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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (10/26/20)

Who survived Hell in a Cell?

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WWE Raw Coverage 3.0

The more things change, the more they stay the same for Monday Night Raw.

After Hell in a Cell, Randy Orton is once again WWE World Champion! But The Miz is once again Mr. MITB! Will history repeat itself?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Survivor Series Team Raw Qualifier: Jeff Hardy VS AJ Styles; Styles wins and joins Team Raw.
  • Lucha House Party VS Drew Gulak & Akira Tozawa; Lucha House Party wins.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Tag Team Interruptus: R-Truth retains the title.
  • Survivor Series Team Raw Qualifier: Keith Lee VS Elias; Keith wins and joins Team Raw.
  • 8 Man Tag Elimination Match: The Hurt Business VS Retribution; The Hurt Business wins, by disqualification.
  • Drew McIntyre VS The Miz w/ John Morrison; McIntyre wins.
  • Survivor Series Women’s Team Raw Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Lana VS Lacey Evans VS Peyton Royce VS Nikki Cross; Lana wins and joins Team Raw.
  • Survivor Series Team Raw Qualifier: Sheamus VS Matt Riddle; Sheamus wins and joins Team Raw.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drew McIntyre is here!

Despite falling off the side of the cell through the announce desk and then losing his title, the Scottish Stud is still able to make it for Monday Night Raw! McIntyre gets the mic to say, “I’m trying to think of the words to best express how I feel losing my WWE Championship nearly 24 hours ago to Randy Orton.” The truth is, McIntyre will give no excuses, but one promise: “I will be WWE Champion once again.” But thinking back to the movie Rocky, there’s a quote in that movie that McIntyre lives his life by. “It’s not about hard you’re hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” That is how you win! If you have followed McIntyre, you know that he gets back up twice as strong!

But you’re also wondering why he’s in such a good word with inspirational quotes, right? He flew off the side of the Cell, roughly 15 feet then through a table and it hurt like hell! But here’s the thing. If you could read his mind right now, if you knew what was going on up in his head, you wouldn’t think that. You’d be scared. But THE MIZ interrupts! He and John Morrison are feeling great after Miz took the Money in the Bank contract from Otis! Miz says, “Bravo, Drew, bravo. Take a bow!” Everyone watching at home should give McIntyre an encore! McIntyre strongly suggests Miz choose his words very carefully. Morrison says they just want to congratulate him. McIntyre swears he’ll drop them where he stands.

Morrison says McIntyre had a great run as champion! He beat Rollins, Lashley and Lesnar. Very impressive. Almost as impressive as become a TWO-TIME Mr. MITB. Miz says to Morrison that all good things must come to an end, including Otis’ run as Mr. MITB and McIntyre’s run as champion. Oh c’mon, McIntyre, take a joke. You’re not a loser, just not a winner. So they’re commending him on not letting that get him down. Now McIntyre won’t have to face Orton as champion. And why would Miz say that? Because, as Miz was going to say before being interrupted, Miz has the briefcase! And this makes him THE Mr. MITB, and he wants us all to know that he is entitled to a world title match any time he wants! Miz has successfully done it before, and who was it against? Randy Orton! CORRECT!

McIntyre says that if they’re going to interrupt him, at least pay attention. They continue to ignore him as Miz asks Morrison where Miz cashed in on Randy Orton. Right here in the Orlando Amway Center! CORRECT! Miz ran down, cashed in, countered the RKO to the Finale and pinned him to become WWE World Champion, #AngryMizGirl, Miz had people celebrating with him, and then Miz celebrated with then future wife Maryse. And this morning, Miz was talking to Maryse on his way here, and he said history could repeat itself! Orton is a guest on A Moment of Bliss. So McIntyre, things could be worse. CORRECT!

Let’s just hypothetically say McIntyre won at HIAC. He would be standing here with the WWE Championship, outnumbered by them. And in that case, Miz would cash in and become WWE Champion, thus putting McIntyre in the same situation he’s in right now: disappointed, frustrated and empty handed. So as embarrassing as this is on the inside, look at the bright side! McIntyre has no more target on his back, doesn’t have to worry about MC M I Z, and it just dawned on Morrison, hopefully it doesn’t take another nineteen years for McIntyre to get back tot he title. Oh, c’mon, McIntyre, it’s a joke! McIntyre doesn’t laugh, he HEADBUTTS Miz! Miz is down from the Glasgow Kiss, and Morrison tries to use the horrible Scottish accent to appease him. NOPE! McIntyre just DECKS Morrison with a right hand! And then hauls him up to whip and OVERHEAD SUPLEX! “Time to fly!” ANOTHER OVERHEAD SUPLEX!

McIntyre scares Miz out of the ring but pursues, to put Morrison back in! McIntyre drags Morrison up, Miz gets in to chop block a leg! The Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century run away, but McIntyre STOMPS the sunglasses they left behind. McIntyre has an idea that he’s going to run by management, and it’ll be a bad Monday for these “friggin’ idiots.” What could McIntyre have in mind?

 

Survivor Series Team Raw Qualifier: Jeff Hardy VS AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin!

The Charismatic Enigma may not have won at HIAC, but he got to give Elias a sample of his own “smash hit.” Will Hardy rebound to join Team Raw at the battle of the brands? Or will the Phenomenal One win with his BIG back-up at ringside?

