NJPW’s Anniversary kicks off the New Japan Cup!
After the year we wish never was, NJPW triumphantly celebrates their 49th anniversary! And to spice things up, there will be New Japan Cup matches, too! Who takes an early first step towards what is still the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?
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.
- 10 Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan; Bullet Club wins.
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos; Chaos wins.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Jeff Cobb VS Satoshi Kojima; Cobb wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tetsuya Naito VS Great-O-Khan; Khan wins and advances.
- IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Kota Ibushi VS El Desperado; Ibushi wins and retains the titles.
PLAY BY PLAY
10 Man Tag: Bullet Club VS Taguchi Japan!
Jay White leads his faction into battle, feeling pumped up after having dealt with the Stone Pitbull! But will #KingSwitch, the Bone Soldier, Crown Jewel, Fang Revived and King of Darkness be able to trump the Funky Weapon, FinJuice and HenarACE?
The Bullet Club Low Sweet, while Taguchi Japan low fist bumps. Fans cheer as the teams sort out, and Henare starts against White. They circle, fans rally up already, and then White asks Bullet Club if Henare is serious. Henare fires up, he and White tie up and Henare powers White to a corner. The ref calls for the break, Henare lets off but White pokes him in the eye! White kicks and throws haymakers then stomps Henare in the corner. White CHOPS, whips but Henare reverses. White slides out, plays a cat ‘n’ mouse, then tags in Kenta. Henare wants White to man up but White hides behind the other Bullet Club members.
Henare tags out to Juice and fans rally as Juice flips Kenta off. They circle, tie up, and Juice powers Kenta to ropes. The ref calls for the break Kenta turns things around and he pulls on Juice’s hair! The ref counts, Kenta lets off but he headlocks. Juice powers out, but Kenta pulls hair to reel him back in! Juice gets mad, throws body shots, and powers out. Things speed up, Juice hurdles but Kenta kicks him! And KICKS, and KICKS! Juice blocks the third kick to unleash “JUICE!” Jabs! Kenta throat chops before the Left Hand, but he runs into Juice’s atomic drop! Russian Leg Sweep and BIG senton! Cover, TWO!
Juice sees Dick creeping and spits at him. They talk trash, Tanahashi and Taguchi get in and they scoop slam Kenta! Taguchi Japan stomps away on Kenta! The ref reprimands, Bullet Club protests, and Tanahashi stays in and drags Kenta up. Tanahashi fires off strikes but runs into a cheap shot from White! Taguchi and Henare want in but the ref keeps them back. Kenta and White mug Tanahashi, and now Bullet Club stomps away on Tanahashi! The teams back off again, Kenta tags White in and White stomps Tanahashi’s legs. White stomps the left, then the right, then tags Evil. Evil drags Tanahashi up, reels him in and has the cobra twist! Bullet Club makes the chain to the railing!
Taguchi Japan protests as Tanahashi endures but Bullet Club gets away with it all! Evil lets Tanahashi go to cover him, TWO! Bullet Club protests the count but fans cheer. Chase tags in, fans rally with “LET’S GO, ACE!” but Chase YANKS Tanahashi’s leg! Tag to Ishimori and Bullet Club mugs Tanahashi more. Ishimori stomps Tanahashi, digs his boots in, but Tanahashi fires forearms back! Tanahashi hits every member of Bullet Club but Ishimori kicks low! Ishimori whips, Tanahashi reverses but Ishimori handsprings, but into Tanahashi’s waistlock! Ishimori fights free with elbows, kicks a leg, then runs but misses the dropkick! Tanahashi gets a leg for a GROUND DRAGON SCREW!
Both men are down and fans rally up, hot tags to Chase and David Finlay! Finlay rallies, Chase reverses the whip but Finlay uppercuts him down! Finlay blasts the Bullet Club corner then runs in at Chase to uppercut! Chase staggers, Finlay hops up and hits a flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again and Finlay drags Chase up. Chase fights off the Side Effect but Finlay dodges the knee! Chase bucks off the O’Conner to JEWEL TRIGGER! Tag to Evil, he drags Finlay up, but Finlay kicks. Evil blocks, hands the kick to the ref, but then Finlay blocks Evil’s kick! Finlay throws the foot down to hit a neckbreaker!
Fans fire up, hot tag to Taguchi and he unleashes his team! They go after the rest of Bullet Club as Taguchi climbs and leaps! But Evil catches him to EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, BULLET CLUB WINS!!
Winners: Bullet Club, by pinfall
Taguchi snatches defeat from the jaws of victory! White rubs it in that Evil wins, but will Bullet Club make such easy work of things in the New Japan Cup?
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Chaos!
Sanada, Bushi and Shingo Takagi take on Kazuchika Okada, Sho and Tomohiro Ishii before they all jump into the New Japan Cup! Will LIJ get in the way of the Rainmaker rising back up? Or will Okada, High Voltage and the Stone Pitbull be leading the charge into the opening round?
The trios sort out, and Okada starts with the Dragon as a preview of their NJCUP match! Fans rally, “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Okada and Takagi circle, tie up, and Okada manages to power Takagi to ropes. The ref calls for the ropebreak, Okada lets off, and fakes the chop to pat Takagi’s shoulder. Takagi forearms back! Takagi CLUBS Okada and stomps him down! Takagi drags Okada, CHOPS him, but Okada blocks the boot to give a boot! Okada bumps Takagi off buckles, throws elbows, then tags Ishii in. Takagi gets clear, and Ishii wants the Cold Skull! Takagi tags Sanada and fans rally with “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up, Sanada wrenches to a wristlock but Ishii throws body shots.
Ishii wrenches to a wristlock, Sanada wrenches back but Ishii throws a forearm! Ishii deflects the boot, swings a clothesline but Sanada gets to a waistlock. Ishii elbows out, swings into another waistlock, but Ishii switches, only for Sanada to elbow out. Sanada whips Ishii to a corner, runs in but Ishii dodges. Ishii runs back in but Sanada dodges! Sanada runs in but into a boot, only to boot back! Sanada swings into a waistlock, Ishii ducks the elbow to ROCK Sanada! Ishii runs, but Sanada hurdles, hurdles and dropkicks! Fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. Fans clap “SA-NA-DA!” as he brings Ishii up and uppercuts him.
Sho runs in, Sanada boots him, then boots him again! Sanada whips but Sho CLOBBERS Sanada! Bushi runs in, boots Sho but Sho elbows back. Sho runs, Bushi dodges and RANAS! Okada DECKS Bushi, Takagi runs Okada over! Takagi and Ishii ram each other over and over then go forehead to forehead. They throw forearms, Ishii whips but Takagi reverses. Bushi trips Ishii and Sanada basement dropkicks! LIJ goes after Chaos on the outside while Sanada stomps Ishii. Fans rally as Ishii eggs Sanada on. Sanada stomps him more but Ishii dares him to keep going. Sanada does keep going, tags Bushi, and Bushi takes his shirt off to choke Ishii with it!
The ref counts, Bushi hits a neckbreaker! Cover but Okada breaks it! Takagi throws Okada back out, Bushi tags Sanada. Bushi DECKS Sho, Sanada drags Ishii up and hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans still rally as Sanada drags Ishii up to a fireman’s carry. Ishii slips off, shoves Sanada but Sanada elbows back. Sanada Quebrada but Ishii gets under, only to run into the fireman’s carry! Sanada slings Ishii into a dragon suplex, but Ishii slips free! Ishii catches Sanada to a spin and suplex, but Sanada slips out to dragon sleeper! Ishii spins through to hit the suplex! Fans fire up as both men are down! Hot tags to Takagi and Okada!
Okada dodges to fire off forearms, whip but Takagi reverses, only for Okada to elbow him down! Okada fires up and he whips Takagi corner to corner. Okada elbows Takagi, kicks low and DDT’s! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, “O-KA-DA!” “TA-KA-GI!” Takagi and Okada throw forearms back and forth, faster and faster! Okada ROCKS Takagi, EuroUppers, and whips Takagi corner to corner. Takagi reverses, runs in but blocks the boot. Takagi eggs Okada on to push harder, but then he CLOBBERS Okada! Takagi whips corner to corner, hits another clothesline, then runs, into Okada’s catch! Okada has the MONEY CLIP!
Takagi slips free, arm-drags and elbows Okada to JAB and power up! Okada BOOTS Takagi down! Fans fire up as both men head for their corners again! Hot tag to Sho! Sho runs in at Takagi to clothesline! Sho whips, Takagi reverses but Sho reverses back to kick and kick and kick! But Takagi blocks to elbow the leg! Sho forearms, runs but Takagi clotheslines at ropes! Takagi runs and runs Sho over! Fans fire up, Takagi tags Bushi and he climbs up to missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Bushi dropkicks a leg, and SPIKES Sho with a DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Bushi drags Sho back up and reels him in to wrench and hook Sho up.
Sho resists the lift and Ishii runs in to run Bushi over! Sanada dropkicks Ishii, Okada BOOTS Sanada! Takagi blocks a boot to JAB and LARIAT! Fans rally up with “OI! OI! OI!” and LIJ whips Sho. Sho SPEARS Takagi down! Bushi clubs Sho, Sho avoids the Fisherman Screw and the enziguri to dead lift GERMAN SUPLEX! Fans fire up with Sho as he waits for Bushi to stand. Sho runs to LARIAT! Sho drags Bushi up, Okada is after Takagi on the outside, and Sho hits the SHOCK ARROW! Cover, Chaos wins!
Winners: Chaos, by pinfall
High Voltage is building up power! Will this help him build up towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship? Will Okada be ready for the Dragon in the first round?
Speaking of coming match-ups, Ishii and Sanada stare down, then start brawling with forearms and CHOPS! The ref breaks this up and the two part ways, for now. Will either of them be able to walk away from their coming confrontation in the Cup?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Jeff Cobb VS Satoshi Kojima!
The United Empire was shocked to have been beaten by the King of Cozy Style and Hiroyoshi Tenzan at Castle Attack! But the Hawaiian Hulk has a chance at redemption while also going for the gold! Will Cobb take Kojima on a Tour of the Islands before kicking him out of the tournament?
The bell rings and fans rally as Kojima and Cobb stare down. They slowly approach, tie up, and Cobb gets around to a waistlock. Kojima pries free, wrenches, but Cobb facelocks and cranks on the head! Kojima gets to ropes, Cobb lets off clean, but then gives Kojima a shove. Fans cheer as the two circle and tie up. Kojima headlocks, Cobb powers out but Kojima rams him with a shoulder. Cobb stays up so Kojima runs and rams him again. Cobb still stays up, and Kojima tries a third time. Kojima still can’t knock Cobb over, and Cobb kicks low to run. Kojima dodges, and finally runs Cobb over! But Cobb is right up to run Kojima over!
Cobb drags Kojima up, CLUBS him, and has Kojima in a corner. Cobb rams his shoulder, whips Kojima corner to corner then runs in but Kojima dodges! Kojima CHOPS, CHOPS, then fires off the machine gun CHOPS! Fans fire up, Kojima tops it off with one last CHOP, then whips Cobb again. Kojima runs in to forearm Cobb and throw him down! Kojima climbs up but Cobb clubs him first! Cobb lifts Kojima but Kojima slips off, only for Cobb to RAM him into the other corner! Cobb rams again and again, then reels Kojima in for a LARIAT! Fans rally for “KO-JI-MA!” as Cobb drags him back up. Cobb headbutts Kojima and Kojima flops down!
