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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (8/17/20)

One week until SummerSlam!

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WWE Raw Coverage 3.0

Raw is reeling this close to SummerSlam!

Everyone is in shock that The Viper’s viciousness turned on Ric Flair! Shawn Michaels returns to Raw, will he confront Randy Orton? Will he be the Legend Killer’s next victim?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Apollo Crews VS Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business; Apollo wins and bans The Hurt Business from ringside for SummerSlam.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Hurt Business Bail Out: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas VS Shelton Benjamin w/ Hurt Business; Benjamin wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega VS Ivar w/ Erik; Garza wins.
  • Natalya w/ Lana VS Mickie James; Natalya wins, by count-out.
  • The Golden Role Models VS Asuka & Shayna Baszler; Asuka & Baszler win.
  • Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay; Royce wins.
  • Raw Underground – Erik goes 1-1, Ziggler goes 1-0.
  • Raw Underground – Arturo Ruas VS Riddick Moss; No Contest.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Mid-Match Mayhem: Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business VS Cedric Alexander; Alexander wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Six Man Elimination Tag: The Hurt Business VS Apollo Crews, Ricochet & Mustafa Ali; The Hurt Business wins.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Akira Tozawa; Alexander wins and retains the WWE 24/7 Championship.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Dirty Business: Cedric Alexander VS Shelton Benjamin; Benjamin wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
  • Raw Underground – Marina Shafir wins.
  • Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins VS Andrade Almas w/ Angel Garza; Ford wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

The opening intro is all weird…

Rewinding, stopping, flipping around. Is Retribution taking over now, then and forever?

 

Drew McIntyre heads to the ring!

The WWE World Champion is here and grabs the mic to address what we all saw last week. The Celtic Colossus was first on the scene after Randy Orton PUNTED Ric Flair in the head, and will be facing that very Viper this Sunday at SummerSlam. McIntyre says what Orton did last week “was completely unforgivable. Randy Orton brutalized Ric Flair.” Not just the legend, the 16-time world champ, two-time hall of fame inductee and icon for generation after generation. But a 71-year-old man. Ric is someone Orton grew up around for 20 years as a mentor, protector and friend. Last week, with a tear in Ric’s eye, he told Orton that Orton should be the one to break the record because of how much Ric loved him. And what did Orton do? “You kicked him in his damn skull!”

But here’s the thing. SummerSlam isn’t Orton and a defenseless old man. Orton is facing “a pissed off, 6’5″ Scottish fire-breathing dragon” that wants to hurt him! Not just for McIntyre, but for everyone Orton’s ever wronged, and especially Flair! Camera cuts are a bit weird and graphics are showing up randomly as McIntyre tries to take us down memory lane. Orton VS Foley, all the weapons! Yes, Orton took the torch from Foley that night. And we’re getting a replay of Dominik Mysterio taking those kendo stick strikes in a picture in picture. McIntyre tells Orton that SummerSlam will be a beating far worse than thumbtacks and weapons. “Screw that! Drew McIntyre IS a damn weapon!”

McIntyre wishes SummerSlam was now, and he knows Orton is hiding somewhere in the building. The graphics are going by so fast it’s a bit nauseating. A cameraman barges into the production truck to find Retribution members forcing the tech crew to do these things! Then they break the computers now that they’ve been found! McIntyre keeps talking about what he wants to do to Orton while Raw goes to break! Is this the end or just the beginning of the chaos for tonight?

 

Raw returns to the locker room assembled.

Much like the superstars last Friday Night SmackDown, Titus O’Neil, Mustafa Ali, Cedric Alexander, Ricochet, Humberto Carrillo, The Viking Raiders and even Riddick Moss all want answers. This was no hacker, and it wasn’t Akira Tozawa’s ninja clan. McIntyre comes in and says his stuff with Orton can wait. Is Ric okay? Yes, from what McIntyre’s heard. But Orton won’t be okay. Of course, that’s if we get to Sunday. Retribution keeps causing chaos and trouble, and McIntyre doesn’t appreciate them doing this. So they have tow choices: carry on and see what happens; or band together and stomp this out! But Seth Rollins come sin, laughing and applauding.

Rollins appreciates what McIntyre is doing. Yes, Retribution is a problem. But Monday night already has its Messiah, so there’s already a locker room leader. Okay, Rollins. You’ve been doing this song and dance for about five years now. If the boys didn’t respect you then, they’re not going to respect you now. Rollins gets it, McIntyre is the champion with a chip on his shoulders and thinks he’s the leader. But being a champion doesn’t make you a leader nor a teacher. Let’s not forget who taught McIntyre about being a champion. It was Rollins. Just like how Rollins taught Dominik what it takes to be a WWE superstar. Ricochet says Rollins is about to get his receipt for that, too. BURN!

Rollins asks if Ricochet has something to say. Just saying, Rey Mysterio going to be here tonight. Literally impossible. We all saw what Rollins did to Rey’s eye. But Alexander speaks up and says it’s still happening. Rollins doesn’t believe them but McIntyre asks if the Messiah is scared. He’s not! Rollins knows how to protect himself and those around him. Meanwhile, McIntyre couldn’t protect Flair from Orton. Get your priorities straight or you’ll end up the EX WWE Champion. Well Rollins could just come out and say it. If he wants McIntyre to drop him right here, McIntyre will gladly oblige! Buddy Murphy steps in and things get tense. McIntyre dares Rollins to step up, but Rollins and Murphy take their leave. Will everything blow up tonight before SummerSlam?

 

The Hurt Business is here!

It takes a moment to get the proper titantron and lights going, but MVP, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin still head down to address business. “While Drew McIntyre is in the back, organizing some sort of buddy system,” they’re here to make a statement. “Retribution, wherever you may be. The Hurt Business is officially open for business.” MVP already knows what this is. While the rest of the WWE roster is “hand wringing” and worrying, the Hurt Business is calling Retribution out! Retribution thinks they’re tough for terrorizing from the shadows? That’s not tough! What is tough is Lashley, Benjamin and even MVP! A cameraman finally returns to ringside to get a better look.

MVP says in his life, he’s learned to follow the money. This is the same. Follow the path. Who benefits most from Retribution? Think about it. If you follow the trail, it leads you to catering, where you find Apollo Crews and “His band of merry pranksters,” Ali, Ricochet and Alexander. In fact, Hurt Business bets that they hatched this up while Apollo was home on the couch after the “Full Lashley” full nelson. TO cut to the chase, we all know Retribution showed up around the time MVP faced Apollo for the United States Championship! That’s not a coincidence! That was a ploy so that Apollo could still MVP’s US Championship belt that he paid thousands of dollars for! But here comes Apollo to respond!

Apollo has that very belt and a mic to say, “I knew that you would be out here making excuses.” But to accuse Apollo for leading Retribution? That’s low. No, what’s low is Apollo and his “masked dudes” pulling these “subversive actions.” No this is just MVP distracting from the match at SummerSlam. MVP can’t beat Apollo without help, just like Benjamin. Let’s real talk. Until Apollo had the title, he’s had more stops and starts than a used car. That made Apollo bitter and that’s why he has a crew of the same people. Apollo doesn’t fear MVP, but losing the title. Because as soon as he does, it’s back to catering.

Yeah, Apollo DOES fear losing. That’s why he FIGHTS. But if he was anything like MVP, he would’ve joined up with the Hurt Business months ago. Well if he was like MVP, he’d be smart and he’d understand this business! If he wants to talk business, then let’s talk business! If Apollo beats Benjamin, then both Benjamin and Lashley will be in catering banned from ringside, and MVP will have to go 1v1. MVP says Apollo is a child, and there will be no excuses when MVP puts Apollo over his knee. MVP sicks the Hurt Business after Apollo but Apollo ROCKS Benjamin and gets in the ring! Will Apollo even the odds for Sunday?

 

Apollo Crews VS Shelton Benjamin w/ The Hurt Business!

Raw returns with the match already in progress. Apollo clubs away on Benjamin then whips, but Benjamin reverses. Benjamin waistlocks but Apollo counters to a victory roll, TWO! Benjamin CLOBBERS Apollo! MVP tells Benjamin add on and he stomps away on Apollo. Benjamin puts Apollo in a corner, stomps away then clubs away. The ref backs Benjamin off, but Benjamin whips Apollo corner to corner hard! Cover, TWO! The crowd rallies up for Apollo but Benjamin waits. Apollo denies Pay Dirt then hits a SPINE BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Apollo keeps his focus as Benjamin gets to a corner. Apollo waistlocks and brings Benjamin out, but Benjamin counters the Crews Missile to a DDT! Cover, TWO!!

MVP shouts for Benjamin to keep going, and Benjamin drags Apollo back up. Benjamin reels Apollo in, but is that R-Truth!? He’s running away because of Akira Tozawa and the ninjas giving chase! Benjamin has to shove the ninjas out of the way, Apollo trips him up to jackknife cover! Apollo wins!!

Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall; Hurt Business banned from ringside for the WWE United States Championship match

But Lashley and MVP go after Apollo! No more concern for Apollo’s health this week, they’re just angry! They beat Apollo up but here come those friends! Ricochet, Ali and Alexander fight the Hurt Business back! Lashley puts Alexander on the apron but gets an enziguri! Springboard, but into the #FullLashley! But Ricochet and Ali save Alexander with a sleeper hold, SUPERKICK and BOOT! Apollo and friends dump Lashley out! The Hurt Business suffers another loss, will this finally be settled come SummerSLam?

Truth returns but Benjamin BOOTS him down! Cover, Benjamin wins the 24/7 Championship!!

Winner: Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

MVP says “We are NOT going out like that! Not tonight!” They will not be disrespected by Truth the clown, a bunch of ninjas, and Apollo’s crew. How about Apollo choose two of those idiots and face MVP’s guys in a Six Man ELIMINATION Match?! Challenge accepted! Who steps up to hurt the Hurt Business all over again?

 

Angel Garza reunites with Demi Burnett.

Did she enjoy his match last week? Of course! Well here’s a rose. Thanks! But Ivar returns to charm her again. He really enjoyed their conversation last week about his hoop dreams. Damian Lillard has Dam Time, but now it’s Ivar Time. Would Demi like to be his guest at Raw Underground tonight? He presents her with turkey. Thank you, Ivar! She’d love to! Anything for such a beautiful lady. Oh and, Garza didn’t poison it this time. Did Garza poison Montez Ford? No! No one did! This is just Ford’s excuse so he won’t have to defend the Raw Tag Team titles! Garza says Ivar won’t be pretending in their match up next. And then he throws the turkey down! But Ivar calls it back like Mjolnir! Garza better put some respect on that name! Everything is fair in love and warbeards, but who survives to take Demi on a date?

 

WWE has a huge announcement!

With everything going on in the Performance Center, the venue for Raw and SmackDown is about to change! WWE turns the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida into the THUNDERDOME! SummerSlam weekend will be bigger than ever as far as a state-of-the-art “virtual fan” experience! Try it out for yourself starting this Friday Night SmackDown!

 

Angel Garza w/ Zelina Vega VS Ivar w/ Erik!

We return to the ring with everyone already here. Who will win the heart of Demi in the shadow of the biggest party of the summer?

The bell rings and Garza runs in, only for Ivar to side step him! Ivar waistlocks but Garza elbows free. Garza headlocks, Ivar powers out and fireman’s carries but Garza slips out. Garza waistlocks but Ivar bucks him off. Things speed up, Ivar cartwheels but Garza catches the heel kick to KNEE Ivar! Garza throws Ivar down by his beard! Off come the pants! Demi watches as Garza wraps Ivar up in a half nelson. Wait, Angelo Dawkins is saying hi to Demi! Garza turns the armlock into a part crossface, but Ivar endures. The crowd rallies, Ivar fights up but Garza throws knees and forearms. Garza whips, Ivar reverses and EXPLODERS Garza away!

The crowd fires up more as Ivar runs Garza over with a shoulder! Ivar waits for Garza to stand before he scoops and sidewalk slams! Then the BASEMENT SPLASH! Ivar fires up as Garza crawls away. Ivar stalks him to a corner, drags him up, and whips him corner to corner. Corner clothesline! Ivar whips the other way, another clothesline! Garza flops but Ivar is ready. Ivar scoops Garza but Garza slips out and shoves. Garza runs into the SEATED SENTON! Cover, TWO!! Garza survives and Vega is relieved. Ivar drags Garza up as the crowd rallies again. Ivar hoists Garza up top and climbs up behind him. Garza resists and elbows Ivar back. Garza bumps Ivar off buckles as he goes to the apron. But Ivar clobbers Garza with a clothesline!

