The legends return for the first Monday Night Raw of the New Year!
As Drew McIntyre defends the WWE World Championship against Keith Lee, Raw welcomes back legend after legend, such as Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan!
- The New Day VS The Miz & John Morrison; The New Day wins.
- AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin VS VS Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker; Styles wins.
- Asuka & Charlotte Flair w/ Ric Flair VS Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce; Evans & Royce win.
- Matt Riddle VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP; Riddle wins.
Mandy RoseDana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler; Brooke wins.
- Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton; Orton wins.
- Lucha House Party VS The Hurt Business; Lucha House Party wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Blame It On The Bogey(Man): Angel Garza VS R-Truth w/ Torrie Wilson & Nikki Cross; Truth wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- WWE World Championship: Drew McIntyre VS Keith Lee; McIntyre wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
Hulkamania is running wild!
This isn’t an iPhone you’re looking at, brother! It’s an hPhone! You can go online, go to social media, or even just make a phone call! So what you gonna do when Legend’s Night runs wild on you, brother?!
Miz TV opens Raw!
John Morrison and the once again Mr. Money in the Bank host the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show, and this is a Legend’s Night edition! Raw is jam-packed as Drew McIntyre defends his WWE Championship, Jeff Hardy faces an old foe in Randy Orton, and a whole lot of legends to celebrate the New Year! Hey, John, who do we have here tonight? Let’s see… There’s the Nature Boy, Ric Flair! Correct! Torrie Wilson, Booker T SUCKA~! And let me tell you something brother, Hulk Hogan! Correct! But Morrison is forgetting someone. The most legendary legend, The Miz, and he is AEWSOME! COOOOORRECT!
But tonight isn’t just Legend’s Night, no! It’s the first Raw of the new year, and Miz is optimistic about 2021, what with WWE Management restoring this MITB briefcase to the rightful owner: MIZ. 2021 will be the Year of Miz ‘n’ Morrison, Hey Hey, Ho Ho! And here is the first guest of the new year, the NEW~ DAY~! Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods head to the ring to join Miz and Morrison and they all take seats. Miz welcomes them to the show, thanks them, but the New Day thank them for being guests on their new show. It is “New! Day Talks!” No way to flip the thing on the mics for that, though.
Kofi is the host, and Xavier is the band leader. Miz TV doesn’t have a band leader. Right, but NDT does! So Kofi gets to business. This is more like a cookout, and these two weren’t invited. But if they want to crash the cookout, Kofi will tell them what they’ve got. Kofi and Woods are gonna have it all~! They know fans are thirsty, so they’ve brought the good tea. Correct! What else? Kofi is vegan but Woods brought the beef! Correct! And? Well this is the first show ever in the history of ever with smell-o-vision, and it is working! COOOOOOOORRECT~! Are they done? Yeah Kofi is lightheaded. Then Miz would like to conduct his-
COOOOOOOOOOOOOORRECT! Oh okay, this is “hosting practice before Xavier bombs on G4.” IN-COOOORRECT. And respect Woods’ authority, he is also a bailiff. Where is Miz’s bailiff? This isn’t Judge Judy. Morrison loves that show. Not helping. Kofi gets to his cards for questions, very official. Like them graphics? Okay, first question. “Do you have any New Year’s Resolucions?” That’s a hard hitting question? Morrison has three. One: graduate from hibachi chef school. Two: Invest in Etheriom. Nice. And three: Take a picture every day so he can make a picture montage at the end. Cool! NOT, HELPING!
Second question! Let’s switch it up. Out of all the legends here tonight, who would they go out to dinner with? Who? Who who who? Miz sighs but Morrison says Tatanka! Miz tells Morrison to stop giving in. This “interview” has gone on long enough. Woods plays the trombone and Kofi says this is the cooking portion of the show! Cooking like Bootiesworthy! Xavier Woods hosts this section. Miz shouts “ENOUGH!!” Miz is sick of them making a joke out of him and his show! Miz thought the new year would mean a new- Wait, is that… TEDDY LONG?! “Hold on a minute there, playas!” It’s been a long time, but Teddy’s back, and he says that Miz ‘n’ Morrison… will face THE UNDERTAKER! WHOA~!!
Adam Pearce hurries out to let Teddy know that Taker retired. Oh, sorry. New solution. Miz ‘n’ Morrison will take on the New Day! And that is next! Another classic from Teddy Long! Will Kofi & Woods show the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century who really knows how to talk the talk and walk the walk?
The New Day VS The Miz & John Morrison!
Raw returns and Morrison starts with Woods at the bell. The two tie up, Morrison headlocks but Woods powers out fast. They circle, Woods gets around to roll up, ONE! Woods mule kicks, puts Morrison in the corner and CHOPS him! Kofi tags in, they double wrench to double CHOP and kick and run to double BULLDOG Morrison down! Kofi covers, TWO! Kofi grins as he brings Morrison up to snapmare, then runs and tags Woods. Penalty Kick, sliding lariat, and rebound SPLASH! Woods drops the fist! Cover, TWO! Woods brings Morrison up but Morrison ROCKS Woods with a forearm! And then KNEES Woods to the corner! Tag to Miz and Miz stomps away on Woods!
Miz paces as he seethes, then brings Woods up for a knee. Miz scuffs Woods, runs, but Woods dodges the boot to roll him up! TWO, and Miz scoops but Woods slips out. Woods shoves Miz to the corner, elbows then tags Kofi. Kofi runs in to forearm, Woods hits the HONOR ROLL! Kofi covers, TWO! Kofi keeps on Miz with a headlock but Miz powers up. Kofi hits the headlock takeover, Miz claws at his face but the ref reprimands. The two stand up, Miz gets ropes and elbows Kofi back! Miz headlocks, Kofi powers out but Miz runs him over! Miz and Morrison start up “Hey hey! Ho ho!”
Things speed up, Miz catches Kofi but Kofi arm-drags out of the full nelson. Kofi spins but Miz blocks Trouble in Paradise to catapult but Kofi goes up, up and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Kofi keeps moving and he Penalty Kicks Miz back down! Woods tags in, and he gives Kofi a boost, for a spinning stomp! Cover, TWO! Miz reaches but Woods brings Miz away with a headlock. Miz powers up, pulls Woods’ hair, and gets a headlock of his own. Woods powers out, Morrison tags in and Woods dropkicks Miz only for Morrison to club him, spin and trip, STANDING SHOOTING FLOP! Woods tags in and he holds Morrison in a crossface for Kofi to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!
Kofi brings Morrison up, whips him corner to corner but Morrison reverses. Morrison runs in but Kofi lands out of the monkey flip! Kofi twerks at Morrison, but still dropkicks him down! Kofi goes in, and he hits a monkey flip with extra heat! Miz runs in but Woods clobbers him! Kofi runs and FLIES! Direct hit takes Miz ‘n’ Morrison at the ramp! Woods get the trombone to play their song as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Morrison whips Kofi only for Kofi to hit a leaping lariat! Kofi fires off strikes on Morrison, and a headbutt! Kofi hits Miz, too, but Morrison wrenches and kicks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE Kofi down! Tag to Miz, and Miz runs to basement BOOT Kofi down! Miz rains down furious fists then drags Kofi up. Miz puts Kofi against ropes and chokes him! The ref counts, Miz lets off, but Morrison gets a cheap shot in! Miz drags Kofi back up, puts him in the corner and tags Morrison. They double GUT BUSTER, then Morrison covers, TWO! Morrison keeps on Kofi with a chinlock and grinds him down.
