Raw puts FOUR championships on the line!
It’s a veritable gold rush as the WWE 24/7, WWE Women’s Tag, Raw Tag Team and Raw Women’s Championships are ALL ON THE LINE! Who holds the gold at the end of the night?
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits VS The Viking Raiders; The Street Profits win and retain the Raw Tag Team Championships.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Charlotte Flair; Asuka wins and retains the Raw Women’s Championship.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Ninja Nightmare: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas; Tozawa wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- Natalya VS Liv Morgan; Natalya wins.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Bayley & Sasha Banks VS The IIconics; Bayley & Banks win and retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
- Apollo Crews VS Shelton Benjamin; Crews wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drew McIntyre heads to the ring!
The WWE World Champion already had his own #ChampionshipMonday last week when he ended up having to defend his title in a tag team match alongside R-Truth. Claymore Country still holds the gold, so now McIntyre is finally able to celebrate his win from Backlash. “Welcome everybody to Monday Night Raw!” Or as McIntyre heard, Championship Monday. It was just last week that Truth hastily accepted that #WinnerTakesAll tag match. Wrap your head around that. But with the future in Truth’s hands, McIntyre is still champion. But that was the past, now we look to- Dolph Ziggler?! The Show-Off is now Raw thanks to that trade between brands!
Ziggler goes to the ring and McIntyre did not see this coming. He’s excited, though. Ziggler knows, this is a great surprise. But a lot of people know that AJ Styles went back to SmackDown, so in return, Raw gets The Show-Off and… The GLORIOUS Robert Roode! Raw got the better end of the deal. No one is happier to see McIntyre as world champion than Ziggler. Ziggler would hate to see McIntyre lose that title, before he gets what he’s owed. And what is Ziggler owned? Oh did McIntyre forget his own comeback story? C’mon! McIntyre was in the WWE and got fired. He should’ve been done, and he would’ve, if not for Ziggler.
Ziggler picked McIntyre up off the ground, dusted him off and put him on Raw. These two went on to be dominant Raw Tag Team Champions because of Ziggler! And now, McIntyre is the dominant WWE World Champion… Because of Ziggler. And McIntyre needs a challenger for Extreme Rules, so all Ziggler is asking for is what he is owed: a WWE World Championship title match. The crowd boos in disagreement. McIntyre sees Ziggler is taking responsibility for McIntyre’s success. Nice revisionist history. But let’s see Ziggler’s half of their break up. Not smooth sailing, huh? No Big Daddy Claymore means Ziggler was losing a whole lot. And SmackDown to Raw as a 2 for 1 special, huh? McIntyre wants Ziggler to listen to this: It’s not that Ziggler isn’t talented, far from it. “But buddy! You’ve become exactly what we used to despise. You’ve become an entitled jackass.”
McIntyre says Ziggler thinks the world owes him stuff. But McIntyre does need an opponent. And these two have so much history together. Ziggler called McIntyre the Scottish Psychopath for what he’s capable of. So could you imagine what McIntyre is capable of with the title on the line? What he’ll do and how far he’ll go. Does Ziggler really want that match? He does. Well okay then! Let’s make it official! Extreme Rules, McIntyre VS Ziggler for THE WWE World Championship! An incredible announcement! Will these former dogs of war tear each other apart to have the golden prize?
Nia Jax heads to the ring!
The Irresistible Force isn’t scheduled for this time, but she’s forcing Raw to make time for her. She makes a crew member give her a chair, and she takes it into the ring to have a seat. Is she waiting for something? We’ll find out after the break.
Raw returns and Nia has a mic now. “It must be Monday. Because Charlotte Flair got exactly what she wanted, whether she deserved it or not. She went ‘Woo~’ and was granted the title match versus Asuka tonight,” when Nia was cheated at Backlash AND last week on Raw, by a BIASED referee! Where is the fairness in that? But wait, here comes R-Truth! The WWE 24/7 Champion asks “What’s Up?” as he heads down the ramp to the ring. Nia shakes her head, not in the mood for fun. He gets in the ring as he raps, then he does the splits! He apologizes to Nia and says she is confused. Truth’s match with “the evil leader of a ninja clan,” Akira Tozawa, for the 24/7 48-7 7/11 I-95 South European “I Binged Episodes of Reno 911” Television Championship!
Oh but wait. Is SHE the real Akira Tozawa?! Everyone knows ninjas are masters of deception! TRUTH SHUT UP! She has no time for him to think she’s Tozawa. He has no time to be okie-doked! If she’s not Tozawa, who is she?! Tozawa appears behind commentary, laughing at Truth’s foolishness. Truth just thinks there’s two Tozawas. The ninjas appear but Truth runs away! The ninja give chase as Truth goes backstage. Nia can’t believe this. She is NOT leaving until- Here comes Flair! The Queen thanks the fans for the applause. Charlotte will explain to everyone what’s really going on: Nia squandered her opportunities and dropped the ball. Now she’s throwing a hissy fit! Oh so funny, Charlotte. We all know Charlotte gets what she wants cuz her daddy’s Ric Flair. Actually he’s now Charlotte Flair’s Dad, and he loves that.
But speaking of families, ahem. Oh wait, someone help her in by holding the ropes. A stage hand lowers the ropes for her to enter. Nia says if Charlotte’s father hasn’t helped her career, she’s delusional. Well maybe she is. Charlotte remembers that it was her dad who ended Asuka’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania, and then beat Asuka twice in the last month. Well you know who she hasn’t beaten? Nia. The one time they went 1v1, Nia not only beat Charlotte, she dominated her. And since then, Charlotte’s been building her legacy off easy targets and avoiding Nia. We both know the one woman built to take the crown is Nia. Charlotte laughs then ATTACKS! The two dominant women brawl and referees hurry out!
The refs work to keep the Queen and the Irresistible Force apart but the crowd wants to “Let Them Fight!” Nia gets loose, but gets a BOOT from Charlotte! The brawling continues but the refs work to keep them apart again. Nia did damage to Charlotte’s arm but Charlotte left her mark on Nia, too. Will this fight be settled regardless of who has the title at the end of the night?
The Street Profits are hyped backstage!
“We are ready~!” Dawkins and Ford are ready to end the Anything You Can Do series! It all comes down to the tag team titles! The Viking Raiders, Erik & Ivar- They appear! Do they have a message for the Vikings? Well yes. The Vikings are the end of the road. This isn’t for life, it’s forever! They walk different, talk different, yet somehow, through it all, they have become friends. The Viking Profits even have a theme song! But this is a warning: friendship is put aside when the bell rings. The Profits are the champs and are willing to do whatever it takes to finally win. Well as friends, there’s nothing that will stop Erik & Ivar from reclaiming their gold. Bring the smoke! And see you in the ring, fam! Well okay then! As the two teams head out, Zelina Vega comes by. Who wins this ultimate tiebreaker? And will Vega’s stable swoop in like vultures on the winners?
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits VS The Viking Raiders!
Through golf and ax throwing, through basketball and bowling, through the fire and the flames! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins have kept pace with this pair of war machines and vice-versa. But now, in order to truly prove which dynamic duo is superior, we return to what started it all: wrestling! Will the Profits finally get a win over their rivals? Or will the streak started in NXT continue on #ChampionshipMonday?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and it’s Dawkins starting against Ivar as this epic tiebreaker begins!
Ivar and Dawkins circle, tie up, and Ivar headlocks. Dawkins powers out and hurdles, then hurdles again to whip Ivar. They collide, neither falls, and Ivar swats the dropkick away to HEEL KICK Dawkins! Tag to Erik, Ivar corner clotheslines and sends Dawkins into knees! Ivar hits Ford, then becomes the weapon, hip attack senton in the corner! Cover, TWO! Dawkins survives but Erik drags him up to whip him to a corner. Dawkins stops himself to ROCK Erik, then tags in Ford! Ford runs in, dodges Erik and flips up and over to then hurdle and leap frog for a dropkick! Ford kips up and fires up as he shouts at Ivar.
Ford runs and FLIES out onto Erik, but Erik catches him!? And BOMBS him at Dawkins! Erik roars and Ivar comes over to roar with him! The champions are in trouble as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Ivar grinds Ford’s arm down. Ford fights his way up but Ivar knees low. Ivar puts Ford in the corner and throws big hands! Tag to Erik and he whips Ivar into the corner. Ford goes up and over, hot tag to Dawkins! Dawkins rallies on the Raiders! Cyclone splash for Ivar, elbows for Erik! Dawkins dropkicks Ivar out then hits a bulldog on Erik! Ford tags back in, Dawkins brings Erik up. “Anything you can do, we can do better!” THOR’S HAMMER! Cover, but Ivar breaks it! Ivar throws Ford out and returns to his corner. Ford brings Erik up and the crowd duels as Erik ROCKS Ford! Both men fall, but Erik tags in Ivar!
