beg. Ruby runs, but into the REBOUND SHOT! Cover, Liv wins!!
Winner: Liv Morgan, by pinfall
Ruby just got got, and her own ego is to blame! Will she ever get over letting Liv get the better of her?
Lashley and Lana return.
The warm-up is done, now it is time to prove himself. But Lana says he isn’t just warm, he’s hot. Lashley says it takes an elite athlete to properly flip a tire. He gets it up and over! Lana is pleased, but Lashley says the real challenge is the extra thick tire. Will he be able to pump up and power that rubber beast around?
Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier: Rey Mysterio VS Buddy Murphy!
It is time to fill Raw’s last spot in the historic “corporate ladder” match! The King of Lucha Libre has been a victim of the cash-in, but he wants to be on the other end for once in his career. Will he get past Rollins’ returning disciple? Or will Murphy’s Law take effect?
The bell rings and Murphy circles with Mysterio. They approach and tie up, and Murphy gets a headlock takeover. Mysterio headscissors but Murphy pops out, only for roles to reverse. Murphy headscissors but Mysterio pops out. Murphy sweeps legs, covers, ONE! Mysterio sweeps legs, covers, ONE! Both men stand off, and circle again. Murphy says, “Not bad for an old man.” Mysterio brushes that one off, and ties up with Murphy again. Murphy has the arm and wrenches, then yanks on the arm to go after the shoulder. Mysterio endures though he drops to his knees. Murphy grinds Mysterio down then brings him up to wrench and whip. Mysterio dodges, dodges and tilt-o-whirls to headscissor! Dial it up, but the call misses! Mysterio tells Murphy he was that close.
The two circle, Murphy swings a boot but Mysterio uses the ropes for defense. Murphy keeps going after him with hammering hands but the ref backs him off. Mysterio bails out and says his hand got messed up. Murphy goes out and throws Mysterio into barriers! And then into the timekeeper’s area! Murphy shows no mercy as he puts Mysterio back in. Cover, ONE, but Murphy goes after those bad hands! Murphy wrenches and wrings the arm out! Cover, ONE! Mysterio toughs it out but Murphy drags him up. Murphy goes after the bad hand with a wristlock. Mysterio reaches but has to roll and handspring to then flip with the ropes. He arm-drags Murphy out then dropkicks him down! Mysterio builds speed but Murphy is ready for the slide! Murphy wheelbarrows Mysterio but Mysterio elbows free!
Mysterio runs into a BOOT! He drops to the ramp as the ring count begins. Murphy STOMPS Mysterio’s bad hand on the ramp! Mysterio shouts in pain as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns as Murphy SLAMS the bad hand on steel steps! Mysterio falls against barriers while he clutches the fingers. Murphy drags Mysterio up to SLAM the hand again! The ring count passes 5 but Murphy refreshes it. Murphy goes up the steps and drags Mysterio to the apron. Mysterio gets away but Murphy watches from in the ring. Murphy goes out and drags Mysterio back up to the corner! Murphy SLAMS the hand on the post, then stands on it! The ref counts but Murphy lets up at 3. Mysterio trips Murphy! Murphy hits buckles and then the floor! Mysterio gets space, runs to the steps, and LEAPS for a huricanrana! Murphy crashes down on the ramp! Mysterio refreshes the count and fetches Murphy into the ring. Mysterio’s hand slows him down, and Murphy is on him. But Mysterio kicks Murphy away!
Murphy wobbles back into another enziguri! Mysterio springboards for the seated senton! Then springboards again for a crossbody! Mysterio KICKS at Murphy’s leg then whips. Murphy reverses and slaps the bad hand! But Mysterio dropkick the leg out to dial it up! But Murphy catches him, only for Mysterio to tilt-o-whirl DDT! Cover, TWO! Murphy lives but both he and Mysterio are down. Murphy goes to ropes but Mysterio stands up. Mysterio joins Murphy on the apron and drags him up. Mysterio throws forearms but Murphy BOOTS back! Murphy stalks up behind Mysterio, fireman’s carries him, but Mysterio fights free! And dropkicks Murphy down! Murphy hits barriers and Mysterio builds speed! Mysterio slides, headscissors and sends Murphy hard into barriers again!