Vega checks on Garza but Ivar builds speed! Vega stands in his way so Ivar slams on the brakes. Ivar goes out to get Garza and throw him into the apron! And then the Plexiglas! Ivar puts Garza in at 4 and glares at Almas. Almas stays back but Garza kicks Ivar down! Garza slithers around, and basement dropkicks! Cover, Garza wins!!

Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall

The Lethal Lothario definitely lives up to the first half of his nickname. But Dawkins tells “Fabio” to look at the screen. Demi congratulates Garza on an awesome win. Wait, what is this? Chill, Garza, they were just talking. They were both saying how great the Raw Tag Team championship match is going to be. Demi was asking a lot of questions about Ivar and Garza. Dawkins will back his #VikingProfits brother all day, but the only thing Dawks knows about Garza is that he likes velvet sweats in the summer. Maybe they should ask someone who knows him a little better. Where’s Charly Caruso?

Garza says that’s enough! Mind your business, Dawkins! He’s just playing, fam. But mama always told Dawkins that you can tell a lot about someone from the crew he’s rolling with. And in this case, we really about to find out a lot about those three. What? The titantron changes but Garza hurries to the back!

Vega and Almas ask commentary what this is about. Samoa Joe says Retribution has caused the WWE to start an “intensive security review process,” and it seems they’ve gone over hundreds of hours of security footage. Joe is well-liked, but he was shown something rather interesting. He shared it with Dawkins, and it seems Dawkins now wants to share it with everyone. It’s one of those things that shows how far someone is willing to go, when they think no one is watching. Vega suddenly starts to worry. She and Almas leave, but just what are we about to see?

 

Raw returns as Garza finds Dawkins and Demi.

Dawkins gives Demi his phone but Garza warns her. If you see that number at 2 AM, delete it. Whoa, why does it gotta be like that? Vega hurries in and wants the phone because of the evidence. Back down, fam! Charly appears because of the commotion. She also wants to know what the video is. Dawkins tells production to roll tape! The video is of Vega up to something. She looks around to see the coast is clear of human eyes. If that is what it looks like, she DID spike Ford’s drink!! Vega defends that everyone is clearly blind, because that is not what she did. What did it prove? Maybe it was messed with!

Wait, Charly is behind this! What?! It’s because Charly is upset Garza “upgraded” to Demi! That’s what’s going on here! Dawkins shouts that Vega poisoned Ford! He told them once and will say it again. Dawkins says “Fam” a lot but Ford is family. Dawkins has been holding back, but it’s time to give them what’s owed. Ford wants that smoke! Ford is back as he and Dawkins brawl with Almas and Garza!! Garza and Almas run for it, but there is no running from this on Sunday! Will the Street Profits still have the gold after getting their payback?

 

Natalya w/ Lana VS Mickie James!

The Queen of Harts has her Ravishing Russian buddy ringside as she and the former six-time women’s champion both return to action. Will Mickie be able to make this comeback a big one?

The bell rings, Mickie rushes Lana as she hollers at her! Natty attacks from behind, stomps away in the corner, and Lana takes pictures for social media… Natty pulls Mickie against ropes, the ref reprimands and Natty lets off. Natty whips, Mickie reverses to back kick, front kick and run! Mickie dodges to Thesz Press! Mickie rains down rights as the crowd fires up! Mickie drags Natty up but Natty knees low and hard! Natty clubs Mickie down, looms over her then brings her up for a headlock. Mickie throws Natty off and headlocks back! Natty powers out, Mickie runs her over! Lana coaches Natty but Mickie tells her to shut it.

Mickie waits for Natty to stand, then she kicks low and reels her in! Natty powers out and spins, but a DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE take them both down! The crowd fires up, loving the action between these two veterans! But wait, why is Seth Rollins coming out here? He and Murphy are after Samoa Joe and Tom Phillips! They want to know how Joe knows about Mysterio. Joe bets he does. Rollins wants to know Joe’s sources but Joe won’t tell. In the ring, Natty whips Mickie to a corner but Mickie comes back with a huricanrana! Mickie spins Natty around for a neckbreaker! Mickie kips up and Lana panics!

Mickie goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lana gets on the apron! This slows Mickie down and Natty BLASTS her to the floor! Natty and Lana want the ring count while Rollins says Joe’s source is #FakeNews. The ring count rises above 5 on Mickie but she stirs at 7! She’s up at 9 but gets counted out! Natty wins!!

Winner: Natalya, by count-out

Natty celebrates and Lana mocks Mickie while Joe and Rollins finish their argument over sources. Lana gets this on film for TikTok and the ‘Gram, but the MICK KICK kicks the phone down!

Rollins keeps ranting at Joe, and says this: “If Rey and Dominik have the audacity to spit in my face and show up on MY show here tonight, it will be the last mistake either of them make, and neither of them will be making it to SummerSlam!” Rollins has issued his warning, but Joe doesn’t sweat it. Will the Mysterios only use this as motivation towards SummerSlam?

 

The Golden Role Models VS Asuka & Shayna Baszler!

Bayley and Sasha Banks will have to be very careful! Though the fact they both will face the Empress of Tomorrow at SummerSlam sounds like an advantage, tonight could jeopardize their momentum.

Before the match, the Role Models get the mics. “When you are the hardest working superstars in the WWE and have ll the gold, that’s enough to break anybody.” Being part of all three brands!? Give them a break! And now they both face Asuka!? They’ve had a few days, and… THEY CANT’T WAIT! They will get the night off! Asuka thinks she’s so smart getting into that Triple Brand Battle Royal. But the Empress of Tomorrow is more like the Empress of STUPID! She’s so dumb to think she has a chance in hell to win that double header!

But the real question is, who should defeat Asuka first? Sasha and Bayley think the other should, out of friendship. Bayley accepts that first match, so that she can do the heavy lifting and let Sasha win without even breaking a sweat! Bayley’s so sweet. Then they can finally CELEBRATE~! Because life is good and no one can stop the two of them. They’ll celebrate through Payback, too, as they successfully defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships! The only question is: Who are going to be the losers? Bliss-Cross? The IIconics? Heck, event he Riott Squad. Better yet, Asuka and Kai- Oh… Kairi Sane is gone!!

Shayna shows up to say something herself. “No matter what happens at SummerSlam, whoever it is that has that Raw Women’s title… I got next.” Asuka shows up to say the Empress is here! And SummerSlam, her two title matches, she already tells Bayley that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for her to keep hers! And as for tonight, Asuka takes them both on, with Shayna on her side. They have to fight together, before they can fight each other. Shayna likes the sound of that, and it’s go time! Bayley and Banks bail out to keep things under control. Will Shayna and Asuka even leave anything of them to make it to Sunday?

The teams sort out and Bayley starts against Asuka. They circle, the crowd rallies, and Bayley gets Asuka to the corner! Tag to Sasha and the Role Models mug Asuka. Asuka kicks back, Sasha stomps her, then tags Bayley back in. They mug Asuka more and Bayley wraps Asuka up into a chinlock. Bayley bumps Asuka off buckles, tags Sasha back in, and Sasha toys with Asuka. Asuka kicks but Sasha blocks to KNEE her back! Sasha sucker punches Shayna, but almost gets the pop-up knee! Asuka turns things around for a CODE BREAKER! Both women are down, Shayna gets up but someone knocks the Plexiglas over onto her!! It’s NIA!! Nia Jax is violating suspension to get after Shayna!! Nia stomps Shayna under the board!

Security rushes out and tells Nia to leave! Pat Buck is out in front to tell Nia to leave but Shayna goes after Nia! They brawl into the timekeeper’s area!! Nia shoves Shayna but Shayna comes back. Asuka reverses Sasha’s whip but Bayley keeps Sasha on the apron. So they BOTH get the hip attack! The Empress is all fired up, even if she is alone, and Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Bayley grinds Asuka down in a chinlock. The crowd rallies up but Bayley knocks Asuka down and stomps her to ropes. Bayley stomps more but Asuka kicks back! Asuka goes after the leg but Bayley stomps her back down. Bayley bumps Asuka off buckles, tags Sasha, and they double suplex Asuka up and over! Cover, TWO! Sasha toys with Asuka and Bayley mocks Asuka that she has no Kairi, no Shayna and no chance! Sasha drags Asuka up and clubs her down, but Asuka hits back again. Sasha whips, Asuka holds ropes and elbows back! Asuka kicks and sunset flips! Sasha slips out, basement meteora! Cover, TWO!

Sasha grows frustrated but she drags Asuka up. Sasha bumps her off buckles, tags Bayley and they mug Asuka again. Bayley covers, TWO! Bayley drags Asuka into a chinlock and digs a knee in. Asuka endures as the crowd continues to rally. Bayley thrashes Asuka around, digs her knee in harder, but pulls on hair. The ref counts, Bayley stops at 4, and continues to mock Asuka not having a partner. But Asuka fights back! Bayley clobbers her down, drags her around and tags Sasha back in. The Role Models drag Asuka up to crisscross and whip her into the corner. Sasha snapmares, covers, TWO! Asuka growls but Bayley tags back in. The Role Models double whip, double wrench and double back suplex! Cover, TWO!

Bayley and Sasha are growing frustrated but Bayley goes to a corner. Bayley climbs up top, leaps, but lands on BOOTS! GHOST PIN! TWO!! Bayley gets up, drags Asuka up, and Sasha tags in. Asuka BACK HANDS Bayley! Sasha spins Asuka for a BACKSTABBER! BANK STATEMENT!! Asuka is in the crossface but Shayna returns?! Shayna KICKS Sasha off the hold! Asuka and Sasha crawl, but Sasha keeps Asuka away. Asuka boots Sasha, hot tag to Shayna! The Queen of Spades rallies on The Boss! Corner KNEE! Sliding KNEE at the ropes! Shayna drags Sasha around, stands on her hand, but Sasha avoids the stomp to roll Shayna up! TWO and Bayley tags in! Shayna gets Sasha but Bayley gets Shayna! Shayna just grabs Bayley, but Sasha hits a BACKSTABBER! BAYLEY2BELLY! Cover, TWO!?

The crowd is thunderous as Shayna survives and the Role Models are furious! Sasha tags back in, she and Bayley double lift Shayna but she knees free! Shayna throws Bayley, throws Sasha out, then rocks Bayley with a body shot to a gut wrench SLAM! And a KNEE!! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Sasha kicks Shayna to save Bayley but Asuka sends Sasha out! Sasha shoulders into a knee! Asuka slides and gets Sasha in an ASUKA LOCK! Sasha is tapping, not that it matters. Shayna counters Bayley’s face plant into the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Bayley taps, Shayna and Asuka win!!

Winners: Asuka & Shayna Baszler, by submission

Both champions tap to hungry challengers! Asuka has to run the gauntlet while Shayna waits on the other side. Will Sasha and Bayley still be golden when this is all over?

 

Apollo talks with Alexander, Ricochet and Ali backstage.

The three of them are ready to face the Hurt Business, and he thanks them all for that back-up. That’s why Apollo accepted the challenge and chosen Mustafa Ali and Ricochet. Wait, what about Alexander? Apollo knows Alexander’s eager but he’s been going hard and should rest. Apollo needs to work off the rust because he was home for so long. Alexander doesn’t want that! He is in a tag team with Ricochet, they should go together. Ricochet assures Alexander it’s fine, they can get him in next time. The four friends head out, will Alexander at least be there for his friends for support?

Uh oh. Randy Orton walks into view now. The Viper seems to be contemplating something. Is he going to strike someone who least expects it?

 

Shawn Michaels finds Drew McIntyre backstage.

HBK checks in on the champ, because he knows what’s going through his head. Ric Flair meant a lot to everyone, including HBK. But McIntyre needs to understand that the anger and frustration will be used against him by Orton. McIntyre needs to focus and understand that he just needs to kick Orton’s head off. McIntyre has worked too hard and went down too rough of a road to lose now. McIntyre appreciates hearing that. Reflecting on his road back, McIntyre knows HBK was a huge part of that. Getting back through NXT, that was great because he got to spend time working with HBK. It wasn’t about the past but the future, and here he is now as world champion. But Orton has run roughshod over legends, and McIntyre feels like he’s let HBK down.

Let him down? McIntyre could never let HBK down. He is a Scottish Stud and there’s nothing stopping him! Yes, it’s tough. There are hills and mountains to climb, that’s what being a champion is. But all of that was tailor made for McIntyre. HBK remembers McIntyre didn’t take time for that torn bicep until he absolutely had to. He drove five hours every day to train, learn, build and grow. That’s the McIntyre HBK knows. The one who beat Brock Lesnar, a man who held the title hostage, and McIntyre set it free. The road McIntyre has traveled proves he has earned where he is. And now he’ll show everyone who he is all over again.

