The New Japan Cup is almost done!
It’s the penultimate round and it could go any which way! Finlay or Ospreay, Takagi or Evil, what will the New Japan Cup finals look like?
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: Bullet Club VS Kazuchika Okada & The Golden Aces; Okada & The Golden Aces win.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Semifinals: David Finlay VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Semifinals: Shingo Takagi VS EVIL; wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Kazuchika Okada & The Golden Aces!
Jay White, Kenta and Yujiro Takahashi are taking on perhaps The Big Three of NJPW! But with nothing left to lose, will the Switchblade, Fang Revived and Tokyo Pimp take their frustrations out on the Rainmaker, the NEVER Openweight Champion and THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles, Bullet Club Low Sweets, and White dares Tanahashi to step up since White wants after that NEVER Openweight Championship. However, Ibushi insists he start, so Tanahashi and Okada defer to him. Ibushi and White circle as fans rally up already. White and Ibushi tie up, White pulls hair and puts Ibushi on ropes to then stomp Ibushi down. White stomps Ibushi more, the ref counts and White gets in the ref’s face. White stomps Ibushi more, throws forearms, then whips Ibushi to ropes. Ibushi reverses to GAMANGIRI! Ibushi drags White up, drags him over, and Okada tags in before Tanahashi can.
Okada clubs White, brings him around and clubs him down. Okada drags White up to scoop and slam, then he goes to the apron for a slingshot senton! Fans fire up as Okada tags Tanahashi. Tanahashi brings White up, throws body shots and forearms then whips. White holds ropes and sucker punches Ibushi! Tanahashi hits White, throws fast hands then runs, but Yujiro gets a cheap shot in! Tanahashi DECKS Yujiro, rushes White with kicks and forearms, but then he runs into Kenta’s cheap shot! Kenta gets away and White throws Tanahashi down by his hair! White sucker punches Okada, then looms over Tanahashi.
White drags Tanahashi up, throws him out, but the ref keeps White in, so Kenta RAMS Tanahashi into railing! Kenta POSTS Tanahashi, then Yujiro stomps him! Yujiro digs his knee into Tanahashi while the ref is busy with Okada and Ibushi. Whoa, there’s a bit of an earthquake! Everyone stops moving and waits for the rumbling to pass. Thankfully, there is no damage or falling objects, but everyone takes a few moments to make sure it’s done. White finds himself by the timekeeper’s table and decides to pick up Ibushi’s belts as if to say they’ll be his already. Oh, and he picks up Tanahashi’s NEVER Championship while he’s at it, since he wants to be Three Belts Switchblade.
After White’s done posturing, and a few more moments making sure the quake has passed safely, Bullet Club goes back to the back while Okada, Tanahashi & Ibushi stay ringside. Fans get their photo ops with the Rainmaker and Golden Aces, and then the match restarts!
Bullet Club returns, and White is still holding the belts! White, Yujiro and Kenta get back in the ring and Tanahashi attacks White! Ibushi attacks Yujiro, so Kenta goes after Okada! Ibushi throws Yujiro out, Kenta throws out Okada, and White throws Tanahashi down by his hair. White stomps Tanahashi, digs his foot in and flexes, but the ref reprimands and counts. White lets off at 3, checks the ceiling, and says hopefully something falls on Tana. White throws Tanahashi down again, covers, TWO! Fans fire up but White tags Yujiro. They mug Tanahashi as fans rally “Let’s Go, Ace!” Yujiro pushes Tanahashi around but Tanahashi hits back with body shots.
Tanahashi whips, forearms Yujiro, but Yujiro kicks back. Yujiro rakes Tanahashi’s eyes, tags Kenta in, and Kenta drags Tanahashi up to snapmare Tanahashi for a knee drop! And another! Kenta brings the knee pad down, but then scuffs Tanahashi. Kenta drags Tanahashi up while White mocks the fans. Kenta wraps Tanahashi in a chinlock but Tanahashi endures. Tanahashi fights up, fights back, and is free to hit White and Yujiro! Kenta rakes Tanahashi’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Kenta lets off to kick, but into a DRAGON SCREW! Both men are down and fans rally up! Hot tag to Okada! Okada fires off on Kenta, whips but Kenta reverses.
Okada blasts through the boot to elbow Kenta down! Okada fires up then knocks White and Yujiro down! Okada whips Kenta corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Kick and DDT! Cover, TWO! Okada gets fans rally with clap-clap-clap-stomp, and then he brings Kenta up. Kenta jawbreakers back! Kenta runs in but Okada pops him up to the Alabama! Kenta fights free, spins Okada around and DDT’s him in return! Tag to Yujiro and Yujiro brings Okada up. Yujiro puts Okada against ropes and runs to BOOT him! Gedo cheers as Yujiro runs, but into a FLAPJACK! Okada sees Ibushi is the only one to tag, and chooses not to? Yujiro runs in, Okada spins him to the MONEY CLIP!
Yujiro fights and puts Okada in the corner, and Ibushi tags in! Ibushi runs to blast White, then he brings Yujiro up. Ibushi fires off a strike fest then KICKS Yujiro down! Fans fire up for the STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally for Ibushi as he brings Yujiro up to a waistlock. Yujiro backs Ibushi into an open corner, elbows free, then runs in but into Ibushi’s boot! Ibushi goes up and over and rolls but White is there to catch him! Yujiro runs in, blocks Ibushi’s boot, and throws him down! White hits Okada and Tanahashi, then Yujiro basement boots Ibushi! White drags Ibushi up, he and Yujiro double whip him corner to corner, White EuroUppers and Yujiro BOOTS!
Yujiro feeds Ibushi to BLADEBUSTER! Basement boot again, cover, Tanahashi breaks it! White stomps Tanahashi out of the ring, Kenta keeps after Okada, and Yujiro fires himself up. Yujiro goes to fireman’s carry but Ibushi fights that off. Ibushi kicks, Yujiro ducks and reels him in, INCOLLE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives but Yujiro keeps on him! But Okada BOOTS Yujiro down! Kenta kicks Okada but runs into a SLINGBLADE! White attacks Tanahashi but runs into Okada’s dropkick! Okada fires up, Yujiro swings on him, Ibushi V-TRIGGERS Yujiro! KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi and team win!
Winners: Kazuchika Okada & The Golden Aces, by pinfall
The Rainmaker doesn’t seem happy that he isn’t in the spotlight, or that Ibushi basically saved him. But he’s still on the winning team, so there’s that. Okada leaves, will he only be happy when he’s fighting for the top spot in NJPW again? As for Ibushi, is he going to be ready for whoever it is that meets him at Sakura Genesis?
2021 New Japan Cup Semifinals: David Finlay VS Will Ospreay!
After one of the biggest shockers all year, it isn’t King Switch but the Celtic Prince that is facing the Commonwealth Kingpin! Will Ospreay be another victim of a major upset? Or will he just make an example out of Finlay?
While Ospreay has Bea Priestley by his side, the Flamboyant One is backing Finlay. The bell rings, Ospreay and Finlay circle as fans rally. They feel out the grapple, and Finlay shoots in to get a leg. He trips Ospreay, Ospreay fights free and the two reset. They tie up, Finlay gets around but Ospreay wrenches to a hammerlock. Finlay switches to a hammerlock, shifts to a headlock and hits a takeover. Ospreay gets a headscissor, squeezes tight and pushes up for leverage, but Finlay moves around to float to a headlock. Ospreay fights up, powers out but Finlay runs him over! Ospreay bails out to cool off and group with Bea. Finlay waits, Ospreay gets in, and the two go again.
They tie up, Finlay puts Ospreay on ropes but Ospreay turns it around. Red Shoes counts, Ospreay lets off but kicks low and clubs Finlay. Ospreay CHOPS Finlay, ROCKS him, then whips. Finlay reverses, things speed up and Finlay dropkicks Ospreay down! Finlay snap suplexes then covers, ONE! Ospreay bails out again but Finlay pursues. Bea blocks his path, Finlay pushes her aside but Ospreay kicks him low! Ospreay reels Finlay in, but Finlay back drops the piledriver away! Ospreay writhes from hitting the floor, and Finlay brings him up to put in the ring. Fans cheer as Finlay scoops and slams Ospreay for a back senton! Cover, TWO!
Finlay clamps on with a chinlock, Ospreay endures, then fights up. Finlay throws EuroUppers, whips corner to corner and runs in, but Ospreay makes Finlay straddle ropes! Ospreay runs side to side to BOOT Finlay down! Finlay falls to the floor and Ospreay catches his breath. Juice checks on Finlay while Bea checks on Ospreay’s nose. Ospreay goes around to stomp Finlay, bring him up and whip him into railing! Ospreay drags Finlay up again to BACK SUPLEX onto railing! Finlay staggers and falls, Red Shoes reprimands and tells Ospreay to get in the ring. Ospreay pretends not to know what’s wrong, but he fetches Finlay into the ring.
Ospreay clubs Finlay on the apron, then goes up to drop a GUILLOTINE KNEE! Bea cheers and Ospreay gets in the ring while Finlay writhes on the floor. The ring count climbs, Finlay sits up as fans rally, and gets in at 12 of 20. Ospreay is after Finlay with haymakers, bumps him off buckles, then throws more hands. Ospreay drags Finlay up but Finlay hits back. Ospreay CHOPS Finlay down then digs a boot into Finlay’s face! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Ospreay lets off and dares Finlay to hit him again. Ospreay throws hands, kicks Finlay around but Finlay throws body shots and forearms! Ospreay knees low, snapmares Finlay and wraps on a chinlock.