The ring count climbs while both men are down and out. Mysterio sits up first and finally fixes his fingers. He puts Murphy back in the ring then takes aim from up top. Mysterio leaps and crossbodies, but Murphy rolls through! Murphy powers Mysterio up, for an USHIGOROSHI! KNEE TRIGGER! BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!? Mysterio survives because as he said last week, he wants this more! Mysterio slowly rolls to the ropes but Murphy stands up. Murphy drags Mysterio back to the middle of the ring, then heads for a corner. But Mysterio anchors Murphy’s foot. Murphy stomps Mysterio until he lets go, then finishes his walk to the corner. Murphy climbs up top but Mysterio stops him with haymakers!
Mysterio climbs to join Murphy, and clubs away on Murphy’s back. Murphy resists the superplex and throws body shots. Murphy clubs Mysterio back then sunset flips. Mysterio blocks the bomb, so Murphy tucks him in. Murphy wants to kick but Mysterio mule kicks him first! Mysterio turns himself around to leap, for a DESTROYER!! Murphy flounders onto ropes! Dial it up, 6 1 9!! Mysterio climbs up, leaps, FROG SPLASH! Cover, Mysterio wins!
Winner: Rey Mysterio, by pinfall (advances to the Men’s MITB match)
The Raw half of the field is complete! The lucha legend leaves Murphy outside looking in, but will we be looking at Mysterio’s first run as Mr. Money in the Bank?
Backstage interview with Zelina Vega and Angel Garza.
El Latino es en la casa, but Raw didn’t really open how Vega’s team hoped. How does Charly figure that? Well, Almas’s sneak attack turned into two Claymore kick. Yes, yes, how “noble” for McIntyre to attack when Almas couldn’t stand. How does Charly know this isn’t going to Vega’s plan? How does anyone know Garza won’t teach McIntyre about nobility? And how do we know McIntyre will even make it to MITB to face Rollins? Because it’d be a shame if he didn’t. Garza says that once he wins tonight, he would love if Charly asked how it felt to beat a champion. See you later tonight.
Charlotte Flair VS Kayden Carter!
The Queen may reign over the NXT Women’s Division, but she returns to Raw to remind us why! Will she give NXT’s fiery Filipina that promised lesson in humility?
The bell rings and Charlotte stretches the ropes. KC has her dukes up, but that does nothing against Charlotte’s BOOT! Charlotte brings KC up and CHOPS her back down! That’s “lesson number one: always, always do your homework.” Charlotte toys with KC as she kicks her to ropes. Charlotte goes for another boot but KC dodges to sweep the legs! And mule kick! Cover, ONE, and Charlotte gets up fast. KC swings around to crucifix DRIVER! Cover, TWO, into a Rings of Saturn! KC tries to bring the arms back but Charlotte powers up. Charlotte is almost up but KC hooks a leg for an iron octopus! She brings Charlotte back down, but Charlotte still powers up! Charlotte stands, and gets to ropes, to then elbow away! And HOTSHOT KC off ropes!
KC wobbles about, but finds Charlotte. Charlotte dodges the kick to SPEAR KC down! Charlotte dusts off her hands, then grabs a leg. She puts on the Figure Four! And then toys with KC before putting in the Figure EIGHT! KC taps, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by submission
Charlotte holds on until she’s satisfied, and the lesson is over. The Queen has called out both the Head Baddie in Charge and the Evil Genius #1 contender. Will each of them “do their homework” before going up against the champion?
Lashley attempts the lift challenge.