Cobb toys with Kojima, drags him back up, and DROPKICKS him down! Cobb takes his time with the cover, TWO! Fans rally up again but Cobb brings Kojima up to throw forearms. Kojima forearms back, Cobb returns the forearm, then knees low. Cobb whips, elbows Kojima down and covers, ONE! He covers again, TWO! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Cobb is angry with the ref but the ref says his count was fair. Cobb kicks Kojima to a corner, slaps him around, then CHOPS him! And CHOPS! Cobb unleashes his own machine gun CHOPS! Cobb pushes Kojima around, whips him corner to corner, then runs in to forearm smash!
Cobb rolls Kojima and heads up top!? But Kojima CLUBS him first! Kojima climbs up to join Cobb, fans rally up, but Cobb resists the superplex. Cobb throws body shots, Kojima headbutts him back! Kojima CLUBS Cobb, brings him up, and hits a SUPERPLEX! Fans fire up even more as Cobb writhes and Kojima rises! Kojima SHINING WIZARDS Cobb out of the ring! Fans fire up as Kojima takes aim and PLANCHAS?! But Cobb catches him, and KNEES him in the ribs over and over, to then SLAM him down! Fans fire up as Cobb gets back on the apron. Kojima sweeps the legs! Cobb hits the apron, Kojima gets up and fires up as he reels Cobb in! APRON DDT!
Cobb is stuck upside-down but then flops to the floor. The ref starts the ring count, but Kojima drags Cobb up at 6 of 20, and puts him in at 10 of 20! Kojima climbs up top, and hits the MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Cobb survives but Kojima just focuses his power. Kojima drags Cobb up to fire off forearms and a ROLLING ELBOW! Kick and DDT! Fans rally more as Kojima brings Cobb in for a cravat. Cobb powers out to thrash Kojima around and hit a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb and Kojima go to opposite corners, and Cobb runs in corner to corner, to hit the leaping back elbow! Kojima staggers into a scoop, and Cobb RAMS him into a corner!
Kojima avoids Oklahoma Stampede to COZY CUTTER! Fans fire up as Cobb slowly rises. Kojima is on him and brings him up to suplex! COZY BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Cobb still lives but Kojima isn’t done yet! Cobb blocks him from taking off the armband! Kojima throws haymakers, whips Cobb, but Cobb reverses to reel Kojima in, ATHLETIC PLEX! Gut wrench and POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kojima survives and fans fire up again! Cobb grits his teeth, drags Kojima up and whips him, to scoop and TOUR- NO! Kojima slips out but his lariat is blocked! Cobb runs, into the LEFT LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Kojima keeps his cool and he throws off the armband! Kojima runs but into a SUPERKICK! Kojima stays up but Cobb JABS him, and copies the armband toss, only to run into the COZY LARIAT! Fans are thunderous as Kojima powers up and runs, but into a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!! Cover, Cobb wins!!
Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
There was nothing cozy about that, but it was snug! Will Cobb continue on from here to conquer the Cup on behalf of the United Empire?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tetsuya Naito VS Great-O-Khan!
The Uncontrollable Charisma couldn’t take back the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, and the Dominator couldn’t take the NEVER Openweight Championship for the glory of the United Empire! But will one of these two redeem themselves and head for the coming IWGP world title?
Khan is patient as Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire, so Naito takes his time. Naito then mocks Khan’s pose and the bell rings. Fans rally as Naito and Khan slowly circle. Khan sits down to use a leg guard against Naito, but Naito keeps his distance. Khan corners Naito, but lets off as Red Shoes calls for the ropebreak. Khan whips Naito, Naito grabs ropes and boots Khan. Naito throws Khan out, builds speed, but then rolls and mocks Khan’s pose again! Fans cheer that and even Khan laughs at Naito’s bravado. Khan returns, Naito rushes him and kicks him low! Naito clubs Khan, snapmares and wraps on a chinlock.
Khan endures, Naito grinds him down more, and then pulls back on the chinlock. Khan fights up, Naito grinds harder, but Khan throws body shots. Naito grinds further still but Khan pulls hair! Naito CLUBS Khan and stomps him for that! Naito pulls Khan’s ponytail, CLUBS him, then runs, into a hip toss! Khan wants the katagatami! Naito scrambles around and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Red Shoes counts, Khan holds on until 4. Fans rally as Naito bails out but Khan pursues. Khan drags Naito up, SLAPS him on the back, then pursues him around the way. Khan CLUBS Naito and whips him HARD into railing! Naito flops over and Khan grins as he walks over.
Khan stands on Naito’s head, mockingly asks what’s wrong, then stomps Naito. Khan puts Naito in, covers, ONE! Fans rally up but Khan drags Naito around to a gut wrench. Khan suplexes Naito hard, then covers, TWO! Fans rally up, Khan taunts Naito and follows him to ropes, then drags him up. Khan puts Naito in the corner to CLUB him on the back, then Khan sits on Naito’s head! Khan laughs but Red Shoes counts. Khan stands up at 3, to pull Naito’s arms back! Red Shoes counts again, Khan hops off at 3 and brings Naito out of the corner. Khan taunts Naito and kicks him, then he talks trash to Naito’s fans. Fans rally up, Khan digs Naito’s face into his boot!
Naito fights up, throws body shots, but Khan knees low. Khan runs but into Naito’s shotgun boot! Both men are down but fans fire up! Naito rises first, brings Khan up by his ponytail and whips him to ropes. Naito elbows Khan down then basement dropkicks him! Naito whips Khan to a corner now, rocket kick and sweep, COMBINACION CABRON! Fans fire up as Naito does his pose, then mocks Khan’s pose! Khan gets up but Naito has his ponytail again. Naito brings Khan around but Khan fights out of the neckbreaker. Khan swings but into a spin for the neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as Naito drags Khan back up.
Naito cravats and cranks Khan’s neck, but Khan gets to a corner. Red Shoes calls for the break, Naito lets off to throw elbow after elbow in! Naito gets the cravat neck wrench again, but Khan throws body shots. Khan whips and BOOTS Naito inside-out! Both men are down again and fans rally! Khan slowly rises, Naito crawls, but Khan drags Naito up for Mongolian Chops! And more Mongolian Chops! Khan whips Naito to ropes, Naito leaps but is caught to a bearhug! Naito fights free, Khan knees low and whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to turn the DDT into a TOSS! Naito clutches his bad knee and Khan storms over.
Khan grabs the leg to stomp away on it, then YANK the leg! Naito crawls to a corner, fans rally up and Khan stalks Naito again. Khan drags Naito to the corner and ties up the legs around the post! Red Shoes reprimands and counts and Khan lets go at 4. Khan goes around the way to look under the ring, and he brings out a chair! Red Shoes tells Khan no but Khan pushes Red Shoes away, to SMACK Naito’s leg against the post! Naito flops down and Khan taunts the fans. Khan has the chair again, sits Naito up and brings him around to the ramp. Naito fights back but Khan clubs and kicks him down! Khan has the chair again, sits it up, and has Red Shoes move aside.
Khan laughs at Naito as he drags him over, has the leg, and gives him a SHIN BREAKER to the chair! Naito clutches the leg and Khan paces around as fans rally up. Khan pretends he can’t hear the fans so they get louder. Khan leaves Naito behind and waits as Red Shoes checks on Naito. Naito is okay to continue so the ring count starts. The count is 10 of 20 before Naito sits up with the bad leg. Naito still doesn’t get up until 15 of 20! Naito hobbles, but gets in at 19.99!! Khan is right after the bad legs with a modified deathlock! Naito grabs at Khan but Khan clamps harder with the iron claw on the bad knee! Khan drags Naito up for an IRON CLAW SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Naito survives but Khan drags him around by the leg, for a CALF KILLER! Naito endures, fans rally but Khan thrashes the leg around! Naito powers up but Khan pulls back as far as he can! Naito starts to fade but Khan lets him go to clamp onto the knee with the claw. Khan drags Naito back up but Naito turns that into a SATELLITE DDT! Fans fire up as both men are down! Naito slowly rises, Khan drags himself up in the corner, but Naito manages to run in. Naito blocks Khan’s boot to throw back elbows! Naito stands Khan up with his ponytail to throw more elbows! Khan flops over, fans cheer, but Naito isn’t done there.
Naito drags Khan up by his ponytail again for more back elbows! And more back elbows! Naito hops up, reels Khan in, for ESPARANZA! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally up as Naito drags Khan back up. Naito reels Khan in for a hammerlock but Khan resists Gloria! Naito CLUBS Khan, pulls him up by the ponytail, then hammerlocks again. Khan still resists, clubs Naito in return, but Naito throws those back elbows again! Khan catches one for an atomic FACEBUSTER! Fans fire up as both men are down again. Khan drags Naito up and reels him in for an INVERTED EXPLODER! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but he clutches his leg again. Khan grits his teeth as he gets up again.
Khan strikes his pose and clamps his claw onto Naito’s face! Khan drags Naito up but Naito throws back elbows. Khan claws Naito’s eyes! ELIMI- NO! Naito fights out but Khan kicks his legs out! Khan clamps on again, but still no Eliminator! Naito comes back to DESTINO!! Both men are down, fans are thunderous, and Naito rises! Naito drags Khan up, wrenches, but Khan elbows him. Naito throws more elbows back, wrenches, but Khan still elbows free. Khan kick the bad leg but Naito ENZIGURIS! Tilt-o-whirl but Khan blocks and throws Naito off! Naito elbows, Khan dodges the enziguri and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives but Khan gets the leg for a STANDING KNEEBAR!
Khan claws Naito’s face to keep him down but fans rally as Naito reaches for ropes! Khan shifts to get a TRUE KNEEBAR! Naito endures as Khan shouts at him! Khan clubs and CHOPS Naito, pulls the leg, but Naito refuses to quit! Naito grabs at Red Shoes but Khan gets the other leg and gator rolls around! FIGURE FOUR KNEEBAR!! Naito fights towards ropes as Khan thrashes about! Naito grabs Red Shoes, reaches again, but Khan keeps pulling on the legs! Naito rolls and rolls but Khan still holds on! Naito reaches, flails, fans are rallying as hard as they can, but Naito can only grab at Red Shoes! Red Shoes calls it, Khan wins!!
Winner: Great-O-Khan, by referee stoppage (advances to the next round)
He’s won, but Khan won’t let go! Young Lions run in to pry Khan off Naito, but then Khan attacks the Young Lions! Khan STOMPS Naito’s bad leg, and mocks Naito’s pose! Khan talks trash right to Naito’s face then gives the bad leg one last stomp! Will Khan brutalize all of his opponents on the way to the finals?
IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship: Kota Ibushi VS El Desperado!
Speaking of the coming IWGP world title, the Golden Star God could be the first man to hold that new belt. But that’s only if he gets past the Junior Heavyweight Double Champion! Will Ibushi ascend to a new level in NJPW history? Or will it be the Rogue Luchador holding more gold than any wrestler in the world today?
The introductions are made, Ibushi’s belts are raised, and a rematch from almost eight YEARS ago happens for even greater stakes!
Fans rally as Ibushi and Desperado stare down. They circle, feel out the grapple, and tie up. Desperado gets around to a waistlock but Ibushi backs into ropes. They honor the break, and fans cheer as the two reset. Fans rally for “I-BU-SHI!” as he and Desperado tie up. Ibushi gets a leg, brings Desperado down but Desperado facelocks. Ibushi slips to a waistlock, Desperado switches, but Ibushi has his arm. Desperado tries to get free but Ibushi rolls and wrenches to a wristlock. Desperado reaches for ropes but Ibushi keeps him away. Desperado rolls, spins and wrenches back, and fans cheer the technical exchange. Ibushi rolls, trips Desperado and gets a toehold.
