Raw is revving up towards the Royal Rumble!
The Royal Rumble is this Sunday, but a lot could change right before it! Will Asuka still be Raw Women’s Champion after a rematch with twisted Alexa Bliss?
- Charlotte Flair VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax; Charlotte wins, by disqualification.
- Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Lacey Evans; Flair, Rose & Brooke win by count out, but restarted, Jax, Baszler & Evans win by pinfall.
- Slapjack w/ Retribution VS Xavier Woods; Woods wins.
- Sheamus VS John Morrison w/ The Miz; Sheamus wins.
- 2v1 Handicap Match: The Miz & John Morrison VS Sheamus; The Miz & Morrison win.
- R-Truth VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; Styles wins and Truth is NOT in the Royal Rumble match.
- United States Championship Opportunity Gauntlet Match: Matt Riddle VS The Hurt Business; Riddle wins and will challenge Bobby Lashley for the title.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Alexa Bliss; Bliss wins by disqualification, Asuka retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Drew McIntyre is back!
The WWE World Champion is healthy and ready for his match this Sunday at the Royal Rumble PPV! McIntyre has the mic, and he says it feels so good to be back on Raw! McIntyre thanks the fans for their get-well wishes all over social media. The outpouring of support means the world to him. McIntyre was lucky with the COVID symptoms. He’s 100% now and will be for the Rumble, but he’ll dedicate his match to those dealing with COVID. We will get through this together.
But speaking of being sick, McIntyre would have to be out of his mind if he took Goldberg lightly at all. McIntyre watched Goldberg since McIntyre was a teen. Goldberg came out of nowhere and rose to the top, running through opponent after opponent, 173-0 to then defat Hulk Hogan for the championship! Then he went through The Rock, the rest of the WWE, and then just disappeared. The last thing to go in a heavyweight fighter is their power. Goldberg returned the exact same animal he’s always been, set a new streak, and has beaten every new champion he’s faced! But McIntyre vows to END the new streak! This Sunday, McIntyre is STILL going to be WWE World Champion!
McIntyre says he’s fired up and wants to start things right, but here comes The Miz and John Morrison. Miz says this Sunday IS the Royal Rumble, and McIntyre VS Goldberg will be one for the ages! WWE’s Godzilla VS King Kong! Two of the hardest hitting monsters of all time! But when something that big happens, there tends to be consequences… What might those be? Well, at the very least, one or both of them, by the end, could end up injured! Oh no~! Then what would happen? Well we can’t give that away. Oh c’mon! Well okay. “Hey, John~! Whichever superstar is left standing by the end of that match will be?” A sitting duck! CORRECT!
And then these two hit the ring. CORRECT! And then they beat the hell out of whoever is champion! COOOOOORRECT! And then, Mr. Money in the Bank, will cash-in, and all you’ll hear is… “The winner, and NEW WWE World Champion… THEEEE MIIIIIZ~!” But here comes Goldberg! McIntyre waits as the pyro goes off, and out steps the Icon himself! No faking it with Gillberg this time, Goldberg storms his way to the ring with a mic of his own! Challenger stares down champion and says, “You. Me. Sunday. You’re next.” Miz and Morrison like that and then egg the two on. But that only gets Goldberg and McIntyre glaring at them.
McIntyre and Goldberg drag Miz and Morrison into the ring! SPEAR for Miz! CLAYMORE for Morrison! Then back to staring the other down! McIntyre raises the belt, but will Goldberg be raising it after the Rumble?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair!
The Royal Rumble is Sunday, but she’s going 1v1 with Shayna Baszler for the first time! If there’s one thing Charlotte does well, it’s performing under pressure. Shayna should bring that invisible crown, because it’s one thing to say you’re a queen, it’s another to be one. Charlotte loves defying odds, and she’s always willing to bet on herself, #MsWrestleMania. So the “situation” with Lacey Evans and her father won’t cause an issue? Charlotte says she’s seen her dad in a lot of dark places, this might be his darkest. Charlotte knows Lacey’s intentions. It’s one thing to have the last name Flair, it’s another to carry the weight of that name. But for now, Charlotte focuses on Shayna.
Charlotte Flair VS Shayna Baszler w/ Nia Jax!
While the Empress of Tomorrow is busy with Lil’ Ms. Bliss, the Queen will see how ready the Queen of Spades is this close to their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship rematch! Will Shayna be rolling towards the huge Sunday double header she has planned for herself?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Charlotte headlocks, but Shayna pries out to wrench and whip. Charlotte reverses, runs in but blocks a boot to give an elbow! Charlotte spins Shayna around into the ropes, elbows her down, then runs to dropkick Nia down for good measure! Shayna rushes in to get the sleeper! Charlotte rams Shayna into buckles, throws her off, then BOOTS her down! Charlotte gets the legs, Figure Four but Shayna fights it off! They move around, NIA drops a leg!!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by disqualification
The challengers mug Charlotte! Charlotte fights back but here come Dana Brooke and Mandy Rose! The Sexy Muscle Friends fight Shayna and Nia off of Charlotte! Shayna kicks Mandy’s leg but Charlotte CLOBBERS Shayna! But here comes LACEY EVANS! Lacey brawls with Charlotte and it is chaos as Raw goes to break!
Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax & Lacey Evans!
Raw returns, and battle lines have been drawn! Will the Queen and Sexy Muscle Friends get payback together against the troublemakers?
Mandy starts with Lacey and the two circle. They tie up, Lacey pulls hair, but lets off as the ref counts. Lacey does the strut but Mandy gets the arm. Mandy wrenches and yanks but Lacey uses a leg to pry free and wrench back. Mandy gets around to headlock, throw Lacey down and keep her down. Lacey pulls hair again, then headscissors free. Lacey copies the “WOO~!” but Mandy kicks free. Mandy headlocks again, Lacey powers out but things speed up. Mandy KICKS Lacey while she’s down! Mandy headlocks again, shifts around, and tags in Dana. They bring Lacey around to double suplex! Dana covers, TWO!