Fans clap on their screens, Kofi fights up and reaches, but he throws body shots to get free! Kofi runs but Morrison picks him up and puts him in the corner. Tag to Miz, Miz mocks Woods with “NEW~ DAY~ SUCKS!” A-List Lariat to Kofi! Cover, TWO! Miz pulls Kofi back against the knee and pulls on the arms. Kofi endures, fights up, turns things around on Miz, then clubs him! Miz keeps Kofi from Woods with a knee to the ribs! Miz gets the leg and steps through but no figure four! Kofi gets Miz for SOS! Both men are down but their partners reach out! Hot tags to Woods and Morrison!
Woods rallies on Morrison with clotheslines and a leg lariat! Miz runs in but Woods throws him out! Morrison kicks Woods, whips but Woods reverses, only for Morrison to DECK him with a right! Morrison brings Woods up, whips again but Woods slides, to ROLLING ELBOW! Morrison is on the ropes, Woods runs, sliding wrecking ball dropkick! Kofi gets Miz with a leaping ax handle! Woods steps in, Morrison blocks the DDT and rolls him up, to use ropes! But Kofi pushes the legs off! Woods trips up Morrison for a SHINING WIZARD! Cover, the New Day wins!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall
The first win in the new year for the New Day, will they be back on their way to a new tag team championship opportunity? Is 2021 already going to be rough for Miz and Morrison?
Backstage interview with Randy Orton.
After watching a recap video of last week, Charly Caruso asks him what was going through his mind as he held that burning match. Alexa Bliss had dared him to set her on fire the same as he did The Fiend/Bray Wyatt, and drenched herself in gasoline to make it easy, and even though cameras cut away, it is clear he didn’t go through with it. Orton says that as he was holding that match, the voices were telling him to do it. “Drop the match! Set her on fire! Watch her burn!” But Orton couldn’t do it. Orton realized why: because just like everyone who has faced The Fiend, something changed. So because he faced The Fiend, he changed, and actually showed restraint, compassion and mercy. For that, Orton hates himself!
But then Orton realized his new hatred could be molded and sculpted. There are no more boundaries, and he is truly capable of anything and everything! “Can you imagine if I directed that newfound hatred for myself towards someone else?” Charly asks if he thinks The Fiend is coming back. He doesn’t want to think about that. He’s going to go for a walk, find some old friends, some legends, and have a talk to remind them why he is The Legend Killer. Will all of the WWE legends here tonight be very careful not to “catch up” with The Viper?
Raw shares part of the WWE New Year’s TikTok stream.
R-Truth joined The New Day in ringing in the new year, and he was very hopeful for 2020~! They explain that 2020 already happened, and we’re heading into 2021 now. Look at the glasses and decorations. Oh right, duh. That was a test! Truth just got back from Australia- Truth, no, there’s no international travel… Truth says he swam and ran it. But then referee Jon Cone comes in, ready to party! A New Year party popper spooks Truth, and Garza rolls him up!! Garza wins!! And Francesca is a casualty!!
Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)
No! Not like this! Not while it’s still 2020!! Xavier mourns Francesca but Garza shouts “Happy New Year!” before he runs off, ready to truly celebrate 2021! Truth still thinks it’s 2020 and thinks this is a bad start to the year. Can it only get better from here?
Angel Garza meets Alicia Fox!
She’s beautiful, but so is his NEW 24/7 Championship. Alicia asks if he’s seen that guy on the skateboard drinking cranberry juice listening to Fleetwood Mac on TikTok. He hasn’t. Then what does he know about beautiful? She heads off, and Garza meets legends like Tatanka, Sgt. Slaughter and Mickie James! He respectfully says going into the New Year that there couldn’t be any more than he could want! He has his happiness, his health, and the 24/7 title, but now he’s gotten to meet Mickie James! What an honor! He hands her his rose, but Slaughter takes it and calls Garza a maggot. Garza heads off before a legend decides to take his title, will he make it through the night with the belt?
AJ Styles w/ Jordan Omogbehin VS Elias w/ Jaxson Ryker!
The Phenomenal One didn’t have a phenomenal ending to 2020 since The Miz got in the way at TLC, but he did get to beat up on The Drifter. Now we get an encore to start 2021! Will Elias rewrite how this song ends? Or will Styles refuse to #WalkWithElias no matter what year it is?
The bell rings and Styles circles with Elias. Styles headlocks, Elias tries to power out but Styles holds on. Elias goes to a corner, Styles turns that to a rolling headlock! Elias powers up, back suplexes Styles down, but Styles holds on to the headlock! Styles grinds Elias but Elias powers up to power out and elbow Styles down! Styles staggers, Elias runs in and kicks Styles down! Elias fires off with stomps in the corner but the ref counts. Elias lets off at 4, brings Styles up and CHOPS him! Elias whips, Styles hits buckles hard then Elias CLOBBERS him! Cover, ONE!! Elias wraps on a chinlock to grind Styles down, but Styles fights up to back Elias into buckles. Styles elbows free, then throws haymakers.
Styles CHOPS Elias, more haymakers, then whips. Elias reverses, Styles kicks Elias away, but Styles runs into a flapjack hotshot! Elias trophy lifts Styles to TOSS him onto the corner! Styles gasps and staggers to the apron, Elias BLASTS him down! Omos glares at Elias while Styles recovers and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Elias has Styles up top. Omos glares as Elias throws hands on Styles, keeps Styles on the top rope, but Styles hits back! Elias ROCKS Styles over and over, the ref reprimands but Elias climbs up. Styles slips under and trips Elias up! Then Styles runs in, but Elias BOOTS back! Styles throws a forearm but Elias gives it back! Styles CHOPS, Elias BOOTS! Styles throws a forearm, Elias knees low and hard then CHOPS! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz! Elias dodges to hit a SIT-OUT CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Elias is beside himself as Styles survives! Elias drops a knee, then drags Styles around to stomp him.
Elias goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Styles rolls away. Elias hops down and storms over, blocks a boot but not the kick! Styles slips out to the apron, springboards back in, but into a JUMPING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Styles survives again and Elias is shocked! Elias throws down furious fists, drags Styles up to Electric Chair lift, but Styles slips around to RANA Elias into buckles! Elias staggers into Styles’ suplex, BRAIN BUSTER! Styles isn’t done there, he drags Elias up and reels him in, for the STYLES CLASH!! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
That’s two times in a row now! Styles gets up, but Ryker gets in with Elias’ guitar! Only for Omos to intercept the smash hit with a BOOT! Omos’ glare scares Ryker out of the ring! Ryker and Elias regroup, will they decide to Drift Away from anywhere Omos is?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
As a former Royal Rumble winner, what advice does she give to those already declaring this year? The advice is, “Don’t listen to the critics.” Charlotte wasn’t a favorite to win, and yet she defied the odds and did it. That is why she is already declaring for the 2021 Rumble and will defy the odds again. Will the Queen go back to back and be headed back to WrestleMania?
Matt Riddle encounters The Big Show backstage!
