Raw hears voices in it’s head~!
The Viper has been away but he’s finally back! What will Randy Orton do to the Raw Tag Team Champions as retaliation for Riddle?
- Baron Corbin VS Drew McIntyre; McIntyre wins.
- Jeff Hardy VS Karrion Kross; Kross wins.
- Alexa Bliss VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven w/ Eva Marie; Bliss wins.
- WWE United States Championship Contenders Match: Sheamus VS Ricochet; Sheamus wins.
- John Morrison w/ The Miz VS Damian Priest; Priest wins.
- Mustafa Ali w/ Mansoor VS T-Bar w/ Mace; T-Bar wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Photobomb Bonanza: Reggie retains the WWE 24/7 Championship.
- Rhea Ripley VS Nikki A.S.H; Nikki wins, by disqualification.
- AJ Styles w/ Omos VS Randy Orton; Orton wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Randy Orton opens Monday Night Raw!
It feels like forever but the Viper’s finally back! Orlando is fired up as Orton makes his way to the ring and that gets Orton fired up. Orton feels good even getting to strike his pose on the corner again! The Legend Killer gets the mic as fans chant “RANDY! RANDY!” and he says, “I guess, ladies and gentlemen, this is where I’m supposed to say, ‘Welcome to Monday Night Raw!'” Bro… Here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro scooters right to the ring and gets right in! He kicks off the sandals right away and gets a mic. Riddle is happy to see Orton, but is it mutual? “Randy. I missed you so much, bro.” But where’d he go?
At first, Riddle thought Orton was hiding like a “big girthy anaconda,” but then thought maybe Orton just went on vacation, get some sand, some sun, whatever. But then Riddle just missed him so much, y’know? Fans appreciate that, and Riddle is happy to have Orton back! And that reminded Riddle of this time 25 years ago, when his stepdad left to get milk, but he “got lost and never came back.” Fans chant “RKBRO! RKBRO!” as Riddle says Orton is back! And y’know what that means? It means they can be R! K! BRO~! Riddle is fired up, gets a “RANDY! RANDY!” chant going again, but Orton speaks up. He wants to ask Riddle a question. Sure, anything! “What in the hell makes you think that I would want to team with you again?”
Listen, kid. They had a few matches, Riddle made some shirts, they both got a buzz on social media. But to be real, Orton works better alone. And he’s been watching from home that Riddle’s been fine on his own without Orton, or his stepdad’s. SO they’re not a team anymore…? The fans want RKBRO to work but Orton says they were, past-tense, a good team. But here come the Raw Tag Team Champions, Omos & AJ Styles! And they’re laughing at these guys! “You wanna be my bro, bro? What’d I do, bro? Where’s my stepdad, bro?” It’s embarrassing! Like, really really embarrassing. So much so that you can taste it! Some might even say it’s Too Sweet.
But Styles keeps going as he and Omos get in the ring. This is Orton, Riddle. Look at his nicknames: The Viper; the Apex Predator; the Legend Killer. Literally everyone he’s ever met has been used and abused, and you think he’ll be your friend? It’s silly, it makes no sense, because it’s Randy Orton. When Omos broke the scooter, Styles thought that’d hurt Riddle. Or when Omos was throwing Riddle around last week, that’d hurt him. “But never in a million years would I have thought it would be a broken heart that hurt you the most, by Randy Orton! Well done, Randy!” Orton tells Styles to shut his freakin’ mouth!
Orton’s been at home for 2 months, watching Styles run his mouth, walking around like he is THE MAN. His ego is so big, the only thing bigger is that jackass next to him! Hold on right there! That’s a lie! Omos is no jackass! But Styles has an idea, and he tells the fans to shut up for a minute so he can talk. Since Orton is solo, why not take on Styles tonight? And we’ll just see who runs Raw! Oh, that’s easy, because Orton accepts. So tonight, Orton will beat Styles and give him a spoiler: He’ll win tonight with the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment, R! K! Oh wait that was an uppercut!
Omos sees that, is angry, but he glares at Orton. Orton springs but Omos shoves him away! Omos dares Orton to do something more but Riddle is coiled! Omos turns around into an R- No, wait, he still stopped one! He choke grips Riddle, and CHOKE SLAMS Riddle down! Orton sighs. Riddle reaches out to him, but Orton says that was a dumb move. The Viper slithers off to prepare, will he have a phenomenal return to the ring tonight?
