The Raw Before Backlash!
Before the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever happens, Edge joins his old buddy, Christian, on The Peep Show! Is the Rated R Superstar ready for his standard rules match with Randy Orton?
- Asuka VS Charlotte Flair; rescheduled.
- Women’s Triple Threat Tag: Sasha Banks & Bayley VS The IIconics VS Asuka & Charlotte Flair; Asuka & Flair win.
- Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo VS Buddy Murphy & Austin Theory; Aleister & Carrillo win.
- Decathlon: The Street Profits VS The Viking Raiders; 5-5 draw.
- WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Triple Threat: Kevin Owens VS Angel Garza VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega; Almas wins and will challenge Apollo Crews for the title at Backlash.
- The Viking Raiders VS MVP & Bobby Lashley; MVP & Lashley win.
- Asuka VS Charlotte Flair (for real); Flair wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Asuka VS Charlotte Flair!
We just had Chapter 6 last week, but now we’re getting Chapter SEVEN! The Empress of Tomorrow prepares for Nia Jax this Sunday while The Queen is reeling from defeat at TakeOver: In Your House! Will Asuka add onto Charlotte’s woes and add to her own momentum?
Wait, Sasha Banks comes out instead? And Bayley, too! The Boss and #BayleyTwoBelts are here now that they’re once again WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions! They head to the ring and stand before Asuka. “Relax, relax. First of all, you guys should be thanking us for being here and gracing you with our star quality.” That goes for Asuka, too. Most nights it would be befitting for the Raw Women’s Champion to open the show, but not tonight! In case you were living under a rock, last Friday Night SmackDown, Bayley & Banks beat Bliss-Cross to win the tag titles! You are in the presence of the reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion, BAYLEY, and #DaBlueprint, the two-time tag team women’s champion, SASHA!
Asuka tells them this is HER ring, kore! So if they want to fight her, fight her! Wait, hold on. Yes, this is normally Asuka’s ring, but the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions can go anywhere they want. So back up, shut up and get out. But wait! Here comes Charlotte! The Queen finally appears as planned, and likes the brand-to-brand-to-brand arguing. They’re being just like Charlotte! But good luck in keeping up with her. But Charlotte understands that they want to celebrate. Please make your victory lap quick before someone swoops in and takes those titles off them. Or do they not remember WrestleMania? Charlotte and Asuka have a match, and that is what fans want to see. But then the IIconics appear!
Billie Kay & Peyton Royce bring up that Charlotte isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed. Best looking but hey. The match that everyone wants to see isn’t happening tonight. It’s happening at Backlash! It’ll be a Women’s Tag Team Championship TRIPLE THREAT! Sasha & Bayley, who lost to the IIconics, against Bliss-Cross, and most importantly, Peyton & Billie! They will make Backlash #IIconic! Strike the pose. Asuka is angry again and yells at the Aussies now. Get out and go away! Bayley wants everyone to calm down, but also brings up how Charlotte was trying to bring a wedge between Bayley and Sasha. But then what happened? They became champs! “WOO~!” Charlotte isn’t sure how to put this nicely, but at least she doesn’t need titles to be relevant. No matter how many titles they have on their waists or shoulders or necks or wherever, they are still garbage.
And now the fight breaks out! Bayley and Sasha are after Charlotte while the IIconics are after Asuka! But then the tag teams trash talk at each other. For Asuka and Charlotte to go after together! Asuka and Charlotte throw Bayley, Banks, Billie and Peyton out, and then stare each other down! Will we get Chapter 7 as planned? Or is something wilder about to happen?
Women’s Triple Threat Tag: Sasha Banks & Bayley VS The IIconics VS Asuka & Charlotte Flair!
It’s something wild! Holla holla, we get a preview of that big Backlash tag battle as the Boss & Role Model face Peyton & Billie, but with the Empress and the Queen throw in! Will Asuka and Charlotte be able to get along and ruin the fun for the tag champs and the IIconics?
But as teams sort out, Bayley and Sasha sucker punch Asuka while the IIconics deck Charlotte! The ref manages to keep the peace and we finally have a start with Peyton and Sasha. Peyton rolls Sasha up, TWO, and Sasha runs into a headlock. Peyton gets the takeover but Sasha fights her way up to throw Peyton down by her hair. Sasha brags and runs, but Peyton drops and hurdles, only for Sasha to roll her up! TWO, and Sasha blocks a kick to give a knee, that Peyton blocks! Peyton spins a kick, Sasha ducks it, but Peyton catches Sasha to a Gory Especial! Sasha pops out to sunset flip, TWO! METEORA, but turned into a sunset flip! TWO, and double dropkicks cancel out! The crowd cheers as Sasha and Peyton circle.
Bayley cheers for Sasha, Billie tells her to shut up, but Peyton pie faces Sasha for Sasha to pie face back. Peyton shoves, Sasha shoves, but then Sasha and Peyton sucker punch Asuka and Charlotte again! Sasha knocks Peyton down and tags in Bayley. The tag champs crisscross and whip Peyton into buckles! Snapmare and knee drop, cover, TWO! Bayley glares at Billie and throws forearms on Peyton. Peyton knee and clubs back, tags to Billie, and the IIconics whip and forearm Bayley down! Cover, ONE, and Billie is annoyed already. Billie whips but Bayley reverses to the open corner. Bayley blocks the boot but Billie breaks free to elbow her down! Flipping suplex and cover, TWO! Billie shouts at Sasha and then stands on Billie’s hand. Bayley bites Billie’s leg!
Billie punches but Bayley dodges, only for Billie to throw Bayley by her hair! Sasha swipes at Billie but Charlotte reaches for a tag. Billie keeps Bayley from her, but as Bayley standing switches, Charlotte tags off Billie! Billie bucks the roll away, Billie knees Bayley down, but Charlotte steps in. The IIconics are annoyed and Charlotte stalks Bayley. But the crowd rallies, “We Want Asuka!” Charlotte tells them to be quiet, but then reaches to Asuka. Asuka reaches out, but Charlotte leaves her hanging. Charlotte RAMS Bayley into the buckles, then again and again! She brings Bayley around to CHOP her off her feet! Charlotte mocks Sasha and brings her up and around to whip her to a corner. Bayley dodges and fires off on Charlotte! Bayley powers Charlotte to the corner and Sasha tags in to stomp away!
Sasha tags Bayley back and they both stomp away on Charlotte. Bayley tags Sasha back in, and they double whip Charlotte. Charlotte kicks Sasha way and DECKS Bayley! Charlotte runs but Asuka tags in! Charlotte clobbers Sasha but Asuka gets in. Charlotte is upset but Asuka is dancing around. Asuka dodges Sasha, hip attacks Bayley and then dodges and follows Sasha to run her over! Sasha flounders up to get a hip attack! Billie runs in but is sent into Sasha in the corner. Peyton runs into a ROUNDHOUSE! Asuka hits a bulldog clothesline combo on the IIconics! The crowd is fired up for Asuka but Charlotte sarcastically applauds as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Asuka looms over Billie. Peyton runs in but gets a mule kick! Billie throws forearms, then spins Asuka around to SOLE FOOD! Cover, TWO! Billie is furious and she drags Asuka up. Tag to Peyton and the IIconics combine for a half nelson wheelbarrow and KNEE! Peyton covers but Sasha breaks it! Sasha taunts Billie but Peyton grabs her for the Gory Especial again, for a Gory SHINBREAKER! Very unique stuff, but Bayley runs in. Billie BOOTS Bayley with the Shades of Key! Peyton hurries after Asuka but Asuka elbows her away! Charltote tags in, Asuka boots Peyton and Charlotte adds on. Charlotte scoops Peyton for an EXPLODER! And the kip up! Billie checks on Peyton while Charlotte scares off the tag champs. Charlotte blocks a boot to DECK Billie! Asuka tags in and Charlotte BOOTS Billie down!