Dana keeps on Lacey with a whip and runs her over with a shoulder! Dana flexes, covers, TWO! Dana keeps Lacey away from her corner with a whip and hip toss! Handspring and stomp! Cover, TWO! Dana grows annoyed, she drags Lacey back over and tags in Charlotte. Lacey scrambles away to tag Shayna! Shayna and Charlotte continue where things left off, Charlotte blocks a kick to run and baits Shayna into buckles! But Shayna dodges the splash to fire off fast hands! Shayna KICKS the leg, but Charlotte avoids the knee to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Charlotte scoops and EXPLODERS Shayna to then kip up! Charlotte swipes at Lacey but goes after Shayna.
Charlotte brings Shayna over, tags in Dana, and Dana tags Mandy. Snapmare and double handspring BOOT! Mandy covers, ONE! Mandy drags Shayna back up, tags Dana in and they stomp away in the corner! Dana CHOPS and Charlotte lets out a “WOO~!” Dana CHOPS again, then tags in Charlotte. Charlotte and Shayna scrap, Charlotte CLUBS Shayna down then whips her to a corner. Shayna reverses but Charlotte tumbles up and out to then hit back with forearms! Charlotte KNEES Shayna through the ropes then drags her to the floor! Shayna hits the steps on the way down and hurries away. Nia checks on her teammate but the ring count is climbing! Shayna shoves Charlotte in at 8 but can’t get in herself, she’s COUNTED OUT!
Winners: Charlotte Flair, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke, by count out
The Queen managed to get in the heads of her opponents and it cost them! Will it be this easy when it’s Charlotte and Asuka VS Shayna and Nia?
Raw returns, and it is NOT over! Adam Pearce had this match restart over commercial, and now Nia is throwing Dana around! Dana BOOTS then kicks low to throw forearms! Dana runs, Nia reels her in but Dana throws elbows! Dana handsprings and headscissors to throw Nia into a corner! Dana runs and handspring sin to back elbow! Dana keeps moving, but Nia CLOBBERS Dana! Cover, TWO! Nia drags Dana over and tags in Lacey. Lacey gets in Dana’s face and knocks her down, but the ref reprimands. Lacey drops down for a cover, TWO! Lacey stomps Dana in frustration, drops knees on Dana’s hand, then digs her into the ropes! The ref counts and Lacey lets off.
Lacey taunts Charlotte, tags Shayna, and they mug Dana in the corner. Shayna fires off body shots, snapmares Dana and KICKS her in the back! Shayna covers, TWO! Shayna has Dana’s arm, twists the wrist and STOMPS the arm! Nia tags in and goes after the arm with a cobra clutch! Dana endures as Nia smothers her then thrashes her around! Nia brings Dana up but Dana throws more elbows! Dana pushes but Nia pushes back, and Nia blocks the huricanrana! Dana manages to sunset flip but Nia breaks free, but Dana avoids the sit down! Hot tag to Mandy and Lacey! Mandy dodges Lacey to DECK Shayna, then Mandy fires off, and FLAPJACKS!
Mandy fires up, picks Lacey up and powers her to a corner! Mandy fires off forearms, the ref counts but Mandy runs to give Lacey a KNEE FROM A ROSE!! Cover, but Shayna breaks it! Charlotte SPEARS Shayna! Nia CLOBBERS Charlotte! Nia drags Lacey to the corner to tag in! Nia aims at Mandy, Lacey drags Charlotte out but Charlotte glares. They run into the empty ringside area and Dana tags in! Nia still runs in but only gets POST! Dana manages to hit the ROLLING NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Nia survives but Dana heads up top! But Nia drags her off with a ROCKET LAUNCHER TOSS!
Nia snarls and drags Dana up again, into a lift, for a CHOKE SLAM!! And a LEG DROP! Cover, Nia’s team wins!
Winners: Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler & Lacey Evans, by pinfall
Count out, controversy, whatever it is, that’s all the past now! Nia and Shayna are rolling towards the Royal Rumble, will they leave tag team champions as well as a Women’s Rumble winner?
Raw shares a WWE Network Exclusive from last week.
After Retribution’s Mace beat Xavier Woods, Mustafa Ali had a message. “Kofi, Xavier, people love watching you because you are their escape from reality.” But retribution is the reminder of reality! So get well soon, Kofi.
And in a message from earlier today, Ali answers Kofi’s burning question of why Retribution is after The New Day. To have the audacity to ask that! Kofi’s greatest moment came from Ali’s worst! KofiMania happened at Ali’s expense. That was Ali’s spot in the Elimination Chamber and it could’ve been Ali’s moment at WrestleMania! Ali feels the New Day took everything from him, so will he try to take everything from them?
Slapjack w/ Retribution VS Xavier Woods!
Raw returns as Woods makes his entrance. Woods is in no mood after having faced Ali’s allies twice already. The bell rings and Woods shotgun dropkicks Slapjack down! Woods throws hands, CHOPS Slapjack to a corner, then CHOPS him more! Woods whips corner to corner then back drops Slapjack high and hard! Slapjack flounders but Woods is on him. Slapjack throws Woods to the apron but Woods forearms back! Slapjack KNEES Woods, ROCKS him with a right, then slingshots out then in for an ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! Slapjack digs Woods’ face into the mat, then stomps him down!
Slapjack stomps Woods more, digs his face into the mat more, then stomps him again! Slapjack goes to a corner, hops up and leaps, but Woods avoids the stomp! Woods shoves Slapjack then blocks punches to give punches! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Woods fires off over and over, whips but Slapjack reverses, only for Woods to tilt-o-whirl to a Russian Leg Sweep! Woods fires up again before he dodges and LEG LARIATS! Woods whips, Slapjack reverses and UPPERCUTS! Woods boots back, and hits the HONOR ROLL! Cover, TWO!! Slapjack survives and Ali has T-Bar make a move.
Woods sees T-Bar coming but Slapjack rolls Woods, only for Woods to SHINING WIZARD! Cover, Woods wins!!
Winner: Xavier Woods, by pinfall
Mace chases Woods, but Woods gets out, only for T-Bar to BOOT Woods! T-Bar puts Woods back in and Retribution surrounds him! Ali says to “SHUT HIM DOWN!” T-Bar and Mace give Woods a DOUBLE CHOKE BOMB! Ali gets Slapjack up to get a chair and Slapjack does as ordered. T-Bar and Mace sit Woods up and Slapjack hands the chair to Ali. Ali scowls and demands Woods look at him. Ali raises the chair up, but he smirks as he spares Woods. Ali takes a seat and has Reckoning fetch him a mic.
