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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (12/21/20)

Is The Fiend nothing but ash?

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WWE Raw Coverage 3.0

What is in store for Raw with what’s left in 2020?

After TLC, Drew McIntyre is STILL WWE World Champion, we have NEW Raw and Women’s Tag Team Champions, but what about The Fiend?! Has the Viper vanquished him once and for all?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke; Nia & Shayna win.
  • WWE 24/7 Championship Very Important Photobombing: R-Truth retains the title.
  • Angel Garza VS Drew Gulak; Garza wins.
  • Ricochet VS T-Bar w/ Retribution; T-Bar wins.
  • The Hurt Business VS Jeff Hardy & Matt Riddle; The Hurt Business wins.
  • Jaxson Ryker w/ Elias VS Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado; Ryker wins.
  • Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans; Charlotte & Asuka win.
  • Six Man Tag Street Fight: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Keith Lee VS The Miz, John Morrison & AJ Styles w/ Jordon Omogbehin; McIntyre, Sheamus & Lee win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Charlotte Flair returns to Raw!

The Queen and the Empress reign together as the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions! It was quite the return for Charlotte, having been out six months recovering from injuries. Charlotte has a mic to say, “Well, would you look at this? I am in the ThunderDome. And what would the ThunderDome be without the Queen?” Charlotte’s first night, she walks out champion, because that is who she is to the core. Nothing has changed. When a friend asked for help, and there’s something in it for Charlotte, she gladly obliged. “The heartbeat of this division,” Charlotte’s friend and tag partner is ASUKA!

The other half of the new tag team champions makes her entrance as #AsukaTwoBelts! Asuka and Charlotte hug and Asuka is excited to be a double champion! “The Empress of Tomorrow is the DOUBLE~ CHAMPION~ of Today!” She is both Raw Women’s and Women’s Tag Team Champion! It’s a great feeling to be partners with a friend! Nia and Shayna were NOT ready for Asuka, nor were they ready for Charlotte! WOO~! Charlotte wants Asuka to wait a moment. What about the Raw Women’s Championship? But before the discussion can be had, Shayna and Nia storm out!

The former tag team champions join Charlotte and Asuka in the ring, grab some mics, and get in on the conversation. “Charlotte, Charlotte, Charlotte. It’s so good to see you.” Guess it took all six months to heal that arm, but it didn’t fix that robotic voice. So does this soft voice work for you instead, Nia? “I kicked your ass last night~!” Shayna says that’s not robotic, at least. But before they get too comfortable with the tag titles, Nia has a holiday story for them. Santa isn’t the only one with a Naughty or Nice list. Nia and Shayna have a list, too. The only thing is, the naughty don’t get coal. They get “seasons beatings.” Just ask Lana, Kairi Sane, and-

“Mandy~…!” Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke are here! But the Sexy Muscle Friends aren’t in a good mood. Something looks different about each other, but they’re not sure what it is. Oh, Nia and Shayna look different! Shayna looks like Rudolph with a nose job, and Nia just needs the antlers. Oh wait, what’s different is… They’re not tag team champions anymore! So then, move over, these two are coming through! Charlotte likes this attitude. And while this match was already going to happen, the champs say it should happen NOW! A ref arrives, Asuka and Charlotte join commentary, and it is happening! Will the former champions lose twice in 24 hours?

Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke!

Raw returns and this match begins with Shayna and Mandy. They tie up, Shayna facelocks and brings Mandy down but Mandy rolls to get free and get an arm. Shayna pushes Mandy over, gets the arm in return, and floats around to push Mandy around. Shayna toys with Mandy, but lets her up to tie up again. Mandy waistlocks, slams Shayna down, then brings her up to slam her again! Shayna gets up, pries free to switch, but Mandy uses a leg to trip Shayna up. Shayna kicks Mandy, Mandy cartwheels to evade then she kicks Shayna down! Cover, ONE!

Mandy puts Shayna in a corner, rams her shoulder in, then tags in Dana. The Sexy Muscle Friends double suplex Shayna hard! Shayna scrambles, tags in Nia and Nia stares Dana down. Dana dodges Nia, throws forearms but Nia headbutts her down! Dana flounders to a corner, dodges Nia but not enough as she gets clipped! Nia drags Dana up, headbutts Dana again, and Asuka is growing worried. Nia digs her boot into Dana, but lets off as the ref counts. Dana gets up but Nia chokes her, then TOSSES her! Nia runs in to corner splash! Dana flops down, Nia talks smack to Mandy, then Nia whips Dana corner to corner, but Dana dodges clean this time!

Dana come back with a handspring back elbow! Dana keeps moving, but Nia blocks the handspring, only to get an around the world headscissors! Tag to Mandy, they chop block and KENE FROM A ROSE Nia out! Shayna hurries over but Dana wrecks her with a dropkick! The Sexy Muscle Friends stand tall, then LEAP onto the former champs with double crossbodies! Asuka is fired up for Dana and Mandy, and Charlotte is fired up that Asuka is fired up. Charlotte sees Dana and Mandy flexing on Nia and Shayna, and they put Nia in. Mandy follows but Nia knocks her down! Nia stalks back out, drags Mandy up, and throws her into barriers! Nia looms over Mandy as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Nia has Mandy in a bearhug. Mandy fights out, kicks and throws forearm after forearm! Mandy kicks again, runs but Nia blocks the knee to CLOBBER Mandy! Nia looms over Mandy, drags her up and tags Shayna in. They mug Mandy, Shayna clubs Mandy down, and Shayna steps on Mandy’s foot to keep her anchored. Shayna SMASHES the knee into the mat! Then she has a standing heel hook on Mandy, leaning on the leg deep. Mandy fights back but Shayna DDT’s the leg! Shayna drags Mandy away, tags Nia back in, and Nia stomps the leg! Nia puts Mandy on the ropes to choke her but lets off as the ref counts.