Ospreay grinds Finlay down but fans rally up. Juice coaches Finlay as he endures, and Finlay fights up to his feet. Finlay back suplexes but Ospreay lands on his feet and kicks Finlay low! Ospreay runs, but Finlay scoops him for a DEEP SIX! Fans fire up and Finlay grits his teeth as he gets up. Finlay brings Ospreay up for forearms, uppercuts and a whip, but Ospreay reverses, only for Finlay to LEAPING UPPERCUT! Ospreay bails out but Finlay PLANCHAS! Direct hit and Finlay even lands on his feet out of it! Fans fire up more as Finlay gets Ospreay in the ring and runs at the corner to uppercut! Ospreay staggers, Finlay goes up and leaps, DIVING UPPERCUT! Cover, TWO!
Finlay keeps his focus as he brings Ospreay up. Ospreay fights the exploder off and CHOPS! Ospreay whips, Finlay reverses, and Finlay catches the handspring into a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Finlay powers up and he brings Ospreay up into a suplex. Ospreay hits STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRE! Finlay ends up in a corner, Ospreay gets to the opposite end. Finlay runs in but Ospreay boots him away! Ospreay goes out to the apron, springboards in, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his focus, but Finlay anchors a foot! Ospreay drags Finlay up, throws EuroUppers, but Finlay EuroUppers back!
Ospreay EuroUppers, Finlay gives it back, it’s a EuroUpper brawl! Finlay throws another but Ospreay CHOPS! Finlay throws many more EuroUppers, but Ospreay spins Finlay for a dragon sleeper, SAVING GRACE! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up as Finlay survives but Ospreay pulls off the elbow pad! Ospreay gets Finlay up, but Finlay rams him into a corner! Ospreay enziguris back! Finlay flops against ropes, Ospreay brings him up for a scoop and SLAM! Ospreay has Finlay in the drop zone, goes up top, but Finlay intercepts with a haymaker! Finlay climbs up, Ospreay hits back and now they brawl up top! Ospreay throws a string of jabs, but Finlay SHORYUKENS!
Ospreay worries about his nose, Finlay gets him for a SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Juice and the fans rally up! Finlay slashes the throat, vowing to end this! Finlay cravats, but no Acid Drop! Ospreay runs, spins around, Finlay breaks the full nelson but Ospreay HOOK KICKS! Ospreay fireman’s carries for LONDON HAS FALLEN! Cover, TWO! Finlay lives and Ospreay grows frustrated but the fans fire up again! Ospreay grits his teeth, slashes his throat to say it’s over, and he underhooks Finlay. Finlay trips Ospreay to jackknife bridge, TWO! Finlay gets an inside cradle, TWO! Ospreay runs into a backslide but turns it into a flip!
Ospreay underhooks, but Finlay back drops and sits on the sunset! TWO!! Ospreay swings into an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Finlay fires up and runs, into Ospreay’s SPANISH FLY! Both men are down but fans fire up again! Ospreay gets up, drags Finlay into the underhooks and lifts, but Finlay fights free to spin Ospreay for TRASH PANDA! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but Finlay grits his teeth. Fans rally, Finlay gets Ospreay up, cravat and ACID- NO! Ospreay TOSSES Finlay out of the ring!! Finlay crashes down and clutches his foot! Red Shoes and Juice check on Finlay, but Ospreay demands Finlay get up! Is Finlay hurt? Can he not continue? Ospreay wants an answer!
Finlay is somehow getting up, Ospreay is perching on the corner! Ospreay demands to know yes or no if this is continuing! Medics check on Finlay’s foot, a ring count begins in the meantime, and Ospreay does his best ot patiently wait. The count passes 10 of 20, then hits 15, but Finlay’s leg is okay! Finlay hobbles, gets in at 19.9! Osperay springbarods to missile dropkick him! Underhooks, POWERBOB! High stack, TWO!?! Ospreay shows no mercy, he puts the leg in a FIGURE FOUR!! Finlay endures, but Ospreay is undoing his boot! Finlay grabs at Red Shoes but Ospreay gets after Finlay’s ankle directly!! Ospreay tosses the shoe away and pulls on the foot!
Finlay grabs at Red Shoes again, Juice holds up the towel but Finlay tells him not to throw it! Finlay reaches, drags himself over, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer Finlay’s heart and Ospreay lets go of the leg. Ospreay is rather shocked, but he rains down jabs on Finlay’s head! Red Shoes wants Ospreay to let off, Finlay’s in the ropes! Ospreay does, pushes Red Shoes aside, Finlay leaps off the good leg! But Ospreay avoids Prima Nocta, and then gives Finlay Kowata Kicks! Finlay flounders and crawls, Ospreay stalks him. Juice and the fans rally up hard as ever for him, and Finlay stands up on one leg, to get the ROLLING ELBOW!
Finlay flops back against ropes, the rallying continues, but Ospreay ROLLING ELBOWS again! Finlay sits in a daze, Ospreay grins as he brings Finlay back up, PRIMA- NO! HOOK KICK! Ospreay springboards, INTO A PRIMA NOCTA!!! Cover, TWO!?!? Ospreay survives but Finlay is in too much pain to be upset. Finlay hobbles up, hobbles over, and brings Ospreay up. But Finlay’s bad leg won’t let him run for the corner! Finlay fires up to fight through the pain, but Ospreay underhooks outta nowhere! FINLAY RANAS?!? Cover, TWO!!!! Ospreay narrowly escapes, but he runs into a LARIAT!! Finlay hobbles around and drags Ospreay up, to ACID DRO-
NO! Ospreay tosses Finlay around to BOMB, then drags him back up to STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (advances to the NJCUP Finals)
So much heart and toughness was shown by the underdog Finlay! But in the end, Ospreay strikes him down with his own impressive show of strength! Will the Commonwealth Kingpin look to be fighting the King of Darkness? Or will he get to slay the Dragon?
2021 New Japan Cup Semifinals: Shingo Takagi VS EVIL!
The Dragon fought hard through Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto and Kenta, all for this moment. He wants payback on the King of Darkness for what he did to LIJ, but will he get it? Or will Darkness Fall and bring Evil one step closer to regaining the trophy?
Evil and Dick Low Sweet, the bell rings, and fans rally up as Takagi dares Evil to bring the fight. Evil bails out instead. Evil talks with Dick, then gets back in the ring. Takagi and Evil approach, Evil kicks low and headlocks. Takagi powers out, Evil runs him over, and then Evil kicks Takagi around. Evil taunts Takagi and slaps him around but Takagi forearms Evil. Evil forearms back but Takagi just smirks and forearms again! Evil throws another forearm, Takagi forearms back and fans rally as they go back and forth, faster and faster! Takagi ROCKS Evil, fires off more forearms, then runs to ram Evil. Evil rebounds, rams Takagi, but Takagi stays up.
They go forehead to forehead and Evil shoves Takagi but Takagi DOUBLE CHOPS Evil down! Fans fire up with “TA-KA-GI!” and Takagi whips Evil corner to corner. Takagi runs in, blocks the boot and powers through to clothesline! Takagi runs but Dick takes a swipe! Evil runs in but Takagi runs him over! Evil bails out and Takagi pursues to POST Evil! Fans fire up with Takagi as he stalks Evil. Takagi dares Dick to try something, then stomps Evil. Takagi bumps Evil hard off the apron, then again! Takagi fireman’s carries but Dick saves Evil! Red Shoes reprimands but Takagi glares at Dick. Dick plays innocent but then runs away! Takagi chases Dick into the ring, Evil CLOBBERS Takagi!
Evil mocks the fans clapping, then he drags Takagi up. Evil throws Takagi back out, clubs him on the back, then brings him around to RAMS into the timekeeper’s area! Why does Evil hate Abe-san?! Evil leaves Takagi and the others behind to go get chairs out from under the ring. Evil brings Takagi around and knees low, to snap suplex Takagi onto the chair pile! Takagi writhes while Evil dusts himself off. Evil goes into the ring, Abe-san recovers and Red Shoes starts a ring count. Takagi slowly gets up but the count is 10 of 20 before he stands. Takagi slams the chairs down in frustration as he gets to the ring at 17! Evil stomps Takagi’s back!
Red Shoes counts, Evil lets off and brings Takagi up to the cobra twist! Dick lends a hand for leverage! Red Shoes almost sees him but Dick gets away. Evil thrashes Takagi, then Dick helps out again! Red Shoes catches him this time! Dick argues with Red Shoes, but Evil takes the blue buckle pad away! Evil whips Takagi into the bare buckles! Evil then snap suplexes Takagi and covers, TWO! Evil argues the count but he talks trash to Takagi and stands on his head. Evil mockingly claps “TA-KA-GI!” as he gives toying kicks. Evil brings Takagi up but Takagi fires off forearms! Evil knees low, fisherman’s but Takagi fights that off! Evil clubs Takagi but runs into the elbow, JAB and LARIAT!
Fans fire up again as Takagi drags Evil up. Takagi whips Evil, knees him against ropes, then runs to run Evil over! Dick gets up but Takagi DECKS him! Takagi fires up and fans join in as he suplexes Evil high and hard! Cover, TWO! Takagi keeps his cool, fans rally up, and he brings Evil up to run, but Evil ducks! Evil swings but into a Gory Especial! Evil backs Takagi to the bare corner but Takagi fights free. Takagi kicks but Evil blocks to hand it to Red Shoes! Evil mule kicks Takagi down! Takagi goes to a corner, Evil runs in and clotheslines! FISHERMAN BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Evil argues the count again but Red Shoes says that was fair. Fans rally for “TA-KA-GI!” as Evil brings him up.