“All this talk about wanting to be King of the Ring, but man, do you sure look like a peasant right now.” But like a real king, ALI will show mercy. “And for that, you are going to do exactly what I say. You are going to deliver a message to Kofi Kingston.” Tell Kofi that Ali heard the sad news that Kofi won’t make it to this year’s Rumble. But tell Kofi not to fear, “a replacement has been found. And his name is Mustafa Ali!” The tables have turned, and now the Beacon is ready to shine.
Matt Riddle finds R-Truth backstage.
Truth says he heard something. The Hurt Business is throwing a surprise party for him! How does he know that? Well it was Truth’s birthday last week, but he heard about a special VIP Lounge tonight! He’s getting 24 carrots! Well that makes sense as Capricorn, sign of the goat. BAAAH~! Now, don’t spoil the surprise! The secret is safe with Riddle, bro. Wait, someone got their wires crossed. Will Truth be sorely disappointed when the VIP Lounge isn’t what he thinks?
The Hurt Business heads to the ring!
The WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley, is going to be in the Men’s Royal Rumble this year, but his associates will be taking on Matt Riddle later on in a unique contender’s match challenge. But first, the VIP Lounge is decked out in black and gold as MVP says the BIGGEST things are popping, the littlest things are stopping, so relax and enjoy the view because the VIP Lounge is for people better than you. And MVP is stoked to see Bad Bunny is going to be at the Rumble and knows the after party will be lit! Lashley wanted this meeting for something important, MVP addresses the match with Riddle. Riddle may be brain dead but he is crafty. Let us not lose focus on that task in hand, Cedric Alexander.
Now, to Lashley’s business. “Sometimes you have to believe in somebody else’s belief in you.” Look at them! They all look good! Raw Tag Team and United States Championships. They believed! And more importantly, the beauty is that they’ve only just begun. So true. Benjamin says that looking at their individual accomplishments, it is hard to think that only a year ago- Alexander says that the Hurt Business is on a roll, thanks to MVP! Lashley says they collected some “outstanding debts,” to present something to represent their appreciation. It is only fitting that while these three are dripping in gold. MVP should have some gold, too. They present to him… #THB, the Hurt Business gold chain!
MVP tries it on, and loves it! It is not often that MVP is at a loss for words, but he doesn’t have any. Alexander takes credit working with the designer. Benjamin says Alexander doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But here comes R-Truth! PARTY~ TIME~! What?! Why!? Stop the music!! Truth says it is weird that the guest of honor isn’t on the list but sometimes it happens. He is NOT on the list! Truth says it is rude to eavesdrop, but he heard about this surprise party! Truth’s birthday was last week, but better late than never. No, this has NOTHING to do with Truth! This is all about MVP! Really? THB: Truth, Happy Birthday. And where the carrots at?
No, Truth. Just stop. Wait, dance break? Lashley says Truth is right. They’ve been so busy, Lashley forgot it was Truth’s birthday. And to make it up to him, they do have something for him, in the ring. MVP remembers now! Yeah, here we go. Oh wait, the other Raw superstars come out to go after the 24/7 Championship! They bust down the velvet rope, Tucker Knight rolls Truth up but Humberto Carrillo pushes him off. Lashley RAMS Carrillo into barriers! Gulak gets a haymaker, Lashley CLOBBERS Tucker and Benjamin throws Drew Gulak into steel steps! But Matt Riddle gets in to give MVP a FINAL FLASH knee! Riddle gets away but the Hurt Business tells him he’ll still pay! Will the Bro put the hurting on the Hurt Business from top to bottom?
R-Truth talks with Adam Pearce.
Truth “hides” but he asks about Royal Rumble opportunities. Truth wants to prove he can enter the MITB match and win! No, Truth, no… AJ Styles and Omos come over. Styles understands what Truth is really talking about. And being the nice guy Truth is, benevolent even, he’ll help Truth out. Styles is benevolent? Truth is a Capricorn! Sigh… Pearce arranges a match between Truth and Styles, and they accept! Truth says if Styles is benevolent, Truth is a Capricorn, and Omos must be a Taurus. Truth had a Ford Taurus, it broke down and… Well anyway, will Truth be able to prove he is worthy of the Rumble with just days left to get in?
Sheamus VS John Morrison w/ The Miz!
The Fella saw the Guru and A-Lister get blasted by McIntyre and Goldberg earlier, and figured why not get in on the fun? Will Sheamus use Morrison as a great warm-up before entering the Men’s Rumble this Sunday?
Raw returns as the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century make their entrance. The bell rings, Sheamus and Morrison circle and tie up and Sheamus puts Morrison on ropes. The ref counts for the break but Sheamus lets off at 4. Morrison holds his jaw from that Claymore earlier, but gets around to waistlock. Sheamus throws Morrison down to get the arm. Morrison fights around to another waistlock, then shifts up to a chinlock. Sheamus fights up as Morrison moves around, and Morrison knees low! Sheamus blocks the knee to drop Morrison then cover, ONE! Sheamus facelocks but Morrison fights up, only for Sheamus to wrench to a hammerlock.
Sheamus cranks on the arm, wrangles Morrison down, shifts to a double wristlock but Miz cheers Morrison on. Morrison fight sup but Sheamus throws him over to add a headscissor squeeze. Morrison kicks free, shifts to a lateral press, ONE! Sheamus facelocks again, Morrison fights up and powers out, but Sheamus runs Morrison over! Sheamus runs, Morrison goes to hip toss but Sheamus blocks! Morrison avoids the counter clothesline to O’Conner roll, TWO! Sheamus avoids the Penalty Kick to roll Morrison up, TWO! Sheamus clamps back onto the arm, Morrison fights up and puts Sheamus in a corner. The ref counts for the break, Sheamus lets Morrison go but Morrison ROCKS and KICKS Sheamus!