Nia puts Mandy’s leg on the rope and STOMPS it! Mandy crawls but Nia stays in her way. Nia pie faces Mandy, kicks her around, then drags her back up. Mandy breaks free to fire off body shots! Nia shoves Mandy to the corner but Mandy boots her away! Mandy ROCKS Nia, but Nia CLOBBERS Mandy again! Nia drags Mandy away, and drops the leg, only to miss! Mandy hurries, reaches, but Nia has a leg. Mandy kicks Nia away, Shayna tags in and she DECKS Dana! Mandy hits Shayna back, dodges her and LARIATS! Mandy rallies and Asuka fires up on commentary! Mandy gets a snap suplex! Shayna goes to a corner, but she dodges Mandy, only for Mandy to elbow back!

Mandy bumps Shayna off buckles, throws forearms, then snapmares Shayna to run. Dana tags in before the KNEE FROM A ROSE! Dana handspring SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! They almost had the Queen of Spades! Dana drags Shayna up, ducks a kick to give an enziguri! Dana hurries up top, leaps, SWANTON! Cover, but Nia shoves Mandy and drags Dana off the cover! Mandy comes back with a FLYING KNEE! Dana handsprings and elbows Nia into the post! The Sexy Muscle Friends regroup but Shayna KICKS Mandy down! Dana ghost pins Shayna, TWO! Shayna gets Mandy for the swinging BACKBREAKER!

Shayna drags Dana by her arm, wrenches it, locks it in, and- Dana dodges the stomp to roll Shayna into buckles! High stack, TWO!! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Dana taps, Shayna and Nia win!

Winners: Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax, by submission

So close and yet so far from victory, Dana and Mandy couldn’t put away the former champions! Shayna eggs Charlotte on but Mandy dropkicks her down! Then the Sexy Muscle Friends both DUMP Nia out! Mandy and Dana lost the match but the race is still on! Will the wrestling royals have to watch their backs against even friends?

 

The Hurt Business arrive backstage.

And they immediately spot someone wearing a New Day shirt. It was an early Christmas present… Well, maybe he didn’t get the memo. Wardrobe change! They literally RIP the New Day shirt off this guy, and force him to wear a Hurt Business shirt. Now that looks good! Merry Christmas!

 

Raw returns with the VIP Lounge!

MVP, the WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley, and the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions head to the ring for this “Champions Edition” of their talk show. “If ever there was a time for a champagne celebration, it is tonight!” And what better place to celebrate than the most exclusive club in all of the WWE? So allow MVP to indulge himself as he says, “Once again the Hurt Business is in the ring, so that can only mean one thing. Big things poppin’, little things stoppin’. So relax and enjoy the view, because the VIP Lounge is for champions … people who are better than you.”

Shelton Benjamin starts by saying they showed the world why they are better than ANY tag team on Raw! Cedric Alexander continues to say ESPECIALLY the New Day! The titles now have the prestige they deserve because they are in the Hurt Business. The come-up is over, because this is PRIME Alexander! Forget about pancakes, unicorns and all that. The Hurt Business has champagne and custom made suits! Right, Mr. CEO? Lashley says they are the most dominant force in the WWE. Get used to this view. Alexander and Benjamin have proven themselves as dominant, and Lashley promises not a man on this earth can beat him for the US Championship.

So to commemorate the occasion, MVP has a photographer to capture these moments for posterity. They gather together, hold up the belts, and the pictures are taken. Looking good, right? Wait, R-Truth is photobombing them! But he is a champion so… Wait, here come the “contenders!” Erik, Titus O’Neil, Akira Tozawa, and the Lucha House Party, chase Truth around the ring then back up the ramp, through the Christmas trees and presents, and then backstage! Lince Dorado snatches a present! And before the Hurt Business can respond, Jeff Hardy and Matt Riddle are here! And they have mics!

MVP says they were NOT invited! Wait the 24/7 Championship chase is still going in the background. Riddle congratulates the bros on the big win. And he’s digging the celebration. But they’ve got a couple of things wrong. You don’t need to waste money at the clubs. They just need to chill with the homies, throw a disk around, get a little toasted, and listen to Joe Rogan or watch Dave Chapelle to escape “the day to day, existential grind that live is.” Y’know what Riddle means? Hold on he has more. There’s no reason to spread negative vibes, because in the end, we’re all the same: self-aware, carbon matter that is on a rock hurling through space. So just chill-

No, they’re NOT the same. Riddle doesn’t even know what he’s talking about but no one cares about his hair-brain concepts. Why are they here? Hardy translates: there are more important things in life than status and money. So Hardy and Riddle would rather die with pride than live with greed. But facing MVP and Lashley means having something more than money can buy: faith. Will the Hardy Bros get a big win at the expense of the Hurt Business?

 

Angel Garza VS Drew Gulak!

Raw returns as Sarah interviews the Lethal Lothario backstage. Garza knows he faces Gulak for the first time ever, but these are the holidays! What better way to celebrate than to give the women of the world the #GiftOfGarza? Speaking of gifts, a rose for Sarah. Yes, Garza is up against Gulak, but he will be thinking of Sarah. Maybe they can have an interview under the mistletoe? From one former Cruiserweight Champion to another, will Gulak give Garza the gift of a lesson in grappling?

