You think you know the Raw After the Rumble!
After a return through the Royal Rumble, the Rated R Superstar proved he can be an ironman! But who will Edge choose to challenge for WrestleMania?
- WWE United States Championship: Bobby Lashley VS Matt Riddle; Riddle wins by disqualification, Lashley retains the title.
- Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston VS Mustafa Ali w/ Retribution; Woods wins.
- Damian Priest VS The Miz w/ John Morrison; Priest wins.
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The Hurt Business VS Lucha House Party; The Hurt Business wins and retains the titles.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Triple Threat: Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose VS Naomi & Lana; Naomi & Lana win and will challenge Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler for the titles.
- Jeff Hardy & Carlito VS Elias & Jaxson Ryker; Hardy & Carlito win.
- Alexa Bliss VS Nikki Cross; Bliss wins.
- Randy Orton VS Edge; Edge wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Ladies and gentlemen, the WWE World Champion, DREW MCINTYRE!
The Scottish Warrior still has title and sword, and is here to open Monday Night Raw! He conquered the icon, Goldberg, and now moves forward towards WrestleMania! He welcomes us to the show, and says this is no ordinary episode. “We’re taking it up a notch tonight because we are officially on the road to WrestleMania.” It started last night with the Royal Rumble, and how awesome was it? McIntyre and Goldberg went to war, McIntyre earned Goldberg’s respect and Goldberg earned his.
Then the Women’s Tag Titles, the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and that Last Man Standing was physical as hell! Bianca Belair solidified herself as the future of the WWE in the Women’s Rumble! And then the Men’s Royal Rumble, McIntyre was watching closely. But speaking of, here comes EDGE! The Rated R Superstar is the winner of that Men’s Rumble, and he is here to look his potential target in the eye! McIntyre says he was about to say Edge’s name. But where to begin? Ever since joining WWE, McIntyre had been around Edge, Edge was a mentor and always looking out for him. McIntyre was also there when Edge had to retire, and how that felt for everyone.
McIntyre also remembers Edge’s return. AJ Styles was choking McIntyre, but then “You Think You Know Me” plays and boom, Edge’s back. Edge has been incredible since then. He gets hurt, leaves, comes back again, and outlasts 29 other men, truly, to win. McIntyre is so happy and proud. Edge says he appreciates all of that, and he does really like McIntyre. But to be blunt, Edge asks, “What is wrong with you?” Edge won the Royal Rumble last night! That means Edge could challenge McIntyre for the title at WrestleMania! McIntyre won, too, and should know how much of a threat this makes Edge. But instead of attacking, he’s showering Edge with compliments?
McIntyre gets it. That’s something an opportunist would do, but that’s not what McIntyre would do. Damn right McIntyre isn’t Edge! But then here comes Sheamus! The Fella says, “Look at this! The Rated R Superstar! Congrats on the big win last night, fella!” McIntyre is showing him with respect, he should be flattered! But then Sheamus is upset because who is Edge to question McIntyre? A man who has single-handedly carried WWE through uncharted waters while Edge was nursing his triceps. McIntyre, someone who has been Sheamus’ friend for half their lives! Edge should take the high road, but Sheamus says he won’t.
McIntyre says he appreciates Sheamus backing him up but he has this. Edge has his shot at any title, so is he doing to make the decision or will McIntyre make it for him? Edge is the opportunist, and he will let us all know what he’s doing on his time. But McIntyre has a target on his back and is playing a dangerous game. Sheamus doesn’t like what Edge is implying. Edge says McIntyre will know when Edge makes his choice. But also know that when Edge makes that choice, he WILL walk out of Mania a champion once again. Will the Rated R Superstar’s ultimatum get through to McIntyre?
But then Sheamus BROGUES McIntyre!? The Celtic Warrior just betrayed a man he literally said has been his friend for half their lives! And ironically, someone had warned McIntyre not too long ago. But will we get an answer as to #WhySheamusWhy?
Backstage interview with Sheamus.
Why did he do that?! Sheamus says everyone is starting to see him as just “Drew McIntyre’s friend!” Sheamus doesn’t want pity, he wants to be himself AND be the WWE World Champion! Drew Gulak is there to even hand Sheamus his bags so he can leave! Will Sheamus be gone before McIntyre can find him?
WWE United States Championship: Bobby Lashley VS Matt Riddle!
The Chief Hurting Officer has not gotten past the Bro by any means! But going around one more time, will Lashley finally rid himself of Riddle?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the rematch of the rematch begins, after the break!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Riddle rushes Lashley! Deja vu, anyone? Lashley shoves him away, throws hands back then knees low! Lashley elbows Riddle, runs, but Riddle rocks him and fires off more hands! Riddle fires off kicks, Lashley SLAMS Riddle down! Lashley rains down fast hands and MVP says to punish him! Riddle gets ropes, Lashley lets off to bring Riddle up in a stalling suplex! Lashley waits for a count of 10 before he SLAMS Riddle down, without even falling himself! Lashley runs at Riddle at the ropes but Riddle headscissors him out! Penalty Kick rom the apron! SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO!
The ring count climbs, MVP hurries over but Riddle puts Lashley in. Riddle aims again, but swings into a HURT LOCK in the ropes!! The ref counts, Riddle fights using ropes, Lashley does NOT let go!! Lashley gets himself disqualified!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by disqualification (Lashley retains the US Championship)
But Lashley doesn’t care about winning or losing, just hurting! He puts Riddle back in the Hurt Lock, thrashes Riddle around, and even though Riddle taps, it doesn’t matter! Even MVP says Lashley should stop, this is too much! Lashley throws Riddle down! MVP says Lashley can hurt him, not kill him! Lashley is heated and glares at MVP, but then Lashley goes back to Riddle! The Rocky Mountain Machine is ruthless! He puts Riddle in a third Hurt Lock!! Riddle is a rag doll as Lashley TOSSES him over the barriers! The ref wants Lashley to leave, and he does, but is still dangerously angry. Will this help Lashley wreck all of Raw on the Road to WrestleMania?
Raw returns as medics check on Riddle.
Riddle tries to remember what happened, and then he remembers Lashley did this to him. He gets up fast but can’t stay up. He still can’t quite remember what happened, but will he be even angrier than Lashley when he finally does?
Randy Orton speaks.
“Edge. I gotta level with you, man, I didn’t think it was possible.” He didn’t think Edge would ever return. Not only does he return, Edge enters the Royal Rumble at #1 and wins it all! So congratulations, really! But there’s a problem here. Orton said Edge would never EVER come back, and yet here he is. So that means Orton looks like a liar! After everything Orton did for Edge, Edge makes him a liar?! Orton hit him with chairs, an RKO, a punt kick, and RKO’d Beth Phoenix, so that Edge could be a husband and father! It was out of mercy and compassion! Edge thinks he will main event WrestleMania, but here’s a secret: he wont.
And the reason Edge won’t is because he made a decision to look past Orton and what Orton’s done for Edge. There will be no mercy, compassion or main event at WrestleMania for Edge! Will there be any stopping the Viper from making Edge another victim?
The New Day reunites backstage!
Xavier Woods is in the best of five with Retribution but it’s time to even things up! Kofi Kingston says Mustafa Ali is out of his mind that everything in “KofiMania” should’ve been Ali’s? No way! But this is about payback! And Kofi has Woods’ back! Do you know why~? BEEeEEeeECAUSE! NEW! DAY ROCKS! Is it time for Retribution to face retribution of their own?
Xavier Woods w/ Kofi Kingston VS Mustafa Ali w/ Retribution!
Raw returns and Ali makes his entrance, but only with T-Bar and Slapjack. Ali’s message on social media is that they’re all so excited to see Kofi is back, and they are happy to have him ringside so he can watch Ali torture and break Woods! The bell rings and the two tie up. Woods powers Ali to a corner, Ali switches but Woods switches it back. Woods digs his forearms in, lets off and Ali mule kicks! The ref reprimands but Ali throws hands on Woods. Ali headlocks, Woods powers out and Woods runs Ali over! Woods clotheslines Ali out! Then PLANCHAS, but Ali dodges! Woods kicks and throws Ali into the barriers, then puts him in the ring!
T-Bar and Slapjack are lurking but Kofi has them stay back. Woods gets in and Ali hits him with a neckbreaker! Ali tells Kofi to watch as he stomps Woods down. Kofi talks trash but Ali says Kofi took opportunities from him! Ali is after Woods’ head with a rain of fists, then he drags Woods up to bump Woods off buckles. Ali digs his boot in, lets off as the ref counts, and then drags Woods back up to CHOP him! Woods shoves Ali but Ali fires off hands! Ali whips Woods corner to corner, Woods bounces off buckles, into another neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Ali looms over Woods, drags him up to snapmare him down and into a chinlock.
