Raw sorts out their wins and losses after Survivor Series!
Both the Raw Men’s and even Women’s teams won at Survivor Series, but their champions had tougher times. Will Asuka, the New Day and Drew McIntyre have to watch out for challengers trying to pounce on “vulnerabilities?”
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS The Hurt Business; The New Day wins and retains the titles.
- WWE World Championship Contender Qualifier: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus; Riddle wins and advances to next week’s Triple Threat.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Lana; Asuka wins by disqualification, and retains the title.
- Asuka & Lana VS Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler; Asuka & Lana win.
- WWE World Championship Contender Qualifier: Keith Lee VS Bobby Lashley; Lee wins and advances to next week’s Triple Threat.
- Alexa Bliss VS Nikki Cross; Bliss wins.
- WWE World Championship Contender Qualifier: Randy Orton VS AJ Styles; Styles wins and advances to next week’s Triple Threat.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Raw Men’s team is in the ring!
They and Adam Pearce stand together as Pearce notes we saw one of the greatest main events in Raw history when Drew McIntyre became a two-time world champion against Randy Orton. And then we saw an end of an era at Survivor Series, were we all bid a final farewell to the Phenom, the Undertaker. But we also saw these superstars in the ring defeat SmackDown in a dominant clean sweep! Results like that deserve rewards, so one of these five might be McIntyre’s next challenger. That brings us to tonight. Pearce wanted to give every man of Team Raw a chance to stake their claim to a title match.
Pearce wants “Captain” AJ Styles to start but Sheamus speaks up. Firstly, Styles was not the captain. Secondly, Sheamus congratulates his friend, Drew McIntyre, on becoming a two-time WWE World Champion. They go way back, they’re bets of friends, and as last night goes, Sheamus being the most valuable member of the team- Styles cuts Sheamus off there. Most valuable? Yes, Styles is repeating his words so clearly he heard Sheamus right. Styles says that we all know McIntyre is Sheamus’ buddy, sure, but Styles says this is the “good ol’ boy” system. Not gonna happen! And furthermore, most valuable? N o, that’s the captain, Styles!
Keith Lee speaks up and does NOT hate to interrupt here, because not only did Keith save Styles, he pinned SmackDown’s captain, and so he is the obvious choice of the title opportunity. Styles complains but Riddle speaks up now. “I would like to be WWE Champion, and I think we all did last night was pretty sick.” Last night, Riddle beat King Corbin. That was sweet! Does that make Riddle the King Bro? Does he get a crown? Riddle would like to face McIntyre, win, and become WWE Champion so he could have that dope sword to go with the crown. Sheamus says Riddle is the dope. Fire Face, c’mon, bro. Riddle will win the title, get the sword and the crown, and let him hold them.
Don’t call Sheamus FIRE FACE! Yeah, no more nicknames. Skipper, didn’t you like yours? And so did Bro Lee, right? But Fire Face wasn’t even his first choice anyway. Though, Fire Crotch was already taken. What does Mongoose think? Pearce says “last but not least,” Braun Strowman will have his time to speak. What does Pearce mean by “last?” It is just a saying, Braun. Braun grabs Pearce and shouts “Do you know who I am?! Do you know what I’ve done for this company!?” The team tries to calm Braun down but he HEADBUTTS Pearce!! The team tells Braun that was uncalled for, but he tells them to back off. Will this jeopardize not only Braun’s chances at the title but his chances at being in the WWE?
Raw shares footage of an encounter between The New Day and the Hurt Business.
Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods were filming a video when The Hurt Business walked by. MVP taunts them as “The Worst of the Worst,” for having lost “embarrassingly” to the Street Profits. Shelton Benjamin says the Raw Tag Team Championships are missing prestige, which only gentlemen like the Hurt Business can bring. The Hurt Business want New Day to give them a championship opportunity tonight. Woods says they just did this, and remind him what happened? Cedric Alexander says it was what New Day got at Survivor Series. While the New Day were cosplaying like fools, Alexander was on the sidelines, and he hates being on the sidelines.
The Hurt Business crowds the New Day but Kofi tells them to back up a bit. Alexander says they’re not asking, they’re telling the New Day, they’re having a title match tonight. And then the spotlight will be where it belongs: on Alexander. Kofi says this was their day off, but MVP says there’s no such thing for champions. Woods accepts the challenge! Will the New Day rebound at the expense of the Hurt Business? We find out, next!
Raw Tag Team Championships: The New Day VS The Hurt Business!
The introductions are made, the belts are raised and the Raw after Survivor Series has a golden opener!
The teams sort out and we start with Benjamin and Woods. They tie up, Benjamin puts Woods in the corner but Woods slips away! Woods swivels his hips and smooths his hair but MVP tells Benjamin to be “controlled fury.” Benjamin and Woods circle and feel out the grapple. Benjamin tackles Woods and rains down rights! Benjamin floats all over Woods, brings Woods up with a half nelson but Woods moves around. Benjamin stays on top of Woods, brings him back down then rams a knee into the shoulder! Woods writhes and goes to a corner but Benjamin is after him with a TOSS! Woods ends up in the other corner and Benjamin brings him back up, for a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! He tries another cover, ONE, and Benjamin KICKS Woods down.
Benjamin drags Woods up, Woods throws body shots and haymakers, but he runs into a BOOT! Alexander is fired up and Benjamin KNEES Kofi down! MVP says, “I love it when a plan comes together,” and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Woods endures a chinlock. Benjamin leans on Woods as Kofi and the fans rally up. Woods throws body shots and then arm-drags Benjamin away, rolls to dodge, hot tag to Kofi! Kofi springboards to ax handle Benjamin, DECK Alexander, then rally on Benjamin with chops and a dropkick! Kofi runs to leaping lariat! Fans clap and Kofi fires up, for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kofi aims from the corner, claps it up, but Benjamin ducks Trouble to kick and whip! Benjamin runs in, Kofi slips out and kicks back! Kofi goes up top but Benjamin throws haymakers to stop him!
Benjamin climbs up, Kofi fights back and headbutts Benjamin away! The ref is busy with Benjamin, and Alexander ARM-DRAGS Kofi to the apron! Alexander gets away with it but Woods saw that! Woods goes over to check on Kofi as the ring count climbs. Kofi rises as it’s at 8, Benjamin KICKS Kofi down! But the count is 10!! New Day survive!!
MVP is furious but the New Day gets away! MVP thinks his guys won, but that’s not how the rules work! Woods rubs that in on MVP but MVP says this isn’t how it’ll go! MVP wants the ref to restart the match so it won’t end like this. New Day doesn’t want to lose like that, right? The New Day says they gave Hurt Business their shot, but that trash talk doesn’t sit right, so we’re still going!
Fans cheer on their screens while Kofi and Benjamin stare down, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Kofi circles with Benjamin. They tie up and fire off fast hands! Kofi gets around to mule kick, kick and kick and then fire off body shots and haymakers! The ref counts, Benjamin shoves Kofi away. Kofi runs back at Benjamin but gets TOSSED out of the ring! Kofi clutches a leg and Woods hurries over to check on him. Alexander talks trash that Kofi is done, but the ring count is climbing again! Benjamin gets Kofi in before 9 and stomps away. Benjamin tags Alexander, and they feed Kofi to knees! And then a clothesline! Alexander hops up, lines up the shot, and ELBOW DROPS! Cover, ONE!!
Alexander tries another cover, ONE, and Alexander hammers away on Kofi! Alexander gets the leg and gets Kofi in a partial Queen Angelito. Kofi endures, Benjamin tags in, and the knee is the target of Benjamin’s stomps! Benjamin drags Kofi up and around, and hits a SHIN BREAKER! Benjamin drags Kofi around, and drops an elbow on the leg! Tag to Alexander and Alexander drops an elbow onto the leg! Alexander has a toehold, Kofi endures as Alexander punches away on the knee, and Alexander even cranks harder on the leg. Alexander has a standing SNAP LOCK! Then a TRAILER HITCH!
Kofi endures, reaches for Woods and Alexander taunts Woods to help Kofi! Alexander drags Kofi away, tags in Benjamin, and Benjamin stomps Kofi down. Benjamin drops knees, drags Kofi around by his leg again and has a standing toehold. Kofi endures but Benjamin drops down for a kneebar! Fans rally, Kofi CHOPS and CHOPS and is free! Benjamin hurries after Kofi, reel shim in and clotheslines him down! Benjamin talks smack and has Kofi in the corner. Benjamin drags Kofi up by his hair and puts him on the ropes. Alexander stands back as the ref watches him, and Benjamin wraps the leg on the ropes. Alexander tags in and he dropkicks the leg! Cover, but the ropes are too close! Kofi gets free but Alexander tries again, TWO!