Baron Corbin’s backstage…?
The former king is a SmackDown superstar, but he’s here on Raw? Kevin Patrick interviews him, citing that Corbin is using the Brand 2 Brand Invitation to be here. What are Corbin’s reasons for coming here and challenging Drew McIntyre? Corbin isn’t sure if anyone on Raw understands how bad things are for Corbin. He’s fallen on hard times, and he just needs the money. He has quite literally lost everything: his crown, his cars, his house. Even his wife took the kids and left, so he’s homeless. He was staying inside a production truck last night when Jinder Mahal called him. Mahal is offering Corbin a chance to turn things around.
Corbin isn’t jumping for joy at going against someone who could “decapitate” him with a sword, but this is risk versus reward and Corbin is a desperate man. If beating McIntyre can get him out of these financial troubles, then so be it. Sword or not, Corbin will face the Scottish Warrior next!
Baron Corbin VS Drew McIntyre!
The Lone Wolf is doing the Modern Day Maharaja’s dirty work, emphasis on dirty because he’s wearing the last week right there on his sleeve. Corbin’s willing to use blood money to get by, but will he even survive a motivated and malicious McIntyre?
Raw returns as Kevin Patrick interviews McIntyre backstage. What is McIntyre’s reaction to Mahal paying Corbin to come here and face him? Well Mahal and his goons are running scared, but McIntyre “can’t quite put a finger on why…” As for Corbin, just look at how pathetic he’s become. But McIntyre is conflicted, so he asks the people: Should McIntyre feel any sympathy for Corbin? “NO!” Yeah, no. McIntyre’s known Corbin for years and he is a “genuinely terrible human being.” He remembers Corbin bragging about beating up a hobo, taking his money AND his dog! Orland surely wants to see McIntyre BEAT CORBIN’S ASS! Fans cheer yes!
Kevin asks about the sword and the use of it last week. Well to quickly review: he named the sword for his late mother, Angela, who passed away a few years ago; he misses her every single day; she had a genetic disorder but never complained; while she was pregnant with Drew, she was told to abort the baby, but refused and would rather have died. She still had McIntyre, took care of him, never complained, even in her last moments with cancer. So for one second, imagine how McIntyre feels about a person like Corbin, “karma is a bitch! And if you push Drew McIntyre, so is Angela.” Their will be no mercy from McIntyre, he’s heading to the ring!
The bell rings and Corbin wants McIntyre to take it easy. This is just a match and a paycheck, okay? That’s all. But then Corbin swings first and McIntyre kicks back! McIntyre bumps, ROCKS and CHOPS Corbin in the corner! McIntyre whips Corbin to ropes and CLOBBERS him with an elbow! McIntyre stomps Corbin, drags Corbin up and throws forearms. Corbin staggers, McIntyre whips him corner to corner and hard! Corbin falls over, Mahal and his men are watching backstage as McIntyre hits a dead lift suplex! Cover, TWO! McIntyre gets Corbin up to shove, Corbin holds ropes, McIntyre clotheslines him out!
McIntyre goes out after Corbin, drags him back up and CHOPS him against the announce desk! Corbin slumps down but he gets up to ROCK McIntyre with an uppercut! And RAM McIntyre into apron! Corbin gets McIntyre into the ring at 6 of 10, follows after, and gets McIntyre up for knees low and hard. Corbin throws McIntyre out hard, too, and then hurries out around the way. Corbin runs in at McIntyre, but into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Corbin crashes into barriers and McIntyre fires up as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Corbin has control as he puts McIntyre up top! Corbin climbs up, throws hands, keeps climbing, then punches more. Corbin gets McIntyre up for a SUPERPLEX! Both men are down but Corbin crawls to a cover, TWO!! McIntyre is still in this and Corbin is beside himself! Corbin stands up and gets McIntyre up for haymakers. Corbin fires off body shots in the corner, whips McIntyre corner to corner, and McIntyre staggers into buckles. Corbin runs in, McIntyre moves. Corbin slides out, slides in but into a GLASGOW KISS! Both men are down from the headbutt and fans rally up!
