It’s a new day and a new season for Monday Night Raw!
The Ravishing Russian has the opportunity of a lifetime! Will Lana become a champion? Or will she NEVER be ready for Asuka?!
- 8 Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Retribution; The Hurt Business wins.
- AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin VS Matt Riddle; Styles wins.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Lana; Asuka wins and retains the title.
- Women’s Fatal 4 Way Tag: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans VS The Riott Squad; Jax & Baszler wins.
- Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods VS Sheamus; Kofi wins.
- The Miz & John Morrison VS Tucker Knight & ???; Tucker & “El Grand Gordo” win.
- Keith Lee VS Braun Strowman; Strowman wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Fiend is here?!
No, it’s ALEXA BLISS! “Monday Night Raw. He’s heeere~!” #LetHimIn. NOW The Fiend arrives! He and his Bray Wyatt head lantern creep to the ring for the first time on USA Network! Alexa stands still like a statue, even as he gets in the ring. Then when he offers, she takes his hand. But what is this?! Retribution!? They’re hijacking Friend’s hijacking of Raw! Mustafa Ali leads “T-Bar” Dijakovic, “Mace” Maddin, “Slapjack” Thorne and “Reckoning” Mia Yim to the ring and they surround Fiend and Alexa! But neither Fiend or Alexa has moved? Do they not even register that these five are here? Mustafa raises his right hand, and the lights go out! But under whose power? When the lights come back, Fiend and Alexa are gone! It seems we know who really has power here.
But now, here comes the Hurt Business! MVP, Cedric Alexander, Bobby Lashley and Shelton Benjamin want to finally settle things with Ali and his cohorts! Reckoning Yim moves aside so the boy scan brawl! T-Bar gets dumped out, then Mace and Slapjack! Alexander throws Ali out onto his men, and then FLIES onto them all! They were going to have an 8 Man Tag some time tonight, now that time is after the break!
Get ready for Monday Night Bruh!
Matt Riddle is chill, but he can go from bro-down to throw down with the flip of a switch! And he’ll do it all without wearing shoes! Will the Bro soon run this show? Or will AJ Styles still be the Face that Runs the Place? Their rematch from SmackDown a long time coming is going to be part of Raw’s season premiere!
8 Man Tag: The Hurt Business VS Retribution!
At one point, the Heart and Soul of 205 Live were thick as thieves. But the Age of Alexander has grown up and the Beacon of Light is on a darker path. Will Alexander and his new business associates stop Ali and his rogues from running roughshod over Raw?
Ali tells T-Bar to go after Lashley but Lashley is the one throwing hands at the bell! Lashley whips and runs T-Bar over! Then runs corner to corner to clothesline hard! Lashley throws haymakers and elbows but the ref counts. Lashley lets off, comes back but T-Bar BOOTS! And CLUBS Lashley! Retribution is fired up but Lashley gets T-Bar for a COMPLETE SHOT! Tag to Slapjack but Lashley kicks and clubs him down! Lashley brings Slapjack up for a stalling suplex, a count of 10, and a SLAM! Hurt Business is fired up and Alexander tags in to Penalty Kick Slapjack! Alexander clubs Slapjack, Slapjack forearms back! Slapjack suplexes but Alexander counters to a GOURD BUSTER and BOOT! Cover, TWO!
Alexander glares at Ali as he brings slapjack up. Tag to MVP and MVP throws hands on Slapjack. MVP stomps a mudhole, argues the count with the ref, then brings Slapjack up to whip back into buckles HARD! Cover, TWO! MVP keeps Slapjack contained, then tags Alexander back in. They mug Slapjack with forearms to the back, then Alexander brings him up to bump him off buckles. Alexander ENZIGURIS hard then grinds forearm’s in. The ref counts, Alexander lets off to forearm Slapjack down! Slapjack flops through ropes, T-Bar and Mace go over and bark, but Alexander puts Slapjack in the drop zone. Alexander goes up, T-Bar talks smack. Slapjack SHORYUKENS and SUPER ARM-DRAGS!
Hot tag to Ali and he DROPKICKS the bad arm! Ali drags Alexander around, stands on the arm then stomps it! Alexander goes to a corner but Ali snapmares him to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Alexander survives, Ali drags him up and Ali wrenches on the arm. Alexander pushes Ali away and ROCKS him with that right! Alexander runs in, Ali puts him on the apron but Alexander rocks him again! Alexander jumps up but Ali trips the springboard up! Alexander hits buckles on the way down, then Ali grinds his heels into him! the ref counts, Ali stops and Alexander flops out of the ring. Ali slips out to THROW Alexander into the barriers! The rest of Hurt Business go to reinforce Alexander, Retribution meets them, but THE FIEND is on screen! Bray Wyatt’s nightmares watch these eight as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Shelton Benjamin and Dio “Mace” Maddin are in the ring and brawling! Benjamin gets the edge but Mace hits back! Benjamin knees low, Mace uppercuts back and knees. Mace pushes Benjamin to a corner, fires off more hands then runs to come back, only for Benjamin to POST him! Benjamin GERMAN SUPLEXES Mace to the other corner! Then runs in for the step-up KNEE! Mace flops down, Benjamin covers, TWO! Benjamin tries again, TWO! Benjamin runs to drop a knee! Benjamin has Mace in a chinlock, even using his dreadlocks against him. Mace fights up but is in the Hurt Business corner. Benjamin fires off forearms, tags Lashley and Lashley brings Mace out for haymakers. Lashley whips, Mace kicks back! Lashley roars and clotheslines Mace out!