Alexander has the leg and he turns Kofi for a partial Crab. Alexander drags Kofi around, tag to Benjamin. They mug the leg again and Benjamin drags Kofi up. Benjamin headbutts Kofi to the corner then throws haymakers. Benjamin runs in but Kofi ducks under to shovel Benjamin out! Alexander tags in before Benjamin falls, but Kofi throws him out, too! Kofi crawls but Alexander yanks Woods off the apron! Kofi elbows Benjamin away, and boots with the good leg! He gets Benjamin for SOS! Cover, TWO!! Benjamin and Kofi are both down but Benjamin tags in Alexander. Alexander chop blocks Kofi’s leg! Woods glares as Alexander covers Kofi, TWO! KNEEBAR! Kofi endures as Alexander pulls on the leg!
Fans rally up, Kofi pries free and he brawls with Alexander on the mat! Kofi heads for Woods but Alexander drags him away. Alexander heel hooks but Kofi kicks him away again. Kofi hobbles but gets the hot tag to Woods! Woods rallies on Alexander, leg lariats! He dumps Benjamin out, puts Alexander on ropes, SLIDING WRECKING BALL! Woods rains down right son Benjamin, gets in to trophy lift and DROP Alexander! Cover, TWO!! MVP shouts at Alexander to get up but Woods has him in a corner. Woods runs into an elbow, Alexander uses ropes for the TORNADO DDT! Tag to Benjamin, OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, Kofi breaks it!!
Alexander gets in but Kofi kicks and tosses him out. Kofi aims and bounces to SLINGSHOT into Alexander! Benjamin reels Woods in, Woods sunset flips out of the bomb, the NEW DAY WIN!!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall (still Raw Tag Team Champions)
Maybe the Hurt Business should’ve just cut their losses, because now they’ve actually LOST! Will New Day prove they’re still the best on Raw, no matter what?
Adam Pearce walks out of the trainer’s room.
Charly Caruso asks how he is doing. The doc told him to take it easy this week. But obviously he has Braun escorted out of the building. He can’t speak to the consequences of Braun’s actions, but if it were Pearce’s call, Braun would be fired. Understandable, but now she asks who he was going to handle the WWE World Championship situation. Before he can answer, Bobby Lashley walks over and asks he wait to talk business. Lashley says he would never have done what Braun did. And second, Lashley was the only champion on this brand to win at Survivor Series. So perhaps they should discuss that before a decision is made. Pearce excuses himself from the interview to do just that. Is the United States Championship about to take over the world… title picture?
Raw returns, and Charly tries to interview Pearce again.
Lashley made a compelling case, but now- Randy Orton walks over…? Pearce needs another minute, Charly. Clearly the Viper wants to add to the conversation.
Backstage interview with Lana.
The Ravishing Russian went from being smashed through a table nine weeks in a row to being Team Raw’s SOLE SURVIVOR! How is she feeling? She is so shocked and happy! That was the greatest moment in her career, she feels on top of the world! Well, the Raw Men’s Team won and are in line for titles, so perhaps Lana will get a rematch with Asuka? She can’t even think about that right now. She wants to live in the moment. If she’s dreaming, don’t wake her up! Will Lana make dreams come true soon enough?
Charly returns again to talk with Pearce.
Pearce has spoken with Lashley and with Orton, what is his decision now? He has come to a solution: everyone has made a claim, that is what he wanted. But this needs to be settled in the ring. Three 1v1 matches will determine the entrants in a Triple Threat #1 Contender’s match, the winner facing Drew McIntyre for the title! And the first one tonight: (Matt) Riddle VS Sheamus, and that is NOW!
WWE World Championship Contender Qualifier: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus!
“Bro…!” Dopey, the King of Bros, and the “Fire Face” Fella face off for a spot in an epic Triple Threat! Who will be but the first of three in next week’s golden opportunity?
The bell rings and Riddle circles with Sheamus. Riddle still thinks they’re cool from Survivor Series but Sheamus slaps the bro fist away. No more Fire Face nicknames, stupid! Riddle says Sheamus should have respect, but Sheamus shoves him! So Riddle waistlocks and jumps on! Sheamus shakes Riddle off and gets Riddle in a facelock. Sheamus grinds Riddle down, Riddle slips around and jumps on again. Sheamus throws Riddle off this time and Riddle gets up fast. The two circle again and tie up. Sheamus puts Riddle on ropes, the ref calls for a break but Riddle gets around again. They reluctantly honor the ropebreak but the ref reprimands them both.
Sheamus headlocks and throws Riddle down, but Riddle keeps his shoulder up. Sheamus traps an arm, and Riddle endures as Sheamus tortures the fingers. Sheamus keeps on the headlock but Riddle pops out the back to get a hammerlock. Riddle returns the crank, and throws in elbows. Riddle keeps calling Sheamus “Fire Face” as he shifts around for the double wristlock. Sheamus fights up and rams Riddle to a corner! Sheamus KNEES Riddle hard and low then CLUBS him down! Sheamus has the top wristlock now and he bends the arm way back. Riddle endures, Sheamus digs his elbow into Riddle’s eye!
Riddle fights up, Sheamus claws his face, but Riddle throws body shots. Riddle fights free, throws forearms, and more forearms, and a CHOP! And more forearms, and more CHOPS! Riddle seethes but Sheamus CLOBBERS him! Sheamus kicks Riddle while he’s down and Riddle goes to ropes. Sheamus digs his knee into Riddle’s head but the ref counts. Sheamus lets off, argues with the ref, but then he brings Riddle up just to throw him down with the hammerlock. Sheamus headscissor squeezes Riddle but Riddle bridges up. Riddle moves around, gets Sheamus with the ARMBAR! Sheamus scrambles to a ropebreak! The ref counts, Riddle lets off at 3, and Sheamus bails out.
Sheamus tells Riddle to play by the rules, and Riddle says he can stay out then and lose by ring count. Sheamus gets in, they both kick each other, but Riddle fires off forearms. Sheamus throws body shots, knees and then suplexes Riddle up and over! Cover, TWO! Sheamus has a keylock and then shifts to throw elbows into Riddle’s head. Riddle fights up, fireman’s carries, but Sheamus fights free. Riddle fires off hands, Sheamus shoves but Riddle kicks him! Riddle runs but Sheamus clotheslines him out hard! Sheamus goes out to the apron and leaps, into a FINAL FLASH! Riddle gets Sheamus for a BROSPLODER! The ring count climbs but Riddle drags Sheamus up and in at 5!
Riddle aims, runs and BROTONS! Cover, TWO! Riddle grits his teeth while Sheamus sits up. Riddle lines up a shot and KICKS Sheamus in the chest! Sheamus sits up and Riddle KICKS him again! And stomps him! And KICKS him against ropes! Riddle drags Sheamus up, Sheamus throws heavy body shots and he DECKS Riddle with that right! Riddle ends up on the apron, Sheamus brings him up to beat the Bodhrain! Sheamus gets all 10 and then dumps Riddle down. Riddle groans while he stirs and the ring count begins again. Riddle stands at 5, gets in at 7, but Sheamus is right on him with European Uppercuts!
Riddle boots back from a corner, runs but into the IRISH CURSE! Cover, TWO! Sheamus pushes Riddle around but Riddle is still in this. Sheamus drags Riddle up, Riddle holds ropes to avoid the whip, but Sheamus KICKS him low! Sheamus shoves Riddle to a corner then RAMS into him! And then POSTS him! Riddle flounders out, but dodges as Sheamus runs in, and Sheamus POSTS himself! The BRO KICKS return! BRO! BRO! BRO! Riddle lets off as the ref counts, but he and Sheamus catch each other with forearms! Sheamus catches the kick, Alabama lifts for the ALABAMA SLAM! But he can’t make the cover, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Riddle is fighting up out of a chinbar and armlock. Riddle throws body shots, then forearms, but Sheamus shoves to KNEE Riddle down! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus can’t believe Riddle survives! Sheamus pushes Riddle away then stands on a hand, to stomp it! Sheamus drags Riddle up, scoops him but Riddle slips off, spins Sheamus and PELES! Sheamus tumbles out of the ring! Riddle gets up, builds speed to the corner, and then goes to the apron to PENALTY KICK! And then FLOATING BROTON! Riddle puts Sheamus in, then climbs up top, for a CROSSBODY, but into Sheamus’ arms! Sheamus hits a SWINGING SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Sheamus is shocked as he stares down at Riddle. He stomps Riddle to the ropes, then drags him back to stomp him more. Sheamus ties up the legs but Riddle resists the Cloverleaf! Sheamus kicks Riddle and turns him over, CLOVERLEAF is in! Riddle endures and drags himself over, ROPEBREAK! Sheamus holds until 4, and he has no idea what it’ll take to solve Riddle. Riddle is on the apron, Sheamus brings him back up, but Riddle stops the Bodhrain! Riddle has the arm for a DRAPING KIMURA! The ref counts, Riddle lets go at 4 then he hotshots Sheamus away! Riddle gets in, gets around, Sheamus elbows and switches to drop down and drag Riddle to a HEEL HOOK!