Morrison fires off on Sheamus, KICKS him again, then stalks him to the other corner. Morrison whips, Sheamus reveres but Morrison kicks back! Morrison runs, into a BACK DROP! Sheamus looms over Morrison, kicks him while he’s down, then kicks him again! Sheamus drags Morrison back up, throws a BIG EuroUpper, then keeps on Morrison with heavy body shots! Sheamus clamps onto the arm again, grinds Morrison down, but Miz rallies up with the “Hey hey! Ho ho!” Morrison wrenches, kicks, and shifts around to ROUNDHOUSE! Morrison grounds ‘n’ pounds but Sheamus shoves him away. Morrison deflects the leg guard to spin over Sheamus and and KICK him back down!
Morrison stomps Sheamus around, has him on the ropes, then whips him corner to corner. Sheamus reverses, then shoulders into him at the corner! Sheamus rains down rights, drags Morrison up and hits an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Sheamus keeps his cool as he goes to a corner. Miz gets on the apron, the ref backs him off, but Sheamus stops the sneak attack from Morison! Sheamus goes up, leaps, but Morrison dropkicks him out of the air! Morrison KNEES Sheamus to the apron! Morrison has the leg on the ropes and pulls! The ref counts, Morrison stops at 4, then wrecks Sheamus with a baseball slide!
Miz creeps closer but Morrison KICKS Sheamus in the leg! The ring count climbs, Morrison puts Sheamus back in and has the leg. Morrison DRAGON SCREWS Sheamus, covers, ONE!! Morrison keeps on that leg for elbow drops to the knee! Sheamus fights back but Morrison shifts around again for more ground ‘n’ pound! Then a standing toehold to a KNEEBAR! Sheamus endures, Miz likes the aggression but Sheamus throws haymakers to get Morrison away! Morrison stalks Sheamus to a corner and drops an elbow on the leg! Morrison keeps on the leg and has a toehold to bend the leg!
Sheamus endures again, reaches for ropes but throws elbows into Morrison’s head! And then stomps him! Sheamus stomps until Morrison lets him go! Both men stand slowly, and Sheamus clobbers Morrison with ax handles! Sheamus runs in to clothesline Morrison at the corner, then TOSS him across the way! Sheamus hobbles over, fireman’s carries, but Morrison elbows free! CHOP BLOCK to the leg! Sheamus stays up but Morrison springboards! Sheamus manages to catch Morrison, swing him, and SLAM him! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus grits his teeth as he gets the bad leg moving.
Morrison crawls, Sheamus gets the legs and stomps Morrison’s stomach, to then tie up the legs! Sheamus turns Morrison, Morrison resists but Sheamus kicks him into the CLOVERLEAF! Morrison endures, crawls and gets the ropebreak! Sheamus lets go at 4, Miz checks on Morrison but Sheamus hobbles over. Morrison hotshots back! Morrison hurries back in but into a KNEE! Morrison flops into the fireman’s carry, and WHITE NOISE! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
The Miz protests! If Sheamus wants to prepare for the Rumble, he has to keep his head on a swivel! Miz challenges Sheamus to a handicap match, and Sheamus ACCEPTS! Will Sheamus be able to beat both members of the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century in one go?
2v1 Handicap Match: The Miz & John Morrison VS Sheamus!
Raw returns and the bell rings. Sheamus brawls with BOTH Miz and Morrison! Sheamus is on Miz but Morrison hops on Sheamus! Sheamus throws Morrison out over the top rope a la the Rumble, but Miz runs in! Sheamus elbows Miz away, fireman’s carries, but Morrison CHOP BLOCKS Sheamus! BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Morrison KNEES Sheamus down, Miz adds stomps, and they mug Sheamus at the ropes! Morrison and Miz double snapmare and then set Sheamus up for the BOOT, SHINING WIZARD and STANDING SHOOTING STAR! Double cover, TWO!
Miz and Morrison stalk Sheamus to ropes, he kicks them back, but Miz stomps Sheamus down! Miz digs his boot in, lets off as the ref counts, but Morrison drags Sheamus up with a chinlock. Sheamus elbows free, ROCKS Miz, but Morrison ROUNDHOUSES and clotheslines Sheamus out! Miz WRECKS Sheamus with a dropkick! Miz stands Sheamus up for Morrison to FLY out and take down! Miz and Morrison drag Sheamus back up, then throw him into the barriers! Morrison adds a HEEL KICK! Miz adds a BOOT! Sheamus flounders back up but Miz and Morrison drag Sheamus around the way to put in the ring. Miz climbs and Morrison sets Sheamus up, FLYING AX HANDLES!
Miz and Morrison put Sheamus in a corner but Sheamus blocks the buckle bump! Sheamus hits Miz back, Morrison KICKS and ROCKS Sheamus! Miz adds a mudhole stomp, then Morrison digs his knee in! The ref reprimands, Miz and Morrison drag Sheamus up and KICK, ROCK and repeat! Miz whips Morrison in but Sheamus throws Morrison out! Sheamus CLOBBERS Miz! Both men are down but Sheamus grits his teeth. Sheamus gets up and glares at Miz. Sheamus rallies with big ax handles on Miz! Morrison returns but gets a scoop SLAM! Miz staggers into a fireman’s carry, ROLLING SENTON onto Morrison!
The Celtic Warrior is seething as he sees Miz go to the apron. Sheamus stands Miz up to give him Beats of the Bodhrain! But Morrison comes over, only to miss! And now Morrison gets Beats of the Bodhrain! Sheamus shoves Morrison down, climbs up the corner, and as Miz and Morrison regroup, Sheamus LEAPS! SUPER DOUBLE FLYING CLOTHESLINES!! Sheamus drags Miz back into the ring, aims from a corner, fires himself up, and Miz stands up. Morrison anchors a foot, Miz hits the A-LIST LARIAT! Sheamus throws off the full nelson, ducks the Flying Chuck and BROGUES Morrison! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Miz and Morrison win!!
Winners: The Miz & John Morrison, by pinfall
Beat down as they were to start the night, and as beat up as Sheamus was from his match with Morrison, this battle was much harder than just a normal 2v1! But in the end, the two beat the one just six days from the Royal Rumble! Will Miz leave with the WWE World Championship thanks to his MITB contract? Or will he have double the chances going into WrestleMania?