Corbin gets to a corner, McIntyre rises, and McIntyre snarls as he fires off windmill haymakers! THe ref backs McIntyre off but he starts rallying on Corbin. McIntyre whips, OVERHEAD suplexes, then watches Corbin stagger. Corbin is in a corner,. McIntyre clinches for another OVERHEAD suplex! And then a NECKBREAKER! McIntyre kips up, fans fire up, and McIntyre aims. But as Corbin rises, he begs for mercy. “I had to do this! I have nothing else!” Weren’t they friends? So please, spare him! McIntyre gets a mic to talk to Corbin, “You’re absolutely pathetic.” Corbin says he knows, he has nothing! Well, McIntyre is starting to feel bad.
If things are this bad, and seems they are… How much does Corbin need for a few days so he can get a hot meal, a warm bed, “and for the love of God, a shower?” Corbin think about that, and asks “$100,000.” WHAT?! He is so reasonable, NOT. How about two hundred? Or three? Three, two, ONE! CLAYMORE!! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
“Good night, Corbin!” Corbin just doesn’t know when to quit, does he? Will Mahal learn the same lesson soon enough? Speaking of, though, Mahal leads the way out for Veer and Shanky, but McIntyre gets Angela! That stops the Maharaja and his men in their tracks! McIntyre dares them to try it, but they’ve at least learned this much. But when will McIntyre and Mahal finally fight it out, 1v1, no sidekicks or swords involved?
Riddle scoots after Orton.
Riddle knows Orton doesn’t want to be RKBRO anymore, but what about being friends? Riddle has more shirts he made, and he ordered Orton his own scooter so it’s already on its way… C-Can he at least be in Orton’s corner for the match with Styles? After all, Styles will have Omos, so Riddle just wants things to be fair. Riddle gets upset as Orton sighs again. “You can’t be serious, bro!” Orton looks at him and says, “I am serious. And don’t call me ‘Bro’.”
Jeff Hardy VS Karrion Kross!
The Charismatic Enigma is back! And though the NXT Champion went back and forth with Keith Lee lately, Doomsday has waited for the time when he could settle things with the extreme risk-taker. Has Hardy taken too big a risk taking on the sands of time?
Raw returns as Kross makes his entrance. The bell rings and Hardy dodges Kross to fire off hands,. Hardy runs but into a BOOT! Kross stomps Hardy around, drags him up and bump shim off buckles. Kross gets in Hardy’s face then ROCKS him with clothesline, elbow and forearm! Then an EXPLODER! “You remember that?!” Kross is making sure to repeat their previous match so as to correct his shortcoming. But Hardy hits back with body shots and then goes to arm-drag. Kross blocks, pulls hair and TOSSES Hardy out of the ring! Fans rally for Hardy but Kross stalks Hardy on the outside. Kross won’t let Hardy get away, “We’re not done yet!”
Kross whips Hardy but Hardy reverses, Kross hits steel steps! Hardy gets space, runs in and leaps off the steps, POETRY IN MOTION! Fans fire up with Hardy as he throws off his shirt! Hardy puts Kross in the ring, gets him up, and Russian Leg Sweeps! Hardy hurries to a corner, climbs up top, and fans fire up again! But Kross sweeps Hardy’s legs! Hardy tumbles to the mat and Kross laughs! “I know you, Jeff!” The apocalypse is gloating as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Kross ROCKS Hardy with forearms. Hardy hits back, kicks and reels Kross in to DDT! Both men are down and fans build to a rally. Hardy gets up first but Kross follows. Kross kicks, whips, but Hardy wrenches to ROCK Kross back! Kross runs into an ATOMIC DROP, then leg trip and LEG SPLITTER LEG DROP! Basement dropkick and SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Kross grits his teeth, still a lot left in him. Hardy clubs Kross to a corner, rams his shoulder in, but the ref counts. Hardy whips but Kross reverses. Kross runs in but into a BOOT! Hardy hops up top, fans fire up and he leaps, for another SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Kross snarls as he gets frustrated!