Riddle loves “Weeell~…!” But has he ever considered being #TheBigBRO? Show tries it out, and he has some great pipes on him. But Riddle has his huge match with Bobby Lashley, so they’ll talk later. Sure, sure. Show will see you later. But then Randy Orton comes by. “Must be an interesting feeling, huh?” What’s that? Knowing that Show can never compete in the ring again. Who says that? Well, last time Show was in the ring, it was with Orton and he got hit with the most dangerous letters in sports entertainment, and punted in the head. So Show’s career is over thanks to Orton! How does it feel? Show says he can compete any time he wants! Oh, yeah?
Orton clamps onto Show but Show keeps his cool. Show knows Orton wants him to do something reckless. Orton isn’t in his head. Show isn’t embarrassed being out there with the legends. Isn’t he? Then if it meant something to Show, he’d do something about it! But Big Show doesn’t have the guts anymore, so Orton will be on his way. Will the Viper prey on another legend?
Asuka & Charlotte Flair w/ Ric Flair VS Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce!
The Nature Boy proudly walks his daughter to the ring, as she and the Empress of Tomorrow are going to take on another hopeful women’s tag team! Will the #QueensOfTomorrow make the Sassy Southern Belle and Venus Flytrap bow down before them?
Raw returns as Asuka makes her entrance. Then Peyton makes her entrance, followed by Lacey. The teams sort out and though Lacey says hi to Ric, Peyton starts against Charlotte. They circle, tie up, and Charlotte gets around to a waistlock and she slams Peyton down! Peyton tags to Lacey, she waves to Ric but then Charlotte waistlocks and slams her! Charlotte holds on, Lacey powers up and elbows out! Lacey keeps waving to Ric but Charlotte trips her up! Lacey scrambles to the ropes, Charlotte lets go at 4. Lacey bails out, Charlotte gives chase but tags to Peyton! Peyton swipes at Charlotte but Charlotte DECKS her, only for Lacey to throw her down!
Peyton rains down rights on Charlotte then shouts at Asuka to stop cheering. Peyton throws forearms but Charlotte gives them back! Charlotte whips, Peyton reverses but Charlotte tumbles over and out to shoulder back in! Slingshot and roll up but Peyton rolls through to KICK Charlotte! Peyton sucker punches Asuka and hurries away to tag Lacey! Peyton and Lacey mug Charlotte while the ref is busy with Asuka! Lacy and Peyton double whip, but Charlotte kicks Lacey and forearms Peyton! Lacey runs in but into a backbreaker! Tag to Asuka, and she climbs up to missile dropkick Lacey down! Peyton tags in but Asuka dodges her to hip attack Lacey! Then side-step and shoulder for Peyton!
Peyton gets to a corner, Asuka runs in to hip attack! Asuka kicks Lacey, then hits a BULLDOG LARIAT COMBO! Cover on Peyton, TWO! Asuka keeps her focus as she drags Peyton up in a waistlock. Peyton fights the suplex off but Asuka kicks and whips. Peyton reverses, Asuka goes up but Peyton DECKS her! Lacey is flirting with Ric but Charlotte glares at her. And then SLAPS her! Charlotte also scolds her dad for encouraging this behavior, but Lacey TACKLES Charlotte down! They scrap on the outside and Ric isn’t sure what to do as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Peyton and Lacey both stomp away on Asuka. The ref counts, they let off and Lacey drags Asuka to step in for a deep cover! ONE, but Lacey gets the arm. Lacey wrenches on the arm, tags in Peyton, and Peyton drags Asuka up to stomp her down. Fans clap on their screens but Peyton tells them and Charlotte to shut up. Peyton stomps Asuka, whips her to a corner hard, then smirks as she slithers over. Peyton drags Asuka up, throws her around, then stalks over to a cover. Peyton bumps Asuka off buckles, digs her boots in, and tags in Lacey. Lacey snapmares, wraps Asuka up in a chinlock, but Charlotte rallies for Asuka.
Asuka fights up, but Lacey dribbles her off the mat! Tag to Peyton, they stomp Asuka around, then Peyton drags Asuka up. Asuka reaches but has to throw hands first. Peyton whips Asuka away but Asuka DECKS Lacey! Asuka ROCKS and ROUNDHOUSES Peyton, to then LARIAT! Both women are down, crawling for their corners, hot tags to Charlotte and Lacey! The Queen rallies with big clotheslines, a BOOT for Peyton, then she dodges as Lacey runs back in. Charlotte blocks Lacey’s boots to ROCK her with a right! Charlotte puts the leg on the ropes to drop a knee on it! Lacey hobbles but Charlotte CHOPS her! And CHOPS! And CHOPS!
Charlotte scoops Lacey but Lacey slips out and shoves. Peyton tags in, Charlotte kicks Lacey and hits the EXPLODER! Peyton runs in but into a kick and EXPLODER! Charlotte has the two of them side by side in the drop zone, she climbs as she tags Asuka, MOONSAULT onto both opponents! Asuka uses Lacey as a step to SLIDING KICK Peyton! Cover, TWO!! Peyton survives, but Asuka is right on her! Peyton elbows her away, Charlotte tags back in and Asuka hits a CODEBREAKER! To NATURAL SELECTION!! Cover, Lacey breaks it! Asuka goes after Lacey, throws her out but the hip attack gets a kick and NECKBREAKER!
Lacey flirts with Ric again, pulls him in by his tie, but Charlotte WRECKS Lacey with a dropkick! Charlotte asks what Lacey doesn’t get about leaving Ric alone. But Peyton takes a swing, only Charlotte to duck! The ref is distracted by Lacey, Charlotte runs but Ric trips her!? Peyton rolls Charlotte up, Peyton and Lacey win!!
Winners: Peyton Royce & Lacey Evans, by pinfall
Lacey gives Ric a kiss for that one, but he clearly made a mistake! Charlotte seethes, and Ric apologizes for mistiming the oldest trick in the book, but she tells him to stay out of her business. This isn’t the first time daughter and father have had tension before, but will she be able to forgive Ric this time?
Sheamus finds Drew McIntyre backstage.
“Alright, fella!” Is he ready for tonight? Of course! McIntyre is always ready. And he can show the legends that the world title is in good hands. Good man. But do Sheamus a favor. After Keith Lee put a spanner (that’s wrench for American fans) in the plans, give him an extra kick from Sheamus. McIntyre will, because he will do whatever it takes to defend the title. Sheamus wishes McIntyre luck, but Hogan and Jimmy Hart appear! Hogan wants to tell them something, brothers! He’s the number one fan of both The Fella and the champ! Hogan is so excited for the title match so he will wish him all the luck in the world. Though, just from looking at him, McIntyre’s clearly been training, saying his prayers and taking his vitamins! That’s right!
But even so, Hogan wants to say how proud he is as McIntyre has carried the WWE banner during these crazy times. McIntyre reminds Hogan of Hogan, dude! Well that means the world to McIntyre. Hogan has always had good things to say about McIntyre, and always believed in him, so thanks. And if McIntyre does remind him of himself, is there any chance Sheamus’ big mouth reminds Hogan of Jimmy Hart? Hart can see the resemblance. Sheamus is the Mouth of the South of Ireland. Y’all having a laugh? Well let Sheamus tell you something, brothers! That’s not funny. Just good luck and see you both for drinks later. Not Jimmy, though. Oh lighten up, Sheamus. Stop it, Jimmy!
Hogan has one last thing for McIntyre. Oh he’s way ahead of you, Hogan. WHATCHA GONNA DO, KEITH LEE, when Hulk Hogan and the Hulkamaniacs, AND Drew McIntyre and ClaymoreMania run wild on you, brother?! FLEX! Will McIntyre have even more motivation to win tonight?