The Warbeard breaks through ford’s line to handspring back elbow! Ivar rocks Dawkins off the apron, then roars as he goes after Ford. Ford cartwheels, Ivar cartwheels, but Ford enziguris! Ivar stays up to BOOT Ford! Ford tags Dawkins, Erik tags in, and now these two do cartwheels! QUADRUPLE CARTWHEELS! But then the Profits swing into a double stack! POWERBOMB POWERSLAM! Tag to Ivar, and he goes up top, aimed at Dawkins! VIKING SPLASH but it FLOPS! Dawkins gets up, CASH OUT SPINE BUSTER! Tag to Ford and he goes up top. Dawkins SPEARS Erik while Ford flies in FROM THE HEAVENS! Cover, the Profits win!!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall (still Raw Tag Team Champions)
FINALLY! The Profits have a victory over their rivals! But the Viking Profits are still friends, and they hug it out to show respect. But then Angel Garza and Andrade Almas attack! El Latino y El Idolo are en la casa! They stomp down the Profits but run away when the Vikings return. Will the Profits get payback when they fight Angel and Almas straight up?
The disciples speak to the Monday Night Messiah.
Austin Theory and Buddy Murphy have been thinking, but Seth Rollins has them be silent. “Gentlemen, tonight I have a message for Rey Mysterio. Soon, all will be revealed.” What plans does The Architect have for the lucha libre legend?
Raw returns to Rollins again as he says, “Sometimes in life, we are destined for roles beyond our choices.” Rollins did not choose to be the Monday Night Messiah, nor did Mysterio choose to be a sacrifice. But the different between them is that Rollins has embraced and accepted his role for the greater good. Mysterio has been defiant. Defiance breeds suffering. The saddest part of it all is that Mysterio allowed his own son, Dominik, to get involved in this. Rollins wants Mysterio to know that whatever becomes of him and Dominik, from this moment forward, it is on Mysterio. The greater good is coming for them all, and there is nothing Mysterio can do to stop it. It has been said that legends never die. But they sure as hell can outlive their welcome.
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
The Queen just left the trainer’s room with tape on her shoulder. Has she thought at all about postponing the title match? Her arm is clearly hurt. The Queen never postpones. No one said wrestling is ballet. Her arm will be just fine once it’s holding up the title.
Charly Caruso then moves on to interview Garza and Almas, purposefully ignoring Zelina. Charly asks about the surprising attack where they worked together, but the question remains: what prompted the attack on the Profits? When you know what you want, you have to be willing to take risks. Like being with a beautiful woman, gazing deeply into her eyes, and then- Zelina interrupts and has Garza cool it. But Vega tells the WWE Universe that we are looking at a united front. Her clients have taken their differences and turned them into strengths. Soon, they will take a common prize in the Raw Tag Team Championships. El Idolo and El Latino want another shot at those titles, will they get them?
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Charlotte Flair!
Nia may complain, but The Empress of Tomorrow beat her whether she likes it or not. But now, Asuka goes up against someone she’s yet to beat in 1v1 competition! Empress VS Queen, Chapter 8, begins after the break!
Raw returns and Charlotte makes her return to the ring. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the epic eighth begins!
Asuka and Charlotte circle as Charlotte tests the bad arm. They tie up, Charlotte uses her leverage to get a headlock, then grinds Asuka down. Asuka throws body shots and powers out, but Charlotte runs her over! The bad shoulder seems fine enough for that, but things speed up. Charlotte sees Asuka drop down so she kicks her! Charlotte bumps Asuka off buckles then stomps away in the corner. The ref counts, Charlotte lets up at 4, and Nia is watching backstage as Charlotte stomps Asuka more. Charlotte whips, Asuka wrenches the arm and kicks the leg. Asuka goes after that bad shoulder but Charlotte avoids a takedown.
Charlotte throws forearms but Asuka wrenches to wring out the bad shoulder! The crowd is fired up as Asuka KICKS the bad arm! And kicks, then runs. Asuka hip attacks but Charlotte dodges to DECK Asuka! Asuka flops off the ropes to the mat, and Charlotte goes out to drag her back up. But Asuka hotshots the bad arm! Charlotte shakes it out as she paces around the outside. Asuka goes to the apron to SLIDING KICK Charlotte down! Asuka fires up and aims again, for a flying dropkick! But she hits the floor and Charlotte BOOTS her down! Charlotte drags Asuka up and into the ring then covers, TWO! Charlotte keeps her cool as she gets back up.
Charlotte drags Asuka up into a headscissors squeeze, and she RAMS Asuka into the mat over and over. The crowd boos but Asuka endures the squeeze. The crowd rallies up, Asuka fights against the hold, but Charlotte goes after wrists. Charlotte headscissor throws Asuka then kips right up! Charlotte drags Asuka to a drop zone then climbs up top. MOONSAULT, but Asuka moves! Charlotte lands on her feet but misses in the corner. She still gets Asuka for the backbreaker to buckle shot! Asuka flops out of the ring as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Charlotte is choking Asuka at the ropes! The ref counts, Charlotte lets Asuka go at 4, then stalks her to a corner. Charlotte CHOPS and forearms and again, then again! The ref reprimands but Charlotte backs off long enough to run back in. But Asuka gets her for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both women are down, Nia is still watching backstage, and Asuka kicks away on Charlotte’s bad arm. Charlotte gets up and blocks the back hand, but Asuka blocks the chop to ROUNDHOUSE! But Charlotte BOOTS back! Both women are down again but Asuka crawls to a corner. The crowd rallies as Charlotte lines up a shot. Charlotte runs in, but Asuka dodges to send her into buckles!
Charlotte clutches the bad arm, and turns around into the FLYING ARMBAR TAKEDOWN! Asuka wants the good arm, but then shifts to the bad one! Charlotte clasps her hands, moves around, shouting as she endures the pain. Charlotte uses her long legs to get the ropebreak! Asuka lets go at 4, having done some damage. Asuka staggers up but Charlotte kicks a leg out! Then chop blocks it! Charlotte has her target, and SPEARS Asuka down! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Asuka saves herself and Charlotte is seething. Charlotte drags Asuka to the center of the ring, but Asuka cradle counters the Figure Four, TWO! ARMBAR!!
Charlotte clasps hands as best she can, but now it’s a triangle hold. Charlotte dead lifts and POWERBOMBS Asuka down! Cover, ONE, into the ASUKA LOCK!! Charlotte is trapped, Asuka cranks back, CHARLOTTE TAPS!! Asuka wins!!
Winner: Asuka, by submission (still Raw Women’s Champion)
FINALLY! For years, with EIGHT matches between them, Asuka finally wins one! The Empress finally avenges her undefeated streak and holds tight to her title! What does this mean for Charlotte now?
Backstage interview with Nia Jax.
After seeing that match, does she think her brawl with Charlotte affected the outcome? Do you know what Nia thinks? She thinks it’d be a real shame if someone kicked the Queen while she’s down. Nia leaves, but did she just give away her next move? Or is there nothing Charlotte can do about it?
Raw hears from Edge.
“So here we are, Randy. You won at Backlash. But I don’t think you lived up to your claim of being the better natural wrestler. You hit me with an RKO and tore my triceps off the bone. Another surgery. you did that. But i kicked out. I kept fighting.” Now, Orton can tell himself to make himself better that he was proving a point, but that’s BS. Edge saw it, felt it. The panic when Edge had the Anti-Venom. Orton hit Edge with an “accidental” low blow? Okay. But then Raw last week, Edge thought Orton isn’t calling himself the Greatest Wrestler Ever because he won the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. He’d be shouting it from the mountain tops or putting it on merchandise. Whatever Orton needs to do, since beating Edge meant that much. But beating Orton is what Edge expected. So Edge is disappointed he didn’t see that low blow coming, and that he didn’t do it first.
But Orton says Edge lit a fire inside him, that Edge reminded Orton what it was to be the Legend Killer. Well this injury, not being able to hold his daughters on Father’s Day. That showed that Edge needs to awake up a side of him that’s been asleep for far too long. The second Orton hit the punk kick, then questioned Jay’s (Christian’s) guts, his manhood when you KNOW he isn’t medically cleared, only to punt him, too. Christian and Edge have been best friends before 36 years! Long before the world knew who they were. They have walked through every trial and tribulation in life together! When Orton did that, he put the “PG Superstar” who was happy to be here, doing what he loves, to bed. And for that, Edge is thankful. Orton woke up the side of Edge that will sink to any level to get what he wants, and doesn’t care how many backs he steps on to get to the top.
Edge doesn’t care about winning anymore. He wants to embarrass, emasculate and make Orton wish his daddy fired blanks the night he was conceived. When Orton comes home, his kids will run up to him but see that look in his eyes and ask, “Daddy,a re you okay?” And he won’t be. When he hugs his wife at night, they can’t look each other in the eyes because they now what’s coming. Edge knows Orton has voices in his head, but Edge will scream louder than them all. Edge won’t sleep until every aspect of Orton’s life is affected. Edge will tear Orton’s life apart brick by brick. “You have no idea what you’ve done.” Orton woke up “the evil” that is The Rated R Superstar. “Get some sleep while you can, Randy.”