Lashley blows up the Retribution corner and Mace gets in, for the ROKCY MOUNTAIN SPINE BUSTER! T-Bar runs in, Lashley goes up and around to SPEAR! Cover, Ali breaks it! Ali asks Lashley show mercy but T-Bar gets Lashley in a waistlock! Mace gets Ali out as Lashley standing switches. T-Bar throws elbows but Lashley turns those into the HURT LOCK!! T-Bar taps, Hurt Business wins!!
Winners: The Hurt Business, by submission
But then The Fiend returns!! He’s standing among Retribution, and SHOVES Ali down! And CLOBBERS Mace! Slapjack takes SISTER ABIGAIL! Mace is given an URENAGE to the announce desk! The Fiend targets Ali but Ali runs, only to get caught! T-Bar BOOTS Fiend, choke grips, but Fiend MANDIBLE CLAWS! And SISTER ABIGAILS! The Fiend lay waste to the rogues, and then he looks at the Hurt Business. Alexa is on screen now! “Let me in.” SHE SPOKE WITH BRAY’S VOICE!! What is going to happen to Monday Night Raw?!
AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin VS Matt Riddle!
This match was BRO-NOMENAL on SmackDown, but the Face that Runs the Place now has HUGE back-up! Shane McMahon’s buddy and bouncer is now accompanying Styles to the ring! Will Jordan be a big difference in this rematch with Riddle?
Styles says “I’ve got to give credit where credit is due.” Finally, they drafted a true leader. A true leader in A, J, Styles. Seth Rollins’ messiah complex where he was preaching and spewing prophecy and propaganda, Styles can only assume it was Jeff Hardy “stumbling out to the ring, screwing something else up,” Rollins was going to claim the promised land. But the real redemption of Raw was the return of the prodigal superstar, AJ Styles. Styles beat Hardy, he beat Rollins, at the same time! It further proved this was never Monday Night Rollins. When Styles beats Riddle tonight, Styles will shepherd Raw into a brighter future. This is more than a season premiere, this is a new era! A new era that belongs to the Face that Runs the Place, AJ Styles! But here comes Riddle to respond with action! Will the Bro show Styles he’s got it all wrong?
The ref asks Jordan to move from the ring but Jordan refuses. The ref asks Styles to ask Jordan to leave the ring. Styles isn’t going to do that, either. But the match has started. If Jordan doesn’t get out before five, Styles is disqualified. The ref starts counting, but Jordan stops him!? Jordan puts the ref’s hand down, but the ref asks one last time that he leave. He’s just doing his job, okay? Styles says it’s up to Jordan. Jordan finally does exit the ring, Styles and Riddle finally circle, and Styles kicks low and throws haymakers and CHOPS! Riddle dodges to KICK and KICK and KICK! Styles falls down hard but Riddle drags him from the ropes.
Riddle goes after him with more strikes but Styles gets the ropes. Riddle lets off but Styles throws a sucker punch! So Riddle throws Styles! And again! Riddle still holds on for a THIRD gut wrench suplex! Styles gets up but Riddle clotheslines him out, in front of Jordan! Riddle goes to the apron, but Jordan stands in his way! Riddle bails out of his Penalty Kick before running into that wall, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Styles whips Riddle to kitchen sink knee him down! Riddle goes to a corner but Styles is on him with stomping! Styles drags Riddle up, snapmares him and wraps on with a rear bearhug. Riddle endures and fights up, only for Styles to shift to a chinlock. Riddle fights out and fireman’s carries but Styles fights out of that! Riddle spins out of a kick to PELE Styles down! Both men go to opposite ends as fans rally on their screens. Riddle runs to forearm smash, then go side to side for another! And then BROSPLDER! Styles sits up but ducks the Penalty Kick, and the moonsault, and he BOOTS the Broton away! Riddle is down but so is Styles, and fans clap on screen. Styles brings Riddle up, Riddle fires off a strike fest but Styles responds with his! Only to turn into FINAL FLASH!
Riddle dead lifts but Styles PELES back! Riddle stays up!! And DEAD LIFT GERMANS! Riddle brings Styles up but Styles fireman’s carries to USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Riddle lives and Styles can’t believe it! Styles gets to the rope, drags himself up and hobbles back over to Riddle. Styles drags Riddle up and reels him in, but Riddle resists the Clash! Styles clubs, lifts, Riddle flips out to FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cradle for a cover, TWO!! Styles survives and Riddle is furious! Riddle gets up, drags Styles to a drop zone, and goes up top. Styles trips Riddle up! Styles gets up behind Riddle, brings him up, but Riddle fights back! Riddle sends Styles down, adjusts, but Styles is up and throws haymakers! Styles and Riddle brawl as Styles climbs, Riddle and Styles both fall!! Styles is in the ring, Riddle is outside.
The ring count climbs as Jordan walks over. Riddle is wary of Jordan as he balls up that fist, and he gets in at 6. Styles ENZIGURIS! And STYLES CLASH!! Cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Give a literally big assist to Jordan Omogbehin! Will Jordan continue to give Styles a huge advantage in his matches from now on?
Backstage interview with Drew McIntyre!
The WWE World Champion knows he has a “tall task” defending the title in his very first Hell in a Cell match, against a seasoned veteran of the Cell in Randy Orton. How much does this difference in experience play? McIntyre asks he take this over and address Orton directly. Charly obliges and hands over the mic. “Randy, from the first moment I met you when I was 20 years old, throughout my entire career, especially these past few months, it was always obvious to me.” Orton is the most evil and entitled entity in the WWE. But he’s also very intelligent. When McIntyre slammed the door closed and won the match, he should’ve left Orton behind. But Orton saw McIntyre celebrate with four legends he respects, and attacked them. McIntyre sees it was a calculated maneuver because he knew McIntyre would get angry. Orton challenged McIntyre to HIAC and McIntyre accepted.