Raw returns and AJ Styles has a mic. “That’s right! 2-0 baby!” He’s 2-0 on Raw, and is dominating everyone that gets in the ring with him! It is the return of THE PHENOMENAL ERA of Raw! Surely everyone missed him, not that he cares. But let’s get to the question on everyone’s mind, including his: Why is AJ Styles in a qualifying match for Raw’s Survivor Series team? Has he not proven himself worthy? Not just in the WWE, but around the world! Who does he still have to prove himself to? Adam Pearce and the “jokers in the back?” C’mon! But not only should Styles be on the team, but he should be the captain! And it’s simply because of his face right here. The Face that Runs the Place!

And maybe you’ve noticed his new associate. Jordan Omogbehin doesn’t like to be noticed or looked at or talked to. That is a warning. But let’s talk about this match with “the biggest cheater in WWE history,” Jeff Hardy! Hardy used his illegal knee brace to win the Intercontinental Championship from Styles. But the joke’s on Hardy now! If Hardy tries what he did then here tonight, Styles’ associate will wish Hardy never put down the bottle. Hardy makes his entrance after those fighting words, will he shut Styles up and cast aside all doubt?

The bell rings, Styles kicks low and clubs Hardy down! Styles stomps Hardy, drags him up and throws haymakers! Hardy wobbles, Styles whips but Hardy ducks and slides out to dare Styles to follow. Styles does but Hardy goes in to then swing and wreck Styles with that dropkick! Hardy goes out, climbs up the corner, and leaps, but Omogbehin catches him! Omogbehin stares Hardy down this way but Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Styles cranks on a neck wrench. Fans rally for Hardy, he fights up with elbows and body shots, then runs but into an enziguri! Styles drags Hardy up, suplexes and hits a SNAP BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Hardy survives and Styles is upset already. Styles paces, goes to the apron, and prepares the arm. Hardy slowly rises, hobbles away, and Styles is frustrated. Styles gets in, waits for Hardy to stand, and runs in, only to miss! Hardy comes back with forearms, atomic drop, leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick! Splash down and cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his focus but he does hesitate with Omogbehin so close. Hardy kicks, Styles blocks but Hardy spin back kicks him away! Styles is in the corner, HARDY-AC ATTACK! Cover, TWO!

Styles and Hardy are down after the swinging dropkick, but Hardy rises first. Hardy drags Styles up, Styles fireman’s carries to USHIGOROSHI! Both men are down again but Styles sits up first. Styles drags Hardy up to fire off the Phenomenal Blitz, but into the jawbreaker! Hardy gets Styles for the Russian Leg Sweep, and leg cradle! Cover, TWO!! Styles narrowly pops free but Hardy flounders back up. Hardy hobbles after Styles in a corner and hoists him up top. Hardy throws hands, climbs up and brings Styles up, but Styles resists the superplex! Styles slips through and trips Hardy up! Hardy hits buckles and flounders away but Styles brings him up to torture rack! TOWER HACK BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Hardy still lives but Styles is too tired to be frustrated.

Styles gets back up, drags Hardy up and in but Hardy resists the Clash! Hardy spins out, kicks and Twist, but Styles slips out! Styles Peles but misses, OKLAHOMA ROLL, TWO!! Hardy kicks low and suplexes, GOURD BUSTER! Hardy hurries to a corner but Omogbehin is close again. Hardy still climbs, but Styles gets up to trip Hardy up! Hardy tumbles to the apron and clutches the bad leg. Styles goes out to bring Styles up, Hardy fights back but is denied the Twist! Styles POSTS Hardy then clotheslines him into the ring! Styles aims, springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, Styles wins!

Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (qualifies for the Raw Men’s Team)

Raw’s team is now phenomenal, but you have to think Omogbehin was a distraction just by being there. Will Styles bring that advantage to Raw come Survivor Series?

But then ELIAS attacks Hardy with another GUITAR SMASH! The Drifter won’t let Hardy off the hook, but will he be able to focus on his own qualifier later tonight?

 

Backstage interview with R-Truth.

Truth is still WWE 24/7 Champion after defeating Drew Gulak, before having to run off again. Errybody wants Truth’s baby. But all those guys are going to have their hands full with each other in a tag match. Truth will be there to scout his competition, and to let them know that if they want a piece of the Truth, here he is. Isn’t that dangerous? Being the 24/7 487 7/11 I-95 South European Champion IS dangerous. But he eats dangerously, sleeps dangerously, and his full name is R. Franklin DANGEROUSLY Copperpot Truth. Well then will Mr. Dangerously Truth still have his name on that title after tonight?

 

WWE once again teams with Susan G. Komen to fight breast cancer.

This month, #GiveAMoment of joy, family and love.

 

Lucha House Party VS Drew Gulak & Akira Tozawa!

Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, the Philly Stretcher and the Stamina Monster all want after R-Truth’s championship, but are looking to clear the other side out of the way first! Which duo moves into pole position for the race to capture the 24/7 487 7/11 I-95 South European Television Champion?

The teams sort out, Tozawa starts with Lince and he dodges the lunge to say STOP! Tozawa activates his ninja power to JAB Lince down! Tag to Gulak, they mug Lince and double whip to double elbow! Gulak covers, ONE, but Gulak stays close. Gulak gets Lince in a clinch, then a backbreaker and press! Lince endures, even as Gulak digs knuckles into the ribs. Lince pops free, Gulak drags him back up but Lince CHOPS! Gulak kicks low, whips but Lince rolls up and hits a FACEBUSTER! And here comes R-Truth! He’s a little late to scouting the match like he promised to do, but he goes right to commentary. Tozawa sneaks up on Truth to roll him up! TWO!! Truth BOOTS Tozawa and then throws him into barriers!

But Metalik LEAPS at Truth from the apron! Truth dodges then gets in the ring, but Lince dropkicks him down! Cover on Truth, Gulak breaks it! Gulak throws Lince away, covers Truth, TWO! Truth and Gulak get up, Truth dodges as Lince LEAPS and crossbodies Gulak! Lince covers Gulak, LHP wins the tag match!