Evil fireman’s carry but Takagi blocks! Evil trips Takagi to get the legs! Takagi fights the sharpshooter with jabs! Evil lets go and staggers away, but he comes back to kick low. Evil runs but Takagi clotheslines him at the ropes! Takagi runs but Evil goes from the corner, only for Takagi to swat his clothesline away! Takagi gets Evil into the Gory Especial, for NOSHIGAMI! Fans fire up but Takagi can’t cover from the pain in his back! Takagi crawls over, drags Evil up and runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Now Takagi covers, TWO! Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” and fans rally with him. Takagi drags Evil back up, pump handles but Evil rakes eyes to avoid the rack!
Takagi knees low but Evil grabs hair to reel Takagi in, for a BACKBREAKER! Takagi rolls to a corner while both he and Evil are down. Fans rally back up, Takagi sits up but Evil follows. Evil drags Takagi up, Takagi holds ropes to block the whip, but Evil CHOPS him! Evil whips, Takagi reverses, but Evil stops himself from going into bare buckles. Takagi runs in but Evil drop toeholds him into the steel! Takagi checks his head but there’s no blood. Fans rally up and Evil waits for Takagi to stand. Evil runs back in and clotheslines him against steel! Evil mocks the clapping then reels Takagi in to hoist him up top. Evil climbs to join Takagi, then goes to the very top! SUPERPLEX!
Evil gets up, gets the legs and steps through to get the SHARPSHOOTER! Takagi endures and fans rally as Evil bends him back! Takagi fights up, crawls over and gets the ropebreak! Red Shoes counts, Evil lets go at 4. Evil grows frustrated but he drags Takagi up, spins him around, but Takagi blocks the STO! Takagi throws elbows, steps through, spins and STEALS EVERYTHING IS EVIL!? Both men are down as Takagi can’t make the cover but fans rally up! Takagi drags Evil up, throws a point-blank clothesline, and Evil ends up in a corner. Takagi blocks the boot but Evil forearms the clothesline away! Evil LARIATS and Takagi falls! Evil taunts Takagi and gives him toying kicks.
Fans rally up and Takagi taunts Evil. Evil throws forearm after forearm but Takagi just powers up to throw boxing elbows! Fans rally as Takagi goes past 10 and DECKS Evil with the 12th! Takagi drags Evil up, but Dick gets in! Red Shoes stops him at the corner and Takagi storms over. Dick gets out, Evil has a chair! Evil jabs then SMACKS Takagi!! That was a shot to the head!! Evil drags Takagi up and runs to STEAL PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and shocks Evil! Evil brings Takagi up, fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives again! Evil argues the count but that was fair. Fans rally up again but Evil vows to end this!
Evil drags Takagi up, spins him, but Takagi denies the STO to try for a pump handle! Evil fights that off, whips but Takagi reverses, only for Evil to try and reverse again. Takagi blocks that, Evil breaks free but Takagi knees low to pump handle! MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO!?!? Evil survives and fans are thunderous! Takagi fires up again, fans get even louder, and Takagi builds speed. Evil throws Red Shoes in the way, then shoves Takagi at Red Shoes, to then BLINDSIDE LARIAT Takagi! Takagi falls into Red Shoes! Dick gets in to throw hands on Takagi! Dick eggs Takagi on and Takagi gets pissed! Takagi fireman’s carries Dick but Evil LOW BLOWS!
Evil drags Takagi up, he and Dick hit MAGIC KILLER!! Dick gets Red Shoes back in, Evil covers, TWO!!! Takagi survives but Evil keeps Red Shoes down so Dick can use the SPOILER CHOKER!! Takagi fights it off?!? Takagi kicks Dick, tosses the choker, but Evil attacks! Evil and Dick double whip but they get DOUBLE PUMPING BOMBERS! Fans are thunderous again as both men stir. Evil goes to one corner, Takagi goes to the opposite. Takagi gets himself up first, runs in at Evil, but Evil runs, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither falls, they DOUBLE LARIAT again! Evil falls over but Takagi fires up more! Takagi drags Evil up but blocks the low blow! HEADBUTT!
Takagi runs, PUMPING BOMBER!! Red Shoes slowly sits up and Takagi drags Evil into a pump handle and carry, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! Cover, Takagi wins!!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (advances to the NJCUP Finals)
The Dragon slays the Darkness, and is heading to the finals! The NJCUP Finals will be a rematch of the Best of the Super Juniors 2019 finals!! And after Evil and Dick hobble away, Takagi gets up to get the mic.
“OI, SENDAI! First off, we had a bit of a shock earlier today. I appreciate that you stayed for the rest of the show. One more to go, then I’ll get to Kota Ibushi.” Fans like the sound of that. “In this New Japan Cup, I went through Okada, Goto, Kenta and now Evil. Physically, I’m hurting. But mentally, I’m pumped up.” And he’s going against Will Ospreay in the finals! They have history, but Takagi doesn’t give a DAMN about that United Empire, though. But wait, here comes Ospreay! Takagi says in English, “Good timing. Come here. Come here, please, Ospreay, c’mon.” Takagi promises to do his best to speak English.
So then Ospreay, listen to Takagi. “From now, focus on you! I remember 2019 Best of the Super Juniors finals. I lost.” But! But… Takagi promises tomorrow, at the NJCUP Finals, Takagi will win! Does Ospreay understand? And that’s all Takagi has to say about that. Oh, does Ospreay want to talk? Okay then. Takagi hands the mic over and Ospreay… ATTACKS! Ospreay uses the mic to beat Takagi up! Ospreay reels Takagi in but Takagi fights off Stormbreaker to back drop! And then Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS Ospreay out of the ring! Ospreay checks his nose and then Takagi shouts, “Ospreay, you dumbass! Don’t you know how anxious everyone already was? How dare you pull this garbage, punk!”
Takagi tells Ospreay needs to read the room. But he’ll pay for it tomorrow! This isn’t Ospreay’s rise to glory, failure is more suitable for him right now. Takagi will make him experience it tomorrow! Young Lions hold Ospreay back but Ospreay takes his leave. Will things be very different from BOSJ 26? Or will Ospreay once again win the big one over Takagi?
A great event for the New Japan Cup, and the usual things were skipped. Juice had a Young Lion on his team, he loses so United Empire can get a tag team win. Chaos beats Bullet Club as Yano rolls up Jado because Jado is in that same tier as Douki where they’re barely above Young Lions. For that matter, Douki takes the loss for Suzuki-Gun as Sanada actually taps someone out with Skull End. The Six Man with White’s Bullet Club taking on Okada, Tanahashi & Ibushi was a great match, even with the earthquake getting in there. If anything, that showed great composure from everyone. The Faces win, but I like that Okada wasn’t happy about how. Okada won’t say it like White says it but I don’t think he’s onboard with Ibushi combining belts, either.
Speaking of White, White VS Tanahashi for NEVER Openweight Championship is still coming, the math is clean since Tokyo Pimp took the loss. That match could go either way, but I could see White winning to go after his three belt goal from the other side. White has had every other singles title in NJPW, so he could become a NJPW Singles Grand Slam or however that would be defined, and that much is something White has proven he’s deserving of. Finlay VS Ospreay was a great match, above my expectations at least. I knew Ospreay was winning but Finlay put up such a great fight and really sold the leg to where I was worried he wasn’t selling.
Takagi VS Evil was also great stuff, with some good story elements such as Evil and Takagi stealing each other’s signatures. That’s always a great surprise in a match, which NJPW seems to like more than WWE and other promotions. Takagi surviving all of Evil’s tricks was really good, and honestly that’s always a lame kind of Heel turn, where they rely too much on sidekicks or tricks. Takagi and Ospreay having their interaction at the end was great, and is adding heat to a match that already has history from before. NJCUP 2021 is definitely going to be a powered up version of BOSJ 2019, I could see it going either way because both can give Ibushi a great match.
My Score: 9.2/10
Andrew’s AJPW Champion Carnival Results & Match Ratings: 4.11.2021
Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!
Day 3 of the Champion Carnival had video on demand issues, so it wasn’t uploaded until the 12th. Hopefully Day 3 continues the positive momentum the first two days have already created!
Hard to say I wasn’t a little annoyed the VOD took so long to post, but better late than never; especially when the next event isn’t until the 17th.
Anyway though! Zeus looks to topple the current Triple Crown champion and continue his undefeated Carnival streak and Ashino has to do something to get off the bubble; but Kento is a big ask. We could be looking at a quick favorite to win as well as the walking dead.
Let’s hope nothing too drastic happens! Check it out!
- Jake Lee vs Koji Doi: Jake wins via D4C @8:10 – **
- Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi: Ishikawa wins via Single Leg Cradle @11:13 – ***
- Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino: Ashino wins via Grapevine Ankle Lock @12:11 – *** ½
- Zeus vs Suwama: Zeus wins via Jackhammer @19:52 – *** ¾
Jake Lee vs Koji Doi
Total Eclipse inner faction fighting! Since Jake is the leader, he starts off in typical heel leader fashion telling Koji to lie down and eat the pin. Koji lies down; Jake drapes himself in a cocky cover, so Koji goes for the crucifix at the 2 count. Jake snaps up and he looks shocked that Koji went against an order, but then we get to a match.