Matt Riddle VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP!
The Bro has a lot of ideas, but it’s up for debate if going after the All Mighty United States Champion is a good or bad one. Will Riddle be too much for even the Rocky Mountain Machine to figure out?
Lashley hands the belt off to MVP, but Riddle is right on him! Riddle fires off forearms and knees, the ref pulls him off, but Riddle finally cools off. The bell hasn’t rung, this isn’t a match yet, but Lashley wants it all the same! They throw hands, Riddle ROUNDHOUSES but Lashley stays up! Riddle gets a waistlock, slips around and goes after the arm, but Lashley pops him up to SLAM him down! Lashley whips Riddle to a corner and stomps then throws hands! Lashley throws big elbows, lets off as the ref counts, but Riddle catches him to a HANGING ARMBAR, and they tumble out of the ring!
Riddle gets up quick to kick, but Lashley yanks him off the apron! Lashley fireman’s carries and POSTS Riddle! Riddle is in a daze as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Lashley is all over Riddle, and hits a straddle attack! And then he drags Riddle back into a stretch, and he twists Riddle’s head and neck with a chinbar! Riddle fights up, Lashley chinlocks, but Riddle fights with body shots and forearms! Riddle runs but Lashley follows, into a kick! Lashley blocks the next kick to spin and elbow, then CLOBBER Riddle! Riddle is a bit dazed again but MVP tells Lashley to finish this. Lashley drags Riddle up by his hair for another chinbar and stretch. Riddle endures, punches at Lashley’s hands, then pries free! Riddle throws body shots, Lsahley whips him into buckles!
Lashley throws more hands, body shots, but Riddle hits back! Lashley elbows Riddle, knees him down, then digs him into the buckle! The ref counts, Lashley lets off and whips Riddle corner to corner. Lashley runs in but Riddle dodges. Lashley stops himself, whips Riddle into more buckles, then bumps him again. Lashley rolls Riddle and runs, but into a spin and PELE! Riddle handsprings and fires up to forearm smash! Then he goes side to side to forearm! Then a BRO- No! Lashley blocks the exploder to gut wrench, and DOMINATOR! But Riddle lands on his feet to PENALTY KICK and BROTON! Cover, ONE?!! FINAL FLASH! Cover, TWO!?!
MVP talks trash to Riddle but Riddle puts Lashley in a drop zone. Riddle goes up top, MVP distracts and Lashley clubs Riddle! Lashley drags Riddle off the corner to the Canadian rack, DOMINATOR!! Lashley seethes, talks trash on Riddle, and drags him into the HURT LOCK! Riddle endures, pushes off ropes and gets around, he taps but the ref doesn’t see it! Lashley lets go but he and MVP protest! But Riddle rolls Lashley up, and WINS!!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
Now MVP and Lashley are REALLY angry! Riddle gets lucky, but Lashley did have his insurance policy in MVP. Will things be very different in a rematch?
Ricochet talks with Mark Henry backstage.
The One and Only gets encouragement from the World’s Strongest Man about keeping on as he’s been. Henry sees Ricochet’s heart and knows he can get the job done. Ricochet appreciates the kind words, and says he’s been trying to stay strong, but sometimes it’s hard. This means a lot to Ricochet. But then Orton appears… “Well I’ll be damned, Mark Henry in the flesh.” Orton’s been meaning to catch up to Henry, and he wants to tell Henry that he is entering the 2021 Men’s Rumble. Orton asks if Henry has done the same. Oh, but after all the wear and tear, Henry using a scooter bike to get around, Henry might never compete ever again.
There’s something else Orton thought about. Tonight being Legend’s Night, a lot of legends are of course here tonight, and here is the World’s Strongest Man, on a scooter. How fast does that thing go, anyway? Fast enough to get away from Orton. Orton keeps Henry from scooting off, and wants to reminisce about “the good ol’ days” when Henry put Orton in the Hall of Pain with that World’s Strongest Slam over and over. Orton owes Henry a lot of receipts. Maybe Orton will give Henry a pass on this special occasion, only if he pedals his ass on out of here. Or does Henry want Orton to hit him here and now? GO! GET OUT OF HERE! Pedal and scoot out of ORTON’S arena. Henry has no choice but to take the verbal abuse, but will there be a legend still able to shut Orton up?
MVP has Lashley calm down backstage.
But Charly Caruso asks about the controversy we just saw. MVP says Lashley was ROBBED! Riddle tapped, and what happened after was a travesty! Lashley says Riddle tapped out, but it’ll be okay. Next time Lashley gets his hands on Riddle, he won’t just beat him or hurt him, he will PUNISH his punk ass! MVP says now they’re angry.
Mandy Rose VS Shayna Baszler!
After how she and Dana Brooke were both treated by the Queen of Spades, Mandy wants payback! But- Wait, before she even makes it to the ring, Shayna strikes! Shayna gets Mandy right into the KIRAFUDA, then THROWS her into barriers! And more barriers! And then back the other way! The ref reprimands, Shayna goes into the ring and dares Mandy to get in. Dana hurries out and is pissed at Shayna, but the ref tries to keep this from turning into a fight. Dana says she’ll take Mandy’s place in the match, then! Shayna is fine with that, the ref approves, and so it happens!
Dana Brooke VS Shayna Baszler!
The bell rings, Dana swings but Shayna dodges to kick and fire off fast hands! Shayna KICKS Dana in the leg, then shouts at her, “How many times do we have to do this?” Shayna throws Dana but Dana throws Shayna out! Dana dares Shayna to get in, and she does, into a fireman’s carry! But Shayna slips out to put on the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH! Dana snapmares out to a cover! Dana wins!!
Winner: Dana Brooke, by pinfall
But Shayna STILL has the Kirafuda on! KNEE FROM A ROSE!! The Sexy Muscle Friends regroup, Shayna runs into a DOUBLE FLAPJACK! Dana and Mandy tell Shayna to back off, but will Shayna simply regroup with her own tag partner?
Ric Flair talks with fellow legends backstage.
But then Orton comes by and ruins the fun. Orton asks how Ric is doing. Here Orton was thinking that for old time’s sake, Ric walk him down to the ring for the match with Jeff Hardy? Of course, Orton won’t let Ric screw his match up like he did Charlotte’s. Ric makes one thing clear. He will NEVER walk down the ramp with Orton again. Ric believed in Orton so much, and all Ric wanted was to be by Orton’s side for that 14th title reign. Remember Evolution? Remember Ric wanting Orton to win RIC’S world title?
Orton remembers plenty! Orton remembers Ric taught him damn near everything! Ric is the Dirtiest Player in the Game, or was! The only thing that makes Ric relevant anymore is that Charlotte is 10 times the competitor he ever was! What’s wrong, Ric? How does your head feel? After that punt just last year, and yet here Ric is again. The thing is, when Orton looks at him, he sees a man that talks and looks like Ric Flair, but is NOT the man that taught Orton everything he knows. Ric is not that man to Orton or anyone else here. He’s just “a pathetic old man.” Orton leaves Ric behind, but is he done running down the legends on Legend’s Night?
Riddle finds Keith Lee backstage.