Kofi coaches Woods and Woods fights his way up. Woods arm-drags free, mule kicks hard, then mule kicks again! Ali goes to a corner, runs at Woods but Woods throws haymakers! Woods CHOPS, CHOPS, haymakers, and whips. Ali reverses, Woods dodges and ducks to tilt-o-whirl and Russian Leg Sweep! Kofi fires up with Woods but Woods runs into a boot! Ali goes up and leaps but Woods denies the tornado to DISCUS LARIAT! Kofi is fired up as Woods covers, but T-Bar drags Ali away! The ref reprimands, but Kofi leaps over T-Bar to CLOBBER Slapjack! T-Bar is chasing Kofi. Ali rolls Woods, TWO! Woods has the ghost pin, Woods wins!
Winner: Xavier Woods, by pinfall
Kofi and Woods get to safety before they celebrate! Things have been tied up, but what happens in the fifth and final battle?
Damian Priest hangs out with Bad Bunny.
They speak Spanish as Priest explains how things could go down tonight on Miz TV. Will the Archer of Infamy have Bunny’s back with “MC M I Z” tonight?
Raw presents a new Miz TV!
The Miz makes his way to the ring with John Morrison, and they welcome us to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show in WWE, and this is a historic one tonight! The Rumble is over, we’re on the Road to WrestleMania! History was made as both Bianca Belair and Edge won the Rumble matches, McIntyre beat Goldberg, and there are new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. But the star of the night was the international megastar, Bad Bunny, and his great performance. His music inspires the world to get up and have a good time! So welcome the MTV VMA winner, Bad Bunny!
Miz and Morrison do their best to dance like Bunny and Booker T in the music video of that song as Bunny makes his way to the ring. Miz and Morrison are hyped to see him again, even after everything that happened. Bunny takes a seat, has his custom mic, and Miz thanks “Mr. Bunny” for being here. They’re going to clear the air over the misunderstandings. For anyone who missed anything from the Royal Rumble, here is a highlight reel! From Bunny performing his hit track, “Booker T,” with Booker on stage, to the sales pitch from Miz and Morrison that was rejected, to then Miz taking that out on Bunny’s DJ rig!
Of course, Bunny retaliated with help from his new pal, Damien Priest! Miz says they both did things they regret, and two wrongs don’t make a right. Both can be bigger men about this, so Miz wants to apologize. Bunny says that’s fine, and accepts it. What about Bunny to them? Hmm… No, he can’t think of anything. Really? Not even costing Miz and Morrison their chance at a Mania main event? Well, Miz heard from a little birdie that Bunny’s dream is to be a superstar. He has come to the right place! Many stars under Miz’s learning tree have had amazing careers!
Miz took the B Plus Player, Daniel Bryan, and made him into the beloved, international star and WrestleMania main eventer he is today! Imagine what they could do for Bunny! They could be movie stars! Red carpets and private jets! They could mentor Bunny in becoming a WWE superstar. He just needs to help them get a recording session. Grammy’s and Slammy’s! Morrison does his best freestyle, but Bunny tells them they’re… “Special.” He is still not interested. Esta loco?! He doesn’t apologize, he disrespects them! Does he know who he is talking to?! He is talking to The Miz and Morrison, not J Lo and Shakira!
Bunny knows who they are, but he is here because a good friend wanted to be on Miz TV. And that friend is the Archer of Infamy! Damian Priest takes aim and heads to the ring! Priest eliminated Miz and Morrison, and now he’s here to DECK Miz! Morrison helps Miz get out of the ring and Priest high-fives Bunny! Will the A-Lister and Guru of Greatness have a response after the break?
Damian Priest VS The Miz w/ John Morrison!
Raw returns and Priest circles with Miz! Miz rushes in but into a bell clap,. ROUNDHOUSE, and HEEL KICK! Miz scrambles away and Morrison bails him out! Bad Bunny has a seat ringside to watch this as Priest takes aim again. Priest builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit on the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century! And a high five to Bunny again. Priest puts Miz in, goes back in and up a corner, for a FLYING HAYMAKER! Cover, TWO! Miz crawls, Priest stalks him to ropes, and he drags Miz up to back suplex! Miz rakes eyes to fight that off, and then he POSTS Priest! Morrison cheers Priest on and Miz drags Priest up for kicks and haymakers!
The ref counts, Miz stops and runs corner to corner to hit the A-List Lariat! Priest goes down, Morrison talks smack in Spanish, and Miz leaps to ax handle Priest down! Cover, ONE! Miz rains left fists down but Priest pushes him away. Miz goes after Priest on ropes and chokes him! The ref counts, Miz lets off at 3 to then run and STRADDLE ATTACK! Miz stares Bunny down, Bunny gets up but Miz talks trash. Miz goes after Priest again but his kick gets punched! Priest ROCKS Miz, KICKS him, fires off more kicks then a ROLLING ELBOW! And a LARIAT! Priest fires up and Morrison panics as Priest takes aim! Priest goes corner to corner, BIG back elbow!
Priest brings Miz up and throws him with the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Miz survives but Priest keeps his focus. Priest takes aim again, Miz slowly gets up but Morrison calls Priest out on the apron! Priest runs him off, Miz BOOTS Priest down! Morrison distracts the ref but Miz goes for the briefcase. Bunny snatches it away! No cheating on Bunny’s watch! Morrison tells Bunny to give them the briefcase back, and Bunny does, to then SUCKER PUNCH Morrison with his custom mic! Miz is furious, but he turns around into RECKONING! Cover, Priest wins!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall
That is a Raw debut that will go down in infamy! Priest dropped Miz while Bunny dropped Morrison and the mic! Will this be how Priest and Bunny #LiveForever?
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Hurt Business VS Lucha House Party!
The Rocky Mountain Machine wrecked Riddle but now it’s on Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander to do the same to Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado. Will the business stay strong? Or will these tag titles become #LuchaLit?
MVP is on commentary to briefly touch on not Lashley’s wrath but Bunny being in the wrong place. But he does apologize, he knew Lashley was going to unleash something, but not like that. As for this match, the introductions are made, the titles are raised, and we see if the Gold Standard and “Prime” Alexander can do the same to the King of the Ropes and the Golden Lynx!
Benjamin and Lince start, Lince gets around to kick and throw hands! Lince runs but Benjamin runs him over! Benjamin TOSSES Lince across the way, then drags him up to bring him around for a back suplex. Lince make sit a sunset flip, Benjamin stays up so Lince kangaroo kicks! Lince runs, QUEBRADA, but Benjamin gets under! Metalik tags in, Lince BOOTS Benjamin, and then Lince gives Metalik a boost for a FLYING- NO! Benjamin blocks the Rana to bring Metalik up, but Metalik still RANAS anyway! Metalik CHOPS Benjamin, goes up and up, but leaps into an OLYMPIC SLAM! Cover, TWO!
Benjamin tags Alexander, the Business CLOBBERS Metalik, and Alexander covers, TWO! Alexander toys with Metalik, throws forearms, then runs, into a dropkick! Metalik tags Lince, LHP double whip Alexander to a corner. Metalik hits a clothesline, Lince hits a windmill kick! Benjamin gets in to brawl with Metalik, but Lince dropkicks him! The Business regroups, MVP wants them to get it together, but they both get handspring heel kicks! MVP is not happy and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Alexander brawls with Lince! Lince throws haymakers then CHOPS, but runs into a SCOOP DRIVER! Cover, TWO! MVP is proud of the pitbull and tells Alexander to stay on him. Alexander KICKS Lince and MVP claps more. Alexander tags Benjamin while digging forearms into Lince’s face, then Benjamin rocks Lince to scoop and slam him! Benjamin scoop slams again, then covers, TWO! Benjamin sits Lince up to put on a chinlock but Lince endures. Lince fights up, throws body shots, and jawbreakers free! Lince runs, dodges and wheelbarrows, to GOLDEN REWIND! Cover, ONE, and Benjamin fireman’s carries for a GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO!!
Tag to Alexander, he drags Lince up and snap suplexes him hard! Cover, TWO! Alexander pats Lince’s head, tags Benjamin back in and the Business mugs Lince. Benjamin throws crossface forearms to put Lince in a corner, and then he throws knees in! The ref backs Benjamin off, Lince grabs Benjamin for headscissors, but Benjamin blocks those to throw knees! Benjamin pops Lince up but Lince hits a DDT! Both Lince and Benjamin are down, MVP admits that was good, but Benjamin tags in Alexander. Alexander drags Lince from Metalik, flips Lince but Lince lands on his feet! DROPSAULT and hot tag to Metalik!