Koji does a solid job keeping Jake off balance with power attacks, Shoulder Tackles and an interesting Football Tackle with the lift and slam. Jake eats a decent amount of offense, including a few short arm Lariats, before he starts stabilizing with Knee Lifts and Yakuza Kicks.
Lucky for Jake, even though Koji countered the D4C once, after Giant Killing, Koji wasn’t countering anything. Jake hits D4C and gets his second win of the tournament! Not a flashy match honestly felt a little silly at points with how quiet and echoed the arena made the match feel. Hopefully the setting doesn’t continue to plague the atmosphere of the matches.
Shuji Ishikawa vs Yuma Aoyagi
Now this was decent, though the hollow quiet atmosphere of venue is really detracting from the matches. Yuma was trying to find openings, but Shuji continued to run him over and abuse him with power early. And it was during these slower spots, the deafening silence of the venue made for weird watching.
Even though Shuji hit a Scoop Slam into the corner of the arpon, multiple Tsunamis and a flashing Scoop Fire/Thunder Driver, Yuma stayed resilient. Yuma nearly made the bigger man tap in End Game, but Shuji was able to find the ropes. Yuma hits an O’Connor Roll into the Japanese Leg Clutch, Shuji manages to get out of that, goes for a Tsunami, Yuma slides and tries to scoop Shuji for a Roll-Up, but at two Shuji manages to reverse the Roll-Up, grab a single leg and keep Yuma down for a three count!
Even though I have yet to be convinced by Yuma, the fact he got a finish that still made him look strong while putting up a good fight against a decorated opponent like Ishikawa; that says a lot about his potential rise on the card.
Kento Miyahara vs Shotaro Ashino
Ashino is in the unenviable position of last place after two days. With a 0-2 record, he really REALLY needs this…and he of course has Kento as his roadblock. They’ve traded wins in the past, and come off as rivals who don’t really like one another.
The match starts quick with Ashino shooting the half, grabbing a leg and searching for the Ankle Lock early. Kento fights out, but Kento is surprised and Ashino stays on him. Ashino pulls Kento to the ring post and wraps Kento’s left leg against the post a few times. Kento fires and Snake Eyes lands Ashino into the corner of the apron. This gives Kento plenty of time to walk off the early ankle damage and play into his cocky arrogance, all while messing with the referee and his opponent.
Whenever Ashino managed to get back in the ring, he was greeted by Blackouts to the front and back of his head. It wasn’t really until Kento went for the Shutdown Suplex, that Ashino hit a second wind. Both men trade German Suplexes, Ashino continues with a Deadlift Overhead suplex and he starts building momentum back.
He teases a German from the apron to the floor, but Kento blocks, fights off and Piledrives Ashino instead. Kento fires off Blackouts as Ashino once again barely beats the count out, but after landing his ninth Blackout of the fight, Ashino grabs the left leg, rolls through and goes for the Ankle Lock. Kento tries to fight off, but Ashino refuses to let go, readjusting, rolling through, pulling Kento back into the center away from the ropes; eventually dropping down into the Grapevine. Kento has no other option but to submit!
Ashino finally gets on the board, and Kento joins him in the 1-2 portion of the standings! I wonder how much the ankle will play into the rest of Kento’s carnival.
Zeus vs Suwama
Last year during Zeus’ carnival winning run, he had a match with Suwama which resulted in Suwama sustaining an arm injury. Thanks to this knowledge, and the sting of a failed challenge when Suwama recovered, Zeus came out attacking the arm and trying to replicate some of his success from last year.
The beauty in Zeus’ arm attacks, is not only were the Key Lock and Arm Bars effective to play on the old injury, they also inhibited Suwama from executing the Last Ride Powerbomb. Zeus’ attack really did great, as well as giving him the power advantage against someone who can usually match him in that department. Zeus lifted out of Boston Crabs, met Suwama head on with Biceps Explosions and even broke out the Frog Splash a few times.
In a nice reference, Suwama was able to fight out of the Arm Trap Facelock this time, but Zeus had too much of an advantage. Zeus peppered in Chokeslams, Lariats, another Frog Splash and eventually ended the match with an impactful Jackhammer. This was a solid struggle throughout, injured only by the awkward venue setting.
Who will be the first person to hang a Carnival loss on Zeus since 2019?
Overall Score: 6.75/10
While there wasn’t really a lot to complain about in terms of action, I really hated the venue. With the Japanese crowd rules of not being able to scream and having to just clap or stomp, it was very noticeably irritating in this event. Slower moments felt empty and stupid, almost back to the empty Quarantine times, which definitely impact smaller events and smaller companies.
Aside from that, we got a lot of really great finishes. Ashino finally getting on the scoreboard AND over Kento is great. Zeus continuing his streak from last year, Jake well…doing Jake things and Shuji looking strong as a current title holder should. Otani and Sato were missed a little today, but let’s check out the standings!
- Zeus: 3-0 – (6 Points)
- Shuji Ishikawa: 2-1 – (4 Points)
- Jake Lee: 2-1 – (4 Points)
- Shinjiro Otani: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Kohei Sato: 1-1 – (2 Points)
- Shotaro Ashino: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Kento Miyahara: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Suwama: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Koji Doi: 1-2 – (2 Points)
- Yuma Aoyagi: 1-2 – (2 Points)
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (4/12/21)
The Raw After WrestleMania!
WrestleMania 37 is over, but how does Raw handle the aftermath?
Raw makes land after WrestleMania’s high seas adventure, and while we’re STILL in the All Might Era, we’ve also entered a new NIGHTMARE!
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Matt Riddle; Lashley wins.
- Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Viking Raiders; The Viking Raiders win.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley VS Asuka; Asuka wins by disqualification, Rhea retains the title.
- 2v1 Handicap: The Miz & John Morrison w/ Maryse VS Damian Priest; Miz & Morrison win.
- Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose; Jax & Baszler win, by count-out.
- The New Day VS Elias & Jaxson Ryker; The New Day wins.
- WWE World Championship Triple Threat: Drew McIntyre VS Braun Strowman VS Randy Orton; McIntyre wins and will challenge Bobby Lashley for the title at WrestleMania Backlash.
PLAY BY PLAY
Bobby Lashley and MVP arrive in the NEW ThunderDome, the University of South Florida’s Yuengling Center.
The staff and superstars all applaud, and some even ask for autographs. Matt Riddle gives Lashley congrats, but the real excitement doesn’t start until the next day! And so even though Riddle is busted up, he wants to challenge Lashley! Wait, he got whooped by Sheamus but wants to step to Riddle? He must be out of his mind! Well, maybe. Riddle did wear a tinfoil hat to school because he thought aliens abducted him and were sending him messages, but then Riddle just realized his braces were picking up radio waves.
Lashley stops Riddle there and says he just went to war with Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania. He will be damned if he faced someone lesser. He is just here to celebrate and address the fans, that is all! Well okay. But wasn’t it a few weeks ago that Lashley said anyone could have a chance at the championship? And then it was March 8th, 2021, “Everybody in the locker room knows that the same thing that happened to The Miz will happen to them if they step into the ring with me!” And then, Riddle quotes Lashley again, “I worked too long and too hard to become WWE Champion!” Lashley SMACKS Riddle of his own scooter!
Lashley tells Riddle he is a loser, and Lashley is a winner. Tonight, he’ll show Riddle the difference. So is that a yes to the match? Will the Bro come to regret getting on the Rocky Mountain Machine’s bad side?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Matt Riddle!
Corey Graves and Adnan Virk both join Raw’s commentary team now, and this is quite the moment to start with! Because bro, Riddle might be taking on more than he can handle after he took on and lost to the Fella over the WWE US Championship. And then Lashley CLOBBERS Riddle as he scooters to ringside! Will Riddle even stand a chance in this fight?!
Lashley throws Riddle around ringside, then RAMS him into barriers! And again! And again! The ref reprimands but Lashley drags Riddle up to whip him all the way into more barriers! This isn’t a match yet, Lashley is just hurting Riddle, as he fireman’s carries and POSTS him! Lashley glares at Riddle as he stalks up behind him. Riddle manages to get up but Lashley RAMS him into barriers! Lashley finally puts Riddle in the ring, Riddle flounders to a corner, and he glares up at Lashley. The bell rings, this is finally a match, and Lashley fires off haymakers! Lashley bumps Riddle off buckles, and again! Lashley gets in Riddle’s face before he bumps him off buckles again!
Riddle sputters, Lashley drags Riddle up and RAMS into him over and over! The ref counts, Lashley lets off and whips Riddle corner to corner. Lashley runs in, and RAMS into Riddle again! MVP likes what he sees as Lashley hits a NECKBREAKER! Riddle sits up in a daze but Lashley hauls him up for a suplex! Lashley holds Riddle up, with one arm! And then after a count of 10, he SLAMS Riddle down! MVP says Lashley can do whatever he wants! Lashley goes outside and gets Riddle’s scooter! Lashley TOSSES it up the ramp! Lashley goes back to the ring, but Riddle fires off body shots! Riddle forearms, but Lashley scoops and SLAMS him down!
Lashley throws Riddle out, goes out after him, and military presses Riddle up to TOSS over the barriers!! Lashley leaves Riddle for dead out there as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Riddle fights back but Lashley stomps him down! Lashley looms over Riddle, and knocks him back down! Riddle writhes but Lashley shows no mercy. Lashley clamps onto Riddle with a knuckle digging into Riddle’s jaw! Riddle fights up, fights free, runs but Lashley follows to get Riddle for a flurry of knees! Buckle shot to a COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO!! Riddle still lives but Lashley rains down rights on him! Lashley digs his knuckles in again but Riddle gets a ropebreak with a foot. Lashley lets off, he puts Riddle on ropes and chokes him! Lashley lets off at the ref’s count, but comes back with crossface forearms!