450 pounds of tire. If anyone can move it, it’s him. He gets up under and begins, but only gets it up a few inches. Lashley tries again, but still can’t. He takes his frustration out on the tire, then fires himself up. Round three, and Lashley does it! He lifts the monster tire! And Lana gushes all over him. “That’s the kind of power everyone in the WWE locker room needs to fear.” Will the Rocky Mountain Machine move on from tires to superstars as MITB looms closer?
Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega VS ???
El Idolo’s ambush failed to fall McIntyre, but he looks to rebound from that in the ring. Will the WWE United States Champion take his frustrations out on his opponent? Or will he falter even harder?
Raw returns and Almas’ opponent is Akira Tozawa! The Stamina Monster is coming off red hot from his Interim NXT Cruiserweight Championship Tournament win, but he has beef with Vega’s team. Will Tozawa keep the roll going with some retribution?
The bell rings and Tozawa circles with Almas. They tie up, Tozawa throws hands all over but Tozawa gives them back. Tozawa rocks Tozawa but Tozawa hits the spinning roundhouse! Vega is concerned and the SHINING WIZARD hits! Cover, ONE! Tozawa stomps Almas down then has him against ropes. Tozawa throws forearms then whips. Almas reverses but Tozawa comes back to huricanrana! Almas bails out and Tozawa builds speed, to BOOT Almas down! Tozawa slingshots but Almas moves. But Tozawa just adjusts, to CANNONBALL! Vega is worried as Tozawa gets up. Tozawa drags Almas up and into the ring then heads up top. Almas stands, but Tozawa missile dropkicks him down! Cover, TWO! Almas bails out and regroups with Vega.
Vega says Almas is fine, but then she stays in Tozawa’s way. Almas sucker punches and then CHOPS Tozawa! “I am the champion!” Almas puts Tozawa in the ring and Vega wants to send a message to McIntyre. So Almas wrenches and shoulder breakers, then back suplexes. Tozawa lands on his feet, dodges, tilt-o-whirls and puts on the Iron Octopus! Almas reaches but Tozawa cranks harder! Almas powers up again, but Tozawa just cranks harder! Tozawa bends the hand but Almas uses one more push to get the ropebreak! Tozawa lets go, and Almas ELBOWS him down hard! Almas drags Tozawa up and fireman’s carries, but Tozawa slips out. Tozawa back kicks and both men fall! Tozawa gets up, spins, slides under, and fakes Almas out to JAB! Almas is rocked, but he dropkicks back! Almas drags Tozawa in, shouts out Eddie, but gets a cradle counter! TWO!!
Almas pops Tozawa up, Tozawa huricanranas again, cover, TOW! Wheelbarrow takedown, TWO!! SUPERKICK!! Tozawa has Almas down in the drop zone and heads up top! Vega panics as Tozawa stands, but Almas trips him up! Almas drags Tozawa out and hammerlocks, for the DRAPING LA SOMBRA!! Cover, Almas wins!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall
That was much more than either Almas or Vega expected, but it still went as they expected. Almas wins here, but will a contender close in on that WWE US Championship?
But speaking of champions, the Street Profits are here! They and their Raw Tag Team Championships party on the announce desk, and are in action after the break!
Bianca Belair VS Santana Garrett!
The strongest, fastest, toughest and roughest is back in action, looking to prove she wasn’t just a big fish in a small pond. Will she make big waves against the Wonder Woman of Wrestling?
The bell rings as the Profits are fired up for Bianca. She and Santana circle and tie up. Bianca powers Santana to a corner but the ref counts. Bianca lets up and goes again with Santana. They tie up, Bianca SLAMS Santana down then claps at her. Santana grabs a leg but Bianca blocks the take down. Bianca gut wrenches Santana up to the Canadian rack but Santana fights free. Santana pie faces and Bianca is not having it. Bianca SHOVES Santana down then claps back. Santana gets up, waistlocks but Bianca standing switches for a slam! Santana stands but gets thrown down again! Bianca keeps on Santana and ducks the elbow, to slam Santana again! Bianca waits for Santana to get up before she stomps away in the corner.