Backstage interview with Randy Orton.
He cuts Charly off to ask her if she knows what a snake does when it feels threatened. It’s like any other animal, really. You corner a snake and it will strike wildly. Sometimes blindly. That snake will do what nature intended for it to do, and that is to do what it has to to survive. Edge and Christian come back, try to have those comebacks at The Viper’s expense. He strikes wildly, but he does what he must to defend his family and his livelihood. He does what he must to survive. “It’s mother nature.” Now Orton wishes Christian and Edge full recoveries, and that they both happy, healthy, long lives as long as they do it far, far away from Orton. Now Orton has something to discuss with The Nature Boy.
Backstage interview with Charlotte.
The ice pack is pretty indicative of how she feels. How does she feel after losing to Asuka? Well she’s not happy! But she gives Asuka credit for targeting the arm. It was the only way Asuka was going to win. Nia attacks!! And she, too, goes after the bad arm! She POSTS Charlotte then looms over her. Nia says Asuka beat her, but Nia’s going to hurt her! She SMASHES Charlotte’s arm inside the lid of a dumpster! Nia mocks the “WOO~” before leaving Charlotte behind. Did the Irresistible Force just break The Queen?
WWE 24/7 Championship Ninja Nightmare: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas!
After Nia’s sit-in protest, this match had to be moved later on the card. But the 24/7 48-7 7/11 I-95 South European Television Championship is always on the line, so time is relative. Will Truth and Tozawa settle things from their Christmas caper across New York?
But wait! Here comes Bobby Lashley!? The Rocky Mountain Machine, and MVP behind him, head right for the ring given their beef with Truth! Lashley CLOBBERS Ninjas 1 and 2 while Tozawa ducks under the ring. MVP BOOTS Ninja 3 while Lashley RAMS Ninja 4 into barriers! Ninja 3 is fed to the ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPINE BUSTER to the apron!! Lashley storms his way into the ring and Truth is 2v1! ALL MIGHTY FULL NELSON! Lashley thrashes Truth then drops him like a rag doll! MVP and Lashley feel they’ve made their point, and they take their leave. Will Lashley and MVP finally leave Truth alone?
As for Tozawa, he finally reemerges, and sees his has a chance! Cover, Tozawa wins!!
Winner: AKira Tozawa, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)
The leader of the ninja clan has taken the title back! ANd all it took was the sacrifice of his pawns. Will Truth be able to get his baby back? Will he even regain consciousness?
Backstage interview with Natalya.
She feels so awful for Charlotte after what Nia did to her. With Becky Lynch “out on diaper duty,” and now The Queen possibly being shelved, what the Raw Women’s Division needs is Natty’s leadership. Asuka is a great champion, but “breaking news~!” She’s not the one to give motivational speeches to rally the roster. Also breaking news, they’re really dropping the ball. Sarah could’ve scheduled time with Natty for her important announcement. Care to elaborate? Well no but apparently we don’t have any more time. So wait just like everyone else after Natty’s match. Natty sure is catty. Will she deliver on this promise of big news tonight?
Natalya w/ Lana VS Liv Morgan!
The Queen of Harts got on the young superstar’s case over the tag team match they both lost last week. And now, she’s joined forces with the Ravishing Russian after she was removed from Team Lashley! Will these two become a combination to be reckoned with?
The bell rings, the two tie up, and Liv gets a headlock. Natty powers out and runs Liv over with a shoulder then spins for the DISCUS! Cover, TWO! Liv gets up but Natty bumps her off buckles. Natty stomps a mudhole but the ref counts. Natty lets up at 4, argues with him, then storms over to Liv. Natty brings Liv up and tells the crowd to shut up, too! Natty gut wrenches Liv to a Canadian rack, but Liv gets a ropebreak! The ref counts, Natty dumps Liv to the apron and shoulders her to the floor. Lana cheers while the crowd is divided. Natty drags Liv up and into the ring but Liv skins the cat to headscissor Natty towards steel steps! The crowd fires up as Liv drags Natty up and into the ring.
Liv climbs up but Lana lurks close. The ref warns Lana, Liv shouts at Lana, but Natty chop blocks a leg! Natty drags Liv around to a Sharpshooter! Liv taps, Natty wins!
Winner: Natalya, by submission
The Queen of Harts makes Liv feel the pain before letting up. The new best buddies celebrate together, soaking up the heat from the crowd. Is this new partnership going to be what gets Natalya and Lana back on top of the world?
Backstage interview with The Big Show!
The Giant made such a memorable return, and has done so much over his career. Did he ever think he’d be fighting off ninjas with the Viking Profits? Just when you think you’ve seen it all, Raw gets taken over by ninjas. And a lot of them! Show just came by to say hi to old friends, and then an opportunity came up. It was Show’s pleasure to help lend Viking Profits a hand. Get it? Anyway, where else will you get this kind of stuff other than the WWE? And if you’ve been watching his show, The Big Show Show, on Netflix, that’s mostly what his career is focused on. He’s not here for his success, but for what happened to his friends.
Last week, Christian was taken out. People forget that Show isn’t all about fun. They forget that Show is also “one heartless, angry giant.” When that side comes out, he can do whatever he wants to whoever he wants, and there’s nothing anyone can do about that. The World’s Largest Athlete is going to the ring, as that heartless, angry giant. Will there be no stopping the Big Show’s wrath?
Ric Flair heads to the ring!
The Nature Boy is back and ready to “anoint” Randy Orton! Will the ceremony go through given what we just heard from Big Show? We’ll find out after the break.
Raw returns and Flair is in the ring with a mic. The crowd continues to “WOO~” as he waves to them. “First of all, earlier tonight, The Queen, my daughter,” was injured. Ric makes this short and sweet: Nia will wish she lived in another environment. It doesn’t matter how big and bad you are, when his daughter is on a mission, and she will be, Nia will be in trouble. But to the subject in hand, Randy Orton! Ric has been asked over and over, “Who is the best performer in the business today?” The word “arguably” doesn’t apply here. Everyone wants to be the best, but only one can be the best, and that is Orton! In 24 hours, he took the Hall of Famer Edge, and the icon Christian, and punted them back into retirement! The crowd boos that, but Flair says Orton is the Apex predator, the greatest ever, and wants to say so in front of millions!
Orton makes his entrance and joins Flair in the ring. Ric isn’t sure about us, but he’s been dying for this moment. Orton is THE most dominant, vicious performer in the WWE. “And that is a tough slot to sit on, control, manage and dictate from!” Ladies and gentlemen, the best performer in the HISTORY of the WWE. Flair is honored to be here with him. They shake hands and Orton thanks Flair for the words. It means al ot coming from Flair. How nostalgic for half of Evolution to be in the ring together. But sometimes, nostalgia can be confused with legacy. It was nostalgic last week when Flair showed the entire world that he IS the Dirtiest Player in the Game. It was nostalgic that Orton punted Christian as hard as he can as punishment for accepting #OneMoreMatch. And it was nostalgic for Edge at Backlash to step into the ring for the very last time.
The way Orton is feeling, this fire in his gut that has been reignited. This fire to be the Legend Killer once again is not nostalgia. It is Orton cementing his legacy. In the span of two days, Orton became the Greatest Wrestler Ever, and he “euthanized” the careers of Edge & Christian. The voices in Orton’s head, which are always disagreeing, are all united with Orton in the pleasure of being the Legend Killer. “Well…!” It’s the Big Show! He warned us about this! Show shouts “ENOUGH!” He storms into the ring to join Orton and Flair, because he won’t let them glorify everything Orton did. Edge and Christian are show’s friends, and Orton will pay for what he did to them. They’ve known each other a long time, and from day one, Show knew Orton was a “narcissistic parasite’ that feeds on anyone that can bring him to that next level. And that is someone Show used to respect in Flair.
Over and over, Orton latches on to others, like he did to Edge. He latched on to people that made him better, because Orton lacks the discipline and the motivation to do it himself! Orton doesn’t even care what he did, did he? He’s like every other parasite: when he gets what he wants, he leaves the host to die. But we both know that Edge isn’t done. And Edge will pay Orton back for everything. But it won’t be Edge’s satisfaction alone. Because this “pissed off giant” is going to break Orton’s body. Whoa, whoa, hold on! Show is not going to touch a hair on Flair’s head. Flair is the reason everyone here has their dream jobs! Show won’t go after Orton, either, because they’re friends who came up together. Show took Orton under his wing 20 years ago and Orton thinks the world of Show’s list of accomplishments. Show is indeed, and everyone agrees with this, a future Hall of Famer.