Riddle flounders as Lashley lets off again, and Lashley stomps him down! Lashley stands on Riddle’s chest but the ref counts. Lashley lets off, to stand on Riddle’s head! MVP says Lashley can do what he wants as Lashley whips and CLOBBERS Riddle! Lashley gets Riddle up to snap suplex and then dig his knuckles in again! The ref counts, Lashley lets off, and then he slams Riddle’s arm into the mat! And the other arm! Then he stomps Riddle’s hand! Lashley sits Riddle up, neck wrenches, but Riddle fights up to throw hands back! Riddle backs Lashley down but Lashley CLOBBERS him again! Lashley looms over Riddle again, brings him up and whips, but Riddle blocks!
Lashley tries again, but Riddle escapes the spinebuster! Riddle fires off hands, kicks, but gets caught! Riddle still gets around, ripcord, FINAL FLASH! Riddle gets Lashley in a drop zone and goes up top! FLOATING BRO- NO! Lashley catches him to a HURT LOCK!! Lashley thrashes Riddle, Riddle taps, Lashley wins!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by submission
The All Mighty couldn’t be stopped, even just a few days out from having faced the Scottish Warrior! If Lashley can keep putting on the hurt, will anyone ever stop him?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley.
The NEW Raw Women’s Champion is already defending her title! But it’s about confidence in herself. It’s what led her to challenge Asuka in the first place, and what allowed her to beat one of the best ever to become champion. What the WWE Universe witnessed last night was the “brutal new order” of the Women’s Division. And in this WrestleMania rematch, she will prove again that she IS ready for Asuka! Will the Empress of Tomorrow redeem herself for what happened yesterday?
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Viking Raiders!
#PRIMED Alexander & The Gold Standard are about to run into a raid! Erik & Ivar are back, will they ransack the Raw Tag Team Division once again?
The teams sort out, Alexander asks Ivar, “How’s the neck?” They tie up, throw hands, and Ivar throws Cedric to throw hands back! The ref counts, Ivar lets off and tags in Erik. They whip Alexander, scoop and SLAM, to then have Erik scoop slam SENTON Ivar onto Alexander! Alexander hurries away, tags in Benjamin, and Benjamin sucker punches Ivar! Alexander chop blocks Erik and Benjamin KNEES him down! Cover, TWO! Erik is still in this but Benjamin is after him with a scoop and SLAM! And another scoop SLAM! Benjamin drags Erik up, Erik shoves him away but Benjamin stomps Erik back down.
Benjamin stays between the Vikings, then drags Erik up in a facelock for some knees. Benjamin CLUBS Erik down, then snap suplexes! Cover, TWO! Benjamin tags Alexander, they keep Erik down with elbow drops! Alexander fires off body shots, rams into Erik, then lets off. Alexander digs his forearms into Erik and talks trash, then KNEES low! Alexander brings Erik out but Erik ROCKS him with a right! Alexander grabs at Erik but Erik puts him in a corner. Alexander clubs free, ROCKS Erik back, then talks more trash. Alexander clubs Erik down, drags him back up, and whips him but Erik gets around to clinch! Alexander fights free with elbow after elbow!
Alexander brings Erik up, tags Benjamin, and they hand off for Benjamin to back suplex. Erik fights free, ROCKS Alexander, ROCKS Benjamin, but Alexander KNEES Erik! OLYMPIC SLAM from Benjamin! Cover, TWO!! Erik survives but Benjamin tags Alexander. Alexander elbows Erik on the back, brings him back up, and whips, only for Erik to reverse! Ace Ten Mao!! Both men are down, crawl for their corners, hot tags to Benjamin and Ivar! The War Beard and Gold Standard fire off hands! Ivar gets the edge, whips and runs Benjamin over and over! Whip and scoop for a SIDEWALK SLAM! BIG VIKING SPLASH!
Ivar fires up and so do the fans on their ThunderDome screens, but Benjamin knees back. Benjamin whips but runs into the SEATED SENTON! Ivar fires up even more and he drags Benjamin up. Benjamin powers Ivar to the corner, tags Alexander and they mug Ivar. They double whip, but Ivar cartwheels around to DOUBLE LARIAT! Tag to Erik, Ivar CLOBBERS Benjamin! Erik uses Ivar to HIP ATTACK Benjamin! Ivar gets Alexander, feeds him to Erik, THOR’S HAMMER!! Cover, the Viking Raiders win!
Winners: The Viking Raiders, by pinfall
The #VikingExperience is back! Will the warpath head for gold once again?
Backstage interview with Asuka.
How is she approaching this rematch? “Last night, Rhea Ripley brought the fight. But now, it’s MY turn!” Asuka says in Japanese and then in English that losing was a nightmare. But tonight, she is ready for Rhea, and then once again be Raw Women’s Champion!! The Empress is fired up, will she end Rhea’s reign at just 24 hours?
Charlotte Flair is here!
The Queen returns to Raw and heads to the ring! She gets a mic, soaks in the cheers from the ThunderDome, and says, “So here I am, on the Raw After WrestleMania. And typically, I’d be standing here with my big ol’ Flair smile, but I wasn’t on WrestleMania.” She wasn’t welcomed. She knows what some are thinking: It’s just one Mania! She’s been on five! No, she is a franchise player, a genuine superstar, and what she does is sacred to the Flair family. It wasn’t even her fault! It was all things out of her control and that is unacceptable!
Was it her fault Asuka needed a tag partner? Was it her fault Ric Flair showed up on Legends Night acting like a fool? Was it her fault that Lacey Evans just went and got pregnant before Charlotte could kick her ass? NO! She didn’t try, either! She even challenged Asuka on Raw for the title, but Asuka didn’t respond! Some champion, huh? But that opportunist, Rhea, challenged Asuka and Asuka accepted. Rhea won, a new champion was crowned and a star was born! Out with the old, in with the new! But don’t act like every other woman wasn’t happy that Charlotte wasn’t here! Y’know what everyone thought? “This is MY opportunity to be on WrestleMania!”
But kudos to Rhea! Because now, she’s the biggest snake in the locker room! Even ASUKA manipulated her way to tonight’s rematch! But as they say, “Karma is a BITCH. And I’m that bitch.” Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair, Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, so on and so forth. No one compares to CHARLOTTE. And what Charlotte realized for the first time in about seven years, after watching Mania at home, “I don’t steal opportunities. I AM the opportunity!” So to all the delusional fans at home that think she steals things for your favorites, NO! She makes those opportunities! This is a NEW Charlotte! She won’t apologize for being that damn good! You will bow down to the THIRTEEN TIME Women’s Champion!!
No more little humble Charlotte. So everyone needs to show their respect to what she has done! She’s dedicated YEARS of her life to this! Tears, blood and sweat. And what has anyone given her in return? Exactly, NOTHING. Enjoy the match that SHE should’ve been in! Mic drop of mic drops right here! Will The Queen go after whoever comes out with the title tonight?
Raw Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley VS Asuka!
The Nightmare became reality when her brutality was more than ready, ended Asuka’s reign at 330 days, and now she starts her first day as champion! But will the first day be the last when she gives Asuka her WrestleMania rematch already?
Raw returns as Rhea makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised and WrestleMania continues on Raw!
Rhea and Asuka circle, approach and tie right up. Rhea puts Asuka in a corner but Asuka turns it around to fire off! The ref counts, Rhea goes after Asuka! Rhea puts Asuka back in a corner, keeps on her with haymakers, but lets off as the ref counts. Asuka drop toeholds but Rhea blocks hitting buckles this time! Rhea drags Asuka up to TOSS her away! Rhea gets Asuka up, Asuka fights but Rhea CLUBS her down! Rhea hauls Asuka up to CLUB her on the back again, and again, then has her at the ropes. Rhea gets Asuka up for a back suplex, but Asuka victory rolls, ONE!! Rhea sits up but into KICKS! Rhea blocks, but Asuka throws her for an ARMBAR!
Rhea scrambles, gets the ropebreak, but Asuka is after her! Rhea hits back, bumps Asuka off buckles, then hoists her up top backwards. Rhea climbs, Asuka elbows away on her, but Rhea gets back to dropkick Asuka down! Asuka tumbles to the floor, the ref reprimands but Rhea smirks as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rhea has Asuka in a body scissor squeeze. Asuka fights, make sit a cover, ONE as Rhea lets her go! Rhea CLOBBERS Asuka and wags her finger. Rhea drags Asuka up, whips her hard into a corner, but Asuka just gets mad! Rhea drags Asuka up again, bumps her off buckles again and again, then lets off as the ref counts. Rhea stomps Asuka, lets off again, but Asuka elbows her away! Asuka boots, hops up, and leaps for a missile dropkick! Rhea and Asuka are both down and the ThunderDome fans rally on their screens! Rhea sits up, checks her jaw, but Asuka stands, POP-UP KNEE! GERMAN SUPLEX! Rhea is in a corner, Asuka HIP ATTACKS, but no bulldog!
Rhea walks into a ROUNDHOUSE, and a HEEL KICK! SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO!! Rhea survives and Asuka grows desperate. Asuka goes back up top, leaps again, but just misses as Rhea moves! Rhea stomps Asuka, gets the legs, PRISM TRAP!! Rhea pulls on the ankle but Asuka endures and reaches! ROPEBREAK! Asuka holds on but Rhea yanks her for a FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Asuka is still in this and Rhea grows frustrated. Rhea pushes Asuka around, talks trash, but Asuka fires back! Rhea blocks a punch, spins Asuka to cravat and knee away! Rhea snapmares and runs but now she misses! Rhea dodges the Sliding Wizard but Asuka foils the Electric Chair!