Winners: Lucha House Party, by pinfall

But Tozawa drags Truth out to roll him up, Metalik breaks it! Metalik La Magistrol, TWO! Lince sunset flips, TWO! Gulak is late to getting at Truth, and the chase is on again! Will Truth make it out of the ThunderDome with the gold?!

 

Raw returns with Firefly Fun House!

What a spread of sweets! Huskis and Mercy and even Ramblin’ Rabbit are chowing down as the Mad Hatter- Er, Bray Wyatt, walks in! Welcome to their very first MAD TEA PARTY~! Hell in a Cell was great, Bray, cheer up! No, not that kind of mad. Now shut your carrot hole. A very special guest is here! It’s Alexa in Wonderland! And she brought tea! YAY~! Abby is being the Red Queen by saying, “Off with your head.” Ramblin’ gets a special serving of tea. What’s in it? A touch of strawberry, a hint of peach, a sprinkle of sugar, and a smidgen of a secret ingredient! YAY~! But what’s the secret ingredient? She can tell Ramblin’, he’ll protect the secret with his life! Funny he should say that! It’s arsenic. OH NOOO~! Ramblin’ is meltin’! Aww…

YOWIE WOWIE, Alexa’s fitting right in! Bray’s mad, Alexa’s mad, “we’re all a little mad down here.” How does he know that? Well she has to be, or else she wouldn’t be here. This is a very magical place where memories and nightmares walk hand in hand! A place where you don’t have to hide from anything. You’re safe because “he” comforts and heals you! There’s only one thing you have to do. #LetHimIn. Alexa’s eyes change…! And then change back. The fun is just beginning! Tonight, Alexa has a fun chat with the NEW WWE World Champion, Randy Orton! Oh… awkward… Ramblin’ is back and says, “Hey, dudes. Turns out I’m alright. Honey Bunny, I’m coming home.” Bray has the brand and SMACKS away on Ramblin’! That’s it for this week! We can’t wait o see Orton on A Moment of Bliss! It’s gonna be FIRE! YAY~! Bye~! See you soon!

 

Backstage interview with Keith Lee.

The Limitless One is angry after losing to Braun Strowman under “questionable” tactics that were anything but! Braun couldn’t win clean, so instead of losing like a man, he went below the belt and took a cheap way out? A Monster? No, the next time Keith faces Braun, we’ll see a real monster. But not tonight. Tonight is about destroying Elias, joining Team Raw, and going to Survivor Series. Will Keith #WalkWithElias and make him #BaskInHisGlory?

 

Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler find Adam Pearce backstage.

The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions obviously see the men are having Survivor Series qualifiers tonight. That’s great and all, but the women won’t do that. Nia has a list of those she thinks should be on the team. Pearce will take these under consideration but Nia isn’t team captain. Shayna figured, because she has HER list for Pearce. And Nia isn’t on it?! As captain, she had to do what was best for Raw. But wait, when are they finding out who is on the team? Pearce will look at both lists, and promises an announcement before the night is over. Right, make sure team captain hears first. But wait, was Shayna on Nia’s list? You won’t know now, will you?

 

Survivor Series Team Raw Qualifier: Keith Lee VS Elias!

We heard from Keith before the break, and we saw what Elias did to Hardy. Will the guitar be the least of things broken tonight with representing Raw on the line?

But before the match, Elias is in the spotlight. He plays his guitar and notes how he took care of Hardy. Just a little bit of payback for what Hardy did with that car. But Hardy won’t keep Elias down. Elias will put Hardy in the rearview mirror. Elias won, and is celebrating his album, Universal Truth, being out on iTunes, Spotify and all that. It’ll change your life, and it is already #2 on the charts! Now it’s called Universal Truth because there is a truth we all know in our souls: WWE stands for Walk With Elias! And with Hardy behind him, Elias will keep this going with a song, because he’ll beat Keith and join the Raw Survivor Series team. So please, silence cell phones, hold applause and most of all, shut your mouths! “Keith Lee-” interrupts! The Limitless One is in NO MOOD for song and dance, the match is happening now!

The two tie up, Keith pushes Elias around but Elias headlocks. Keith powers out and runs Elias over! Elias gets up, Keith wrenches the arm to a wristlock, then collides shoulders! Keith brings Elias up to ram him again! Elias throws an elbow back, but Keith blocks the whip to reverse it and HURDLE! Keith drops down then gets to BODY BLOCK Elias! Elias bails out of the ring to catch his breath and steady himself, but Keith goes out to pursue. Keith bumps Elias off barriers and puts him back in the ring. Keith takes his time returning but Elias hotshots him back! Elias runs to wreck Keith with a dropkick! Keith stays up but Elias goes out and runs, into a POUNCE!! Elias is sent over the announce desk and Keith stands tall as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Keith grinds down on Elias’ arm. Elias fights up, throws body shots but Keith knees low and clamps harder on the armlock. Keith grinds Elias down to the mat, clubs the arm, but Elias endures. Keith reels Elias in but Elias hits back with body shots. Keith knees Elias again, reels him back in, and lifts, but Elias fights out of the bomb and huricanranas! Keith gets up but Elias KNEES him back down! Keith goes out to the apron but Elias follows. Elias runs around the way to POST Keith! And then again! And then he throws Keith into barriers and into the ring! Elias gets up top fast, leaps, and ax handles Keith down! Cover, TWO! Elias keeps on Keith with stomps! Elias drops a knee, covers, TWO!