Riddle endures, CHOPS and forearms Sheamus, but Sheamus clubs him back! Sheamus cranks on the leg, Riddle is down, TWO as Riddle sits up. Riddle kicks and kicks with his free leg, and kicks and kicks, until he is free! And he still kicks! Cover, TWO! Riddle grits his teeth again as Sheamus sits up, but Sheamus ducks the PK, only to get a FINAL FLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Sheamus survives and shocks Riddle! Riddle fires himself up, foams at the mouth a bit, and he drags Sheamus to a drop zone. Riddle goes up top but Sheamus clubs him down! Sheamus clubs Riddle more, then climbs up behind him. Sheamus brings Riddle up but Riddle hits back.
Riddle sends Sheamus down, adjusts position but Sheamus hits him again! Sheamus climbs up, throws forearms, then fireman’s carries Riddle! He shifts Riddle around, SUPER WHITE NOISE!! Cover, TWO?!? Riddle survives and Sheamus is beside himself! Sheamus looks at Riddle from the corner, even more unsure how to put Riddle away. Sheamus beats his own chest, firing himself up. Riddle stands but then drops before the Brogue arrives! Sheamus laughs, he thinks Riddle is done. Sheamus brings Riddle up, “You’ll never be tough like me!” Riddle HEADBUTTS! ROUNDHOUSES! But Sheamus ducks the next, to Electric Chair lift! Riddle punches back, rolls through but Sheamus rolls it back! CLOVERLEAF!! Riddle endures, turns it back over, drags Sheamus down to a victory roll! RIDDLE WINS!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall (advances to the Triple Threat Contender’s Match)
The Fella is FURIOUS that he got beat by the Bro! Who will Riddle be meeting next week in that match?
Asuka finds Lana backstage.
The Empress heard Lana might want to challenge for the title. Oh, no no, she was just interviewed about being the Sole Survivor, and the question came up. Lana was not even thinking about that. Asuka is the best in the world and Raw Women’s Champion! Well that’s okay, Asuka loves challenges. She accepts, and will see Lana in the ring tonight. Who knows? Maybe Lana goes home the new champion! Lana is happy to have her newest opportunity, but is she worried it won’t be as easy as her Survivor Series win?
Raw presents an all new Firefly Fun House!
Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss welcome us back! Tonight is about something truly evil! Vile! Disgusting! Repuslive! It’s “friendship.” Ew~! Friends will always let you down! One minute, you’re best buds, playing ball, skipping stones, burning the midnight oil together to solve a puzzle. Then the next minute, they’re burning other things… Wyatt still gets flashes of what Orton did. But trust Bray when he says friends are no good. Just like Alexa’s former friend and tonight’s opponent, Nikki Cross.
Ribbit, pay no attention to this, Bliss. You can’t let a friend like Cross hop away. Who da F is you? This is the Friendship Frog, of course! And he believes friendship lasts forever. Is that so? Indubitably! Well Alexa should show the frog what she’ll do to her “friend,” Nikki. Alexa asks for a little help, and Bray whispers in her ear. Those scary eyes return! This doesn’t seem very friendly. Alexa bashes him with the branding stick! Friendship Frog is now pudding. That’s enough. Now please, join us in a moment of silence for the frog. A video shows the frog growing up from tadpole to pollywog to full fledged frog. He played baseball, graduated from college, and “Always eat what bugs you” was his senior quote in his yearbook. And of course, his debut and final appearance on FFH. He was 40?
Friendship Frog was a fine amphibian. A real shame he… croaked. HAHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, bye~! See you later, Nikki! Um… Will Nikki end up looking like Friendship Frog before the night is over?
WWE Tribute to the Troops returns to television!
Sunday, December 6th on Fox, WWE again thanks the men and women of the US military by putting on a special show! Check local listings for showtimes.
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Lana!
The Empress of Tomorrow may have come up short against The Boss in their Champion VS Champion match, but that’s not going to stop Asuka from reigning over Raw! At least, it shouldn’t. Will the Ravishing Sole Survivor shock the world all over again?
Raw returns and Lana makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, but Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler come out to intimidate Lana. Of course, they pretend that’s not why, and join commentary instead. The bell rings and Asuka ties up with Lana. Lana arm-drags Asuka down and Asuka claps some respect. Asuka and Lana tie up again, Lana headlocks but Asuka powers out. Asuka drops down, tries to pop Lana up but Lana counters to a cover! TWO, and Asuka ducks a kick, to pop-up KNEE Lana down! Asuka has the ref move as she baseball slides at Lana but Lana dodges! The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions taunt Asuka for taking even this long to beat Lana, but Asuka splashes them with someone’s water! Nia attacks and that ends the match!
Winner: Asuka, by disqualification (still Raw Women’s Champion)
Whether Asuka egged them on so this would happen or not, Asuka wins the match and retains her title! But now the tag champions are mugging her! Lana watches as they splash Asuka with water now, then drag her to the table. Shayna clears it off for Nia, but Lana saves Asuka! Lana and Asuka get in the ring, then get away as Shayna and Nia storm in! Asuka says it won’t work like that, but Nia grabs the mic. “You started something, get back here an finish it!” Shayna adds on, because she and Nia want a match with them tonight! Lana and Asuka accept! Raw goes to break, will the Ravishing and the Empress take down the Irresistible Force and the Queen of Spades?
R-Truth does a WWE Shop commercial.
After all, this Friday is Black Friday, as in deals, deals, deals! But then a referee shows up. Truth says his title is not for sale, but then Drew Gulak SMACKS Truth with a toy Money in the Bank briefcase! Gulak covers, but the lights start turning off?! The ref bugs out of there, and Truth knows HE is here! He who? THE FIEND!?! Gulak turns around and “YOWIE WOWIE!” Oh it’s just Akira Tozawa in a Fiend mask. he gets himself a free WWE 24/7 Championship pillow. Get that and more now at WWE Shop!
Asuka & Lana VS Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler!
Raw returns and Lana dodges Shayna’s knee in the corner! Lana fires off knees and kicks of her own, then a heel kick! Lana brings Shayna around, whips but Nia makes the tag! Lana ROUNDHOUSES Shayna but Nia throws Lana by her hair! Nia looms over Lana and taunts Asuka. Nia drags Lana up to TOSS her! Lana gets to a corner and Nia mocks her pain. Nia brings Lana up to TOSS her again! Nia and Asuka shout at each other, but Nia reels Lana in to CLOBBER her! Nia kicks Lana and says Lana got lucky. Nia chokes Lana on the ropes, lets off at the ref’s count, but throws Lana out to the floor.
Tag to Shayna and Shayna stomps Lana on the outside. Shayna puts Lana in the ring at 4, stands on Lana’s foot, and then taunts her to try and tag Asuka. Shayna drags Lana back to drop elbows, then drags her up for a neck wrench. She even ties up Lana’s legs in a pretzel to keep her trapped. Lana endures, Asuka and the fans rally for her, but Shayna knees Lana down. Tag to Nia, Shayna drags Lana over and puts her in the corner. Nia runs in to corner splash! Nia drags Lana by her hair, pushes her back down, then pushes her around “because you suck!” Lana got lucky, and yet she’s the sole survivor?! Nia pushes Lana around more and then drags her up. Lana hits back!
Lana fires off clawing hands and kicks, but Nia RAMS her into the corner! Tag to Shayna, the tag champs mug Lana, then Shayna snapmares Lana to KICK her in the back! Shayna stands on Lana’s head while she pulls on a leg, then the other leg. Shayna bends Lana past a normal Half Crab and even toys with her, before she SLAMS the leg down and KICKS Lana in the side! Lana sits up but Shayna kicks her again! Shayna toys with Lana, but Lana crawls along ropes. Shayna runs in but Lana dodges her slide! Lana kicks Shayna away, hot tag to Asuka!
Asuka SLIDING KICKS Shayna down! Asuka hip attacks Nia! And elbows Shayna! And kicks! Shayna grits her teeth but Asuka ROUNDHOUSES to a CODE BREAKER! Asuka fires up to hip attack in the corner! Shayna fights the waistlock off but not the BACK HAND! Asuka GERMANS Shayna away! And SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Asuka keeps on Shayna with KICKS, but the buzzsaw is blocked to a trip and KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Both women are down, Nia trips Lana off the apron! Nia headbutts Lana away from her corner, then pushes her towards the announce desk. Nia wants number 10! The ref reprimands but Nia scoops Lana up.
Lana fights out to ROUNDHOUSE back! Lana fires off but Nia pushes her away! Nia roars and runs at Lana but Lana ducks, and Nia tumbles over the desk!! Shayna grabs Lana for a KIRAFUDA! The ref says Lana isn’t legal, but Asuka is and she rolls Shayna up! ASUKA AND LANA WIN!
Winners: Asuka & Lana, by pinfall
Lana celebrates, but only as she runs away to the stage so Shayna and Nia can’t get at her! Will Lana’s apparent win streak continue?
Riddle finds MVP backstage.
MVP the OG! “Sup, dude?” No fist bump? Okay. But what’s up with “Big Bobby?” Riddle was hoping to wish him luck tonight. Well Lashley has to get ready for his qualifier. What does Riddle want? Oh that’s right, Lashley is against Keith Lee. Probably one for the ages, bro. But question: Riddle has a million ideas for business investments. Everyone loves what? Pizza. What else does everyone love? Yogurt. So therefore, pizza flavored yogurt. And that is just the tip of the iceberg! Riddle suggests mixing yogurt with “prot” and it’s BROGURT! Riddle has ideas for days!