Asuka gets up, Rhea tries again, and Rhea gets Asuka up only for Asuka to throw hands! Rhea shifts Asuka to a fireman’s carry, but Asuka makes it a CRUCIFIX DRIVER! Both women are down from that but Asuka crawls to a cover, TWO!! FUJIWARA ARMBAR!! Asuka pulls, Rhea endures, fights and rolls but into an ASUKA LOCK!!! Asuka hasn’t got it completely on as Rhea moves around! Rhea pries at Asuka’s chinbar hold, fights up to her feet, and she RAMS Asuka into a buckle! Rhea is free, and she Electric Chair lifts again, for the FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! Asuka survives and is driving Rhea mad!
Rhea sees Asuka go to the apron and follows. Rhea wants to return the favor from last night but Asuka shoves her into a POST! And then HIP ATTACKS her into the post! APRON DDT!! The ring count starts, Asuka gets Rhea up, but CHARLOTTE ATTACKS!
Winner: Asuka, by disqualification; Rhea retains the title
Charlotte RAMS Asuka into steps, then into barriers! Charlotte rains down rights on Asuka, then she runs and BOOTS Rhea down!! Charlotte throws forearms on Asuka then EXPLODERS Asuka into the LED! Charlotte BOOTS her into it! Rhea sits up, Charlotte BOOTS her into it, too! Charlotte mocks the Empress and the Nightmare, and says, “I’m baaaack~!” Will she be back on top now that she’s no longer holding back?
The Miz & John Morrison talk backstage.
They’re excited that their social media is blowing up, and “There she is~!” Maryse is here! But why? What? She’s their guest on Miz TV, remember? Oh, duh. Morrison forgot that. The It Couple and Guru of Greatness head out, will they still be must-see even after their Mania loss?
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler laugh at replays from WrestleMania.
Though they’re still champions, the Tag Team Turmoil match had one obvious mishap: Mandy Rose slipping and falling on her butt. And these two can’t get enough of it! Mandy storms over and asks if they’re done. She gets it, she found a new way to trend. It was a bit embarrassing, but she can laugh at herself. She got up fast, but so funny when you don’t see things coming, right? SLAP! And then the Sexy Muscle Friends RAM Nia into barrels! Will Mandy & Dana be having the last laugh?
Raw returns to Alexa’s Playground.
“WrestleMania was so much fun!” Now, you’re probably wondering why she did what she did. Well maybe this little story will help explain. “Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was lost. Until one day, she was rescued by the darkness.” She of course means herself and how The Fiend snatched her up. “The darkness protected her, nurtured her, and taught her everything it knew. But then the darkness went away.” Alexa wonders if that was when the little girl realized that she didn’t need “the darkness” after all. “How do you think it made her feel when she realized she could do everything on her own?”
Was the darkness helping her? Or was it in her way? Why else would she use what she was taught to try and destroy “the darkness?” Is it true that the female of the species is the deadliest? We may never know. But here’s what we know for sure: that along the way, she unlocked something truly evil. Meet her new friend, Lily! It’s a rather creepy doll… Trust Alexa when she says that their fun is just getting started. The Fiend may be back, but does something far more wicked this way come?
Raw presents an all new Miz TV!
The Miz, Maryse and Morrison head to the ring together, and the Raw After Mania is even more Must-See! But what will they have to say after the break?
Raw returns and the trio are seated in the ring, and Miz welcomes us back to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show. WrestleMania has come and gone and what a whirlwind! History was made, and yet despite everything that has happened, Miz remains the most talked about entertainer in all of entertainment! And he knows what you’re thinking: Why is Miz’s beautiful wife, Maryse, here? What is the most gorgeous, vivacious and intelligent mother in reality TV doing here? Morrison of course knows but tell us all! Well it’s because tonight, after Raw, the USA Network has the new season of Miz & Mrs! That does make sense!
But sense they’re both here, what about a spin-off? Miz, Mrs & Morrison! #MMM! Catchy, right? No, not really. Their tag line can be, “It’s delicious!” No, no, Morrison, there’s no spin-off! Morrison is even in tonight’s episode, because it’s about the time they made a commercial for Maryse’s Yaupon Tea Glow Awakening Moisturizer! What a great episode and an awesome commercial! The greatest commercial of the 21st century! *Stare off into distance* What does Maryse think? It’s… awesome. Right! And this season is so big! And there’s all the buzz from Miz taking Bad Bunny, a megastar in the musical industry, and making him into a true WWE superstar!
Maryse kisses Miz on the cheek and says he is so giving. Never before have we seen someone like Bad Bunny do what Bad Bunny did! And it would’ve never happened without Miz’s tutelage! Let’s look at some highlights from that match at WrestleMania! The Falcon Arrow, the Super Crossbody, and Morrison’s great looking back muscles. History was made, because it takes two to tangle! Without Miz, Bunny would’ve been a flop! But here comes Damian Priest! Priest tells Miz that Bunny doesn’t have Miz to thank. Priest was Bunny’s tag partner and not even Priest is going to take credit for Bunny’s accomplishments. Bunny shocked the world by putting in the work to live the dream.
And if memory serves Priest right, Miz said Bunny didn’t belong. Is Miz saving face? Priest reminds us of the headline: Bad Bunny Beats Miz. Well where’s Priest name in that headline?! Where was he in the highlight reel?! Priest is jealous that he got upstaged by his so-called friend! Meanwhile, Miz has had many Mania moments, including beating Cena in the main event! So Miz can even face Priest tonight! Morrison wanted to do the same thing! They argue over who gets after Priest, but Maryse shouts over them. They can both fight him, wink wink. Oh right… Handicap!
Priest tells them all to stop. They’re just idiots, aren’t they? But fine, he’ll take a handicap match. The headline will then read Priest beats BOTH Miz ‘n’ Morrison! Priest storms down to the ring, but Miz ‘n’ Morrison aren’t dressed to compete! Will the Greatest Tag Team of the 21st Century have to put up or shut up after the break?
2v1 Handicap: The Miz & John Morrison w/ Maryse VS Damian Priest!
Raw returns and suits or not, the fight is on! Miz starts and Priest ROCKS him with body shots and a haymaker! Priest BOOTS Morrison, dodges Miz and fires off hands! Morrison storms over but Priest DECKS him! Miz BOOTS Priest, stomps him down, then drags Priest up. Tag to Morrison for the 21st Century Classic, catapult forearm and elbow drop! Cover, ONE!! Morrison throws off his jacket, KICKS Priest down, then clamps on a chinlock while clubbing away! Priest endures, fights up as fans rally on their screens, and Priest pries free! Morrison throws an elbow, RAMS Priest into the corner and fires off heavy shots!
Miz tags in, Miz talks trash but Priest ROCKS Morrison and dodges the lariat! Priest dodges the boot, blocks a punch to ROUNDHOUSE, and Morrison ends up in a corner. Priest hits a flying back elbow to Morrison! Then one to Miz! Then another to Morrison before the BROKEN ARROW! Priest fires off kicks on Miz, ROCKS him but Miz dodges, only to turn around into a WHEEL KICK! Priest clamps onto Miz with a choke grip, for the SOUTH OF HEAVEN! Morrison SHINING WIZARDS Priest down! Miz crawls over, hot tag to Morrison, only for Priest to CLOBBER him! Priest gets to a corner, climbs up top, but Morrison scrambles out of the ring.
Priest hops down, sees Miz ‘n’ Morrison regroup, and he runs to FLY out onto them!! Priest drags Morrison up and in, climbs up again, but Miz drags him down! Priest elbows Miz away then BOOTS him! Priest climbs, Morrison ROCKS him! Morrison throws more forearms, climbs up top, but Priest fights him off with elbows. Priest gets down to ROUNDHOUSE Morrison off the top! Priest climbs back up, leaps, FLYING WHEEL KICK! Cover, TWO!! Morrison survives but Priest grits his teeth. Priest paces, takes aim and choke grips Morrison. Morrison breaks free, elbow shim away and Miz tags in before Priest scoops Morrison! HIT THE LIGHTS!!
But Miz gets Priest for the full nelson! Priest fights out, Miz drags Miz out to save him, but not for long as Priest drags him back in! Priest rips Miz’s shirt off, drags him up but Maryse distracts on the apron. Miz rolls Priest up, puts his legs on the ropes, and wins!!
Winners: The Miz & John Morrison, by pinfall
The Miz may have his pants down, but he comes out the winner! Of course, after having his wife help him on top of this being a handicap match. Will the Archer of Infamy make sure to get his payback on them all soon enough?
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax.
After that altercation with the Sexy Muscle Friends, we’re getting a 2v2 match later on! Nia says the replay wasn’t necessary, we saw it 20 minutes ago! But it was rhetorical. This is all to embarrass her, but they’d have to be pretty dumb to do that! Either way, Mandy & Dana orchestrated a cowardly attack just to deflect from Mandy’s blooper. But after the beating Nia & Shayna give them, no one will be talking about them! That match, is next!
Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler VS Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose!
The Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades are already the most aggressive and dominant tag team in the Women’s Division, and that’s when they’re in a good mood! Now that Dana & Mandy have angered them, how much more dangerous will they be?