Asuka fires off kicks on Billie while Charlotte shouts about the tag. Asuka runs, Charlotte tags in, and things are getting tense. Charlotte CHOPS Billie, and CHOPS her again! And again! And again! Billie dodges but runs into the backbraeker! Charlotte BOOTS Billie again and dusts off her hands. Charlotte brings Billie over, goes up top, but Asuka tags in! Asuka rolls Billie into the ASUKA LOCK!! Billie taps, Asuka and Charlotte win!
Winners: Asuka & Charlotte Flair, by submission
They didn’t get along but they still found a way to win! Depending on how things go at Backlash, could this unlikely team of wrestling royals become a tag team to be reckoned with? Charlotte tells Asuka to watch out for the IIconics, but she’s the one who CLOBBERS Asuka! The Queen holds up the Raw Women’s Championship and says Asuka still hasn’t beaten her. Chapter 7 is still to come later tonight, how will it end?!
Seth Rollins heads to the ring!
The Monday Night Messiah is without his disciples, Buddy Murphy and Austin Theory, but just for now. Rollins takes Byron Saxton’s seat on commentary so that he may join them for this moment he has been waiting for. Rollins wants to talk with Rey Mysterio, and would not have missed this interview for the world. Mysterio calls Rollins an SOB before Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Tom Phillips asks about any medical updates on the damaged eye. Mysterio appreciates that, and says that the doctor checked it this morning. There are still no promises, but it looks good. The eye is healing, but any further damage or even an infection are high risk. Mysterio isn’t sure when he’ll be medically cleared, but he has a warning for when he is. “Seth, I’m not going to wait until the end of a match to hit the 619. Oh, no, no. The second that bell rings, there’s a 619 with the name ‘Monday Night Messiah’ written all over it.” Rollins will pay for what he did to Mysterio and what he put his family through! Mysterio vows to kick Rollins’ ass!
Rollins wants Mysterio to calm down. “You don’t understand the power of your words.” If Mysterio continues to spread these lies about his sacrifice… Mysterio had the opportunity to walk away gracefully after his greatest moment in the WWE! He’d walk away a legend and a hero, but he continues to spread misinformation! Rollins tells Mysterio to be grateful. Take this opportunity to walk away. Rollins will give Mysteiro one more chance, and personally invites him and Dominik back to Raw next week. He hopes Mysterio and Dominik come in peace so that Rollins can show them the sacrifice made is for the greater good.
Enough! Mysterio knows Rollins is only doing this because Mysterio isn’t medically cleared. But when Mysterio is, not just Rollins but the whole world will kn ow about it! Mysterio says in Spanish that he is sending Rollins to hell! Rollins says Mysterio has this all backwards! Rollins wants Mysterio to understand what he’s trying to say. But then Aleister Black leaps in outta nowhere to tackle Rollins! The Embodiment of the End beats Rollins down while Raw goes to break!
Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo VS Buddy Murphy & Austin Theory!
The Monday Night Messiah’s disciples once again step up to fight the Embodiment of the End and Ultimo Ninja! Will things go the same as before? Or will the disciples #FadeToBlack once and for all?
The teams sort out and Carrillo starts against Theory. They circle, Carrillo blocks a kick and rolls Theory up, ONE! Theory swings but Carrillo dodges and springboards for the crossbody! Carrillo springboards and hits a big arm-drag! The crowd fires up as Carrillo has Theory on the apron, but Theory hotshots Carrillo away! Theory somersaults and shotgun dropkicks Carrillo down! Cover, ONE, but Theory stays on Carrillo with a facelock. Theory clubs Carrillo then throws forearms. Carrillo throws forearms back but Theory knees low and clubs him down. Theory drags Carrillo up, back suplexes, but Carrillo lands on his feet! Hot tags to Aleister and Murphy! The rivals go right at each other! Murphy has the strike fest, but Aleister ducks to throw his strikes! Aleister boots, Murphy KNEES! Murphy pump handles, but Aleister victory rolls, TWO!
Aleister kicks Murphy’s punch away to ROUNDHOUSE Murphy right back! QUEBRADA! The crowd fires up as Aleister lifts Murphy with his foot. Theory runs in but he gets sent right back out. Aleister BOOTS Theory down and Carrillo DIVES to finish him off! But Murphy rolls Aleister! TWO, and Murphy uses the momentum to wreck Carrillo with a dropkick! Murphy enziguris Aleister away then hurries up top. But Aleister hops right up to join him! Murphy fights him off, but Aleister returns to KICK Murphy down! Cover, Aleister & Carrillo win!
Winners: Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo, by pinfall
Wait, Rey Mysterio is here!? No, it’s just Rollins wearing the Mysterio mask he stole! And his disciples attack Aleister and Carrillo from behind! Murphy POSTS Carrillo while Theory stomps away on Aleister. Rollins gets his shots in, but has them focus on Carrillo. Carrillo takes the A T L! Rollins drags Aleister up by his hair and shouts in his face, “I TOLD YOU!” AUSSIE-GOYE! Rollins scrapes Carrillo out of the ring and shouts at Aleister, “I TOLD YOU!” Murphy rains down rights and then Theory rains down lefts. Rollins adds on his own again, and wants Aleister to learn his lesson. MURPHY’S LAW!
Rollins tells them to stand Aleister up, and they wrap him in the ropes. “I told you what would happen if you stand in my way! I will make you a sacrifice!” The disciples set Aleister up, for the CURB STOMP! Rollins raises his disciples’ hands victoriously. Is it inevitable that the Monday Night Messiah’s vision comes true?
Backstage interview with Randy Orton.
The Viper faces Edge in the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” but how is he preparing for such a match? The only question Orton cares about right now is if Edge will be the only guest on The Peep Show. That segment is next, isn’t it? Orton is glad, but why? Well, keep this between you and him, but there might just be a second guest for tonight’s show. Well it’s pretty obvious who he means. Is The Viper about to crash the reunion that reeks of awesomeness?
The Peep Show returns to Raw!
And that means Captain Charisma, Christian, returns to Raw, too! He heads to the ring but there’s a good chance Orton is going to slither out there. We’ll see what happens after the break.
Raw returns and Christian says they’ll get right to it. His guest tonight, ahead of what might be the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever, is Edge! The Rated R Superstar heads to the ring and hugs his old friend. E & C take a seat, and Christian says Edge knows how excited he was for Edge to make his return at the Royal Rumble. To come back from a career ending injury after 9 years, and how genuinely happy Christian was for Edge to have that WrestleMania win, he must be honest here. Right now, Edge is running on fumes. The crowd disagrees, “You Still Got It!” Christian continues to say that when it comes to a “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” Edge wouldn’t have even pulled that off in his prime.
Christian and Edge are best friends, but that means they need to be brutally honest. This is a high, lofty expectation for Backlash. If Edge thinks he can live up to them, he’s lying to himself. He’s starting to buckle, and can’t handle the pressure. Edge wants Christian to pump the brakes. Has Christian ever put himself in Edge’s shoes? Has he ever thought what Edge is going through when he hasn’t had a straight-up match for over 9 years? Not only that, people are already calling it “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” does Christian know what that feels like? It’s like being dropped at the bottom of Mount Everest with no crew, no gear, and you’re just supposed to climb it! “So pardon me if this Edge is a little bit different, if this Edge has a little bit of doubt.” This isn’t the same Edge that used to look Christian in the eye every night to give Christian confidence to go out for their tag team matches!
Edge “apologizes” if this Edge has some doubts. This Edge is about to face a guy in Randy Orton, who has been here for those same 9 years and is firing on every cylinder! Edge doesn’t even know how many cylinders he has. Those are excuses! Christian doesn’t want to hear excuses. The two stand up and Christian asks what Edge thought would happen when he came back. Did he think he could just give the fans a greatest hits? Spear here, spear there, smile and go home? Is that what Edge expected? What happened to him? Where’s the belief? There is someone that used to believe in Edge more than anyone, and that was his mother. She was there for his title wins, right there at ringside! And if he doesn’t think she won’t be there for this one, he’s wrong. So to put it this way, Adam, if Edge isn’t showing up, then step through the ropes and just go home!