Desperado tries to hold him off with forearms, but Ibushi shifts inside the leg guard. Ibushi goes for a lateral press but Desperado slips right out to facelock and snapmare. Ibushi avoids the lateral press, Desperado still facelocks then waistlocks. Ibushi pries free, wrenches, wristlocks then hammerlocks. Desperado works on his reversal, he drops and rolls and gets the wristlock back. Fans cheer this exchange as Desperado hammerlocks. Ibushi elbows then drop toeholds, then floats to a chinlock. Desperado rolls to slip out the back and get the hammerlock back. Ibushi stands, slips out to hammerlock, but Desperado steps through the ropes then back in to wrap Ibushi’s arm on the ropes.
Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Desperado kicks the rope to jam the arm! Ibushi fires forearms back, then eggs Desperado on. Desperado roars and shows haymaker but stomps Ibushi’s foot! Desperado runs but into a KICK! Ibushi sees Desperado bail out and fans rally up. Ibushi goes out after Desperado, drags him up and whips him into railing! Desperado sputters as he slumps down, but Ibushi brings him back up. Ibushi puts Desperado in, but Desperado goes to scoop him! Ibushi CLUBS Desperado down, scoops him and SLAMS him down! Cover, ONE!! Ibushi keeps on Desperado with another chinlock.
Fans rally, Desperado endures, throws clubbing shots up at Ibushi but Ibushi shifts to a headscissor necklock. Desperado endures, moves around, kicks his way around but Ibushi gets the leg for a cover! TWO, and Desperado scrambles to ropes. Ibushi stands on Desperado at the ropes, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi are there to protest on Desperado’s behalf, so Ibushi lets off. Desperado glares up at Ibushi defiantly so Ibushi stands him up to forearm! Desperado forearms back but Ibushi eggs him on. Desperado throws more and more forearms but Ibushi says he needs ot hit harder! Desperado does, but Ibushi BOOTS him right down! Cover, ONE!!
Fans rally as Ibushi KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Desperado around! Desperado ends up in a corner, fans rally and he comes back with forearms! Ibushi still eggs Desperado on, so Desperado keeps hitting him! Desperado forearms over and over, but Ibushi BOOTS him again! Desperado comes back with forearms, Ibushi just leans into them! Ibushi backs Desperado down that way then BOOTS him to the corner! Ibushi drags Desperado up, whips him corner to corner, but Desperado reverses and runs in. Desperado blocks Ibushi’s boot, puts it on the ropes, then dropkicks the other leg! Fans cheer as Desperado gets the leg for a DRAGON SCREW! Ibushi falls over and fans rally up again.
Ibushi grits his teeth as he crawls but Desperado is after the bad leg! STRETCH MUFFLER! Ibushi gets the ropebreak, Red Shoes counts as Desperado thrashes, but Desperado still lets go at 3. Fans rally as Ibushi clutches the leg. Desperado stomps the leg, but Ibushi glares back at him! Desperado stomps the leg, reels Ibushi in, but no Guitarra as Ibushi gets free! Ibushi’s leg jams, Desperado runs, but into the POWERSLAM! Ibushi somersaults to the corner but Desperado dropkicks him out! Ibushi hits the floor and fans fire up! Desperado watches Ibushi on the outside, takes aim and builds speed, to DIVE! The somersault tope hits!
Fans fire up more as Desperado drags Ibushi up and into the ring! Desperado reels Ibushi in, GUITARRA DE ANGEL! Cover, TWO! Ibushi survives and Desperado grows frustrated but the fans fire up again. Desperado stands, stomps Ibushi’s bad leg, but Ibushi eggs him on. Desperado grabs the legs, Ibushi kicks him but Desperado stomps the leg again. Desperado drops knees on the knee! Desperado grabs the leg, steps through but Ibushi BOOTS him away! Ibushi slowly rises, and avoids Desperado’s basement dropkick to DOUBLE STOMP him down! Fans fire up while both men are down! Ibushi gets up and kicks Desperado.
Desperado sits up so Ibushi gives him toying kicks and fast palm strikes! Desperado wobbles but he forearms back. Ibushi forearms, Desperado rolls him up, to get the STRETCH MUFFLER! Fans fire up as Ibushi endures again! Desperado gets the arm for NUMERO DOS! Ibushi reaches with his free arm, moves around but Desperado drags him away from ropes! Desperado pulls as hard as he can on the hold but Ibushi fights his way around to the ropebreak! Desperado lets go mostly out of his own exhaustion and fans rally again. Desperado looms over Ibushi, drags him up, and reels him in to underhook the arms. Ibushi resists the lift, powers up and has Desperado tucked in!
Desperado fights desperately and avoid the Bastard Driver! Fans fire up as Ibushi hobbles up and Desperado runs in, but into another DOUBLE STOMPS! Ibushi still counters Desperado but the damage to his leg makes that a little more double-edged! Ibushi rises and he kicks at Desperado again. Desperado talks trash as he gets up but Ibushi kicks him. Desperado CHOPS, Ibushi forearms, repeat! CHOP, forearm, but then Desperado kicks the bad leg! Ibushi ROCKS Desperado, KICKS him in the chest, but Desperado eggs him on! Ibushi KICKS again! Desperado gets forehead to forehead with Ibushi but Ibushi fires off a strike fest!
Desperado blocks the kick to GUITARRA DE LA MUERTE! Cover, TWO! Desperado hurries right to a corner and climbs up! FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru & Taichi coach Desperado and fans are thunderous! Desperado drags Ibushi up, underhooks the arms, but again Ibushi blocks! Ibushi powers against the underhooks but Desperado knees low. Ibushi back kicks, dodges Desperado’s straight right to SHOTEI! And V-TRIGGER! KENNY~! But then ROUNDHOUSE meets LOCO MONO!! Fans are thunderous as both men go down!! Ibushi stirs but Desperado stands first. Desperado fires up, the fans respond and he drags Ibushi up. Underhooks for PINCHE-
NO! Ibushi fights out to wrench and LARIAT! Ibushi fires up and fans respond in kind! Ibushi gets Desperado up, reels him in, and lifts, for a LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!! Desperado lives but Ibushi vows to end it! Ibushi grits his teeth, gets Desperado’s wrists and sits him up. Desperado wrenches through to ES EL CULERO! Cover, TWO!!! ROUNDHOUSE from Ibushi hits clean! Ibushi sits Desperado up again, KAMI- NO! ROLL UP, but to the STRETCH MUFFLER!! And he puts it on tight! Then gets NUMERO DOS SUPREME! Ibushi endures but he is caught! Desperado holds on as hard as he can but Ibushi refuses to give in!
Ibushi pries an arm free, reaches, but Desperado rolls him from ropes! Ibushi make sit a cover, TWO!! KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, TWO!??!?! Ibushi can’t believe Desperado still lives! Ibushi gets the wrists again, for ANOTHER KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall (still IWGP Double Champion)
Desperado showed Ibushi he is a “different animal” from eight years ago, but it wasn’t enough to end the Golden Star God’s run! Can anyone stop Ibushi from being THE champion in NJPW?! But Ibushi is a gracious champion, and he shows respect to the Rogue Luchador. Desperado shows it back and they shake hands! Will Desperado at least continue on to define the Junior Heavyweight Division?
After catching his breath and having both belts presented back to him, Ibushi gets the mic. “This wasn’t about proving who’s the strongest between heavyweights and junior heavyweights. Desperado, oi. Thank you.” Fans cheer the respect Ibushi shows, but Ibushi says there are so many great wrestlers in the Junior Heavyweight Division. Ibushi is up for taking on any challenger and he truly means that. Ibushi won’t change his mind. “When these two titles are unified, I’ll show what awaits.” And then he asks Hiroshi Tanahshi and Jushin Liger for their blessing.
Ibushi will truly take on any challenge from anyone. When these titles are unified, he will take them “to the highest global stage.” Fans cheer that idea as Ibushi again says he will never betray them, never quit and never lose. Ibushi thanks the fans, and drops as he drops to his knees as he drops the mic. Will Ibushi help NJPW reach the world once he is truly THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion?
A great event right here, especially to kick off the New Japan Cup. Apologies to Suzuki-Gun fans, I seem to keep skipping their matches because they’re always beating up Young Lions. However, I am surprised, Suzuki-Gun lost and Douki takes the pin from Hirooki Goto. Though, I’m not surprised that Douki lost it for them, that is his role. The 10 Man was ridiculous because Taguchi gets in just to lose it for his team. I have a feeling that will feed right into Evil’s first match in the NJCUP, since he has a bye into the next round starting on 3/11/21. The Six Man was a lot of fun, too, and it was big for Sho to get the win since he’s not in the tournament. He can move up and challenge Desperado for the Junior Heavyweight Championship while Hiromu is hurt.
Speaking of the tournament, the first matches tonight were both great stuff. It just seemed natural for Cobb to beat Kojima, but it was quite the surprise for Khan to win. Naito’s struggles as of late would’ve made it seem like he was going to overcome, but now he’s on a different path. We could end up with Empire VS Empire but it’s likely Evil beats Cobb next round to take Khan on in the round after that.
Then we get an incredible match out of Ibushi VS Desperado. Of course Ibushi wins, Desperado can’t have five belts on him right now (he holds onto Kanemaru’s tag belt just cuz) and Ibushi really could lead NJPW into a new era where Heavyweight & Intercontinental titles fuse their lineage into the new IWGP WHC. With bonds building between NJPW, AEW and other companies, it would work out so amazingly well if Ibushi was top champion and Kenny Omega is still AEW World Champion for them to clash as truly two of the best in the world.
My Score: 9.2/10
Mitchell’s WWE WrestleMania 37 Results & Report! (4/11/21)
Who wins THE WrestleMania main event?
WrestleMania 37’s two night adventure reaches its conclusion!
After an epic first night, how can WrestleMania 37 possibly get any greater? Perhaps with Daniel Bryan VS Edge VS Roman Reigns for the Universal title! Will the Head of the Table still be at the helm of the WWE?
- Randy Orton VS The Fiend w/ Alexa Bliss; Orton wins.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina; Jax & Baszler win and retain the titles.
- Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn; Kevin wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus; Sheamus wins and becomes the new WWE United States Champion.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E VS Apollo Crews; Apollo wins and becomes the new WWE Intercontinental Champion.
- Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Rhea Ripley; Ripley wins and becomes the new Raw Women’s Champion.
- WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan; Reigns wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s the WrestleMania 37 Night Two Kickoff Show!
Join Kayla Braxton, Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler, JBL and Peter Rosenberg for yet another round of discussing, analyzing and predicting the action tonight!
Sonya Deville joins the panel again!
Does anyone really understand the implications of the Nigerian Drum Fight? It might just be Apollo Crews who understands. His power and his culture are going to define what happens tonight. Booker asks, “What do I look like? Chopped liver?” Well okay, he would know, yes. Booker says this goes back a long time ago, the Zulu nation and the Mandingo. This will play out in front of the world so the world needs to understand, and Booker says Apollo will make you understand. Sonya wishes she’d heard more about this. But Jerry wants to know why it’s drums. Booker asks, “What do you do to a drum?” You beat it. Exactly!
Rosenberg says the bottom line is, Apollo is in control. Big E may be on the kick of being in his hometown- JBL asks why Rosenberg’s hands are everywhere. But the point is, Apollo knows what this is about because this is his match. Booker says this will be a great night for everyone back home. JBL and Jerry can’t say anything without getting canceled, so they will agree with him.
Ashland Craft sings America the Beautiful!
We’ve waited patiently for this moment.