Raw returns and the champions make their entrance for this non-title match. But they get in each other’s way and Nia stumbles as she enters! So now Mandy & Dana have something to laugh at Nia about. The teams sort out, Nia is seething as she starts with Dana, but Dana dodges. Nia RAMS Dana into a corner, then brings her around to TOSS her! Dana ends up in an open corner and Nia SPLASHES her down! Nia digs her boot into Dana as she shouts, “You wanna laugh at me?!” Nia lets off, scrapes Dana’s face on ropes, then pushes her around. Nia drags Dana up, tags Shayna, and Shayna feeds Dana to Nia’s BODY CHECK! Shayna KICKS Dana down, covers, TWO!
Shayna gets a leg, stands on the foot and lets her hair down as she STOMPS it! Dana clutches her ankle, Shayna drags Dana around and gets her up for a STRETCH MUFFLER! Dana endures, Shayna lifts Dana and tags Nia in. Shayna SWINGS Dana into buckles like Nia would, and Nia runs to drop an elbow! Cover, TWO! Dana is still in this but Nia clamps on with a cobra clutch. Nia thrashes Dana around and shouts, “What’s so funny!?” Fans rally, Dana fights up and jawbreakers free! Nia shoves Dana, scoops her, but Dana tilt-o-whirls, but no DDT as Nia throws her away! Dana ROUNDHOUSES back! Shayna tags in, gets between the Sexy Muscle Friends, but Dana still tags Mandy!
Dana dodges, Mandy goes up, and missile dropkicks Shayna down! Mandy rallies with lariats, then a FLAPJACK! Mandy kips up, fans fire up with her and she RAMS Shayna into a corner! Mandy RAMS into Shayna again and again, then lets off to run in. Shayna dodges the knee, but Mandy dodges a knee, too! KNEE FROM A ROSE, and Mandy reels Shayna in for a TIGER- NO! Shayna fights free, gets around, KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Mandy runs and puts Shayna into ropes! Nia tags in and stalks Mandy. “You think it’s funny, huh?!” Nia puts Mandy in the ring, storms up, but then Nia slips and hits her face on the apron!
Nia storms after Mandy, Mandy and Dana get away, but Dana says it’s not worth getting hurt. Nia is furious, but the ring count is climbing! Nia & Shayna win!
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by count-out
The Sexy Muscle Friends live to fight another day, and maybe have a laugh at Nia’s expense. Will Nia be able to shake all this off and make sure the Raw Women’s Division takes her seriously?
MVP is in the ring!
Montel Vontavius Porter says this is an official announcement from The Hurt business., The All Mighty Bobby Lashley will join him shortly, but he wants to speak on his victory. Saturday, WrestleMania 37 Night One, Lashley retained his WWE World Championship. All he wanted to do tonight was address the fans and celebrate, but he could not. MVP will stress some points: McIntyre is an absolute WARRIOR, truly, and was one of the most dominant WWE Champions the world has ever seen. But McIntyre took his eyes of the target for just a second and that is where he finished.
McIntyre, it is okay to be number two when Lashley is number one. McIntyre gave it his all and it was respectable. But MVP has said it is always a matter of time until Lashley puts on the Hurt Lock. When that happens, it is over! We saw McIntyre pass out to it! How do you think McIntyre feels today? Walking around with his head held high? Nope! He can barely lift his head at all after the intense pressure of the Hurt Lock. And if McIntyre can’t handle it, then who can?! NO ONE. But McIntyre is here?! The Scottish Warrior has a mic to tell MVP, “How the hell would you know how I feel?” Well he must feel rather humbled.
McIntyre says Mania was going to come down to a few things: Claymore; Hurt Lock; and who makes the first mistake. McIntyre admits he made the first mistake when he let MVP distract him. But yes, the Hurt Lock is powerful, and you can’t do much about it when it’s on. McIntyre passed out at Mania and MVP feels great! MVP can brag about it! No humility whatsoever! And it’s working for MVP! Just look at him! Top of the world! But keep on this path, keep growing the ego. Keep Lashley in those fancy suits, pretty little sunglasses, and milk the cash cow for all he’s worth and kissing up to his ass. Lashley’s head should be as big as possible because eventually, McIntyre will get a rematch.
McIntyre will connect with the Claymore, and he wants Lashley to fall as far as possible for when he looks up at the new WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre. MVP says he respects Lashley, but even McIntyre can respect this: Nothing around here is given> Everything must be earned. Wait, here comes BRAAAUN! MVP says McIntyre can take his ass to the back of the line! But why is Mr. Strowman here? For once, Strowman agrees with MVP. McIntyre lost, so he goes to the back while the Monster Among Men steps to the front after what he did to Shane McMahon in a steel cage! Strowman and McIntyre are face to face but here comes Randy Orton! MVP loses his mind!
The line starts and ends with Lashley, so what is the Viper doing here? Orton says The Fiend and Alexa are no more, so no more mind games for Orton! That means Orton has all the time in the world to focus on what he is truly great at: being the Legend Killer, being the Apex Predator, being the Viper. But most of all, that means being WWE World Champion again. MVP is getting annoyed with this but here comes Adam Pearce! He sees where this is all going. Everyone makes excellent points so the decision is simple. Orton VS Braun VS McIntyre, winner takes Lashley on for the title at #WrestleManiaBacklash! A main event finally emerges, and it is MASSIVE! But who gets their shot at the All Mighty?
Braun and McIntyre talk backstage.
We all saw what Braun did to Shane, ripping the cage apart and throwing Shane off the top. But this is a Triple Threat tonight. You could go after McIntyre but then Orton would attack from behind. You go after Orton, but then what happens? BOOM, Claymore! Braun knows how a Triple Threat works. You trying to insult his intelligence? You saw how that worked out for Shane, right? The thing is, Braun knows how bad McIntyre wants his rematch. But McIntyre doesn’t get that he’s in Braun’s way of getting that title. That means McIntyre has a monster-sized ass whooping coming. But are they both forgetting that the Viper could strike outta nowhere?
Ladies and gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter and his follower, Jaxson Ryker, are already in the ring as Elias introduces them both. “Now right now, I’d like to take this time to make sure Shane McMahon gets the respect he deserves for his valiant and heroic effort against Braun Strowman at WrestleMania.” In fact, Elias dedicates his once-in-a-lifetime performance to his friend and mentor, Shane O’Mac. But when he strums, a trombone plays? That’s weird. Let’s try again. StruuuUUUUm. What?! Who’s doing that? Lance, are you messing with the sound?! But then “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston make their entrance!
Kofi has a mic to say, “Whaaat? Whoa~, bruh! Now, I hear you out here forming this makeshift apology to Shane McMahon, but I’m wondering why you’re not apologizing to the entire Raw Tag Team Division for the way that you disgraced it!” YES! Two men, not one but two, a tag team, got your sorry behinds whooped ALL~ over Mania by one man! One Strowman! And you just hate to see it. If something like that happened to them, they’d never show their faces again! But look a their beautiful cherub faces! And no offense, but look at y’all! They should have bags over their heads. You mean to tell Kofi that at the first night with fans was just catching Braun’s hands?! SHAME!
Elias has them stop and says a colossal whopping by one man is the same as when Omos tossed the New Day around to take away their tag titles! How high was Kofi when he was up there? Woods says that what they have here is a failure to communicate. If you think this is a game, it’s not! It’s not about the New Day but about these two! UNACCEPTABLE CONDITION!! But fear not, for ya bois, the NEW~ DAY~, are about to bring all the honor when they whip these two here tonight~! And then you’ll see what a REAL tag team looks like! And do you know why? Do tell. BECAAAAAAAAUSE~! NEW! DAY ROCKS! We find out what it takes to be a tag team, right now!
The New Day VS Elias & Jaxson Ryker!
Woods starts with Ryker, but Ryker CLOBBERS Woods at the bell! Ryker throws heavy hands in a corner, whips Woods corner to corner, but misses in the corner as Woods dodges. Woods dumps Ryker out hard, then mule kicks Elias! Kofi throws Elis out to join Ryker, and the New Day DOUBLE FLY!! Direct hit at the ramp and the former tag team champions are standing tall as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Elias ducks an dodges and BOOTS Woods! Ryker tags in, Woods elbows and whips Elias but Elias reverses and Ryker SPINEBUSTERS! Ryker drops ax handles over and over, rains down fists now, then covers, TWO! Ryker keeps Woods from Kofi, bumps him off buckles and stomps away on him! Elias tags in, whips Ryker in and Ryker splashes Woods! Elias fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Woods survives but Elias drags him up by his hair. Elias talks trash, clamps on a chinlock and grinds Woods down with thrashing. Raw goes picture in picture to plug Nobody, the new hit action film, but Woods fights up to roll up! TWO and Woods CHOPS!
Woods reaches for Kofi, Elias whips him away and CLOBBERS him! Elias is fired up as he drags Woods over. Tag to Ryker, they mug Woods, and Ryker suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Ryker CLUBS Woods, covers again, TWO! Ryker drags Woods up, whips him into the corner but Woods hits Elias! Woods elbows Ryker away, hops up and leaps, but Ryker CLOBBERS him out of the sky! Cover, TWO!! Woods survives, Elias tags in, and Ryker DECKS Kofi! Elias whips Woods to Ryker’s SPINEBUSTER, then Elias SLIDING KNEES Woods down! Cover, TWO!! Woods is not done! Ryker tags in, Elias suplexes Woods to a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!!!