So promise HBK one thing: when HBK goes out there and he confronts Orton, McIntyre gives HBK that space. McIntyre promises that, and thanks HBK for the talk. But will HBK be put in the same situation as The Nature Boy tonight?

 

The IIconics confront Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan.

Aw look, it’s the “New and improved” Riott Squad. Will they trust each other today? Or will that change again? Billie Kay says her shoulder isn’t feeling so good so Peyton Royce is subbing in for Ruby in their match tonight. Right, Peyton? R-Right, of course! That’s what best friends do for each other. Though it seems like a surprise to Peyton. Liv says that’s surprising. Peyton asks if the “trash” has something to say, and that riles Ruby right up! Liv keeps Ruby calm and gets her to head for gorilla. The IIconics linger, and spot two people with Shayna. It’s Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke! Are the other MMA Four Horsewomen finally joining Raw?

 

Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan VS Peyton Royce w/ Billie Kay!

Raw returns as the IIconics finish their entrance, but Ruby is already in the ring. The bell rings and Ruby rushes Peyton right away! Ruby trips Peyton, rains down rights but Peyton gets up. Ruby keeps after her, ducks the heel kick and clothesline to STO! Ruby rains down more rights but Peyton gets away again. Peyton goes to ropes, Ruby goes after her but Peyton kicks her away. Peyton is on the apron, but Ruby runs and BLASTS her off! Ruby bumps Peyton off the apron, then whips her into barriers! Ruby refreshes the ring count to whip Peyton again, but Peyton reverses to send Ruby into barriers! Peyton puts Ruby in, waistlocks, but Ruby standing switches. Peyton bucks her off and KNEES her down! Cover, TWO!

Peyton and Billie are furious but Peyton drags Ruby back up. Peyton bumps Ruby off buckles then digs her boot in. The ref counts, Peyton lets up and throws close range clotheslines. Ruby slips out to fire forearms back! Peyton shoves her away but Ruby comes back with a BIG forearm! Ruby whips Peyton out then into the corner to hit an elbow! Ruby goes side to side for a running MULE KICK! Billie is worried while Peyton flops out of the ring. Ruby is on the apron and CROSSBODIES her down! The crowd is fired up as Ruby puts Peyton back in. Billie gets in Ruby’s face but Liv gets in Billie’s. Peyton shoves Ruby INTO Liv! Liv goes down, Peyton gives Ruby the DEJA VU!! Cover, Peyton wins!

Winner: Peyton Royce, by pinfall

The IIconics get another one by using the Squad against each other! Will Billie and Peyton head back to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships after sweeping Ruby and Liv?

 

It’s almost time!

Shane McMahon arrives at the door and Jordan Omogbehin knows what that means. Raw Underground is coming up! Who steps up to throw down?

 

Raw Underground begins!

And Erik is already throwing someone around! Erik clubs away but his opponent gets away. He throws hands but gets thrown by Erik again! Erik lets his man up to see if he can do more. Nope! Erik facelocks, knees away, and the ref calls it!

Winner: Erik

Ivar has to cool Erik off, because the damage is done! Shane talks with Dolph Ziggler, and Ziggler says he’s had a lot of fun here already. Now, we just saw a great fight from Erik, but question: how would Ziggler rate it? “I mean, it was pretty good.” 4/10 at best because his guy was only okay. Shane would go higher but he agrees it was still impressive. Erik of course hears this and dares Ziggler to try him. Ziggler says Erik doesn’t want that, but Shane this is a “call out.” Challenge accepted? Ziggler figures why not. What a match-up! Erik and Ziggler circle, test things out, and ZIggler gets a leg. Erik keeps him back, they move around, Ziggler has a leg! Erik stays up and ROCKS Ziggler with that right!

Ziggler slips around fast to avoid the facelock and gives the facelock. But Erik powers up to SLAM Ziggler down! Erik goes for the facelock, Ziggler fights it off and they clinch. Erik throws knees, forearms and elbows, then gets the leg. He lifts Ziggler again, but Ziggler fights free! Ziggler gets the sleeper! Erik rolls but Ziggler stays clamped on! Erik fights up, Ziggler thumbs him in the eye!! Ziggler puts Erik out and Shane calls it! Ziggler wins!

Winner: Dolph Ziggler

The Show-Off celebrates but Ivar BLASTS him out of the ring! Ivar clearly didn’t take kindly to the thumb to Erik’s eye. Shane calms things down and we return to regular Raw.

 

Rey Mysterio IS here!

The King of Lucha and his son, Dominik, prove the rumors right! Dominik is still sore as he holds his ribs, given all the damage done from the kendo stick attack. And Dominik is still going to face Seth Rollins at SummerSlam in what is now a STREET FIGHT! Rey says there is only one word that can describe how he’s felt since Extreme Rules: pain. And a lot of it. Pain for what Rollins did to Rey’s eye, and an even worse pain for what Rollins did to Dominik. “Having to witness my own flesh and blood in agony, not being able to do anything about it,” as he saw that savage kendo stick beating, made Rey feel a rage that he has never felt before. Rey wanted to be there to protect Dominik. He needed to be there to stop that beating, or even take it himself so Dominik wouldn’t suffer.

Rey may not be fully recovered from his eye injury, and there is a chance that may never happen. But there’s no doctor that can stop Rey from protecting his son! “So Seth, escucha me.” Listen closely, Seth. You will not repeat what you did to Dominik, because Rey will be in his corner as he watches Dominik kick Rollins’ ass in that Street Fight! Dominik thanks his father for all of that. Dominik knew what he was in for when he signed a WWE contract. He knows what he has to do to defend the Mysterio family, and will be ready. Father and son hug as the crowd cheers. Rey says Dominik has no idea how proud he is right now. Rey loves his son, and admires his son’s determination, as well as the will to defend the family name. If Rollins gets anywhere near them tonight, Rollins will be the one that won’t make it to SummerSlam.

“Well, well, well.” Rollins didn’t think they’d show up. Rey is a lot of things, some good and some bad, but Rollins didn’t think he was an idiot. Six days away from his son’s most important moment, and yet he’s put Dominik in danger. Why? For Rey’s own personal glory, because it’s always been about Rey! So selfish. What kind of father is he? Rollins can’t understand why Rey continues to put himself and his son in such preventable situations. Everyone has a role to play in the “greater good,” yet Rey resisted. This could’ve been avoided if Rey accepted his role. Rey got hurt, Dominik got hurt, yet they still haven’t learned. The most tragic thing of all is that it won’t just be Rey or Dominik, but the Mysterio name and legacy that will become the ultimate sacrifice.

Rey tells Rollins that if he’s the Monday Night Messiah, a man using big words, maybe he should show up and back them up. Rollins laughs and asks, “What is wrong with you, man?” Rey has one eye and Dominik can barely stand. But they asked for this. Don’t move from that ring. Rollins and Murphy are headed their way! The Mysterios wait, and Rollins and Murphy return to ringside. Rollins takes off his suit jacket and loosens his tie as he and Murphy go down the ramp. The Mysterios get out of the ring, and Rollins taunts them. Mysterio talked big but can’t back up his own words? If they want this, come get it! But is it because his boy is hurt?

Rey eggs them on as they egg him on, but Dominik gets kendo sticks!! And he SMACKS Rollins from behind! And then SMACKS away on Murphy! And more for Rollins! Rey gets the other stick and they both SMACK away on Rollins!! Front and back, just like Dominik took! They tie Rollins up in ropes, but Murphy runs back in, only to get the SMACKS for Rollins! Disciple and leader run away, but it won’t end here! SummerSlam brings us a Street Fight in the Thunderdome, who walks out not so much the winner, but the least battered and bruised?

 

MVP finds Cedric Alexander backstage.

“My, my, my, ain’t this a familiar scene.” What does MVP want? What does he have to say? Relax, man! MVP gets where Alexander is. Just a young man navigating the WWE, wanting to be in the ring rather than back here. But it wasn’t MVP’s friends who held him back. Alexander knows MVP is just stirring the pot again. But the difference is that Apollo is looking out for Alexander. What does MVP know of looking out for someone else’s best interests? MVP plays along, since Apollo was in the #FullLashley just like Alexander and can understand the pain. But it could be that Apollo thinks Alexander is the weak link. Ricochet must’ve spoken up for him, though, right? Well, maybe not. It must be really hard being in a tag with the the #OneAndOnly.

MVP says that offer is still on the table. Just think it over while you’re enjoying the “fine cuisine” of catering. Alexander grows frustrated as he thinks about it. Will he take that offer?

 

We return to Raw Underground!

Last week, we saw these two have impressive wins! It’s Arturo Ruas VS Riddick Moss! It begins! Rusas knees but Moss dodges! Ruas fires off hands and a boot but Moss hits a SPINE BUSTER! Moss rains down rights but Ruas pushes him away. Ruas Eddy Gordo kicks! Ruas has Moss on the defense with kicks at the legs and body shots all over. But Moss grabs Ruas by the beard and hammers away with forearms! Ruas pulls hair to give them all back! Moss and Ruas slug it out, Ruas SPINE BUSTERS this time! Ruas rains down rights, gets around to sleeper hold, but Moss powers up to his feet. Moss has Ruas as a backpack for the SENTON! Moss clubs away on Ruas, stomps away, but Ruas gets the kneebar on that leg!

Moss scrambles, fights back, they clinch on the mat but Ruas gets the heel hook! Moss rolls them out of the ring to break the hold! The crowd gets a bit handsie trying to get them back into this, and Ruas ROCKS the guy closest to him! Moss ROCKS the guy near him! Shane calls it because “that was sick!” Will things only get wilder on Raw Underground?

 

Six Man Elimination Tag: The Hurt Business VS Apollo Crews, Ricochet & Mustafa Ali!

MVP may not have Benjamin and Lashley ringside for SummerSlam, but the Hurt Business looks to get even with Apollo and his crew. Will the King of Flight and Beacon of Light help Apollo shine tonight?

The teams sort out and we start with Benjamin and Ali. They circle, tie up, Benjamin powers Ali to a corner but lets up to knee low. The ref reprimands, Benjamin whips Ali corner to corner. Ali goes up and over, arm-drags Benjamin around and then gets an armlock. The crowd rallies but Benjamin fights up. Ali wrenches and tags in Ricochet. Ricochet goes up and drops ax handles on the arm. Ricochet wrenches now, but Benjamin pushes him away. Ricochet dropkick-flips and enziguris! Cover, ONE! Ricochet tags Ali and Ali brings Benjamin to a waistlock. Benjamin elbows out and tags in Lashley, and Lashley runs Ali over to then hit Ricochet and Apollo out, all without slowing down!

Lashley drags Ali up for the Canadian rack, DOMINATOR! Cover, Lashley ELIMINATES Ali already!! The crowd boos but Ricochet runs in to go after Lashley with forearms. Lashley swings, Ricochet dodges to keep throwing hands. Lashley shoves Ricochet, Ricochet comes back into the MOUNTAIN HIGH SPINE BUSTER! Tag to Benjamin as Ricochet sits up in a daze. Benjamin taunts Apollo before he gives Ricochet the PAY DIRT! Cover, Benjamin ELIMINATES Ricochet!! Apollo’s crew is already done! Apollo steps in, Benjamin knees and clubs away, throws big forearms, but Apollo hits back. Benjamin whips corner to corner, Apollo dodges the splash, CREWS MISSILE!! Cover, Apollo ELIMINATES Benjamin!

Things are a bit more even as MVP steps up now. MVP and Apollo circle, but Alexander takes advantage of Benjamin being 24/7 Champion! Roll up, Alexander wins!!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

So much for that offer MVP made! Alexander snatches the title and runs for it! “What now, Hurt Business?!” Will Benjamin stay to support his team? Or will he chase after the Age of Alexander and the gold? We find out after the break!

Raw returns as MVP clubs away on Apollo and stomps in a mudhole. The ref counts, MVP lets off but Apollo chops back. MVP ROCKS Apollo with rights but Apollo hits back. MVP fires off in anger and clubs Apollo down. MVP whips Apollo to a corner hard, and Apollo bounces off buckles. MVP drags Apollo up, throws him out, then goes out to bring him up. MVP bounces Apollo off the apron, put shim in the ring and covers, TWO! MVP brings Apollo up, tags Lashley in and they mug Apollo. Lashley clubs Apollo, Apollo kicks back but Lashley fires off on him! The ref backs Lashley off but Lashley digs his boot into Apollo. Lashley lets up at the count to drag Apollo up and runs corner to corner, to RAM into Apollo!