Bro, huge match tonight! Riddle won his with Lashley, didn’t need too much luck, so he’ll give the rest to Keith. Not that Keith really needs it, he’s a stallion and a beautiful man. But just imagine this! New Year, new champs, bro! Keith has Riddle stop and thanks him for the pep talk. Riddle cheers Keith on, but will the Limitless One truly usher in something new in 2021?
Jeff Hardy VS Randy Orton!
It wasn’t too long ago that the Charismatic Enigma and The Viper were trying to end each other’s legacies, and somehow Hardy survived the Apex Predator. But with how Orton is turning his self-loathing into venom towards others, will Hardy have a chance of surviving this time?
The bell rings and Orton stares Hardy down as they circle. They tie up, go around and Hardy gets Orton in a corner, only for Orton to turn it around. Hardy turns it back, Orton facelocks then pokes Hardy in the eye! The ref reprimands, Hardy staggers but Orton brings him around by his hair to a snapmare. Orton stomps Hardy’s face, then paces about. Orton drags Hardy up, scrapes his laces off Hardy’s face, then stalks him to ropes. Orton drags Hardy up, throws him out, and then pursues. Orton brings Hardy up to bounce off the announce desk hood again and again! Then the BACK SUPLEX to the desk! Hardy flops down while Orton leaves him behind to refresh the count.
Orton drags Hardy along the desk by his hair, puts him in the ring, covers, TWO! Hardy grits his teeth but Orton looms over him. Orton isolates an arm, twists the wrist and tortures the fingers. Hardy gets the ropebreak but Orton hammerlocks the arm to STOMP it! Orton stalks Hardy to a corner but Hardy kicks back and throws haymakers! Orton knees low, whips Hardy to the corner, but Hardy comes back to LARIAT! Hardy drops ax handles, drags Orton up and bumps him off buckles. Hardy rams in, digs his shoulder in, but the ref counts. Hardy lets off but Orton kicks low then kicks the bad arm!
Orton paces around Hardy again, STOMPS the hand, then grins as he STOMPS the other hand. Hardy holds his fingers but Orton sits him up for a chinlock. Hardy endures as Orton grinds him down, but Hardy fights up to fight out. Fans clap on their screens, Hardy kicks and hits the TWIST OF FURY! Hardy hurries up top, throws his shirt off and takes aim! But Orton bails out so Hardy has to hop down. Hardy LEAPS from the apron to CROSSBODY! The Viper is on the defensive now as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Orton grinds Hardy down with a chinlock. Fans clap on their screens as Hardy endures, fights up and throws elbows, only for Orton to throw Hardy down by his hair! Cover, TWO! Orton drags Hardy back up, wraps him up and claws at his face! The ref counts, Orton lets go of Hardy’s nose to hook the EARLOBE! Orton goes after the gauge hole like he did in his SmackDown feud with Hardy! Hardy endures and the ref counts as Orton pulls on BOTH earlobes!! Hardy claws at Orton but Orton STOMPS him down! And then he STOMPS the legs! And then hits a running knee drop! Cover, TWO! Orton is right back on Hardy with the chinlock!
Orton grinds Hardy back down but Hardy endures again. Hardy fights his way up, reaches and gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Orton lets go at 4, and Hardy gasps for air. Orton grins as he stalks up behind Hardy and drags him around. Orton brings Hardy up but Hardy throws body shots and hits a jawbreaker! Hardy pushes Orton back but Orton puts him through ropes! Hardy knows that too well and escapes the DDT to atomic drop! Leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick, and a splash! Cover, TWO! Hardy checks his earlobes before getting up and throwing hands. Orton hits back, knees low, then whips, only for Hardy to clobber him!
Hardy hits a splash in the corner, whips Orton corner to corner but Orton reverses. Hardy elbows Orton away, to hit WHISPER IN THE WINDS! Cover, TWO! Hardy is too tired to be frustrated, he and Orton catch their breath. Hardy is up first, he dares Orton to get up, and then he kicks low. Orton blocks but the spinning back kick sends Orton out! And then Hardy WRECKS Orton with another dropkick! Hardy puts Orton in, hurries up top again, but again Orton rolls away. Hardy hops down but Orton kicks low! Orton puts Hady in ropes, for the DRAPING DDT!
The ref checks on Hardy but Orton hears the voices! Hardy rises and Orton aims, but Hardy rolls him up! TWO!! Kick and Twist- RKO!!! Cover, Orton wins!!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
The Legend Killer tortured Hardy all over again and has another win! Will the Viper strike everyone down in the 2021 Royal Rumble?
Lucha House Party talks backstage.
But Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik are stopped in their tracks as they spot MELINA! Is she here for Lucha Legend’s Night? Check your breath, carnal. Melina says, “Lucha! Lucha!” Vaminos! The Lucha Locomotive is taking off, but will Lince and Metalik be up for a fiesta after their tag match tonight?
Lucha House Party VS The Hurt Business!
Lashely may be livid after losing to Riddle the way he did, but “Prime” Alexander and the Gold Standard look to stay strong. Will the Raw Tag Team Champions pop the balloons and blow out the candles on the Lucha House Party before it gets going?
Raw returns as MVP joins commentary. He is calm and focused on the business at hand, and LHP make their entrance. The teams sort out, and Metalik starts against Shelton Benjamin. They circle, tie up and Benjamin knees low to CLUB Metalik down. Benjamin whips Metalik to run Metalik over! Alexander mocks the lucha chant, Benjamin whips Metalik to a corner, but Benjamin runs into Metalik’s boot! Metalik runs, ducks and dodges to tilt-o-whirl headscissor! Metalik kicks low, runs and walks the ropes to springboard, but Benjamin blocks the missile dropkick into a POWERBOMB!
Benjamin drags Metalik over, tags in Alexander, and Alexander whips Metalik to CLOBBER him! Cover, ONE! Alexander brings Metalik up but Metalik fights off the lift. Alexander CLUBS Metalik on the back, brings him up but Metalik lands out of the back suplex! Tag to Lince, Metalik boots and Lince gets a boost for the FLYING RANA! Lince keeps moving, but Alexander tilt-o-whirl SLAMS Lince down! Alexander hammers away on Lince, digs his face into the mat, then MVP tells Alexander not to play around but to go to work. Alexander DECKS Lince, whips him, but Lince handsprings to GOLDEN REWIND!
Tag to Benjamin and he KNEES Metalik down to deny the tag! Benjamin shoves Lince, throws hands, but Alexander tags himself in! Benjamin is annoyed but Alexander fires off hands. Benjamin tags himself in and annoys Alexander, and the two argue. Lince SUPERKICKS Benjamin, throws Alexander out, then wheelbarrows to STUNNER, then ghost pin! LUCHA HOUSE PARTY WINS!!
Winners: Lucha House Party, by pinfall
MVP is FURIOUS! Another loss for The Hurt Business is not acceptable! MVP asks Benjamin and Alexander if they’re embarrassed, because he sure is! Whatever is going on with them needs to stop! They’re not on the same page, and even argue about who isn’t working with the other. Alexander says he’s going to win, and he storms off, but MVP is the one keeping Benjamin from giving Alexander a whooping. Will the Hurt Business be able to keep things from falling apart in the new year?
Nikki Cross talks with Torrie Wilson backstage.