But McIntyre sees the bigger picture. HIAC is custom built to injure. IT is a last resort. Those with darkness in them thrive in that environment. Orton has had success in them while McIntyre has had ZERO! Against anyone else, this would be a huge advantage. But McIntyre isn’t any superstar, is he? McIntyre defended the title with the honor and respect it deserves! This Sunday, there will be no honor or respect because Orton doesn’t deserve it! McIntyre has been through hell and will put Orton through hell to remain champion! Someone asked why he looks like he’s going to a funeral. Maybe he is. Orton has an interview later, so don’t be surprised if McIntyre shows up.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Lana!
Speaking of a tall task, the Ravishing Russian managed to rebound from a rough tag team defeat, and managed to snatch a victory from defeat in a battle royal, and now she’s challenging The Empress of Tomorrow! But Asuka has almost always been dominant in her WWE career. Will that continue even against the spirited determination of Lana?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this battle of dominant champion and “influencer” underdog begins!
Lana and Asuka circle, tie up and Asuka headlocks. Asuka grinds Lana down, Lana stays up and powers out but Asuka runs her over! Asuka speeds things up but Lana hurdles, only for Asuka to shove her. Asuka dances, Lana gets mad but she runs only for Asuka to side-step. But Lana turns the pop-up into a takedown, only for Asuka to make it a pin! ONE, Asuka wants her lock but Lana gets ropes! The ref counts, Asuka lets off fast and things reset. Lana and Asuka circle again, approach with a knuckle lock, but Lana kicks! Asuka ducks a kick, jumps the sweep, but Lana ducks a kick to roll Asuka! TWO, Asuka’s back hand misses and Lana kicks legs out! Lana kicks and kicks then covers, TWO!
Lana hurries to bring Asuka back up and bumps Asuka off buckles! Lana stomps a mudhole but Asuka shoves her away. Asuka back elbows hard, then ROUNDHOUSES! Lana is in a daze as she crawls away. Asuka hurries after but Lana throws the first forearm! Asuka forearms back, blocks a kick and gets around but Lana resists the waistlock. Lana elbows, Asuka gets the arm! Lana switches, rolls up, TWO! Asuka drags Lana in, ASUKA LOCK!! Lana reaches, but she still taps, Asuka wins!!
Winner: Asuka, by submission (still Raw Women’s Champion)
But here comes Nia Jax?! From the BACK! Nia CLOBBERS Asuka, but Shayna’s here, too! Shayna drags Lana up and holds her down while Nia clears off the desk! Not again!! They drag Lana out of the ring and Nia slaps her around while mocking her. Nia fireman’s carries, to SAMOAN DROP her through the desk! The FIFTH time in a MONTH! Shayna gets Asuka up but Asuka fights free and MULE KICKS! Asuka hip attacks Shayna out of the ring! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions regroup while the Raw Women’s Champion gets away! Will either of the predators catch Asuka as their prey? Or are even their powers combined NOT READY for Asuka?
Raw returns and Nia and Shayna are still in the ring.
The tag champs have mics, and Nia starts with, “To Lana, or anyone who thinks that Shayna and I are not on the same page, or we’re not a real team because we don’t braid each other’s hair on the weekend or follow each other on Instagram… You know what I see when I watch that replay? What’s the word I’m looking for? That’s it: teamwork!” Shayna would’ve said dominance. Teamwork is said by the tag titles. But it doesn’t matter how you say it, it’s what you do. And week after week, they’ve both come out here and dominated! They own the Women’s Tag Team Titles, which means they own the Raw AND SmackDown Women’s Divisions! And if anyone wants to refute that, they dare you to do something about it!
Here come Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke! Asuka’s #SexyMuscleFriends are not scared of the Queen of Spades or Irresistible Force! But it seems neither is Lacey Evans, because she’s following right behind! As is the Venus Flytrap, Peyton Royce! The champs want to know what the heck this is about! Peyton and Lacey are an even more dysfunctional duo than the champs as they keep pushing each other out of the center of the shot and whatever else. But wait! The Riott Squad is coming out?! They’re now on SmackDown, but these are floating titles! Their “farewell” to Raw could be a win over their rivals! Will Nia and Shayna regret throwing out the challenge having to face three teams at once?
Women’s Fatal 4 Way Tag: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans VS The Riott Squad!
In this kind of Fatal 4 Way Tag, only two teams are legal at a time, so the champs stand down, as do Lacey and Peyton. Dana starts with Ruby and they tie up. Dana rolls Ruby, Shayna breaks it up fast. Shayna and Nia get in now and start talking trash with Ruby and Dana. IT turns into a brawl, and the other teams get in! The champs are outnumbered but they still fight the rest off! The ref tries to sort things out but the Squad DOUBLE ENZIGURI the champs! Then the #SexyMuscleFriends double baseball slide! They go after the champs with fists, but Peyton LEAPS onto all four! Lacey sees she has a shot, she slingshots and MOONSAULTS onto them all! The Squad is still in the ring, but not for long! They’re on opposite corners, DOUBLE CROSSBODIES! The Squad stands tall and fans cheer on their screens as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Liv scoops Peyton but Peyton slips out. Peyton throws forearms then drags Liv over. Lacey won’t tag to Peyton clubs Liv down. Peyton tags Lacey in with attitude, and the two mug Liv. Lacey snapmares “nasty” Live and reels her in for a lift, but Liv huricanranas out! Liv runs in to body block Lacey in a corner and Ruby tags in! Ruby snapmares and covers, TWO! Ruby keeps on Lacey but Lacey pushes her back and trips her up to punch her in the stomach! Lacey rolls Ruby, runs but Mandy tags in! Nia tags in off Ruby while Lacey and Mandy argue! Nia and Mandy tie up, Mandy fires off forearms but Nia scoops! Mandy slips off, Dana tags in, and the #SexyMuscleFriends try to double suplex! Nia is too big and strong, she DOUBLE SUPLEXES them!