Tag to MVP, MVP runs corner to corner and BOOTS Apollo down! Cover, TWO! MVP is annoyed and he drags Apollo back up. MVP throws body shots, whips Apollo out then in, then runs, only to get buckles! Apollo reels MVP in, CREWS MISSILE!! Cover, Apollo ELIMINATES MVP! But Lashley gets right on Apollo with big forearms! Lashley digs a knee into Apollo’s head, pulls on the arm and clubs the shoulder. Lashley drags Apollo around just to kick him while he’s down. The crowd boos as Lashley whips but Apollo comes back with big forearms! And an enziguri! Lashley wobbles into another enziguri! Apollo hits a basement enziguri, then a standing moonsault! Cover, TWO!

The crowd is thunderous as Apollo brings Lashley up. Lashley standing switches and wants his full nelson! Apollo resists, elbows free and throws forearms. They both run, Lashley SPEARS!! Cover, The Hurt Business wins!

Winners: The Hurt Business, by pinfall

But that isn’t enough for Lashley or Benjamin! They and MVP are all in the ring, but MVP keeps them from adding on. Will Apollo be able to fight back up with the title on the line? Or is that brand new belt coming back to its creator?

 

Shane talks with Shayna backstage.

The Queen of Spades confirms that Shafir and Duke are legit. Will the Horsewomen make their debuts not on Raw, but on Raw Underground!?

 

WWE 24/7 Championship: Cedric Alexander VS Akira Tozawa w/ Ninjas!

Raw returns and the newly minted champion is already being put to the test! Will the former Soul of 205 Live be able to thwart the Stamina Monster like back in the day?

The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Alexander gets the arm, Tozawa rolls through to wrench back. Alexander rolls and handsprings to wrench back on Tozawa. MVP watches backstage as Alexander wrings Tozawa out and dropkicks him down! Alexander kips up and stalks Tozawa. Tozawa goes to a corner and wants a little mercy. But then Tozawa says, “Ninja! Ninja! NINJA POWAH~!” And his ninjas go into action, only for Alexander to ROCK one off the apron onto the other two! Tozawa dodges Alexander to back kick, swing, slide under and spin kick again! Alexander is in the drop zone, Tozawa heads up top! Tozawa leaps but has to bail out as Alexander moves. Alexander handsprings, NEURALIZER! LUMBAR CHECK!! Cover, Alexander wins!

Winner: Cedric Alexander, by pinfall (still WWE 24/7 Champion)

The first defense is a success, putting an exclamation point on sticking it to MVP! But then Benjamin returns to hit PAY DIRT!! Cover, Benjamin wins!!

Winner: Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)

The Gold Standard has the gold back already, sticking it back to Alexander! Will Alexander think twice before trying to hurt the Hurt Business?

 

Raw Underground officially sets up a match next week!

After what happened between Ziggler and Ivar, the Show-Off will have to answer to the Warbeard! Will Ziggler sweep the Viking Raiders? Or will he be run over by the raid?

 

Speaking of, we return to Raw Underground!

And the deal has been struck, Marina Shafir has her first fight! She doesn’t even wait for Shane to give the go ahead, she throws her hat at her opponent and throws hands! The Supernova throws her opponent down, drags her back up by her hair, but her opponent SLAPS back! Shafir blocks and hits a takedown! Then she drags her opponent around. She cartwheels to avoid the kick to give a kick back! And then, heel hook triangle hold combo!! Her opponent taps, Shafir wins!

Winner: Marina Shafir

But then NIA JAX attacks Marina?! Jessamyn Duke jumps up but Nia knocks her down! The suspended Irresistible Force just doesn’t care, so long as she can go after Shayna and those connected to her! Shayna gets in and dares Nia to step up. Suspensions on Raw mean nothing to the Underground! They throw down, but Nia runs away! She kicks Marina on the way out, but the crowd chants, “She’s scared~! She’s scared~!” Will the Horsewomen make sure Nia pays for punking them out?

 

Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins VS Andrade Almas w/ Angel Garza!

After the shocking reveal that wasn’t a surprise, #KingTez is back for revenge! Will he give El Idolo what he gets for having such a sneaky manager?

The bell rings and Ford circles with Almas. Almas rushes Ford but Ford dodges to fire off fast hands! Ford whips but Almas kicks him back. Ford just dropkicks Almas out! Almas checks himself but Ford FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! Ford puts Almas in, climbs to the top but Almas trips him up. Almas throws forearms, CHOPS Ford back, then climbs up to join him. Almas wants the superplex but Ford resists. Dawkins makes sure Garza and Vega stay back while Ford fights back. Almas still hits the SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Ford grits his teeth while Almas sneers. Almas wraps Ford up in a chinlock and grinds him down.

The crowd rallies as Ford endures and fights his way up. Ford fights out with elbows but Almas rocks him with a right! Almas CHOPS Ford against the ropes then whips. Ford reverses to LARIAT! Ford whips, Almas reverses but Ford goes up and over the back drop to hit another lariat! Ford kips right up to standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Vega is stressing out as Ford watches Almas go to a corner. Ford runs in but Almas boots him down! Almas hops up, Ford comes back to NO HANDS RANA! Ford fires up with the rope shaking and he climbs up top. Vega is on the apron to distract and Almas ROCKS Ford with an uppercut! But Vega spots Bianca Belair! Vega leaps, into Bianca’s arms and a SLAM! Almas is distracted by this, Ford rolls him up! Ford wins!

Winner: Montez Ford, by pinfall

The Street Profits just got even with Vega’s team! But it won’t really be even until they’ve had their Raw Tag Team Championship match! Will things finally be settled at SummerSlam?

 

HBK heads through the backstage area.

Shawn says hi to Titus O’Neil, Humberto Carrillo and even R-Truth. HBK is headed to the ring, what happens when he calls out Randy Orton?

 

Shawn Michaels goes to the ring!

The crowd goes wild for the Heartbreak Kid as he gets himself a mic. He wishes he was here under a more exciting note. Footage of Orton’s shocking betrayal replays. Last week, with tears rolling down his face, HBK watched as Flair relived the worst 31 days of his life. Those 31 days where the Nature Boy was on his death bed, just wanting to tell those he loved how he felt. HBK wants us to know that Ric, more than anyone, loved performing inside this ring. If it wasn’t for guys like Ric, there would be no HBK, no HHH, no Batista, no Edge, no Christian, no Big Show and certainly no Drew McIntyre. There’s of course another guy on that list in Randy Orton.

But unlike the others, Orton doesn’t have the same gratitude or appreciation. Even though Flair was his mentor for YEARS, one of the best EVER, Orton didn’t appreciate that. No, Orton feels he was owed something like that. “Randy. I don’t know how it’s going to happen, but I can assure you it is going to happen. At SummerSlam, I don’t know if you’re going to meet your justice at the end of a Sweet Chin Music, or if you meet it from a Claymore,” HBK assures Orton that he will see it coming! HBK drops the mic and heads out, but Orton is there! RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! And then a PUNT as quick as that!! McIntyre shows up and is furious that he couldn’t help another legend! McIntyre makes sure HBK is okay, and shouts “get some help out here!”

Referees hurry out but Orton comes back! McIntyre throws haymakers! And then clotheslines Orton out! McIntyre pursues, throwing Orton into steel steps! And into Plexiglas! And then into more Plexigalas! And over the announce table! McIntyre glares down at the Viper before going back to HBK. Where are the medics?! Orton just slithers back in to RKO McIntyre!! Orton glares down at McIntyre but leaves it at this, because he wants that WWE World Championship. Will the Legend Killer end McIntyre before he even becomes a legend? Or can McIntyre deny Orton that next step towards breaking the Nature Boy’s reign record?


My Thoughts:

A really wild go-home tonight, though it almost felt too wild at times. First, and as I believe I said for SmackDown, Retribution is way more active on SmackDown. Yes, Retribution “messed” with the broadcast to start, but that was it, and was honestly more annoying than anything. But I think it was good for MVP to put it out there that there is a mastermind, more than likely within the existing roster. And I like the tiny detail that someone brought up this not being the forgotten SmackDown hacker. Hopefully SummerSlam takes a moment to give us some real progress on Retribution, both on the members and the motives. And please don’t let Tommaso Ciampa be any of that.

There was a LOT of Hurt Business going on, and oddly none of it in Raw Underground despite that first segment. I like that they made a match to determine if MVP can have Lashley and Benjamin ringside, and it is great that he can’t because now things will definitely be more of a blow off. There was a lot of back and forth with the WWE 24/7 Championship in regards to the Hurt Business, with Benjamin winning it, losing it, then winning it back all in one night. It was still pretty good, but it also felt like filler just to get it in before SummerSlam. It does help build things so that Alexander ends up the focus of the feud next. I wonder if there’s also a point where a faction heads for the Raw Tag Team Championships.

There was also a lot of development for the Raw Tag Team title story all over the night. Garza beats Ivar to “impress” Demi Burnett, but the reveal that Vega did “poison” Ford seemed like a letdown. It could’ve still been one of the two between Almas and Garza, but oh well. Also, I feel like they could’ve written this slightly different to make it better. It needed to be where Vega denies poisoning Ford, but there’s that twist of, “No one said he was poisoned.” And then the video evidence adds on and we still get to where we are now. Ford and Bianca get the better of Almas and Vega, but I still feel like the title match can go either way. And again, the winner can move on to take on either the Hurt Business or Apollo’s crew for the next stretch.

Poor Mickie James. Her return match ends up overshadowed by the Monday Night Messiah story. Of course, I don’t think anyone wants to be forced to focus on social media obsessed Lana trying to make Natty’s matches worthy of views and likes and all that. I hope Mickie gets someone to watch her back and counter Lana. No idea who, though. The Riott Squad being used against itself might be a bit rushed. It is fitting that Peyton’s finisher is Deja Vu for the pun, though. We got an AMAZING match out of Asuka & Shayna VS Golden Role Models. And it seems Nia is still going to be around. It just shows that security guards in wrestling mean nothing. Nia keeps getting in and out, the same as Retribution. Her first brawl with Shayna was fine, but I would’ve kept her away, as her retreating in Raw Underground makes her look weak.

As for Asuka, the WWE is her oyster with the three obvious routes she can take. She could win both, which would be amazing and well deserved. She could win the SmackDown Women’s Championship but be screwed out of the Raw Women’s Championship, and that moves Asuka over to SmackDown so Fox can have the incredibly popular superstar for a moment. Or she could somehow lose the SmackDown title match, probably because of cheap tactics, but then “redeems” herself by winning the Raw title, to then face Shayna for the rest of the year. There’s also the fact that Shayna and Asuka beat the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions and they could get in the mix towards Payback. I doubt that’ll be the case, and it’ll be left to Riott Squad or IIconics, though neither of those feel like they could outright beat Sasha and Bayley.

Raw Underground is still going strong for just being around the last few weeks. I like that we’re already getting some serious competition between the established names. Erik and Ziggler had a great go around, and Ziggler VS Ivar next week is going to be great, too. For one, it’s a historic first for Raw Underground in scheduling a match rather than letting it be who wants in next. Also, I really like seeing Kona Reeves as that extra excited fan swinging his shirt while he sits way up high. Moss and Ruas had a great bit, but I wish they were allowed time to settle it. And while Nia basically hit and run, Marina Shafir was looking really good getting in the ring for Underground. This might be more her speed to get pro-wrestling ready, and the same for Jessamyn Duke.

McIntyre being part of the opening that gets “ruined” by Retribution was an odd move, but I suppose it needed to establish his mission for the night. It was pretty clear that with HBK waiting until the end of the night, and just showing up at all, he was going to get attacked by Orton. I feel like Raw didn’t let anyone stand tall for very long tonight, and not even McIntyre was exempt. HBK gave him that great talk backstage but Orton just doesn’t stop as he goes after McIntyre. I feel like that’s how Raw chose to keep the booking 50-50 on the night, so who knows who wins at SummerSlam. The same for Dominik VS Rollins. Now that it is officially a Street Fight, anything could happen, such as interference from Murphy or even a returning Austin Theory or Authors of Pain (though there hasn’t been any news on those three in any form). It’s hard to be sure if the Faces come away with this or not.

My Score: 8.4/10


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Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.28.2021

The second day contains all of the championship matches! Heavyweight Tags, Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight matches! Plus a triple threat for the vacant Junior Heavy title!

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The second day contains all of the championship matches! Heavyweight Tags, Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight matches! Plus a triple threat for the vacant Junior Heavy title!

With the anniversary show a few days away, the Junior Heavyweight will be even more sought after due to the nature of the Heavyweight versus Junior champ main event. Aside from the title matches we get another CHAOS versus Bullet Club match and what could be the culmination of this United Empire going after TenCozy storyline.