The bell rings, Gulak rushes Garza and they tie up. Gulak puts Garza in a corner, the ref counts and Gulak backs off. Garza takes off the pants, and throws them at Gulak! Garza then sucker punches Gulak, puts on a facelock but Gulak hits back! Gulak scoops to a backbreaker! Gulak throws hands, Garza turns things around and CHOPS! Gulak boots, Garza blocks and has the legs in the ropes to ROCK Garza with a right! Then KNEES Gulak in the side! Cover, ONE!! Garza keeps on Gulak, drags him around and digs his forearms in. Garza drags Gulak up to get the arm and pulls back. Gulak elbows Garza’s leg, gets around and puts on a cobra twist!

Garza endures, chokes Gulak and shoves Gulak down! Garza brings Gulak back up, whips him to ropes and hip tosses him down! Cover, TWO! Garza is after Gulak again, but Gulak throws elbows and haymakers! Gulak throws body shots, whips corner to corner but Garza BOOTS back! Garza waistlocks, Gulak switches but Garza bucks him off to SUPERKICK! Then the underhooks, the lift, and WING CLIPPER! Cover, Garza wins!

Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall

It seems Garza is both a lover and a fighter! Will Garza continue to fight until he gets what he really loves in a championship?

 

AJ Styles and Jordan “Omos” Omogbehin walk backstage.

Neither is in a good mood after how TLC went down. Charly Caruso asks their reaction to The Miz’s cash-in. “Hot. Livid! Past my boiling point!” Miz screwed Styles out of his championship win! So obviously, still emotional. But if that’s the case, why is Styles being on Miz TV. Styles wants to hear what Miz has to say for himself. And for his sake, it better be good! Will Styles and Omos look to cancel Miz TV after the break?

 

Raw returns with Miz TV!

The Guru of Greatness and Hollywood A-Lister are back with the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show, but clearly they’re not in the best mood. “In life, you’re not often presented with an opportunity to become WWE Champion. Last night, I had the chance to etch my name in the history books as a two-time WWE Champion.” But Miz failed. Not only did he fail himself, but he failed his family. He’s sorry. But that’s not the only apology to be issued tonight. They welcome their guest, AJ Styles! The Phenomenal One, and Omos, join Miz and Morrison in the ring, and Styles keeps Omos from going after Morrison.

Miz explains that he invited Styles to, well, explain his actions. Miz isn’t usually so impulsive, but Styles would’ve done the same in that position. Styles doesn’t want to hear it! Doesn’t Miz realize he is the biggest idiot on earth?! Miz is selfish, and incompetent! Miz cost Styles the WWE Championship, in a Ladder Match, by cashing in the MITB briefcase! You don’t think Miz knows that?! The contract was everything! Ten YEARS ago, Miz cashed in a MITB contract, won the title and main-evented Mania! He wanted the same to happen this year! For 15 YEARS, Miz has dedicated himself to being the poster child of the WWE! And nobody respects him! Nobody cares!

But if Miz cashed in at the right time, and became champion, just maybe someone would respect him! Styles, the fans, everyone! And then he’d take Raw to new heights! But Miz can’t do anything about that now. He can only make it right. So from the bottom of Miz’s heart, soul and with every ounce of dignity he has, he apologizes. But they were both robbed last night. So, it’s the holidays, right? A time for giving and forgiving. So Miz will give Styles an early gift. Miz presents Styles with an opportunity to be part of The Marine 7. Wait, why is he so small on that poster?! Where is Morrison!?

Omos speaks up! Don’t defend Morrison! Morrison was the one who gave the ref the briefcase! Well, because Styles was down, it looked like he was losing, so- But Styles says Morrison also hit Omos with a chair! Omos was gonna make himself a Peanut Butter & Morrison sandwich! Oh big talk having the big man behind you! Styles says is gonna give Morrison a “thunder cookie!” Morison has a five course meal ready for you! Omos moves aside, Miz calms Styles and Morrison down. Because Omos is RIGHT! Morrison cashed Miz’s contract in, Miz is the ONLY one who can cash it in! That’s a LOOPHOLE! Miz demands his contract be revived!

But Drew McIntyre interrupts them here. “Lads, we’ve got ourselves a Six Man Holiday Street Fight later tonight. And if anyone takes you guys out, it’s not each other. It’s gonna be Drew McIntyre.” And speaking of taking these guys out, after he defended his title at TLC, he had a bit of a celebration. Styles will remember that match for a long time because of that mark on his left cheek. McIntyre, Sheamus and Keith Lee each had some pints, had some laughs, and remembered that hilarious “Nightmare Before TLC.” Then Jack Daniels, Jim Bean and Mr. Jameson joined the fun, and McIntyre got the creative juices flowing for a sequel! He had no time for a booklet, but he has it all on a napkin. This will be called, “The Nightmare After TLC.”

‘Twas the night after TLC, and Miz had no Money in the Bank, and Styles was left title-less, with Drew McIntyre to thank! Sheamus appears from the other side of the ring! Both AJ and Miz whined, screaming, “This isn’t fair!” This truly was a Phenomenal Nightmare. Keith joins in! McIntyre tries to remember the big finish. What was it? Don’t ask Sheamus. Everything after 3 AM was a blur. Keith says they can improvise the finish in the Street Fight! But with all this talking, they’re not dressed up for nothing. Let’s just throw down right now! And so the brawl is on! Sheamus has Miz, McIntyre has Morrison and Keith has Styles!

McIntyre TOSSES Morrison overhead and out of the ring! Sheamus knees Miz, McIntyre CLOBBERS Miz then tosses the director chairs! Keith keeps Styles down, but then Styles dropkicks Keith into Styles! McIntyre keeps the peace to explain, and Omos helps Styles get away. There is still dysfunction dating back to Survivor Series, can the WWE Champion keep his friends on friendly terms for tonight?