Metalik springboards to crossbody Alexander! And KICK Benjamin! Alexander hits and whips but Metalik handsprings! Things keep moving, Metalik rebound arm-drags Alexander then mule kicks! Metalik walks the corner to FLYING RANA! Alexander flounders, MVP freaks out as Lince FLIES onto Benjamin! Benjamin catches Lince, but Metalik DIVES to tip them over! Metalik KICKS Alexander, springboards in but Alexander fireman’s carries! GUT- No! Metalik makes the buster a cradle! TWO!! Metalik BOOTS Alexander and brings him around for a SLING DOG! Tag to Lince, Lince goes up then tags back to Metalik! FROG SPLASH to SPRINGBOARD SWANTON! Cover, Benjamin breaks it!!
Lince is after Benjamin., he shoves Lince but Lince boots back! Lince goes up but Benjamin KNEES Him down! Metalik whips Benjamin, but Benjamin reverses and Alexander KNEES Metalik down! Alexander fires up and says he’s done playing games! But Benjamin tags in!? PAYDIRT!! Cover, The Hurt Business wins!
Winners: The Hurt Business, by pinfall (still Raw Tag Team Champions)
Well, as far as Alexander is concerned, he won this match for them! But a win is a win, and that’s what matters! The Hurt Business still has the gold, and are still united. Will things stay that way as Raw rolls towards WrestleMania?
Backstage interview Charlotte Flair & Asuka.
What are the former champions’ mindsets going into the Triple Threat contender match, after Ric Flair and Lacey Evans cost them? Lacey may think she’s learning how to play dirty, but she knows what will happen to her when she gets in the ring with Charlotte. But Charlotte still feels bad for messing up last night, letting down Asuka, and letting that drama get in the way. Asuka will speak for herself on this. Asuka isn’t happy they lost, but she herself was ready! If it wasn’t for Ric and that woman, they would’ve won. They agree on that. They only want to get those tag titles back now! With that, The Queen makes her entrance! Will she and the Empress take that step back towards the Women’s Tag Division thrones?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Triple Threat: Charlotte Flair & Asuka VS Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose VS Naomi & Lana!
Raw returns and Asuka makes her entrance. Then the #SexyMuscleFriends enter, followed by the Ravishing Russian and The Glow. The teams sort out, and in this Triple Threat, only two teams are in. Charlotte and Naomi start, tie up, and Charlotte headlocks. Naomi powers out, things speed up and Charlotte runs Naomi over! Charlotte runs, Naomi splits but Charlotte shows off a handspring! Naomi still runs at her, then dropkicks cancel out! Both women kip up and the champs are backstage watching. Naomi waistlocks, Charlotte elbows out, then runs, but Mandy tags in! Naomi runs but Asuka tags in, they cancel out dropkicks! Asuka avoids the knee, victory rolls, TWO!
Asuka and Mandy run, Dana and Lana tag in off them! Lana and Dana rush each other, Dana dodges kicks but so does Lana! Lana rolls Dana, ONE! Dana kicks low, whips Lana to a corner, then handsprings in to back elbow! Tag to Mandy and the Sexy Muscle Friends combine for a KNEE FROM A ROSE! Cover, Asuka breaks it! Asuka fires off on Mandy, Mandy ducks a kick and CLOBBERS Asuka in return! Mandy DECKS Naomi for good measure, then brings Asuka over to tag in Dana. The Sexy Muscle Friends whip Asuka, and double flapjack! Mandy DECKS Charlotte for good measure before she and Dana show that #FlexAppeal, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Dana goes after Charlotte in the one open corner. Dana then handsprings but Charlotte CLOBBERS her! Cover, TWO! Charlotte drags Dana into a headscissors hold and jams her over and over into the mat! Then Charlotte throws Dana hard! Dana tags in Mandy, Mandy runs but into a waistlock. Mandy elbows out, Shayna and Nia aren’t impressed, but Mandy whips Charlotte to a corner. Charlotte goes up and out, shoulders in then slingshots to a roll up, ONE! Charlotte BOOTS Mandy down! Mandy scrambles to the open corner, dodges Charlotte to then stomp away! Mandy lets off, throws haymakers, then brings Charlotte over to tag in Dana.
Sexy Muscle Friends snapmare and handspring splash! Cover, TWO! Dana rains down rights on Charlotte, Charlotte fights her way up but Dana puts her in the corner. Charlotte fights back but Dana ROCKS her, CHOPS her, and repeat! Charlotte shoves Dana, BOOTS her, but Dana comes back with fire! Tag to Mandy, she and Dana double suplex Charlotte but Charlotte slips out to tag in Asuka! Charlotte DOUBLE LARIATS the Sexy Muscle Friends, then Asuka runs them over with shoulders! Asuka runs to HIP ATTACK Mandy, and then GERMAN SUPLEXES! Asuka keeps moving, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!
Asuka says that’s not all, she goes to a corner and climbs up. Asuka leaps, to missile dropkick Mandy! But Mandy ends up in a corner, Lana tags in! Charlotte tags in off Asuka, DECKS Lana then DECKS Naomi! Charlotte clubs Lana, covers, TWO! Another cover, ONE! Charlotte taunts Lana to reach for Naomi, then wraps on a chinlock. Lana endures, fights up, but Charlotte throws her down! Charlotte stares down Naomi, drags Lana up and reels her in to lift, but Lana fights the bomb to LANA RANA! Lana tags in Naomi! Naomi rallies on Charlotte with big clotheslines and elbows! And a flying JAWBREAKER!
Naomi fires off forearms with fury, whips Charlotte to ropes, then dodges to springboard, FLYING CHUCK! Cover, TWO!! Charlotte survives but Naomi tags Lana in. They coordinate and have Charlotte on ropes, Lana hits a DOUBLE KNEE! Lana brings Charlotte around, ROCKS her then runs, but into a BOOT! Charlotte gets the legs, but no Figure Four! KNEE FROM A ROSE! Naomi gives Mandy an ENZIGURI! Dana hits a ROLLING NECKBREAKER on Naomi! CODE BREAKER from Asuka to Dana! NATURAL SELECTION for Dana! But here come Ric and Lacey!!
The Nature Boy and Sassy Southern Belle strut about but Charlotte doesn’t care. She tags to Asuka so she can handle this herself. Asuka isn’t so sure, but Naomi hits a REAR VIEW! Cover, Naomi and Lana win!!
Winners: Naomi & Lana, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships)
Charlotte doesn’t even seem to care! But now the #RavishingGlow has a shot at the gold! Will Lana and Naomi make Nia and Shayna pay for trying to rip Lana apart?
Backstage interview with Drew McIntyre.
This has been a whirlwind 24 hours. We learned Edge will challenge for a title, but then Sheamus betrays McIntyre, and with no explanation other than jealousy! How is he feeling? McIntyre says he will still be honored to face Edge at WrestleMania. As for Sheamus, families fight all the time, and they’ve fought more times than he can count. That Brogue was different. He isn’t sure what to say. But McIntyre says if Sheamus is willing to throw away 20 years, the ups, the downs and becoming men together, or even having Christmas at a diner when there was no one else, all because of the title, then so be it. If Sheamus wants a fight, McIntyre will give him a fight. When and where will we see the Celtic and Scottish Warriors go to war?
Jeff Hardy & Carlito VS Elias & Jaxson Ryker!
The Charismatic Enigma and Caribbean Cool combine forces to see if they can rock The Drifter and his follower! Will these classics make Elias #DriftAway?
The teams sort out, Carlito starts against Elias and they circle. They tie up, Elias pulls Carlito’s hair and puts him in a corner. The ref counts, Elias lets off to wrench an arm, then whip. Carlito elbows back, wrenches Elias in return, and wristlocks. Elias swings but into a half nelson then a spin and then another spin for a snapmare. Cover, ONE, but Carlito is right on Elias with another wrench and a YANK of the arm! Tag to Hardy, Hardy hits an ax handle on Elias’ arm, then wrenches. Elias knees low, tags to Ryker, and Ryker runs into an atomic drop! Hardy trips Ryker to drop the legs and hit a basement dropkick! Splash down, cover, ONE!
Hardy clamps onto Ryker’s arm, wrenches, and keeps Ryker from Elias. Ryker pulls hair, tags Elias, and Elias wrenches Hardy. Hardy wrenches back, wrenches again, CLUBS the arm then whips Elias into the corner, Elias slips away, Ryker swipes at Hardy, and Elias CLOBBERS Hardy! Elias stomps Hardy, the ref backs him off but not for long. Elias puts Hardy in the corner, throws forearms, tags Ryker, and they mug Hardy with body shots. Ryker bumps Hardy off buckles, covers, TWO! Ryker drags Hardy up, reel shim in, and suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Ryker keeps Hardy from Carlito, Elias tags in and throws more hands.