No, stop. MVP can’t believe Riddle thinks Lashley has time to listen to all this. First thing’s first, stop saying “bro.” Second, MVP appreciates the spirit, so get all those great ideas and maybe come back with them in a couple weeks. Like Shark Tank! Yes, exactly like that. If they like his ideas, maybe they will do business. If they don’t, they’ll do some business. Riddle isn’t what the difference is, but will the All Mighty and the Limitless One tear down the ThunderDome with their qualifier?
WWE World Championship Contender Qualifier: Keith Lee VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP!
Braun Strowman’s sudden fit of rage cost him this opportunity, and now another behemoth will cash in. Will next week’s Triple Threat #BaskInHisGlory? Or will it feel the pain at the hands of the Hurt Business CEO?
The bell rings and Lashley gets right in Keith’s face to shove him! Lashley then waistlocks but Keith backs him to a corner. They break with some unease, but Lashley kicks back and facelocks! Keith holds off the suplex, spins out and headlocks. Lashley tries to power out but Keith holds on tight. Lashley spins out and the two fight over the wristlock. Keith powers Lashley back but Lashley gets around to headlock. Keith powers up and lifts Lashley, but Lashley cranks on the headlock! MVP says to keep it up and Lashley holds on as Keith tries to power out. Keith stays up, squeezes Lashley with a bearhug then powers out! Lashley rams him but Keith stays up!
Keith swats Lashley’s punch away, bumps Lashley off buckles and fires off big hands! The ref counts, Keith lets off at 3 but back elbows over and over now! Keith opens Lashley up for the GRIZZLY MAGNUM! Keith then backs off to run back in, but Lashley dodges! Lashley keeps moving, LARIAT, but Keith stays up! Lashley snarls and Keith grits his teeth, but Lashley gets the COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, ONE?! Lashley is furious but he wants Keith to get up! MVP says to lock it in, and Lashley wants the full nelson! Keith fights that off, Lashley pushes him but Keith rolls and ducks to run Lashley over! Lashley flounders up and Keith clotheslines him out!
Keith smirks as he gets an idea. Keith builds speed but MVP is in his way! The ref tells MVP to stay back but MVP claims he hasn’t done anything. Keith goes out to chase MVP! But he doesn’t see Lashley coming and Lashley CLOBBERS Keith! Lashley fires off forearms, the ring count climbs, but Lashley RAMS Keith into barriers at 5! Lashley gets in at 7, but then goes out after Keith again. Lashley fireman’s carries Keith!? And POSTS him!! Lashley manages to take Keith down but almost crumbled underneath him! Raw goes to break, will Keith still be in one piece?
Raw returns and Lashley grinds Keith down with a double wristlock. Keith endures and fans rally on their screens but Lashley cranks harder on the arm. Keith fights his way up, pries the hold apart a finger at a time, but Lashley KNEES low and hard, over and over! MVP says Lashley needs to grind Keith down but Keith fights his way up, Lashley turns Keith for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO, but Lashley has the arm again! The ref says Lashley’s knee is on Keith’s throat so Lashley lets off. MVP protests, that was Keith’s chest, not his neck! Lashley goes back to a chinlock and he grinds Keith down again, but Keith endures and reaches out. Fans rally but Lashley cranks Keith back and away from ropes.
Lashley throws forearms, runs, but Keith ROCKS him with a forearm back! Keith roars and runs, but Lashley hurdles over?! And then comes back to CLOBBER Lashley! Lashley drags Keith up to SUPLEX him!! Lashley stalks Keith and dares him to get up! Keith slowly rises, gets the arms but Keith pushes him away! Keith is in a corner and elbows Lashley away! Lashley staggers but comes back, Keith HURDLES Lashley and Lashley POSTS himself! Keith throws body shots on Lashley then DECKS him with a left! Lashley flounder sup into a corner splash! Keith keeps moving to POUNCE LASHLEY!! Since when has someone done that to Lashley!?
Keith follows Lashley outside to CROSSBODY Lashley down!! Keith puts Lashley in but the ref misses MVP as he POSTS Keith!! The ring count is 7, Keith rolls in slowly at 8, but Lashley demands Keith get up! Lashley gets the arms, but the full nelson can’t even reach across Keith’s broad shoulders! Keith revives, powers out of the nelson, and he backpacks Lashley for a SENTON!! MVP runs in and attacks!!
Winner: Keith Lee, by disqualification (advances to the Triple Threat Contender’s Match)
What is he doing?! Now Lashley DEFINITELY lost this match! Keith DECKS MVP and finally catches his breath. But perhaps that was a business decision to spare Lashley an actual defeat. One way or another, Keith is heading to the #1 contender’s match! Who will join the Limitless Bros in that epic opportunity?
Alexa Bliss VS Nikki Cross!
Perhaps two of the greatest friends in modern WWE history, with multiple tag title reigns. Nikki wouldn’t know what she’d be without Alexa. But then, when Alexa was without Nikki, The Fiend pounced, and now the Goddess is but a proxy for the madness inside the fun house. Before making her entrance, Nikki tells Sarah not to ask her any questions. Nikki doesn’t give up on friends. Alexa is the one who gave that up. We’ve all seen what’s going on here. Nikki has been trying to help Alexa free herself.
But she’s done trying. Alexa made it clear she no longer wants help, or Nikki. Message received. Alexa can have The Fiend. Nikki is sick and tired of worrying about this. The only thing she cares about now, is beating the FIEND out of Alexa! Will Nikki win this match against the friend she lost?
Raw returns and Alexa makes her entrance, as twisted as it is now. The bell rings and Alexa smirks at Nikki as Nikki shouts “What is wrong with you?!” Nikki grabs at Alexa but Alexa is playing around. Alexa slaps Nikki’s hands away! Hot hands, she wins! Alexa then dodges Nikki and waves at her. Nikki runs in but into a drop toehold! Alexa then bails out and Nikki gives chase! Are they playing tag now? Alexa gets back in and she teases Nikki. Nikki drags Alexa out and headbutts low! And then CLOBBERS her! Nikki seethes as she drags Alexa up and into the ring. Nikki runs corner to corner at the laughing Alexa to stomp away on her! The ref counts, Nikki lets off at 3.
Nikki cools off, only to stomp another mudhole in! She lets off at 4, drags Alexa up and reels her in for a lariat! Nikki drags Alexa by her arm but Alexa laughs as Nikki CLOBBERS her again! Alexa doesn’t seem to take this serious as Nikki THRASHES her about! Nikki lets off because it’s still Alexa, but she shouts, “LISTEN!!” Nikki thrashes Alexa more and that got Alexa to stop laughing. Nikki DROPS down on Alexa, covers, TWO! Alexa scrambles to a corner, Nikki runs in to BASEMENT CROSSBODY! Alexa gets up slowly but Nikki fires off forearms! The ref counts, Nikki lets off, and then Nikki throws Alexa down! Alexa starts to cry?! She’s begging Nikki to stop, and seems surprised to be in the ring, wearing what she’s wearing.
Alexa asks Nikki what’s going on, but Nikki is after her again! The ref has Nikki let off, and again Alexa asks what’s happening. Why are they fighting? Why is she in this outfit? Nikki, please, help her! Nikki doesn’t know what to do now that Alexa is sobbing. Nikki comforts her friend, Alexa apologizes, but then hits a COMPLETE SHOT! Was it just an act?! Cover, Alexa wins!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall
As if this new Alexa wasn’t twisted enough! She played on the heartstrings of her best friend and took the victory out from under Nikki! Will Alexa continue to toy with Nikki until Nikki breaks?
Raw says #ThankYouTaker
The tribute highlight reel plays again, documenting the 30 years, from 11/22/1990 to just last night at Survivor Series and the #FinalFarewell. There will never be another.
WWE World Championship Contender Qualifier: Randy Orton VS AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin!
Practically a PPV main event in itself, the Viper and the Phenomenal One both want that WWE World Heavyweight Championship back around their waist! Orton only just lost it, will he get one step closer to having it back again? Or will Styles and “O-moss” be the ones joining Riddle and Lee next week?
Raw returns again and Styles makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Styles rolls Orton, ONE! Oklahoma roll, ONE! Orton gets away and Styles backs off with a big grin on his face. Styles and Orton circle again, approach and Orton kicks low! Orton CLUBS Styles, whips him but Styles ducks, slides under but runs into an uppercut! Orton stomps Styles’ leg, scrapes his laces off Styles’ face, and stalks him to a corner. Styles throat chops back! Orton sputters while Styles storms over and rams into him! And again! The ref counts, Styles lets off but brings Orton up to whip to ropes to dropkick him down! Cover, TWO!