Elias keeps his focus as he looms over Keith. Elias fish hooks Keith’s nose then clamps on a chinlock. Elias thrashes and cranks on the hold but Keith fights his way up. Fans rally up, Keith pries free, but Elias knees him in the back! Elias whips, Keith reverses and scoops Elias for a POWERSLAM! Elias goes to a corner, Keith corner splashes then TOSSES Elias across the way! Keith hits another splash, wrenches and whips corner to corner again, but Elias goes up, only to get caught! Elias still kicks Keith away, and reels Keith into a swinging neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Keith survives but Elias climbs up top. But here comes Hardy for payback of his own! Elias looks for Hardy, but Keith grabs Elias to TOSS him down!

Keith brings Elias up, pops him up, and hits the SPIRIT BOMB!! Cover, Keith wins!

Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall (qualifies for the Raw Men’s Team)

It seems Hardy was just messing with Elias. Either way, Keith is on the team with AJ Styles, and that’s already an amazing combination! Elias manages to stand up, only for Hardy to SMASH him after all! Now they’re even! Hardy tells Elias to believe him about the car accident already, but are things only going to escalate from here?

 

The Hurt Business is backstage.

They’re all suited up, ready to face Retribution in an 8 Man Tag rematch, but MVP shouts at the guy wanting to use the restroom. No, that’s their restroom. Ask to use it first. The guy says he’s sorry, then scurries away. MVP, Cedric Alexander, Shelton Benjamin and Bobby Lashley are laughing now, but will Retribution finally get the last laugh tonight?

 

Backstage interview with Randy Orton.

The Viper is the new WWE World Champion and will surely expound upon that during A Moment of Bliss, but Charly asks if he’s worried about The Fiend? Orton has nothing to be concerned about. He made it out of hell as a 14-time champion. So it could be The Big Dog, The Fiend or the former WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre, at the end of the day, there is only one Randy Orton. The only people that need to be worried are those that cross him.

 

8 Man Tag Elimination Match: The Hurt Business VS Retribution!

Two forces have been fighting for dominance of Monday Night Raw, and given their love of bringing the hurt, it’s clear who has the upper hand. But just as Mustafa Ali changed that in a single moment, will he and his cohorts throw away the corrupt and greedy one by one so that the truth can be heard?

Raw returns and MVP has the mic. “Attention WWE Universe, this is an official announcement from the Hurt Business.” When Retribution first showed up, everyone fled except the Hurt Business. Lashley says they stood their ground because Retribution isn’t a threat, but an opportunity. Raw is an asset of the Hurt Business, and Retribution is a liability. Liabilities are bad for business, so you eliminate them. “If you’re a good businessman, you know that if you’re good at something, you never do it for free!” So MVP struck a deal with the higher-ups and said they’d take the fight to Retribution, and that is exactly what’s happened. Once they WRECK Retribution once and for all, the Hurt Business will have completed their end of the arrangement and be looking to collect their payment. Shelton Benjamin says that payment will be in GOLD. Retribution makes their entrance and this elimination battle begins!

The teams sort out, Lashley starts against T-Bar and they tie up. T-Bar tries to power Lashley back but Lashley turns it around to put T-Bar in the corner. The ref counts, Lashley lets off but counter punches T-Bar! T-Bar keeps hitting back but Lashely clubs and knees T-Bar, then bumps him off buckles! And more buckles and more buckles! Lashley stomps, clubs and punches, but lets off long enough before going up top. Lashley rains down rights but T-Bar powers him away! T-Bar BOOTS Lashley, then CLUBS him! T-Bar shows his power as he ROCKS Lashley! T-Bar whips Lashley to ropes, Lashley dodges and runs T-Bar over! Lashley drags T-Bar up, T-Bar rams him into a corner! T-Bar throws body shots but Lashley gets him in a clinch! T-Bar fights but the COMPLETE SHOT still hits!

Lashley drags T-Bar up, brings him to the corner and tags in MVP. The Hurt Business mugs T-Bar, MVP fires off and bumps T-Bar off buckles. MVP throws more haymakers, brings T-Bar out and says Ali will get what’s coming. But T-Bar knees hard and low! Tag to Mace, they mug MVP, and then Mace drags MVP up to say this is for Slapjack! Mace rains elbows into MVP, then tags Slapjack in. Retribution mugs MVP, Slapjack snapmares and basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO! Slapjack stays close, drags MVP up and bumps him off buckles. Slapjack fires off forearms and uppercuts! Slapjack throws haymakers, goes corner to corner but MVP drop toeholds him into buckles! MVP runs corner to corner to BOOT Slapjack down! But MVP keeps him up to EXPLODER! Cover, Ali breaks it!

MVP is angry with Ali but “Reckoning” is on the apron. She claims she’s itchy? What is she doing? She goes wild and then faints?! Slapjack rolls MVP up, Slapjack ELIMINATES MVP! The Hurt Business is down their mastermind, but Reckoning is still flailing and writhing!? What is wrong with her?! Raw goes to break as this sorts out.

Raw returns and Lashley has Slapjack in a rear bearhug. Slapjack endures, and by the way, Reckoning was FAKING it! She just wanted Hurt Business to be distracted. So the ref EJECTED her! Things are fair as they can be with Retribution in a 4v3 advantage, but Lashley squeezes tighter on Slapjack for all of that. Slapjack fights up, throws elbows, and gets around to throw body shots. Lashley throws Slapjack to a corner, runs in but into a boot! Slapjack boots again, then runs, but into a TOSS! Slapjack lands on his feet but Lashley SPEARS him!! Cover, Lashley ELIMINATES Slapjack! But T-Bar pounces on him! T-Bar elbows away, but Lashley clinches and throws T-Bar out. T-Bar drags Lashley out to join him and clubs away!