Ryker is furious as Woods survives again! Ryker drags Woods back into a thrashing camel clutch! Woods fights up, jawbreakers free, but Ryker keeps him from Kofi with a back suplex. Woods lands o his feet to ENZIGURI! Woods hurries, hot tags to Elias and Kofi !Kofi springboards to rally on Elias! Kofi hits Ryker for good measure, dropkicks Elias down then runs but into Elias’ arms! Kofi sunset flips, Elias rolls through but Kofi STOMPS Elias down! Cover, TWO! Kofi runs for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kofi claps but Ryker gets in, so Kofi DECKS him! Woods WRECKS Ryker, Ryker spins but Elias ducks to Electric Chair lift! Kofi fights free, Woods tags in, Kofi BOOTS Elias!
Kofi gets Elias up, backbreaker! Woods is up top, UP UP DOWN DOWN!! Cover, The New Day wins!
Winners: The New Day, by pinfall
Elias & Ryker brought the fight, and perhaps are worthy of the tag division, but they’re not better than the ELEVEN time champions! Will Woods & Kofi soon get back to those W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONSHIPS~?!
Randy Orton speaks.
“Over the past six months, I have been distracted. But all of that ended last night at WrestleMania.” Orton was distracted by Alexa Bliss and by The Fiend. But those two have simply disappeared, so now Orton can focus on what matters: the WWE World Championship! He has to get through McIntyre and Braun tonight, but the thing is, he only has to strike once because he brings with him the three most dangerous in sports entertainment, R K O! But will Orton be able to strike down the giants in his path to get at the titan who holds the title?
Raw presents an all new Firefly Fun House!
Mercy the Buzzard, Huskis the Pig Boy, Abby the Witch, and Ramblin’ Rabbit are all back! And they proudly present the return of BRAAAY WYAAAAT~! YAY~! Hello, Fireflies! It feels so good to be back! Especially with all of his true friends. Abby couldn’t stand that little b**** anyway! Well if you don’t have anything nice to say, Abby, don’t say anything at all. **** that! Witches be wild. But Ramblin’ says this will be so much roomier in here without Alexa! OWIE WOWIE, dude! Mwah! Bet you didn’t see that coming! Bray then throws Ramblin’ away and says that they still have each other!
As a matter of face, Bray feels great! This could be a brand new start! A new season, with new friends and a brand new Bray! In fact, Bray feels reborn! Yeah! Bray heals Huskis and Mercy! And begone, Abby! But that’s right! Everything will be fine because HE will return! No more clout chasing in this simulation! The Fun House will be big, bad, and stwong! See you around~! But will it really be a revival of the Fun House?
WWE World Championship Triple Threat: Drew McIntyre VS Braun Strowman VS Randy Orton!
While the Scottish Warrior missed the mark thanks to MVP, the Monster Among Men mangled Shane O’Mac and the Viper avoided disaster against The Fiend. But nothing is done until it is done! Will McIntyre get right back up and right back after the Rocky Mountain Machine? Will McIntyre and Orton #GetTheseHands? Or will the Apex Predator be right back in the title hunt with one swift strike?
Raw returns as Orton makes his entrance to join Braun and McIntyre in the ring. The bell rings and all three men circle while watching the others. McIntyre and Braun fires off, Orton lurks up but backs off as McIntyre glares. Braun puts McIntyre in a corner to hammer away and Orton hangs back. Braun throws body shots, Orton storms in and attacks Braun. Braun choke grips but now McIntyre and Orton work together to go after him! They double suplex Braun up and over! McIntyre looms over Braun, watches him get to a corner and kicks him down! Orton kicks McIntyre, but Braun CLOBBERS them both!
Orton bails out, Braun throws McIntyre out the other side! Braun goes out, the Strowman Express is on the tracks! Braun runs, into STEEL STEPS from McIntyre! Orton BACK SUPLEXES McIntyre to the desk!! The Viper stands tall by taking advantage, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and McIntyre throws knees into Braun. Orton gets up to add on stomps, they mug Braun at the ropes then McIntyre hits a GLASGOW KISS! Braun falls out of the ring, Orton thumbs McIntyre in the eye! Orton kicks low then throws McIntyre by his hair! Orton stomps McIntyre’s leg, then his arm! Orton scrapes McIntyre’s face with his laces, but McIntyre hits back with body shots. Orton knees low, whips, but McIntyre reverses, only for Orton to kick him! McIntyre LARIATS back! And again! McIntyre whips, OVERHEAD suplexes Orton, then clinches him in a corner to OVERHEAD SUPLEX!
Braun return to CLOBBER McIntyre! And SPALSH Orton in a corner! Braun ROCKS Orton, runs but McIntyre dodges! NECKBREAKER! McIntyre looks but Orton is out of the ring, and as McIntyre exits, Orton trips him up! McIntyre hits the apron hard, and staggers into a kick. Orton CHOPS McIntyre against the apron! McIntyre CHOPS back! McIntyre walks into another kick and Orton bumps him off barriers. Orton POSTS McIntyre, then has him at the desk again! Orton bumps McIntyre off the hood, then again! And again! Orton drags McIntyre up to throw OVER the desk! Orton turns around, the STROWMAN EXPRESS gets him!
Braun puts Orton in the ring, drags the steel steps up to SMACK McIntyre into barriers! Braun runs, throws the steps aside, and then goes to the ring to drag Orton onto the apron. Braun CLUBS Orton, goes back for the steps, and as Orton stands, Braun RAMS him! Braun RAMS McIntyre again! Braun roars as he stands over Orton, and then hauls him up by his ears! Braun puts Orton in the ring, but Orton kicks him in the ropes! Orton drags Braun out for a DRAPING DDT!! Orton grins as he hears the voices in his head! Braun slowly stands, Orton stalks up behind him, RKO!! Cover, McIntyre BASEMENT CLAYMORES!! Cover, McIntyre wins!!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall (NEW #1 contender to the WWE World Championship)
The Viper may have struck, but McIntyre struck last! Now McIntyre gets a WrestleMania rematch at WrestleMania Backlash! Will the Scottish Warrior regain the title now that he knows what to expect? But MVP comes back out to look at McIntyre. But T-BAR AND MACE are here?!? They get McIntyre for HIGH JUSTICE!!! Retribution is done, but are these two giants now under MVP’s command?!
As Raw-After-Mania episodes go, this wasn’t amazing or anything, but it was a good episode overall. It’s great to see the Viking Raiders are back, they have a really good return match with Alexander & Benjamin, and this is going to be good for the Raw Tag Division… And we didn’t see the champs! Where are the champs?! New Day getting on Elias & Ryker for being goobers as a tag team was great, and of course they win the match, but Elias & Ryker looked their best yet. I thought Miz & Morrison were breaking up tonight because of the miscommunication before Miz TV, but them sticking together is also good. While they’re looking like even bigger goobers as a team against Priest, I hope they and New Day give us a match that redeems Miz & Morrison and gets them back into the swing of the tag division.
I am a little concerned about how things went with the Women’s Tag Division tonight, though. First, where’s Reginald? Is WWE just dropping that story because they don’t want it to break the team up? They can still keep the two together and resolve the Reggie story. But I guess Reggie will end up where Vince puts people’s last names, Mustafa Ali’s hacker gimmick, and GTV. Then in the match, I get they want Nia to face some embarrassment to play off of what happened with Mandy at Mania, but her suddenly being clumsy is not it. A mishap backstage/catering? Sure. Another “MY HOLE!” type incident? Yeah! But her pretending to slip on the apron like that was not good. I guess this goes to “WrestleMania Backlash,” but I don’t want a gag to be why Shay-Nia finally lose. A real, awesome match with Mandy & Dana is how they should finally lose.
The Raw Women’s Championship story is a bit skewed right now, too. Rhea VS Asuka in a sudden rematch was a good match, but I don’t know about story. Charlotte having her promo putting everyone on notice right before the match, to then interfere in the match all seems redundant. I feel like Charlotte ambushing the champ and challenger was how she should’ve returned, and then she can talk and explain and be confronted next week. But she’s back, she and Rhea can revisit last year, she and Asuka can revisit many other moments before, and who knows, WrestleMania Backlash might give us a Triple Threat, though that might feel too much like NXT TakeOver: In Your House.
While how The Fiend’s return match ended was a bummer to everyone, I do like Alexa’s explanation. Fiend was gone, the student had surpassed the master, and instead of a Firefly Fun House match with Orton, maybe we get that with Alexa and Bray. They throw their respective pasts, such as the failed gimmicks and awful things they’ve done, in each other’s faces, and only one stands tall as the ultimate supernatural being on Raw. I don’t know what that would mean for the loser, but I think fans would prefer if Bray kept the spooky stuff. Not that Alexa isn’t doing great in this role, but Bray’s been up and down a lot, and WWE taking away what’s working from him yet again would be really rough.
We got a pretty good story for the world title tonight, with Lashley having a great match with Riddle and still winning, and then there being a great Triple Threat to determine a contender. It is odd that whenever Lashley even plans on celebrating, that celebration is denied. When Lashley first got the title off The Miz, the celebration was “canceled” because he gave Miz his rematch and whooped him. Lashley wanted to celebrate tonight, but not only did his emotions get in the way, MVP’s announcement was interrupted by the challengers and Pearce made a match. Will Lashley have to wait until after WrestleMania Backlash to finally have his party? And McIntyre winning the Triple Threat here probably serves two purposes: It keeps Orton and Braun in the back pocket for later; and it probably means McIntyre loses again, in an equally competitive match with Lashley, just to make a point of Lashley’s power.
My Score: 8.3/10
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