Edge and Christian look each other in the eyes, and Christian sees what he was looking for. There’s those eyes. Christian and the fans believe in Edge. We saw something at WrestleMania we never saw before. It was something Orton surely never saw before. When Edge locked Orton in that submission hold, he put Orton down! Edge has the anti-venom, and the fans have confidence in him. They think Edge is as good now as he’s ever been. They think he can win, and truly have the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. But then Orton talks on the titantron. He begs them to shut the hell up. If he has to hear them spew words out of their mouths any longer, he is going to be sick to his stomach! “We think, we think, we think,” but we’re not hearing what they actually know.
Orton reminds Edge that he made one guarantee for this match, and that was that Edge was going to try. And that is absolutely pathetic. The expectations on this match are astronomical, and what is Edge going to do when he doesn’t live up to them? Orton vows to embarrass Edge, humiliate Edge, and take every ounce of passion and grit away! At the end of the day, Edge will be a broken man forced to go back home to stay with his wife and daughters! At Backlash, the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever, the redemption story of Edge… is over. Edge says it’s not! He throws down the mic and takes his leave, but will this be the last time we see the Rated R Superstar on Raw?
Backstage interview with MVP.
Montel Vontavius Porter gives some “perspective” to what happened when Raw went off the air while Bobby Lashley still had Drew McIntyre in that All Mighty full nelson. If Charly wants an in-depth analysis of the immobilizing, excruciating full nelson that Lashley will use on McIntyre to take the WWE World Championship, please wait for the VIP Lounge. But what MVP will tell us, is that- R-Truth, what’re you doing with that trunk? The WWE 24/7 Champion asks MVP to tell anyone looking for Truth that he hasn’t seem him. Truth just beat “Robin Gronk” for the 24/7, 1287, 7/11 Trophy, so Truth needs to lay low. MVP says Truth is a clown, but Truth says he just wants some help. Lashley goes after Truth with that full nelson!! He thrashes Truth and throws him down, but lets him keep the title. Lashley has bigger fish to fry, but will McIntyre have a response that’s just as powerful?
It’s the Anything You Can Do, We Can Do Better DECATHLON!
The Street Profits won in basketball and golf (normal and miniature), but the Viking Raiders won in ax throwing and bowling. It was on the return of Raw Talk that Samoa Joe suggested this be settled in the biggest way possible, and that brings us to tonight! The Vikings and Profits meet on the field, but Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins don’t understand why Erik & Ivar have swords and shields. Sword fighting is one of the five viking themed events! That’s a bit dangerous. Relax, what’s the worst that can- WHOA! Mah bad, fam.
But moving along, the Profits and Vikings alternated choices of events. First up is the Profits, and they made the first event the 1600 meter dash! Ivar and Ford run, but Ivar gets lapped. And lapped. And beat! The Vikings chose archery! Ivar finishes his 1600 meters while Erik sinks a bull’s eye! Dawkins… hits the groundskeeper! The Profits choose Flip Cup, SKOL! Too easy for the Profits and too hard for the Vikings. Ivar breaks the table with his bare hands! But now it’s time for sword fighting! Ford VS Erik, but Ford forfeits. He’s not risking bodily harm. Also Erik doesn’t know what a “forfeit” is. Moving on, the Profits choose hurdles! Dawkins and Ivar run, but Ivar breaks through the hurdles while Ford goes over. Ford still wins on reaching the finish line first, but Ivar misunderstands how hurdles work.
The Vikings choose stick fighting! Get knocked into the pool of milk and you loose! Ford is pumped up for Dawkins but Dawkins don’t want to hear it from a quitter. The two use the sticks for a tug-o-war scenario, and Dawkins splashes down! Dawkins makes sure Ford gets some, too. The Profits next choose a Dance Off! A panel of judges will decide who has the best moves. Ford dances to Shawn Michaels’ theme song. He even hits the HBK pose. Ivar says he’s got this. And his song of choice: Fandango’s! Ivar does his best Fandango finger pointing, and he has charmed the female judge. She might be a bit biased after this but… One vote for Ford! One vote for Ivar, because Ivar’s cute. Erik? Not so much. But the tiebreaker is the third judge, and he chose Ford!
After seven events, the Profits lead 4-3! But the Vikings choose shotput! Erik launches the weight, but Dawkins goes even further! The score is now 5-3! The Vikings didn’t think they’d lose that one, but now they have the turkey leg eating contest! First team to finish their feast wins! And Dawkins needs some hot sauce. But the Vikings win and are making a comeback! But the Profits have the last choice, and it’s the pole vault! Ford runs and launches himself! Successful leap! Can Ivar match him? Time to raise the bar for #AirIvar! Ivar charges and… He makes it?! We’re tied at 5-5!! But then, what happens now? They argue about luck and being the best, but it doesn’t seem like the decathlon settled anything!
Apollo Crews heads to the ring!
The new WWE United States Champion has new theme music! He is still feeling great after finally having a title in the WWE, even if his title match with handpicked opponent, Kevin Owens, was ruined by Zelina Vega’s stable. The tag team match we got was still great, and still a big win for Apollo, but what does he have planned this week? Apollo grabs a mic to say, “I am so, so, so, so, so excited to defend my United States Championship at Backlash, against the winner of this Triple Threat between Angel Garza, Andrade, and Kevin Owens!” But before Apollo can say more, El Idolo makes his way out to the ring, along with El Latino y La Muneca! Will Almas and Garza work together or be torn apart by this golden opportunity?
WWE United States Championship #1 Contender’s Triple Threat: Kevin Owens VS Angel Garza VS Andrade Almas w/ Zelina Vega!
But before Almas and Garza even get to the ring, Kevin attacks from behind! The Prizefighter gets some payback as he knocks Almas down and throws Garza into Plexiglas! Vega panics as Almas is also sent into Plexiglas, and then Garza gets another! Kevin goes back after Almas to throw him into more barriers! And even more! Kevin goes to the ring while the crowd is thunderous, but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns as the bell rings, and Kevin immediately finds himself in a 2v1 situation against Almas and Garza! They back Kevin down and mug him against ropes. Kevin fights back but that’s still a lot. Vega’s stable still gets Kevin down in the corner and stomps away on him! Garza tries to drag Kevin out of the corner but Kevin holds the ropes. Almas helps and they drag Kevin together to go after both legs. They twist and pull then hammer away with fists and stomps. The crowd boos, Garza covers but Almas pulls him off it. Almas is upset and Garza “apologizes” for jumping the gun, but Kevin SLAPS and CHOPS! Garza and Almas mug Kevin then double whip, and double elbow him down. Almas wants to cover but Garza won’t let him. Off come the pants, but Kevin rolls Almas up! Garza breaks it up and cranks on Kevin’s arm and leg. Almas stomps Kevin down and Vega applauds both her men.
Almas and Garza split the wishbone on Kevin, and Vega cheers again as they double MULE KICK Kevin down! Almas taunts Kevin and so does Garza. Garza drags Kevin up but the crowd rallies. Kevin fights back with fists but he gets clubbed and hammered to the ropes. Garza and Almas both choke Kevin, and there’s no limit because Triple Threats have no disqualifications. Almas hotshots Kevin then Garza basement dropkicks! Vega applauds as Garza puts Kevin in a corner. Garza SLAPS Kevin but Kevin fights back! Almas runs in to boot Kevin down, then he and Garza double whip Kevin corner to corner. Almas whips Garza but Kevin BOOTS him down! Kevin boots at Almas but Almas blocks to jam the knee! Almas decks Kevin and wags his finger, “No no no.”