And y’know what else? Some might even say Show… Is a legend. The crowd cheers, but Orton wouldn’t have ever guessed kicking his friends’ heads off would piss Show off so much. And it would be a shame if Show suffered the same fate as them. Now the crowd boos, understanding where Orton is going with this. Show does, and he dares Orton to fight! Orton and Flair leave, because Orton says he gave Show his chance. Orton gave Show a shot to see what he’s capable of. Show knows what Orton is capable of when he puts his mind on it. Guess what? Orton is focused and motivated! And what happens next is on Show! The Viper and the Nature Boy leave, but when will Orton strike back?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Bayley & Sasha Banks VS The IIconics!
The #GoldenRoleModels have certainly been on a roll as of late. Winning the titles, retaining the titles at both Backlash and last Wednesday on NXT, and The Boss even beat Nikki Cross on SmackDown. Though, a lot of that came about because #BayleyDosStraps’ mouth wrote checks Banks had to cash. Will the best friends stay bound by gold? Or will Peyton Royce & Billie Kay make history from WrestleMania 34 repeat itself?
The introductions are made, the tag title belts are raised, and this newest battle of buddies begins!
There’s a lot of trash talking as the teams sort out, and Bayley volunteers Sasha to start off. Sasha is surprised by that, and then she turns around into Billie’s BOOT! Cover, TWO!! Sasha survives Shades of Kay and Peyton tags in. Billie wheelbarrows Sasha and Peyton runs, but Bayley trips Peyton up and drags her out! Sasha arm-drags Billie while Bayley bounces Peyton off the desk! Sasha KNEES Billie then tags Bayley. They double whip, crisscross and ram Billie into buckles. Bayley bullies Billie and grinds on an arm. Billie fights up and pulls hair, but Bayley fights out of the IIconic corner. Peyton returns the favor, Billie clobbers Bayley, then Peyton tags in. Billie wheelbarrows Bayley through the ropes for Peyton to KNEE down! The IIconics are in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Billie brawls with Bayley! Billie knees low then clubs Bayley down as the crowd rallies. Billie talks smack and pushes Bayley around to then whip her into the corner. But Bayley decks Peyton, dodges Billie and rams into her with shoulders! Bayley mocks the IIconic pose before hitting the back elbow! Bayley goes again but Billie botos her away! Tag to Peyton and BIllie knees Bayley down. Billie feeds Bayley to Peyton’s PERFECT PLEX! Bridge, but Banks breaks it up! Billie goes after Sasha but Sahsa throws her out. Peyton throws Sasha out then goes to Bayley. Bayley throws hands and heads for Sasha but Peyton holds her back. Bayley ROCKS Peyton, tags Sasha, then whips Peyton into Sasha’s KNEE! Bayley and Sasha combine for the double SLAM! Cover, TWO!
Sasha and Bayley are frustrated but Sasha brings Peyton around by her hair. Sasha suplexes Peyton once, uno amiga. Another suplex. dos amigas! But as she tires the thir,d Peyton siops out to shove her into Bayley! Peyton rolls Sasha up, TWO!! Sasha flounders into a back suplex, but she boots Billie away and drags Peyton down! BANK STATEMENT! Peyton claws at the hold but taps, Sasha and Byaley win!
Winners: Sasha Banks & Bayley, by submission (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
The Boss cashes in the check and #BayleyDosStraps lives on! “Oh my God, we are good!” And that’s what happens when you’re the best! Right, sister? Sasha says she’s been thinking. Bayley talks about being #BayleyDosStraps. And Sasha can’t help but thinking, if Bayley has two titles, why not Sasha? Bayley is her best friend and Sasha loves seeing her happy, but Sasha wants to experience that, too. Sasha is just trying to say, that she wants a title match. The crowd chants, “YES! YES!” but Sasha says at Extreme Rules, she is officially challenging… ASUKA for the Raw Women’s Championship! She had Bayley going for a minute! But speaking of the Empress, she returns!
The Raw Women’s Champion is still feeling good after the war she went through with Charlotte. She gets in the ring and tells the Golden Role Models that, “You are not the boss of me.” But Asuka still accepts! And then Bayley DECKS Asuka! Asuka is in a 2v1 situation but she still fights back! Asuka fires forearms all over the place, but Sasha hits the BACKSTABBER, into the BANK STATEMENT! The Blueprint throws Asuka aside to pick up the Raw Women’s Championship belt. Will we have #BossyDoubleBelts after Extreme Rules?
MVP talks with Lashley backstage.
Sarah asks if Lashley was making a statement going after Truth. Going after Truth? Lashley should be WWE World Champion right now, but he’s not because of “that clown.” So rag dolling Truth was introducing the rest of the Raw roster to the “hurt business.” MVP says that Lashley is a man revitalized, free of distractions! This association has done wonders for Lashley’s career, and it can do the same for Apollo Crews. The referee may have missed the trick Crews used, but we didn’t. MVP was proud! Until Crews agreed to face Shelton Benjamin again, tonight! Apollo is talented, but he doesn’t get the “business side” of being a champion. Once Apollo sits under MVP’s learning tree, MVP can help Apollo realize his potential as one of the most prolific WWE United States Champions since… Well, MVP. And if Apollo makes the wrong decision, that’s on him. It’s not personal, just business.
Speaking of, the Most Exclusive Nightclub on the Planet is about to kickoff, and MVP as the proprietor has other responsibilities. MVP and the would-be champion head out, ready to address some business. What will Apollo’s response to all this bed when he joins MVP in the VIP Lounge?
Ruby Riott finds Liv Morgan backstage.
Liv doesn’t want to deal with this right now, but Ruby tries to talk to her. Liv gets it, last week didn’t go her way, and neither did tonight. Nothing has gone her way, and she doesn’t need someone making her feel worse about that. Ruby lets Liv go, but perhaps Ruby wasn’t going to pour salt in the wound. Will the Riott Squad ever be whole again?
Raw returns to the VIP Lounge!
MVP is already in the ring and that once again means big things popping and little things stopping. Sit back, relax and enjoy the view. The VIP Lounge is for people like him, people who are better than all of you. The crowd boos that. But as the most exclusive club on the planet, MVP hopes his guest understands the privilege of being invited. Here is potentially MVP’s newest client, the WWE United States Champion, Apollo Crews! Apollo heads to the ring, joins MVP in the lounge, and MVP says “this just feels right.” The US Champion in the VIP Lounge, it’s organic. But last week, Apollo said that if he wasn’t a fighting champion, he wouldn’t be a champion. MVP respects that. And when Apollo beat MVP to get that Money in the Bank Ladder Match spot, Apollo also won a lot of respect from MVP.
But then, Apollo got recklessly hurt, forfeiting his spot in that very match! As MVP shook his head in disbelief, it was then that he realized Apollo needs someone to navigate those bad decisions. MVP has made those mistakes so that Apollo doesn’t have to. The WWE US Champion is a ticket to fame and fortune! It is the opportunity for Apollo to give his daughter the life he’s always wanted for her. Whoa, MVP, hold on. Before going further, Apollo says he got here without any of MVP’s help. Apollo fought and earned the title, even risking his career to do it. So as much as he appreciates the offer, Apollo must again turn MVP down.
Okay, okay, let’s keep it 100. If MVP wasn’t dropping gems, Apollo wouldn’t be out here listening. MVP sees the potential for Apollo to become one of the greatest WWE US Champions ever! Not as great as MVP, but still great. There’s no rule that says Apollo has to be here week in and week out, putting his body in harm’s way. If Apollo wants to stay champion, he can do it for a very long time. But he can’t do that without MVP in his corner. And why is that? Is MVP going to help Shelton Benjamin in the rematch tonight? Or is his boy, Lashley, gonna come get Apollo? Or is MVP going to try and take the title himself? The thing is, Apollo has been dealing with people like MVP his whole life. Whoa, whoa, people like MVP? Yes, those who want to change him. He won’t let anyone or anything do that.
Alright, check this. How long has Apollo been champion? Three weeks? Try being a champion 343 DAYS! A historic reign! MVP likes Apollo and wanted to do this the nice way. They tried this twice now, there won’t be a third. Whether Apollo likes it or not, that title is “coming home” where it belongs. Apollo gets in MVP’s face but here comes the Gold Standard! If Apollo isn’t joining the MVP stable, is Shelton? And before things get going, MVP wants one more moment to say something. Apollo is listening, and Benjamin blindsides Apollo! That’s what MVP was going for! Apollo falls out of the ring and Benjamin POSTS him! MVP tells Apollo that “Lesson number 1: never put yourself in a two-on-one situation, because it leaves your blindside vulnerable. That gem was free, the next one’s gonna cost you.” Has Apollo already paid the price for not selling out?
Apollo Crews VS Shelton Benjamin!