“Finally…!” The biggest event in LIVE entertainment is BACK! Back with the spectacle, the excitement and the pageantry! WrestleMania is #BackInBusiness! And tonight, WWE sets sail on the high seas with epic epicness bigger than the history of history! Wait, what? Did he just say all that? That’s what was written. Okay, mate, let’s get this cold open done right. We pick up where we left off just last year. Our heroes are obnoxiously heroic as they battle for the ultimate prize: immortality. But no more tall tales, let’s get real, as the kids say. Tonight, we witness the global event that spans decades, created unforgettable moments, and has the memories we will remember forever.
But let us tip our caps to you, the fans, who made this possible. You over there, and them up there, and even those at home who “can’t not watch.” We raise the sails as fate still awaits. The course was corrected, the wind cannot be stopped, and the quest continues! Now how’s that? Impressive. But where’s the big finish? That’s cold open 101. Good point. Pyro montage! “Welcome back… to WrestleMania!”
The WrestleMania cohosts are back!
Titus O’Neil and Hulk Hogan return to kick off Night Two of WrestleMania 37, but this time they’re Captain Titus and the Hollywood Privateer! “I dunno about you, Hulk, but I think we look damn good tonight.” Well, T-man, it’s a little hot, too. But either way, AHOY MATIES! Yo ho, brothers, and welcome to Mania Sunday! Last night was incredible, but tonight will be no different! Seven matches, and FIVE are for gold! That means they need to batten down the hatches. No room for scurvy dogs or scallywags! Whoa, don’t be calling the people that. Hogan’s not gonna walk the plank, is he? No, Titus will take care of that. The first match is a tale of terror, dark than the depths of Davey Jones’ Locker! YARRGH!
Randy Orton VS The Fiend w/ Alexa Bliss!
The Viper thought he’d finished this at TLC, but some evil never dies. And now, this horror movie in real-life opens the Showcase of the Immortals! Lil’ Miss Twisted Bliss is still by his side, but will Orton finally #LetHimIn?
As he makes is entrance through a mysterious tunnel, The Fiend… has been restored! Alexa makes her way out first, with spooky face paint on to clash with her Punky Brewster outfit. She frolics along, and has a GIANT jack-in-the-box?! Alexa winds the handle and Orton already has an idea what’s coming. All around the mulberry bush, the Fiend chased the Viper~. And out rises The Fiend’s new form! Orton isn’t sure what to make of this, and The Fiend suddenly LEAPS into the ring to CLOTHESLINE Orton down! The bell rings, Fiend SPLASHES in the corner, reels Orton in and hits an URENAGE! Fiend sits Orton up for a NECK SNAP! “YOWIEEEE WOWIEEE~!”
Orton writhes as he clutches his neck and Fiend goes to a corner. Fans fire up as The Fiend spider-walks! Orton gets up, Fiend copies him as he takes aim! Orton flounders up, but he avoids a punt kick! Fiend pursues, Orton kicks low and gives him a back suplex to the desk! But Fiend clamps on with the CLAW! Orton grabs at the ring, gets in, and the ring count is still climbing! Orton gets free but Fiend gets in, only for Orton to kick low. Orton gets Fiend through ropes, for a DRAPING DDT! But Fiend springs right back up! Fiend blocks the RKO, but Orton throws him into his own jack-in-the-box! Fiend flounders, Orton gets Fiend through ropes again and KICKS him!
Orton wrenches the arm, KICKS again, and drags Fiend into ANOTHER DRAPING DDT! Orton looms over Fiend and stomps a hand! Fiend barely flinches, so Orton stomps the other hand! Orton throws hands and clubbing forearms but Fiend just gets up! Orton kicks low, runs, but into a LARIAT! Fiend and fans fire up, things speed up, Fiend BODY CHECKS Orton! Fiend rains down forearms over and over! Fiend gets up to run and drop a back senton, but Orton dodges it! Orton throws Fiend out but Fiend gets right back on the apron. Orton kicks him between ropes, gives away more kicks, then drags Fiend back in, for a THIRD DRAPING DDT!
Orton paces as Fiend slowly stirs. Orton hears the voices and wants Fiend to get up now. Fiend rises, but still no RKO, because Fiend has the MANDIBLE CLAW! Fiend smothers Orton, Orton starts to fade but he grabs at Fiend. Fiend brings Orton up, gives him a kiss good night, and the FLAMES erupt as Alexa is now in a new form! She has a tiara of barbed wire and there’s black ink pouring out. Wait, this distracts the Fiend?! ORTON HITS AN RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
What is going on with Alexa?! Did she mean to ruin tonight for The Fiend?! Either way, the Viper slithers away before he has to worry about this any longer. Is Orton finally done being haunted by these ghouls? Fiend looks up at Alexa, but the lights start to go out again. And when the lights return, Fiend and Alexa are gone. Just what is happening inside the Firefly Fun House?
DING DONG~! Hello!
Bayley asks Titus and Hogan what happened to them texting her back. She says hello to Eric Bischoff, she’s a big fan of his podcast, and says if he ever feels like being on a real show, he can be on hers. Well he’s more of a book guy, not into TV. But that match of Sasha VS Bianca, the SmackDown Women’s Champion on his podcast would be awesome! Yeah, yeah, flavor of the month. But they’re not a role model like Bayley! Bayley is the longest reigning women’s champion, has her own talk show, and is on both nights of Mania! Bischoff brings up Hogan’s new boat, and they decide to go see the boat. Titus wants to ride a boat… Sorry, Bayley, Hall of Famer stuff.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler w/ Reginald VS Natalya & Tamina!
The Tag Team Turmoil is over, but now the real battle begins! Will the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades still be standing after battling the Daughter of Superfly & Queen of Harts?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the battle of alpha females begins!
The teams sort out and Shayna and Natty start. They circle, tie up, Natty headlocks and hits a takeover, but Shayna headscissors. Natty kips free but Shayna smirks as the two reset. They tie up again, Shayna headlocks to hit the takeover, but Natty gets up to power out. Shayna runs Natty over, dusts off her hands, then runs. Natty drops, hurdles, but Shayna blocks a hip toss to get a headlock, only for Natty to trip her up! Shayna scrambles to avoid the Sharpshooter, and tags to Nia. Nia and Natty stare down, fans duel, and they tie up. Nia shoves Natty down and says, “I don’t want you.” She’s calling out Tamina! Tamina reaches out, and Natty tags her in!
Fans fire up as Tamina and Nia stare down. Nia pie faces, headbutts and talks trash but Tamina HEADBUTTS back! It’s a battle of headbutts! Tamina fires off haymakers but Nia denies the scoop! Nia runs but Tamina fires off forearms! Tag to Natty, Nia ROCKS her and Tamina! Nia runs, Shayna tags in, Natty & Tamina DOUBLE BACK DROP Nia! Shayna BOOTS Natty, Tamina ROCKS Shayna back! Natty is up, she and Tamina DOUBLE GOURD BUSTER Shayna onto Nia! Fans fire up as Natty gets the legs again and steps through, but Shayna cradle counters, TWO! Natty waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Natty drags Shayna up to stomp her down, then tags Tamina.
Natty keeps Shayna from her corner and feeds her to Tamina’s clothesline! Tag back to Natty, Natty gets the hand-off to trip Shayna, and catapult her into a SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Natty keeps on Shayna with forearms, then scoops Shayna, only for Shayna to slip out and fire off a strike fest, topping it off with a KNEE! Natty and Shayna are both down, Nia YANKS Tamina off the apron! Tamina fires off on Nia, but Nia scoops her to SLAM her! Natty is shocked, Shayna KNEES her down in a corner! Shayna snapmares to a cover, TWO! Shayna goes after a leg and bends it! Natty endures, kicks with her free leg but Shayna throws a forearm. Shayna pulls on the leg and twists the ankle!
Natty kicks at Shayna more, Shayna turns Natty over and has the foot stuck, to STOMP IT!! Tag to Nia, and Nia looms over Natty as she clutches the foot. Nia soaks up the heat, and drags Natty to drop a leg on the leg! Nia has a standing toehold and Natty endures. Natty fires off haymakers, but Nia stomps the leg! Cover, TWO! Nia is annoyed but she drags Natty up. Natty fights back, Nia CLOBBERS her! Tag to Shayna, Nia has Natty in a STRETCH MUFFLER! Shayna KNEES Natty while she’s upside-down! Cover, TWO! Shayna taunts Natty as Tamina is still down. Shayna SMASHES Natty’s knee into the mat, then pushes Natty around.
Shayna drags Natty up, Nia tags in, and Shayna feeds Natty to a scoop and SLAM! Natty gets to her corner, Nia soaks up heat and runs in, but Natty POSTS her! Natty catches her breath, runs at Nia and throws clothesline after clothesline, then the DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Nia still has a lot of power but Natty rallies the fans! Natty drags Nia up but Nia headbutts her! Nia reels Natty in, gets her up, and hits the ONE HAND SLAM! Cover, Tamina breaks it?! Tamina is back in this and Shayna is furious! Nia crawls over to tag Shayna in, but fans fire up for Natty as she tags Tamina in! Tamina rallies on Shayna with elbows, then dodges to CLOBBER Shayna!
Shayna blocks a punch to fire off kicks, but she kicks into a DRAGON SCREW! Tamina runs but gets buckles. Shayna blocks Tamina’s boot, twists the ankle, but Tamina BOOTS her down! Nia storms over but Tamina DECKS her! Shayna gets around, wants the Kirafuda but Tamina blocks it to SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO!! Tamina grows frustrated but she drags Shayna to a drop zone. Fans rally as Tamina goes to a corner! Tamina climbs up, but Shayna KICKS her first! Tag to Nia, and Nia storms over to get up top! Nia fireman’s carries but Natty saves Tamina! Shayna gets in but Natty CLOBBERS her! But Nia adjusts, DOUBLE CROSSBODY!! Double cover, TWO!!
Natty and Tamina survive but now Nia clutches a leg. That was a rough landing for everyone but Nia manages to get up. Nia sees Tamina is still down, fans rally for Tamina and Nia gets annoyed. Nia brings Tamina up, but Tamina scoops Nia!! Tamina SLAMS NIA!! Cover, TWO!!! Tamina drags herself to a corner, and fans fire up again as Tamina climbs! Tamina aims, SUPERFLY!! BUT SHE FLOPS! Nia moves and Tamina is down again! Nia and Tamina both crawl for their corners as fans rally again. Hot tag to Natty! Natty runs and swipes at Shayna, but Nia gets Natty for a fireman’s carry! Shayna tags in, Natty slips off and DECKS Shayna!
Natty basement dropkicks Nia, and she’s after Nia’s legs! But Shayna’s the legal one! Natty doesn’t know that as she works to get the turn! SHARPSHOOTER, but Nia isn’t legal!! Shayna gets in to get the KIRAFUDA!!! Shayna drags Natty down, Natty endures but she’s OUT! The champs win!!
Winners: Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler, by submission (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
So close and yet so far for Tamina & Natty! Does this mean no team can stop the Irresistible Force & Queen of Spades?
Kevin Owens VS Sami Zayn!
Two men who have known each other for two DECADES, ranging everywhere from friends to rivals to bitter enemies, finally have their moment together on the Grandest Stage of Them All! But given the Great Liberator’s ludicrous behavior as of late, the Prizefighter promises to beat some sense into him! Will Kevin snap Sami out of it? Or is Sami too far gone?