Lacey Evans “trains” with Ric Flair.
She talks waistlock counters and Ric shows her the ways. Seems innocent enough, but Charlotte Flair walks in and walks over. Lacey, leave. Lacey does, staying away from Charlotte as best she can. Ric says that just because Charlotte is a big star now, doesn’t mean there isn’t room enough in the dressing room for both. If someone wants some tips from Ric, he’ll give it. He’ll always be him. Always be himself, huh? The man who spent all his money on everyone but his family? Charlotte isn’t the villain here. When she was young, this was “cute.” Charlotte is the only one protecting Ric. He’s going from legend to an old man. She isn’t afraid to say it, either.
The tension mounts, but Charlotte takes a step back. But Lacey is still there, and she SUCKER PUNCHES Charlotte! Then kicks her into the wall! Ric hurries over to check on Charlotte, but Lacey wants him to move on. Will Lacey pay for playing father against daughter soon enough?
R-Truth VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
Truth wants to bring the 24/7 Championship to Money in the Bank! Too bad it’s Rumble season first. But will Truth still get in on the big time event when he’s up against a phenomenal gatekeeper?
The bell rings and Styles sees Truth busy with his knee pads, so he stomps and kicks him to a corner! Styles whips Truth corner to corner hard and Truth bounces off buckles! Styles taunts Truth, brings him up and throws haymakers. Truth ROCKS Styles back! Styles kicks Truth’s leg, grabs it to elbow the knee, then kick it! Styles runs in at Truth in the corner but Truth ROCKS him again! Truth runs, but into a BACKBREAKER! Styles says this is what he’ll do to 29 other men in the Rumble! Styles whips but Truth reverses and sends Styles out a la the Rumble! Styles is pissed, he gets in and drop toeholds Truth hard!
Truth checks his nose, but then he looks up to see Omos looming over him! And Omos is still on the floor level! Styles argues with the ref but Truth goes to a corner. Truth puts Styles on the apron, Styles springboards back in but Truth avoids the forearm to hit a SPIN OUT BOMB! A la his “childhood hero,” John Cena! YOU CAN’T SEE ME~! Five Knuckle Shuffle!! And the- No, Styles avoids the scissor kick! Truth fireman’s caries but Truth slips out to get the CALF CRUSHER! Truth taps, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by submission
Another would-be Rumble entrant is denied! Is Styles going to have an even easier time in the Rumble match itself?
Alexa Bliss speaks.
She’s on her swing as she sings “Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary.” Alexa says last week was so much fun! And did “he” see what Randy Orton’s face looked like after what they did? The fireball that sent Orton writhing and rolling left him burned, and Alexa laughs at the idea that it’s an improvement. “For the record, I just wanted to have some fun with Asuka in my Playground, but she didn’t want to play nice.” Asuka just tried to make Alexa happy by saying “he” is still here, but Alexa didn’t take kindly to that. “But… neither did I.” Alexa pulled some trickery of her own, and became the dark side that Asuka feared we’d see. Alexa won the match, which is why she has her title opportunity tonight.
Did you like the magic trick? “He” taught it to her. And a lot of other things, actually. She can’t wait to see “him” again so she can say thanks. But tonight, Alexa can win herself a shiny new toy in the Raw Women’s Championship. And just like last week, Alexa won’t play nice. Now she sings “Ring Around the Rosies.” Will it be ashes to ashes for Asuka’s title reign tonight?
United States Championship Opportunity Gauntlet Match: Matt Riddle VS The Hurt Business!
The Bro has come close to taking the title off the Chief Hurt Officer, but the chase is never done! Can he get through Shelton Benjamin, “Prime” Alexander and Montel Vontavius Porter to earn another shot at Bobby Lashley’s gold?
Raw returns and the Hurt Business make their entrance. The first one to take Riddle on is… the Gold Standard!
Matt Riddle VS Shelton Benjamin!
The bell rings and Riddle rushes Benjamin only to miss the knee! Riddle fires off hands, kicks and forearms to put Benjamin in a corner! Riddle runs side to side to forearm smash! Then side to side, but Benjamin gets around to waistlock! Riddle throws elbows but Benjamin GERMAN SUPELXES! Riddle lands on his feet! Riddle spins Benjamin around to PELE! Benjamin ducks the Penalty Kick, blocks the Final Flash and SPINEBUSTERS Riddle down! High stack, TWO! Riddle survives an early exit but Benjamin lifts Riddle to the corner! Benjamin clubs away on Riddle then STEP UP KNEES Riddle out of the ring!
The ref counts as Riddle is down on the outside, but Benjamin drags him up and in. Benjamin clinches, throws knees, then scoop slams! Cover, TWO! Benjamin keeps Riddle from ropes with a seated cobra twist. Riddle endures, fights up as MVP taunts him, and he throws body shots! Riddle gets free to throw forearms, then he runs but into a kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Benjamin grounds ‘n’ pounds, circles him and KICKS him! Benjamin drags Riddle up, Riddle blocks the suplex and throws more body shots but Benjamin clubs and KNEES Riddle back down! Cover, TWO!! Riddle is still in this and defiantly glares at MVP!
MVP wants Benjamin to stop playing with Riddle and Benjamin brings Riddle into a chinlock. Riddle endures even as Benjamin has a rear bearhug. Riddle fights up, pries free to go after the arm, and gets a GUILLOTINE! Benjamin drops, Riddle shifts around, but Benjamin fights up to suplex free! Riddle knees free of the suplex! Alexander distracts, Riddle swipes at him, but Benjamin runs in! Riddle switches to an O’Conner roll but Alexander distracts! But Benjamin reverses as Alexander argues too long! The plan backfires and Benjamin is furious! MVP tells Alexander to help but doing NOTHING! But Riddle goes up and victory rolls Benjamin, to ELIMINATE him!!
Matt Riddle VS MVP!
MVP tells Alexander to stop and let him handle business. Benjamin and Alexander argue and MVP is busy telling them to stop! The bell rings, Riddle rolls MVP up to a KNEEBAR!! MVP TAPS, Riddle ELIMINATES him!! Alexander and Benjamin blame each other, but now it’s down to “Prime” Alexander to end this! Will the young lion make up for his mistakes by solving the Riddle?