Mandy and Dana crawl while Nia rises. Nia runs in at them but Dana and Mandy dodges, Nia POSTS herself! Dana runs back in, handspring back elbow! Mandy tags in, she stomps Nia then double clotheslines Peyton and Lacey! KNEE FROM A ROSE! Tag to Dana while Mandy BLASTS the Squad! Dana is up, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, but Shayna breaks it! Shayna stalks Dana but turns around into a KNEE FROM A ROSE! Peyton HEEL KICKS Mandy down! Ruby gives Peyton an STO! WOMAN’S RIGHT from Lacey! Dana throws Lacey, goes after Nia, but Nia shoves! Liv tags in to dropkick a leg out! Liv fires off on Nia, then runs, to shotgun dropkick! Lacey tags in but runs into a drop toehold! Liv goes up, STOMPS Lacey down and Ruby tags in!
Ruby drags Lacey up, Liv adds on, LIV BREAKER to RIOTT KICK! Cover, Shayna drags Ruby off just in time! And into a KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Nia tags in off Ruby, stalks after Lacey, SAMOAN DROP! Cover, the champs win!
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by pinfall
This wasn’t for the title but it still shows where the champs stand in the food chain! Will these two hold onto their gold while still hunting after Asuka’s?
Ladies and gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter has an entire band accompanying him for once as he asks us one question: Who wants to Walk With Elias?! The ThunderDome seems torn. But this being the season premiere, what better way to do it than to give us all something we’ve been dying for in a live concert! Elias’ new album, Universal Truth, drops next Monday, and it is called that because there is a universal truth we all know: WWE stands for WALK WITH ELIAS! Now, Elias will kick this off with a medley from the new album, starting with “Amen.” Jeff Hardy better be listening. Hit it!
“How many times they gonna kill me? Try to put me in the grave~! Because I’m down deep, about six feet, I need someone to save… I only wear my black hat everywhere I go. The only time I take it off is when I do my show.” Amen! Amen! Hallelujah, I’m goin’ in! Pretty good guitar solo right here, but not from Elias. “I was born a sinner. And that’s how I’m gonna die. So when I drop down to my knees, I thank the Lord and cry. I’ve seen so many things I don’t want to believe. But my eyes see through those lies, and the truth will set you free!” Now Elias gives us a good guitar solo. Pyro for the bridge into the next song, “Lead Me Home.”
“I traveled through time and space, through a forest and a quiet place,” he needs you to show him the way. Lead me! Lead me! Lead me home! “When I feel far away, and I don’t think this ain’t the place, I feel the sunshine on my face.” More pyro to top that one off. “Thank you, ThunderDome! WWE Universe! My new album, next Monday, Universal Truth! Thank you, good night! I love none of you.” Well that last bit wasn’t really necessary… Elias pretends the booing and thumbs down means they want an encore, so he gives it to us. Wait, whose music is this? Who is this guy showing off? Elias gets mad, this is HIS show. Hand him the guitar! But it’s JEFF HARDY! Hardy’s been known to rock, and he smashes the mic stand with the guitar! Hardy tells Elias he never hit Elias with a car, that was a frame job! Will Hardy make sure Elias hears what he’s saying with actions rather than words?
John Morrison and The Miz are backstage.
Can you believe Mandy called Miz petty? Can you believe Lars Sullivan showed up to get his freak on by attacking Morrison? John, please, this is about Miz! He did Mandy a favor by getting her away from Otis! Now she’s in a team with Dana instead of being Otis’ arm candy! Yeah, Miz practically saved her life! We all know how Otis is around candy. And Miz will save the Money in the Bank contract when he wins the court case against Otis. Morrison tells Miz he-
Tucker shows up! Tucker says Miz is just ruining Otis’ life for his own gain. The influence with USA got Mandy traded, Tucker drafted, and he’s just delaying this trial to drain Otis’ wallet. While Heavy Machinery may not be on the same roster, Tucky is going to find a partner who wants to ruin Miz & Morrison’s life tonight on Raw! First, Miz is NOT trying to ruin Otis’ life. Nope! He is trying to restore dignity to the MITB contract. Dignity, yo! Second, they accept this challenge. Challenge accepted! Morrison, what are you doing? Being the hype man. Well, the point is, Tucky finding a new tag partner is laughable! But will Tucker have the last laugh on the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century?
Backstage interview with Elias.
Obviously Hardy’s interruption was not part of the concert. Of course it wasn’t! Elias thought in his hiatus that the people would stop interrupting him, there would be reverence for his music, but NO! So next week, Elias will not only celebrate the album dropping, but he’ll be dropping Hardy! Elias challenges Hardy to a match at the HIAC PPV! Will Hardy not only accept but flip the script on the Drifter’s plans?
Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods VS Sheamus!
The New Day may be separated between Monday and Friday, the Power of Positivity is universal! But the Celtic Warrior is also on Raw and wants to continue where he left off from SmackDown! Will Sheamus ruin the fun on the season premiere?
Raw returns as the New Day get the mics. “Wow! For the first time in nearly 4 years, ya bois the NEW~ DAY~ are your Raw, W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~!” But a lot has changed since then. Four years brings a lot of change, but even one year brings a lot of change. Woods had his Achilles tear last year where he couldn’t work, and then 2020 happens and talk about a garbage fire! They’re back now but then they get drafted away from Big E, Woods can’t take this! Kofi calms him down and says it’s one step at a time. Just breathe. But Sheamus interrupts before they can even exhale! Sheamus has a mic to say, “Here we are, huh? Lads, I’ll be honest. I’m glad you finally stopped crying, because that stuff was embarrassing.”