Garza and Almas circle Kevin like sharks. Almas sits Kevin up for an arm stretch, and Garza drops down for a leg stretch! They’re pulling on all off Kevin’s limbs while Apollo watches from backstage. Kevin endures so Almas shifts to a chinlock. Garza keeps on the legs with a standing toehold, but Kevin slaps at him. Garza CHOPS back and Almas adds on stomps. Vega says this is all theirs as Almas and Garza mug Kevin more. They double suplex but Kevin resists. They knee and punch Kevin and finally get the double suplex! Almas covers but Garza pushes him off! They argue over who should get the win off this, and they start shoving! Almas kicks Garza out of the ring then goes after him to throw him into barriers! And bounce him off Plexiglas! Vega tries to settle them down but she gets knocked down! The men argue over whose fault that is, but they both check on her as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Vega has been helped to the back. Kevin puts Garza back in the ring and climbs up top, but Garza enziguris first! Garza climbs up to join Kevin and the two brawl for control. Kevin headbutts but Garza gives it back! Garza brings Kevin up but Kevin resists the superplex. Kevin punches Garza and Bionic Elbows him down! SWANTON BOMB! Cover, but Almas breaks it! Almas says he is getting the title back and he throws forearms. Kevin gives them back and they brawl. Almas kicks low, headlocks but Kevin makes him a backpack. Kevin uses Almas to senton onto Garza! All three men are down but the crowd rallies up. Almas gets to one corner and Garza is in the other. Kevin is up, and CANNONBALLS onto Almas! But then he CANNONBALLS Garza! And back to Almas, but he misses!
Almas goes after Garza, CIEN SHADOWS! Then to Kevin! Almas fires up but Garza SUPERKICKS him! Kevin SUPERKICKS Garza! Kevin hurries back up top and he FROG SPLASHES Almas! Cover, TWO!! Almas survives but Apollo digs what he is watching. The crowd rallies and Kevin grabs Almas. Kevin whips, pops Almas up but Almas slips out to boot feint and ELBOW! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives but Almas BOOTS Garza away. Almas drags Kevin up, reels him in and shimmies the shoulders. But Kevin fireman’s carries, only for Almas to power out. Garza missile dropkicks Kevin down! Almas and Gatrza stare down and start firing off CHOPS! CHOP and forearm and CHOP, they do not back down! Things get fast and furious, Garza blocks a kick to KNEE, but Almas clotheslines Garza and himself out of the ring!
Kevin sees his targets on the outside and the crowd rallies as he runs. He FLIES out onto them both! Kevin is all fired up and so are the NXT prospects! Kevin puts Garza in and waits for him to rise. Kick and NO Stunner, Garza dropkicks the bad leg out! Garza puts on a Calf Crusher! Kevin endures, crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Garza clubs the arm off and drags Kevin up, underhooks but Kevin spins out. Kevin kicks low, STUNNER! Cover but Almas dropkicks Kevin away! Almas takes the cover on Garza, and WINS!
Winner: Andrade Almas, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE United States Championship)
El Idolo is going to get the rematch he wants! But will getting the gold back be worth his partnership with Garza falling apart?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
The Queen has had an eventful 24 hours between TakeOver and the Triple Threat Tag alongside Asuka. She still has her regularly scheduled match with Asuka to come, but is no longer NXT Women’s Championship. But Charlotte says she did not lose her title. She was not the one pinned, and she sure didn’t submit. And it is always a busy 24 hours for her. But that’s the difference between being a Flair and being everyone else. Charlotte was raised to respect the rule: To be The Woman, you have to beat The Woman. Charlotte still accomplished her goal, too. She elevated the NXT Women’s Division, she main evented a TakeOver, now she’s main eventing Raw. But Asuka tried to steal Charlotte’s moment.
Speaking of, Asuka comes through dancing as the Raw Women’s Champion. Does Asuka ever take anything serious anymore? Yes, she does. And then she SLAPS Charlotte! Well then. Are things about to get very serious between Queen and Empress?
Almas and Garza argue backstage.
They succeeded in making sure Kevin didn’t get the title match, but Garza is upset Almas had to pin him to do it. And there’s still the issue of what happened to Vega. She walks in and tells them both to leave. The trio seems to be sticking together, but for how much longer?
Kurt Angle weighs in on Orton VS Edge!
The Olympic hero thinks on who will win the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever. And much like HBK or Ric Flair, Angle knows a thing or two about putting on great matches. He’s always believed a lot of things go into a great match, but chemistry might be the most important. It’s hard to explain, but sometimes all you need to do is step in the ring with someone and just like that, you’re on the same page. You bring out the best in them, and they bring out the best in you. Flair had that with Ricky Steamboat, HBK had that with The Undertaker, and Angle had that with Brock Lesnar. Edge has that with Orton. But Angle is glad he’s not in this match. The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever sounds like a lot of pressure. If they can bring the absolute best out of each other, they’ll rise to the occasion. As for who wins, Angle votes Edge! It wasn’t easy, but Angle can’t vote against a fellow Hall of Famer. Edge will win, because it’s true, it’s damn true!
Erik & Ivar prepare for their match.
But wait! Has a certain someone decided to join the raid? Drew McIntyre has taken it under consideration, and the decathlon was very impressive. Ivar is becoming quite the ladies’ man. And Erik… Well, not so much. Ivar has been told he has a certain je ne sais quoi. Erik doesn’t know what that means. Exactly. But they definitely have that “I don’t know what.” But McIntyre says he’s going to have a little get together after the show tonight, and hopefully after the Viking Raiders beat MVP and Lashley, not only will they have a big celebration, they can enjoy meat and turkey legs. TURKEY! Ivar, keep your focus. It’s alright. Celtics, like the Vikings, loved to celebrate after the fight but even a little before the battle. The VIP Lounge is coming up, so maybe they’ll check it out. You never know what could happen on Monday Night Raw. McIntyre has Erik & Ivar intrigued. We’ll see what happens after the break.
Raw returns to the VIP Lounge!
MVP is already in the ring and that can only mean one thing: big things still poppin’, little things still stoppin’, because the VIP Lounge is for people like him, who are better than all of you. And for people like his guest. The once-in-a-generation athlete that is a physical specimen no one else can aspire to be, and the man with the single most devastating move in ALL of the WWE. It’s- Drew McIntyre?! Well McIntyre said anything can happen, and what’s happening is he’s crashing the VIP Lounge! McINtyre grabs a mic and sets the title on the couch. “Well, well. After the last few weeks, I was concerned we weren’t friends anymore. But after that incredible introduction, I see we’re still cool. Thank you, brother, I really appreciate that.” But there’s something MVP missed. He forgot to mention he’s WWE Champion!
MVP says they are not friends anymore, McIntyre made that clear. But why is he here? Well there were rumors, and McIntyre couldn’t help but notice a “disagreement” between Lashley and Lana. MVP was going to call Lashley out but McIntyre didn’t want his amigo looking silly. And yes, that devastating finisher, the Claymore, keep going. No, MVP wasn’t talking about McIntyre or the Claymore. He was talking about Lashley and the full nelson! The very move that will take the title from McIntyre at Backlash! Well alright. Lashley did get that full nelson on McIntyre and he’s still feeling it. MVP doesn’t really know how that feels, but he does know how a Claymore feels. He’s taken so many recently. And MVP hiding behind Lashley is understandable-
Whoa! MVP doesn’t hide behind anyone! This is all part of the business plan for Lashley to reach his potential. That culminates Sunday when Lashley ragdolls McIntyre again. McIntyre keeps asking himself questions, but the top one is if MVP really understands the nature of himself and Lashley. Is MVP becoming Lashley’s Yoda? Is he teaching Lashley the secrets to having zero world championship reigns? But to be honest, this is just dragging on. McIntyre has a new saying: Talk less, Claymore. That will happen after the countdown, which MVP is also familiar with. So MVP either takes it or runs away, gets chased down, beat down and takes the Claymore anyway. Okay, let’s begin. Three. Two. One-
Lashley is here! MVP laughs but McIntyre tells Lashley how this will go. McIntyre knows Lashley has waited a long time for this, just as McIntyre had to wait. But this Sunday, the only way Lashley takes the title is to pry it from his cold dead, hands! MVP runs in but gets a Glasgow Kiss! And here come the Viking Raiders! McIntyre dares Lashley to do something but Lashley does have to worry about the tag team match. Erik & Ivar step through the ropes, but here come the Street Profits to show some support to their friendly rivals. The VIP Lounge closes down for now, but is the party only about to begin?