Now let’s see exactly how much better today’s show if from yesterday!

Ratings:

  • TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay): Kojima wins via Cozy Lariat @6:56 – *** ¼
  • Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White & Chase Owens) vs CHAOS (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada): Okada wins via Money Clip @8:35 – ** ½
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto): G.o.D. retains  via Gun Stun @15:46 – ** ¾
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs The Great O-Khan: Tanahashi retains via Crucifix Cradle @18:44 – *** ¼
  • -VACANT- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado vs El Phantasmo vs BUSHI: Despy wins via Pinche Loco @23:12 – *** ¾TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito: Ibushi retains via Kamigoye @27:50 – *** ¾

 

Results:

TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay)

Jeff & Will started right before the bell, but their inexperience as a team started to bleed through early. Cobb held the veterans on the outside for a Plancha from Ospreay, but TenCozy moved mid-flight and Ospreay crashed into Cobb. The during the Machine Gun chops in the corner, Jeff turned it around on Kojima while Will was pinned in the corner, but Kojima ducked and Cobb struck Will.

After that, the United Empire started putting it all together, but they made one fatal mistake. Cobb and Ospreay kept mocking Tenzan’s inability to use the Mongolian Chops by going back and forth using Mongolian Chops on him. A man can only take so many insults, so Tenzan fires and rips off some…Osaka Windmill Chops; then we see the TenCozy Cutter, but the United Empire makes the save.

Tenzan takes Ospreay out of the ring after an Anaconda Buster, Kojima winds up for the Cozy Lariat, Cobb hits a Superkick to stop him, goes for Tour of the Islands…but Kojima slips out! COZY LARIAT! And…wait the veterans won?! Interesting.

Bullet Club (EVIL, Jay White & Chase Owens) vs CHAOS (Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada)

This match played off yesterday’s show, and thankfully the only one that drove this match was the only match to matter. Ishii’s ribs are still messed up, so Bullet Club took turns isolating the Stone Pitbull and working him over. Stiff strikes, standing on his ribs in the corner, just a giant target on Ishii’s body.

When Ishii finally tagged out, we got a small taste of Yano’s…unique stylings, and then Okada looked to finish things. Everyone came in, did the signature spam with Ishii getting a little payback on White, but generally White looked great in this match. Okada ends up with Chase as the legal competitors, counters the Jewel Heist, locks in the terrible Money Clip and Chase taps.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto)

So the first few minutes of this match really hurt the overall impression. YOSHI-HASHI got Powerbombed and decided to take a nap. It was one of the most awkward situations with the ref checking on HASHI over and over again with no real indication that it was a sell or a momentary knock out.

HASHI was moving at the speed of smell, which made his first tag take forever and look a little dumb with Loa trying to sell but everyone including Stevie Wonder could see it just took too long. Maybe he got some smelling salts after the tag out since he finally showed some first when he came back in, but once again, YOSHI-HASHI is the problem with the match.

It started to pick up, the match got hectic in a fun way with tandem moves from everyone and if the first few minutes didn’t happen, this would’ve been quite solid. The misdirection/counter wrestling between Tama and Goto was great, the fact that it ended with a small heel tactic and not being overdone was nice. Plus with the Magic Killer not ending the match for the Guerrillas, and Tama winning with the Gun Stun; this could be a little obvious foreshadowing for the Good Brothers.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs The Great O-Khan

A lot of the story going into this was Yota Tsuji’s allegiances and if he’d turn on his main senpai Hiroshi Tanahashi. It’s a good thing there were those psychological wrinkles, since the chemistry between these two, still leaves something to be desired.

Early transitions were a bit clunky, but O-Khan’s strategy was sound enough to attack the legs and reference back to moves we’ve seen Tanahashi lose to. O-Khan had most of the momentum before Tanahashi catches him, goes for Slingblade, but O-Khan gets the referee in the way. So now we see the decision moment for Tsuji, does he give a chair to O-Khan, or help his senpai?

Tsuji decides to slide in the chair to Tanahashi and O-Khan is livid. O-Khan still has a few chances to win, including a nice Claw Hold Back Breaker, which he spins out into a Claw Hold Side Effect. But as he goes for The Eliminator, Tanahashi hits the flying Crucifix and rolls him into the pinfall, retaining the NEVER championship!

-VACANT- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: El Desperado vs El Phantasmo vs BUSHI

Early on this was a little paint by numbers. Counters, a few signature spots to get early advantages, but the match didn’t pick up until ELP tried to take out Desperado. ELP and Despy fight up the ramp, ELP rips the mask to expose Despy’s head and pulls out the Jerry Lynn special, Cradle Piledriver right into the ramp!

ELP takes the ripped mask as a trophy, and we see a singles match between BUSHI and ELP for a good bit of time. BUSHI proves to be as stubborn as other Tetsuya’s in LIJ, and takes it to ELP fairly well. BUT – that’s not the story here. Desperado starts slowly making his way back to the ring with a new mask. Desperado comes in and goes on a warpath after ELP. Stiff looking strikes, dives that take out both of his opponents, and just an unbridled rage that makes him focus on ELP.

This of course allows for BUSHI to pick some solid spots, and after Despy returns the match really picks up. It’s also great to ELP’s heel tendencies where he takes moves from higher profile people just to turn the knife. Styles Clash, V-Trigger, an attempted One Winged Angel, Sweet Chin Music, the Undertaker arm fold pin cover, and it’s just good entertainment.

BUSHI has a great count break up where he just grabs Marty Asami’s arm to prevent the 3. BUSHI sets up for MX, but he gets caught with Sudden Death…and rolls out of the ring. So ELP has to go back to a now slowly coming back up Desperado, ELP charges, gets caught with a big right hand and not 1 but 2 Pinche Locos!

El Desperado finally wins the Junior Title, and after such a great 2020 and start to 2021, it’s well deserved.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Kota Ibushi (c) vs Tetsuya Naito

Naito focused on mat wrestling in the beginning, and it was all in effort to get to Ibushi’s knees to bring the match to parity. With Naito having well documented bad knees (including miss time during the Road to), Naito had to work to make things more even.

We see a lot of old threads get pulled on, the corner spot could reference to Naito and Omega’s G1 match, the Outside In German Suplex was something Ibushi struggled to execute before on Naito. Naito pulled out an Avalanche Diamond Dust that we don’t often see, and this was somewhat interesting. New Japan continues to implore that main events are 25+ minute matches, and lately these all drag.

Even with the fun story aspects, a few big scary spots as we’ve come to expect, the match never ascended to a great height. Naito hit Valentia and a few running Destinos, but that wasn’t enough to take out the champion. Ibushi hit Kamigoye to the back of the head, much like as Wrestle Kingdom, then we got 2 more Kamigoyes and Ibushi just falling on top of Naito for the pinfall victory!

 

Overall Score: 6.25/10

Well now the show was better than yesterday (low bar) but still nothing exciting. New Japan still hasn’t quite figured it out. I was a little hopeful after Wrestle Kingdom when there were a bunch of good matches, even if they were spread over two days with a lot of filler in between. But New Beginning really only had one stand out match, and we’re in the same boat since today is going to be heavily forgettable in the grand scheme of things.

Possible takeaways could really only be, Kojima proving he deserves one more dance in the G1 and Desperado finally gets into the top position of the Junior division.  It also can’t be ignored how heavily English commentary and Ibushi himself were implying outside threats. When they said things like “any place, any time, anyone”, so this is laying some foreshadowing, but nothing overtly interesting to glean.

Aside from that…yeah, go cut the grass, shovel snow, build some Legos, do other things aside from watching Castle Attack.

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Mitchell’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Report! (2/27/21)

Let the Castle Attack BEGIN!

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NJPW Castle Attack

NJPW’s huge Osaka weekend event begins!

NJPW returns to Osaka for a Castle Attack! Will the Rainmaker still be atop the mountain? Or will Darkness Fall when Everything is Evil?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado; Loa wins.
  • Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Goto wins.
  • KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens; Yano wins and retains the KOPW 2021 trophy.
  • Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo; White wins.
  • Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo; Okada wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Six Man Tag: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS The United Empire!

The King of Cozy Style, Ikari no Mogyuu, and the Ace are all targets of Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan, and the Dominator is going after Tanahashi’s NEVER Openweight Championship on day two! But will the Once in a Century Talent and his iconic compatriots be able to stand up against the United Empire in this opening round?

As usual, the United Empire stands firm, even as their opponents make their entrance. Tanahashi shoves off the muscles and fans cheer. Tanahashi and Khan dare each other to step up, and so that’s who starts! Fans cheer and the bell rings, and fans rally up already as Khan and Tanahashi circle. Ospreay sneaks in with Cobb, but Kojima and Tenzan are ready to counter! The ref tells them all to back off, and Khan has the Empire stand down. But that’s a fake out! They attack Tanahashi’s team, and throw Tenzan and Kojima out! The Empire mugs Tanahashi, double whips him corner to corner, then send Ospreay in, only for Tanahashi to toss Ospreay out!

Cobb and Khan mug Tanahashi, whip him to ropes, but Tanahashi ducks the double clothesline to send Khan into Cobb! Tanahashi kicks Khan low then whips him to a corner, but Khan reverses. Khan runs in but into an elbow! Tanahashi hops up to crossbody! Fans fire up and Tanahashi air guitars before he tags in Kojima. Kojima DECKS Ospreay, and fires off the machine gun CHOPS on Khan! The ref is busy keeping Ospreay out so Kojima gets plenty of extra CHOPS in! Kojima whips Khan corner to corner, hits a forearm smash, and then throws Khan down. Kojima climbs, Cobb intercepts with forearms! Ospreay hits Tenzan and Tanahashi while Cobb TOSSES Kojima down!

Khan clamps on with the head-arm triangle! Cobb and Ospreay throw Tenzan and Tanahashi around ringside but Kojima gets a ropebreak! Khan lets go, drags Kojima over, tags in Ospreay, and the Empire mugs Kojima. Ospreay CHOPS Kojima then BOOTS him! Ospreay scoops and slams Kojima to then run and drop a leaping knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay bumps Kojima off buckles, tags in Cobb, and Cobb headbutts Kojima in the back. Cobb CLUBS Kojima, stays between him and his team, and then scoops Kojima. Ospreay talks trash while Cobb taunts Kojima’s team. Cobb throws knees into Kojima, then RAMS Kojima into the Emipre’s corner.

Khan tags in, stomps Kojima, but Kojima hits back! Khan ROCKS Kojima, and hits the Mongolian Chop! Khan taunts Tenzan with how Tenzan can’t use this move anymore, and then Mongolian Chops again! Kojimma stands up and he ROCKS Khan with forearms! And a ROLLING ELBOW! COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi runs to rally on Khan, then he hits Cobb an Ospreay for good measure! Tanahashi blocks Khan’s boot to bring him out for a DRAGON SCREW! Ospreay runs in, but he gets a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi catches Cobb in the ropes, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!

Fans fire up with Tanahashi and he goes after Khan’s legs. Tanahashi ties the legs up but Khan clamps his claw onto Tanahashi’s face! Khan gets up, Tanahashi breaks free, but Khan ROCKS Tanahashi with a forearm! Tanahashi gives the forearm back and now it’s a brawl of forearms back and forth! Fans rally up as they pick up speed, Tanahashi fires off a strike fest but Khan Mongolian Chops! Tanahashi ROCKS Khan with a palm strike, then runs, but into Khan’s sleeper hold! Khan uses the claw, then shifts to INVERTED EXPLODER! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan tags in Cobb and Cobb drags Tanahashi up.

Cobb fires off forearms and headbutts, then whips Tanahashi to a corner. Cobb runs in but Tanahashi dodges! Tanahashi waistlocks, Cobb resists the lift, and pries free! But Tanahashi half nelson spins Cobb to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! Hot tag to Tenzan! Tenzan rallies on Cobb, DECKS Ospreay, and fans fire up. Tenzan wants to Mongolian Chop but he remembers he can’t! So he kicks Cobb low and gives him a headbutt! Tenzan has Cobb in the corner, and throws more kicks and haymakers. Tenzan whips corner to corner then runs in to clothesline Cobb! Fans fire up as Tenzan calls his shot, and he hits the suplex! Cover, TWO!

Tenzan calls in Kojima and Tanahashi, and the three go after Cobb together. They double whip Cobb corner to corner, then Kojima runs in to back elbow! Tanahashi hits a splash! They double whip into Tenzan’s windmill kick! Cover, TWO! Tenzan keeps on Cobb and gets the ANACONDA VICE! Tanahashi and Kojima go after the rest of the Empire but Ospreay BOOTS Kojima and CLUBS Tanahashi! Cobb powers up but Tenzan holds tight. Cobb elbows free but Tenzan headbutts! Cobb ROCKS Tenzan with an uppercut, then tags in Ospreay! Ospreay slingshots in for a ROLLING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Ospreay drags Tenzan up, reels him in, and underhooks, but Tenzan resists!