Styles keeps his cool as he gets Orton back up. Orton pokes Styles in the eye! Orton smirks as he drags Styles up to throw him out, then stalks behind him. Orton throws more EuroUppers on Styles, then whips him, into Jordan! Jordan keeps Styles from falling, and even pops him up to the apron and Styles sliding KNEES Orton down! Orton staggers, Styles goes out and gives him the back suplex to the desk! Orton’s move is used against him as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Orton is after Styles on the top rope with haymakers! Styles ends up in the ropes an don the second buckle, but Orton drags Styles up to the top! Styles slips through to trip Orton up! Orton hits a buckle and Styles CHOP BLOCKS a leg out! Orton clutches his leg and Styles stomps away on him! Styles hits a knee breaker then goes after the leg with a toehold and wrench! Orton reaches for ropes but Styles drags him away, for another knee breaker! Styles cranks on the leg but Orton pulls hair. The ref counts, Orton has to let go and Styles goes after the leg harder. Styles has the leg bent back even more but Orton CLUBS away on Styles’ chest! Styles lets go of the leg and Orton hobbles up, only for Styles to be right after him again!
Orton throws straight rights and Styles staggers away. Styles gets the leg again and rolls Orton! Orton rolls through to stomp Styles down! Orton drags Styles up by his hair again, hangs Styles out to dry on ropes, and Styles bounces and flops down! Cover, TWO! Orton grows annoyed with Styles but hobbles back up. Orton drags Styles up by hair, reels him in, and suplexes, but Styles slips out to CHOP BLOCK again! Styles fireman’s carries but Orton elbows free to get the BACK2BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Orton grows frustrated but he still looms over Styles. He brings Styles up and puts him through the ropes! Styles escapes that, kicks the leg then catches Orton to roll him!
Orton fights off the Calf Crusher but Styles CRANKS hard back! Orton endures as he reaches, but Styles pulls back harder! Orton grabs ropes and Styles lets go before a count. Styles hobbles, but he runs back at Orton, into the SPINNING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Orton watches Styles rise on wobbly legs, but Styles denies the RKO! Styles ENZIGURIS Orton down! But Orton flops out of the ring to save himself! Styles aims, slingshots, but Orton avoids the forearm to trip Styles up! Styles bounces off apron, Orton puts him back in, but THE FIEND IS HERE! He pokes his head out but then disappears! Orton hurries back into the ring, looks around again, but runs into a boot from Styles!
Styles prepares his forearm, springboards but Orton trips him up! Orton pulls Styles through, DRAPING DDT! Orton hears the voices in his head, but The Fiend starts turning off lights! And then the lights come on with the red, and The Fiend is right behind Orton!! Orton freaks out, but then the lights go down and The Fiend is gone again! Styles is aimed at Orton, springboards in, PHENOMENAL FOREARM!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall (advances to the Triple Threat Contender’s Match)
Orton’s past comes back to haunt him, and cost him! Styles moves on, making the already limitless Triple Threat into a phenomenal one! And Bray laughs at Orton from the shadows. Will Bray make sure Orton pays in full for what he did oh so long ago? As for Styles, will he be able to take advantage of a Triple Threat situation with Keith Lee and (Matt) Riddle?
What a great Raw to follow Survivor Series! Amazing, even! Though, no Retribution was interesting. Maybe they’ll make a big deal of it next week. But we got a great bit with the Hurt Business and New Day. The set-up to the tag title match made sense, as I expected for many of the champions tonight. The match-and-a-half they had was great, too, and it worked out for Hurt Business to have egging on New Day backfire. I’m sure the feud will continue, and I have a feeling TLC, in perhaps a Ladder match will end up being how it ends. For that matter, Lana’s story for the year has to end with her winning a Tables match. She didn’t go through a table tonight, and she really only got an assist in the tag match we ended up with. I feared this about a month ago, but will Lana and Asuka end up a team against Nia and Shayna in a tag title match? Will Lana’s first title will be a tag title alongside Asuka? A bit of a bittersweet thing, I suppose.
The story of Alexa and Nikki went to a new level tonight. That was evil genius for Alexa to “return” as a way to trick Nikki. I am even more adamant about their part in this having a Firefly Fun House match finale. Their past apart in NXT, their past together on Raw and SmackDown, all of it and more needs to be referenced before we get a definitive finish. Then, the story of the night was of course in relation to the world title. I found it very surprising that Strowman did what he did to Pearce, and then he ended up completely OUT of what we got tonight. Lashley and Orton wanting in on the title talk was natural, the miniature tournament was a great idea, and all three matches we got were incredible.
Riddle VS Sheamus was a slugfest, Lee VS Lashley was an incredible heavyweight bout, and of course Orton VS Styles was worthy of a main event. Even Fiend getting involved, freaking Orton out, was good because obviously, we’re getting that feud next. For that matter, assuming Keith doesn’t win next week to revisit his encounters with McIntyre earlier this year, I would think going after the US Championship would be the natural follow-up. I think with Riddle’s Hurt Business “Shark Tank” promo, he’s probably not winning, so both he and Keith will be involved with Hurt Business simultaneously. Therefore, I would think Styles wins, and Jordan will be ringside for an epic match with McIntyre. Hell, McIntyre VS Omogbehin could be something great just on how imposing Omogbehin is naturally.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!
AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
- Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
- Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
- AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
CM Punk is here!
The Best of the World is back and the fans in Charleston, West Virginia are fired up to see him! Especially since he has THE AEW World Championship belt on his shoulder. No stage diving this time, though, he’s being a bit more careful this time. Punk goes to the ring and gets the mic as fans chant his name. “I’m trying to put my tough guy game face on before I came out here, and you guys just ruined it all by making me smile. I don’t got the prettiest smile. What I do have is the prettiest belt! Haven’t been here in some time, and I’ve got some business to attend to. Some things very, very important. Some things not so important.
“I want to get the not so important things outta the way. Where are we? Where are wee tonight? There’s somebody from around these parts that I would like to challenge to a rematch and I would like to do it right here, right now, for you beautiful people.” Fans cheer for that, they wanna see it, too! Punk sits down cross-legged and tells Hangman Adam Page, “You want that rematch, you got it right here, right now. Let’s go!” Fans are fired up for the “Cowboy Sh*t” that could go down, but where is he? Punk checks his mic, but no Hangman, and fans boo. Punk says that’s why this isn’t important. That isn’t Cowboy Sh*t, that’s Coward Sh*t!
“A little bit of advice that I suggest you take: The apology must as loud and as public as the disrespect!” And if anyone else has a problem with THE CHAMPION, Punk suggests they come on down! “Everyone wants to be the champ until it’s time to do champ sh*t!” Fans agree with that as they chant Punk’s name. “Ladies and gentlemen, I understand that Jon Moxley’s got a lot of fans. And he can be number one in your heart, but he’s not number one in this ring. I am THE AEW Champion!!” Punk knows what it takes to be the best, to talk a big game and say you’re the best, and to breathe that into existence.
He also knows what it is like to lose. Punk has lost big, but Moxley has always been number two, there has always been someone who has Mox’s number, and it’s Punk! Boo if you want, but let him know when he’s lying. “Jon Moxley is the third best guy in his own group, and that seems to be a reoccurring theme in his career.” Fans are stunned to hear that. Punk says, “That doesn’t make him a bad guy, but that doesn’t make him the best either.” Punk is the best, but yes, Mox has been carrying the torch when Punk broke his foot. Moxley talks about breaking bones and drinking blood, but between the two of them, the only one’s who has broken bones is Punk! It was his own, but still!
So again, tell Punk when he’s telling lies. Moxley has been INTERIM AEW Champion. Look that word up, it means “temporary.” And Punk is willing to test himself against Moxley, but is Moxley willing to test himself against his best friends? Let’s talk about those friends. Mox’s best friend is the third best Eddie that Punk’s ever faced. And the second best Kingston! These people aren’t number one at anything! Tell Punk when he’s telling a lie! Fans have to admit, he’s got a point. Punk says he’s missed the fans, and he’s missed competing in the ring. He’s been wanting to defend this title on a PPV, and that will be All Out, September 4th, Chicago, Illinois!
Punk is ready to test his belt against Moxley’s “number two with a bullet.” Punk is willing to test his foot! The funny thing is, heading into Chicago, Moxley isn’t even the first Jon/John that Punk beats in Chicago for a title! And he’s certainly not number one there, either. But say his name enough and here he comes! Jon Moxley is heading to the ring but Punk taunts Moxley over the time he takes to make it to the ring. Punk does “mat angels” as Moxley and his AEW World Championship belt go through the crowd. Moxley does make it to ringside, he does get a mic and he does get in the ring to stand there across from Punk.
Fans cheer for Moxley, and Moxley says, “Look out, ladies and gentlemen, CM Punk is dropping pipe bombs! Doing what he does best: writing checks with his mouth that his body can’t cash.” Moxley makes sure to point at Punk’s foot with that. And Moxley tells Punk he’s living in a fantasy land! In Punk’s mind, he’s the best wrestler in the world. But most times, Punk’s not even the best wrestler in catering. Punk thinks his mic in his hand is power. But this is the real world, and that’s just a microphone. And all the words Punk says into it don’t mean sh*t. That belt on Punk’s shoulder don’t mean sh*t. Punk says, “Who’s living in a fantasy world now?”