Matt Riddle VS Cedric Alexander!
Raw returns as Alexander RAMS Riddle into the corner! Alexander digs his shoulder in and KICKS Riddle while he’s down, but MVP and Benjamin aren’t happy with him. Alexander snapmares Riddle to a cover, TWO! Alexander and Riddle throw forearms, Riddle ROCKS Alexander but runs into another kitchen sink knee! Alexander fireman’s carries for a GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Alexander keeps on Riddle with an armlock and a knee in Riddle’s back. Riddle endures, fights up and slips free to CHOP! Riddle fires forearms, has Alexander in the corner for KICK after KICK, then he runs to forearm smash! Riddle keeps moving but Alexander dropkicks Riddle down hard! Cover, TWO!
Benjamin and MVP tell Alexander to stay focused and he says he’s got this. Alexander drags Riddle into a standing cobra twist, but Riddle endures again. Riddle moves around, gets to the ropebreak, but Alexander counts along before he lets go at 4. Alexander then digs his knee into Riddle at the ropes, but lets off as the ref counts. Cover, TWO! Alexander covers again, TWO! Alexander has the rear bearhug and squeezes tight. Riddle endures, throws elbows over and over and is free! Alexander shakes out the cobwebs, but Riddle fireman’s carries him, only for Alexander to make it a DDT! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives and MVP coaches Alexander to finish this.
Alexander drags Riddle into a chinlock but Riddle fights his way over to ropes again. Riddle fights up, fights back with body shots and forearms and fast hands! Alexander boots but Riddle spins him around for a PELE! Riddle kips up, runs in and forearm smashes! Then another! Then a BROSPLODER! Riddle grits his teeth as he runs, but Alexander dodges the PK, the moonsault, and gets knees up for the Broton! MVP tells Alexander to capitalize and Alexander gets up. Alexander brings Riddle up, throws body shots, but Riddle fires off fast hands! Alexander ducks a kick to give a kick, but Riddle gets him taunting, GERMAN SUPLEX!
MVP is annoyed as Riddle drags Alexander up, only for Alexander to BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! MVP is furious as Alexander slowly gets up. Alexander rains down furious fists on Riddle, stomps him down, then grabs an arm to stomp Riddle unguarded! Alexander goes to a corner, climbs up top, and LEAPS, but the Frog Splash misses! Riddle comes back, flying takedown to a TRIANGLE HOLD! Alexander stays up, dad lifts and POWERBOMBS! But Riddle has the Triangle again! Alexander fights up, Riddle slips out, but Alexander pump handles! Riddle makes that a victory roll, RIDDLE WINS!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE US Championship)
The Bro breaks through to get another shot! And Benjamin laughs at Alexander for failing. But as Riddle goes up the ramp, Lashley ATTACKS! Lashley clobbers Riddle then puts Riddle in the HURT LOCK! Riddle is a ragdoll before Lashley finally throws him down! The Hurt Business still stands tall, but will the Rocky Mountain Machine be able to focus on the Men’s Rumble when Riddle awaits on the other side?
Edge is here!
The Rated R Superstar says 2020 taught all of us that you can’t sleep on tomorrow. If you have a dream, you have to fight for it every day. “Tomorrow is not guaranteed.” Sometimes you have to pick yourself up, dust yourself up and keep walking forward. But bear with him, okay? About 10 years ago, after WrestleMania 27, Edge was the world Heavyweight champion, on top of the world. And within a week, he had to give up the title, and his career, “the only career I’ve ever wanted. My dream.” Edge will never forget when he told his mom that he was going to be a wrestler. She said he should just go do it.
But those simple words were the jet fuel that lit the fire inside to make him fight for nine years to get back to his dream! And then at Backlash 2020, Randy Orton tore Edge’s triceps and gave him another reminder that everything you hold dear can be torn away, just like that. “But you can’t live in that space. You gotta fight.” Edge knows what his mom would say. “Just go do it.” So with that in mind, Edge is entering THIS YEAR’s Royal Rumble! He knows it won’t be like last year, because the stakes are higher! The window closes more and more every day so Edge needs to win, main event WrestleMania, and finally take back what he never lost!
If you have a dream, you need to fight to make it a reality. Edge will fight with every fiber of his being and every breath left in his body, to make the farfetched dream come true. Now, if you’ve been with him on this ride from The Brood to right now, Edge has to try. A world without dreamers and fighters is a much less magical place. Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.” Edge thinks he can. Will he be right come the Rumble?
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Alexa Bliss!
The Empress of Tomorrow may be an intimidating superstar, but even she was spooked by the darkness on display last week. Will she be able to face her fears as she again faces the Fiend’s best friend? Or are we about to witness a new reign of terror?
The introductions are made, the Raw Women’s title is raised, and this crucial main event begins!
Asuka and Alexa circle, Alexa has fun teasing Asuka, but they approach, only for Asuka to avoid Alexa’s grip. They try again, and Alexa gets around to waistlock. Asuka elbows out hard, throws Alexa to a corner, then throws her across the ring! Asuka stomps Alexa down, the ref counts and Asuka lets off, to go after Alexa’s arm. Asuka grinds Alexa to the mat, Alexa just grins and shakes her head. Alexa fights up as she endures, but Asuka kicks and stomps the arm to keep her down! Alexa gets back up, throws body shots, kicks and CLUBS Asuka back! Alexa whips Asuka to a corner, Asuka goes up to leap and missile dropkick!
Asuka fires up, keeps moving, but the hip attack misses! Alexa KICKS Asuka out of the ring, and the tricks begin again! There’s a rocking horse in the ring and Alexa rides it with a big smile while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and the rocking horse is gone as Asuka stomps and kicks Alexa in a corner. Asuka lets off just a moment before stomping Alexa again! Asuka whips, Alexa reverses but Alexa runs into an elbow! Asuka goes up and leaps but the missile dropkick misses! Alexa hits Insult2Injury! Cover, TWO! Alexa drags Asuka up to bump her off buckles, then stomps away! The ref counts, Alexa stops at 4 to then dig her boot into Asuka. The ref counts, Alexa lets off at 4 again, and she drags Asuka up to snapmare. Alexa wraps on a chinlock and grins as she leans on the hold. Asuka endures, fights up, elbows back but Alexa throws Asuka by her hair! Cover, TWO!