The ring count is climbing while these two are brawling! Lashley throws T-Bar into barriers then clotheslines him over! But he doesn’t hear the count anymore! They’re brawling and are COUNTED OUT!! DOUBLE ELIMINATION! Now things are fair again at 2v2! Mace goes in against Cedric Alexander, and Alexander fires off fast hands! Mace shoves him away then LEG LARIATS! Ali likes that! “Make him feel what Retribution is about!” Mace says Alexander will feel every ounce! Mace throws body shots, then runs in to back elbow! Alexander flounders, Mace looms over him, but Alexander throws forearms. Mace ROCKS Alexander with that uppercut! Mace drags Alexander from the corner, Alexander throws more forearms, but he can’t get away! Mace reels Alexander in, Alexander slips free and dropkicks legs out!

Alexander DECKS Ali, but runs into a choke grip! Alexander gets free, Mace boots him, but Alexander holds rpoes. Benjamin tags in. Alexander handsprings to NEURALIZER! PAYDIRT from Benjamin!! Cover, Benjamin ELIMINATES Mace!! And Ali realizes he’s all alone. Ali tries to reason with Benjamin but Benjamin DEKCS him! And again! Benjamin whips, Ali dodges and comes back, but is caught for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Benjamin fires up, tags Alexander in, and they mug Ali! Alexander especially fires off and whips Ali into the corner! Alexander fires off more haymakers, the ref counts and Alexander lets off. Alexander brings Ali up, whips him corner to corner but ALi dropkicks Benjamin down! Ali BOOTS Alexander then runs, but into a BIG back drop!

Ali flounders, Alexander snarls and runs at Ali to BOOT him out of the ring!! Alexander dares Ali to get up, and Alexander goes out after him. Ali USES A CHAIR!

Winners: The Hurt Business, by disqualification

Ali doesn’t care about winning so long as he can hurt the Hurt Business! But Ali forgets Benjamin is still here. Benjamin stalks after Ali and Ali is in retreat. But MVP and Lashley return to surround him! Ali gets around to the back and runs away through the screens of the ThunderDome! The Hurt Business regroups around Alexander. MVP says Alexander did good. They dominated Retribution again, will they now collect on some golden rewards?

 

Angel Garza flirts with Mandy Rose.

And he has a rose for her, too. How is Otis doing? Are they still close? Mandy says Otis has had a rough 24 hours between losing his MITB contract and his best friend in Tucker. And to answer his question, yes, she and Otis are still close. Well then, maybe Dana Brooke is interested. But then Garza is distracted by Nia Jax. She tells him to save it. This is about business. Shayna tells Garza to move along, but Nia does take the rose. But to Survivor Series. If Mandy and Dana end up on their team- Wait, their team? Yes, their team. Let’s get something straight. Well to get something straight, Dana and Mandy have been undefeated since forming this team. If the champs want to join their team, fall in line or be ready to watch their backs, and those titles. Is this Punk’d? Mandy and Dana head out while Nia smells the rose. Seriously, Nia? Garza?

 

Drew McIntyre VS The Miz w/ John Morrison!

THIS is what McIntyre was getting at earlier! He may be battered but that doesn’t compare to his anger! Will he take it all out on the new Mr. MITB, to not only assert himself as the next contender but also make sure Miz can’t even think about cashing in?

Raw returns and The Miz makes his entrance. The bell rings, Morrison slide sin but slides out, only for McIntyre to be ready for Miz’s lunge! McIntyre clubs Miz away then bumps him off buckles. McIntyre CHOPS Miz, keeps him in the corner and throws a BIG haymaker! McIntyre tells Miz to tell jokes now, as he stomps a mudhole in! Miz kicks the bad leg! Miz runs but into an elbow! McIntyre drags Miz up, throws her out, and Morrison hurries away as McIntyre goes out to CHOP Miz again! McIntyre scoops Miz, Miz slips off and shoves him into steel steps! McIntyre’s bad ribs are hit! Miz stalks behind McIntyre and back into the ring to then go after him in a corner! Miz stomps the ribs, lets off at the ref’s count, but McIntyre kicks back! And CHOPS back!

McIntyre whips, Miz reverses and kicks the leg out, to then basement DDT! Cover, ONE!! Morrison is shocked but he says Miz still has this. Miz chokes McIntyre on the ropes, lets off at 4, and Morrison gets a cheap shot in! That only pisses McIntyre off! McIntyre gets up but Miz BOOTS him! Miz throws haymakers, and kicks, but McIntyre grabs Miz by the head to throw him into the buckles! Miz dodges, blocks the boot and KNEE JAMMERS! Miz puts the leg around ropes and pulls! McIntyre powers Miz away but Miz comes back with It Kicks! The ref counts, Miz lets off and runs, but into a LARIAT! McIntyre rallies with more clotheslines, then whips Miz for the OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Miz gets up, but just gets another OVERHEAD SUPLEX!

McIntyre glares, he gives Miz the jumping neckbreaker! And kips up! “Now, Miz, you’re screwed!” McIntyre glares at Miz, drags him up, underhooks but no Future Shock! McIntyre shoves Miz, Miz throws McIntyre out and rests against ropes to distract the ref. Morrison comes around but McIntyre BOOTS the briefcase away! McIntyre gives Morrison an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! McIntyre CHUCKS the briefcase to the stage! McIntyre goes in, Miz gets McIntyre in a cradle, ONE!! Miz runs, so does McIntyre, CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!

Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall

The Scottish Stud stands tall and might be back on track towards the title! Will McIntyre be the one Orton has to worry about before ever worrying about Miz or Fiend?

 

The Street- Er, New Day, are hyped up!

“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s ya bois, the NEW~ DAY~!” And they welcome us back to Monday Night Raw, fam. And in just a few short weeks, it’s that time of year when we get to see Raw VS SmackDown. That’s Survivor Series! Champions take on champions… Kofi, what’s wrong? They talked about this, you can’t go full Dawkins. Right, sorry. Champions take on champions, fam! And that means Woods finally gets to face King Corbin for his title of King of the Ring! No, fam, no. They’re taking on the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, the Street Profits. There’s the graphic. They look great there. Well then, there’s only one more thing-

Asuka shows up? She introduces herself to them, and says, “WE WANT THE SMOOOKE!!” That’s true, that’s true! Asuka, the Empress of Tomorrow, is going to beat the brakes off the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks! And the NEW WWE World Champion, The Viper, Randall Orton, take on the Tribal Chief, OOOOAH! Roman Reigns!! And of course, don’t forget the traditional men’s and women’s- MVP and the Hurt Business walk in to plug THE United States Champion bringing the hurt to the Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn. And for good measure, they have their sights set on the tag team champions. Asuka says, “Yo yo yo! You can try, and you will fail!” GOTTEE! Do you know why?! BECAAAUSE~! NEW! DAY ROCKS! Asuka’s a scarier hype person than Big E, but will she be ready for Grand Slam Sasha?

 

Backstage interview with Drew McIntyre.

Congratulations on winning over The Miz. Is this his first step back to the title? Sure, why not? McIntyre will take however many steps it take to reclaim the title. Speaking of which, Orton is on later, right? McIntyre is going to give us a guarantee: Orton will have a moment, but not of bliss. McIntyre is keeping that promise he made from before HIAC! Will he continue to hunt down and beat down Orton until Survivor Series?

 

Adam Pearce and Pat Buck are in the ring.

“We are just weeks away from Survivor Series, the event where the best of Raw and the best of SmackDown go head to head.” We’ve already seen men fight for their spots on the team, but now we learn the five women for Team Raw! And we start with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Nia and Shayna! They walk out, and Pat says joining them will be Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke! The #SexyMuscleFriends (Asuka’s name for them) join them in the ring, but that leaves one more spot. Nia says Pearce should slow down. He’s just rushing through this that he and Pat chose? At least let the fifth person be announced by the team captain, Nia. No one said it was Nia! Nia said it was Nia.

Pearce keeps the arguing stop and is about to let us know that the fifth and final member will be decided in a Fatal 4 Way featuring: The Ravishing Russian, Lana! The Sassy Southern Belle, Lacey Evans! The Venus Flytrap, Peyton Royce! And lastly, the Twisted Sister, Nikki Cross! Nikki even has new music to commemorate the moment, that starts right now!

Survivor Series Women’s Team Raw Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Lana VS Lacey Evans VS Peyton Royce VS Nikki Cross!

Lacey and Peyton brawl while Nikki and Lana fire off! Peyton throws Lacey out, and Lana throws Nikki. Lacey drags Peyton out to join her, Lana BOOTS Nikki down onto them! The Ravishing Russian underdog stands tall as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns, Peyton has Nikki in the ropes, and then in the Motorcycle Stretch! Peyton pulls Nikki back but doesn’t have to let go because there are no disqualifications off ropebreaks. Nia sits in Byron Saxton’s seat on commentary while Shayna, Mandy and Dana watch at ringside. Lana rushes Peyton, Peyton ducks and kicks but Lana ducks that. Peyton ducks Lana’s kick and mule kicks low, to then POST Lana! Lana tumbles out, Lacey gets in and rocks Peyton. Peyton jumps the leg sweep to kick Lacey back down! Peyton goes back to Nikki but Nikki catches her to a cradle, TWO! Nikki gets up but Peyton clotheslines her down! Cover, TWO! Peyton is angry and she clubs Nikki down! Peyton rams knees in, clamps on a chinlock and pulls her back.

Nikki endures, fights up, and arm-drags free! Peyton ends up in a corner, Nikki runs in but Peyton puts her on the apron. Nikki counter forearms then bumps Peyton off buckles! Nikki LEAPS and takes down Lana! Nikki drops a senton on Lana, then goes after Lacey with a TORNADO DDT! Nikki fires up, gets back on the apron and back up top! Nikki LEAPS to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! All four women are down and Nikki fires up. Lana gets up, Nikki ROCKS her! Nikki drags Lana up, Lana KICKS her down! Lana slingshots and goes after Nikki, but Nikki spins out, WOMAN’S RIGHT takes Lana down! Nikki rolls Lacey up but Peyton breaks it! HEEL KICK for Lacey! Peyton Gory Especials Niki to GORY BOMB her onto Lacey! Cover on Lacey, TWO!!

Peyton is furious, she goes after Nikki and hoists her up top. Nikki fights back and Peyton tumbles away. Lacey goes after Nikki now, and climbs up. Nikki fights with Lacey and GOURD BUSTERS her down! Peyton HEEL KICKS Nikki! Peyton climbs, Nikki fights her off again and Peyton lands hard! Nikki gets up, but so does Lacey! Lacey CLUBS Nikki, brings her up, but Peyton adds on, SUPER GERMAN SUPERPLEX! Lana drags Peyton out and pounces on Nikki, LANA WINS!!