Raw returns as this match is already underway, and Apollo arm-drags free of Benjamin’s hold. Apollo throws haymakers on Benjamin then whips him. The bad arm holds him back and Benjamin whips Apollo into a corner. Benjamin blocks the boots, turns Apollo sideways, then slingshots out to ROUNDHOUSE Apollo in! Cover, TWO! Benjamin keeps on Apollo’s bad arm with a jam, then brings him back up. The crowd rallies but Benjamin sends the bad arm into buckles! Benjamin brings Apollo out but Apollo throws body shots. Apollo CHOPS and dropkicks as the crowd rallies up. Standing moonsault, but into an ARMBAR! Benjamin cranks on the arm but Apollo fights his way up to a cover. TWO, and Apollo dodges Benjamin to clothesline himself and Benjamin out!
Apollo slowly rises as the ring count climbs. Benjamin runs in but gets POST! Apollo puts Benjamin in, brings him up and enziguris him back down! Then he scoops Benjamin, for the CREWS MISSILE! Cover, Apollo wins!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall
The fighting champion fights through the pain, and MVP still applauds. Will Apollo prove he doesn’t need MVP’s help? But then Lashley comes up and gets Apollo in the ALL MIGHTY FULL NELSON! Lashley thrashes Apollo down to the ground, and then MVP picks up the belt. MVP places it on Apollo, but will Lashley be the one to take it from him?
Dominik and Rey meet up backstage.
The son asks his father, “Are you sure about this?” Rey says he is. And he wants Dominik to trust him on this one. They’re going to show the Monday Night Messiah what the Mysterio Family is made of. That confrontation happens after the break.
The Mysterio Family heads to the ring!
The crowd cheers as Rey and Dominik return, still hyped from seeing the son show off speed like his father to dupe Rollins and his disciples. Rey picks up a mic as he stands with Dominik in the ring. “One of the most terrifying things that can happen to one as a parent is not being able to get a hold of your child.” Last Monday, Rey felt that when he called Dominik many times and got no response. That scared the hell out of Rey. And trust Rey when he says that when he found out where Dominik was headed, he didn’t feel any better knowing Dominik was going to the PC to avenge Rey against Rollins. Even the most confident father doesn’t expect his son to get out of a 3v1 situation like that. But Dominik did. And for that, Rey is proud.
But Rey is also angry. He is angry because Dominik put himself at risk, and his mom was even more worried than Rey! Rey knows Dominik understands this business, the risks they take just getting in the ring. Rey is angry with Rollins for what he did, trying to blind him. Rey accepts that, though. He knows that Dominik is bigger, but Rey is still the father. No matter how big and strong Dominik gets, he is always Rey’s child. But since Dominik fought for Rey, Rey is going to fight for Dominik. “I’ve got this one, son. I need to get revenge on Seth Rollins. But I need to do it myself.” Dominik takes up the mic to say that while he understands where Rey is coming from, he isn’t going anywhere. Rollins will learn this is what a family looks like. And this family wants a fight!
Ask and you shall receive! Rollins makes his way out on stage, but where are his disciples? “So you want a fight?” Well, they’re putting their Messiah in a very difficult position. Rollins isn’t sure what to do. Does he go in and slaughter a father in front of his son? Or does he slaughter the son in front of his father? Rollins is conflicted, but it isn’t really up to him. This is fate, prophecy and destiny! It seems that since they’re both in the same place at the same time, two eyes are better than one. Rollins heads down the ramp, but he drops to his knees and… Out come Murphy and Theory!” It’s on you, Rey! This is your decision.” But Humberto Carrillo and Aleister Black attack first! Mysterio’s allies have his back!
A brawl breaks out ringside as Rollins runs away. Murphy is fed to Dominik to throw hands! Aleister finishes up with the strike fest! Theory is put in,. Carrillo roundhouses to ENZIGURI! Carrillo FLIES out to take out the disciples! The crowd is thunderous as Rollins is alone with four! He tries to reason with them, but Aleister and Carrillo keep him from going anywhere. Rollins goes to the apron, to get a 619! And then thrown into barriers! The Mysterios grab Rollins to bring him towards the steel steps!! Eye for an eye, after all! Rollins fights as long as he can, and the disciples make the save! They throw Carrillo down, knock Aleister aside, but the Mysterios almost have their revenge! Murphy BOOTS Rey down then Theory clubs Dominik! The disciples go after Rey together and hold him down while Rollins goes after Dominik!
Rollins drags Dominik up, drags him over, and Rey can only watch! Dominik is brought closer, but Carrillo and Aleister have chairs! They save Dominik and run Rollins off! The Monday Night Messiah and his disciples have a new war for the soul of Raw on their hands! Will Rey, Dominik and their friends free Mondays from the megalomaniac?
A really good Raw to start pushing things along towards Extreme Rules, though with a lot more recaps than I’d like. Opening with McIntyre interrupted by Ziggler was quite a surprise. At first it seems like Ziggler and AJ Styles were a 1:1 trade, but nope, Styles is worth Ziggler AND Robert Roode, which mathematically proves the WWE has wasted The Show-Off AND the Glorious One. The promo between Ziggler and McIntyre was good stuff, but I feel like Ziggler is getting the title shot at Extreme Rules in a story where they’re referencing their past because we can’t get that between McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. Mahal is again injured, so he won’t be back for some time, but Mahal and McIntyre can still revisit their 3MB history in the future. Needless to say, the match at Extreme Rules will be great, but it’ll still be McIntyre’s win.
There continues to be great interweaving of stories as Nia protests and technically gets in the way of R-Truth’s title defense, for a title that is always being defended. And when Truth finally does defend his title, MVP and Lashley cost him. Truth should’ve run for it when Lashley and MVP were beating up ninjas that were most certainly 205 Live roster members. I’m definitely confident Tony Nese and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott were among the four ninjas. But Tozawa becoming champion again is great, he’ll be able to put on some great comedy segments. As for Truth, he should actually respond by helping Apollo Crews against MVP and Lashley. Crews VS Lashley for the US Championship is a great way to bring back a story that had a lot of potential the last time they were both on Raw but with a very serious tone.
The Raw Tag Team Championship match was great stuff, and it was impressive for the Profits to steal the Viking Raiders’ finisher at one point. But as soon as Zelina appeared at the end of the promo segment between the Viking Profits, it was clear her team was going to attack the winners. Profits finally getting a win over the Vikings was great, and they’re going to have a great match with Almas and Garza that could go either way. We got great promos from Edge and Orton to lead up to the “anointing” of Orton by Flair. Big Show getting involved is actually a pretty great move while Edge is unable to wrestle because of his arm. Orton and Show are definitely having a match, but I have a bad feeling they’re going to give it Extreme Rules stipulation because it’s Orton and Show. The irony of Orton’s promo is that he was talking about nostalgia in a bad light but a match like this is all about nostalgia.
The segments with Seth Rollins and the Mysterios were all great. It almost felt like Rollins was going to establish some kind of event coming with how he talked about “the greater good” was “coming for them all.” Is there going to be something down the line like that? Where at a Big Four PPV like Rumble or Mania, something was going to happen? That aside, Rey had a great promo to go in line with this being the Raw after Father’s Day. And of course, a brawl breaks out, with Aleister and Carrillo coming to support Rey and Dominik. There is definitely going to be a Six Man of Rollins, Murphy & Theory against Aleister, Carrillo and I would think Rey. Dominik can be ringside, and things can get out of hand, but while a PPV would be pretty big for his first match, a tag match that big would help take some of the pressure off.
Natalya beating Liv in a match was basically filler as a vehicle to get two new stories going. Lana joins Natalya as, guess what? A manager! Though, I do expect Natty trying to teach Lana how to be a better wrestler, and the drama might come from whether or not Lana can improve. Ruby returns and naturally Liv assumes it’s all to make Liv feel worse, but clearly it is also to get back to the Riott Squad reunion Raw was paving the way for before the pandemic. I hope that means Sarah Logan is going to be hired back, too. Then, there was great stuff in the title pictures and adjacent. I did not expect the Raw Women’s Championship to be anything other than the main event, but it became clear through the night there was a reason. Nia and Charlotte are starting up a feud, which is might be a veiled way of punishing Nia since I would think Charlotte finds a way to win that.
Sasha & Bayley had a really good match with The IIconics but naturally they retained. That tease was pretty good, but it was clear Sasha wasn’t really challenging Bayley. If it wasn’t for this being Raw, I would’ve thought Sasha would challenge Io Shirai for her NXT Women’s Championship. But Asuka has traded off with all four of the WWE/NXT Horsewomen at one time or another, but with Sasha the least. Their match for Extreme Rules should be pretty good, and I can see the other brands trying to put obstacles in the #GoldenRoleModels’ way so that Bayley can’t support Sasha and vice-versa. Surely SmackDown establishes a #1 contender among the half dozen or so other stars they have. Of the SmackDown women left to challenge Bayley, my top guesses are Nikki Cross or Dana Brooke. Dana hasn’t had a shot, so that’d be big for her, but Nikki hasn’t really had a singles shot in some time, either, so it’s a toss up.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (4/9/21)
205 Live nostalgia, anyone?
The Cruiserweight Division looks back before moving forward!