But then Garza comes over and offers her a rose. Torrie says she was in a conversation with Nikki. But she has a better idea. Torrie invited Cardi B, Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande to come by, so maybe Garza can go offer them a rose. Go down that hall and through that door. Good luck. Garza follows her directions, asks if Cardi is in here, but wait… That’s not Cardi B! That’s THE BOGEYMAN!! And he’s comin’ to get Garza!! Garza runs for his life, but into R-Truth’s roll-up! TRUTH WINS!
Winner: R-Truth, by pinfall (NEW WWE 24/7 Champion)
Truth has his baby back, and Garza got boogied! Will Garza learn to keep his eyes on the prize instead of his love life? And Ron Simmons comes by to say, “… DAMN!”
WWE World Championship: Drew McIntyre VS Keith Lee!
Finally, the first main event of the new year! And both Scottish Warrior and Limitless One have been wanting this from the moment it was made official! McIntyre has the legendary Hulkster rooting for him, but will the legend of the Leegion begin right here tonight?
Raw returns as Keith makes his entrance, with the legends on stage to cheer him on, too! The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, this match will be historic!
The two tie up and go around the ring! They go on the ropes, in a corner, but neither wants to back down! They keep going, McIntyre has Keith on the ropes but lets off. Keith keeps his cool and resets with McIntyre. They tie up again, Keith powers McIntyre to a corner, McIntyre goes up the corner but Keith lets off. McIntyre pushes Keith but Keith again keeps cool. McIntyre gets around Keith to waistlock then half nelsons to get the cravat! Keith stays up with the neck wrench, even as McIntyre cranks harder. Keith THROWS McIntyre off, and the two collide! Neither budges, and things speed up! Keith manages to hurdle, then he drops to run McIntyre over!
McIntyre gets to the ropes and shoves Keith again. Keith shoves back this time and says this is a championship match. McIntyre SLAPS Keith! And CHOPS! And throws haymakers! McIntyre puts Keith in a corner for more hands, then CHOPS him again! McIntyre brings Keith up but Keith blocks the whip to reverse it. McIntyre kicks back but Keith DECKS McIntyre! McIntyre flops out of the ring and checks his jaw, but Keith dares him to come back. The ring count starts, McIntyre takes his time getting in, then he stares Keith down. They approach, tie up with knuckle locks but McIntyre kicks the arms to wrench and CLUB and stomp!
McIntyre gets Keith down but Keith goes to ropes. McIntyre is after Keith, CHOPS him again, then brings him out to whip. Keith reverses again, McIntyre holds ropes but Keith CLOTHESLINES McIntyre out! Keith goes out after McIntyre, but McIntyre BOOTS him! Keith seethes and POUNCES McIntyre OVER barriers! The legends in attendance are amazed as McIntyre crash lands! Keith storms back to the ring as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns once again and McIntyre is throwing hands with Keith! McIntyre hits a JAWBREAKER, and he goes after Keith with a whip. Keith reverses and whips McIntyre hard into buckles! McIntyre hits the mat and gasps for air. Keith is up, scowls as he covers, ONE!! McIntyre is still in a bad way as he goes to the corner but Keith is on him with body shots! Keith gets in McIntyre’s face but McIntyre shoves him away. Keith just RAMS in with his shoulder! Keith throws McIntyre down, McIntyre gets to ropes but Keith is on him again. McIntyre kicks back, throws haymakers, but Keith returns them! Keith ROCKS McIntyre with another body shot!
Keith lets off long enough for McIntyre to breathe, but then he drags McIntyre around to a cover, TWO! Keith keeps cool, brings McIntyre back up, but McIntyre throws body shots of his own! Keith gets angry and he scoops and TOSSES McIntyre down! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre gasps and sputters for air, clutching his ribs, but Keith just scowls again. Keith brings McIntyre up to CLUB him on the back! Keith scoops and SLAMS him again! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre refuses to lose and the legends are loving it! Keith stalks McIntyre, drags McIntyre up, and whips him corner to corner, to then run in, but McIntyre dodges!
McIntyre throws body shots and haymakers to deny Keith his double chop. McIntyre runs, gets around and shoves, to bearhug, but Keith blocks the belly2belly with a headbutt! McIntyre throws more body shots, and uses momentum to try again. Keith denies another belly2belly with KNEES to the gut! Keith scoops McIntyre but McIntyre slips out to shove Keith into buckles! And then he tries again, for the OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!! Somehow he did it! Both men slowly rise, and McIntyre gets around for a neckbreaker! And he kips up! McIntyre fires up and tunes out the pain as best he can to take aim from the corner. Keith is up, but dodges the Claymore!
McIntyre gets around to sunset flip, TWO! Keith pops McIntyre up for the SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre survives and the legends are loving this! McIntyre rolls out of the ring for his own safety, and Keith goes out to pursue him. The ref wants this to stay inside, but McIntyre gets Keith for a POWERBOMB THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE DESK!! Keith is down in the wreckage and McIntyre clutches his ribs as Raw goes to another break!
Raw returns once more, and McIntyre is climbing up top! He leaps for a FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre is beside himself as Keith survives. McIntyre drags Keith up, underhooks the arms, but no Future Shock as Keith GRIZZLY MAGNUMS! Keith powers up to CLOBBER McIntyre point-blank! Cover, TWO! Keith seethes again but admits he knew it would take more than this. Keith aims again, runs but McIntyre gets around the lariat! McIntyre wants the backslide but Keith powers it up to his favor! Keith flips McIntyre up and over, but McIntyre hits FUTURE SHOCK!! Cover, TWO!?!? Keith survives and that even shocks the legends!
McIntyre and Keith rise as the legends even chant, “This is Awesome!” McIntyre goes to the corner, climbs up, but Keith HEADBUTTS from below! Keith climbs up, McIntyre throws body shots but Keith clubs away! Keith climbs even higher, brings McIntyre up with him, for a SUPER SPANISH FLY!?!? Cover, TWO?!?!? How did Keith pull that off?! How did McIntyre survive!? Both men wobble up, Keith reels McIntyre in, but McIntyre resists the bomb, spins out and kicks, to then shove and SPINEBUSTER! Jackknife cover, TWO! McIntyre aims from the corner, Keith rises, CLAY-
NO!! Keith blocks the kick, pulls McIntyre up, and- No, McIntyre slips off, runs and dodges to CLAYMORE!!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall (still WWE World Champion)
A standing ovation from the legends says it all! A split second could’ve changed it all, but McIntyre comes out the winner! He and Keith fist bump out of respect, and McIntyre gets a mic to tell Keith-
Wait, what is this? One last legend makes their presence known! It’s GOLD~BERG~!! Goldberg heads to the ring?! McIntyre wants to shake hands but Goldberg wants to say something first. “Drew McIntyre. I was in the back and I was thinking, ‘There couldn’t be a better representative to be the WWE Champion.'” McIntyre has the size, speed and athleticism it takes, but what he doesn’t have… is respect. Goldberg heard what McIntyre said but not what he was thinking.
When he addresses the legends, McIntyre must think they’re all a bunch of washed-up old has-beens, and that he is better in his prime than they ever were in theirs. That none of them would ever be a threat. That’s where McIntyre is wrong, and where Goldberg steps in. “It’s about respect.” Don’t think that Goldberg is here demanding anything. Don’t think Goldberg is posing a threat. No, he IS challenging McIntyre for the world title at the Royal Rumble.