Moxley says, “To be fair, right now, this belt don’t mean sh*t. Not until I beat you!” Moxley says he IS the heart and soul of AEW, and every time they call him “Interim,” he thinks of Punk and that makes him sick! Punks says, “Good! You can be the ‘heart and soul’, I’ll bet he dollars and the cents!” Both men throw the belts down and inch a bit closer. Punk asks Mox if he’s done talking. Mox says we all know Punk only came to AEW because he ran out of money, so don’t give Mox that. “Being the best is about heart and soul and guts and fighting spirit, and we both know that you ran out of fighting spirit a long time ago.”
Now both men are face to face! Mox says if Punk wants to prove him wrong, then do something about it. But Mox doesn’t think Punk’s gonna do sh*t. Punk says they have a match at the PPV, which Punk will soundly defeat Moxley in. But if Punk touches Moxley now, Punk’s afraid Moxley will just start bleeding all over him. They get forehead to forehead, Moxley puts his hands back behind him to give Punk an open shot. Punk pushes Moxley away, but Moxley comes back with a peck on the cheek! AND A SLAP! The haymakers start flying and fans are fired up for it! Moxley and Punk scrap, security and officials rush in, and fans boo!
Moxley and Punk are separated but Moxley throws off his shirt! Punk eggs Moxley on, security is a wall between them, and fans boo more. Moxley tosses his belt out of the ring, then eggs Punk on! Punk tries to get after Moxley, and Moxley LEAPS onto the pile! The scrum continues but is quickly broken up. Fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” and Moxley gets a chair! Moxley tosses it into the ring, and Punk uses it to take a seat! Punk eggs Mox on again, and Mox slides in! They make contact, but the security pulls them apart again! Fans boo some more, but Moxley finds an opening on the other side of the ring! The brawl is back on!
Wait, security just pulls them apart again. Fans boo as the ebb and flow just keeps going, but it seems we’ll all have to wait until Sunday, September 4th. What happens when Punk and Moxley go all out to determine an UNDISPUTED AEW World Champion?
Backstage interview with “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs.
Tony Schiavone is with Hobbs and references what we saw last week concerning himself, Ricky Starks and The Factory. Schiavone thought Starks & Hobbs were friends, so why did Hobbs betray Starks? Hobbs says he doesn’t need friends! “Ricky Starks, you proved to the whole world, your true colors came out, you told the world that you were okay with losing. I’m not okay with losing, Ricky! For two years, you got to walk around here and parade around like you’re some God’s gift to this business. You got to hide behind Powerhouse Hobbs’ back, because you knew I would get the job done.”
Hobbs was hired for one thing: make sure Starks stayed champion. And Starks couldn’t do it! Now Ricky, Hobbs not only breaks backs, he also breaks necks. And as far as The Factory goes, Hobbs has something for them, too! Will the Powerhouse turn into a juggernaut and demolish everyone in his way?
Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia!
The American Dragon fought hard against Red Death, but was screwed over by The Wizard! Sounds like Game of Thrones, but it’s pro-wrestling! Or as the Jericho Appreciation Society calls it, “Sports Entertainment.” However, Bryan dares Garcia to look inside himself and decide: Is he the Best Technical Sports Entertainer? Or is he the Best Technical Pro-Wrestler? With Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat as the special guest timekeeper, will the Dragonslayer slay the American Dragon? Or will he JOIN the American Dragon in the Blackpool Combat Club?
But first, Chris Jericho joins commentary! Fans sing Judas for him as he joins Excalibur, Taz, and Good ol’ JR, then Bryan makes his entrance. Bryan shakes hands with Steamboat, then Garcia makes his entrance, complete with a new Dragonslayer logo on his tron. The bell rings on the first fall and fans rally up. The two circle, feel out the grapple, and Bryan shoots in to get a leg. Bryan trips Garcia but Garcia fights back and trips Bryan. Garcia goes for a leg, but Bryan trips him back and rains down forearms! Garcia guards but Bryan moves around. Garcia slips out, back mounts, but Bryan stands up.
Garcia is a backpack but Bryan snapmares and rolls! It’s a rough landing but Garcia holds on, then he drags Bryan around. Bryan slips out, throws body shots from above, then has a KNEEBAR! Garcia moves around to stand up, and he has a HEEL HOOK! Bryan endures, stomps at Garcia’s face but Garcia gives those back! They stomp and kick each other back and forth, but Bryan puts on a HEEL HOOK of his own! Fans cheer this technical exchange and the two end up in the ropes! The ref counts, the two let each other go, but then Garcia BOOTS Bryan into a corner! Garcia eggs Bryan on while fans boo.
Bryan stands up, they reset, tie up, and Garcia puts Bryan in a corner. Fans rally for Bryan as Garcia smothers him, but the ref counts. Garcia lets off to SLAP Bryan! Bryan keeps cool as AEW goes picture in picture.
Garcia taunts Bryan but Bryan puts his dukes up. Bryan KICKS Garcia’s leg, then eggs Garcia on. Garcia returns but Bryan KICKS the leg again! They tie up, Bryan SLAPS Garcia now, and Garcia wobbles a bit. Garcia throws some testing jabs but Bryan shrugs those off. Bryan throws body shots, then SMACKS Garcia! Bryan suplexes high and hard, covers, TWO! Bryan drags Garcia around by a leg, turns him over and hooks up the legs. Bryan reaches for the arms, brings them back, and then up and up and ROMERO SPECIAL! Garcia endures being held overhead, then Bryan sets him down to fishhook the nose!
The ref reprimands but Bryan throws haymakers onto Garcia’s head, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Garcia falls forward, out of the leg hooks, and fans rally up. Bryan paces, watches Garcia get up, and then KICKS him in the chest! Garcia is right up to CHOP! Bryan smirks and Garcia eggs him on. Bryan CHOPS back, so Garcia CHOPS again. Bryan smirks, dusts that off, and fans rally up more. Bryan and Garcia talk some trash, Garcia SLAPS Bryan! Bryan squats and Garcia kicks at him. Garcia eggs Bryan on, Bryan snarls and stands back up. Bryan stares Garcia down as AEW returns to single picture, and the forearms fire off! Bryan KICKS away on Garcia in the corner!
Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” with every shot! Bryan goes corner to corner to DROPKICK! Bryan puts Garcia up top, climbs up after him, then SUPER STEINERS, but Garcia rolls it to a sunset flip! TWO! Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan EuroUppers again! Garcia CHOPS, Bryan EuroUppers, Garcia kicks low then EuroUppers back. Garcia whips Bryan to a corner, Bryan goes up and over, then keeps moving! Bryan ducks and dodges but Garcia spins him for a BUTTERFLY SUPLEX into the ARMBAR! Bryan sits up, fans rally up, and Bryan clasps hands. Bryan fights but Garcia pushes him down!
Bryan rolls through, leg capture and BACK SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Garcia escapes but Bryan goes for the legs! Bryan ties the legs up, rains down forearms, and then hooks an arm! REGAL STRETCH!! Bryan makes his mentor proud while Garcia endures to make his mentor proud! Garcia crawls, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Bryan lets off, Garcia bails out, and Bryan builds speed! Bryan WRECKS Garcia with a dropkick! Then he goes to the apron to FLYING- NO, Garcia dodges the knee to SAIDO to the floor! Fans are torn as Garcia stands back up. Garcia drags Bryan up with a facelock and he puts Bryan in the ring.
Fans rally and Garcia looms over Bryan. Garcia sits Bryan up for HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! That’s a very BCC move! Fans boo but Jericho loves it! Garcia gets the legs, SHARP- NO, Bryan spins it through! Bryan kicks Garcia down into the TRIANGLE HOLD! Garcia is caught but he stands up. Bryan throws hands but Garcia hooks Bryan up! PILEDRIVER!! Omoplata and DRAGON SLEEPER!!! Bryan is fading, the fans rally, but he’s OUT! That’s the first fall to Garcia!
Bryan: 0; Garcia: 1
The ref checks if Bryan is okay to continue, but Garcia says this is just the first fall! This isn’t over until he has his second! The ref starts a standing count, if Bryan can’t answer it, he’s lost! Garcia backs off to watch Bryan, and we’re past 5 of 10! Bryan crawls and stands at 8, so Garcia CLOBBERS him! Garcia stomps a mudhole while fans boo! Garcia lets off at the ref’s count to soak up the heat, then he storms back up on Bryan. Garcia stands Bryan up, EuroUppers, and CHOPS! Bryan looks dazed but Garcia brings him up to CHOP again! Garcia soaks up more heat while fans boo and he goes corner to corner. Garcia runs in to SHOTGUN Bryan, and AEW goes to break!
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)
And then there were four!
The G1 Climax’s Final Four face off!
A VS B and C VS D, the biggest G1 Climax in NJPW history reaches its semifinals! Will Tetsuya Naito make Will Ospreay trainquilo? Will Kazuchika Okada make it rain on the Good Bad Guy?