Alexa plays annoyed but she wraps Asuka back into the chinlock. Alexa smiles again as she smothers Asuka but Asuka endures. Asuka fights up, fights free, but Alexa whips her to ropes. Asuka holds ropes and ROUNDHOUSES back! Both women are down as Asuka gasps for air and Alexa shakes out the cobwebs. Alexa smirks as she looks at Asuka, and runs in, only for Asuka to dodge, follow and run Alexa over! POP-UP KNEE! Asuka runs corner to corner to HIP ATTACK! Mule kick and a GERMAN SUPLEX! Alexa flounders up into the SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Asuka grits her teeth while Alexa still smiles on the mat.
Asuka drags Alexa up, bumps her off buckles, and stomps her down! Asuka runs corner to corner but whose music is that? Wait, Alexa has transformed back into… Is this the REAL Alexa?! She cries while clutching her arm and begging for mercy! This is the same trick she used on Nikki Cross, but is it just a trick? Alexa doesn’t seem to understand where she is or why she’s here. Asuka still runs in but Alexa sends her into buckles! Alexa still seems to be herself but she goes to a corner… And the screens start freaking out! And when the lights come up, it’s DARK ALEXA!!! She’s doing the spider walk!! Asuka is at a loss for what’s going on, but she runs back in!
Alexa blocks and deflects, just like last week! POP-UP KNEE hits, but Alexa just shakes it off!! Asuka gets a takedown! ASUKA LOCK! Alexa scrambles up to fight it off! Alexa grabs Asuka’s jaw! MANDIBLE CLAW!!! Asuka endures, but RANDY ORTON is here! He took off the mask to show his burnt face! RKO TO ALEXA!!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by disqualification (Asuka retains the Raw Women’s Championship)
The Viper strikes Alexa down, showing he has no fear and no mercy for The Fiend’s little friend! But will costing Alexa the title be only the beginning of Orton’s revenge?
I really hopes this go-home episode was going to go better, but a lot of this just ended up a bit of a grind. We got a good segment out of McIntyre returning healthy and Goldberg showing up, and beating up Miz ‘n’ Morrison as part of it, and that was about all we could expect out of it since Goldberg and McIntyre aren’t going to get physical with each other. Sheamus VS Morrison was a good match, and so was the Handicap Match, but having both of those tonight just felt like a couple weeks ago with all the doubling up. “Hey, you just had a match, but how about having a match with me now?!” This technically muddies the math for the Rumble and the MITB cash-in, but either way, I don’t see Miz coming away with the title or the Rumble ticket to Mania, perhaps saving his cash-in for Mania.
There was a clumsy restart with the Six Woman Tag that kinda hurt it, but I suppose it still turned out alright. Nia and Shayna go in strong to the Women’s Tag Team Championship match, but that match will determine how strong Nia and Shayna each go into the Women’s Rumble. Charlotte’s better segment was with Ric and Lacey. It escalates the story a bit more, and clearly sets up more Charlotte VS Lacey for post-Rumble, tag titles or not. Asuka had her own part tonight, but she almost seemed more a set piece for setting up the next step in Alexa’s story with The Fiend and Orton. I will say that everything Alexa was doing in that match, from being spunky Alexa to “Goddess” Alexa to extra scary Alexa saved the episode, as did Orton hitting an RKO, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Mustafa Ali had good promos, Woods VS Slapjack was alright, but I’m hoping Kofi can make it back to get things going towards a full New Day VS Retribution feud. The VIP Lounge segment was almost right, but I’m a bit disappointed MVP didn’t get the 24/7 Championship off of R-Truth tonight. It was good for Riddle to get his shot in on MVP but I was still hoping we’d get titles for all the Hurt Business members. The Gauntlet match was alright, definitely better story with the dysfunction in the Hurt Business growing. But the time used to basically replay ALL of Orton’s package last week took from the match being on equal footing with the story. Riddle wins the gauntlet but doesn’t stand tall, all to muddy the math again, but I feel like the third time will be the charm for Riddle to get the US Championship.
Hearing from Edge was great, and his promo was great in itself. And I’m pleasantly surprised that Edge is getting back with another Royal Rumble return. I don’t think he’ll win, but it’d be a great way for him to get back into things if he eliminates a good handful.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (8/17/22)
American Dragon VS Dragonslayer!
Dynamite becomes the House of the Dragon!
AEW has an epic rematch between Bryan Danielson and Daniel Garcia, in a Best Two Out of Three Falls match! Will Red Death truly slay the American Dragon?
- Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Bryan Danielson VS Daniel Garcia; Bryan 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!
AEW returns and Garcia is stomping away on Bryan at the ropes! Fans boo Garcia and the ref counts, but Garcia stands on Bryan’s head! Garcia lets off and the ref checks Bryan. Bryan’s busted open from a DDT to bare concrete that happened during the break, but it isn’t too bad yet. Garcia drags Bryan from the ropes, kicks him more, and fans rally up. Bryan huffs and puffs as Garcia keeps kicking, and fans fire up! Bryan KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Garcia’s leg, but Garcia WRINGS the arm! Then omoplata, and the DRAGON SLEEPER! Bryan fights up, so Garcia INVERTED SUPLEXES him, and still has the DRAGON SLEEPER!
Bryan endures so Garcia rains down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Fans boo as the DRAGON SLEEPER is back on! But Bryan rolls forward to make it a cover, and he gets the fall!!
Bryan: 1; Garcia: 1
And now we’re all tied up! Garcia can’t believe it but the fans are thunderous! Now it’s sudden death! And Garcia hammers away on Bryan’s bloody forehead! Jericho blames the ref for making a mistake but Garcia just soaks up the heat. Bryan is in a corner, Garcia runs corner to corner, but Bryan dodges! Garcia’s dropkick misses and Garcia ends up in a Tree of Woe! Bryan KICKS away on Garcia! Bryan sits Garcia up, climbs up after him, then rains down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” and then Bryan brings Garcia up. Garcia resists, but Bryan SPIDER GERMAN SUPLEXES him away!