Winner: Lana, by pinfall (qualifies for Team Raw)

And there you have it! The Ravishing opportunist rounds out the team! Will Lana use that ability to help Raw win? Lana hugs her team, but Nia won’t let her go. Shayna clears off the table!! NOT AGAIN! This is the sixth time Lana goes through the announce desk!! Well, it seems obvious that Nia and Shayna did NOT have Lana on their lists. But will the team find a way to work together and defeat Team SmackDown?

 

Charly Caruso knocks on Randy Orton’s door.

Orton answers, and Charly apologizes for bothering him. Is he still planning on being Alexa Bliss’ guest after the Firefly Fun House episode earlier? Yes. Orton goes to leave, but Charly asks if he heard what they said. He did. So he didn’t take that as a threat? Because to some, it’s a guarantee that the Fiend is coming for him, and that A Moment of Bliss could be a trap. Orton stops Charly there. He is NOT afraid of The Fiend. “If The Fiend wants to show his ugly ass face tonight,” Orton is fine with that, because he has no problem introducing The Fiend to the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment. But will it be so easy when it’s The Fiend who can come outta nowhere?

 

Retribution regroups backstage.

Ali says that they are not family. They are not a team. “Retribution is a mission. And the good men and women that stand beside me are willing to sacrifice everything for that mission.” So we need to understand something: They win when we suffer. And they will win. Because they decide when we #GetShutDown! What will Ali resort to in order to accomplish the mission?

 

Survivor Series Team Raw Qualifier: Sheamus VS Matt Riddle!

The Fella and The Bro are ready to throw down for the third spot on the men’s team! Who joins the Phenomenal and the Limitless in representing Raw?

Raw returns and Sheamus makes his entrance. The bell rings and Riddle circles with Sheamus. They tie up, Riddle waistlocks but Sheamus headlocks. They go to ropes, go around and end up in a corner. Riddle picks Sheamus up to SLAM him down! Sheamus scrambles to get to the apron and Riddle lets off. Sheamus walks off his frustration but Riddle patiently waits. Sheamus gets back in, circles with Riddle again, and they tie up. Sheamus headlocks to hit the takeover, but Riddle moves around. Riddle fights his way up, Sheamus throws him back down. Sheamus traps an arm while grinding a headlock, but Riddle pushes back. Riddle gets up, gets the arm and shifts to an armbar! Sheamus holds it off, moves around but Riddle has the triangle! Sheamus makes it a cover, TWO!

The two reset and circle again. They tie up, Sheamus SLAMS Riddle now and covers, TWO! Sheamus has Riddle’s arm, wrenches to a double wristlock, but Riddle endures. Riddle fights up, spins through and gets a gut wrench to suplex Sheamus! Riddle just manages to throw Sheamus, and then is right on him again! Sheamus grabs ropes, the ref counts and Riddle lets go. Riddle and Sheamus clinch, Riddle gets the double wristlock but Sheamus knees low and hits the IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Sheamus hauls Riddle up and hangs him out to dry on the ropes! Riddle is on the apron, Sheamus give shim beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus stops at the ref’s count of 4, but Riddle gets the arm! Riddle has a hanging armbar but lets go at 4!

Riddle gets in, dumps Sheamus out, then goes out to PENALTY KICK! And then BROSAULT! Direct hit and down goes Sheamus as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Sheamus has Riddle down with a chinbar and armlock. Riddle fights up, fights back and fights free to then fire off forearms! Riddle runs but into a tilt-o-whirl BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Riddle is still in this and Sheamus grows frustrated. Sheamus stomps Riddle, drags him up and fish hooks the face! The ref counts, Sheamus stops and goes back to the chinbar and armlock. Riddle fights up, fights back and even headbutts Sheamus in the chest! Sheamus knees but Riddle gets around to fire off palm strikes and a boot! PELE! Handspring and ROUNDHOUSE! Sheamus sits up to get a PENALTY KICK and BROTON! Cover, TWO! Sheamus gets to a corner but Riddle fires up! Riddle runs in to forearm, then goes side to side to forearm again! Riddle brings Sheamus out but Sheamus fights back! Sheamus KNEES Riddle down! Cover, TWO!!

Sheamus is furious that Riddle survives the knee, but he goes back to a corner. Sheamus climbs the ropes but Riddle goes up to stop him! Riddle clubs Sheamus, brings him up but Sheamus fights back! Sheamus shoves Riddle down, stands, but Riddle is up top fast! Riddle hits a SUPER BROSPLODER!! Cover, TWO!?! Sheamus survives and Riddle can’t believe it! Riddle refocuses and fires himself back up. He goes to a corner and climbs back up. The fans rally as Riddle leaps for the FLOATING BRO, onto knees!! Sheamus saves himself and may have broken Riddle! Sheamus drags Riddle up, keeps on the back with big forearms, and then drags him back up. Sheamus brings Riddle up, Riddle slips out of the urenage to SLEEPER HOLD! Sheamus flails, reaches, but Riddle squeezes tight!

Sheamus rams Riddle into buckles until Riddle lets go, but Riddle just hops back on! Sheamus throws Riddle off, but misses the Brogue into a GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Sheamus survives but Riddle is foaming at the mouth! Riddle drags Sheamus up in a facelock, throws big forearms on him, but Sheamus slips out of the scoop to BROGUE!! Cover, Sheamus wins!!

Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall (qualifies for Team Raw)

Two gladiators just fought their hearts out, but it’s the Celtic Warrior that joins the team! Will Sheamus fight even harder to help Raw win over SmackDown?

 

Raw returns with A Moment of Bliss.