Elias whips Hardy and elbows him hard at ropes! “Who wants to walk with Elias?!” Elias then bends Hardy back against ropes! The ref counts, Elias lets off, but the ref keeps his eye son Ryker. Elias keeps Hardy from Carlito and CLUBS him down! Elias drags Carlito up, then SUCKER PUNCHES Carlito! Elias throws Hardy to the corner, the ref keeps Carlito back but then makes sure Ryker doesn’t do anything. Elias whips Ryker in to RAM Hardy! Ryker feeds Hardy to Elias’ SIT-OUT CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Elias talks smack on Hardy, drags him back up, and scoops him for a slam!
Tag to Ryker, he goes up top and talks smack on Carlito, only for his falling headbutt to FLOP! Hardy crawls away, Ryker hurries after, but Hardy spin back kicks him away! Tag to Carlito! Carlito rallies on Ryker, whips him to ropes and hits a kick to a knee lift! Carlito keeps moving but Ryker dodges, only to get a dropkick! Carlito kips up! Carlito whips again, but Ryker throws him down on the mat! Tag to Elias, Elias swings but Carlito dodges to ROCK Ryker! Elias rolls Carlito up, TWO!! Carlito escapes, and escapes the back suplex to hit a BACKSTABBER! Tag to Hardy and Hardy goes up! Carlito WRECKS Ryker with a dropkick, Hardy SWANTON BOMBS! Cover, Hardy & Carlito win!
Winners: Jeff Hardy & Carlito, by pinfall
Now that was cool! Will this be the beginning of an even cooler tag team partnership?
“I’m torn today. On one hand, I am ecstatic because i won the Royal Rumble.” He came back from a torn triceps to outlast 29 other superstars, bell to bell. “But on the other hand, there’s always this black cloud,” and it hangs over his head and his family’s head. That cloud is Randy Orton. Last night, Orton was also in the Rumble. He could’ve gone bell to bell like Edge but he didn’t. Orton claimed a knee injury, came back to pounce, but it didn’t work! That is what all of this is about, right? Orton says it’s about love, but quit spitting that crap! This is jealousy because Orton isn’t the man Edge is, and that kills him inside.
So of course Orton challenges Edge after Edge got all beat up. But Edge will still take this match, and will finally put Orton in the rear view. Edge has to get out from under that cloud to get into the main event of WrestleMania to take back the title he never lost! But Orton can’t understand that, can he? Tonight, Edge gets closure for himself, for his little girls and why he couldn’t help them to bed or play soccer with them! Tonight, this ends! One way or another, Rated R Superstar VS The Viper ends, but who will have the last victory?
Edge comes across Damian Priest backstage.
Edge says Priest did a good job last night at the Rumble, and looks forward to Priest’s future. Quite the endorsement for the Archer of Infamy!
Alexa Bliss VS Nikki Cross!
Speaking of going around one more time, Twisted Lil’ Bliss “reunites” with her former best friend and teammate in the Twisted Sister! But will Nikki be better prepared for the schemes and tricks Alexa has up her proverbial sleeves?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance. She rushes the ring but waits on Alexa. Alexa stops playing in the ropes and the bell rings, and Nikki rushes Alexa! Alexa dodges, smooths her hair and skirt out and Nikki shouts, “What do you want from me?!” They were best friends but now they want nothing to do with each other, so what is this? Is this Alexa now? Good for her! Wanna fight? Let’s go! They tie up, Nikki headlocks, then hits a takeover. Alexa moves around, Nikki shouts Alexa’s nothing to her now, but Alexa headscissors out. Nikki moves around, pops free, but Alexa just sits there and smiles. Nikki drags her up and bumps her off buckles!
Nikki throws Alexa down, kicks and headbutts then whips Alexa to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Nikki is still upset with Alexa because they were done. Alexa couldn’t just leave well enough alone. Nikki puts Alexa in the corner, CLUBS her, then RAMS her! Nikki brings Alexa around to a snap suplex! Cover, TWO! Nikki gets her own crazy smile as she brings Alexa up but Alexa jawbreakers and SLAPS Nikki, then DECKS her! Alexa mocks Nikki with her frantic flailing, then covers, TWO! Alexa is annoyed, covers again, ONE! She gets up, straightens up but Nikki shoves her! Alexa dropkicks Nikki down and then stands on her at the ropes. Alexa brings back the skateboard stomps!
The ref counts, Alexa stops at 4, then dribbles Nikki off the mat. Alexa giggles as she does it again! Alexa then mockingly lines up the shot, to do some hop scotch before she KICKS Nikki in the side! Cover, TWO! Alexa drags Nikki around to wrap her into a body scissors! Nikki endures the squeeze, pries at the hold, but Alexa tries to add a sleeper. Nikki fights her off, is free, but Alexa goes right after her again. Nikki elbows but Alexa clamps on! But Nikki fights off Sister Abigail to a straitjacket neckbreaker! And a senton! Nikki runs at Alexa in the corner to stomp away! The ref backs Nikki off, but Alexa has transformed back to the old Alexa!
Alexa asks what’s wrong. She and Nikki circle, but Nikki doesn’t want to play these games. Alexa is confused, it’s her! Hug? Nikki BOOTS Alexa then reels her in for a LARIAT! Nikki whips, splashes Alexa down, but then the transformation happens and we’re back to Fun House Alexa! Nikki is starting to doubt what she’s seeing! Alexa dusts herself off, smiles and poses, but Nikki runs in, only for Alexa to run her over! Alexa mocks Nikki, catches her and spins her, for the Sister- No, SIDEWINDER DDT! Cover, Alexa wins!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall
Alexa puts her own twist on Sister Abigail, after having twisted Nikki’s mind! And she’s still all smiles and sunshine as she skips up the ramp. But here comes RANDY ORTON! The Viper and Alexa meet at the ramp, but they both let the other pass. Will Orton worry more about that twisted tale after he writes this next chapter with Edge?
Randy Orton VS Edge!
Raw returns and Edge makes his entrance. Edge gets in the ring, the ref keeps Orton back, and the bell rings! Edge runs and CROSSBODIES Orton! And rains down furious fists! Orton gets away but Edge BOOTS him! Cover, ONE! Edge aims, knee lifts Orton, then covers again! TWO, but Edge just grits his teeth. Edge drags Orton up, arm-head triangles but Orton fights it off! Orton pulls hair to stop the #AntiVenom then he trips Edge up! Orton is furious now, drags Edge up and clinches him for EuroUppers! Edge flounders to a corner, Orton stomps him down, then digs his boots into the ribs! The ref counts, Orton stops at 4, but he drags Edge back up.
Orton pushes Edge against buckles, throws haymakers, then scrapes his laces on Edge’s face! Orton drags Edge back up, Edge hits back with haymakers, but Orton kicks low. Orton throws more EuroUppers, chokes Edge on the ropes, but the ref counts. Orton stops at 4, watches Edge flop down, then drags him up again. Edge reverses the whip, and hits the EDGE-ECUTION! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives but Edge goes to a corner. Edge aims at Orton, runs at him, but into a SPINNING POWERSLAM! Orton pushes Edge and brings him up, to POST him! Edge flops down, Orton scrapes him off the apron, then goes out after him.
Orton paces, looms over Edge, then drags him up to whip him into steel steps! Edge is down and in trouble as Raw goes to one more break!
Raw returns again and Orton is clubbing Edge around the ring with EuroUppers! Edge flounders, Orton DECKS him, then drags him around to stomp him! Orton dares Edge to get up while he paces about. Edge uses the corner to stand but Orton throws haymakers. Orton throws more haymakers, Edge keeps staggering about but then Edge DECKS Orton back! Both men are down but rising again. Edge runs but Orton does, too, and double clotheslines take them down! Edge crawls to cover, TWO! Both men crawl, and Edge goes to a corner again. Edge drags himself up, and climbs up?! Orton stops Edge with a haymaker!
Orton throws more hands, climbs up to join Edge, and brings Edge up. Edge resists, fights back by going after Orton’s bad leg, then throws forearms! Orton ROCKS Edge right back! Orton climbs back up, brings Edge up, but Edge fights back again! Edge headbutts and DECKS Orton! Edge adjusts and leaps, FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Both men are down, Edge crawls again for another cover, TWO! Orton is still in this but both he and Edge rise up again. Orton goes for an RKO but gets an EDGE O’MATIC! Cover, TWO!! Orton survives getting caught off guard and both men are down again!
Orton goes to an apron, drags himself up, and Edge is doing the same on the opposite side. Edge runs over and BLASTS Orton off to the barriers! The ring count begins as Orton is down, and is already to 5 of 10. Edge goes out to fetch Orton, not wanting this to end on a ring count. He puts Orton in, hurries after Orton, but Orton rolls all the way back out. Orton stays standing by leaning on the apron, but Edge heads over. Orton goes to the announce desk, and he pokes Edge in the eye! Orton gives Edge an ANNOUNCE DESK BACK SUPLEX! The ring count is climbing, Orton drags Edge up off the desk, to put Edge in at 7.