Bryan sits up and fans are thunderous! Bryan adjusts, leaps, and MISSILE DROPKICKS Garcia all the way to the other corner! Garcia bails out as fans fire up again. Bryan kips up and fans are loving it! Bryan snarls and builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit at the corner! Bryan drags Garcia up to KICK and KICK and KICK! Bryan POSTS Garcia! And then YANKS Garcia into the post! And again! But Garcia YANKS Bryan! Bryan YANKS Garcia! Garcia YANKS Bryan, and both men fall over! Fans fire up and rally behind Bryan. Bryan and Garcia stir as the ring count climbs. The count reaches 5 of 10 but Garcia gets in at 7! Bryan flops at 8, but he’s back up and in at 9!
Fans are thunderous as now Garcia is also busted open! AEW goes picture in picture as the ref checks both men. They’re both okay to continue, even though Garcia’s a bit dazed. Garcia crawls forward after Bryan, talks trash on him, but Bryan just shouts at Garcia back! Garcia SLAPS Bryan but Bryan eggs him on. Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan still eggs him on! Fans rally, Garcia CHOPS, but Bryan just sits back! Garcia CHOPS but Bryan just does an ab crunch! Garcia runs to PENALTY KICK! Bryan does another ab crunch! PENALTY KICK! Ab crunch! Garcia CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS but Bryan doesn’t fall over!
Garcia runs again, into a HUGE forearm from Bryan! Garcia goes down and fans fire up as Bryan stays send. Bryan flips Garcia off, that’s a JAS thing! Garcia sit sup, and Bryan KICKS him! And KICKS him! And KICKS, but Garcia eggs Bryan on now! So Bryan KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Garcia SWATS one, then CLOBBERS Bryan from behind! Garcia gest the legs, steps through, SHARPSHOOTER! Bryan endures the “Dragon Tamer” as AEW returns to single picture! And Garcia sits back deep! Bryan endures, hooks an arm, and drags Garcia out of his hold into the omoplata! Garcia moves around, rolls through, but Bryan stays hooked on!
Bryan reaches and finishes the LEBELL LOCK! Garcia rolls it back to a cover, TWO!! Garcia choke grips, Bryan breaks free, but Garcia SLAPS him again! Bryan staggers, Garcia runs in at the corner, DROPKICK! Bryan stays up to SLAP Garcia! ROLLING- NO, Garcia ducks to BUSAIKU KNEE!! Garcia steals something of Bryan’s! Knuckle lock cover, TWO!! Garcia and Bryan are in a test of strength as Bryan sits up, and they go forehead to bloody forehead! Garcia ROCKS Bryan, and Bryan ROCKS Garcia, but the knuckle locks don’t break! Another round of forearms back and forth, Garcia gets the edge and Bryan drops to his knees!
Fans rally as the knuckle locks stay clamped on! Bryan fights to his feet and he ROCKS Garcia over and over. Garcia hits back, the forearms keep going, and now Garcia leans onto Bryan. Bryan stands him up to ROCK him again and again and again! Garcia is down and Bryan rains down the shots! Bryan gets the wrists, but Garcia monkey flips! To steal the DRAGON STOMPS! Jericho is loving this but fans boo! Garcia lets off but Bryan trips him up! Bryan HEADBUTTS Garcia again and again, then gives him DRAGON STOMPS! Bryan lets go of one arm to focus on the stomps! Then the TRIANGLE, with HAMMERING ELBOWS!!
Garcia endures, fights to his feet, and he deadlifts Bryan! But Bryan drags him back down and throws more elbows! Garcia fires hands and the fans are loving the scrap! Bryan uses Garcia’s haymakers to turn the move around into the LEBELL LOCK!! Garcia endures, reaches out, Jericho cheers him on but fans want him to tap! Bryan catches the arm to HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOW!! LEBELL LOCK!!! Garcia is OUT, the ref calls it for Bryan!!
Winner: Bryan Danielson, by submission, 2-1
Sports Entertainer or Pro-Wrestler, those are just labels, because this was a battle of two fighters! But in the end, Garcia falls and Bryan is the winner! And yet, Garcia’s fighting spirit keeps him reaching for Bryan. Bryan and the fans applaud for the heart the Dragonslayer has, but did what Bryan say last week get through to Garcia? Is Garcia going to be BCC? Bryan offers Garcia a hand but Garcia stands up on his own. Jericho leaves commentary to CLOBBER Bryan! Jericho rains down fists because he’s the sore loser here! But Garcia pushes Jericho away?! Fans fire up for that, but Jericho is confused and furious!
Jericho asks Garcia why he just did that. Is he thinking of changing? Garcia slaps the accusing finger away! Jericho points his other finger, because he wants Garcia to think long and hard about what he does next. Fans chant “You’re a Wrestler!” at Garcia, but will he listen to them? Or will he still follow the Jericho Appreciation Society?
Backstage interview with Private Party and Swerve In Our Glory.
Schiavone notes that this Friday on Rampage, it will be these two teams fighting over the AEW World Tag Team Championships. Swerve says “You’re welcome, by the way.” Marq Quen asks, “For what? Last week, you guys disrespected us, talking about how we’re not ranked. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re number five!” Isiah Kassidy makes sure Swerve knows it by holding up five fingers. Keith Lee steps forward and Private Party steps back. Schiavone steps in to remind them all of the No Physicality Agreement.
Swerve says Private Party’s been here how long and this is the closest they’ve gotten to the tag titles? “Winning ain’t nothing new to Swerve In Our Glory, Keith Lee and myself. You need to respect your elders, because you could learn a thing or two from us.” Keith adds, “And after you Swerve In Our Glory, then you can walk your happy asses back down the ladder.” Kassidy says Keith embarrassed him once. It won’t happen again. And on top of that, Private Party takes these titles back to New York. FACTS. BLAOW! See you Friday, baby. Kassidy & Quen are confident now, but will they be popping bottles or sharing ice packs after Rampage?
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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