McIntyre says Goldberg is just trying to get in his head. McIntyre is all about respect, but to put it bluntly, think back to 20 years ago, when he was “that big, indestructible monster full of piss and vinegar, taking everybody out.” That’s not Goldberg now. Fighting THIS Goldberg “would be like fighting my own dad, mate!” Goldberg laughs but so does McIntyre. Then Goldberg SHOVES McIntyre down!! And thanks to WWE’s Twitter, we can see that McIntyre gets right up to get in Goldberg’s face! Is McIntyre going to earn Goldberg’s respect when #He’sNext?!
For being given the shtick of “Legend’s Night,” this first Raw of 2021 was actually really good. Orton takes an interesting approach to how The Fiend changed him, but he did have some strong segments with the legends. I expected Alexa Bliss or even a returning Fiend to affect his match with Jeff Hardy, but that perhaps would’ve been too early. We need to see how deep Orton’s new darkness goes first before he and Fiend have it out again. Maybe it happens during the Men’s Rumble. That could be quite the return, since surprises like that are always effective.
Ric Flair being part of story with Charlotte and the tag match was an interesting move, though I really thought Charlotte was going to be a bit more forgiving, to say she was more furious at Lacey and Peyton instead. But I suppose the Women’s Tag Team Champions do need Raw contenders at some point. Now if only there’d be NXT contenders established. Lucha House Party is still part of Raw despite Metalik facing Santos Escobar for the Cruiserweight Championship on Wednesday, which is more of a reason to think Metalik loses that match. But LHP VS Hurt Business was a pretty good match and a great story as Hurt Business is starting to have that dysfunction affect their matches. I still don’t think LHP wins the titles, but that’d be quite the twist.
Riddle VS Lashley was a very good match, and the finish was a very creative way of getting Riddle a win without really hurting Lashley’s power level. The US Championship match should definitely be on the go-home to Royal Rumble since Lashley is in the Men’s Rumble match. Riddle can find a more definitive way to win the title, and then Lashley can be free to go for the world title. Garza’s reign with the 24/7 title wasn’t long, and using legends to spook him into losing was a bit goofy even for this title. Maybe he pursues Truth in the coming weeks and he can hot potato with Truth to get Truth to 50 reigns. I believe Truth is at 44 so that won’t take long.
Miz TV, New Day Talks, that is what should be on the line in an extended New Day VS Miz ‘n’ Morrison feud. They had a great segment together, had a great match together with Teddy Long making his appearance, and this could slowly help Miz and Morrison turn the corner from their being booked as hapless in the ring. Styles had a good rematch with Elias but the big thing was big bad Omos intimidating Ryker. Omos VS Ryker would make a pretty good first match for Omos, and given Omos is already gigantic and a good talker, he could make a very good champion down the line.
And of course, McIntyre VS Lee was a powerful main event for the world title. That was basically a PPV level match put on TV, but it seems Keith just isn’t there yet. It was quite the surprise for Goldberg to appear and call McIntyre out for a match at the Rumble. I would really hope McIntyre wins that match, we don’t need Goldberg burying another younger guy *cough* Fiend */cough* just because. But as far as power levels, McIntyre beating Goldberg would put him on a high level, but he’s already beaten Brock Lesnar, so why not add Goldberg on top? Though, this still brings into question how Miz is supposed to successfully cash-in, if that’s going to happen at all.
My Score: 8.5/10
WWE 24/7 Championship Results & Report! (4/10/21)
BEHOLD! The Night Panther!!
It’s the epic conclusion to the Legend of the Night Planter!
Mild-mannered Old Spice salesman, Joseph Average, finds himself in the middle of an incredible WWE 24/7 Championship prophecy! But is he hero or villain?
- WWE 24/7 Championship Picnic Panic: R-Truth VS Akira Tozawa & Night Panther; Truth retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
R-Truth is having a picnic.
“This is just not your ordinary picnic. We eatin’ good.” And after spraying some Old Spice Night Panther, they’re smellin’ good, too! But Akira Tozawa is sneaking up to snatch Truth’s snacks! Truth goes to reach for some, sees Tozawa, and Tozawa says, “Say cheese~!” What’s Tozawa doing at Truth’s picnic?! And with Ninja Referee (Drew Gulak) and the Night Panther! Truth finds he’s outnumbered! Tozawa and Ninja Ref Gulak grab Truth, and Truth says, “Oh no! Say it ain’t so, Joe!” He went from Average Joe, to Average Ninja! But if you go full ninja, you go evil. But, Joe’s not evil…
Tozawa shouts, “ATTACK!” But stand back, there’s a Hurricane comin’ through! A hurricane? Truth’s insurance covers that. But what is he doing here? What’s he doing here? Everyone knows that hurricanes and night panthers are mortal enemies. Truth confirms. And yet, here Joe is, ruining Truth’s picnic with his baby. Wazzupwiththat?! Night Panther, attack!! Night Panther punches at Hurricane but is blocked and counter punched! Truth breaks free of the kung-fu grip, and hurries with Hurricane to the Truth Cave! AWAY~!
The ninjas pick themselves up and Tozawa blames Night Panther for this. But he tried…! Tozawa takes away Night Panther’s seemingly endless blackbelt. Was this Yokozuna sized? But Tozawa doesn’t care what the prophecy says, Joseph Average is NOT the Night Panther! The “HAH! HAH! HAH!” turns into laughter at Joe’s failure, and Joe runs away in shame. Ninja Ref Gulak tries to talk with Tozawa but he won’t hear it. Will Tozawa ever get the 24/7 Championship away from Truth? Will Joseph Average redeem himself? Or is there truly someone else who the Night Panther mantle is meant for?
Not quite as conclusive as I thought, but this was a pretty great next part to this story with Eric Bugenhagen, aka Ricky Buge, aka The Buge, now Joseph “The Night Panther” Average, who may not even be the Night Panther anymore. I like that we got The Hurricane in this, and if it weren’t for the divide of WWE and AEW, I would love if the cinematic wrestling universe got Matt Hardy involved with this title. Having a brand deal feels right up the “Big Money Matt” gimmick’s alley. I hope Buge returns and proves himself as the Night Panther, or even just as Joseph Average. This is the kind of fun this title needs to be having either way.
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.10.2021
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Day 2 of my fill in stint covering the AJPW Champion Carnival! Can Suwama get in the winner’s column? Can the Ace Kento get on the board? Does anyone pull away so early?
Given the fact the incumbent champion lost his first round, the ace lost and there were a few main event players that picked up hard fought wins but don’t have an easy day today, this should be interesting. What kind of tournament are we looking at?
Since the tournament is 1 block, each person gets 9 matches, similar to the G1. So using G1 logic, 2 losses puts you on the bubble of being out, and 3 losses is basically death with the exception of weird breakers or fun rock/paper/scissors situations.
So for everyone’s sake, let’s hope we end up at mostly parity to continue to keep everyone alive for most of this single block tournament!
- Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino: Aoyagi wins via End Game @9:22 – ** ¾
- Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi: Doi wins via Murder Lariat @4:52 – * ½
- Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus: Zeus wins via Arm Trap Facelock @10:41 – *** ½
- Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara: Kento wins via Blackout @13:23 – *** ¾
- Jake Lee vs Suwama: Suwama wins via Last Ride Powerbomb @18:23 – ****
Yuma Aoyagi vs Shotaro Ashino
So very similarly to the match against Otani, Aoyagi starts slow. The match begins with a handshake, then he gets driven to the ropes, Ashino slides under his legs during the break to trip him up and starts working over the leg. An early Stretch Muffler indicates that Ashino is most likely aiming to win with the Ankle Lock.