But four years since they were on Raw, huh? But Big E’s on SmackDown. This is only two t’irds of the New Day. Did he just call them turds!? That means “both you Muppets” are going to end up on the wrong end of a Brogue. Oh c’mon, Sheamus. Just because Kofi and Woods are away from Big E, that doesn’t mean the New Day is done! Oh~ no~! It means that Big E gets to hold it down on the blue side while they’re here on the red side! That means the New Day get to speed their seeds of positivity all over the WWE Universe! Like Johnny Appleseed! That’s them! We Johnny Appleseedin’! Oh just shut up! Look at reality! This power of positivity is not real! The reality is, lads, both of them are divided. And divided they will fall.
Um, Sheamus wants to talk about falling? Didn’t Big E drop Sheamus’ ashy ass on the hood of a car? So ashy and dry at work! C’mon, Sheamus! But since he’s already forgotten what it’s like to lose to the New Day, get on in the ring and let Kofi knock you out with the I5’s! And do you know why? Oh wait Big E isn’t here to say it. Sheamus doesn’t want them to say it, but why? BECAUSE, NEW! DAY ROCKS! The Fella has a headache, but will it only get worse going 1v1 with the Grand Slam Kingston?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Sheamus headlocks and hits a takeover but Kofi headscissors. Sheamus pops out, Kofi headlocks but Sheamus blocks the takedown. Sheamus powers out, runs Kofi over, and then speeds things up. Kofi dropkicks Sheamus down, covers, TWO! Kofi keeps on Sheamus, drags him up and kicks him around. Sheamus throws a forearm and has Kofi in a corner. Sheamus brings Kofi out for a European Uppercut but Kofi chops back! Kofi throws body shots, haymakers and CHOPS! Sheamus kicks low, CLUBS Kofi down hard, then brings him up to whip. Kofi kicks back, runs but into a scoop! Sheamus trophy lifts but Kofi slips out to clothesline Sheamus out of the ring! Kofi runs to dropkick Sheamus back down! And then he FLIES! But Sheamus catches him to SLAM him onto the apron! The Fella just gave Kofi a headache, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns as Sheamus grinds Kofi down with a chinlock. Kofi fights up as fans clap on their screens. Kofi hits a jawbreaker and Sheamus staggers away! Sheamus comes back to CLOBBER Kofi! Sheamus puts Kofi on the ropes, brings him up in the ropes and gives him beats of the bodhrain! Sheamus wants Kofi to get emotional and cry like he did on Friday! Sheamus keeps clubbing Kofi until the ref counts 4, and he lets Kofi flop down. Big E is spotted among the ThunderDome screens as Kofi fights back! Kofi throws elbows and forearms but Sheamus hits a HARD body shot! Sheamus brings Kofi up for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Sheamus clamps onto Kofi with a chinlock and squeezes tight. Woods points out Big E to Kofi, and the “New! Day Rocks!” clapping starts!
Kofi powers up, fights up, but Sheamus back suplexes. Kofi lands on his feet and comes back to STOMP Sheamus down! The power of positivity grows with Big E cheering on his screen! Kofi rises, Sheamus gasps as he stands, and Kofi double CHOPS! And double CHOPS! nd dropkicks! Sheamus swings, Kofi dodges, LEAPING LARIAT! Kofi fires up and runs, NEW~ DAY~ BOOM DROP! Kofi aims from the corner and the fans clap along on screen! Big E claps, too, but Sheamus dodges Trouble, only for Kofi to go up and crossbody! Cover, TWO! Woods coaches Kofi, Kofi rises but Sheamus throws another hard body shot. Sheamus runs in but into a swing kick! Kofi goes up top, leaps again, but Sheamus catches him again! And SWINGING SLAMS Kofi down! Cover, TWO!
Woods is relieved but Sheamus grows frustrated. Sheamus gets up, drags Kofi around by his legs, but Kofi fights off the Cloverleaf! Kofi is up but leaps into a takedown! Sheamus has the legs for the CLOVERLEAF! Kofi is caught, Sheamus sits DEEP! Kofi reaches for Big E’s LED screen and the ropes, then rolls through to go up and drag Sheamus down to a cradle, TWO!! Sheamus and Kofi are up, Sheamus runs in but Kofi kick shim away! Kofi spins, but no Trouble as Sheamus gets under! Alabama lift for an Alabama SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Kofi still lives and Sheamus is speechless! Woods coaches Kofi up more and tells Samoa Joe on commentary that Kofi’s got a lot left! Big E and the fans clap and rally, Sheamus drags Kofi up, fireman’s carry, and then he climbs the corner?!
Kofi fights back, slips off, and then climbs back up, SUPER RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP!! Both men are down but Woods is fired up! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus survives but the fans haven’t given up! Kofi and Sheamus stir, rise and the ThunderDome is thunderous! Kofi stands Sheamus up, reels him in, but no SOS! Sheamus rolls Kofi, TWO, but he scoops! Kofi slips around, crucifix takedown, TWO! TROUBLE IN PARADISE!! Cover, Kofi wins!!
Winner: Kofi Kingston, by pinfall
The Celtic Warrior is 0-2 against the New Day in singles competition! Big E is fired up for Kofi, will the New Day soon stand tall atop both Raw and SmackDown?
Mustafa Ali speaks.
“The Fiend and the Hurt Business made a very big mistake.” They made the mistake believing that Retribution’s only power is strength in numbers. No, Ali’s power is creating chaos. You have no idea how much chaos he can create! All he needs is a laptop, a cellphone, and a secret. And with one click, he can make anyone’s world come crumbling down. Ali embraced that power. For you see, while he was sitting at home this past year, “because this corrupt company couldn’t figure out how to make a buck off of someone named Mustafa Ali,” Ali wasn’t just watching. He was watching each and every “spineless superstar” as they plotted and backstabbed each other just to get ahead! Ali learned all of their “pathetic, little secrets.”