Now that there is ONE TRUE Cruiserweight Champion, the division moves forward. But with that, we also take a look back at some classic title matches!
- WrestleMania 34, WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- WrestleMania 35, WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese; Nese wins and becomes the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion.
- TakeOver 31, NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott; Escobar wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Nigel McGuiness opens the show!
“On the heels of the instant classic ladder match between Santos Escobar and Jordan Devlin, welcome to 205 Live!” Tonight, we revisit some of the very best Cruiserweight title matches of all time! And not many come better than the WrestleMania 34 showdown!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Finals: Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!
Months before April 8th, 2018, this title had been vacated and a tournament had been put in place! Before they were #PRIMED and the (former) leader of Retribution, they were the Heart and Soul of 205 Live! The then 205 Live General Manager, Drake Maverick, stands with the title belt to watch as theses two finalists battle it out for that very prize!
The bell rings and we begin. The fans are thunderous for them as they high-five and circle. Ali gets the waistlock but Alexander the standing switch and slam. The fans cheer for “Both These Guys!” while Ali gets up and puts on a headlock. Alexander lifts but Ali holds on. Alexander powers out, they collide, Alexander shoulders Ali down on the rebound. He wants Ali to show that heart, and they speed up. Ali headscissors Alexander and then dares Alexander to show the soul. They tie up and go against the ropes and into a corner. Neither man backs down until the referee separates them, then Ali shoves Alexander.
Alexander shoves back and dares Ali to hit him. Ali does with a chop, so Alexander responds with a kick. Alexander whips but Ali kicks him back, so Alexander rolls under and headscissors and dropkicks Ali down. Cover, TWO! Alexander puts Ali right in an armlock, but Ali works his way up and out. Ali whips but Alexander reverses, flapjack dropkick! Alexander staggers, Ali runs in but Alexander puts him on the apron to block a kick and hit a kick. Ali goes down, Alexander builds speed and FLIES! Down they both go, but Alexander is up first. He puts Ali in the ring, covers, TWO! Alexander keeps on Ali with a rear bearhug. Fans rally while Ali endures the squeeze.
Ali gets up and fights out of the hold, rocking Alexander with a forearm. Alexander responds with a running European Uppercut! He whips Ali corner to corner then throws him with a big back body drop. Cover, TWO, but Alexander keeps his cool as he puts Ali back in the bearhug. Ali endures the squeeze while fans rally again. Ali gets up and fights back but Alexander knees low. Alexander chops Ali, then brings him up for a suplex, but Ali slips out. Alexander knees low again, then runs, but into Ali’s lariat. Ali starts to rally and chop, but Alexander reverses the whip. Ali slides to a stop, and intercepts Alexander with a ROUNDHOUSE!
Alexander staggers, Ali rolls in for the facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali brings Alexander up, but Alexander blocks and counters with a EuroUpper. Ali yanks his waistband and counters a kick with a kick! He runs, but into Alexander’s Spanish Fly! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Alexander gets up while Ali gets to a corner. Alexander runs in, but into Ali’s boot. Ali hops up, tornado DDT blocked! Alexander hangs Ali up on the ropes, then catches his breath before climbing up to join him. Fans anticipate something, and Ali resists. They brawl on the top rope, but Alexander gets the better of Ali, only for Ali to almost send Alexander tumbling down with his counter.
Ali and Alexander brawl more while trying to stand up, Ali hits Alexander with a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Even John Cena watching from the audience is stunned seeing that! Cover, TWO, and Ali can’t believe it! He shakes his head as he watches Alexander flounder about. Ali brings Alexander over to a corner but Alexander knows what that means and resists. Ali kicks Alexander, then climbs, but Alexander gets up to throw him off! Maverick and the referee check on Ali after his crash landing, but Ali is still good to go. Alexander waits as the count begins, but Ali dares Alexander to finish him. Alexander takes the bait, he puts Ali in the ring and covers, TWO!
Alexander gets frustrated, but tells Ali it’s already over. Ali shakes his head, it’s not over. Alexander kicks Ali and then stomps away in a rage! He yanks Ali up, back suplex lift but Ali slips out! Ali hits the Reverse-Rana! Alexander is dazed, and Ali gets going. Ali hops up, flying tornado DDT! Alexander lands in a drop zone! Ali goes up, and hits the 0-5-4! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Alexander survives with a foot on the ropes! Ali shouts for Alexander to stay down before he stomps him back. Ali climbs up again, 0-5-4 FLOPS as Alexander moves! Alexander scrambles to his feet while Ali drags himself back up. They run at each other, Alexander’s big back elbow rocks Ali, but he still gives another.
Alexander tells Ali “This is enough!” But clearly, it isn’t, and the third back elbow flips Ali over! Alexander lifts Ali up, for the LUMBAR CHECK! Cover, Alexander wins!!
Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The Carolina Kid didn’t want to go that far, but he had no choice but to break the Heart of 205 Live. More importantly, Alexander finally proves he can win the big one! Drake Maverick personally presents the belt to Alexander, and the true celebration begins! The Age of Alexander would go on for quite a run, before running into an Aussie Juggernaut, who is featured in our next match!
Nigel McGuiness introduces the next match.
We fast forward an entire year to WM35, and Nigel was again there to see Tony Nese in his home state taking on the Australian Sensation, Buddy Murphy, in another incredible Cruiserweight kickoff to the Showcase of the Immortals!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy VS Tony Nese!
The Aussie Juggernaut proved himself against some of the best in the Cruiserweight Division, from Cedric Alexander to Mustafa Ali to three opponents at the same time. And on the Grandest Stage of Them All, he went toe-to-toe with the Premier Athlete, a man who is a parallel to him in physique, a man who used to be his friend, and a man he betrayed over the greed for this title! But Nese had homefield advantage, and it came in handy!
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we begin this battle of Body Guys!
Murphy runs right at Nese but Nese dodges the knee trigger! Nese fires off furious hands then counter punches. Murphy boots then goes up and over, but Nese keeps up to trip him up! New York fires up with their hometown kid, but Murphy dodges the triangle moonsault. Nese lands on his feet to slingshot and somersault to rock Murphy with a left! Nese puts Murphy in but has to push Murphy away on the top rope. Murphy comes right back but Nese resists the fireman’s carry. Nese fights back but still gets a gut buster drop on the buckles! Murphy checks his teeth while we go picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a mudhole into Nese but backs off at 4. Nese staggers up but Murphy is on him with a snapmare. Murphy swiftly kicks then covers, TWO! Murphy wraps Nese up in a chinlock but Nese endures. New York rallies behind Nese as Murphy shifts to a stretch. Murphy drives his elbow in again and again then wraps the chinlock back on. Nese fights his way up, we return to single picture as Murphy wrangles him back down. Murphy cranks Nese’s neck and leans his weight on him. Murphy’s eye is bloody but he ignores it while holding Nese down. Nese powers up and bumps Murphy off buckles. Murphy holds on but Nese bumps him again.
Murphy is still caught so Nese tries again, but Murphy uses that to throw Nese into buckles. Nese staggers into Murphy’s grip, tornado DDT denied with a snap suplex into the buckles! Murphy is down and Nese crawls to the opposite corner. Both men stand slowly, but Murphy walks into Nese’s elbow. Murphy comes back again but gets a haymaker! Nese rocks Murphy again, then again! Nese counter punches and snapmares to a facebuster. He runs, hits a knee lift and a heel kick! Murphy flounders to a corner while Nese nips up and fires up! New York fires up with him as he runs in for a big back elbow. Nese keeps moving but Murphy throws him to the apron.
Murphy turns around to counter and rock Nese, then climbs up for a suplex chance. Nese sweeps the legs and rocks him with a roundhouse, DRAPING triangle moonsault! Cover, TWO! Murphy survives, but Nese keeps his cool. Nese drags Murphy up for a whip but Murphy holds the ropes. Nese tries again but Murphy holds on. So Nese mule kicks Murphy into a whip. Murphy reverses but Nese slips under, pump handle but Murphy slips out. Murphy boots Nese away! He hops up but Nese SHORYUKEN! Nese climbs up to join a dazed Murphy, but Murphy resists a superplex. Murphy bumps Nese on a buckle, then sunset flips over. Nese denies the powerbomb but gets the SUPERKICK!