Aoyagi was on the move and constantly clawing for an opening. A few strikes and early knockdown give Aoyagi hope as he goes for End Game, but Ashino powers up and slams him into the corner. Ashino controls most of the tempo until we get a German Suplex trade off spot. Aoyagi ends up taking the worst of it, and Ashino goes for the Ankle Lock.
While in the Ankle Lock, Aoyagi tries to roll through 3 times, but Ashino moves with the roll and holds the move in place. Right before Aoyagi looks like he’s going to tap, he adjusts, grabs Ashino’s head for the Small Package; Ashino manages to kick out. But before Ashino can really re-orient himself, Aoyagi slaps on the full version of End Game. Ashino tries to fight through, but succumbs.
Ashino with two big losses almost writes him out already. Hopefully he makes a small run to suspend disbelief for a little bit and this isn’t his swan song from AJPW.
Kohei Sato vs Koji Doi
Doi comes out of a loss to a major player, Shuji Ishikawa, of current AJPW and Sato avenged his loss to the current Triple Crown Champion Suwama. So at face value, one should think this is a perfect time for Sato to gather some momentum to make sure he gets another shot at the title.
Contrary to logic, this match was interesting. Doi starts off with a quick flurry and picks Sato up into a Torture Rack. Sato eventually fights out and then we get a chop battle, which Sato is notoriously bad at and throws some of the lamest looking chops. Granted, even though he was losing the chops, apparently a well-placed Forearm rocked Doi enough to have Doi selling the forearm for nearly the rest of the match.
Referee Nikkan Lee gets up to seven before Doi starts responding enough to be on the receiving end of a Soccer Ball Kick from Sato. Sato senses the match is over, picks Doi up real cocky for a Brainbuster, but it gets countered into a Brainbuster of Doi’s own! A short range lariat rocks Sato afterward and then off the ropes for Murder Lariat! Sato is stacked up, Doi covers and Doi gets the win!
Well we look to be in an interesting starting spot so far. Who would’ve figured Koji Doi would have more points than Shotaro Ashino…ever. Also for clarity, the low rating is because the match was so abrupt. It wasn’t inherently bad, just not really anything to sink teeth into beyond an upset win.
Shuj Ishikawa vs Zeus
There is history with these two, most notable in my head is during Zeus’ only Triple Crown championship reign, Shuji was his first and only defense. So Zeus looks to continue momentum this year, possibly running back the undefeated record of last year; while Shuji is trying to protect his position and title as Gaora TV champion.
This goes the way most of their previous meetings have, where Shuji tries to overpower Zeus. Because even though Zeus is a bodybuilder, he’s a bit on the short side (5’10”). So with Shuji standing about 6 inches taller and not being of a slight build, Shuji loves to buckle Zeus and play the power struggle. Tests of Strength, Shoulder Tackles, Lariat battles, it’s all great power wrestler spots.
Shuji does however start to catch Zeus. So after a chagrining Lariat into the corner, the middle rope Mushroom Stomp and a few Tsunamis; it looks like Shuji is setting up to win with a Fire/Thunder Driver – but Zeus slips out the back! Zeus locks in the Arm Trap Facelock, and Shuji is dead to rights. Stuck in the middle, twisted about in the move, it only takes a few moments before Shuji is forced to tap and Zeus moves on with 4 points!
Shinjiro Otani vs Kento Miyahara
Dueling boots start the match, which Kento bails after being on the losing end of the exchange. Otani decides to remind him that recovering on the apron isn’t safe, so he charges and lands the Bootwash through the bottom rope sending Kento flying. As the match plays out on the outside, Kento regains his swagger, talks smack to referee Wada and does his “headbutts around the ring” spot.
After rocking Otani, Kento gets cocky, poses back in the ring and the smug Kento from his previous Triple Crown champion days starts making a return. He gives Otani too much space though, charges the corner, and takes a Drop Toe Hold into the bottom turnbuckle, and then Otani revs up the old kicking boot across Kento’s face for a few Bootwashes.
From this point, both men’s stubbornness comes out in spades. Kento gets a little cocky, Otani catches him on the corner, they fight back and Otani refuses to fall before hitting Kento with a Superplex. Then we go into a strike exchange where both are just wailing on one another. Otani manages to rock Kento and then catch him with a Dragon Suplex for a near fall.
Moving quickly, Otani hits Spiral Bomb, but again only two. So he tries a Dragon Suplex again, but Kento fights out. Kento hits a Blackout to the back of Otani’s head, and now they are throwing haymakers. Kento catches Otani with another Blackout, but Otani returns the favor with one of those Hashimoto Overhand Chops that put down Aoyagi yesterday! Otani goes for another, but Kento Blackouts the chop. The clash leaves Otani in more pain, another Blackout and Otani powers out of the pinfall at 1, but is scrambling and stumbling around, unable to find his feet. Kento hits one more point blank Blackout, and picks up his first points of the 2021 Carnival!
Jake Lee vs Suwama
So watching this second tournament match for Jake, I’ve come to realize what I’m referring to him as during this Total Eclipse gimmick. He is very much “Light Yagami” Jake Lee. He’s cackling when he accomplishes something, unbridled frustration and nearly schizophrenic reactions do really scream Death Note crazy Light.
This match was interesting since early on Suwama didn’t really know what to make of Jake, and Jake tried the same stuff he pulled on Ashino, where he was a little awkward, took advantage of situations and tried to bait Suwama into bad spots. The difference is, Suwama is a veteran and Triple Crown champion; so even though Jake got a few early shots, Suwama eventually forced him back into old habits.
Jake was forced to wrestle, hitting interesting flying kick and knee variations, pulled out the old Kitchen Sink and put in a lot more effort than the first match. Suwama managed to stay resilient and push our new Total Eclipse Death Note wielder. This match was built more around Jake coming into his new persona, and yet still not being able to get passed certain old hurdles.
Suwama absorbed a lot, hit some short range lariats, his Double Chop comeback, and the spinning chop. Jake hits the back of the head Giant Killing, attempts D4C, but Suwama blocks. Jake keeps the pressure up, attempts and old Giant Killing/Knee Lift, but Suwama catches the leg, lifts him into a Last Ride, and puts him away!
Suwama finally gets on the bored, and Jake is left stunned and seething. Which plays perfect for Jake to win the Carnival and earn his Suwama shot, and prove his evolution then.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
So this ended a little stronger over all than day 1, but both days so far have been a fun start. The mixture of upsets and oddly abrupt matches are perfect for a tournament even if they don’t rank high. In the larger picture of things it’s nice to see that a competitive match can end in less than 5 minutes without comedy tactics.
Seeing how Jake took the loss to Suwama gives me hope for this anime antagonist character. I’m honestly a little surprised that the whole tournament is knotted up except for Zeus at the 2-0 and Ashino at 0-2. I really did not think Ashino would be the slow kid in the pool right now. But I suppose since he was just betrayed he’s still finding his footing. Like I alluded to before, it would be nice if he’s just getting broken down to be built back up and not just putting people over on his way out.
Now since the only unique records are first and last, the rest of the tournament isn’t hard to figure out, but here are the standings! Solid first 2 days so far!
- Zeus: 2-0 – (4 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Jake Lee: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Suwama: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Koji Doi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 0-2 – (0 Points)
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