 

Keith Lee and Sheamus argue backstage.

Keith didn’t trust Sheamus before, he doesn’t trust him now! McIntyre barges in to stop this. Otherwise, he’ll knock them both on their asses! McIntyre says Keith hitting Sheamus was an accident! Now cool down before the Six Man! Sheamus storms off, and McIntyre tells Keith that Sheamus is like a brother to him. He can be a bit of a prick sometimes, but Sheamus is loyal, too. The three of them could do so much damage if they were united. Let McIntyre worry about Sheamus. Just focus on Styles and the others. Keith accepts that and also heads out. Is this going to work out for the Scottish Warrior, Celtic Warrior and Limitless One?

 

Ricochet VS T-Bar w/ Retribution!

The One and Only continues to fight against Mustafa Ali’s horde of havoc wreaking henchmen! Will the towering T-Bar break Ricochet down into joining the movement?

Raw returns as Ricochet makes his entrance. The bell rings and Ricochet dropkicks T-Bar! Then fires off hands! T-Bar shoves Ricochet but Ricochet dropkicks a leg out! And then BOOTS T-Bar! Ricochet springboards but into T-Bar’s arms! For a standing knee to the side! And another! And another! And then T-Bar TOSSES Ricochet aside! Retribution is fired up to see that, and Ali tells T-Bar he needs to force Ricochet to see the light. T-Bar fires off clubbing forearms, then runs to CLOBBER him! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives but Ali is still confident in T-Bar. T-Bar sits Ricochet up to dig a knee in and clamp on a chinlock!

Ricochet endures, fights up, but T-Bar CLUBS him! T-Bar whips Ricochet, Ricochet holds ropes then dumps T-Bar out! Ricochet builds speed but Slapjack is there, so Ricochet dropkicks him down! Mace rushes in but Ricochet dodges and QUEBRADAS! Ricochet stares Ali down but T-Bar BOOTS Ali down! T-Bar puts Ricochet in but Ali says Ricochet needs to learn. “Stop feeling with your heart! Think with your mind, you fool!” Ricochet hits Ali with fists! T-Bar drags Ricochet in, torture racks, FEAST YOUR EYES!! Cover, T-Bar wins!

Winner: T-Bar, by pinfall

Ricochet put up another fight but Retribution still wins! T-Bar tells Ricochet himself, “When are you gonna learn? Retribution is not your enemy! We are your ally! You will either join us, or we will end your existence!” Will Ricochet finally fall in line with Ali, T-Bar and the mission?

 

Raw shares The New Day’s post-match reactions.

Even after losing the titles, Xavier Woods says this has happened before. This is what the New Day does. They’ve been at the top of the mountain before and will be there again. Kofi adds that they have to take hats off to the Hurt Business. Kofi cracked teeth, was spitting out pieces in that match. But it’s okay. A man is not measured by high he climbs, but by how high he bounces back from falling down. That is just what they do! Will New Day bounce back better than ever before?

 

The Hurt Business VS Jeff Hardy & Matt Riddle!

MVP and Bobby Lashley are ready for the Charismatic Enigma and the Original Bro! Will Jeff and a different Matt succeed as this different kind of Hardy Bros? Or will the Hurt Business bankrupt them after the break?

Raw returns and the Hardy Bros make their entrance! The flip-flops fly and teams sort out, and Hardy ambushes MVP and Lashley! MVP gets out, Lashley shoves Hardy down, but Hardy is right after him again! Tag to Riddle, the Hardy Bros mug Lashley and Riddle hops on for a sleeper! Lashley throws Riddle off hard then CLOBBERS him! Lashley looms over Riddle, bumps him off buckles, and tags in MVP. MVP throws body shots on Riddle, stomps him down, but lets off at the ref’s count. MVP keeps Riddle in the corner, RAMS him with a shoulder, then clubs him down! Tag to Lashley, and they mug Riddle in return with stomps!

Lashley looms over Riddle while Alexander talks smack. Lashley hits a neckbreaker, covers, TWO! Riddle hurries for his corner but Lashley drags him away by his hair! Lashley rakes Riddle’s face but stops as the ref counts. Riddle gets up to fire off KICKS! Lashley blocks, but Riddle boots free! Hot tag to Hardy! Hardy fires off forearms and whips, but Lashley reverses. Hardy hits back with forearms, and an atomic drop! Trip up, leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick! Splash, cover, TWO! Lashley has power but Riddle tags in. Hardy Bros whip Lashley corner to corner, Riddle sets up, BROETRY IN MOTION!

Lashley falls out of the ring but MVP runs in! Hardy atomic drops MVP to trip, but Hardy helps Riddle with a STANDING FLOATING BRO! MVP bails out, the Hurt Business regroups, but they get wrecked by a dropkick, and Riddle PENALTY KICKS MVP! The Hardy Bros are fired up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Hardy fires off on Lashley. Hardy whips, Lashley reverses but Hardy elbows back! Hardy goes up but Lashley SHOVES him down! Hardy crashes ‘n’ burns to the steel steps, then the floor! Benjamin and Alexander mock Hardy’s pain as Riddle checks on him. Hardy manages to get up but the ring count is 5 of 10! And then 7! Hardy hobbles in at 9, but Lashley is looming right over him. Hardy tries to get to Riddle but Lashley drags him up, wrenches an arm and hits a vicious elbow breaker! Tag to MVP, MVP stomps Hardy then digs an elbow into the shoulder. Hardy endures, MVP shoots to a cover, but Hardy is under ropes. MVP moves Hardy to try again, TWO!