Murphy brings Nese out, AK-DDT! Cover, TWO! Nese survives but Murphy keeps his focus. Murphy drags Nese up by his hair and prepares the pumphandle. Nese victory rolls through, TWO! Murphy fireman’s carry to the TKO knee to knee trigger! Murphy suplexes but Nese slips out and shoves. Nese hits a REVERSE-RANA! Both men are down and New York cheers for this kickoff to the kickoff! Nese and Murphy get to opposite corners. Both men slowly stand as fans rally up. Nese and Murphy bob ‘n’ weave but Murphy gets his strike fest. Nese dodges the knee and goes Matrix to mule kick! Knee lift and roundhouse but Murphy jumps the sweep for buzzsaw, mule kick, but runs into Nese’s left forearm!
Nese runs but fakes Murphy out for an elbow. Murphy rebounds to LARIAT Nese off his feet! Murphy keeps going, but Nese back drops, to a VERTABREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nese cannot believe Murphy survives! Murphy crawls to a corner but Nese pursues. Nese runs side to side but Murphy bails out, so Nese FLIES! The flop takes Murphy out and New York fires up as Nese puts Murphy in. Nese climbs up high, 450 splash! Cover, TWO!! Murphy survives again and Nese is beside himself. Murphy gets back to a corner and Nese brings down the knee pad. But Murphy grabs Nese’s leg, so Nese stomps a mudhole into him. Nese runs but into a KNEE TRIGGER!
Murphy pump handles, Murphy’s Law!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Nese still lives! Murphy is shocked but then he gets an idea. Nese is in the corner, and Murphy brings down his knee pad. Murphy runs side to side, but Nese SUPERKICKS him! German Suplex into buckles! PREMIER KNEE!! Cover, NESE WINS!!
Winner: Tony Nese, by pinfall (NEW WWE Cruiserweight Champion)
The unstoppable HAS been stopped! The Premier Athlete was the Juggernaut’s kryptonite, and now he is the new champion! We know the Premier Era ended with a Triple Threat involving Akira Tozawa and Drew Gulak, and the title itself would be integrated into the NXT system, eventually leading it to where it is today! As such, we relive a highlight of the NXT Cruiserweight Championship era!
Nigel McGuiness returns again for another match introduction.
The Cruiserweight title didn’t just make it to WrestleManias, it finally made it to NXT TakeOver thanks to Santos Escobar and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Santos Escobar VS Isaiah “Swerve” Scott!
The year 2020 was certainly a mess, and the Irish Ace being isolated in the UK further complicated how this division worked. El Hijo del Fantasma won the “interim” title at the end of the Cruiserweight Championship Round Robin finals, with some controversy to it, but there was one man who did defeat him along the way! Swerve got his shot but was screwed over by El Legado and a loaded lucha mask! Swerve wanted revenge, but that is always hard to come by!
The introductions are made, the title is raised, and the Cruiserweight Division finally gets to TakeOver!
Escobar and Swerve circle as the crowd rallies up already. They approach, tie up, and Escobar gets the arm. Swerve hooks a leg to trip Escobar, cartwheels over but Escobar arm-drags Swerve away. Escobar runs but Swerve dodges, Escobar huricanranas but Swerve handsprings through! Swerve says HE is Cruiserweight wrestling, and that upsets Escobar. Escobar rushes Swerve, Swerve dodges and Eddy Gordo headscissors Escobar away! Escobar gets up and Swerve smirks. Swerve then trips Escobar, turns him over with leg hooks and goes to dead lift, but Escobar victory rolls through, TWO! Escobar sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! Swerve sweeps the legs to cover, ONE! The two stand off in fighting stances and the crowd loves it!
Swerve blocks Escobar’s punch, fakes him out to mule kick, and then runs, into a forearm! Escobar runs into a monkey flip! Escobar just barely gets his feet under him but Swerve handsprings and MOONSAULTS him down! The crowd is fired up as Swerve watches Escobar flounder. Escobar leans against the post, and pulls down the crossbar cover. Swerve gets in the ring to refresh the ring count, and he goes to the corner to CORKSCREW SENTON! Down goes Escobar and the crowd fires up again! Swerve puts Escobar in the ring but Escobar bails out the side. Swerve runs and FOSBURY FLOPS Escobar down! The fans are thunderous as Swerve is showing he can do it all!
Swerve puts Escobar in, covers, TWO! Escobar bails out again but Swerve pursues. Swerve drags Escobar up to go after the arm. Swerve wraps the arm around the very crossbar Escobar exposed! He’s showing Escobar what bending the rules gets you as he bends the arm! The ring count is at 7 but Swerve puts Escobar in at 8. Cover, TWO! Swerve grows annoyed with Escobar and he pulls Escobar around to go after the bad arm! Escobar endures as Swerve pulls it way back to drop down on it! Escobar puts a leg on the rope, Swerve stomps him anyway! Swerve brings Escobar up to Northern Light takedown into an ARMBAR! Short Arm Scissor, even, as Escobar resists.
Escobar gets legs under the ropes, Swerve lets off but goes to the apron. Swerve drags Escobar up to hotshot the arm! Fans rally as Swerve brings Escobar up again, but now Escobar hotshots Swerve! And KICKS him off the apron! Escobar runs and builds speed to DIVE! ARROW FROM HELL!! Swerve gets sent into the fencing, Escobar puts Swerve back in, covers, ONE?! Escobar is furious that Swerve kicks out so he KICKS Swerve in the face! Escobar waits for Swerve to stand and he LARIATS Swerve back down! Swerve gets to a corner, Escobar runs and DOUBLE KNEES! Escobar puts Swerve up top and SLAPS him!
Escobar climbs up and SUPER STEINERS! Then somersault and elbow drop! Cover, TWO! Swerve still lives and the fans stay fired up! Escobar stomps away on Swerve at the ropes but the ref counts. Escobar stops at 4 because he still doesn’t want to be disqualified. Escobar stands Swerve up and tells him, “Yo soy Lucha Libre!” Escobar SLAPS Swerve, kicks him, and says maybe if he spits in Swerve’s face will make him understand. Escobar reels back but Swerve puts a hand on Escobar’s mouth! No spit flies, but the fists do! Escobar clubs Swerve, reels him in, but Swerve frees himself to ROCK Escobar! And again! Swerve fires off heavy haymakers in the corner!
The ref counts, Swerve stops at 4 to throw Escobar down, for a DISCUS! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar flounders up. Swerve runs in to uppercut! Swerve snapmares Escobar for the falling EuroUpper! Escobar bails out but Swerve BOOTS him from the apron! And then again! Escobar goes down in a heap, Swerve puts him in, slingshot to somersault, ROLLING THUNDER SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Escobar survives but Swerve doesn’t lose focus. Swerve aims from the corner, hops up again and waits for Escobar to stand. Escobar is up but he climbs up to join Swerve! So Swerve slips under, only for Escobar to kick him away. Escobar turns around, Swerve dropkicks the legs out! DRAPING DDT! Cover, TWO!!
Escobar survives again but Swerve grits his teeth. Swerve drags Escobar up with a half nelson but Escobar gets the ropes! The ref counts, El Legado returns! The ref stops Wilde from getting in, Escobar shoves Swerve and Mendoza trips him up! Gut wrench, SHOULDER BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Swerve survives the screw job attempt! Escobar goes to the apron to follow Swerve, runs side to side, but into a pop-up that puts Escobar on the ropes! Escobar is stuck on his fantasma, Swerve throws haymakers! Swerve then hops up, and STEINERS Escobar onto Legado!! They catch him, help him up, but here comes ASHANTE “THEE” ADONIS!!
From what’s been happening on 205 Live, Adonis isn’t a fan of Legado del Fantasma, either, and he goes up to TORNILLO! Adonis wipes out Mendoza and Wilde! The crowd is thunderous as Escobar is in shock! Adonis and Swerve run off the henchmen before Swerve hurries into the ring. Escobar runs over, gets a back elbow, and Swerve goes up and in to somersault, into a CALF KICK! Fireman’s carry, PHANTOM DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!??! How?!!? Escobar doesn’t know how, but the crowd is electric! Escobar is fuming as he stomps away on Swerve over and over! Escobar drags Swerve back up, suplexes, uno amigo! Then a roll over, dos amigos!
Fans boo, they don’t think Escobar is worthy of Eddie Guerrero but he still hits all three amigos! Escobar goes up top, FROG SPLASH FLOPS!! Swerve evades and denies Escobar his Latino Heat! Swerve gets the arm, POP CULTURE!! Escobar clutches his arm but Swerve gives him a HOUSE CALL!! But that’s not it, Swerve goes up for the 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Escobar survives all of that and Swerve is losing his mind! The crowd hopes they “Fight Forever!” because “This is Awesome!” But this will end somehow, and Swerve drags Escobar up. Escobar flounders, throws Swerve out and hurries back up.
Swerve hurries after him, half nelsons him, but Escobar holds ropes for dear life! Escobar pushes Swerve back, Swerve falls and hits the bare crossbar!! It comes into play after all!! Escobar drags Swerve in, brings him up, underhooks and lifts, BUTTERFLY FACEBUSTER ACROSS THE KNEE! Cover, Escobar wins!!