At this point, Ali might as well just say it. That mysterious hacker WAS Ali! And he did it because he wants the entire world to know that “this sick place is infecting everyone with greed and corruption!” Because of that, good, talented individuals are being forgotten and abandoned, their dreams left to DIE! Ali found them. Ali united them. And Ali promised them that their truth will be heard. So to anyone, from the Fiend to the Hurt Business to anyone in between, “if you try to stop the truth from being heard, we will will shut you down!” It was Ali, WWE Universe! It was Ali all along! And now that he has combined his intellect and abilities with the savage rage of these outcasts, will anyone be safe?
Titus O’Neil talks to The Hurt Business backstage.
Titus knows they did their thing tonight against Retribution. He was sitting backstage and thought he’d be a great addition to their group. He already dresses the part, looks the part, and with his connections in public image, he can take their conglomerate worldwide. Oh, worldwide, huh? Well Titus is an upstanding community service man and he definitely dresses the part. And Ricochet isn’t coming to his senses so let them take a moment to discuss. That moment doesn’t last that long. Wow, they move fast! Music to his ears! Titus can’t wait to get started. No, they’re in business. And they beat up Titus! The Real Deal gets beat down 4v1! Is this because they can’t go after Ricochet anymore?!
The Miz & John Morrison VS Tucker Knight & ???
The Hollywood A-Lister and Guru of Greatness got a great laugh out of Tucker’s threat of a tag team beating. But will Tucker be making them eat their words after the break?
Raw returns and Miz tells Tucker that time is up. Bring out this tag team partner that will “fill Otis’ shoes.” Hey hey, ho ho! If you’ve got a partner, let us know. Tucker makes his entrance and is fired up, because he tells them to make their jokes. When the bell rings, they won’t be laughing. Tucker scoured the globe, north, south, east and west, from the highest mountains to the lowest valleys, and he found “one of the world’s premiere luchadors!” This is… EL GORDO GRANDE! Wait, what? That’s just Otis in a mask. Nuh-uh. Gordo, introduce yourself. “Si, senor Tucky. Yo soy GRANDE GORDO!” He has the lunchbox!! He’s holding onto it for Otis. And how did Tucky scour the globe in 30 minutes? Uh, digitally! Duh! And in Tucker’s opinion, Gordo could be the next Rey Mysterio! Right, Gordo? “Si, senor Tucky.”
ENOUGH!! Do you think wearing a mask makes you clever? It’s more like you ate Lucha House Party! And it just proves Miz’s point! Otis doesn’t deserve the MITB briefcase because Otis is not championship material! When Miz won, he upped his game, won the title and main evented WrestleMania! Otis is standing there in a bright pink mask and cape with a lunchbox filled with deli meats! Otis spits on everyone who has ever won the MITB contract! That contract changes careers, and yet Otis is wasting his! So why is he making a joke? The only thing Miz can think of is that Otis is the joke! Miz looks at Otis, and thinks of them side by side. There’s a difference that’s obvious: Miz LOOKS like a WWE superstar. He has been in this business for 15 YEARS beating Hall of Famers!
Miz has represented the WWE in all forms of media! Miz is championship material and yet everyone boos him and thumbs down in “Virtual World” while cheering Otis! Why!? Why?! Because Otis is the “underdog story!” Otis won as an underdog! When Mandy chose a boyfriend, he was the underdog and won the girl. Miz will explain this very slowly so even Otis can understand. When people call you an underdog, it’s out of pity! And they will pity Otis more when the court rules in Miz’s favor, because he knows how to play the system. Miz separated Otis from Mandy, separated Otis from Tucker, and will separate Otis from the MITB contract and bring prestige back to it! So play any character you want. Put a mask on a pig, it’s still a pig. This finally fires off!! Otis/Gordo and Tucker clobber Miz and Morrison and hold the ring as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and this match finally begins as Tucker circles with Morrison. They tie up, Tucker pushes Morrison away and then tie up again. Tucker puts Morrison in a corner, whips him corner to corner but Morrison goes up and over, only for Tucker to go up and CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Tucker swipes at Miz, blocks Morrison’s kick but Morrison goes Eddy Gordo! Morrison chokes Tucker on the ropes, then lets off so Miz can choke Tucker! They get away with it all then tag, for a DOUBLE GUTBUSTER! Miz mocks Otis/Gordo and BOOTS Tucker down! Miz throws haymakers, tags Morrison, and snapmares Tucker. Morrison runs to KNEE Tucker down, Miz BOOTS, Morrison standing shooting stars! Cover, TWO!
Morrison keeps Tucker down with haymakers and stomps. Morrison taunts Tucker while stomping him more. Morrison brings Tucker up to throw knees but Tucker throws haymakers. Morrison throat chops Tucker! Morrison throws elbows down, gets the arm and shifts, but Tucker blocks the armbar to a cover. ONE, Morrison keeps moving around and has a straitjacket stretch! Tucker endures, fans clap and rally as Otis/Gordo shakes and moves around. Tucker fights up, backs Morrison into the ropes but Miz tags in. Tucker throws Morrison off and CLOBBERS him, but Miz is after the legs! Tucker kicks him away and tags in Otis! Gordo rallies with big clotheslines! And then he pops Morrison up for a FLAPJACK! Morrison staggers, Otis clotheslines him out!