Ospreay gives Kowata kicks and a SUPERKICK! Ospreay runs but into a back drop! Fans fire up with Tenzan and Tenzan dares Ospreay to stand. Tenzan remembers again he can’t Mongolian Chop, but Ospreay dares him to! Ospreay SLAPS Tenzan, and then Khan CLOBBERS Tenzan! Khan and Ospreay SUPERKICK BOOT COMBO! Cover, but Tanahashi breaks it! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi, clamps on the claw, and hits the ELIMINATOR SLAM! Kojima fires off on Khan and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS! The United Empire feed Tenzan to the OSCUTTER! Cover, the Empire wins!

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

United they stand victorious! Khan gets a mic and he wants everyone in Osaka to understand! They are THE United Empire!! Will this momentum bode well for Khan coming for the NEVER Openweight Championship? Or will the Ace be able to trump the Dominator’s iron hand?

 

YOSHI-HASHI VS Tonga Loa w/ Jado!

Before going 2v2 with the Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, the Head Hunter will take on the Silverback alone! Will Loa make sure Hashi can’t #GetBackUp for tomorrow’s tag title match?

The bell rings and Hashi circles with Loa. Fans rally up and they tie up. Hashi manages to push Loa back a bit, but Loa pushes Hashi to the ropes. The ref calls for a break, Hashi turns things around, and Hashi drags Loa down to an ARMBAR! Loa holds off the extension, moves around, but Hashi stays clamped on. Hashi clubs at the clasped hands but Loa holds tight. Loa pries at Hashi’s own grip, but Hashi adjusts to get the other hand isolated! Loa gets the ropebreak with a leg and Jado protests, so Hashi lets go fast. Hashi clubs Loa’s arm but Loa shoves him away. Hashi comes back with a kick, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs and stomps him.

Hashi wrenches Loa to a wristlock, but Loa throws a forearm, only for Hashi to make it a takedown! Hashi wants the double wristlock but Loa moves around. Hashi has a short arm scissor instead! Loa endures, moves around, but Hashi stomps the arm! Hashi stomps Loa more, Loa throws body shots but Hashi clubs him. Hashi wrenches the arm, clubs it, then wrenches again to club it again. Loa pulls Hashi’s hair but Hashi elbows Loa’s elbow. Hashi wrenches again but Loa LARIATS him down! Fans cheer the exchange but then Loa stomps Hashi over and over! Loa drags Hashi up, whips him to a corner then runs in to clothesline!

Loa whips Hashi out then back in to clothesline again! Jado cheers while Hashi falls to his knees. Loa gets the bad arm moving, drags Hashi back up, and fans rally. Hashi throws body shots, wrenches, but Loa throws a haymaker and back hand! Hashi clubs the arm, Loa throws a forearm, but Hashi wrenches to an elbow breaker! Hashi runs, but the ref is busy checking on Loa and Jado trips Hashi! Loa hurries to get Hashi up for a suplex! Uno amigo, and then a wrench to a back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa grows annoyed. Loa drags Hashi up as fans rally again. Loa throws a forearm but Hashi gives it back. Loa headbutts Hashi and Hashi is down in the corner!

Loa stomps away on Hashi, but the ref reprimands. Loa lets off, Jado taunts Hashi, and Loa whips Hashi corner to corner. Loa runs in but into a dropkick to the legs! Fans cheer as Hashi evens things back up! Hashi and Loa slowly rise, Hashi throws forearms, body shots and a CHOP! Hashi whips, Loa reverses but Hashi dodges to hit the HEADHUNTER! Hashi fires up and fans rally for him. Hashi runs corner to corner, to CHOP Loa! Hashi whips, CHOPS, but Loa just grins! Loa wags his finger at Hashi, then throws a forearm! Hashi stays up and he forearms back! Loa doesn’t budge, and he ROCKS Hashi!

Hashi stays on his feet and Loa dares him to “give me your best shot! Don’t do this to me! You came to fight me, so fight me!” Loa wants Hashi to #GetBackUp and show him what he’s got! Hashi gets up and throws forearms and CHOPS! Mule kick, and a neckbreaker! Fans fire up with Hashi and he hurries to a corner! Hashi climbs up and fans rally harder now! Loa stands and hits Hashi with a forearm first! Loa climbs up, clubs away on Hashi’s back, but Hashi resists the superplex. Hashi throws bodys shots, clubs Loa, and sunset flips, to get the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO! Hashi has the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa powers up but Hashi throws knees into him!

Hashi grinds Loa down but Loa powers up again! Loa fireman’s carries Hashi, but Hashi slips off to CHOP! Loa laughs, kicks, knees and ENZIGURIS! Hashi falls over but Loa tells him, “I’m gonna kill you! Don’t you die on me yet!” Hashi gets up, Loa runs, but into an elbow! Hashi runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives and fans fire up again! Loa likes this! “There’s that fighting spirit! I love it!” Loa drags Hashi up and vows it’s over now. Loa scoops but Hashi slips out to waistlock. Loa rams Hashi into a corner and fires off elbows! Loa runs in but Hashi dodges! SUPERKICK, but Loa just wants more! SUPERKICK, SUPERKICK and SUPERKICK!

Loa shoves Hashi and Hashi fires off another SUPERKICK! Loa still isn’t done, he wants more!! Hashi SUPERKICKS, and Loa finally wobbles! BACKSTABBER! Hashi drags Loa to a drop zone and goes up top! Fans fire up, Hashi SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, TWO!?! Loa still lives but Hashi keeps on him! Hashi gator rolls Loa into the BUTTERFLY LOCK! Loa grits his teeth and powers up again! Hashi slips an arm around to get the double wristlock! KIMURA-FLY! Loa still endures, slips his head under, but Jado gets in! Hashi is ready, and he kicks then mule kicks Jado first! Hashi sends Loa into Jado! Roll up, TWO!!

Loa swings but into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Hashi fires up and the fans are with him, for the BASEMENT METEORA! Hashi isn’t done there, he drags Loa back up! Hashi gets Loa up, full nelsons again, but then shifts to a pump handle! Wait, Tama Tonga shows up! The distraction saves Loa, and he scoops Hashi for APE SHIT!! Cover, Loa wins!!

Winner: Tonga Loa, by pinfall

Well it was strange that Tama wasn’t here to start, and now we see he was an ace in the hole! And now they’re all beating Hashi up, 3v1! The ref reprimands but they’re not stopping! GoD drags Hashi up, but here comes Goto! Goto CLOBBERS Loa then fires off on Tama! After all, their match was up next, anyway! Tama whips Goto away but Goto comes back to block the hip toss and hit a hip toss! Fans cheer as Goto lariats Loa out of the ring, and the ref rings the bell on the next match!

Hirooki Goto VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!

The Good Bad Guy rolls the Fierce Warrior up right away! With tights! TWO!! Goto swings, Tama gets under and Tama dropkicks Goto out! Tama hurries out after Goto, and he whips Goto into railing! Tama checks on Loa and sees he’s okay. Tama drags Goto back up, POSTS him, then goes in the ring as the ref wants. Goto stirs, the ring count begins, but Tama goes back out. The ref is busy with Tama and Jado SMACKS Goto with the kendo stick! Tama goes out to fetch Goto now, puts him back in, and clamps on with a chinbar. Tama clubs away on Goto’s chest, then paces about. Goto sits up, Tama drags him back up and snap suplexes! Cover, ONE!! Tama is annoyed but fans rally up.

Tama sits Goto up to claw his face! The ref reprimands, Tama stops, and fans rally up for Goto. Tama paces as Goto eggs him on. Tama CLUBS Goto, and Goto eggs him on more! Tama throws haymakers, but Goto gets power from it! Goto eggs Tama on, Tama headbutts, but that does more damage to Tama! Tama whips Goto, runs in but the splash misses! Goto hits a BIG suplex! Goto fires off on Tama in the corner, whips him corner to corner, and runs in to MURAMASA! Then, BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Tama up, fireman’s carries, but Tama fights free. Tama swings but into a hook! Tama fights free of that, gets Goto in a dragon sleeper, but Goto turns that around!

Tama slips through to suplex, but Goto resists! Goto suplexes, but Tama slips into the dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO! Tama is furious but fans rally up! Tama watches Goto, hears the voices in his head like he’s The Viper, and Goto rises. Goto turns around, but he denies the Gun Stun! Goto swings, but into Tama’s spin and leap, SATELLITE DDT! Both men are down but Tama is growling. Tama gets up, goes to a corner and climbs up. FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Goto moves! BLINDSIDE SLIDING LARIAT! Both men are down again and fans rally up. Goto crawls to ropes while Tama sits up. Goto staggers over and powers up!

But Loa returns to scoop Goto! Jado is distracting the ref! Goto slips out of the scoop, and HEADBUTTS Loa down! Goto DECKS Jado but turns around into GUN- NO! Goto blocks again, shoves Tama and follows. Tama stops to swing on Goto but Goto dodges, and comes back to swing. Tama ducks, redirects, dodges, hurdles, but Goto dodges the boot to swing! Tama ducks to GUN- NO!! Goto drags Tama back up, fireman’s carry, dragon sleeper, toss out, G T R!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall

What a wild exchange to end this one! But now, Chaos is even with the Guerrillas, and the tiebreaker will be THE IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match! Will Goto and Hashi end GoD’s reign and be double champions? Or will it be Tama & Loa who #TurnItAllAround?

 

KOPW 2021 YTR Style Texas Strap Match: Toru Yano VS Chase Owens!

Mr. KOPW 2020 now defends his provisional 2021 KOPW trophy, and is going to put his twist on the Crown Jewel’s stipulation choice! But will that be enough for Yano to continue on through the year? Or will Bullet Club manage to add another accolade to the treasury?

The introductions are made, and Yano’s seems to get even longer with the more he does and has… But after all that, and some disinfectant spray, the trophy is to be presented, which comes as a surprise to Yano. The trophy is set aside, the strap is brought in, and Yano waits outside while Chase is strapped in first. Perhaps Yano doesn’t trust Chase. The strap is also taped down so there is no removal of it during the match. Chase tosses Yano the other end, and Yano is hesitant to strap in. Yano takes the cuff, puts it on, and the ref tapes it on. Then Chase tries to reel Yano in! Yano knew this would happen! The bell rings, and it’s a tug-o-war!

Yano gets enough slack that he can LASH Chase! And again! And again! Chase bails out but Yano reels him in! Chase tries to get away with what slack there is but Yano keeps reeling him in! Chase wants a time-out? And a handshake? Yano kicks him and SMACKS him instead! And another SMACK! Another SMACK! Yano uses the strap to choke Chase! That’s legal in a strap match but Chase grabs at ropes. Yano kicks Chase, whips him, but Chase grabs ropes to get out again! Yano decides to undo a buckle pad! Now we have a bare corner! Chase resists being reeled in, and he goes to undo a buckle pad!

Yano won’t let him, and Yano chases Chase around! Chase uses that to get the strap going through the corner, and he YANKS Yano into the post! Chase takes a moment to catch his breath before he stomps Yano. Chase goes into the ring to undo the corner trap, and he uses the slack to SMACK Yano now! And SMACKS him again! And again! Chase drags Yano up, puts him in, and stomps him down. Chase sits Yano up, rips Yano’s shirt off, and now has bare skin to go after! SMACK! There’s instantly a red mark on Yano’s back! Chase drops fists, chokes Yano with the strap, then lets off to go to a corner. Chase again copies Yano and undoes this buckle pad! The neutral corners are bare!

Chase tosses the buckle pad at Yano and Yano catches it. Chase dares Yano to use the pad, so Yano swings! Chase dodges and dropkicks Yano into the bare buckles! Chase stomps Yano at the ropes, throws the buckle pad down on him, then digs his foot into Yano’s face while mocking the YTR thumbs. Chase drags Yano up to throw him out, then he follows. Chase drags Yano up and whips him, but Yano reverses to send Chase into barriers! Yano gets something from under the ring! It’s extra tape! Chase CLUBS Yano first, then slips through the railing? He wants to reel Yano into the railing, but Yano resists! So Chase lets go and Yano falls over!