MVP drags Hardy up but Hardy throws hands! MVP throat chops and SMASHES Hardy off his knee! The Hurt Business cheers as MVP runs, BALLIN~! Elbow drop! Cover, TWO! MVP rains down furious rights, then drags Hardy up to whip him to a corner. MVP runs in but Hardy dodges the boot! Hardy goes up and hits WHISPER IN THE WIND! Both men are down and the fans are fire dup on their ThunderDome screens! Hot tag to Riddle! Riddle rallies with a strike fest, then spins MVP for a PELE! Riddle kips up, runs in and forearms MVP, then goes side to side to forearm again! Alexander distract son the apron but not enough, MVP gets a BROSPLODER! To BROTON!

Riddle is fired up and drags MVP into a Fisherman BUSTER! Cover, Lashley breaks it! Lashley helps MVP get to the corner then tags in. Lashley runs at Riddle, and gets him for a COMPLETE SHOT! The Hurt Business is fired up as Lashley reels Riddle in for a suplex, but Riddle fights out! Riddle gets to his corner, Hardy tags in and ROCKS Lashley! FINAL FLASH from Riddle, Hardy sets up for SUPER BROETRY IN MOTION! Riddle wipes out Alexander and Benjamin as Hardy goes up! But MVP is there, only for Hardy to kick him away! SWANTON FLOPS! Lashley aims from a corner, Hardy gets up, but Hardy knees the spear away! TWIST- To the HURT LOCK!! Lashley thrashes Hardy around, Hardy taps, the Hurt Business wins!

Winners: The Hurt Business, by submission

The Hardy Bros were so close, but the Rocky Mountain Machine is just too powerful! But Hardy and Riddle aren’t deterred, will they go back to the drawing board and have a solution?

 

Styles argues with Miz and Morrison backstage.

The apology sucked! Well Styles’ attitude sucks! It seems these three aren’t doing very well, either. Will the Phenomenal One, the Awesome A-Lister and the Guru of Greatness be able to recover in time for the Street Fight?

 

Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.

The Drifter has Jaxson Ryker in the ring as security as he plays his guitar. Ryker is a man that understands the universal truth. And after the year Elias has had, from winning at WrestleMania, getting hit by a car but coming back to release his album and getting #1 on the charts, to then survive electrocution, this has been a whirlwind. He thanks his fans who put his album on the top of the list. And those who didn’t just haven’t heard it yet. Elias’ music changes lives! Ryker was reborn by the Universal Truth. Tonight, we test just how powerful Elias’ music can be. Before Ryker sends a message to-

No time to waste! Gran Metalik storms out to the ring for this revenge match over how roughly Ryker treated him, over simply chasing R-Truth! Will Ryker wreck Metalik to send a message to all of the roster?

Jaxson Ryker w/ Elias VS Gran Metalik w/ Lince Dorado!

The bell rings, Ryker grabs at Metalik but Metalik kicks and CHOPS! Ryker whips and sends Metalik flying with a shoulder, all while Elias climbs up the corner? Elias plays while Ryker drops ax handle after ax handle on Metalik! Elias is Ryker’s bard as Ryker whips Metalik, but Metalik POSTS Ryker! Metalik goes after Elias on the top rope, for a SUPER STEINER! Elias tumbles out, Lince has the guitar and plays a tune of his own! But Ryker CLOBBERS Metalik! Ryker choke grips and Choke BOMBS! Cover, Ryker wins!

Winner: Jaxson Ryker, by pinfall

Elias says that is the power of HIS music! Ryker made Metalik understand through pain, but will anyone else come to #WalkWithElias?

 

Randy Orton is here!

The Viper, the Apex Predator, the Legend Killer… The Fiend Killer? There is no more remorse on Orton’s face, but there is a sick satisfaction. Yes, an Inferno Match is about lighting a part of your opponent on fire, but Orton didn’t end at winning. With Bray Wyatt unconscious on the mat, Orton soaked him with gasoline and set him ablaze! He even looks at the spot in the ring where Bray’s body burned before striking his signature pose on the corner. Orton gets a mic to say, “My entire life, I have been called many, many different things. Sick and twisted, deranged and demented.” Orton proved he is each and everyone one of those things when he burned The Fiend alive!

A normal man would have regrets if they set another man on fire, but The Fiend is no normal man, and neither is Orton. “Last night, I enjoyed every single second as I stood by and watched The Fiend… burn!” Orton again goes to the spot in the ring where it happened. He finds the exact spot where it happened. If Orton closes his eyes, he can still see it, and still smell it. “The stench of burning flesh has a tendency to linger.” Orton didn’t sleep last night, because the voices in his head, which he grew accustomed to, were just gone. The voices don’t exist. The only sound Orton hears in his head is the Fiend gasping for his last breath as the fire grew hotter and the flames grew higher.

Orton smiles into the camera as he says, “The Fiend is gone. The Fiend is no more! And I am the evil son of a bitch that took him out!” Then why are the lights shutting down!? Orton hurries out of the ring but it’s too late. A spotlight shines on the ring, and Alexa Bliss is there! She has a new set for A Moment of Bliss that’s even more demented than before! “Expecting someone else?” He built this for her. Call it, “Alexa’s Playground.” C’mon in, Orton. Wondering where “he” is? He could be at a tanning salon. Looked a little pale. Or maybe he is at the beach. It’s good weather in Florida. Hopefully he doesn’t get a sunburn! Or maybe Fiend is at his favorite restaurant, having his favorite food: barbecue!