Orton slithers behind Edge, Edge crawls to the far side, but Orton grabs his legs! ROPE GUILLOTINE! Edge sputters but Orton drags Edge up through the ropes now! DRAPING DDT! But Orton isn’t done there, he’s starting to hear the voices in his head! Orton wants Edge to stand, but wait. ALEXA IS BACK! Orton turns around to see her on the top corner, and she’s drooling… Blood?! Ink? What is it? EDGE SPEARS ORTON!! Cover, Edge wins!!
Winner: Edge, by pinfall
What a twisted assist from Lil’ Miss Bliss! The Rated R Superstar is rolling towards WrestleMania, but who will he choose? And as for Orton, is he going to be haunted forever by Alexa and “him?”
For Raw being rather lacking the last few weeks, this was a great Raw to follow the Rumble! Though, not as great as it could have been. I like that we were getting both the US Championship and Raw Tag Team Championships in one night, but we got a bit cheated on the US Championship. Lashley VS Riddle Round 3 should’ve been way more than Lashley getting himself disqualified. Looking at the way these matches have gone, I feel like they’re out of order. This finish should’ve been how the second one went, after Riddle found a sneaky way to tap out without getting caught. Then they’d get a clean finish for the third round, aka tonight. Clearly Vince wants to stretch things out a little longer, which is probably fine with COVID concerns back again and quite a few stars out for now.
If Edge does choose Raw’s Drew McIntyre, I can see the Elimination Chamber giving us something for the US Championship, and that is how Riddle finally wins the belt. And I think Edge is choosing Raw because Raw needs him back for ratings. McIntyre being betrayed by Sheamus tonight was inevitable, but this was too soon. They should’ve at least waited until Keith Lee was back so he could also say “I told you so” during the show. But McIntyre VS Sheamus can still happen at Elimination Chamber outside of the Chamber, or even on Raw to get Raw the ratings it needs. McIntyre can even go a couple rounds with Sheamus since there’s a lot of time before Mania.
The Raw Tag Team Championship match was a lot of fun, too, and it was smart story wise for Benjamin to snatch victory from Alexander. Turnabout is fair play, Alexander admits to it and for now, Hurt Business is sticking together. There’s a lot of build for Mania to go, and after seeing the pretty good return match for Carlito, I kinda want to see him and Hardy be a team for right now over the #HardyBros of Jeff and Riddle. Woods VS Ali was good, and could be even better, but if Kofi is cleared soon, a tag match of New Day VS Retribution’s Ali and T-Bar would be my bet. That should be when T-Bar gets to show off his Dijak powers to give us an amazing match.
The Women’s Tag Team Triple Threat was very good, but the story of Lacey, Ric and Charlotte made it sadly clear Asuka was losing. Naomi and Lana win, but that does make for good story. Lana was meant to have the title match with Asuka at TLC, Jax and Shayna took her out of it, now they’ll have to face Lana after all. Charlotte VS Lacey is clear but Asuka’s path isn’t. I hope Vince hasn’t gotten bored of her or whatever, she was an MVP of the Empty Arena Era, and has continued to be a very strong part of things in the days of ThunderDome. Asuka should get a Chamber match and a big win to make up for a lot of what’s been going on.
Damian Priest’s call-up to Raw is great, though I feel like he would’ve been better off on SmackDown overall. But between going against Miz and Morrison via a story with Bad Bunny might actually be a good sign of where he’s heading. Though part of that might be to a tag match with Bunny as his partner. But if Riddle doesn’t get the US Championship, I feel like Priest could pop right into that. Alexa VS Nikki was a lot of fun, especially the mind games of normal Alexa returning, but Nikki not falling for it because she saw that before. Alexa still wins and could go into that Raw Women’s Championship scene by default, just to keep someone else from winning it off Asuka.
Edge VS Orton was a great part of tonight, too. It wasn’t quite the blow-off they were meant to have in 2020, but it was still a very, very good main event. Alexa having a part to play on behalf of The Fiend was also good, and it just made sense since we didn’t get any of that at the Rumble. Edge wins to keep his momentum going, and while I said he’s surely choosing Raw, I do want him to at least make it seem like he could choose SmackDown. He should show up on Friday to say hey to everyone, confront Roman verbally, make Roman consider the possibility of a Spear VS Spear match, but then ultimately choose Raw. It’s just logical writing for a Rumble winner. Which also means Bianca Belair should visit Raw at least once to tease that, too.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (3/6/21)
A Dark Dozen before Revolution!
It’s a bonus Dark before AEW Revolution!
AEW Revolution is coming, but there is still some Dark to get through! Will the Murderhawk Monster be rolling into that Face of the Revolution Ladder match?
- Jack Evans w/ Angelico VS Jake St. Patrick; wins.
- Chuck Taylor w/ Orange Cassidy VS JD Drake; wins.
- Penta El Zero M VS Azriel; wins.
- Thunder Rosa VS Tesha Price; wins.
- Tay Conti VS Leila Grey; wins.
- The Sydal Brothers VS Chaos Project; win(s).
- Ricky Starks & Brian Cage VS Angel Fashion & Fuego del Sol; win.
- The Gunn Club VS M’Badu & D3; wins.
- The Natural Nightmares VS Cezar Bononi & Peter Avalon; win.
- Bear Country VS Ryzin & Cameron Stewart; win(s).
- Preston Vance & Alan Angels w/ The Dark Order VS Labron Kozone & Vary Morales; win.
- Lance Archer w/ Jake the Snake VS John Skyler; wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage of AEW/NXT will begin later tonight]
Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/6/21)
New Japan Cup, day 2!
Will the Rainmaker redeem himself in the New Japan Cup?
Kazuchika Okada vows that it is time he returns to the top of NJPW! But this is only round ONE of the 2021 New Japan Cup! Can he make it to the end?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki; Suzuki wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA; Kenta wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi; Takagi wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!
Tetsuya Naito lost in the first round of the NJCUP, Bushi couldn’t win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Sanada is still in the running! Will LIJ be a powerful obstacle in the way of Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay?
But as soon as LIJ gets in the ring, the Empire attacks! Cobb throws Bushi out while Ospreay goes after Sanada, and Khan keeps Naito in the ring to revisit their recent NJCUP match. The bell rings, Khan drags Naito around but fans rally up. Khan clamps onto Naito with a chinlock but also adds his claw into it! Sanada sends Ospreay into railing while Naito and Khan brawl with forearms! Khan ROCKS Naito then Mongolian Chops him at the ropes. Naito reverses the whip to atomic drop, Bushi dropkicks the legs out and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans cheer and Naito grabs Khan’s ponytail! Naito drags Khan around by it, fans rally up and Khan grabs the ropes.
The ref counts, Naito lets off but tags Sanada in. Sanada climbs up and drops ax handles on the ponytail! That still tweaks Khan’s head and fans fire up again. Sanada drags Khan up while Ospreay protests, and Sanada headlocks to punch Khan down. Sanada throws haymakers, brings Khan up for clubbing elbows, then tags in Bushi. Bushi clubs Khan, drags him up by the ponytail, and bumps him off buckles. Bushi CHOPS Khan, puts Khan’s leg on ropes and dropkicks the leg out! Cover, TWO! ans rally, Bushi drags Khan around and tags in Naito. Naito clubs Khan, drags him up and cravats for a standing neck wrench. Khan endures, reaches for the Empire, but Naito keeps him away.
Khan throws body shots but Naito throws an elbow, into a standing katagatami! Khan kicks a leg out and drags Naito down! Cobb and Ospreay attack Sanada and Bushi! They brawl on the outside, Naito gets a ropebreak but Khan holds on! Khan cranks on the hold, the ref reprimands and counts, and Khan lets go at 3. Brawling continues outside but Khan drags Naito around to stomp away on the leg! Naito clutches his knee and fans rally up, but Khan drags him up first. Khan tags Cobb in, the Empire mugs Naito, and Cobb gives Naito a headbutt! Naito ends up in a corner, Cobb whips him out to whip him back in hard! The Empire likes that and Cobb scoops Naito to carry him around.
Cobb taunts LIJ by holding Naito out to them, but then throws in knees! Cobb puts Naito in the Empire corner, tags in Ospreay, and then sets Naito up for Ospreay’s DRAPING DOUBLE STOMPS! Ospreay BOOTS Sanada, Cobb RAMS Naito back into the corner, and Ospreay digs his boot in. The ref reprimands and counts, Ospreay lets off to throw haymakers and more stomps! Ospreay digs his knee in, the ref reprimands and counts, but Ospreay lets off again. Ospreay snapmares and wraps Naito up in a chinlock. Ospreay grinds Naito down, fans rally up, and Naito endures. Khan keeps ropes away from Naito but the ref reprimands.