- 8 Man Tag: Chaos VS Suzuki-Gun; Chaos wins.
- Royce Isaacs & Tom Lawlor VS Dangerous Tekkers; Dangerous Tekkers win.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Bad Dude Tito & JONAH; Tito & Jonah win.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins.
- 8 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, David Finlay & KUSHIDA VS Bullet Club; Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida win.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga; Okada wins and advances to the finals.
- G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
It’s A Block VS B Block, Rainmaker VS Good Bad Guy! And in G1 Climax 31, Okada lost to Tama! Will history repeat itself? Or will Tama have to fall back to the golden ticket he got from beating Jay White?
The bell rings and fans rally up already as the two circle. Tama and Okada shake hands to show there’s respect here and fans cheer more. Okada and Tama tie up, are in a deadlock, but Okada uses his height as leverage. Okada puts Tama on the ropes and the ref calls for the break. Okada lets off, pats Tama on the shoulders, but Tama rushes in. Okada kicks low, headlocks, but Tama powers up and out. Okada runs Tama over and fans fire up. Okada runs, Tama gets up to arm-drag Okada around! Then Tama dropkicks Okada down! Fans fire up more as Tama brings Okada up. Tama CLUBS Okada and follows him to a corner.
Tama throws body shots, but Okada throws forearms! Tama knees low, Okada throws body shots but Tama CLUBS Okada down. Fans rally as Tama whips corner to corner, but Okada reverses. Okada runs in but into a back elbow. Tama runs at Okada but into the FLAPJACK! Fans applaud while Okada catches his breath. Jado coaches Tama while fans rally up. Okada drags Tama up, ROCKS him with a forearm, and Tama goes to ropes. Okada brings Tama around to CLUB him on the neck. Okada puts Tama in a corner and throws a back elbow. And then another! And then another! The ref counts and Okada lets off.
Fans rally, Jado coaches Tama, but Okada brings Tama up. Tama throws body shots but Okada knees low. Okada turns Tama for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and Okada sits Tama up for a chinlock. Tama endures while Okada squeezes tight. The fans rally up more as Okada turns and twists Tama. Tama fights up to his feet, throws elbows, but Okada knees low. Okada throws Tama out of the ring then follows after. Tama staggers up into a kick and DDT to the floor! Okada leaves Tama behind while fans rally up. Jado coaches Tama while the ring count climbs. We’re at 5 of 20 but Tama is still down.
Tama pushes up off the floor at 10 of 20 and crawls his way over, and he drags himself up at 16, only to fall! Tama springs up and in at 19! Okada walks over and kicks Tama around while the fans rally up. “O-KA-DA!” eggs Tama on, so Tama fires off forearm after forearm! Okada eggs Tama on, Tama keeps throwing hands, but Okada DECKS Tama with one! Okada whips Tama to a corner, but Tama comes back to CLOBBER Okada! Fans fire up and rally again as Tama drags himself up the ropes. Tama rushes Okada to LARIAT, and ELBOW, and scoop SLAM! OFF COMES THE VEST! Fans fire up with Tama as he claps, “TA-MA! TA-MA!”
Okada is in the corner, Tama runs in to STINGER SPLASH! And then a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans continue to rally as Tama paces around. Tama brings Okada up to CLUB him down, then he throws body shots. Tama dragon sleepers but Okada fights free! Tama throws a body shot, an uppercut, and then whips. Okada ducks ‘n’ dodges to CLOBBER Tama with an elbow! Fans rally and Okada whips Tama into a corner. Okada runs in to back elbow, then kicks and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fans clap for “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” as Okada watches Tama stand. Tama staggers into the Alabama Lift! But Tama fights it off with body shots!
Okada ROCKS Tama, but Tama ROCKS Okada. Okada EuroUppers but Tama EuroUppers back! Okada swings but into the TONGAN TWIST! Fans rally up again as Okada bails out of the ring. Tama goes out after Okada and brings him up, but Okada throws body shots! Okada whips Tama into railing, and Tama bounces off into a scoop! But Tama fights that to a TONGAN TWIST to the floor! A bit of payback from earlier! Fans rally up while the ref checks both men. Both men are able to continue and Tama stands first. The ring count starts and Tama drags Okada up at 5 of 20 to put him in at 6. Fans cheer as this match continues.
Tama stalks Okada while the fans clap. Okada stands, Tama rushes in, VENENO! Cover, TWO! Tama paces around then brings Okada back up. Tama fireman’s carries, but Okada fights free and spins Tama. ROLLING- NO, Tama ducks the lariat to fireman’s carry! S R C! Tama heads for the corner and fans fire up! SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and Tama grows frustrated, but Jado calls the shot! Tama and Jado pound the mat, and fans clap along. Tama watches Okada rise, then he rushes in, GUN- NO, Okada turns that into the BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then the MONEY CLIP!!
Tama endures and fans rally up! Tama reaches out and gets the ROPEBREAK! Okada lets go in frustration but fans fire up more. The fans continue to rally, “O-KA-DA!” “GOOD BAD GUY!” Okada drags Tama up, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs up and fans rally for the MACHO ELBOW! And of course, the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Tama up, wristlocks, but Tama throws back elbows. Okada CLUBS Tama, EuroUppers and runs, but into a DROPKICK! Fans fire up as Tama takes Okada down! Tama drags Okada up, but Okada fights off the suplex to shove and DROPKICK Tama in return!
Okada drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks to slips around, BLOODY SUNDAY!! Shoutout to the Prince! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Tama just reloads and brings him back up! Double underhooks, but Okada fights free to LARIAT! Not quite the Rainmaker but Okada holds onto the wrist! Fans rally as Okada slowly rises back up. Okada drags Tama up, for a short arm LARIAT! Okada fires up and the fans follow suit! He drags Tama back up, ripcords, but Tama ducks and runs, into a DROPKICK! But he gets back up! Tama is roaring, fans are fire dup, but Okada scoops for the LANDSLIDE!!
Okada then ripcords Tama, GUN STUN!!! But Tama can’t make the cover! Jado shouts to Tama, he crawls over to Okada, pushes Okada over for the cover, TWO!!! Okada survives because of the delay! Fans are thunderous while both men are still down! Tama rises and he drags Okada back up. Tama reels Okada in, underhooks the arms, but Okada fights the lift! Tama CLUBS Okada, CLUBS him again, and fans rally as Tama CLUBS Okada one more time. Tama brings Okada up, reels him in again, but Okada back drops and sits on the cover! TWO!! Tama swings, but into a waistlock! Tama fights the suplex, throws elbows, and then whips.
Okada reverses but Tama dodges the dropkick! And he hurries to underhook, but Okada slips out! GUN- NO, Okada holds it off this time, to then get the wristlock! Ripcord, GUN- NO!! Okada turns it into a MONEY CLIP!!! Fans rally as hard as ever, and Tama turns clip into cradle! TWO!!! Okada escapes, BOOTS, but Tama PELES! Tama reloads fast and waits on Okada to stand! Okada is up, Tama runs in, GUN- NO!!! Okada fights it again, to ENZIGURI! And then pump handle scoop, POWERSLAM!! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!!! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Tama put up one hell of a fight, truly worthy of the biggest G1 Climax ever, but it just wasn’t enough to stop the Rainmaker! Will Okada not stop until he has that Right to Challenge briefcase once more?
G1 Climax 32 Semifinal: Tetsuya Naito VS Will Ospreay w/ Great-O-Khan!
It’s C Block VS D Block, Uncontrollable Charisma VS Commonwealth Kingpin! We know Okada awaits in the finals, will he be facing one of his great rivals in Naito? Or will it be one of his great enemies in Ospreay?
Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire while Ospreay takes his time with his coat and two title belts. Fans rally, “NA-I-TO!” “O-SU-PREAY!” and the bell rings. Ospreay encourages the fans to get louder so they do, and Naito says that’s nice. The two then circle, Naito goes back and forth to toy with Ospreay, but then they tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ospreay finds a point of leverage. He puts Naito on the ropes and Red Shoes counts. Ospreay pats Naito but Naito turns things around. Naito has Ospreay on the ropes, but then pats Ospreay on the shoulders. To then kick low and CLUB him on the neck! And again!
Red Shoes reprimands but Naito whips Ospreay. Ospreay reverses, Naito holds ropes and BOOTS Back, to then RANA! But Ospreay handsprings through! Naito ducks the Penalty Kick, avoids the Standing Moonsault, then arm-drags Ospreay! Naito ducks a roundhouse and tranquilos! Ospreay smirks while Naito bails out. Fans rally up while Naito stares Khan down. Khan keeps his distance and Naito takes a walk around the ring. Khan tells Naito to get back in so Naito does. Naito and Ospreay circle, feel out a knuckle lock, then circle some more. Ospreay blocks Naito’s kick! Naito tries to reach Ospreay but he can’t!