WWE Hall of Fame inductee JBL joins commentary for this one to bring back a classic combination of him and #MAGGLE. Sami gets a mic to say, “Please, ladies and gentlemen. I know you’re all just as excited as I am.” Please give a warm WrestleMania welcome for Sami’s special guest of honor, and show some respect to the only ally Sami has had in fighting the conspiracy against Sami! This is… LOGAN PAUL! Logan Paul does walk out to the ring and Sami breaks it down to the theme music again. Sami hugs Logan, and fans are of course divided. Sami apologizes to Logan for the booing. But here comes Kevin! The bell rings and Sami runs, right into a POP-UP POWERBOMB!
Sami flounders out of the ring before Kevin can get him, but Kevin just goes out after him! Kevin brings Sami in and there’s NXT flashbacks as Sami fights the apron bomb! Kevin gets in after Sami, drags him up and CHOPS him! And CHOPS him! Kevin hangs Sami out to dry on ropes and Sami springs right off to hit the mat! Kevin runs in to clothesline Sami down! Kevin goes corner to corner to CANNONBALL! Sami is in a drop zone, Kevin goes up top, but Sami gets out to the apron. Kevin climbs down but walks into a BOOT! Sami reels Kevin in, Kevin elbows free of the half nelson, but Sami kicks low! Sami reels Kevin in, for an APRON BRAINBUSTER!!
Everyone is shocked, even Logan Paul! Sami drags himself back into the ring, Kevin stirs but the ring count is already 5 of 10! Sami wants it to be faster but it’s already at 7 as Kevin stands. Kevin is in at 8 and Sami is on him with furious fists! Sami seethes, kicks Kevin while he’s down, then throws crossface forearms! Logan nods as Sami looks to him, but Kevin throws haymakers! Sami kicks low, scoops Kevin and MICHINOKU DRIVERS! Cover, TWO!! Kevin survives and Sami is furious! Sami goes back to Kevin in a corner, hauls him up to the top rope, and then climbs up to go after him. Kevin resists the superplex, throws heavy body shots, then haymakers.
Sami gives those back, they brawl up top, fans cheer Kevin but boo Sami, until it’s all the same from the pace quickening! Kevin HEADBUTTS Sami down! Kevin adjusts, FROG SPLASHES, and covers, TWO!! Kevin drags Sami up, throws hands, then whips him, to pop-up, but Sami leap frogs and kicks low! Kevin wrenches, ducks a kick, tucks Sami in, PACKAGE USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives and Kevin grows frustrated. Fans fire up with Kevin as he drags Sami back up. Kevin reels Sami in, tucks the arms, but Sami slips out of the package driver to EXPLODER Kevin into buckles! Sami goes corner to corner and HELL-
NO! Kevin dodges the kick, but Sami denies the stunner to BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Sami is losing his cool, but he CORNER EXPLODERS to a HALF ‘N’ HALF! To a BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Kevin lives and Sami can’t believe it! “This is Awesome!” and far from over as Kevin gets to a corner. Sami SLAPS Kevin, Kevin SLAPS Sami, it’s a FAST & FURIOUS SLAP FIGHT!! Sami gets the edge, throws body shots and uppercuts, but the ref has Sami back off. Sami gets Kevin up, hauls him up top but Kevin fights. Sami still gets Kevin to the top and he headbutts from below!
Sami climbs, brings Kevin back up, but Kevin counters to a SUPER FISHERMAN BUSTER!! Even Logan is reeling from that one! Both men are down, Sami slowly sits up and drags himself to a corner. Kevin sits up and is in the opposite corner. Kevin grits his teeth, runs corner to corner at Sami to clothesline! Kevin keeps going, and clotheslines again. Kevin goes, Sami follows, HELLUVA KICK!! Sami keeps Kevin from falling over, and tells him this is because of Kevin. Sami goes corner to corner, into a SUPERKICK!! Sami staggers, into another SUPERKICK!! Fans fire up for Kevin as he looks Sami in the eye. “You did this.” STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Logan seems to be the only one shocked, but he still applauds this victory! Whether Kevin has knocked some sense into Sami is yet to be seen, but he did get a big win at #KOMania5! Logan checks on Sami, tries to talk with him, but Sami says someone screwed him! The ref, the managers, someone! Logan tells Kevin that this was awesome stuff. Sami won’t let Logan shake Kevin’s hand! Sami says Kevin conspired against him! Sami wants Logan to listen to him, but Logan shoves Sami! Sami says to hell with Logan! Sami storms off, Logan raises Kevin’s hand in victory. Logan sure is a bandwagoner, huh?
Kevin doesn’t like that, either, and he gives Logan a STUNNER!! “This is MY ring!” Will this win lead Kevin back to another prizefight?
Matt Riddle encounters Great Khali!
What’s up, bro! Riddle wants to congrat Khali on being inducted into the HOF. Can he check the ring? Yep. WHOA, look how big his hand is! It’s as big as Riddle’s head. Khali must have a hard time finding gloves and socks. Khali should open a store that sells giant stuff! Giant shoes, giant socks, giant toilets, and giant scooters! What does he think? No? Nothing? Translator? Wait, RVD is here!! RVD translates for Khali and says that in order to corner the market, we’ll need creative branding. RVD has that right here with RVD rolling papers.
Sweet! Hey, what about a #KhaliTrolley? Khali and RVD say Riddle should focus on Sheamus. Good luck from Khali and R! V! D! Riddle rides off towards gorilla, but will he be ready to smoke the Fella?
WWE United States Championship: Matt Riddle VS Sheamus!
Bro… The Fella has had beef with Riddle since day one, but perhaps it’s just Riddle’s personality being so nonchalant, it’s like he doesn’t care. Will Riddle show Sheamus how serious he can get with the gold on the line?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and bro, this one’s going to be lit!
Sheamus and Riddle tie up, and Sheamus headlocks to throw Riddle down. Sheamus grinds Riddle, Riddle fights up and powers out, but Sheamus runs Riddle right over! Sheamus is on Riddle with an armlock and he digs a knee in. Sheamus pulls the fingers, but Riddle fights up. Riddle throws body shots, ROCKS and CHOPS Sheamus, then CHOPS him more! Riddle has Sheamus in a corner, fires off but lets off as the ref counts. Sheamus ROCKS Riddle back with a body shot! Sheamus stomps Riddle, drags him up and scoops him, but Riddle slips out to get a sleeper! Riddle’s a backpack with the body scissors, but Sheamus RAMS him into buckles.
Sheamus throws back elbows, lets off but Riddle elbows back. Riddle leaps, into Sheamus’ swinging SLAM! Cover, TWO! Sheamus seethes, kicks Riddle while he’s down, and kicks him against the ropes. The ref reprimands, Sheamus drags Riddle up by his face to then IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Sheamus clamps onto Riddle, Riddle fights up and throws forearms and fast hands! Riddle backs Sheamus down to a corner, but Sheamus kicks back! Sheamus whips, blocks Riddle’s boot but Riddle keeps kicking! Riddle gets a DRAPING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Riddle lets off at 4, but Sheamus CLUBS him back! Sheamus stands Riddle up for Beats of the Bodhrain!
The ref counts but so do fans, and Sheamus gets 8 before the ref gets 4! Sheamus drags Riddle up for a suplex! Cover, TWO! Sheamus seethes again as he paces. Sheamus goes to a corner, goes up top, but Riddle intercepts with a leap, for a SUPER OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY!?! Fans fire up as both men are down on the mat! Riddle fires himself up as he and Sheamus slowly rise. Sheamus throws hands but Riddle counter punches then fires off palm strikes! Riddle boots, spins Sheamus and PELES! Riddle handsprings and runs to forearm smash! Side to side, forearm smash! BROSPLODER, to the BROTON!
Fans fire up as Riddle reels Sheamus in and suplexes, but he has to try again… JACKHAMMER?!? Cover, TWO!! Sheamus survive Riddle’s #Broberg attempt, but Riddle won’t lose focus just yet. Riddle gut wrenches, but Sheamus turns it around! Riddle wriggles free and kicks from below! Sheamus staggers, but he puts Riddle on the apron. Riddle ROUNDHOUSES, then slingshots, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!?! Sheamus Alabama lifts for the ALABAMA SLAM! Cover, TWO!!! Riddle survives again and Sheamus grits his teeth. Sheamus looms over Sheamus, brings him up, and fireman’s carries. Riddle fights free, shoves Sheamus to an apron, but Sheamus hits back!
Sheamus fireman’s carries then shifts, but Riddle escapes to POST and then APRON GERMAN Sheamus down! Riddle then aims for a PENALTY KICK, and SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO! Direct hit and fans fire up! Riddle gets Sheamus up and in, goes to the top rope, and hits another FLOATING BRO!! Cover, TWO?!?! Sheamus shocks Riddle, but Riddle drags Sheamus in for the REVERSE ARMBAR! Riddle throws hands as Sheamus endures, and Sheamus powers up to dead lift Riddle, for a POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! And into the SLEEPER! Sheamus reaches, crawls, and gets the ropebreak! Riddle lets go fast, and Sheamus hammers away on him!
Sheamus drags Riddle up, smirks as he fireman’s carries, and then carries Riddle up the corner! Riddle shifts, escapes, but Sheamus denies the sunset bomb. Sheamus adjusts up top, but Riddle springs up to ROCK him! Riddle gets Sheamus up but Sheamus counters to the fireman’s carry! Sheamus hops down to hit WHITE NOISE!! Sheamus goes up top for a KING KONG KNEE DROP!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Riddle lives and Sheamus is stunned! Fans rally, Sheamus hobbles back to a corner and fires himself up as he calls his shot! Riddle rises, but he dodges the Brogue to roll Sheamus, FINAL-
NO! No knee, but Riddle dodges to QUE-BRO-DA, INTO A BROGUE?!!? Cover, Sheamus wins!!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall (NEW WWE United States Champion)
The Bro tried but couldn’t keep the high, and the Celtic Warrior brought him crashing down! Will Sheamus be the one with his head in the clouds now that he has the gold?
WWE Intercontinental Championship Nigerian Drum Fight: Big E VS Apollo Crews!
These two used to be good friends, but the frustration of losing and the desire to reign drove Apollo to despise Big E. Apollo calls upon his ancestors to finally make him a champion, but will Big E finally turn away his most stubborn of challengers?
As Big E makes his entrance, Wale performs it life for Tampa! “Ey, Tampa! You wanna go big? Then say that!” The introductions are made, there are drums, tables, kendo sticks and a gong ringside as the title is raised and this BIG grudge match begins!
Apollo and Big E go right out to get weapons! They each have a kendo stick, both men say to the other, “This is what you wanted!” And they start giving each other SMACKS! Smack for smack but Big E gets the edge! Apollo bails out, Big E pursues to SMACK him again! And another SMACK! “This is what he wanted, Graves!” But Apollo kicks low, only for Big E to bowl Apollo into drums! Big E gets the gong! Apollo boots it away, clubs Big E then SMACKS Big E with a kendo stick! Big E goes into the ring, Apollo dares him to stand. Big E dodges, throws Apollo to the apron and runs to SPEAR him off!! That might’ve been a distance record! Big E puts Apollo in to cover, TWO!
Big E keeps his cool as fans rally up behind him. Big E fetches the steel steps, one of Apollo’s favorites from the months past. But he isn’t settling for the smaller top half. Big E goes big by bringing the base over! Big E goes to the apron, brings Apollo up but Apollo fireman’s carries! APRON DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Apollo drags Big E in to cover, TWO!! Big E survives but Apollo won’t let off! Apollo throws down angry fists, then goes out to fetch the top half of the steps. Apollo brings those around, sets them on their end, and then he stomps Big E to the apron. Apollo has Big E on the base, he picks up the top half of the steps, and he lines up the shot!