The Viking Raiders VS MVP & Bobby Lashley!
Raw returns and McIntyre gives a big thumbs up as MVP starts against Ivar. The bell rings, and MVP tags out to Lashley. Lashley kicks Ivar low then clubs him down with forearms. Lashley whips Ivar to a corner, but Ivar elbows back! Ivar runs, but into the COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Lashley bumps Ivar off buckles, MVP tags in and MVP throws hands on Ivar. MVP even throws European Uppercuts and big body shots. MVP tags Lashley and holds Ivar in place for Lashley’s elbows. Lashley keeps throwing forearms on Ivar, then he glares at Erik. Lashley also makes sure McIntyre sees this, but Ivar powers Lashley to the corner! Tag to Erik and the Vikings feed Lashley to knees! Lana watches in a denim dress as Lashley tags out to MVP.
MVP runs at Erik but Erik tackles him and rains down rights! Ford & Dawkins are fired up for Erik as he RAMS MVP into an open corner! Erik drags MVP up, throws knees over and over, then tags in Ivar. Ivar RAMS into MVP now, then drags MVP into an armlock. Ivar leans on the arm but MVP fights his way up. Ivar knees low, tags Erik, then scoops MVP for a slam. Erik scoops Ivar, to slam onto MVP! MVP scrambles to tag in Lashley, but Erik throws forearms! Erik runs but into the ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPINE BUSTER! McIntyre is moderately impressed as Lashley covers, TWO! Lashley punches Erik down then looms over him. Lashley puts Erik in the corner and stomps away. He glares at McIntyre and McIntyre waves as MVP tags in.
MVP throws hands on Erik, then rams in knees. MVP snapmares Erik for a Penalty Kick! And then a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! MVP tries again, TWO! MVP tries a third, TWO! Erik refuses to go down and MVP grows frustrated. MVP clamps on a chinbar and armlock but the Profits coach Erik up. Erik fights to his feet, the crowd rallies up, but MVP gets Erik to the corner. Tag to Lashley and Lashley throws hammering hands. Lashley digs his boot into Erik at the ropes but lets up at 4. Erik sputters but Lashley brings him up to tag MVP back in. They work together on Erik for a double suplex! Cover, TWO! MVP drags Erik over fast and tags in Lashley. Lashley mugs Erik then brings him out. Erik breaks free to ROCK Lashley!
Hot tags to Ivar and MVP! Ivar rallies, hits a sidewalk slam, and a BASEMENT SPLASH! The fans rally with Ivar as he whips MVP. MVP reverses and throws hands, then tags in Lashley. Ivar seated sentons MVP, then cartwheels and BOOTS Lashley out of the ring! The Profits are thunderous but Lashley drags Ivar out to bounce him off commentary! Lashley gets in the Profits’ face and MVP backs him up. The trash talk heats up, but Ivar DIVES! MVP and Lashley go crashing down and things fire up even more as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and McIntyre watches as Erik grinds Lashley’s arm. Erik throws knees to keep Lashley down, but Lashley fights back up. Erik rocks Lashley with forearms and tags in Ivar. The Vikings mug Lashley and then Ivar wrenches the arm. Lashley endures and then LARIATS free! Lashley tags MVP in, then runs corner to corner to RAM Ivar! MVP runs corner to corner to BOOT Ivar down! Cover, TWO! MVP keeps on Ivar with a chinlock and another cover, TWO! The chinlock stays on and Lana keeps watching. Charly asks Lana if it bothers her that her husband, Lashley, asked she stay backstage during his matches. Of course it does, because MVP is a leech attaching himself to “My Bobby.” But she is respecting her husband’s wishes because “we are about to become champion.”
And to be honest, it has been a wake-up call to her. Ever since being asked to stay backstage, she has been realizing that she has “selflessly neglected” her own in-ring career for the sake of her marriage. If she’s always focusing on her Bobby, how can she possibly focus on herself and make 2020 the Year of Lana? Is this a sign that the Ravishing Russian is going to get back to wrestling?
In the match, Ivar fights his way up but MVP clubs him down. MVP drags Ivar up to tag in Lashley. Lashley mugs Ivar then brings him up for a neckbreaker! Lashley clamps on the chinlock now and taunts McIntyre with it. The crowd rallies, Ivar fights his way up and throws body shots. He haymakers then runs, but into a spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO! Lashley keeps on Ivar with stomps and a whip. Ivar hits buckles hard and Lashley tags in MVP. MVP brings Ivar around to throw forearms on his back. The ref backs MVP up and Ivar ROCKS him! Ivar back hands and haymakers but MVP gives them back. MVP brings Ivar up and whips, but Ivar rolls off his back!? And tags in Erik! Erik rallies on MVP with big forearms! He blocks a punch, gives kicks and knees, then ROCKS Lashley for good measure!
Erik whips MVP but MVP reverses. Erik goes up and over, rolls back and picks MVP up for an EXPLODER! The Profits roar with the Vikings as Ivar tags in! Ivar drags MVP up to throw into buckles. Tag back to Erik and Ivar corner clotheslines! Feed to the shotgun knees! And then human weapon, Ivar hip attack! Erik drags MVP to a cover, but Lashley breaks it! Ivar throws hands on Lashley and throws him out. Lashley bumps into McIntyre and McIntyre stares him down. Lashley runs to SPEAR Ivar!! Lashley stares McIntyre down and tags in from MVP. MVP gets Ace Ten Mao! But Lashley grabs Erik in the FULL NELSON!! Lashley thrashes Erik, Erik taps! Lashley and MVP win!
Winners: MVP & Bobby Lashley, by submission
McIntyre is no longer in a good mood, and now Lashley dares him to do something. MVP talks smack to Ivar but Ivar rocks him! Lashley grabs Ivar in the full nelson! The Profits run in to try and stop Lashley, but the CLAYMORE does it! McIntyre sends Lashley reeling, and holds up the title! Lashley glares back at McIntyre, and McIntyre tells Lashley to bring his absolute best at Backlash! “This is gonna be a damn war!” But who wins that war to reign supreme?
Asuka VS Charlotte Flair!
What was meant to open the show will now close it out! Lucky chapter 7 could very well be the Empress of Tomorrow finally getting one over on The Queen 1v1! Will it happen?!
The bell rings and… Sasha and Bayley have to show up again. The Boss and The Role Model just can’t leave Charlotte or Asuka alone as they’re going to commentary to watch this up close and personal. But Charlotte DECKS Asuka to take out her frustration! Asuka gets to the apron while Charlotte talks trash on the tag champs. Charlotte then storms over to Asuka but Asuka throws forearms! Charlotte shoulders out but into a kick! Asuka ax kicks then gets in to get a facelock. Charlotte powers Asuka to a corner and rams her over and over! Charlotte backs off but Asuka mule kicks! Asuka runs to dropkick but misses! Charlotte goes to boot but Asuka grabs it for an ANKLE LOCK! Then a trapped leg waistlock, but Charlotte elbows out! Charlotte BOOTS Asuka down and dusts herself off. The crowd boos but she boos them.
Charlotte drags Asuka out of the ring and throws them over commentary! Bayley and Sasha avoid getting bowled over but Charlotte has just put them on notice. But either way, Asuka is down and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Charlotte DECKS Asuka on the outside! Charlotte bumps Asuka off the apron, then mockingly asks Bayley and Sasha if they’d like some popcorn. They sarcastically respond back they’d love some, but Charlotte brings Asuka up. Asuka ROUNDHOUSES Charlotte down then gets back in the ring. Bayley asks Charlotte if she wants some ice for that. Charlotte gets up on the apron and BOOTS Asuka, but Asuka grabs it again! Charlotte kicks Asuka way but Asuka runs, ducks and hip attacks, into a waistlock! Asuka fights free and switches, to hook Charlotte for the IRON OCTOPUS! Charlotte endures, Asuka shifts around to sunset flip, but Charlotte slips out to basement dropkick Asuka down! It was more like a boot! Cover, TWO!