Hardy gets Kross up to throw hands then whips. Kross blocks, CLUBS and ROCKS Hardy, but Hardy JAWBREAKERS back! Kross staggers, Hardy rolls him up, with tights, TWO! Kross is furious, he felt that! Hardy kicks but no Twist! Kross shoves Hardy at a corner but Hardy elbows him back. Hardy goes up, but Kross drags him down, into the DOOMSDAY SAIDO!! And the KROSSJACKET!! Hardy TAPS, Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
The NXT Champion is savage and he devastated a living legend. But Kross isn’t satisfied so easily, either! He gets Hardy back up, for another DOOMSDAY SAIDO! And the KROSSJACKET again!! Hardy taps but then fades out! Kross is warning all of Raw and even all of NXT that no matter where, no matter when, you will #FallAndPray.
Backstage interview with Riddle.
Kevin asks Riddle now that Orton is back but made clear he doesn’t want to be a teammate, is this really the end of RKBRO? K-Peezy, today has been a real roller coaster. Riddle was stoked to see Orton but then Orton doesn’t want to be on his team, as his bro or in his corner. Riddle doesn’t know what to feel, say or do. But if Orton wants to be alone, Riddle has to respect that and let Orton do what he’ll do. But this stallion will do what a stallion does, and that’s ride! Riddle scoots away, but is he really feeling better? Or just scooting to keep from thinking about things?
Alexa Bliss VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven w/ Eva Marie!
Lil’ Ms. Bliss may be twisted, but even she isn’t calling someone by a name she made up herself and taking credit for that person’s accomplishments. Will Alexa halt the #EvaLution through the proxy, Pip- er… “Doudrop?”
Raw returns and the #EvaLution makes their entrance. The bell rings and Alexa makes sure Lilly is comfortable in the corner. Alexa stares Piper down but the ref tells Eva to get out of the ring. Eva refuses and sits on top of a corner, as if mocking Lilly! Fans chant “WE DON’T WANT YOU!” and the ref keeps telling her to leave. Eva leaves the ring but paces around ringside. Alexa glares over at Eva, then ties up with Piper. Alexa fires off kicks, forearms, repeat, but Piper shoves her down. Alexa contorts to Grudge/Ring walk! Piper snarls to get over the fear and scoops Alexa! But Alexa slips around to a SLEEPER! Piper throws Alexa off hard, then drops a back senton that flops!
Alexa KICKS Piper in the back, KICKS her in the front, then with Lilly watching, covers. ONE, but Alexa gets Piper up. Piper blocks the whip, whips her, but Alexa is a spider as she springboards to crossbody! Cover, ONE! Piper is still strong but Alexa bails out. Fans cheer as she walks by, and Alexa smiles as she walks around the way towards Eva. Eva wants her to stay away, swipes at her feebly, and Alexa blocks! Piper runs in to CLUB Alexa on the back! Eva soaks up the heat as Piper gets Alexa up and whips her into barriers! Piper drags Alexa up, puts her in the ring, and gets in the ring at 9 of 10. Piper drags Alexa around, KICKS her in the back, then drags her up.
Piper bumps Alexa off buckles, Eva tells fans to stop chanting for Alexa. Piper whips her corner to corner. Piper SPLASHES Alexa, snapmares her out, then taunts, “Lilly can’t help you now~! She’s just a stupid, dirty doll!” But then Alexa contorts again and grins! She’s looking at Lilly, and then Piper looks back at it. Lilly winks?! Piper gets freaked out, but Alexa rolls her up! High stack, Alexa wins!!
Winner: Alexa Bliss, by pinfall
Every good manager/cornerman knows how to help their superstar! So, this makes Lilly better than Eva! And Eva keeps acting like this is all on Piper! Will Alexa and Lilly completely ruin the EvaLution?
John Morrison and The Miz talk backstage.
Johnny Drip Drip says that the fact is, Damian Priest can never “Jump in the river” because he’s too dry. He doesn’t get #TheWettertheBetter. Miz can’t stand Damian! But then in walks Sheamus, face mask and all. Y’know what he can’t stand? “Gobshites with silly hair, ridiculous outfits, and obnoxious catchphrases.” Who is he referring to? YOU, Morrison! You’re the “waterhead” who cost Sheamus his match with Priest. Don’t you know they’re after his gold? Fella, you must be trippin’, so it’s time for Johnny to start drippin’. He’s gonna rain the pain! Go ahead, make Sheamus’ day! Miz says to stand down.