“I’m about to show you the steel!” Big E moves before the steps SMASH down!! Apollo hurries to get to the apron, and he runs at Big E to BOOT him! Big E flounders, Apollo wants him to stand up again, but Big E gives him an Urenag-E to the STEPS!! The ref checks on Apollo but somehow he’s okay to continue. “This is what you wanted!” Big E says Apollo is going to get what he asked for! Fans fire up as Big E fetches a TABLE! Big E puts the table in the ring, sets it up, and then fetches Apollo. Apollo staggers up to his feet, Big E puts him in the ring, but Apollo ENZIGURIS Big E down!
Apollo gets a kendo stick to SMACK and SMACK and SMACK, rapid fire! So fast and so hard, the stick breaks apart! Apollo gets Big E on the table, then heads for a corner. Apollo climbs, leaps, FROG SPLASH but Big E moves! Apollo only gets table! Big E scoops, for the BIG ENDING!! But who is that?!? DABBA KATO!?!? What’s he doing here?!? GRENADE THUMB ATTACK!! And then, a CHOKE SLAM!! He’s helping Apollo to the cover! Apollo wins!!
Winner: Apollo Crews, by pinfall (NEW WWE Intercontinental Champion)
When did Apollo make Kato one of his generals?! The timing doesn’t matter, the results do! And now, Apollo has the title! What will this mean for the future of SmackDown?
WWE honors the 2021 Hall of Fame class!
The 2021 Warrior Award winner, Rich Hering stands with the Great Khali, Rob Van Damn, Molly Holly and Eric Bischoff on stage, and are joined by KAAAAAAANE~! And for old times’ sake, the HELLFIRE & BRIMSTONE erupt!
Raw Women’s Championship: Asuka VS Rhea Ripley!
The Empress of Tomorrow wanted someone to step up to challenge her, and the Nightmare did just that! Will we see that even now, no one is ready for Asuka? Or will she be washed away by the Riptide?
Rhea has New Year’s Day perform her theme live for her! The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see who is ready for what!
Asuka and Rhea stare down as fans rally up. They circle, talk some trash back and forth, and Asuka mocks Rhea. Rhea rushes, Asuka dodges and dropkicks! Rhea stays up, but storms into Asuka’s strike fest! Asuka kicks, runs, Rhea follows but Asuka victory rolls! ONE, but Asuka backslides! Rhea rolls through but Asuka dropkicks her to a corner! Asuka runs in, misses the hip attack, but boots back! Rhea snarls, ducks a kick and ROCKS Asuka! Rhea runs but Asuka drop toeholds her into buckles, then KICKS the buck to jam Rhea! Rhea bails out and Asuka grins as fans duel. Asuka eggs Rhea on, Rhea slides in but then right back out.
Asuka goes after Rhea, keeps Rhea from going into the ring to then pop-up KNEE! Rhea gets in the ring now, Asuka follows and has Rhea on ropes. Asuka KICKS Rhea in the back, KICKS again, and again, and again! The ref reprimands, Asuka runs but Rhea dodges the hip attack to HOOK KICK! Rhea drags Asuka right back up to back suplex to a SLAM! Cover, TWO! Rhea is annoyed already as she drags Asuka and rains down fists! “You wanted this! You! Wanted! This!” Fans rally and duel as Rhea keeps on Asuka. Rhea drags Asuka into a body scissors and squeezes tight! Rhea shouts in Asuka’s face but Asuka elbows Rhea’s legs.
Rhea clamps tighter, digs Asuka into the mat and slaps her around! Rhea dares the champ to do something now, then brings her back into the squeeze! Asuka tells Rhea to shut up and she throws elbows. Asuka pushes back to a cover, ONE, and Rhea dropkicks Asuka! Rhea tells Asuka to get that weak sauce out of here. Rhea kicks Asuka around, Asuka hits back and the two brawl. Rhea KNEES low, SLAPS her, then CLOBBERS her! And again! Rhea drags Asuka up again, but Asuka ducks, only for Rhea to ripcord! Asuka blocks the Hook Kick to a KNEEBAR! Rhea endures, fights up, but Asuka pulls tighter! Rhea makes it a cover, TWO, but Rhea dead lift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO!!
Asuka survives and Rhea grits her teeth while clutching her foot. Rhea slaps Asuka around, then CLUBS her in the corner! Rhea drags Asuka up, bumps her off buckles, then kicks her while she’s down. Rhea RAMS into Asuka’s back over and over and digs her shoulder in. Rhea lets off as the ref counts, then puts Asuka up top. Rhea CLUBS Asuka, climbs up behind her, and stands her up, but Asuka blocks! Asuka throws elbows and then knocks Rhea down! Asuka fires up as she adjusts, then leaps for a missile dropkick! Direct hit and both women are down! Fans fire up as Asuka rises and aims at Rhea from a corner. Rhea gets up, Asuka runs in, ROUNDHOUSE! GERMAN SUPLEX!
Rhea flounders to a corner, Asuka runs in to HIP ATTACK! Rhea fights the German but Asuka BACK HANDS, CHOPS and HEEL KICKS! Rhea falls to her knees, Asuka hits another HIP ATTACK! Cover, TWO!! Rhea is in a daze but she is still in this! Asuka goes to a corner, climbs up top again, but Rhea dropkicks her down to the floor!! Rhea wobbles, Asuka gets back in, and Rhea shakes out the cobwebs to go out after Asuka. Rhea blocks Asuka’s boots but Asuka elbows Rhea away! Rhea blocks the Penalty Kick, to SLAM Asuka on the apron! The ring count is climbing, Rhea gets Asuka in at 5 of 10! Rhea hurries to get up but Asuka hip attacks her down!
Asuka goes out after Rhea again, brings her around, but Rhea fights. Rhea can’t get free, Asuka DDT’s her OFF the apron and to the FLOOR! Both women are down and another ring count begins! Asuka gets in at 5, Rhea sits up at 6. Rhea gets in at 7, but Asuka is there, SLIDING WIZARD! Cover, TWO! Asuka grows frustrated but she drags Rhea up for Kowata Kicks! Over and over and over, then Asuka smiles as she runs, but Rhea blocks the sliding kick! Rhea stomps away on Asuka! Rhea puts Asuka’s legs in the PRISM TRAP!! Asuka endures the hanging cloverleaf, reaches for ropes, but rolls Rhea to an ARMBAR!! Rhea flails and kicks, fights up to dead lift again!
Rhea SWINGS Asuka into buckles! Both women are down but Asuka goes to the apron. Rhea storms over, climbs up and drags Asuka up for a headbutt! Rhea brings Asuka up higher, for a DEAD LIFT SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Asuka still lives and Rhea is furious! Rhea drags Asuka up and clubs her. Asuka shoves free, Rhea waistlocks but Asuka elbows her again. Asuka wrenches to get a takedown! Rhea rolls, but into an ARMBAR! Rhea makes it a cover, TWO, and ASUKA LOCK!! Rhea rolls back to make it a cover, TWO!! Asuka unleashes KICKS! Rhea manages to stay up and even eggs Asuka on. BUZZSAW, but then Rhea ducks the sliding wizard! Pump handle, RIPTIDE!!! Rhea wins!!!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall (NEW Raw Women’s Champion)
All it takes is one! And now, the Nightmare becomes the first woman to be NXT UK, NXT and Raw Women’s Champion in her career! Are Mondays about to become a nightmare for every other woman on Raw?
Hogan and Titus are back!
Hogan is totally blown away, brother! Titus says on behalf of them both, they send a hert-felt thank you, the fans at home watching on the Peacock and the WWE Network, and those who made it special for everyoen involved: the fans here live at Raymond James Stadium! Bayley storms out because she has just had enough! You kidding me?! Thanking the world and the audience?! But not one mention about BAYLEY. In fact, where is HER pyro?! Hit the pyro!! Oh, there is pyro ready for Bayley.
HAHAHA, YES! Bayley has been carrying the hosting duties on her back this weekend, from the legends to the hall-of-famers to stupid Michael Cole! This is HER time to shine, okay? But wait, here come the Bella Twins! Nikki & Brie don’t even get to start because Bayley said this is HER time! It doesn’t matter what these two twin idiots lookin’ like Elmo want, Cena ain’t here! Nikki SLAPS Bayley, and Brie says Ding Dong, GOOD-BYE! Nikki ROCKS Bayley, Brie hits a KNEE SMASH! The Bellas bowl Bayley down the ramp! Titus repeats, “Ding dong, good-bye!” Will Bayley make sure she isn’t outnumbered before she runs her mouth?
WWE Universal Championship Triple Threat: Roman Reigns w/ Jey Uso & Paul Heyman VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan!
The Tribal Chief wants the world to #AcknowledgeHim. The Rated R Superstar wants to take back what was taken from him so long ago. And the GOAT wants to bring back #YEStleMania before he’s reached the end! What happens when all these forces collide in THE main event of WrestleMania 37?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and 10 years ago to the day, we see if Edge is finally, truly back!
Roman DECKS Bryan! Edge hits Roman but Roman puts Edge in a corner and RAMS him! Roman throws clotheslines, Bryan gets Roman with EuroUppers! Bryan whips, Roman reverses and sends Bryan out, for Jey to SUPERKICK! No DQ in a Triple Threat! Jey RAMS Bryan into steel steps, Roman ROCKS Edge with an uppercut! Roman throws Edge out, Jey SUPERKICKS him down! GOTTEE! Roman backs the commentary off to clear off the desk. Jey brings Edge over, but Bryan DIVES into Roman! Jey SUPERKICKS Bryan, keeps after Edge, but Edge whips Jey into steel steps! Jey is down, Edge storms after Roman and clubs him on the back.
Edge bumps Roman off apron, off barriers, and repeat! Roman is a pinball for Edge! Edge POSTS Roman, then storms over to see Bryan still down. Edge gets steel steps and takes the top half off. Fans fire up as Edge sees Jey still down, too, and brings him over to the steps! Edge gets Jey up for an IMPALER to the steps!! But it was double-edged as Edge had to land on the steel, too! Bryan gets up while refs and medics check on Jey. They get Jey up while everyone else is still down, but Bryan gets into the ring. Edge scares Heyman away and gets in the ring. Edge and Bryan stare down while Roman only stirs. Fans fire up as Edge and Bryan start throwing hands!
Edge gets the edge, he whips but Bryan drop toeholds Edge into buckles! Bryan gives Edge YES Kicks in the corner! Bryan hoists Edge up top, climbs up to join him, and SUPER STEINERS, but Edge sunset flips it! TWO!! Edge gets around to EDGE-O-MATIC! Cover, TWO! Bryan is down, Roman is back and he ROCKS Edge! Edge and Roman brawl with the ropes between them but Roman drags Edge up to suplex! Edge resists, suplexes but Roman resists. They fight for suplex control, Bryan slides under to trip up Roman and hotshot Edge! Bryan climbs up and missile dropkicks Edge down! Bryan kips up, fires up and fans are with him!
Bryan drags Edge up, throws EuroUppers, and Edge ends up on ropes. Bryan whips Edge but Edge reverses. Bryan goes up and over and keeps moving, dodges to DIVE into Roman, but into an OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Roman stands, Edge WRECKS him with a dropkick! Roman bumps into desk and Edge follows him. Edge CLUBS Roman, puts him in, but Roman runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Roman seethes, fans duel as they cheer and jeer, but Roman locks ‘n’ loads! SUPER- NO! Edge gets him for an IMPALER!! Edge aims at Roman from a corner now, and fans are fired up for something we haven’t seen in quite some time!