Chase is free to drag Yano up and YANK him into the railing! And then again! Yano falls back down, Chase slips back through and he gets Yano’s spare tape! Chase tapes Yano’s hand into a fist so he can’t open it! Then Chase drags Owens up and puts him in the ring. Chase stomps Owens, and gets the other hand! Chase tapes that one up, too! Yano can’t open either of his hands! Yano tries to resist but Chase claws Yano’s face. Chase finishes his handiwork, and gets some slack on the strap to again SMACK Yano on the back! Chase plays around as he stomps and kicks Yano down, then he mocks the Yano shrug! But Yano uses his fists to trip Chase! Yano still catapults Chase into bare buckles!

Yano runs as far as the strap allows, comes back, but Chase dodges! Yano gets bare buckles again! Fans fire up, and Chase undoes the blue corner buckle pad! That’s three, will Chase go for the fourth? Chase drags Yano up to reel him in for a haymaker! And then again! And again! Chase throws up the Two Sweets, but Yano slips under and uses the strap to flip Chase! Chase gets up to throw a strike fest, then he runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano dodges Chase’s swing, shoves him at the ref, and then LOW BLOWS! Chase couldn’t stop that with wrist tape! And Yano figures what the hell? Untile the last pad! But wait, the tape on his hands makes that tricky.

Yano tears at the tape and frees his fingers! Fans fire up as Yano goes for the last corner, but Chase reels him in! HAMMERLOCK LARIAT! Chase hits the Jewel Heist but he can’t cover from being too tired! Fans fire up, Chase gets up and says BANG, and he drags Yano back up. Chase reels Yano in, Yano shoves him away! So Chase goes out and uses the strap to reel Yano into the bare buckles! Chase drags Yano all the way out now, and whips him into the railing! Chase pulls up padding from the floor ringside!! He wants bare linoleum to come into play now! BANG, and the package, but Yano fights that off to back drop Chase onto the floor!

Yano is mad now, and he gets into the ring! The strap keeps Yano from the final corner pad, but fans rally up! Owens holds railing, Yano goes back out, but Chase gets the ring bell! Chase CLOBBERS Yano with the bell, then he gets in, and HE wants the final corner! But Yano’s dead weight is keeping him from getting close! Chase thought he had a fool proof plan but seems not. Chase goes back out to fetch Yano, and wraps the strap around Chase’s head. Chase drags Yano up and in, then drags him. Yano holds Chase back, reels him in, and Chase is annoyed. JEWEL TRIGGER!

Fans rally for Yano but Chase gets the buckle pad! Yano tries to pull Chase away but Chase’s one hand undoes all but one strap! Chase runs at Yano, but into a pop-up POWERBOMB! And YANO unties the buckle pad!! YANO WINS!!

Winner: Toru Yano (retains the KOPW 2021 trophy)

And that’s how you win YTR style! Will Yano continue to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat like this? Or will someone eventually beat Yano at his own games?

 

Tomohiro Ishii VS Jay White w/ Gedo!

The other third of the NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions is in action as he looks to settle things with the Switchblade! But will the Stone Pitbull be made to look like a little puppy tonight?

White insists the ref be more concerned about Ishii than him in the check. White throws off the jacket, flexes for the fans, and then has Gedo get in so they can Low Sweet. But Ishii grows impatient and he rushes over! White and Gedo bail out, “cool off,” and White mocks the clapping before giving the Low Sweet. White returns to the ring, bails right bck out, and asks about the bell. White gets in, the bell rings, and then White bails out again. White has a laugh as he goes in and out and in again, only to slide right back out. The ref reprimands, White dares Ishii to go after him, and Ishii goes! White gets far away from Ishii, goes back in the ring but Ishii is ready to follow.

White goes out, Ishii follows again. Gedo creeps up on Ishii, and White attacks! White stomps Ishii, drags him up for knees, then whips. Ishii swings, White dodges and doges and knees low. White whips, Ishii reverses but White bails out! White has a laugh, but Ishii rushes after him again! White gets in, and pretends he pulled a muscle so that Gedo can rake Ishii’s eyes! Gedo RAMS Ishii into railing then gets away before the ref notices. Ishii gets in the ring but White stomps him at the ropes. White stomps Ishii around, drags him up and throws him back out. White goes out but Ishii gets back in and runs, to run White over! Ishii pursues White on the outside, drags him up and whips him into railing!

Gedo protests but Ishii drags White up by his hair. White pushes Ishii but Ishii whips White back into railing! Fans cheer but the ref says to get this in the ring. Ishii glares at Gedo as he creeps over, and Gedo backs off. White goes to the ramp and Ishii wants to chase him down but the ref tells him to stay by the ring. The ref checks on White and tells him to get back to the ring, but White stays where he is on the ramp. Ishii argues with the ref, but he goes back into the ring. White dares Ishii to fight him on the outside but Ishii dares White to get back in. White goes in, Ishii kicks and clubs him! Ishii ROCKS White with a forearm, stomps him down, and then drags him up at the ropes.

White holds the ropes, the ref calls for the break, but White fireman’s carries and HOTSHOTS Ishii to the apron! Gedo cheers while Ishii flops to the floor. White drags Ishii back up to SNAKE EYES him off the railing! The ref checks Ishii and White mockingly asks if Ishii is okay. The ref tells White to stay back, White goes into the ring, and fans rally up for Ishii. White goes back out to drag Ishii up and RAM him into the apron! And RAM him into railing! And RAM him back into the apron! And then back into the railing! Those ribs take serious damage as Ishii goes down in a heap! Gedo mockingly asks what’s wrong, and White drags Ishii up.

White says they have to get into the ring, so he’s putting Ishii in the ring. White asks if Ishii is done, but Ishii refuses to quit! The fans rally so White stomps Ishii over and over! White digs his fingers into Ishii’s face then stomps him again! White stomps Ishii in the ribs and Ishii goes to the ropes. White pushes Ishii around and then gets him into a corner. White RAMS into the bad ribs, the ref wants White to back off but White RAMS Ishii one more time. Gedo cheers but he’s the only one as White puts Ishii in a rear bearhug. Ishii endures the squeeze, so White JAMS a knee into Ishii’s back. White goes back to the rear bearhug, mockingly asking if Ishii has a hard time breathing.

White is squeezing tighter and Ishii shouts in pain! Ishii endures, reaches, and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer the toughness but White stomps Ishii at the ropes! The ref checks on Ishii again but White drags Ishii back up. White whips Ishii hard into a corner and Gedo wants the ref to call this. White whips, Ishii reverses, and then Ishii runs in but White dodges! Ishii crashes into buckles, and White fireman’s carries him up! Ishii slips off, but White elbows Ishii away, only to run into a POWERSLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Ishii growls as he gets up and he stalks White to a corner.

Fans rally as Ishii CHOPS White, and CHOPS again! And CHOPS, and then hooks White’s arms in the ropes so he can CHOP again! White falls over and Ishii hammers away! The ref reprimands, Ishii backs him down with a glare! Ishii comes back but White RAMS a shoulder into the ribs! White goes to suplex but it’s Ishii who brings White up and over! Ishii sits up, fans rally, and Ishii looms over White. Ishii brings White up but White fights off the back suplex. White swings but Ishii spins him around. White switches, Ishii wrenches, but White avoids the back suplex to turn Ishii. Ishii fights out of the neckbreaker but White kicks low to DDT!

Both men are down again and Ishii gets to the corner. White runs in to uppercut Ishii, and fireman’s carry, for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ishii survives and White grows annoyed but fans fire up! White drags Ishii back up, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage off and they end up in a corner. White knees Ishii, CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS, but Ishii eggs him on. White CHOPS Ishii again, then puts some stank on the next CHOP! Ishii just turns things around to CHOP White high! The ref reprimands but Ishii shoves him away! Ishii CHOPS White high again! Ishii drags White up, CHOPS high and hard again and again!

The ref comes back, Ishii shoves him, and CHOPS White more! The ref finally gets Ishii to stop those near throat chops, and Ishii drags White up to whip him corner to corner. Ishii runs in to corner clothesline, then whips corner to corner. White reverses, Ishii bounces off buckles, but runs into the COMPLETE SHOT! White drags Ishii up into a DEAD LIFT GERMAN! Gedo is fired up and fans rally up as both men are down. Gedo calls for the Kiwi, and White drags Ishii back up. White reels Ishii in, fisherman hooks but Ishii fights the lift! Ishii rams White into a corner, but White CORNER HALF HATCHES Ishii! Ishii clutches those bad ribs as he flops out of the ring!

The ref checks on Ishii but Ishii refuses to quit. White goes out to fetch Ishii, and he drags Ishii up to RAILING HALF HATCH!! White leaves Ishii for dead as Ishii writhes. Fans rally up but a ring count begins. The count is already 6 of 20 before Ishii sits up. Ishii still hasn’t gotten up and we’re past 10 of 20! It’s 15, Ishii finally starts going towards the ring, and he’s in at 18! White drags Ishii up and is pissed, but he hits BLADEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious! White drags Ishii around, reels him in, but Ishii fights the urenage. White knees low but Ishii gets around to headbutt! Ishii runs, but into a BIG urenage!

White drags Ishii up, fisherman and KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and fans fire up! White asks Gedo for ideas, then drags Ishii around. White gets the sleeper hold but Ishii hooks the leg to block the suplex. Ishii throws elbows but White KNEES him low and hard! White drags Ishii back to center, has an arm and a leg, and stomps away on the ribs! Gedo wants the ref to stop this for Ishii, but Ishii doesn’t want this to end like that! White stands Ishii up and keylocks an arm so he can JAM Ishii in the ribs! White puts Ishii in a corner for more hard body shots! Gedo cheers but the ref reprimands. Ishii dares White to bring it, and White throws forearms!

Ishii tanks them because his head is still hard as stone! White throws more forearms but Ishii leans into them! Ishii backs White down like this, so White KNEES the ribs! Ishii ROCKS White back! Ishii drags White up and Gedo starts getting worried. Ishii puts White up top, Gedo swipes at him but the ref reprimands. White claws Ishii’s eyes! But Ishii RISING HEADBUTTS! White holds on to keep from falling! Ishii climbs up, drags White up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! The ribs make that double-edged, but Ishii hurries to high stack cover, TWO!! White survives but is sputtering. Ishii powers up and takes aim. Gedo gets on the apron, but hops off when Ishii glares at him.

White gets Ishii in the sleeper, but Ishii throws him over! Ishii puts the sleeper on now! White fades already but Gedo gets on the apron! Ishii goes after Gedo, pushing the ref aside! Gedo sucker punches Ishii down! White gets Ishii in the SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! Fans rally but White drags Ishii back up! Ishii tries to fight the sleeper hold but he’s fading! White leans on the hold, but Ishii gets a second wind! Ishii reaches for ropes, but White gets a leg for a FISHERMAN BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ishii survives and Gedo is furious again! Fans rally for Ishii as White drags himself over.

White drags Ishii up, reels him in, but Ishii fights free of the suplex! White forearms, throws a strike fest, but Ishii gets around. They both swing and dodge but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Both men are down as Ishii clutches his ribs. Ishii fires up to fight through the pain and the fan srally behind him. Ishii runs, but White gets around! Ishii switches and he puts White in a sleeper! Ishii leans on White and now White fades! Ishii spins White but WHITE hits the BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives and White is beside himself! White slashes the throat, drags Ishii up, but no Blade Runner! GERMAN SUPLEX! Ishii and White are down again and both sputter as they sit up.

Gedo rallies for White but Ishii hits his head off the mat to power up! Ishii gets moving, fakes White out, but White still boots Ishii! Ishii ENZIGURIS! Ishii is roaring, Gedo is panicking, and Ishii drags White up to a POWERBOMB!! High stack, TWO?!? White survives but Ishii sits him up. Gedo gets in with the brass knuckles! The ref reprimands, Ishii dares Gedo to use them, but he blocks White’s low blow! Ishii whips White into Gedo then LARIATS White! SLIDING LARIAT!! Cover, TWO?!?! White survives again but Ishii is just firing up more! Ishii drags White up, suplexes him, but White fights that off!

White tries to suplex but Ishii suplexes first. White slips out, dragon sleepre to an inverted suplex and he puts Ishii on his shoulder! White flips Ishii to the blade position but Ishii slipls out! Ishii swings but White turns him around, crosses the arms, but Ishii fights out again, only to run into a SNAP SLEEPER SUPLEX! White hurries to get Ishii up but Ishii POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Ishii suplexes, White fights out but Ishii HEADBUTTS! White still wants a Triple S, but Ishii waistlocks! White switches, Ishii switches, but White blocks and dodges to BLADERUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!

Winner: Jay White, by pinfall

A masterful exchange and it’s the Switchblade that hits the mark! White even needs to check that he won, it was that sudden! He hugs Young Lions in almost mocking celebration! But when the Young Lion pushes him away, he BOOTS them down! But does this victory mean White is done with Ishii and back on his way towards the top?