Alexa welcomes us to a very special edition of her show as her guest went to hell and back in defeating Drew McIntyre. Please welcome the NEW and 14-TIME world champion, Randy Orton! The Viper makes his entrance, but he does seem a bit wary of his surroundings. Orton still enters the ring as Alexa has a sly and almost sinister smile on her face. Orton grabs his mic but Alexa says he can take a seat. She won’t bite. Orton says he’s good. That’s fine. Let’s talk about his big win last night! One for the ages! Now did it surprise Orton that he delivered “such a super duper performance?” Well what is there to be surprised about? That he won HIAC? That he became a 14-time world champion? No. But talk about surprises, does Alexa have a surprise for him? Nope! What good talk show wouldn’t want the champion on their show, duh? Especially after he and McIntyre burned the house down…!

There it is. Burning the house down… Orton wants Alexa to know he knows Bray better than anyone. He knows Bray is close, so he will ask her this once and only once: “Where is The Fiend?” Alexa smiles bigger, because here comes MCINTYRE! McIntyre’s keeping his promise! And these two brawl in the ring! Alexa watches from a corner, very amused as McIntyre throws haymakers and stomps on Orton! McIntyre tells him, “SURPRISE!” McIntyre tosses chairs out of the ring, and even the table! McIntyre drags Orton up and DECKS him! Alexa is very amused! McIntyre grins, too, as he aims from a corner. Orton flounders up, but the lights start turning off! The lights go out, and when they come back on red, it’s JUST McIntyre left in the ring!

Orton has made it to the ramp but Alexa is completely gone! McIntyre isn’t afraid, but that’s because The Fiend is behind Orton!! Orton shrugs it off, and heads for the ring. Seems he’d rather fight McIntyre than that psycho! McIntyre says that’s fine, “BRING IT, B*TCH!” He and Orton brawl, McIntyre throws Orton into barriers and then more barriers! McIntyre promises he’ll do this forever until he gets his title back! Orton tries to hit back but McIntyre whips. Orton reverses and sends McIntyre into barriers! And they brawl to the announce desk! McIntyre throws haymakers on Orton, they go around the way, and McIntyre throws Orton into steel steps! McIntyre sits Orton up to get in his face before bringing him back to the desk!

McIntyre bounces Orton off the hood, then throws more haymakers! Orton kicks back, and gives McIntyre the back suplex to the desk! Orton gets up on the table, rains down fists on McIntyre, and The Fiend just watches on! The fight rages on but Raw goes off the air! Will there be nothing but chaos now that The Fiend is aiming for the world title?


My Thoughts:

Wow, this was a great follow-up to HIAC and the start of build for Survivor Series. I’ll ignore the huge disappointing fact that NXT will, as of right now, NOT be part of Survivor Series 2020. But circumstances being what they are, maybe WWE just doesn’t want to risk COVID complications. I will say two of the three Survivor Series men’s team matches were a bit obvious given how HIAC went. Elias and Hardy were not going to be on Team Raw given they’ll be having their own feud to settle, but AJ Styles and Keith Lee make for great members. Riddle VS Sheamus was an incredible match, just like Sheamus VS Kofi Kingston was last week. Sheamus is being given a great run, and he is a great addition to the team. I’m really curious to see who the final two men will be, as well as who SmackDown will put forward.

And since Survivor Series sticks to Raw VS SmackDown, no NXT and no room for a story based elimination match, that’s the reason why we got Hurt Business VS Retribution in an elimination tag tonight. Retribution had a decent plan using Mia “Reckoning” Yim as a distraction, but I was a little disappointed they didn’t try to rope The Fiend and his friends back in. Them making Yim hallucinate something gross on her would’ve been great story, but oh well. Retribution continues to be made into jokes to a degree, even with Ali using a chair to be disqualified. I hope with time before Survivor Series, Ali does something to really stick it to the Hurt Business as they’re trying to get the Raw Tag Team titles now. The New Day cosplaying the Street Profits was funny, as was Asuka joining in on hyping up all the Raw VS SmackDown Champion VS Champion matches. Again, disappointed we won’t get NXT involved but whatever, Asuka VS Sasha is still going to be a lot of fun. I hope the Profits return the favor and cosplay being New Day.

The tag team match that was also part 24/7 Championship match was a lot of fun. I feel like that should happen way more often, just to make a point of the 24/7 Championship being any time, any where, with anyone. There needs to be a mishap where a superstar that doesn’t even want the title ends up with it, I think that’d be pretty hilarious. The women’s tag team for Survivor Series being just announced was fine. Lana winning the Fatal 4 Way wasn’t just to set up another table spot, it’ll probably set things up where it comes down to Lana against however many SmackDown women are left, and somehow Lana wins as a sole survivor. It’d be great if it was also Natalya as one of the last SmackDown women to reference their story. And then when Lana wins, Nia can still put her through the desk.

McIntyre having segments and a match with Miz and Morrison was good stuff. I like that they also referenced the history of Miz, Orton, and the MITB. Firefly Fun House was pretty good, with Alexa bringing back her Alice in Wonderland costume and helping Bray reference his history with Orton. Orton is definitely going to have the hardest time making it to Survivor Series to face Roman Reigns. McIntyre is coming for him, title match or not. Fiend is definitely after the title, but also his own revenge on Orton. And Miz has the contract so he could just swoop in during any of that and take the title while WWE is still in ThunderDome.

And while we might be wondering when Miz is going to cash in, I bet he waits until Survivor Series so that he can pounce on BOTH top champions while they’re in bad shape. I will say there needs to be a moment where Miz tries to cash in and Otis shows up despite being on SmackDown, as his own revenge. Otis has to be moving to Raw somehow, between wanting payback on Tucker and probably on Miz, but I suppose SmackDown could do something with him now that he’s completely separate from everything that used to define him.

My Score: 8.3/10


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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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