Edge dares Roman to get up, and then he runs in, but Roman SUPERMAN PUNCHES! Roman fires up and wants Edge to stand now! “OOOAH~!” Edge dodges the Spear to sunset flip! TWO!! Roman staggers, Edge and Roman dodge, DOUBLE SPEARS!! Shoulders and heads collide and both men are down as fans fire up! “This is Awesome!” already and far from over! Bryan returns! DIVING HEADBUTT to Edge! DIVING HEADBUTT to Roman! Cover on Roman, TWO!! Bryan is surprised but he doesn’t lose his cool. Bryan sees Edge sit up, and gives him a YES Kick! YES Kick for Roman! KICK for Edge! KICK for Roman! EDGE! ROMAN! EDGE! ROMAN! EDGE!
Bryan aims at Roman, BUZZ- NO! Roman sends Bryan at Edge, RUNNING KNEE! Roman reloads but runs into a KICK! BUZZSAW!! Cover, TWO!!! Roman survives but Bryan just fires up! Bryan gets the arms, and gives Roman a flurry of Danielson Stomps! Then the YES LOCK!!! Roman flails, Heyman panics, and Bryan cranks back as hard as he can! Edge CLOBBERS Bryan off the hold! Heyman is relieved but now Edge drags Bryan up. Bryan drags Edge down to a YES LOCK!! Now Edge and his bad neck endure!! Edge claws at the hold, but Roman CLOBBERS Bryan now! Roman rains down furious forearms over and over from all sides! Roman lets off just to throw headbutts!
Roman dead lifts Bryan to POWERBOMB him onto Edge! Roman scrapes Bryan out of the ring, goes out after him, and sees the announce desk. Fans jeer, “Roman Sucks!” but Roman just soaks up the heat. Roman puts the base steps closer to the desk, then drags Bryan up. Bryan is dead weight, the fans taunt Roman even harder, but Roman hauls Bryan up to POWERBOMB him through the desk!! But Edge SPEARS Roman outta nowhere!! Fans lose their minds as all three men are down and out! Edge gets up first, and he drags Roman into the ring. Edge looks around, and fetches not just one but a PAIR of chairs! Edge sets one down, Roman steps on it! They tug o’ war, the chair goes flying!
Roman wants the guillotine, but Edge gets Roman down to a CROSSFACE! Bryan puts on the YES LOCK!! They headbutt each other!! Roman is down, Bryan headbutts Edge into the mat! Bryan fires off his rage into those forearms on Edge!! Fans again say, “THIS IS AWESOME!” as Bryan has Edge’s arms. Bryan gives Edge DANIELSON STOMPS!! Bryan lets off, aims from a corner, and powers up with the Yes Fingers! The fans join in, though there are some “NO” dissenters. Edge gets up, Bryan runs in, into a SPEAR!!! Edge staggers, dodges Roman to SPEAR!!! Cover, BRYAN YANKS THE REF OUT!! Edge can’t believe it, but wouldn’t he have done the same in return?
Edge goes out after Bryan, gets MORE chairs, and brings those to the ring. Edge SMACKS Bryan down with one! Edge puts Bryan in the ring, and has as wild look as he gets the chair again to SMACK Roman! And SMACK Bryan! ROMAN! BRYAN! SMACK, SMACK, SMACK!! Fans are thunderous as Edge puts Bryan onto one chair. And then Edge puts Roman on another chair. Edge has it all lined up and fans go nuts knowing it! Heyman is begging Edge not to, but CONCHAIRTO TO BRYAN!!! But Jey returns, and attacks Edge!! Jey beats Edge down, gets a chair, but Edge SPEARS him down!! Edge SMACKS Jey! And again! And again!
Roman SPEARS Edge!! Roman sets Edge up on a chair now!? Roman gives EDGE a CONCHAIRTO!! Roman drags Edge onto Bryan to double cover, Roman wins!!
Winner: Roman Reigns, by pinall (still WWE Universal Champion)
The Tribal Chief is still the Reigns-ing, Defending and Undisputed, but also the ALWAYS controverted Universal Heavyweight Champion of the world because he still has his Right Hand Man watching his back! Will the Head of the Table ever be removed from the throne upon which he sits? Was this really the last chance Bryan had to bring back #YEStleMania? Was this really the end of the Rated R Superstar’s comeback?
I don’t think I have to say it, but I will: Night Two did not live up to Night One. As far as I’m concerned, titles that should’ve changed didn’t and titles that shouldn’t have changed did. Or at least, not in the way they should have. One of the only non-title matches tonight, Orton VS Fiend, was good but not at all what I expected. I thought we were going to get one full match with “mangled” Fiend, but I guess that’s what Fastlane was for. Fiend 2.0 looks pretty good, and goes even further into referencing DC Comics’ Joker. I was hoping that as the first match of the night, we would’ve gotten cinematic fighting so we could get a pseudo Firefly Fun House.
Also, I like whatever that new form Alexa takes, too, but I did not like that she distracted Fiend. Fiend didn’t have to win here, but he didn’t have to lose like that. I don’t like the idea that they’re trying to make it seem like whatever is possessing Alexa is now turning on Fiend just to push this forward in a new direction. And with Backlash sadly being made into WrestleMania Backlash, like a weird third night or something, we are revisiting this to figure out the what and why of tonight. Sigh…
The other non-title match, Kevin VS Sami, was just one degree off what it could’ve been but it was still great. I almost thought that segment at the end with Logan bandwagon’ing to Kevin was going to unite Sami and Kevin against Logan Paul. Instead, they both dislike him, just separate from each other. Maybe one day, Sami and Kevin will patch things up in kayfabe and go after tag titles. And speaking of tag titles, the Women’s Tag Team title match was great stuff, but I really wish Tamina & Natty won that. I do appreciate that Reggie wasn’t ringside to be used for various things, because in the end, Shayna & Nia sticking together does help the division. I just feel that the RawDown Women’s Tag titles need to spend more time on SmackDown than they do Raw right now, out of fairness.
Bayley was pretty entertaining tonight, but the Bellas getting the better of her was clearly a WWE management decision because fans were not for it. And I was surprised Titus and Hogan saved their pirate costumes for night two, those should’ve been night one. Riddle VS Sheamus was another great slug fest, and I like that Riddle referenced Goldberg with a Jackhammer. Seems The Bro hasn’t given up on getting a match with him. But it was an even split to me who could’ve gotten this, so giving Sheamus some vindication was alright.
The Nigerian Drum Fight was pretty good, but I expected the drums to play into it more. And same for the gong as soon as I saw it there. But it was still a very good themed No Hold Barred, just not sure why we needed Dabba-Kato to get involved. Do all Heels in WWE need to have henchmen helping them now? Except for Lashley, at least, since he’s The All Mighty. But Apollo getting the title was the part that was right, as this was his fourth attempt, and losing again would’ve been rough for him. Maybe Big E gets a match with Kato at WrestleMania Backlash, wins that and then starts chasing Apollo going into Money in the Bank or Extreme Rules.
Asuka VS Rhea was an awesome match, definitely worthy of the title and of Mania. But maybe this was just a bit soon for Rhea? Asuka hasn’t really gotten big wins lately, given she didn’t get to have her match with Lacey Evans at Elimination Chamber and didn’t have anything at Fastlane. I mean, obviously what is bad for one is good for the other, and Rhea is rising up fast and keeping pace with Bianca Belair. I wonder if WWE is already thinking that Survivor Series 2021, wherever it will be, will see Rhea VS Bianca as the champions. Hopefully they throw NXT in so Raquel Gonzalez can be part of it.
The Triple Threat Universal Championship match was awesome stuff, and I do like that they took advantage of the No Disqualification stipulation. Jey interfering early was fine, because he gets taken out for it. But him returning and helping Roman again just hurt everything they’d built up. If Roman found a way to use Bryan and Edge against each other to then get the win, that would’ve felt less disappointing. And if not for “WrestleMania Backlash” being next, I would’ve thought Roman was moving right on to Cesaro given Cesaro won on Night One. Instead, there might be that tag match “meant” to happen at Fastlane and WWE going back to the status quo of phoning it in on the minor PPV’s.
My Score: 8.3/10
AJ’s WrestleMania 37 Night One Results & Review 4/10/21
AJ continues with the WWE coverage this Mania week! Night 1 of WrestleMania may have been rain delayed; but did that dampen the excitement?
Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls. Children of all ages… WrestleMania is finally upon us once again and this time we are for real going to have it at my champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium, Raymond James and we get fans involved! We will hear the cheers, the boos and of course the ugly in the whole the but it’s still the grandest stage of them all. We have some decent matches for night one that will take place, sadly a thunder storm but if we know Vince McMahon, that’s not going to stop him.
Welcome to the Thirty-Seventh installment of WrestleMania!!!!!!!!
- Drew McIntryre vs Bobby Lashley(c) for the WWE Championship: Bobby Lashley wins via Hurt Lock – **** – TITLE DEFENSE!!!!!
- Tag Team Turmoil: Naomi & Lana vs Carmella & Billie Kay vs The Riott Squad vs Dana Brooke & Mandy Rose vs Tamina & Natalya: Tamina wins by last Elimination the Riott Squad – ** ½
- Seth Rollins vs Cesaro: Cesaro wins via Gotch Neutralizer – *** ¼
- AJ Styles & Omos vs The New Day(c) for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championships: Omos wins via Two-Handed Chokeslam – *** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
- Steel Cage: Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon: Braun Strowman wins via Running Powerslam – ** ¼
- Bad Bunny & Damien Priest vs Miz & John Morrison: Bad Bunny wins via Electric Chair Crossbody combination – *** ¼
- Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks(c) for the WWE SmackDown Wom0n’s Championship: Bianca Belair wins via KOD – **** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
Drew McIntyre vs Bobby Lashley
Both men try to get a strength advantage with a Collar & Elbow tie up before breaking it and going to holds now and still getting even ground. Now both men get some fighting in the corner going, delivering punches and strikes until they go to the outside where Lashley takes control and ragdolls McIntyre into the barricades before tossing Drew back in. Lashley keeps the onslaught on Drew and gets a quick pin attempt for a one and continues to get the beat down on the former champ. Lashley gets a lot of steam going as he goes to do another shoulder tackle into the corner, only to miss and Drew targets the arm of Bobby. Momentum shifting into Drew’s favor as Drew getting things going for him, suplexes and strikes galore as he goes for the Future Shock DDT. Lashley puts Drew into the corner to get separation but Drew catches the strike attempt and catches lashley into Northern Lights Suplex for a nearfall.
Bobby gets a reversal into a slam, a near fall and both men get some signature moves in. Drew hits the Glasgow Kiss and Bobby hits back with a one handed Spinebuster. After another near fall, Drew gets caught in a Hurt Lock but gets out of it quickly as they both go to the corner. Drew getting the swing this time and lands a good ol’ Alabama Slamma for a near fall of his own before trying to set up a sky-high superplex to the champion. Lashley fights off the attempt as Drew gets a Kimora Lock in to weaken the arm, Lashley fights him off again, catching Drew into a Tree of Woe but Drew sits up to launch Bobby in a Belly- To Belly. Lashley hits another one armed Spinebuster until Drew kips up and tells him to bring it, delivering a trifecta of Future Shock DDTs for a two count.
Drew in shock but goes to the corner, doing the countdown to the Claymore but Lashley rolls out of the ring. Drew tapping into a little bit of Undertaker and does a Tope Con Hilo to take MVP and Bobby out and takes Lashley back to the ring, setting up for something in from the top. Lashley catches the challenger and goes to apply another Hurt Lock but Drew runs out of the way to stun Lashley. As Lashley goes to do another Spinebuster, Drew rolls it into a Kimura Lock, perfectly on before Lashley inches slowly to the ropes to kick out. Lashley now, getting his aggression out, taking it to McIntyre in the corner until Drew gets separation, going for another Claymore until MVP distracts the former champion and misses the Claymore for Lashley to get the Hurt Lock in. Drew looked impressive to break out but Lashley didn’t break when Drew pushed off the corner and passes out from the pressure.