The ref counts and Bianca lets up, to hip toss Santana across the way! Santana dodges and throws big haymakers! Santana whips but Bianca reverses. Bianca gets under as Santana goes up and over. Bianca blocks the arm-drag, whips Santana away then runs her over with a shoulder! Things speed up and Bianca handsprings over Santana! Bianca dares Santana to bring it, and then she hurdles over. She side steps and follows to run Santana over again! The Profits are so hyped for Bianca right now as she brings Santana back up. Bianca suplexes Santana and holds her up for squats! Then drops her down! Bianca runs, and SPLASHES! Then kips up to blow a kiss to the fans at home. Bianca tells Santana to kiss this, but Santana goes to the apron. Santana throws hands but Bianca ROCKS her back!
Bianca drags Santana up but Santana hotshots! Santana BOOTS Bianca back! Santana climbs up top and leaps, crossbody! Cover, ONE! Santana SUPERKICKS Bianca then handsprings, into a BOOT! Bianca drags Santana up to lift, and alley-oop onto buckles! Torture rack, KISS OF DEATH! Cover, Bianca wins!
Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall
The EST is many things, but her boys are the wildest commentary team. Will this trio soon stand atop all of Raw together?
Drew McIntyre VS Angel Garza!
Raw begins and ends with the WWE World Champion! But it also begins and ends with Vega’s team being ringside. Will this week look a lot like last week? And will that be good or bad for the Latino Lothario?
The bell rings and Theory distracts McIntyre right away! Garza rushes McIntyre but McIntyre hits back. McIntyre CHOPS and CHOPS and chop blocks Garza! That’s in return for last week! McIntyre KICKS the leg out, then mockingly asks how the leg feels. McIntyre CHOPS again but Garza elbows back. Garza can’t get away before McIntyre THROWS him overhead! Garza bails out and regroups with Vega’s team, but McIntyre is in pursuit. McIntyre CLUBS Garza then snake eyes him off barriers. McIntyre CHOPS Garza while mocking Theory’s #AllDay. He puts Garza in, but Almas tries to ambush again. McIntyre blocks the post attack, and catches Garza’s DIVE! McIntyre throws Garza at the steel steps but Garza hops over. Garza runs back, into a HEADBUTT!
McIntyre glares at Almas but Vega stands in the way. Theory lurks up behind but McIntyre DECKS him! Garza leaps off the steps to dropkick! McIntyre hits the barrier, then Garza RAMS him into a post! And then another! The ring count passes 7! McIntyre gets in but Garza follows. Garza is up top and leaps, to missile dropkick! Cover, ONE! Garza goes after McIntyre’s leg and clubs away. He cranks on the knee but McIntyre resists the full turn. Garza hammers the leg more but McIntyre kicks free with the other leg. McIntyre shoves Garza but Garza kicks him back. McIntyre CLOBBERS Garza! Then McIntyre whips to elbow Garza down! Garza dodges the clothesline but not the BOOT! McIntyre glares at Vega as he heads to the corner. He climbs up top, and leaps to ax handle! And kip up!
McIntyre says this is it. He glares at Garza as he dares him to get up. Garza slowly rises, the countdown begins, but Garza runs away! McIntyre grabs Garza but off come the pants! Seems that trick isn’t just for taunting his opponent! But McIntyre builds speed to FLY!! He wipes out Vega’s stable, and then says, “I can do it all!” McIntyre puts Garza in the ring then throws Almas over barriers! And CLAYMORES Theory for good measure! Vega is stunned as McIntyre stalks Garza in the ring. McIntyre elbows Garza then drags him up. INVERTED ALABAMA! But Garza wheelbarrows and victory rolls through!! TWO, and both men run, CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
And to punctuate that win, he busted Garza open! McIntyre raises the WWE World Championship, his confidence not at all wavering. In fact, he wants to add on! Garza flounders up and into ANOTHER CLAYMORE! “Keep bringing them in, keep lining them up. I’ll keep Claymore-ing them down.” Speaking of, Theory flounders into the ring. And he gets a CLAYMORE! McIntyre copies tranquilo just to make a point. But will he truly make a statement when he goes 1v1 with The Architect at Money in the Bank?