Ospreay drags Naito away, cranks on the chinlock then shifts to a facelock. Khan tags in, and Mongolian Chops Naito on the back! Khan drags Naito up for more Mongolian Chops! Khan mockingly asks what’s wrong and he eggs Naito on. Fans rally, Naito throws haymakers and forearms! Khan knees low, whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to block the DDT! Naito fights out of Khan’s grip, elbows him, then spins him for a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans fire up! Naito sits up but Khan follows. They both go to their corners, hot tags to Sanada and Ospreay! Sanada rallies, whips but Ospreay reverses, only for Sanada to reverse back and RANA!
Sanada dropkicks Cobb away, then blocks Ospreay’s boot to trip him! Sanada ties Ospreay up in Paradise! Fans fire up as Sanada encourages them to get loud. Sanada runs in and dropkicks Ospreay out of Paradise! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he drags Ospreay up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Ospreay elbows free and waistlocks, but Sanada resists the lift. Sanada elbows free, runs in but Ospreay puts him up top! Ospreay tucks him in, for CHEEKY NANDOS! Ospreay hurries and tags in Cobb! Cobb runs corner to corner to LEAPING back elbow! Cobb scoops Sanada, pops him up into the suplex, holds him up, but Sanada reverses to snap suplex!
Fans fire up again as Cobb goes to a corner. Sanada crawls and hot tags Bushi! Bushi runs corner to corner but Cobb dodges. Cobb runs in, Bushi slips out and swing kick shim away! Bushi goes up, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Cobb runs back at Bushi but into a basement dropkick to the legs! Bushi basement DDT’s and covers, TWO! Fans rally and Bushi brings Cobb up. Cobb throws forearms, whips Bushi to a corner, then runs in, but Bushi dodges! Naito rocket kicks and leg sweeps, COMBINACION CABRON! LIJ whips Cobb, Sanada elbows and snapmares, for a TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!
Naito dropkicks Khan down but Ospreay drags Sanada out. Bushi has Cobb, but no Fisherman Screw! Ospreay hits PIP PIP CHEERIO on Bushi! Sanada dropkicks Ospreay, but Khan BOOTS Sanada! Naito dropkicks Khan’s legs out, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to LARIAT him! Cobb goes back to Bushi as fans rally up. Bushi kicks, Cobb blocks then ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi runs in, but the Code Break is blocked and popped to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb drags Bushi up, reels him in and hits a TOUR OF THE ISLAND! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
The Hawaiian Hulk is building up power and momentum towards his NJCUP battle with Evil! The Dominator is also already in, and the newly deemed “Global Kingpin” Ospreay has his battle tomorrow, March 7th! Will the entire United Empire advance towards the finals?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki!
These two have been warming up in tag matches and finally get to throw down 1v1! Will Everyone’s Kokeshi be able to knock the Meanest Man in the World out of the tournament? Or will Suzuki brutalize and leave him behind while going for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
The bell rings and fans rally up already. Suzuki and Honma stare down, but then Honma shoves and CHOPS! And CHOPS! Suzuki CHOPS, Honma CHOPS, it’s a CHOP fight! Fans rally as the CHOPS fly harder and faster! Neither man is backing down, but Honma does get the edge! Honma CHOPS and CHOPS then DOUBLE CHOPS! Suzuki eggs Honma on, Honma CHOPS and then scoops Suzuki to slam him! Honma fires up and runs, but Suzuki dodges the kokeshi! Honma gets mad and tries again, but again Suzuki dodges! Suzuki gives toying kicks to Honma and fans rally up. Suzuki throws knees and forearms and Honma goes to a corner.
Suzuki throws body shots, whips him corner to corner but Honma reverses. Honma runs in but Suzuki boots him. Suzuki slips to the apron, and catches Honma’s arm to a DRAPING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3 and then drags Honma out to join him. Suzuki whips Honma into railing! Suzuki slaps Honma then throws forearms and elbows! Suzuki puts Honma’s head through railings and pulls him back against the top bar! The ref reprimands and counts but Suzuki stops at 3. Fans rally but Suzuki puts Honma in a cravat! Suzuki grinds Honma down, the ref reprimands but Suzuki holds on until the ref counts. Suzuki stands Honma up and RAMS him into railing!
Suzuki digs his knuckles into Honma’s eyes! Commentary is really close to the action but Suzuki leaves Honma behind as the ring count climbs. The count is already 10 of 20 as the fans rally. It passes 15, Honma stands at 18 and gets in at 19.5! Suzuki drags Honma into a facelock, then shifts to a chinlock stretch! Suzuki digs a knee into Honma’s back as he pulls him back! Fans rally as Honma endures, and Honma fights, only for Suzuki to crank harder on the hold! Honma reaches with feet and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets go and eggs Honma on. Suzuki gives Honma more toying kicks but Honma rises as fans rally again.
Honma throws forearms but Suzuki laughs them off. Suzuki eggs Honma on then ROCKS him! Honma wobbles, Suzuki ROCKS him again! Honma wobbles and falls over! Suzuki runs to PENALTY KICK! Honma stays seated up!? Suzuki PENALTY KICKS again but Honma just gets stronger! Suzuki runs, Honma blocks the kick, elbows it, but swings into Suzuki’s grip! Honma spins through and gets Suzuki for a DDT! Fans rally up as both men slowly rise. Honma reels Suzuki in but Suzuki throws elbows, only for Honma to power through and hit the back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and Honma CHOPS Suzuki to a corner!
Honma CHOPS more, and more, and then whips Suzuki corner to corner. Honma runs in to back elbow then hit a BULLDOG! Honma fires up to hit the KOKESHI! Fans fire up again as Honma dares Suzuki to get up. Suzuki rises, Honma runs, but Suzuki ducks the lariat to waistlock! Honma counters with a facelock, but Suzuki wrenches the arm! Suzuki ducks Honma’s haymaker, back hand, and fires off SLAPS! And kicks and clubbing elbows! Honma falls over again but Suzuki brings him back up. Suzuki reels Honma in as fans rally up, and that only angers Suzuki more. Suzuki Gotch holds but Honma resists the lift! Suzuki powers through but Honma flails his legs!
Honma powers up to back drop Suzuki over! Suzuki gets up and he looms over Honma. Suzuki gives more kicks but Honma eggs him on! Fans rally as Suzuki stomps but Honma growls. Suzuki fires off slapping palm strikes and big forearm shots but Honma just gets stronger! Honma ROCKS Suzuki with a right! Suzuki comes back to palm strike, but Honma POINT-BLANK KOKESHIS! Both men are down again and fans fire up! Honma rises, drags Suzuki up and throws more forearms! Honma has Suzuki in the corner but now Suzuki eggs Honma on. Suzuki leans into the forearms as Honma throws them, no guard at all! Honma headbutts!
But Suzuki roars, so Honma throws more forearms in the corner! The ref wants Honma to let off but Honma ROCKS Suzuki again! Honma clubs Suzuki at ropes, brings him up to the top rope backwards, then clubs him more. Honma climbs up behind Suzuki and fans rally up. Suzuki resists, throws elbows, then cravats Honma to grind him down! Fans still rally but Honma ends up tumbling to the apron! Suzuki adjusts, brings Honma up, but Honma RISING KOKESHIS! Suzuki falls, fans fire up and Honma climbs! Honma leaps for a FLYING KOKESHI! Cover, TWO! Suzuki survives but fans rally for Honma!
Honma drags Suzuki by a leg, and hooks him up with the step-over deathlock! Suzuki resists the crossface but Honma still tries. Honma gets an arm in it for a chicken wing STF! Suzuki endures, Honma shifts to a cover, TWO! Fans rally again as the two stand. Honma brings Suzuki around to scoop but Suzuki slips out to get the sleeper hold! Honma snapmares Suzuki away and throws a LARIAT! Suzuki stays up with pure anger, and he eggs Honma on! Honma runs and LARIATS, but again Suzuki stays up! Suzuki ROCKS Honma with a palm strike, Honma wobbles, but he powers up! Suzuki SMACKS him again, Honma staggers back, but he powers up to ROCK Suzuki in return!
Suzuki throws a forearm, Honma returns it, and again! Fans rally as these two pick up speed again! Suzuki laughs as things get faster, and he ROCKS Honma, to then ROCK him again! Honma wobbles around and staggers to a knee! Honma stands as fans rally, but Suzuki ROCKS him a third time! Honma wobbles and Suzuki seethes, but the two keep going! Forearm for forearm, Honma wobbles and stumbles about again but he comes back to palm strike. Suzuki ROCKS Honma, and again, and then palm strike! Suzuki gets Honma in the SLEEPER! Fans rally as Honma manages to stay standing! Honma turns red and Suzuki squeezes tighter!