Tag Team Turmoil
Naomi & Lana vs Carmella & Billie Kay to start off the gauntlet style matchup as Naomi and Lana take the early advantage against Carmella. Carmella gets a tag onto Billie Kay but the advantage is still Lana and Naomi. When all four get in for chaos, Billie Kay goes for a roll up and beat Naomi and Lana for the next team to come out…
Riott Squad come out and take it to Billie early on but Carmella gets a tag and starts a beat down against Liv Morgan. Ruby breaks up the pin attempt but as Billie goes for the same pin attempt, the ref catches it and the Riott Squad get a tag and the advantage as Billie Kay gets brutalized, pinned and Carmella starts to beat up Liv before the next team come in…
Dana and Mandy come out and Ruby fights the two alone from the beat down as the fresher team gets things going and Liv barely gets a break of a pin attempt as Mandy and Dana work Ruby’s neck now. As Mandy cuts the ring off from Ruby, Ruby starts to fight out of the corner and gets Liv into the match now as they start the beat down of Mandy Rose. As the Riott Squad lose the advantage, Rose and Brooke get some damage with a superplex and Swanton combination but Liv gets a reversal on Dana and get the pinfall.
Natalya and Tamina are the last two to get in the match up and start the powerhouse assault on the Riott Squad. The two getting the best of the most tenured tag team in the whole match up as Liv tries to break out of their grasp. Ruby gets the tag and hit the codebreaker/senton combination to Tamina only for a two though and Tamina gets the advantage back, gets the tag to Natalya and they hit a Hart Attack. Natalya looks to get the Sharpshooter but changes her mind and tags Tamina in for the Superfly Splash to get the Day Two Tag Team Championship opportunity.
Seth Rollins vs Cesaro-
Cesaro goes quick into the offense with an Uppercut and goes for the Swing early but Seth rushes out and panics with Cesaro getting more and more of a beat down. Cesaro getting a good amount of offense going as Seth starts to target Cesaro’s arm and starts to pick things up after with his Superplex/Falcon Arrow combo after getting distance. Seth getting cocky again as he tries to take it to Cesaro but the Swiss Cyborg gets his strikes in again, taking down Seth with Uppercuts and goes for the swing again constantly, first time gets countered into a cradle, second time Seth gets to the ropes but the third time is the charm for nine rotations of the Swing and Sharpshooter. Seth breaks out of the hold and moves out of another Uppercut attempt from the corner, hurting Cesaro’s arm again as Rollins gets his high offense in, knees, Slingblades and a 360 Splash but nothing keeps Cesaro down. Seth tries for a ripcord knee but Cesaro changes it into a Neutralizer and a two count. Rollins crawls to the ropes and gets his legs grabbed again for yet ANOTHER Swing but flips out of it, into a Pedigree but fails to get the victory again.
Rollins gets his speech in about being God as he hits Cesaro in time to set up the Curb Stomp. Rollins gets caught into a Uppercut (second best Stomp counter) and takes Rollins spinning, first with a no handed Airplane Spin, Giant Swing and finishes it with a Neutralizer.
(Now get my Red and Pewter out of my sight on Rollins. They are winners unlike you tonight, Seth.)
New Day vs AJ Styles and Omos-
We… are getting Omos to start off against Kofi…? Oh no. New Day goaded AJ to start.
Kofi and AJ using their speed to go off and do some of their big moves or attempt them as AJ thinks he gets an advantage but Kofi gets it, with a slam and near fall, teasing AJ after a beat down as the champs get frequent tags, even getting a Unicorn Stampede off before Xavier holds AJ down for a bit. They keep teasing Omos to tag in but to no avail, New Day beating AJ down more. Kofi goes to tease AJ to get to tag AJ but tags Woods in to cut him off from tagging Omos. After a flurry from AJ to separate from Woods, Kofi tags himself in and fights AJ from tagging the big man in until AJ separates himself from the two and realizes, “I can tag the big man…? I CAN TAG THE BIG MAN!”
Omos comes in and Xavier can’t knock Omos down as Kofi tries to tag in and chop down the big man as The New Day… well to quote the remake of The Longest Yard… they shit themselves. Omos dismantles and smashes The New Day in the ring. Omos basically is breaking them apart as AJ flings over Omos for a Phenomenal Forearm and Omos two handed Chokeslams Kofi down for the win… Jesus Christ. They made him look like a billion dollars in the ring tonight.
Braun Strowman vs Shane McMahon-
As Braun comes in second, Elias and Ryker goes and beats Strowman down with chairs before the bell and Shane tells them to bring Braun in for it to start.
Shane grabs one of the chairs and beats Braun down with the chair over and over, going for a quick win and escaping but Braun, limping, stops Shane and taking more strikes from Shane for a good amount, limping and weakened as Shane breaks sheet metal from the top of the cage to continue the beat down and near fall. Braun now taking the fight to Shane as he stops Shane from escaping and tossing Shane into the cage walls over and over as Shane gets Braun’s hands now before getting squashed between the cage walls. Braun gets the full advantage in the match until his legs give out from earlier and Shane slides out, doing a swinging DDT and setting Braun up to go from Florida all the way to Cali with the Coast to Coast for a second near fall. Ryker and Elias climb the outside to get Shane out but Strowman runs into the cage to loosen all three of them. More offense goes on before Shane gets away and climbs out almost until he pisses off Braun and… gets caught, pulling the cage apart and dragging Shane back in. Braun getting a bright idea as he props Shane up on the cage, going up himself before Braun launches Shane off the cage and climbs back in, stumbling and standing up for himself and everyone who was bullied that’s watching before hitting a Running Powerslam for the win.
We get a small break for the cage to be taken down to honor the inductees to the 2020 Hall of Fame, Shatner, Liger, JBL, The Bella Twins, The British Bulldog, Titus O’Neal with the Warrior Award and the New World Order, Waltman, Hall, Nash and Hogan.
Bad Bunny & Damien Priest vs Miz & John Morrison-
Priest and Miz start it off and Miz goes to the corner and goads Bunny to come in and tags in as they walk around a little bit and Miz being an ass saying he can get the first shot as Bad Bunny pops Miz down. Bunny actually goes for a waist lock as Miz swings wild, Bunny ducks and gets another jab in before Miz gets pissed off and both of them trade blows in the corner of the ring before Miz gets the advantage, taking Bad Bunny into one corner and gets cocky a little before getting countered and Bunny flings Miz down with an arm drag. Miz rolls out and gets caught INTO A LA MAGISTAL AND A NEAR FALL! Miz had to get cheap after a a short pep talk with Morrison as Bad Bunny showing he’s better than Enzo with the rope spot. Bunny gets the advantage again as he slides under the ropes and does a well done Tilt-A-Whirl Head Scissor on Miz before tagging Morrison and getting some control in the match for M&M.
Miz gets back in and taunts Damien Priest by putting Bad Bunny in a headlock, inches away from Priest until Bunny gets some fight in him, dropping Morrison from the apron and almost getting to Priest, countering Miz’s stop with a Sunset Flip but getting beaten down after the pin attempt. Miz and Morrison take it to Bunny on the outside a bit. Morrison gets tagged in and taunts Booker T with a Spinarooni (A perfect one at that) as the tag to Miz gets in and Priest tries to get the crowd amped up. Miz cheap shots Priest and takes the ref’s attention away as M&M just keep embarrassing Bad Bunny with kicks in the corner. Miz gets cocky again and goes for his signature clothesline in the corner but Bunny stops him, dropping Morrison’s attack from the apron and hits a Tornado DDT onto Miz as he finally tags Damien Priest.
Damien goes to both men with his speed and strength, suplexing Miz into Morrison and hitting a chokeslam into a nearfall as all four men now get in the ring. Stereo Falcon Arrows, Damien Priest getting his step up Tope Con Hilo and Bunny with a crossbody. Priest gets Miz into the ring and Miz counters it into a Skull Crushing Finale into a pinfall. Bad Bunny goes to break it up and almost gets a tag in before Morrison pulls Bunny down. Bad Bunny having none of it from Morrison, hits a God Damn Destroyer as Priest props Miz up, gets the tag and lands a crossbody on the Miz for the win.
(Okay… Bad Bunny actually impressed me. Showed he cared. I give him props for that. I really do.)
Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks-
Both women size each other up for Collar & Elbows and Sasha shoves Bianca down, getting the trash talk started before Bianca kips up and shows a good amount of her –est’s, being Strong, Quick, Fast against Sasha as Sasha gets annoyed and gets caught by Bianca, rolling her out of the ring as Bianca goes to the outside. After some fighting on the apron, Sasha goes for a good suicide dive attempt but Bianca catches her and carries her to the ring as the match gets back to the ring. Bianca gets her usually offense going but Sasha actually grabs the hair of Bianca during the cartwheel and takes control this time around, getting her edge back and weakening the challenger. Sasha takes her to the corner and goes for the double knee attempt from the apron before Bianca catches her and drops her on her shoulder as they both go to the outside. Bianca’s hair gets caught by Sasha and Bianca takes control on the outside before the ref gets to 8 and both come back in. Bianca showed off her strength this time after a cradle attempt and does an impressive amount of time on a stalling suplex. Sasha keeps using Bianca’s hair to try to stop her after the Suplex but Bianca uses her hair as a ripcord effect into a clothesline. Sasha gets beat down from a Standing Shooting Star and getting propped into the corner as Belair goes for a 450 attempt from the top rope and Sasha counters, getting the momentum change momentarily.
Bianca catches some of Sasha’s high speed offense and does powerbomb pinfalls as Sasha kicks out of the first two, reversing the third with an X-Factor and taking control back with a Tornado DDt for another near fall. Banks now goes to the top for a Frog Splash. Sasha gets her anger and ruthlessness to wrap Bianca’s hair around her opponent into a Bank Statement and somehow, Bianca powers through and gets to the ropes before Sasha starts stopping on Bianca’s face after the break. Banks keeps going with the trash talking but Bianca shoves her into the corner post with some Shoulder Tackles and sets her up for a Superplex. Sasha fights her off and attempts a cartwheel kick before Sasha grabs the feet into a Tree of Woe position to land a Meteora. Sasha misses the first one, goes to a knee strike from the Tree as Bianca sits up so Sasha lands knees first into the turnbuckle and eats a 450 Splash for a near fall. Sasha tries to get control again after but gets whipped in the midsection with Bianca’s hair and after a fight to swing around, Bianca grabs Sasha up and lands the Kiss Of Death to win her first Women’s Championship in WWE.
Overall Score: 8/10
Well not too bad for the first fan attended event for WWE… barring NXT of course. Bad Bunny showed he can actually care about wrestling, wasn’t expecting a Canadian Destroyer… or I guess Puerto Rican Destroyer. Cesaro gets his moment, Bianca gets her moment. AJ Styles is now a Grand Slam Champion and every match except for the Tag Team Turmoil thing was pretty solid. I actually can’t wait for night two of Mania. Did it match Stand and Deliver Night One? No. That is still the best match of the week so far but they brought a good amount of fire this night and held a candle to Night Two all things considered. Well we have one more day for me to do Mania Week writing so let’s see if Night two can live up to Night One.
Just… people stop wearing my Bucs colors and lose in the process. Seriously. Disappointed me tonight Seth and New Day.
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