Winner: Santos Escobar, by pinfall (still NXT Cruiserweight Champion)
So much fight from Swerve, and he even had a new ally fight against the minions, but Escobar always has a back-up plan! And he would continue to rule over the division in this way, even to the point of having Wilde & Mendoza help at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver! Will the tyrannical Emperor of Lucha always have this crown?
Nigel McGuiness returns once more to wrap up the show.
It has been a great experience on 205 Live to see some of the greatest title matches of all time. But speaking of great title matches, that makes you think of great champions. Just last night at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar proved he is a great champion by winning the Cruiserweight Championship Unification Ladder match! Relive that and both nights of TakeOver on Peacock in the US and the WWE Network everywhere else! But what will see now in the future was we continue in the Era del Fantasma?
Recap episodes are always fun for looking back, but also because it’s super easy for me to cover them since it’s just copying, pasting and editing. I like the three they selected, basically giving us a look back at the last three years of the Cruiserweight Division, but it also makes us see how far 205 Live has dropped off in the WWE because Alexander, Ali and Murphy were so awesome in 205 Live. Nese is still here but more for lack of WWE/NXT not giving him more to do. Admittedly, Murphy has dropped off on RawDown, too, but at least WWE has tried with him. I almost feel like worst case scenario for Murphy is to come back and be the Aussie Juggernaut again. Escobar’s a beefy Cruiserweight, so is Murphy, let’s get something like that going again.
I am also disappointed, because it was advertised that we’d get a special look at Escobar VS Devlin, but that wasn’t there. I couldn’t have gone through the content too fast, a segment like that wouldn’t be just a few seconds long. Maybe there was another “right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing” moment and that information was put out without knowing what the final episode would look like. I wouldn’t mind if they gave us that segment for the aftermath NXT on Tuesday, and encored it on next week’s 205 Live, but WWE/NXT needs to get 205 Live going like how it was when Ali, Murphy and Alexander were here.
My Score: 8.1/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.9.2021
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
All Japan’s Champion Carnival kicks off today! The Triple Crown Champion Suwama is in action as well as the Ace of the company Kento Miyahara! Check it out!
Now I haven’t kept close eyes on the product last few months, because personally, they weren’t grabbing my interest post Quarantine Comeback. But since my Puro Patronus Mathew Sarpraicone is having some computer issues, I guess I’m covering the first couple of these!
Let’s see how the tournament starts!
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi: Ishikawa wins via Thesz Press @9:09 – ** ½
- Suwama vs Kohei Sato: Sato wins via German Suplex Hold @10:49 – ***
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani: Otani wins via Overhand Chop @9:51 – *** ¼
- Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino: Jake wins via D4C @3:44 – **
- Zeus vs Kento Miyahara: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @18:16 – **** ¼
Shuji Ishikawa vs Koji Doi
Doi is the least recognized name in the tournament this year, and last I was aware of his was during the closure of Wrestle-1. Most of his success has come in the tag team division, but he’s no real slouch. Interestingly, Ishikawa is the newest Gaora TV Champion, but also was tied heavily to Suwama and their Violence Giant tag team.
We see Doi come out fast trying to throw Ishikawa into the corners and take him off his base. Ishikawa towers over Doi, so Doi was underneath, literally and figuratively the entire match. As Ishikawa hit most of his signature spots, including the Mushroom Stomp from the middle rope, Doi had a moment where he locked in the Rings of Saturn; but Ishikawa is just too big.
As Doi tried to keep the pressure up, rope runs, big strikes, Murder Lariat attempts from Doi but Ishikawa stifles the surge with a Fire/Thunder Driver. They both stumble up, run the ropes a bit trading lariats and charges, Ishikawa jumps, hits a Thesz Press and manages to keep Doi down for the 3 count!
Suwama vs Kohei Sato
An early card match gives us the Triple Crown champion against one of his more recent challengers! Falling short for the Triple Crown a few months ago, Sato has a little bit to prove.
The match opens as a slugfest, Suwama gets the best of things and rides the power advantage over Sato for a long time. Sato is taller than Suwama but Suwama is more powerful and controlled the pacing. Things went to the outside and the former Violence Giant kept up to the name.
When the match came back in to the ring Suwama looks to try and finish things, goes for the Rolling Lariat, but it gets blocked. Sato starts fighting back, hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall, and then Suwama starts looking like he’s in trouble. Suwama hits the Double Chop comeback, and tries a Powerbomb, but Sato blocks it, Sato goes for a Powerbomb, but Suwama blocks it. The power struggle is tangible, but Suwama seems to be losing some of the back and forth. Sato rocks Suwama, locks in the German Suplex, and hits the German Suplex Hold.
Kohei gets on the board and avenges his loss! Depending on how the tournament shakes out, Kohei might get another shot at the title in the future.
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shinjiro Otani
The veteran Otani is putting Yuma through the paces early. He’s side stepping Dropkicks and just kicking Yuma to prove a point. Yuma tries to fire back, and then Otani continues to push off certain moves and be funny.
Yuma does manage to take advantage of his youth, but when he goes for the disrespect by attempting the Bootwash, Otani fires, lays out the younger wrestler and hits the Wash. Yuma goes to the outside, and when he turns back to the ring, Otani charges and hits a running Bootwash straight to Yuma’s face.
As Otani takes the role of the cagey veteran punishing the Young Boy, Yuma tries to find ways to come back, but things Otani stays a little ahead of the younger wrestler. Yuma gets a close moment where he locks in End Game, but Otani fights to the ropes. Otani then backs the younger wrestler down, hits Dragon Suplex, then goes for another, but Yuma blocks. Otani counters the block with a lariat, then another Dragon Suplex but Yuma kicks out at 1! Refusing to stay down, Otani goes into his bag of tricks and hits Yuma twice with Hashimoto style Overhand Chops, to finally keep the younger man down.
Jake Lee vs Shotaro Ashino
So there is some fun history between these two when Ashino brought Enfantes Terrible over to AJPW and took JIN down a peg. But then recently, Jake stole the Enfantes members from Ashino and betrayed JIN. Ashino is looking to avenge the turnabout, but Jake is trying to craft his Carnival masterpiece.
Jake definitely has the swagger of an anime villain. He widens his arms like he’s conducting a symphony and moves slowly yet deliberately. Ashino starts quick, hitting a Drop Toe Hold and going to the ground game, but Jake stabilizes. Ashino again brings Jake down after successive German Suplexes and goes for the Ankle Lock! Jake has trouble navigating it for a while, but eventually finds the ropes.
Retreating to the corner, Jake sees the referee, Ashino charges, Jake uses the referee shield and starts taking advantage. A few direct blows to the head, Giant Killing to the back of the head, followed by D4C. Jake drags the referee back, picks up the win and leaves cackling. He’s limping heavily, selling the viciousness of the Ankle Lock even in a short match, but yeah, not what I expected.
The match was used to help build Jake’s new persona and possibly give Ashino a steeper mountain to climb. But the length and abrupt end was definitely not expected. Interesting, but also a little off putting.
Zeus vs Kento Miyahara
Zeus and Kento have had great wars. There was a point a few years ago where Kento was Zeus’ hurdle, but after beating him for the Tag titles, he then gathered momentum. Zeus has beaten Kento for the Triple Crown before, has beaten him in the Carnival, and this has been one of the best rivalries of the last few years in current AJPW. Kento is of course the current generation Ace, and everyone knows that; but given Zeus’ track record and Kento’s stagnation the last year since losing the Triple Crown to Suwama, we could get something interesting.
The match starts with their usual sarcastic respect to one another during breaks and outside the ring moments. Given that they’ve had 2 5 Snowflake classics in the last 3 years, this had a lot to live up to. But at no point did it feel like retreading, since they are both in different positions comparatively, this felt like a whole new book, not an additional chapter. Zeus landed a lot of power spots while Kento combated everything with his Knees.
Kento’s usual attack of Blackouts from different angles rocked Zeus pretty hard. Zeus ate a few, grabbed a Chokeslam and they both landed for a rest spot. Zeus drives Kento into a corner, goes for an Outside-In Brainbuster and starts trying to end things. Kento goes for the Shutdown Suplex, Zeus fires out, a few big Lariats and a Jackhammer from Zeus…AND ZEUS WINS!
Overall Score: 7.25/10
Now this wasn’t a bad start to things! Sure the Ashino/Jake Lee match did not go the way I expected, it definitely told enough of a story to prove it’s going somewhere. Shinjiro Otani gets a solid start to things, Shuji Ishikawa won a match he was supposed to and Zeus/Kento ended up being a solid day 1 main event.
Kento has started on the back foot before. I guess we get to see if he wins out until the Final Day, or if he has a larger struggle. Let’s check out the Day 1 Standings!
- Zeus: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-0 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Suwama: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-1 – (0 Points)
- Koji Doi: 0-1 – (0 Points)
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