Miz runs into a boot from Otis, and Otis goes up! Otis reels Miz in for a flying arm-drag! And a cartwheel! Maybe this IS a luchador! Scoop slam and a cover, Morrison breaks it! Tucker gets in and he scoops Morrison for a SLAM of his own! Miz BOOTS Tucker out of the ring! Miz goes after Otis, full nelson but wait, R-Truth gets in? He’s being chased, but also pretends he’s not here. Miz is distracted as Drew Gulak, Akira Tozawa and another ref are passing through, too! Otis recovers to CORNER SPLASH! Lucha House Party is in the 24/7 Championship chase, too, but they stick around to see LA ORUGA! The Spanish Caterpillar! Otis goes up top, EL VADER BOMB! Cover, Otis- er, Gordo and Tucker win!
Winners: Tucker Knight & “El Grand Gordo,” by pinfall
Well whoever that really is, he and Tucker teach The Miz and Morrison not to be so high and mighty! Will the court case between Miz and Otis finally be settled?
The New Day parties with Tucker and “Gordo” backstage!
Great job with Miz and Morrison! That’s what they get for that $6 song on iTunes. Actually it’s down to 99 cents. OUCH! But wait! Mandy gives “Gordo” a ham! Gracias, senorita. GOR! DO ROCKS! GOR! DO ROCKS!
Raw presents an all new Firefly Fun House!
Time to unpack! Bray brings out Mr. Mallet, and the black sheep mask. And the weird branding thing? What was that for again? Well anyway, hi, fireflies! This is the season premiere of Firefly Fun House on Monday Night Raw! It makes Bray sad he had to lave his friends on SmackDown. But he can’t wait to make new friends here on Raw! “He” already did… What a great start! Abby the Witch wants us to keep it down so she can sleep. Don’t be crabby, Abby. Raw is about having fun! Huskis likes it raw. Ramblin’ Rabbit says that’s right. This is about new beginnings! He’s making new friends and going to do his garsh darn best to be a better father and husband. Wait, Ramblin’ has a family? Well you never asked…
Sorry about that, little buddy. But going forward, Bray promises to be a better friend. You mean you’ll keep Ramblin’ from being eaten by Mercy the Buzzard? And just dying in general? “After all, the past is in our heads. But the future is in our hands.” Really? Really! That means so much! All Ramblin’s wanted is a fresh start. MERCY ATTACKS! Fresh start? More like fresh meat! But wait, someone is knocking at the door? It’s… LEXI! The best surprise saved for last! And the fun is just getting started! YOWIE WOWIE! See you later~! Bye~! Now that Lexi is on the show, what “fun” will the Fun House be having?
Keith Lee VS Braun Strowman!
The Limitless One and the Monster Among Men nearly destroyed the ThunderDome in their “exhibition” match! Now it’s going to be on the record, will they just wreck everything all over again?
Raw returns and Keith Lee makes his entrance. The bell rings and the titans stare down. Braun says Keith picked a fight with the wrong monster! They tie up, go around, and Braun puts Keith in the corner. Braun throws headbutts and elbows but the ref counts. Braun tells the ref to shut up as he goes corner to corner and SPLASHES! Keith staggers, Braun clotheslines him out of the ring! Keith staggers to the desk, Braun follows out and comes around the way, the STROWMAN EXPRESS blasts Keith into the apron! Braun puts Keith in, tells him to get up, and then he scoops Keith up! Keith slips off, the bad back and ribs from Roman’s chair shots limit Braun! Keith goes after Braun with clubbing forearms!
Keith lets Braun sit up before he boots him down! Braun gets up, Keith BODY PRESSES! And SPLASHES! Cover, TWO!! Braun toughs it out as Ric Flair and JBL are watching on the ThunderDome! Keith as Braun in a corner and throws forearms and rams in shoulders! The ref counts, Keith keeps going until 4. Keith brings Braun up, wrenches and whips him but Braun blocks! Braun ROCKS Keith with a right, throws uppercuts then runs corner to corner only to miss! Keith moves to POUNCE Braun!! Keith tells Braun to get up now but Braun stays down as dead weight. Keith says “We ain’t done yet,” but Braun learns a trick from Roman! Braun gets up and “inadvertently” LOW BLOWS Keith with his head! Braun seethes as he watches Keith gasp for air! Braun runs and BOOTS Keith down! Cover, BRAUN WINS!!
Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall
The Monster took advantage of the one limiter Keith has! But Keith grimaces as he LOW BLOWS Braun back! “Don’t test me!” Braun claims to be a monster, but he just met a dragon! “You have tangled with the wrong one!” Will Keith make sure Braun gets what’s coming and #BaskInHisGlory?
Raw returns, and the Cell is being lowered!
It is a sampler of what will happen this Sunday at the HIAC PPV. And now, Randy Orton heads to the ring! The Viper promised a “message from hell,” and that means from inside Hell in a Cell itself! Orton makes sure to lock the door, knowing McIntyre will want after him. Orton has a chair as well as a mic, and he takes a seat in the center of the ring. “Before I came out here tonight, I asked that the cell be lowered, because I wanted to come out here and reflect. I wanted to come out here and remember.” Orton looks at the steel and says ever since he’s been in the WWE, he heard about the cell, “and that anyone who competes inside Hell in a Cell leaves a small piece of them behind.” Orton has had seven matches inside this structure, and he has never left any piece behind. If anything, he’s understood himself better after each time. Orton understood what he was truly capable of.
This Sunday, Orton enters for the eighth time as he faces McIntyre. But as he sits here, he remembers standing toe-to-toe with the World’s Strongest Man, Mark Henry. He remembers surviving the Celtic Warrior, Sheamus. Orton remembers mutilating Jeff Hardy, and beating down Daniel Bryan. He remembers facing John Cena twice, and becoming WWE Champion twice! But the most important thing he remembers about the cell, that despite what McIntyre says about Orton not earning “a damn thing” in his life, Orton remembers standing “in this hell, and looking The Deadman in the eye, and earning his respect.” Orton says that every name he listed are all agreed upon future hall of famers. And when Orton thinks of the Hall of Fame, he thinks of the synonymous word, “Legend.”