Alexa laughs at her own jokes, but admits Orton is right. It was right here, where you can still see and smell what happened to The Fiend’s flesh. He’s not here right now, but it’s almost as if he became one with the mat. “Under the ground, under reach layer of the earth. He’s home.” But if he ever leaves home, he’ll come back to Alexa’s playground. And it’ll be like nothing Orton’s ever seen before. Alexa stares at Orton with her spooky eyes, and the lights turn off again. And when they come back this time, the playground is gone! Did Orton only make The Fiend stronger by burning his body?!

 

Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans!

The brand new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions have a title defense set for Christmas SmackDown, so they need something to help them bridge the gap from TLC to Friday night! Will the Queen and Empress be ready for this dysfunctional duo?

Raw returns as Asuka returns to the ring, with pyro! Lacey does last minute stretching as Sarah interviews her and Peyton about facing the new champions. Are they up to the challenge? What kind of question is that? “Pey-Pey” and Lacey asked for this match! They’re not sitting around for handouts. No one is as relentless as Peyton. Ready to get hands on the nasties and take out the trash? Yes, ma’am! High five? No, ma’am. And for the record, Peyton got them this match. But either way, the Sassy Southern Belle and Venus Flytrap head to the ring, ready to upstage the new champions!

The teams sort out, Asuka starts with Peyton, and the two tie up. Asuka headlocks, Peyton powers out but Asuka runs her over! Asuka rolls Peyton, Peyton ducks the kick and waistlocks. Asuka switches, Peyton switches, and Lacey tags in. O’Conner roll but Asuka pops out to get her lock! Lacey drags Asuka off Peyton, Charlotte protests but Asuka throws Lacey out. Lacey blocks the punch to sweep the legs, then slingshots in! Asuka moves to mule kick back! Peyton tags back in, Shayna and Nia are watching backstage as Asuka hip attacks Lacey off the apron! But Asuka turns around into Peyton’s HEEL KICK! Cover, TWO! Peyton grows frustrated but Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Lacey hits Asuka with a swinging bronco buster in the corner! Lacey then hops up, salutes, but Peyton tags in to steal the cover! TWO! Peyton clubs Asuka over and over, goes to the apron to hop up the corner, but Lacey tags in! It’s only fair! Lacey sweeps Asuka’s legs, then slingshots for the elbow! Cover, TWO! Peyton tags back in and the dysfunction is only growing stronger. Asuka is crawling away while they’re arguing! Peyton intercepts with a forearm, then slaps Asuka around. Asuka swipes back! Asuka blocks a kick to get around for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Hot tag to Charlotte!

The Grand Slam Queen rallies on Peyton, back suplexes Lacey high and hard, then kips up! Charlotte CHOPS away on Pey-Pey! Peyton is reeling but Charlotte CHOPS her more! Charlotte whips, Peyton reverses but Charlotte holds ropes to stop herself,. Charlotte hits Peyton with a backbreaker and a BOOT! Charlotte gets the legs, steps through, but Lacey runs in! Charlotte kicks her first, scoops her and hits an EXPLODER! Nia and Shayna are upset as Charlotte swaggers, but Peyton kicks the leg! Peyton rolls Charlotte to a HALF CRAB! Lacey trips Asuka up, rams her down, then slingshots, but Asuka slide sin to sliding KICK Peyton down! Asuka then slides to trip Lacey up, and ROUNDHOUSES her down!

Charlotte flounders up but glares at Peyton. Charlotte trips Peyton, gets the legs, but Peyton twists to victory roll! TWO, Charlotte trips Peyton again! Charlotte lets out a “WOO~!” and puts on the Figure Four! Figure EIGHT! Peyton endures but taps, the champs win!

Winners: Charlotte Flair & Asuka, by submission

The Queen and Empress stand tall together with their belts! But there is still a lot more for them to prove as a team! Will they make it through Christmas day with the gold to then reign in the new year?

 

WWE and Raw acknowledge Titus O’Neil’s work in the community.

Titus himself rewarded a 27-year member of Sligh Middle Magnet School in Tampa Bay, Florida. He gave Virginia Lowell a very merry Christmas with a brand new car! She was so touched, because she’d never had a moment like this in her life. But her dedication and love for the school needs to be acknowledged and is an example to be followed. Titus also gave away five cars to families in need, and his own dedication and love for the community is something to be acknowledged and followed.

 

The Miz makes calls to his lawyer.

Again, the loophole of how the MITB contract holder having to be the one to give the briefcase is grounds enough! Talk to WWE management, or the USA Network, and get this set right! Miz is sick of being mistreated! Styles tells Miz to hang up, but when Miz doesn’t, he hangs up for him. They have a match! Morrison and Miz have to shrug that off quickly, because their match is NOW!

Six Man Tag Street Fight: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Keith Lee VS The Miz, John Morrison & AJ Styles w/ Jordon Omogbehin!

Neither trio teaming tonight has had the smoothest time together. But it is the holidays, and they all have common enemies on the other side. Will the the King of Claymores, the Fella and the Limitless One make their opponents #BaskInTheirGlory? Or will the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century *stare off into distance* and Phenomenal One be able to turn things around before the year is over?

Raw returns as Keith Lee makes his entrance. So far, Sheamus and Keith are able to stand together. Then Miz and Morrison make their entrance, followed by Styles and Omos. The bell rings and Morrison steps up to start with Sheamus, they tie up and go around, and Sheamus has a facelock. Morrison gets around to club away on the arm then he whips, Sheamus kicks back, clubs Morrison and ROCKS him with a right! Morrison throws hands back, trips Sheamus up and drags him over to tag in Miz! Miz stomps Sheamus and throws hands at the ropes. Miz chokes on Sheamus, then Morrison KICKS Sheamus! Styles tags in, he and Miz mug Sheamus, but Sheamus hits back!