The IIconics are spotted in the crowd and the tag champs claim they’ve become stalkers. The IIconics don’t care about Bayley or Sasha, they’re watching the match. Charlotte sits Asuka up just to bounce her off the mat. And again! Charlotte pulls on the arms for an inverted Danielson Stomp! Asuka endures as Charlotte pulls back on the arms and digs in her knee. Charlotte pulls back as far as she can while the tag champs brag about themselves. Charlotte grabs hair but the ref counts. She lets up at 4 to then CLUB Asuka down. The crowd rallies for Asuka and boos Charlotte, but Charlotte soaks up the heat. Charlotte puts Asuka on the apron to KNEE her between the ropes over and over. Asuka flops down to the floor, Charlotte runs, but Asuka dodges the baseball slide to get in. Asuka grabs the boot to DRAGON SCREW!
Bayley and Sasha applaud as Charlotte hobbles around the corner. Asuka hurries to come around, to HIP ATTACK her into barriers! The crowd is loving this as Asuka throws Charlotte, only for Charlotte to throw Asuka into barriers. Charlotte CLOBBERS Asuka up against the barriers! The ring count is at 7 but Charlotte puts Asuka in fast. Charlotte takes her time returning, and brings down a knee pad, to drop a knee on Asuka’s head! And again! Charlotte wraps Asuka up in a chinlock and thrashes her around. Asuka endures but the crowd rallies up. Asuka fights up, bumps free, but Charlotte knees her back down. Charlotte drags Asuka up, but Asuka blocks the suplex. Asuka cradles, TWO! Charlotte LARIATS Asuka down, covers, TWO!
Charlotte grins but is also frustrated with Asuka. She drags Asuka up and around to throw her out of the ring. “This is your Raw Women’s Champion?” But Charlotte has been in the main event two nights in a row! The ring count climbs but Asuka revives at 4. Asuka gets up but Charlotte baseball slides her down! Charlotte talks trash as she throws forearms on Asuka. Asuka throws them back and they brawl right against the ring! Asuka kicks away on the leg, but Charlotte gets back in the ring. Asuka fires up as she follows, climbs up top, but Charlotte BOOTS her down to the ground!! But wait, the IIconics are attacking Bayley and Sasha at commentary! How did they get around without being seen!?
Billie bounces Bayley off the desk while Peyton tosses Sasha into barriers! The ref tells them to leave but the IIconics are still after Bayley. They give her the INVERTED MAGIC KILLER to the desk!! Bayley just had her #FallFromGrace as Raw goes on break!
Raw returns once again, and Charlotte brawls with Asuka in the ring. Charlotte CHOPS away on Asuka, but Asuka ducks one, only to get another CHOP anyway! Asuka gets to the corner and throws forearms and boots! Asuka hits a basement hip attack! Cover, ONE!? Asuka keeps on Charlotte with kicks! Asuka runs again, but Charlotte ducks to roll her up! TWO, into the ARMBAR! Asuka pulls on the arms but Charlotte grips her fingers. Charlotte gets inside the leg guard to throw forearm after forearm! The crowd rallies for Asuka but Charlotte drags Asuka up. Charlotte scoops but Asuka slips out to shove. Asuka ducks and runs to hip attack, into another waistlock! BACK SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Asuka survives but Charlotte keeps her focus.
Charlotte toys with Asuka and drags her up to the ropes. She bends Asuka back and dares the crowd to cheer now. The ref counts and Charlotte lets go at 4 to let Asuka flop down. Charlotte drags Asuka back up and snapmares into a thrashing chinlock. Asuka endures but Charlotte traps a leg and grabs an arm. The crowd rallies, Asuka fights her way up and hip bumps. She arm-drags but Charlotte holds on to chinlock! Asuka tries again, but Charlotte back slides. Asuka slips out but Charlotte KNEES Her down! Cocky cover, and with some ropes, TWO! Charlotte stomps Asuka’s hand! And then the legs! Asuka punches back but Charlotte clubs her down. Charlotte KICKS Asuka while she’s down, too. Asuka sits up, Charlotte drags her up, and whips Asuka, only for Asuka to reverse and fire off forearms!
Asuka and Charlotte brawl and Charlotte ROCKS Asuka! Charlotte looms over Asuka but Asuka grits her teeth. Charlotte whips, Asuka goes up and missile dropkicks back! Asuka and Charlotte crawl to opposite ends, and Charlotte runs. The boot misses, and Asuka hits a GERMAN SUPLEX! Asuka runs corner to corner, HIP ATTACK! Charlotte is down and Asuka kicks away at the ropes! Asuka runs, to hip attack Charlotte out! The ring count begins again but Asuka won’t wait. She fetches Charlotte, only for Charlotte to RAM her into the apron! Charlotte puts Asuka in but Asuka is up fast to apron PENALTY KICK! Charlotte checks her face but Asuka drags her up and onto the apron. Asuka goes to suplex but Charlotte blocks! Charlotte pulls hair and pushes Asuka away to BOOT her down!
The crowd boos as Charlotte pushes Asuka down. Charlotte drags Asuka up and around towards barriers. Charlotte climbs the barriers to MOONSAULT! Direct hit and the Queen fires up again! Charlotte puts Asuka in the ring, “This is Awesome!” but far from over! Charlotte grabs the legs, drags Asuka over to the post, and SLAMS the leg into the post! And again! The ref reprimands and starts a ring count, but Charlotte grabs the legs again. Asuka pulls Charlotte into the post! Charlotte clutches her shoulder but Asuka drags her up from the apron. Charlotte throws another forearm, but Asuka comes back. The hip attack misses, the BOOT doesn’t! Cover, TWO!! Asuka still lives and Charlotte is growing frustrated.
Charlotte grabs Asuka’s legs, but Asuka kicks the Figure Four away! But Charlotte returns to SPEAR, but into a knee!! Cover, TWO!! Asuka almost had Charlotte there, but now she grabs onto an arm. Charlotte gets up, Asuka drops back for the Asuka Lock, but Charlotte rolls back to make it a cover!! TWO, and Asuka still has the chicken wing. She uses it for a GROUND OCTOPUS! Charlotte reaches with her legs but Asuka holds onto the arms! Charlotte pops free, has the leg, but Asuka kicks her again. Asuka staggers up, into a SPEAR!! It hits this time and Charlotte covers, TWO!?! Charlotte can’t believe she hasn’t put Asuka away yet! The crowd rallies up as the brawling begins again!
They go back and forth, fast and furious, and Asuka grabs an arm for a takedown! Charlotte rolls through but Asuka still wants her head! Charlotte backs Asuka into buckles and breaks free. But she turns around into a ROUNDHOUSE! But Nia Jax suddenly appears?! She swipes at Asuka but Asuka throws fast hands! Asuka runs and hip attacks Nia down! But Charlotte BOOTS her down!! Cover, Charlotte wins?!?
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by pinfall
Asuka almost got out of that, but the Queen needs to give the assist to the Irresistible Force. And speaking of, Nia picks the bones with the A-NIA-Lator! Nia may be standing tall, but she needs to give the assist to Charlotte. Will Asuka be able to rise up and enact her revenge?
This was a surprisingly good go-home towards Backlash. For one, everything with the Women’s Division being connected was brilliantly done. The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions showing up by surprise worked because those titles need to bring them to all the shows. After Backlash, I hope Bayley & Banks still have those titles so that they can finally bring them to NXT like they promised almost two years ago. If SummerSlam doesn’t have a Triple Threat featuring all three brands, I’m going to be disappointed. The Triple Threat we got tonight was really good, and it ended without really affecting the math on the tag title match for Backlash. The brawling of the IIconics, Bayley and Banks during the main event was great as that helped build things, but SmackDown will have the final say since Bliss-Cross can get involved.