 

Kazuchika Okada VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

The Rainmaker technically got his singles match with the King of Darkness not too long ago, but it was little more than an excuse to get Okada alone so Bullet Club could beat him up. We’ve seen Bullet Club in action all night, will any of Evil’s allies be able to back him up? Or will Okada prove Everything is NOT Evil?

The bell rings and Okada rushes Evil! Evil dodges, but then Okada dodges to fire off forearms. Evil kicks low, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada reverses and BOOTS Evil down! Evil bails out, fans cheer, and Okada dares Evil to come back. Dick and Evil regroup, Red Shoes keeps Okada back, and Okada waits. Evil slides back in, circles with Okada, and Okada points Dick out to Red Shoes. Dick stays back, Okada and Evil circle, but then Dick swipes at Okada! Evil attacks from behind, whips Okada to ropes, but Okada holds ropes and boots back. Okada scoops and slams Evil, then slingshot sentons!

Fans cheer as Okada takes a moment before he covers. ONE, but Okada drags Evil back up. Okada turns Evil to hit a neckbreaker! Okada drags Evil up and clamps on a chinlock. Evil endures, even as Okada digs his knee in. Evil reaches and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada holds until Red Shoes counts 3, and he brings Evil up to elbow him back down. Evil goes to a corner, Okada stomps him down! Dick protests but Okada tells him to shut up. Okada drags Evil up, snapmares him, then runs to basement dropkick! Evil bails out as fans rally up. Dick checks on Evil, Okada goes out and tells Dick to back off. Okada drags Evil up and ROCKS Evil with a forearm!

Okada glares at Dick then chases him off! Dick goes in the ring, Okada follows, Evil CLOBBERS Okada! Evil mockingly applauds and then he scrapes Okada out of the ring. Evil drags Okada up and whips him into railing! Evil scuffs Okada’s face, then drags him up, to RAM into the railing and the timekeeper! Poor Abe-san! Why don’t they ever move him away from ringside? Evil drags out chairs while everyone is busy helping Abe. Evil brings Okada over, CLUBS him down, then gets a chair ready! Evil puts that chair around Okada’s head, and then has the other chair! HOMERUN! Evil goes into the ring and leaves Okada on the floor. Fans rally for “O-KA-DA!” as a ring count begins.

Okada slowly stirs, and finally gets up at 10 of 20. Okada gets in at 13, but Evil is after him. Evil whips Okada into the bare corner! When did Dick take the buckle pad?! Evil drags Okada to a Half Crab! Okada endures as Evil pulls back, using Okada’s own knee pad for leverage. Okada gets the ropebreak, and Evil lets go at 4. Evil paces, drags Okada up, but Okada throws a forearm! Okada throws more forearms, but Evil rakes Okada’s eyes! Evil throws Okada out, and then gets in Red Shoes’ face so Dick can stomp away on Okada! Dick drags Okada up and puts him in for Evil, and Evil covers. Red Shoes knows something fishy is up so he refuses!

Evil is upset with Red Shoes but he drags Okada back up. Evil reels Okada in to snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another, TWO! Evil is furious with Red Shoes but the count is the count. Evil mocks the fans clapping for “O-KA-DA!” and he drags Okada up. Okada throws a heavy body shot! Okada throws forearms, uppercuts, and then whips. Evil reverses, Okada dodges but Evil kicks him to throw him down! Okada avoids the back senton, and hits a basement EuroUpper! Both men are down, fans rally up, and Okada stands first. Evil follows but Okada rallies with elbows! Okada whips, Evil reverses but Okada elbows him down! Osaka fires up with Okada!

Okada whips Evil corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus and gets the fans going with clap-clap-clap-stomp. Evil gets up but he fights off the Alabama lift! So Okada RAMS Evil into a corner! Okada puts Evil up top, Evil boots but Okada blocks! Okada clubs the leg then EuroUppers, and he dropkicks Evil off the top! Evil falls to the floor and Dick checks on him. Okada catches his breath in the ring, the ring count starts, and Dick coaches Evil. Okada goes out to fetch Evil, and drags him up. Okada elbows Evil, but then Dick talks trash. Okada chases Dick up the ramp but Evil pursues! Okada kicks and clubs Dick!

Evil runs in but Okada gets him, too! DOUBLE DDT’s to the ramp! Okada and fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp! Okada leaves Evil and Dick behind as he goes back down the ramp. But then Okada goes back and figures he should bring Evil back. Okada clubs Evil to make sure he keeps going towards ringside. Okada puts Evil in and fans cheer as he covers, TWO! Evil is still in this but Okada isn’t frustrated. Okada drags Evil up but blocks thje kick! Okada spins, Evil blocks the kick and gives it to Red Shoes so he can mule kick Okada low! Fans rally again, Evil pretends he can’t hear them, and then he runs in to clothesline Okada in the corner! Snap suplex and cover, TWO!

Evil is frustrated again but he gets Okada’s legs! Okada resists as Evil tries to turn him over, and Okada gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4, but Dick is there to get cheap shots in! Dick runs way before Red Shoes sees, and Evil smirks as he scuffs Okada with his boot. Evil talks trash, Okada gets up and fans rally again. Evil slaps Okada around, so Okada gets mad. Okada runs but into a fireman’s carry! Okada fights free, Evil elbows him away and runs, but into a HUGE FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans rally up again. Okada stands, Evil goes to a corner, but Okada BOOTS him! Okada Alabama lifts but Evil fights off! Evil pulls hair but Okada ROCKS him!

Okada runs, Evil goes to the corner, but Okada ROCKS him again! Evil reverses the whip, but runs into the Alabama! REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Okada goes to a corner, climbs up, but Evil stands, so Okada hits a BIG missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his cool as he drags Evil back up. Okada gut wrenches but Evil resists. Evil gets the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, but Okada clubs Evil first. Okada backs off, runs into the corner, but Evil boots him away! Evil boots Okada again, then dodges. Okada stops from hitting bare buckles, but Evil clotheslines Okada into them! Okada goes down in a heap while Evil smiles. Fans rally up but Evil drags Okada up.

Evil hoists Okada up top, climbs up to join him, and then goes to the very top! Evil drags Okada up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Evil doesn’t cover, he gets the SHARPSHOOTER! Okada endures as Evil sits back deep! The fans rally, Okada claws for ropes, but Evil adds more torque! Okada refuses to quit and he gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts and Evil lets go at 4! Evil catches his breath in a corner while Okada is down. Evil drags Okada back up, reels him into the fireman’s carry, and DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans fire up! Evil is annoyed again but he vows to end this. Evil slashes the throat, stands Okada up and spins him, but Okada denies Evil.

Okada wants the clip but Evil knees low. Evil whips, Okada reverses and Evil gets bare buckles! MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, claws Okada’s eyes, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil lets go and then he grabs at Red Shoes! Dick CLUBS Okada with a pipe!! Dick gets in, Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil gets in Red Shoes’ face while Dick fires off haymakers! Dick whips Okada but Okada BOOTS him down! Evil kicks and whips Okada but Okada reverses to dropkick Evil down! Okada gets Evil’s arm for the MONEY CLIP! Evil endures, pries at Okada’s fingers, but Okada leans on the hold. Evil fights up, grabs at Red Shoes, but Red Shoes SWATS Evil’s hand!

Okada gut wrenches Evil to a TOMBSTONE! And back to MONEY CLIP! Evil reaches, turns a bit red, starts to fade but gets a second wind. Evil is up, grabs Red Shoes again, but Okada CLUBS Evil! Okada wrenches the other arm but Evil shoves Okada into Red Shoes! Evil runs but Okada gets around, DISCUS RAINMAKER! Okada shouts to Red Shoes but he’s still down. Okada puts on Money Clip, Dick has the CHOKER!! The Spoiler is trying to spoil this finish! But Okada powers up and RAMS Dick into the bare buckles! Okada is free, and he gut wrenches Dick to hit a TOMBSTONE!! Okada takes the choker now?! To throw it away! That’s our Rainmaker for ya! But Evil LOW BLOWS Okada!!

Evil gets the legs, but Okada LOW BLOWS Evil back!! Turnabout is fair play! Both men are down, as is Red Shoes, and fans rally up! Okada sits up first, and he drags Evil up. Okada gut wrenches again, for a SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Fans fire up with Okada again as he sits Evil up for the MONEY CLIP!! Red Shoes returns, Evil endures, and Okada keeps Evil away from ropes with a back2backbreaker! MONEY CLIP AGAIN! Evil is in the middle of the ring as he starts to fade again! Red Shoes checks on Evil as he’s turning red again! Evil finds a third wind and he reaches, but Okada clamps on tighter! Evil tries one more time and gets a ropebreak!

Okada lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up for Okada again as he has Evil’s wrist. Okada drags Evil up, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada drags Evil up again, but Evil LARIATS! Okada swings but into Evil spins him to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! Both men slowly rise, and Evil runs, to LARIAT Okada inside-out! Cover, TWO!?!? Okada survives and Evil can’t believe it! Fans rally up again but Evil rises first. Evil staggers over, slashes his throat and stands Okada up. Evil spins him but Okada denies the STO again! Evil still tries but Okada spins. Evil avoids the discus, but Okada tries to steal Everything! Evil denies that, and tries to steal the Rainmaker lariat!

Okada denies that but he swings into Evil’s clinch! Okada denies the STO again! Okada gut wrenches Evil, for a SIT-OUT TOMBSTONE!! Okada brings Evil up, ripcords, TRUE RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!!

Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall

The tried and true finisher finishes Evil! This won’t be the end of things, but has Evil learned a little of why Okada is still on a whole different level? After catching his breath, Okada gets the mic. He gets fans to clap-clap-clap, clap-clap-clap, clap-clap clap-clap clap-clap-clap. “OSAKA-JOOOOO~! If I can speak frankly, that felt damn good!” Okada apologizes to the fans for “having to put up with more of Bullet Club’s crap tonight.” But by taking care of business, Okada is sure we’re all satisfied. Okada says there’s something still bothering him, though. “Well, I should just put it out there, huh? It’s about time I get back to that IWGP Heavyweight title!”

Okada knows that as a responsible adult, he should follow proper protocol. So that starts with winning the 2021 New Japan Cup! After doing that, he’ll be back where he belongs. But he’s sure they’re all thinking that the double title thing is getting boring. If Okada were to poll Osaka, they’d say that the one who has to save the titles is him! So he’ll win the NJ Cup, take back the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, and make it rain again! Fans like the sound of that! Okada knows while the fans couldn’t chant and shout, he knows they were giving it their all to support the wrestlers, and thanks them for it! The wrestlers will do their best all over again tomorrow for night two! Until then, good night!

The Rainmaker has made it known where he wants to be, but will that only make the road back that much harder? Will Tetsuya Naito make it a bit easier by taking the IWGP Intercontinental Championship back on night two?


My Thoughts:

A very good event for NJPW to begin this weekend, but it also felt like a last-minute go-home for tomorrow’s event, as well as the New Japan Cup. The opening Six Man was good, and the United Empire wins so Khan has some momentum, but it was good math that neither he or Tanahashi were involved in the finish. That way, the NEVER Openweight Championship match could go either way. Tanahashi really only just got that belt, though, so I’m leaning towards him retaining. Ospreay & Cobb will still face Kojima & Tenzan, but that will probably go the Empire’s way like tonight did.

In similar fashion, it was good math for Goto-Hashi and GoD to split the difference. I like that Goto didn’t just win, he won in such a sudden turnaround. But with it being 50-50 here, I’m thinking GoD retain the tag titles and we wait to see if another team moves up to challenge them. Yano VS Chase was a good match, a lot of good antics from Yano, but Yano felt like a natural choice to win here. It might be awhile before someone wins and takes the KOPW 2021 trophy, but it definitely has to be in something really ridiculous.

White VS Ishii was a very good match, maybe a little long, but the slug fest nature of it and Ishii enduring bad ribs made it work. As did another fast exchange finish with White going over. White is definitely going into the NJCUP strong. Okada VS Evil was very similar, a long but storied match that turned out very well. As I said before, Okada trying to focus on the Money Clip works as a way of extending his career, but I also like this new element that when things get difficult, he can always bust out the Rainmaker lariat. Okada declares his NJCUP intentions, but that in itself could signal he doesn’t win it all, and puts someone else over. At this point, I feel like Sanada doesn’t even need to declare to be considered a favorite. Sanada’s already had great matches with Okada, Naito and Ibushi, maybe one more time is the charm for him to join the upper tier.

My Score: 9/10


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