Sheamus throws hands on Styles in a corner, reels him in and CLOBBERS him! Sheamus drags Styles up, Styles throws hands, then he puts Sheamus in a corner. Morrison tags in but they all mug Sheamus! Morrison stomps Sheamus, Miz gets his shot and Morrison mule kicks! Morrison cravats, but Sheamus resists the snapmare and throws hands! Sheamus CLOBBERS Morrison and drags Morrison over to tag in McIntyre. McIntyre and Sheamus split the wishbone! McIntyre drags Morrison up to bump off buckles, then CHOPS him! Morrison flounders but McIntyre drags him around to stomp the arms.

McIntyre drags Morrison up but Morrison slips out of the scoop to dropkick the bad leg! Morrison fires off KICKS, brings McIntyre out of the corner and KICKS the leg, to a DRAGON SCREW! McIntyre clutches his leg, Morrison drags McIntyre up but gets a GLASGOW KISS! McIntyre hobbles to his corner, brings Morrison with him and CLUBS Morrison down! Tag to Keith, McIntyre gets the bad leg moving as he and Keith double suplex Morrison and hold him up! Then they TOSS Morrison across the way! Morrison crashes down and Keith glares at Miz and Styles. Keith dares one of them to tag in as he drags Morrison away.

Keith clamps onto Morrison’s arm, drags him up to knuckle lock, and then brings Morrison over to tag in Sheamus. The mutual friends of McIntyre whip Morrison and run him over with double shoulders! Then they double elbow Miz as he runs in! And double hip toss Styles! McIntyre’s team holds the ropes and Sheamus gives Keith a pat on the shoulder. Keith gives it back. Sheamus gives another, but Keith gives a GRIZZLY MAGNUM!? McIntyre gets in before this gets too aggressive! This is what McIntyre was talking about, them destroying anyone as a unified unit! But will they stay unified after the break?

Raw returns once again and Sheamus has Styles’ arm! Styles endures as Sheamus keeps twisting! Sheamus drags Styles up, Styles throws haymakers, then runs, but into an elbow! Sheamus drags Miz into the ring and Morrison joins in! McIntyre goes after Morrison and throws him out! The Celtic Connection have a duet of BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! Keith meanwhile comes around and has them feed him BOTH Miz and Morrison, for a DOUBLE RAM into the apron! Keith throws Morrison into presents! And then he throws Miz into a pile of presents on the other end! Styles is put in the ring for Sheamus to grind down with a chinlock!

Styles endures, Sheamus gives him clubbing forearms then drops knees over and over! Sheamus digs his knee in but Styles tries to pull on the beard. Sheamus drops another knee, then throws big haymakers. Styles hits back, someone throws in a present box! The box is moved aside as Sheamus whips Styles, but Styles dodges and Sheamus POSTS himself! Hot tag to Miz and Miz stomps away on Sheamus! Morrison jumps in again but McIntyre goes after them! Keith also gets in, Sheamus and McIntyre CHOP Miz and Morrison out of the ring! Sheamus drags Morrison back up, fireman’s carries, and hits a rolling senton! Sheamus goes up top, but has to DECK Morrison first!

Styles creeps over, Sheamus glares at him, but then Morrison returns! Morrison shoves Sheamus down through a table of cookies! Keith and McIntyre check on Sheamus while Morrison and team creep over. Morrison drags Sheamus away to stomp him down! Morrison puts Sheamus in, stomps and covers, TWO! Miz tags in, he and Morrison drag Sheamus up for a double GUT BUSTER! Miz knocks Sheamus down, claws at his face, and digs in with no disqualifications stopping him! Sheamus hurries for his corner but Miz keeps him away with a facelock and clubbing forearms! Miz hits a BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO!!

Miz seethes as he drags Sheamus up and around. Styles tags in, they stomp away on Sheamus at the ropes, and Styles kicks Sheamus down! Styles drags Sheamus up but Sheamus fires off hands! Styles headbutts then enziguris! Styles dropkicks Keith just because! But Sheamus hits WHITE NOISE outta nowhere! Both men are down and McIntyre reaches out! Sheamus crawls, Styles does, too, hot tags to Miz and McIntyre! McIntyre rallies with big shoulders, then a whip, and an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Morrison gets in but gets an OVERHEAD SUPLEX for his trouble! Miz gets another OVERHEAD SUPLEX!

McIntyre manages a kip up, he elbows through Morrison’s boot to INVERTED ALABAMA SLAM him onto Miz! McIntyre brings Miz up, Miz slips out of Future Shock to kick the bad leg! Miz runs, into a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, Styles breaks it! Styles turns around into Keith’s POUNCE! Morrison gets up, FLYING CHUCK to Keith! Sheamus sees Morrison, IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Miz BOOTS Sheamus out but McIntyre clotheslines Miz out! Styles uses a candy cane kendo stick to SMACK away on McIntyre’s bad leg! McIntyre hobbles out, Styles runs over, McIntyre TOSSES him into a Christmas tree!

Styles flounders and McIntyre brings him over, to POWERBOMB him through a table of eggnog!! Yuck! Morrison has a kendo stick but so does Sheamus! Sheamus SMACKS away on Morrison first! Morrison hits back, McIntyre gets in as Keith gives him Miz! Sheamus chases Morrison off, McIntyre aims but Sheamus tags in!? Sheamus wants to finish this, but then Keith tags in! Are they falling apart again? Morrison distracts Keith, Keith shoves Morrison into Omos’ arms! Morrison thinks he’s saved, but Omos POWERSLAMS Morrison through a table! That’s for the chair shot at TLC! Meanwhile, Keith pops Miz up for a SPIRTI BOMB!! Cover, Keith and the Celtic Connection win!