Ospreay ROCKS Naito with a forearm, then another! Ospreay whips, atomic drops and CHOPS Naito down, for the STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and Khan cheers Ospreay on. Ospreay drags Naito up, ROCKS him again, then bumps him off buckles. Ospreay CHOPS Naito in the corner, then stalks him to another corner. Ospreay CHOPS again and Naito staggers. Ospreay whips him but Naito reverses, only for Ospreay to go up and over. Naito dodges, blocks a kick and puts Ospreay in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER! Naito then whips Ospreay to ropes for a hip toss! And basement dropkick! Naito keeps going, NECKBREAKER!
Fans fire up while Ospreay clutches his neck. Fans rally up and Naito brings Ospreay into a chinlock. Naito grinds Ospreay down with an almost bulldog choke but Ospreay endures. Fans rally up more, Ospreay pulls hair but Red Shoes reprimands. Naito lets off to snapmare Ospreay into a headscissor hold! Naito pushes up to put pressure on the neck but Ospreay endures. Ospreay rolls around and gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes counts and Khan protests, and Naito lets off. Fans rally up as Naito brings Ospreay around. Naito ROCKS Ospreay but Ospreay ROCKS Naito, repeat! Naito then CLUBS Ospreay on the neck!
Naito CLUBS away on Ospreay in the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Naito runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cabron! Fans fire up as Naito poses, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up and Naito stomps Ospreay around. Naito brings Ospreay up to cravat and neck wrench! Ospreay endures, drops to a knee, and fans rally again. Ospreay fights back up, throws body shots, but Naito ROCKS him again. Naito whips, Ospreay reverses but Naito reverses again. Naito swings into a full nelson, but he arm-drags free! Naito dodges and whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Ospreay sits up and grits his teeth. Ospreay waits on Naito to get up, but Naito is slow. Ospreay fireman’s carries to then SNAKE EYES and BOOT! Ospreay goes to the apron and fans fire up with him. Ospreay aims at Naito, springboards and PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is annoyed but fans continue to rally. Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in, but Naito resists the lift. Ospreay keeps trying but Naito flails. Ospreay CLUBS Naito, throws a quick Kowada Kick, then CHOPS Naito off his feet! Naito gets up but Ospreay reels him in, only for Naito to fight the bomb!
Naito ducks the lariat to BACKBREAKER into the LEG HOOK NELSON! Naito slaps Ospreay around but Ospreay still endures. Ospreay moves around, but Naito drags him from ropes! Fans rally, Naito puts on more pressure, but Ospreay kicks his way around! ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up as Red Shoes counts, and Naito lets Ospreay go. Fans rally as Naito stands and Ospreay drags himself up the ropes. Naito hammerlocks and half nelsons but Ospreay fights off the lift! Naito ripcords but Ospreay ducks the elbow. Naito CLUBS Ospreay, dodges a haymaker, then ROCKS Ospreay! Naito runs, into the Tiger Wall Kick and ENZIGURI! But Naito rebounds, into a SPANISH FLY!!
Fans are thunderous as both men are down again! Ospreay and Naito sit up, talk some trash, and then get forehead to forehead. Naito throws a forearm but Ospreay gives it back. Naito grins and forearms Ospreay again! Ospreay ROCKS Naito back! Ospreay eggs Naito on so Naito ROCKS Ospreay! Ospreay roars and fans fire up, and Ospreay throws another forearm! Naito gives another, and they go back and forth! Fans rally up as the speed picks up! Ospreay fires off a flurry, then CHOPS!! Naito staggers and Ospreay waits on him. Naito comes back to SLAP Ospreay! Ospreay grins and fans fire up!
Ospreay blocks a kick, ducks the enziguri but Naito dodges Hidden Blade to TORNADO- NO! Ospreay blocks to suplex and BRAINBUSTER! But Ospreay holds on, brings Naito back up, suplexes but Naito RANAS! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes in time but Naito gets him for the TORNADO DDT! Fans are thunderous again while both men are down. Naito and Ospreay stir and Naito sits up first. Naito crawls his way over, drags Ospreay up, and throws heavy back elbows! Ospreay drops to a knee, but Naito brings him up for more heavy elbows! Ospreay drops again but he grabs at Naito. Naito brings Ospreay up for even more heavy elbows!
Ospreay falls over backwards, and the tape on his shoulders is coming off! Naito hammerlocks, half nelsons, and hits GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but Naito is still smiling. Naito brings Ospreay up again, wrenches the arm, but Ospreay RAMS him into the corner! Ospreay runs in but Naito alley-oops him into the corner! Naito then sits Ospreay up on the top rope backwards, and climbs up behind him! Naito goes up to SUPER POISON-RANA!!! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay survives and fans are thunderous! Naito aims from the corner as Ospreay rises, then he runs in to CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Ospreay blocks Destino!
But Ospreay also holds Naito up! Ospreay ties up the legs, MAGIC CROSS DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!! Fans are thunderous again as Ospreay aims from the corner! Naito sits up, Ospreay rushes in, HIDDEN BLADE!!! But Ospreay isn’t satisfied with that, he drags Naito up! Underhook and lift, STORM- DESTINO!!! Naito turns things around but both men are down! The fans are electric as both men stir on the mat! Naito crawls over to Ospreay, drags him up, but Ospreay BOOTS! Naito ENZIGURIS! Naito scoops but Ospreay slips out to HOOK KICK! Ospreay calls his shot, springboards, but Naito ducks the OsCutter! SPINEBUSTER!!
Naito hauls Ospreay up to wrench and- NO, Ospreay turns it, CHELSEA GRIN!! Fans fire up as Ospreay aims again! Ospreay runs in, but Naito ducks the blade! CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Ospreay survives and no one can believe it!! Naito roars, drags Ospreay up, and tilt-o-whirls, DESTI- NO!! Ospreay slips out to HIDDEN BLADE!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?!? Maybe 2.999!! The fans can’t believe it, Khan can’t believe, commentary can’t believe it! But Ospreay drags Naito back up, reels him in and underhooks, for STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
After fighting back from an 0-2 start, after fighting his heart out here, Naito falls before the Climax! If this is truly Naito’s last G1 Climax, if this is truly his last year with NJPW, has it all ended here and now? Or can Naito find another path to Wrestle Kingdom?
As for Ospreay, he holds up his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship and Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship high as he stands over Naito, and then again as he stands on the corner. Khan waves the banner of the United Empire, then brings the mic to Ospreay. The fans applaud, but Ospreay says, “Louder, Budokan! Louder!! Motto! Gentlemen, I said MORE! I want more!” Fans applaud louder, and Ospreay is happy. “Naito, good showing. One more, onegaishimasu. This doesn’t get spoken about enough. In May, I nearly died! I had a kidney infection that nearly killed me! And in three months, three months! After saying I could’ve died, I’m in the G1 Final!”
Fans applaud that heart, and Ospreay says his opponent “is a man who seemingly, I can’t beat on my own. In the seven matches Ospreay and Okada have had, Okada has one SIX of them. SIX. Everyone is now doubting me, because they think I can’t beat Okada. I’ve seen it done with my own eyes! I have seen AJ Styles beat Okada. I have seen Tanahashi beat Okada. I’ve seen NAITO beat Okada! Hell, I’ve even see Jay White dethrone Okada. Know what makes me different? I know in my heart, I know I’m better than all those guys! I know I’m the best wrestler in the world today!!” Fans applaud that, he has a case for it.
Ospreay lists off his accomplishments: Best of the Super Juniors; the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship; the New Japan Cup; the British Heavyweight Championship; the NEVER Openweight Championship; the IWGP US Heavyweight Championship; and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship!! There’s just one more to go! “And believe me. Believe me when I say this. Believe me, I’m not gonna lose. I will beat Okada! I will lead NJPW out of the Dark Ages, and I will bring it back tot he light! Okada, matta ashita <I’ll be waiting tomorrow.> See you at the top!” The Kingpin vows to go from Grand Slam to ULTIMATE Champion in NJPW, will he succeed?
A great event as the penultimate night of the G1 this year. Yes, I skipped a lot of matches, and I wish I had time to see that 8 Man with Tanahashi, Yano, Finlay & Kushida, because it saw the return of the Good Brothers to Japan. But Tanahashi’s team won thanks to some sneaky moves from Yano. I wonder if anyone from Tanahashi’s team will go after Karl Anderson’s NEVER Openweight Championship. Any one of them would be a great opponent for Anderson, but especially Tanahashi.
But we got awesome G1 matches, as to be expected. Tama has been running strong, but it sure seems like everyone knows how to counter the Gun Stun… It makes sense that Okada wins, he could potentially go back-to-back as the G1 Climax winner. But given that, I don’t think he will. Ospreay VS Naito was a great choice to be the main event between the two semifinal matches, and honestly I didn’t think Naito was going to lose. This is supposed to be his last year, so I thought he’d get to the finals before losing and having to worry about what’s next.
Ospreay has a great promo and he does make a great argument for winning the finals. Ospreay’s checked off almost everything to do in NJPW as a singles wrestler, even more than what Okada has done. Ospreay getting the honor of being the first to check everything off the list would be huge.
My Score: 9/10
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