The ref checks, the hand drops once! The hand drops twice, but Suzuki turns Honma around! Gotch hold, but Honma’s second wind helps him resist! Suzuki KNEES Honma, and reels him in, but Honma makes it a GANNOSUKE CLUTCH! Cover, TWO!! Honma runs into palm strikes and haymakers! GOTCH PILEDRIVER!! Cover, Suzuki wins!!
Winner: Minoru Suzuki, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
Honma gave it his all, but in the end, it wasn’t enough! Will Suzuki take the Cup and then the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA!
The Flamboyant One and Fang Revived are back in Japan in time for the Cup! But who moves on towards the next round and faces Suzuki?
The bell rings and Juice has fans rally up. Juice and Kenta circle, tie up, and Juice uses leverage to power Kenta to ropes. The ref calls for the break but Kenta turns things around and pulls Juice’s hair! Kenta brings Juice into a headlock, Juice powers out but again Kenta pulls hair. Kenta grinds the headlock but Juice powers up to power out, only for Kenta to again get the hair. Kenta grinds Juice down and talks trash, but Juice throws body shots. Juice powers out but Kenta rams him with a shoulder. Juice stays up, Kenta eggs him on but then pulls Juice’s hair. Juice powers up to back suplex high and hard! Fans fire up as Juice drops the back senton! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally as Juice keeps cool. Juice drags Kenta up, JABS, CHOPS, and whips him to a corner. Juice wrenches, whips corner to corner, and then runs in to clothesline Kenta down! Fans fire up with Juice as he runs corner to corner again, but Kenta bails out before the cannonball. Kenta walks around the way, the ref keeps Juice in, but Kenta grabs the ring bell! Finlay tries to tell the ref as Juice storms over, but Kenta CRACKS Juice with the ring bell! Kenta gets in to drop knees on Juice’s head and then dig knuckles into the eye! The ref counts, Kenta lets off at 3 and Juice gets to ropes. Kenta goes after Juice to choke him and claw his eyes!
The ref counts, Kenta stops at 3, and Juice checks his eye. Kenta drags Juice up to throw him out of the ring, and then he pursues. Kenta drags Juice up and whips Juice hard into railing! Juice slumps down and Kenta digs his face into railing! The ref reprimands, Kenta stops and Juice crawls away. Fans rally up but Kenta traps Juice’s head in between the gate and railing! Kenta squeezes tight but stops as the ring count starts. Kenta drags Juice up at 7 of 20 and puts him in at 10. Kenta stomps Juice, throws haymakers, but Juice gets up! Kenta throws more haymakers then rakes at Juice’s eye! Juice gets to a corner, the ref reprimands and warns Kenta.
Fans cheer the ref while Kenta drags Juice up. Kenta headlocks and punches Juice, then scrapes Juice’s face on ropes! The ref counts and Kenta lets off. The ref checks Juice’s eye while Kenta makes up his mocking clap rhythm. Kenta boots Juice down then clamps on a facelock. Kenta grinds Juice down but fans rally up. Juice fights up, fights out, but Kenta claws Juice’s eyes! Kenta runs but Juice hits a SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down! Kenta gets to a corner, Juice rises and runs in, but Kenta boots him away! Juice fires up, runs back in and clotheslines! Juice whips Kenta corner to corner, runs in and clotheslines again!
Juice keeps moving to LEAPING LARIAT Kenta down! Fans fire up and Juice watches Kenta rise. Juice pumps up and fans clap along. Juice JABS, JABS, JABS, then powers up, but Kenta claws his eyes! Juice claws Kenta’s eyes in return! The ref reprimands, Juice headbutts Kenta to a corner! Juice runs in but Kenta boots him! Kenta hops up, reels Juice in and hits a tornado hotshot! Kenta climbs up while Juice staggers, and he hits a FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Cover, TWO! Kenta clamps onto Juice’s arm but Juice flails and gets the ropebreak! It’s not Game Over yet! Fans rally, Kenta drags Juice up and reels him into a waistlock.
Juice elbows free, runs, but Kenta BOOTS him! Kenta runs but into Juice’s boot! Juice fires up and runs, but Kenta sends him out! Kenta runs to BOOT Juice off and at the railing! Kenta goes out to fetch Juice and drags him up. Kenta goes to bump Juice off the timekeeper’s table but Juice blocks to bump Kenta! Juice powers up but Kenta dumps him up and over onto the timekeeper’s table! Fans rally but Kenta drags the table aside to get Juice up. Kenta rains down rights, the ref has him back off and Kenta goes back to ringside while Juice slowly rises. Kenta climbs the corner?! Juice hurries to stop him with a body shot and a headbutt! Juice has a target and he grabs Kenta!
Kenta rakes Juice’s eyes and clubs him down! Juice staggers away, Kenta goes to the apron and leaps, into Juice’s arms! Juice moves Kenta around, fireman’s carries, and DEATH VALLEY DRIVERS Kenta to the floor!! Fans fire up as both men slowly stir. The ring count begins again and reaches 10 of 20 before Juice puts Kenta in. Juice drags Kenta back up, reels him in, and lifts, for a RUNNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Kenta survives and but Finlay coaches Juice up. Juice fires up and brings Kenta up. Juice chicken wings and turns Kenta, but Kenta rolls Juice up! TWO, and Juice runs at Kenta, only to be put on the apron!
Kenta drags Juice through the ropes for a DRAPING DDT! Fans rally and Kenta rises first. Kenta goes to one corner, Juice is in the other. Kenta runs in to JUMPING BOOT! Kenta keeps moving, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta climbs up the corner while Juice is down, but Juice avoids the double stomps! LEG LARIAT! Both men are down, fans rally up again! Juice and Kenta stir, and Juice stands first! Juice drags Kenta but Kenta gets the arm! Juice rolls out of the hold but Kenta BOOTS him! Juice fires up, Kenta blocks the clothesline but Juice ducks the back hand! Juice fireman’s carries Kenta to the JUICE BOX! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and Juice is beside himself!
Fans rally up and Juice gets to his feet. Juice drags Kenta back up, reels him in and chicken wings, but Kenta slips through to fireman’s carry! Juice fights off to chicken wing and turn, but Kenta slips out again to fireman’s carry! GO TO- NO! Juice blocks and rolls Kenta up, TWO!! Juice powers up but Kenta blocks the left Hand to BACK HAND! Kenta fires off palm strikes over and over, but he swings into the chicken wing! Kenta elbows out, but the back hand is caught! Juice swings, Kenta ducks, but the RIGHT HAND O’ GOD hits! Juice drags Kenta up, chicken wings and turns, but Kenta slips out again! Kenta drags Juice down, hooks up the arm and gets the crossface! GAME OVER!!
Juice endures, moves around, but Kenta cranks way back! Juice taps, Kenta wins!!
Winner: Kenta, by submission (advances to the next round)
And it was indeed Game Over for the Flamboyant One! Will the Fang Revived sink his teeth into Suzuki next round?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi!
The Rainmaker said at Castle Attack that it’s about time he returns to the top of NJPW! But in his way is the Dragon! Will Takagi end Okada’s road back to redemption already? Or will Okada slay the dragon and head back for the gold?
The bell rings, and fans rally up already for “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Okada gets the clap-clap-clap-stomp going already while he stays back in the corner. Takagi is patient, and he waits as Okada steps forward. They circle, feel out the grapple, but Okada backs off to focus. They tie up right away, Okada powers Takagi to ropes, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Okada lets off and fakes the chop to pat Takagi. Takagi ROCKS and CLUBS and CLUBS Okada back! Fans cheer as Takagi toys with Okada. Takagi brings Okada up, Okada fires off forearms and elbows! Okada reels Takagi into a headlock, but Takagi throws body shots. Takagi powers out, rams Okada but both men stay up!
Fans cheer as Okada runs, and he rams Takagi! Takagi stays up and eggs Okada on. Okada runs, rams Takagi, then drop toeholds on the rebound to elbow drop Takagi’s back! Okada is after Takagi at the ropes, brings him up and throws forearms. Takagi goes to a corner, Okada heads over and throws back elbows. Okada throws more elbows, then brings Takagi around for a neckbreaker! Cover, ONE! Okada keeps his cool, clamps onto Takagi with a chinlock, and digs his knee into Takagi’s back. Takagi fights up, gets a ropebreak with a foot, and Okada lets go quickly. Okada keeps close, brings Takagi up and elbows him again.
Okada snapmares and runs to then basement dropkick Takagi out of the ring! Fans fire up, Takagi gets annoyed and the ring count begins. Takagi takes his time, and gets back up on the apron at 9 of 20. Okada keeps his distance but then Takagi dares Okada to come out after him. Takagi continues to take his time, and the count restarts. Okada gets impatient, Takagi gets on the apron but draws Okada in to drag him out! Takagi bumps him off apron, and again, then whips Okada, only for Okada to reverse and send Takagi into railing! Okada reels Takagi in, puts him on the apron, but Takagi fights off to RAM Okada into railing! And then RAM him into the apron!