A really good episode for Raw, even after #BlackWednesday just last week. There are now rumors that some names get to come back, one name being Sarah Logan. They did mention her because of the overlap she plays in both Shayna Baszler’s story and in the Ruby VS Liv story. And with her husband, Erik (Ray Rowe) still employed, you would hope she is brought back. Speaking of her husband, I do NOT understand the cheerful fight song segment for The Viking Raiders. Obviously they’re Faces, but they shouldn’t be gleeful Faces. They should’ve been singing a much tougher song, at least. As for Shayna, that was some incredible brutality, and that is great for Shayna. She needs to be very dangerous in the MITB Titan Towers match, win or lose, to stay on course.
Liv getting a win over Ruby is great, but it’s hard to be sure where the Riott Squad break-up goes from here. Bringing Sarah back would also be a good move in order to keep this story fresh. Lashley’s tire lifting segment was… filler. I thought there was going to be more tension with him and Lana, but they completely let off on it. Hopefully they get back on that next week, especially with Rusev among the superstars cut. Bianca had a good match against Santana Garrett, but wow were the Profits hyperactive. And Charlotte of course gets a win before she makes her momentous return to NXT. I’m thinking the Charlotte VS Mia Yim rematch is going to be an incredible match to officially bring Charlotte back to NXT, but Charlotte will still win to stay strong towards facing Io Shirai.
Kairi Sane losing to Nia again reinforces my concerns that Kairi is leaving. I was hoping Asuka ambush Nia with mist, but it seems Nia still needs momentum after her return. Though, it seems she isn’t a Face with how she toyed with Kairi, so it looks like Raw is sending in three Heels for the Women’s MITB. This is an interesting move, because it parallels Raw’s three Faces for the Men’s. Aleister was of course winning over Austin Theory, and it just feels right for Mysterio to go in over Murphy. It’s great for Apollo to win and be in, but unless he turns, he’s also a Face. Will SmackDown be the one sending outright Heels in the last two spots? Gulak VS Corbin is happening this Friday, but I felt Elias was going to cost Corbin. Is Gulak the one turning?
Raw being sandwiched by McIntyre was good stuff. I’m not sure if he should’ve been so cheerful in the beginning given the ambush last week. But I suppose as top Face, starting happy is fine. He sure seems to enjoy kicking Vega’s team around. Vega’s team is also on a losing record this week, with Theory losing, but Almas winning against Tozawa, then Garza losing in the main event. But don’t shout “Buried!” just yet. McIntyre mopped the floor with them in the main event last week, so nothing changed there. This time McIntyre had to stand tall going into his match against Rollins. That match will great, however and wherever they do it. As for Vega’s team, they’ll rebound to a degree. They might even cost McIntyre the title to stay in the main event scene.
My Score: 8.3/10
Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.28.2021
The second day contains all of the championship matches! Heavyweight Tags, Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight matches! Plus a triple threat for the vacant Junior Heavy title!
The second day contains all of the championship matches! Heavyweight Tags, Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight matches! Plus a triple threat for the vacant Junior Heavy title!
With the anniversary show a few days away, the Junior Heavyweight will be even more sought after due to the nature of the Heavyweight versus Junior champ main event. Aside from the title matches we get another CHAOS versus Bullet Club match and what could be the culmination of this United Empire going after TenCozy storyline.
Now let’s see exactly how much better today’s show if from yesterday!
- TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay): Kojima wins via Cozy Lariat @6:56 – *** ¼
- Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White & Chase Owens) vs CHAOS (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada): Okada wins via Money Clip @8:35 – ** ½
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto): G.o.D. retains via Gun Stun @15:46 – ** ¾
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs The Great O-Khan: Tanahashi retains via Crucifix Cradle @18:44 – *** ¼
- -VACANT- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado vs El Phantasmo vs BUSHI: Despy wins via Pinche Loco @23:12 – *** ¾ – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito: Ibushi retains via Kamigoye @27:50 – *** ¾
TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay)
Jeff & Will started right before the bell, but their inexperience as a team started to bleed through early. Cobb held the veterans on the outside for a Plancha from Ospreay, but TenCozy moved mid-flight and Ospreay crashed into Cobb. The during the Machine Gun chops in the corner, Jeff turned it around on Kojima while Will was pinned in the corner, but Kojima ducked and Cobb struck Will.
After that, the United Empire started putting it all together, but they made one fatal mistake. Cobb and Ospreay kept mocking Tenzan’s inability to use the Mongolian Chops by going back and forth using Mongolian Chops on him. A man can only take so many insults, so Tenzan fires and rips off some…Osaka Windmill Chops; then we see the TenCozy Cutter, but the United Empire makes the save.
Tenzan takes Ospreay out of the ring after an Anaconda Buster, Kojima winds up for the Cozy Lariat, Cobb hits a Superkick to stop him, goes for Tour of the Islands…but Kojima slips out! COZY LARIAT! And…wait the veterans won?! Interesting.
Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White & Chase Owens) vs CHAOS (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada)
This match played off yesterday’s show, and thankfully the only one that drove this match was the only match to matter. Ishii’s ribs are still messed up, so Bullet Club took turns isolating the Stone Pitbull and working him over. Stiff strikes, standing on his ribs in the corner, just a giant target on Ishii’s body.
When Ishii finally tagged out, we got a small taste of Yano’s…unique stylings, and then Okada looked to finish things. Everyone came in, did the signature spam with Ishii getting a little payback on White, but generally White looked great in this match. Okada ends up with Chase as the legal competitors, counters the Jewel Heist, locks in the terrible Money Clip and Chase taps.
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto)
So the first few minutes of this match really hurt the overall impression. YOSHI-HASHI got Powerbombed and decided to take a nap. It was one of the most awkward situations with the ref checking on HASHI over and over again with no real indication that it was a sell or a momentary knock out.
HASHI was moving at the speed of smell, which made his first tag take forever and look a little dumb with Loa trying to sell but everyone including Stevie Wonder could see it just took too long. Maybe he got some smelling salts after the tag out since he finally showed some first when he came back in, but once again, YOSHI-HASHI is the problem with the match.
It started to pick up, the match got hectic in a fun way with tandem moves from everyone and if the first few minutes didn’t happen, this would’ve been quite solid. The misdirection/counter wrestling between Tama and Goto was great, the fact that it ended with a small heel tactic and not being overdone was nice. Plus with the Magic Killer not ending the match for the Guerrillas, and Tama winning with the Gun Stun; this could be a little obvious foreshadowing for the Good Brothers.
NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs The Great O-Khan
A lot of the story going into this was Yota Tsuji’s allegiances and if he’d turn on his main senpai Hiroshi Tanahashi. It’s a good thing there were those psychological wrinkles, since the chemistry between these two, still leaves something to be desired.
Early transitions were a bit clunky, but O-Khan’s strategy was sound enough to attack the legs and reference back to moves we’ve seen Tanahashi lose to. O-Khan had most of the momentum before Tanahashi catches him, goes for Slingblade, but O-Khan gets the referee in the way. So now we see the decision moment for Tsuji, does he give a chair to O-Khan, or help his senpai?
Tsuji decides to slide in the chair to Tanahashi and O-Khan is livid. O-Khan still has a few chances to win, including a nice Claw Hold Back Breaker, which he spins out into a Claw Hold Side Effect. But as he goes for The Eliminator, Tanahashi hits the flying Crucifix and rolls him into the pinfall, retaining the NEVER championship!
-VACANT- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado vs El Phantasmo vs BUSHI
Early on this was a little paint by numbers. Counters, a few signature spots to get early advantages, but the match didn’t pick up until ELP tried to take out Desperado. ELP and Despy fight up the ramp, ELP rips the mask to expose Despy’s head and pulls out the Jerry Lynn special, Cradle Piledriver right into the ramp!