Winners: Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Keith Lee, by pinfall

Then Sheamus BROGUES Keith! McIntyre can’t believe Sheamus! “I vouched for you! Why!? Why?!?” McIntyre told Keith he could trust Sheamus but clearly not! Is there still no love lost between these former Team Raw members?


My Thoughts:

A pretty good Raw to follow TLC, but it could’ve been better. For one, there were too many recap packages and it sure felt like too many commercial breaks throughout the night, that alone might be a problem with ratings. Obviously more the recaps than the commercials, but it has been awhile since USA Network has given Raw a picture in picture break. Another horribly glaring flaw was how the Six Man Tag main event went. If it is a Street Fight, meaning no disqualifications and no count outs, IT BECOMES A TORNADO TAG BY DEFAULT!! The six of them should’ve all been brawling, it should’ve been chaotic, and it should’ve wrecked everything at ringside. But no, it was some awful hybrid of a NORMAL Six Man Tag and a Street Fight. The table spots and kendo sticks came off more like, “Oh, yeah, we forgot those were allowed.”

The only good development was Sheamus giving Keith a Brogue over their dysfunction finally hitting a boiling point. And a bad development from the entire story of the world title is that Miz thinks he can get his MITB briefcase back because of a loophole. It really hurts the amazing passion Miz gave us in that promo about not being respected. And a promo like that always works with Miz because we all know it was a legitimate thing when he got started! With Miz being booked the way he has, it also adds to that a bit, where WWE isn’t giving him and/or Morrison respect by making them respectable threats to the world title, but him using a loophole to get his briefcase and his title shot back is not The Miz I want getting the shot. The Miz captured within the worked shoot promo is what I want! Miz needs to have aggression so that we’ll want to see him fight McIntyre for the title.

We had pretty good stuff for the Women’s Division, and obviously focused on the Women’s Tag Division. Charlotte and Asuka have good promos against Shayna and Nia, but the Sexy Muscle Friends were fed just the dumbest reindeer jokes on Nia and Shayna, all because it’s the holidays. Those lines didn’t need to be in the promos, just stick to the joke about the belts being gone. But they at least get to look good in a match with Shayna and Nia, even if they lose. Shayna and Nia keep an eye on Charlotte and Asuka during their match with Peyton and Lacey. I suppose it’s good progress for Peyton and Lacey to and least try to be united, and it was fine that it didn’t work out. Charlotte and Asuka win, obviously, because for one, they’re Charlotte and Asuka.

Then the new champs have a title match on Friday already, and though the team isn’t announced, the challengers have to be the Riott Squad. That is the only women’s tag team on SmackDown that is winning at all. I hope this is a sign Charlotte and Asuka get to follow in the footsteps of Bayley and Sasha, going back to NXT to face some NXT teams like Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell of The Way, and maybe even get involved in a TakeOver event. Raw has the ratings problem, but I would think strengthening the Women’s Tag Division on all shows would help Raw just as much.

The Hurt Business had a pretty good night. They bullied a New Day fan within the crew because duh, the New Day is the one tag team even plausible as a contender to the Raw Tag Team Championships. Yes, Hardy and Riddle did well as a team, but they still lost to MVP and Lashley. There is still some sorting out to do on who challenges for the US Championship next, but maybe Hardy gives Riddle the go ahead on it. Riddle had a hard time with his overly complicated “chill” promo, so I think WWE needs to let Riddle be the Bro and not try to write him as what they think The Bro should be.

Garza squashes Gulak because he desperately needs momentum after splitting off from Zelina Vega and then just treading water with trying to go all in with the Lothario bit. Ricochet loses to a Retribution member again, but perhaps because he isn’t joining. I’m still wondering if someone joins his fight, since Dana was apparently a one-time partner. Maybe Titus O’Neil can move over from the 24/7 Championship scene to help Ricochet. Titus has been a great role model for his charity, maybe he can be a role model in the ring standing against Ali trying to force everyone to see things his way. Ricochet and Titus would make a great combination, really. And speaking of the 24/7 Championship, Truth getting in on the VIP Lounge was a great way of sprinkling all that in.

I think the best stuff tonight was Orton and Alexa in relation to The Fiend. Orton might’ve been trying a little too hard to be menacing supervillain, but he is still doing really well. Alexa having a playground set is a great evolution of her own part in this story. I don’t know if Nikki Cross returns to feud with Alexa more, but I almost want a “Firefly Playground” match now. And what Alexa said about The Fiend only getting stronger now, Bray Wyatt might be the secret to Raw fixing their ratings and fulfilling that apparent request by USA Network for more “adult” content, in terms of being spooky scary horror movie stuff. Either way, I hope the endgame is the Firefly Fun House sequel with Orton to bring up his past and throw it in his face.

In fact, with John Cena being disappeared because “You Can’t See Me,” I think Orton should get “burned” in return since A) he loves burning Bray’s stuff, and B) Orton’s original theme was “Burn In My Light.” Gotta bring things full circle to make it worth it.

My Score: 8.2/10


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)

American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!

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AEW House of the Dragon

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?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; wins.
  • Gunn Club VS The Varsity Blonds; win(s).
  • Toni Storm VS KiLynn King; wins.
  • AEW World Trios Championship Tournament, Opening Round: La Faccion Ingobernable VS The Young Bucks & ???; win(s) and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW Dynamite will begin later tonight]


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 32 Results & Report! (8/17/22)

And then there were four!

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NJPW G1 Climax 32

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?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 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?


My Thoughts:

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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