For Asuka and Charlotte, I was really surprised to see we got another match between them already, but it was incredible. Charlotte definitely puts in the work, giving us a truly TakeOver worthy match with Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai last night, and then a match on a similar level here tonight. Naturally, Nia got involved to mess with Asuka, and Charlotte gets a second tainted win on Asuka in two weeks. This alone should mean Asuka should just go off on Nia. Asuka either destroys Nia (as punishment for real issues like hurting Kairi Sane) or goes so hard she gets disqualified and keeps the title out of Champion’s Advantage. But Charlotte getting a pinfall win tonight, this has to bring her and Asuka back around for Chapter 8, for that title, at either Extreme Rules or SummerSlam. Then and only then are we getting Asuka definitively defeating Charlotte to finally get her back for WrestleMania 34. If only there could be fans by then…
There was also great stuff with Seth Rollins and his growing story with Mysterio, Aleister and Humberto. I’m hoping for a Six Man Tag of Rollins and his disciples against Mysterio and his allies, but also for Dominik to make his in-ring debut trying to get revenge for Rollins. I don’t really want the theory of Dominik joining Rollins to happen, unless it were as a way to spare his father from further destruction. We also got great stuff out of the United States Championship scene with a great Triple Threat. I liked the dysfunctional developments in Vega’s trio but I have a feeling she’ll get them to cooperate when it comes to Apollo VS Almas at Backlash. I feel like Apollo will narrowly retain because Garza might mess up helping Almas out, and there might be a full meltdown from Vega after that.
Christian, Edge and Orton had good promos for “The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever,” and they’re still going so hard on that phrase, how can it not turn into a swerve? The Anything You Can Do Decathlon was great stuff, but I’m both surprised and not surprised it resulted in a draw. The way this story ends is with a Raw Tag Team Championship match and nothing less. But of course, with MVP and Lashley getting involved with them, I wouldn’t be surprised if things turned into a Triple Threat Tag at some point. And of course, MVP and Lashley had great stuff with McIntyre. Lashley and MVP win so that Lashley goes into his match with McIntyre strong, though he also gets Claymore’d out of the ring. I’m still leaning towards McIntyre retaining, but he’ll have as tough a time with Lashley as he did with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Backlash might actually turn out to be a great event this year, despite its past as the afterthought PPV.
My Score: 8.9/10
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.119 ~ 24TH JANUARY 2021
A former King of Pancrase and Triple Crown champion steps up to challenge for the GHC National title at Budokan! NOAH shaping up for their biggest event in a decade!
A former King of Pancrase and Triple Crown champion steps up to challenge for the GHC National title at Budokan! NOAH shaping up for their biggest event in a decade!
Hajime Ohara tests positive for COVID-19
It was announced on the 22nd January that Hajime Ohara had tested positive for Covid after a routine PCR test. The Osaka card was changed with YO-HEY filling in for him. Ohara has not shown any symptoms of fever, cough or loss of taste so far, and temperature taken on the morning of the 24th January was normal. Ohara is isolating at home, and true to form is studying (he was taking an online English class), and and eating nutritiously. He is determined to be back to NOAH for The Budokan.
In Osaka, the roster paid tribute to him, with YO-HEY making the Muy Bien sign, and Naomichi Marufuji finishing his promo (tantrum) with “Muy Bien”.
Kenoh from Murakami to Masakatsu
In a match that lasted only nine minutes and forty seconds, which was really for how long it needed to last, Kenoh defeated Kazunari Masakatsu for the GHC National title in Osaka on the 23rd January 2021. The match started off somewhat MMA style, and went to mat wrestling. Kenoh got his own back on Murakami for felling him with a closed fist, by doing the same, but this seemed to only make Murakami mad and he unleashed a volley of kicks and punches on Kenoh. After a brief loss of temper, Kenoh came to his senses and realized that he was going to have to take Murakami down, and he did it by using the sleeper hold, which caused the referee to stop the match.
Almost immediately after the match had finished, Masakatsu Funaki made his challenge. He simply pointed at the belt and asked Kenoh to be his next challenger. Kenoh accepted the challenge, and set it for the Nippon Budokan (12th February 2021), but backstage rather than scream abuse about his opponent, he actually said that he was it was exciting and he was looking forward to it. Murakami he said he had also enjoyed the match with, although he admitted to being scared by him.
Masakatsu Funaki seemed to have a few different reasons for challenging; he had the image of being a champion alongside Mutoh, Kenoh was not something he had experienced before, and he felt that the time was now to do it. He was also complimentary about Kenoh, saying that he was “in his thirties and riding high”. Funaki makes the third MMA fighter to have challenged Kenoh.
EVENT RECAPS & POST MATCH PROMOS
Post match interviews: HIGHER GROUND 2021 (January 23rd, Edion Arena Osaka 2nd Stadium)
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
~ Atsushi Kotoge admitted some jealousy of Daisuke Harada.
~ Mohammed Yone did some catering for the roster on the way home from Osaka.
~ Naomichi Marufuji won the chop challenge against Go Shiozaki, then got annoyed at it being pointed out that he beat Shiozaki in the challenge, but wasn’t the one to make the pin and win the match. Pointed out that HE was the senior to them, and would take both their belts, “so I can enter last and show them off”. And then walked off.
~ Takashi Sugiura says he aims to create a new record, and become the GHC Heavyweight Champion at the age of 50, however if Keiji Mutoh defeats Go Shiozaki for it, he will do it when he is 60.
ALL the titles, except the GHC Heavyweight Tag, have been challenged for and the matches will take place at The Budokan. Fans are hoping that Katsuhiko Nakajima and Masa Kitamiya will challenge, especially as they are teaming together against Takashi Sugiura (Kazushi Sakuraba is absent) on NOAH’s last show before The Budokan, on the 31st January.
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Go Shiozaki
Challenger: Keiji Mutoh (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Junior Champion: Daisuke Harada
Challenger: Seiki Yoshioka (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: The Sugiura Army (Takashi Sugiura and Kazushi Sakuraba)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: STINGER (Yoshinari Ogawa & HAYATA)
Challengers: Kotaro Suzuki & Ikuto Hidaka (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
- GHC National Champion: Kenoh
Challenger: Masakatsu Funaki (12th February 2021, Nippon Budokan)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
Sunday 31st January: “HIGHER GROUND 2021” (11.30am JST, Korakuen Hall.)
NOAH’s 23rd January show from Osaka will be available to view on WRESTLEUNIVERSE on Tuesday 26th January. The GHC National title match, and the main event were streamed live through Periscope.
The 31st January event at Korakuen Hall has not had broadcast details announced yet.
GIF taken from Noah’s Periscope
Match graphic taken from the Official NOAH Twitter
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (1/22/21)
And you thought last week was big!
205 Live doubles down on historic matches!
Not only are two 205 Live OG taking on a BRUTAL combination in Thatcher & Ciampa, but the WOMEN’S Dusty Cup comes to the purple ‘n’ orange!
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade; The Way wins and advances.
- Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa; Thatcher & Ciampa win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
205 Live explains how a certain Dusty Cup match came to be.
It was on NXT that Ashante “Thee” Adonis was in a match with the cruel Karrion Kross. Kross showed no mercy to Adonis as he hit him with TWO Doomsday Saido Suplexes and the blindside forearm smash. Then he would show no mercy to Adonis’ tag partner, Desmond Troy, by wrapping him up in the Krossjacket submission! The damage done was too severe for either man to compete tonight, and now they’re OUT of the Dusty Rhodes Classic! However, there is a new team that has been formed.
The Professor of Pain and the Psycho Killer put each other through torture inside the Fight Pit, and in the end, they found respect for each other. They’re now a killer combination and having their tag team debut TONIGHT, in the tag team tournament! Will they put the Premier Athlete and Persian Lion through similar suffering, all for a shot at history and the NXT Tag Team Championships?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: The Way’s Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Gigi Dolin & Cora Jade!
How is this for history? 205 Live has its first-ever women’s match, and it is for this historic women’s tag team tournament! But will it be even more historic for the two debuting superstars? Or will Candice & Indi Wrestling dominate where the boys, Johnny & Austin, failed?