Takagi fireman’s carries to SNAKE EYES Okada off the apron, and then kick to DDT! Fans fire up and Takagi flexes as he looms over Okada. The ring count starts again, Takagi drags Okada up and puts him in the ring. Takagi slingshots to STOMP Okada! Takagi digs his knee into Okada, then stands on him, but steps off as Red Shoes counts. Takagi kicks at Okada, drags him up and throws forearms into the back! Takagi whips and KNEES Okada against ropes, then runs to run Okada over! Fans fire up with Takagi and they clap “TA-KA-GI!” “O-KA-DA!” again. Takagi drags Okada up, suplexes, and drives Okada down hard! Cover, TWO!
Takagi clamps onto Okada with a chinlock and grinds him down. Okada endures, fans rally up, but Takagi shifts. Okada fights up, throws body shots to fight free, but Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS him down! Takagi mockingly asks what’s wrong and eggs Okada on. Takagi brings Okada up, Okada throws forearms back! Takagi ROCKS Okada with one! Takagi brings Okada up, Gory Especial, but Okada fights it! Okada gets the arm for the MONEY CLIP! Takagi powers Okada to a corner and is free, then runs but into a BOOT! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Fans rally as Takagi and Okada stir. Okada stands first and fires off forearms.
Okada whips, Takagi reverses but Okada ducks and ELBOWS Takagi down! Okada fires up and the fans fire up, too! Okada whips Takagi to a corner, runs in and elbows him, then kicks to DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps his focus while fans continue to rally. Takagi gets to ropes, then a corner, and Okada storms over. Okada hoists Takagi up top, but Takagi boots him away! Takagi runs but into an uppercut! Okada runs but into the elbow! JAB! LARIAT! Takagi fires up and the fans fire up, too! Takagi drags Okada up again, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Takagi is copying Okada’s style and LARIATS him down again!
Takagi scoops and slams Okada and goes to a corner, also formula Okada! For the FALLING ELBOW! Takagi keeps moving and mocks the Rainmaker pose, to then double gun flex! Takagi drags Okada up, wristlock ripcords but Okada stops the steal with a BOOT! Okada fires forearms, throws EuroUppers, but Takagi blindside LARIATS! Takagi runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous now as the two stir! Okada sits up, Takagi follows and the two go forehead to forehead. Okada forearms, then again, but Takagi fires up to forearm back! Okada eggs Takagi on so Takagi hits again! They go back and forth, faster and faster and fans rally up!
Takagi gets the edge, ROCKS Okada, and brings him back around to whip. Okada reverses but Takagi holds ropes to avoid the dropkick! Okada avoids the sliding lariat, but Takagi gets Okada in a fireman’s carry! Okada slips off, Takagi elbows him away, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi runs, Okada catches him for the MONEY CLIP! Takagi fights out, Okada goes to backslide, but Takagi counters to NOSHIGAMI! But Takagi can’t make the cover! Fans rally up, Takagi crawls over, and fires himself back up. Okada slowly rises, Takagi runs but into the dropkick! Okada gut wrenches to a TOMBSTONE! Okada gets the arm for MONEY CLIP!
Takagi endures and fans rally up again. Okada cranks on the hold but Takagi reaches with his legs, and gets the ropebreak! Okada lets go quickly and both men are down again. Fans rally up, Okada stands first, and he hobbles over to Takagi. Okada drags him up, scoops and slams him, then goes to the corner. Okada climbs slowly and Takagi hits him first! Takagi climbs up, clubs away on Okada’s back, then talks some smack as he drags Okada up. Okada resists but Takagi gets him up for the SUPERPLEX! The fans are thunderous again as both men writhe from that impact! Takagi rolls over towards Okada, sits Okada up, and hits a SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer but Takagi grits his teeth. Takagi gets the fans rallying with “OI! OI! OI!” Takagi gets up, runs again, but Okada ducks the lariat to backslide! Takagi rolls through, Okada reels him in but Takagi avoids Rainmaker to pump handle! MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO?!? Okada survives and Takagi can’t believe it! Fans are thunderous as Takagi catches his breath. Takagi drags Okada back up, reels Okada in and pump handles again. Okada clubs free of that but Takagi POINT-BLANK LARIATS! Fans rally, Takagi kicks at Okada then drags him back up. Takagi gives Okada forearms from all sides, then ROCKS him!
Okada leans against ropes, Takagi whips but Okada reverses and dropkicks! Okada grabs at Takagi’s arm and gets the MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures, fights up, but Okada gut wrenches for the SPINNING TOMBSTONE! Back to MONEY CLIP! Takagi endures as Okada squeezes tight! Takagi fights up again, reaches out for ropes, but Okada drags him back to a back2backbreaker! And back to the MONEY CLIP! Takagi is turning red and is fading as Okada squeezes as tight as he can! Red Shoes checks on Takagi, the hand drops once. But Takagi gets a second wind now and he powers towards ropes, starts to fade again, but still gets a ropebreak! Okada lets go and fans are thunderous again!
Okada catches his own breath while he stands up. Okada grabs at Takagi but he resists. Takagi throws body shots but Okada stomps Takagi down. Takagi grits his teeth and rises, but Okada SHOTGUNS him! Takagi’s right up to LARIAT! Okada stays up!? Okada gets Takagi’s wrist, and reels him in for a LARIAT! Okada is going to show Takagi how it’s done as he brings Takagi up, but swings into a full nelson! Okada breaks free, catches Takagi for a spin but Takagi swats the discus! Takagi ripcords, PUMPING RAINMAKER!! Cover, TWO!!! Okada survives and the fans are electric! Takagi gets to a corner, fires himself up by smacking the padding, and then aims at Okada.
Okada rises as Takagi runs in, to PUMPING BOMBER! But Takagi isn’t done, he pump handle fireman’s carries, but Okada slips off! Okada ducks the back hand to back drop, and sit on Takagi! Cover, TWO!! Takagi stays close to Okada and brings him up, but Okada gut wrenches again! Takagi fights free, and hits a BACK SUPLEX BACKBREAKER! That was rough, even for Takagi! Fans rally up again, Takagi drags Okada up and runs, for MAX PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!? Takagi can’t believe it but this is the Rainmaker fans have come to know! Takagi fires up and drags Okada back up to the pump handle fireman’s carry.
Okada fights free again, ripcords, but into the pump handle! LAST OF THE DRAGONS!!! Cover, Takagi wins!!!!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
This is almost unbelievable! Okada called his shot at Castle Attack, but falls in the first round!! The Dragon slays Okada, and the Rainmaker’s return to the top stops already! What does this mean for the rest of Okada’s 2021? Takagi gets the mic to speak! “Ota Cityyy~!” It feels really good to have won. But seriously, that was a tough match! Takagi hopes everyone enjoyed the match, and Takagi tells Okada that he’s one tough opponent. But the winner here is Takagi.
Takagi can tell NJPW is entering a new era, and Kota Ibushi is the champion after the 49th Anniversary. Takagi thinks the world title is going to be pretty awesome. But in the NJCUP, Takagi vows to make this his time! Ibushi better be ready to defend that new belt against Takagi! Will the “Pumping Maker” be heading for the top now that he’s beaten one of the best in the world?
A great event, especially the NJCUP matches. The Empire keeps winning in solid Six Man Tags, and with Cobb finishing it off. Cobb is going to build momentum all week until he faces Evil on 3/11, that’s a given. Ospreay has momentum for his match, too, but it’d be a great twist if he lost to Tenzan after getting a big head. Honma VS Suzuki was really good, perhaps a touch better than Kenta VS Juice, but maybe it was just all the brawling and wobble selling. I figured Suzuki would win, and it makes sense for Kenta to win against Juice. Just something about pacing felt better in Honma VS Suzuki.
Okada VS Takagi is probably match of the week, and is so far leading the way as best match of the opening round. It’s going to be really hard to beat that, especially because Takagi won! I really thought there was going to be a moment for Okada to turn things around, but that’s huge for Takagi to win. Takagi also has a lot of guts for copying the Rainmaker formula, but I wonder if this is some kind of Okada seal of approval that Takagi won here. Takagi VS Goto is going to be another great match given their NEVER Openweight Championship matches in the past, but I would think Takagi keeps winning until the semifinals now. The Suzuki VS Kenta winner faces Takagi on 3/16, Takagi can totally beat Kenta but Suzuki is a harder choice. But if there’s a chance we could get Takagi VS EVIL, I hope NJPW gives us that.
My Score: 9.3/10
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