The word “legend” gets thrown around a lot these days rather loosely. The word “legend” is losing its meaning. There are legends and legendary moments. Orton will admit McIntyre had a legendary moment beating Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania to become champion. But enough talk, McIntyre heads out to the ring! Orton taunts McIntyre from the other side of the steel fence. The chain holds the door closed so Orton gets cocky as he eggs McIntyre on. McIntyre will have to wait until Sunday unless he can break the lock! “Come get me!” Okay then. McIntyre goes over to the barriers, and brings out BOLT CUTTERS! Orton freaks out as McIntyre starts clipping chain links!
Orton runs to the ring but McIntyre is in! Orton has his chair, McIntyre slams the door closed, and he shouts, “Your ass belongs to me!!” But Raw has to end for the night?! What happens between Scottish Psychopath and vicious Viper when we can’t see it?!
Are you kidding me?! That ending really hurt the whole show! And it was a really good go-home episode up until then! McIntyre had a good promo teasing his appearance, and Orton had a great promo to lead into that. The two looked ready to tear themselves and the cell apart, but then we have to cut away?! It didn’t bleed over into Raw Talk like it should have, it hasn’t been posted anywhere yet, such as YouTube or Twitter, so what the hell?! It’s not even a cliffhanger, it’s just a big middle finger to us! And not the cool kind like Stone Cold throws up. The mean kind when you’re meaning to insult people because you don’t care if you piss them off!
Moving on to the good stuff, opening with Alexa and Fiend, followed by Retribution and Hurt Business, it was all great stuff. I really like the idea that with Seth Rollins bringing the “greater good” to SmackDown, the rest of the roster could be fighting to fill the “power vacuum,” if you will. Retribution VS Hurt Business have their 8 Man Tag I was hoping for, but I felt like Retribution got jobbed out too easily. Lashley basically finished them off by himself, which seemed too much. On the flipside, Fiend doing that to them was fine, because it was the Fiend. But I feel bad for Titus getting beat down 4v1. Maybe Titus and Ricochet become an alliance, and they find a way to take the fight to the Hurt Business.
The Firefly Fun House segment was great, too, especially with them having Alexa show up. It just makes sense. Ali had a great promo, too, that finally gave us closure on the SmackDown hacker that we all felt made the most sense. I really hope we get some kind of 4v4v4 match, where Fiend can either debut more characters being “played” by superstars, or superstars take on the characters of the funhouse. Bo Dallas should definitely return to be the human embodiment of Ramblin’ Rabbit or Mercy the Buzzard. At this point, maybe that’s what happens to Ricochet and Titus. They want to fight Hurt Business, so does The Fiend. Bray, Bo, Ricochet and Titus become some new kind of Wyatt Family meets Firefly Fun House cast, and they get to win against two other honestly talented factions.
Styles VS Riddle was a great surprise, as was Omogbehin being Styles’ new heavy. Granted, I was hoping for Raw Underground to regroup as a faction, but Omogbehin being with Styles is great for both of them. Joseph Park should show up, too. I still hope we get the WWE equivalent of The Abyss out of him, so that way Styles has two monsters with him. The Raw Women’s Championship was good but fast, similar to Asuka’s matches with Zelina Vega. Lana does have talent but it sure seems like having her smashed through a table is more fun. The Fatal 4 Way Tag was pretty great, though it’s very confusing in the moment for Peyton and Lacey to team up when Peyton and Billie just got broken up as a team. Maybe Peyton goes Face against Lacey in a 1v1 feud? And no idea who steps up to be contenders since Nia and Shayna just crushed a bunch of teams.
Asuka taking on both Nia and Shayna would be interesting. A Triple Threat before Survivor Series maybe? Because I’m still hoping we get something to the effect of Asuka VS Shirai VS Bayley/Banks. Survivor Series needs to be triple branded again, and we need to at least get moments of Asuka VS Shirai since we haven’t gotten that at all. The New Day and Sheamus had a great promo segment and an even greater match. That is why they’re all still in the WWE doing big things. But I wonder, will Sheamus get a tag partner to take Kofi and Woods on together? Meanwhile, Miz & Morrison and Heavy Machinery have their own great promo segment and match. The 24/7 Championship chase showing up was a great bit, too. Heavy Machinery win one more time together, but I am so surprised as to them dragging the briefcase element out. WILL Otis cash that in before the “court” settles things? That’s the best way Otis can get back at Miz, even if Otis fails to take a title.
Elias’ “concert” was great, because he’s actually improved to some level. And Hardy showing up to show him up was good, too. Their match at HIAC will be good, but I feel like it’s only going to be the beginning of a long feud. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is how the winner of that feud gets towards a title. If Hardy wins, he’s at least getting after the US Championship, and could actually be who joins up with Fiend to fight Hurt Business. Or he goes all the way to the top title just to give us a great Face VS Face match with McIntyre. Braun VS Keith was pretty good, and I actually like that they had Braun get away with that low blow. Braun VS Keith deserves to be even bigger, so a match at a PPV for a shot at the world champion is definitely how this should go. Even if McIntyre holds on, the bit of battling he and Keith had was not nearly enough, we need more of that. McIntyre VS Braun isn’t half bad either, given they have history dating back to their feud with The Shield.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!
AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
- Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
- Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
- AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)
And then there were four!
The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!
A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
- Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.
Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.
Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.
Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”
Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!
Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.
Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!
Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!
Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!
Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.
Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!
It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?
Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!
Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!
Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!
Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!
Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!
Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!
Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!
Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!
Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!
But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!
Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?
As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”
Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.
Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?
A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.
But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.
Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.
My Score: 9/10
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