The teams sort out, Indi starts against Jade and the two circle. They tie up, go around, and Indi throws Jade down. Indi says Jade is NOT #Impressive, but Jade hits back with body shots! Indi knees low, whips Jade to a corner but Jade dodges! Jade tags Gigi and Gigi dodges Indi for a BOOT! Jade BOOTS Indi, then Gigi runs in to spin and ROCK Indi with a forearm! Indi hits back, drags Gigi over and tags in Candice. Candice stomps Gigi down, brings her up and through the ropes to choke her. The ref counts, Candice lets off at 4 to then CLUB Gigi down. Candice stomps Gigi, taunts Jade, but misses the leg drop!
Gigi rams Candice to the corner, tags in Jade, and Jade runs corner to corner to SHINING WIZARD! Jade brings Candice around but Indi is in the way of her run. Candice CLOBBERS Jade then covers, ONE! Candice hammers away on Jade, dribbles her off the mat, and fans boo as Candice drags Jade up with a chinlock. Candice has a neck wrench, fans chant “You Still Suck!” but Jade fights her way up. Candice CLUBS Jade, whips her to the Way’s corner, then runs in for a back body block! Indi tags in and she taunts Gigi before hitting Jade with a forearm! Indi throws Jade down to cover, TWO!
Indi keeps on Jade with a cravat for the neck crank. Jade fights up, fans rally and Jade throws body shots. Jade whips, Indi reverses and scoops for a sidewalk slam! Cover, TWO! Indi keeps her cool, tags Candice, and Candice wrenches Jade to snapmare and chinlock. Candice digs her knee in but Jade endures. Fans rally, Jade fights up, throws more body shots, then breaks free to uppercut! Jade runs but wobbles, but she elbows Candice again! Jade baits Candice into her own corner, dodges, but Candice gets Jade’s leg! Jade kicks Candice away, hot tags to Indi and Gigi! Gigi didges, fires off on Indi, KICKS away on the leg, then kicks that leg out! BUZZSAW!
Gigi DECKS Candice for good measure before she BOOTS Indi down! Cover, TWO! Gigi snarls as she drags Indi up and clubs her on the back. Tag to Jade, they bring Indi around together to double suplex but Indi fights it off! Indi BOOTS Jade, kicks Gigi and reels Gigi in for a suplex of her own! Indi holds Gigi up for a count of 10 before the SLAM! Gigi bails out so Indi tags Candice. Candice runs into Jade’s roll up, TWO! Jade Oklahoma Rolls, TWO! Ghost pin, TWO!! Candice flounders up but gets around Jade to roll her up, TWO!! Indi tags in and kicks Jade to then back suplex SLAM! Cover, The Way wins!
Winners: The Way, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Candice and Indi are making their way into the semifinals! But will Kacy Catanzaro & Kayden Carter be in the way of The Way making history?
Men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic Opening Round: Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari VS Timothy Thatcher & Tommaso Ciampa!
The Premier Athlete and Persian Lion have been here since day one of 205 Live, and were looking strong going into this match when it was against Adonis & Troy. But again, it has only been a couple days since NXT, are the Professor of Pain and Psycho Killer in any shape to face them on their home turf?
The teams sort out and Nese and Daivari seem to laugh at the two former enemies trying to be a team now. Daivari starts with Thatcher, they tie up and Daivari goes after an arm. Thatcher pries him off of that with a chinlock and then grinds into a headlock. Thatcher throws Daivari down, pulls on his head, but Daivari tries to pull hair. Thatcher just smiles that jagged tooth grin as he gets back up and goes after Daivari’s arm! Thatcher wrangles Daivari with a hammerlock, traps it with his legs then gets Daivari’s legs. Thatcher pulls Daivari into a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Daivari endures, it becomes a cover, TWO!
Thatcher grabs at Daivari right away and has a facelock. Daivari endures, gets around, waistlocks, but Thatcher pries at the arm. Daivari tags Nese in, Nese rolls Thatcher up, TWO! Thatcher trips Nese and has the foot for a toe ‘n’ ankle. He shifts to a heel hook, then gets the arm but Nese scrambles around. Ciampa wants in, so Thatcher tags him in! Fans cheer as Ciampa wrenches Nese’s arm and drags him down. Nese resists the Fujiwara but Ciampa wrenches through again to a wristlock. Nese chinbars to get the arm, but Ciampa slips through to headlock. Nese throws Ciampa off but Ciampa headlocks and throws Nese down! Fans cheer as Ciampa grinds Nese into the mat.
Nese fights up, gets free to waistlock but Ciampa switches. Nese bucks Ciampa off, runs in and trips Ciampa up to go after the leg! Ciampa kicks Nese away, facelocks Nese in return and grinds him down. Fans rally, Nese moves around, and Nese powers Ciampa to the corner. Nese puts the leg on the rope, tags in Daivari, but Ciampa fights out with forearms and elbows! Ciampa DECKS Daivari but Nese trips him up! The ref reprimands but Daivari drags Nese to the corner to SLAM the leg into the post! And then he SLAMS the other leg! Thatcher storms over as Daivari keeps on the legs but the ref shouts at everyone to get back to their corners.
Daivari puts Ciampa in, drops elbows on the leg then stomps it, then drags Ciampa from Thatcher. Daivari drops more elbows, stomps the leg more, then clamps onto the leg to step through, for a Figure Four! Ciampa endures, Thatcher coaches him and the fans rally up! Ciampa drags himself and Daivari over but Nese gets in to hit Thatcher! The ref has to keep Thatcher back but Nese drags Daivari and Ciampa away! Nese tags in to stomp away on Ciampa, and Daivari finally lets Ciampa out of the hold. Fans boo and jeer while Nese flexes. Nese drags Ciampa over, tags in Daivari, and they split the wishbone on Ciampa!
Nese runs at Thatcher but Thatcher DECKS him first! Daivari has Ciampa’s leg but Ciampa enziguris back! Tag to Thatcher! Thatcher clinches Daivari for a BELLY2BELLY! Then a BELLYBELLY for Nese! EuroUppers for both Cruiserweights back and forth! Nese runs back in but Thatcher has the arm! Thatcher clamps on but has to stop Daivari first. HEEL HOOK! Nese pulls Thatcher’s ears and HOTSHOT BULLDOGS! Thatcher is down, Nese tags in, and Nese hurries to PREMIER TRIANGLE MOONSAULT! Tag back to Daivari and Daivari climbs up, LION SPLASH! Cover, but Ciampa breaks it!
Fans fire up as Ciampa returns to his corner. Daivari and Thatcher crawl, Nese tags in first! Thatcher kicks Nese away, and tags Ciampa back in! Ciampa rallies on Nese and Daivari with forearms and CHOPS! Ciampa CHOPS Daivari again but Nese dropkicks the bad leg out! Nese and Daivari both go up, DOUBLE- DECKED! Nese gets a knee, Daivari gets a forearm! Thatcher and Ciampa glare at each other, Ciampa gives Nese WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, Ciampa & Thatcher win!!
Winners: Tommaso Ciampa & Timothy Thatcher, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
These two were tearing each other apart on NXT, but they’re standing together on 205 Live! Will Ciampa and Thatcher tear their way through the tournament to put their names on the Dusty Cup?
A good episode, though with some obvious results. While Gigi Dolin (Priscilla Kelly) and Cora Jade (Elayna Black) are very good wrestlers, they weren’t going to beat The Way, and it says a lot that Indi got the pin for this one. Candice & Indi are among the favorites to win the tournament, and I’m betting on a stellar match between them and KC Squared, Catanzaro & Carter. Gigi & Jade still made a good combination, and their aesthetics match up well, I hope they stick together.
Ciampa & Thatcher becoming a team after their Fight Pit match is a pretty cool way to follow up, and naturally they were going to beat the first team they faced. The OG had good combinations, but Nese and Daivari have been perennial jobbers to the stars even before this. Thatcher & Ciampa take on Undisputed Era next and that is going to be a great match that could go either way. Given the history between Undisputed Era and the current tag team champions, Lorcan & Burch, I give it 51-49, UE wins so that they can get a shot at the champions.
My Score: 8/10
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