ELP takes the ripped mask as a trophy, and we see a singles match between BUSHI and ELP for a good bit of time. BUSHI proves to be as stubborn as other Tetsuya’s in LIJ, and takes it to ELP fairly well. BUT – that’s not the story here. Desperado starts slowly making his way back to the ring with a new mask. Desperado comes in and goes on a warpath after ELP. Stiff looking strikes, dives that take out both of his opponents, and just an unbridled rage that makes him focus on ELP.
This of course allows for BUSHI to pick some solid spots, and after Despy returns the match really picks up. It’s also great to ELP’s heel tendencies where he takes moves from higher profile people just to turn the knife. Styles Clash, V-Trigger, an attempted One Winged Angel, Sweet Chin Music, the Undertaker arm fold pin cover, and it’s just good entertainment.
BUSHI has a great count break up where he just grabs Marty Asami’s arm to prevent the 3. BUSHI sets up for MX, but he gets caught with Sudden Death…and rolls out of the ring. So ELP has to go back to a now slowly coming back up Desperado, ELP charges, gets caught with a big right hand and not 1 but 2 Pinche Locos!
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 28, 2021
El Desperado finally wins the Junior Title, and after such a great 2020 and start to 2021, it’s well deserved.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito
Naito focused on mat wrestling in the beginning, and it was all in effort to get to Ibushi’s knees to bring the match to parity. With Naito having well documented bad knees (including miss time during the Road to), Naito had to work to make things more even.
We see a lot of old threads get pulled on, the corner spot could reference to Naito and Omega’s G1 match, the Outside In German Suplex was something Ibushi struggled to execute before on Naito. Naito pulled out an Avalanche Diamond Dust that we don’t often see, and this was somewhat interesting. New Japan continues to implore that main events are 25+ minute matches, and lately these all drag.
Even with the fun story aspects, a few big scary spots as we’ve come to expect, the match never ascended to a great height. Naito hit Valentia and a few running Destinos, but that wasn’t enough to take out the champion. Ibushi hit Kamigoye to the back of the head, much like as Wrestle Kingdom, then we got 2 more Kamigoyes and Ibushi just falling on top of Naito for the pinfall victory!
Overall Score: 6.25/10
Well now the show was better than yesterday (low bar) but still nothing exciting. New Japan still hasn’t quite figured it out. I was a little hopeful after Wrestle Kingdom when there were a bunch of good matches, even if they were spread over two days with a lot of filler in between. But New Beginning really only had one stand out match, and we’re in the same boat since today is going to be heavily forgettable in the grand scheme of things.
Possible takeaways could really only be, Kojima proving he deserves one more dance in the G1 and Desperado finally gets into the top position of the Junior division. It also can’t be ignored how heavily English commentary and Ibushi himself were implying outside threats. When they said things like “any place, any time, anyone”, so this is laying some foreshadowing, but nothing overtly interesting to glean.
Aside from that…yeah, go cut the grass, shovel snow, build some Legos, do other things aside from watching Castle Attack.
Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)
Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!
NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!
NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?
- Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
- KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
- Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
- Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!
The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?
As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!
Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!
Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.
Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.
Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!
Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!
Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?
YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!
Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?
The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.
Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!
Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!
Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!
Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!
Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!
Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!
Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!
Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall
Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!
Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.
Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!
Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!
But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall
What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?
KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!
Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?
The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!
Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!
Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!
Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!
Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!
Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.
Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!
Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!
Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!
Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)
And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?
Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!
The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?
White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.
White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!
Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.
White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.
White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.
White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.
Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!
Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!
The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!
The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!
White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!
Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.
White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.
White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.
Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!
White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?
Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!
The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?
The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!
Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!
Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.
Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!
Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!
Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!
Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!
Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!
Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.
Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.
Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!
Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!
Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!
Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!
Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall
The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”
Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!
The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?
A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.
In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.
White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.
My Score: 9/10
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