But this is what’s wrong with them both. Sheamus has bigger, or rather smaller, things to worry about when he gets to stand on and crush that rat, Ricochet. But as for America’s Moist Wanted, he better get the job done tonight. Or else he’s in for one hell of a drought! The Celtic Warrior takes on the One and Only, next!
WWE United States Championship Contenders Match: Sheamus VS Ricochet!
The Archer of Infamy hit the mark and has a title match in his back pocket, will the King of Flight get a golden ticket for himself? Or can the Fella fend off at least one hungry challenger tonight?
Raw returns as Ricochet makes his entrance. The bell rings and Ricochet circles with Sheamus. Ricochet gets around to waistlock but Sheamus throws him off. Ricochet resets, he and Sheamus tie up, and Sheamus puts Ricochet in a corner. The ref counts, Ricochet pushes back and things get chippy. Ricochet CLUBS away on Sheamus’ back but Sheamus elbows Ricochet away. Sheamus CLUBS Ricochet, headlocks and hits a takeover. Ricochet endures, fights up, and throws body shots. Ricochet powers out, Sheamus runs him over with a shoulder! Sheamus gloats and soaks up the heat, but things speed up!
Ricochet hurdles to run, duck, dodge and tilt-o-whirl headscissor! Ricochet adds a dropkick and Sheamus bails out! Fans fire up with Ricochet but Sheamus is flustered. Sheamus tells fans to shut it then he goes back to the ring at 5 of 10. Sheamus and Ricochet circle, feel things out, but Sheamus kicks low then knees hard! Sheamus wrenches, wrangles Ricochet down, then clamps on with a chinbar. Ricochet fights up, fans rally, and Ricochet throws body shots. Ricochet ROCKS Sheamus with hands, then an uppercut in the corner! Ricochet CHOPS, Sheamus KNEES, then Sheamus scoops and SLAMS! Ricochet slowly sits up but Sheamus throws body shots.
Sheamus whips Ricochet to ropes, but Ricochet hits a KNEE SMASH! Ricochet keeps moving, but runs into a fireman’s carry! Ricochet fights free, baits Sheamus in and dumps him out of the ring! Ricochet builds speed and WRECKS Sheamus with a dropkick! Sheamus hits announce desk, Ricochet keeps moving, he SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODIES Sheamus onto and OVER the announce desk!! Orlando fires up as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns as Sheamus has Ricochet with a neck wrench. That chants of “YOU LOOK STUPID!” return to haunt Sheamus after all this time, and Ricochet fires off body shots. Ricochet throws haymakers, CHOPS, and forearms! Ricochet runs but into an IRISH CURSE BACKBREKER! Sheamus fires up, “Are you not entertained?!” Orlando is divided as Sheamus gets Ricochet up. Sheamus grinds Ricochet down with a chinbar but fans rally up. Ricochet fights to his feet, throws body shots, elbow after elbow after elbow after elbow! Fans fire up with every shot but Sheamus CLUBS Ricochet down! But Ricochet dumps Sheamus out!
Sheamus fights up to the apron and drags Ricochet up but Ricochet punches the mask! Ricochet’s hand hearts, Sheamus climbs up top. But an ENZIGURI gets Sheamus first! Ricochet climbs up, throws hands, but Sheamus shoves Ricochet away. Ricochet flips through to land on his feet, then NO HANDS RANA! Sheamus goes tumbling, Ricochet aims from the apron, springboard FLYING CLOTHESLINE! Then a high LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Sheamus survives and fans can’t believe it! Ricochet keeps focus, Sheamus gets up, and Ricochet stands Sheamus up. Ricochet fireman’s carries but Sheamus fights free!
Sheamus shoves Ricochet to a corner but Ricochet drop toeholds Sheamus into buckles! Ricochet hurries up top, leaps, but Sheamus uses the mask in a headbutt!! Sheamus benefits from his own injury, and he BROGUES Ricochet down!! Cover, Sheamus wins!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall
No win, no title match for the One and Only Ricochet! But will the Celtic Warrior’s armored skull be what breaks the Archer of Infamy’s arrows? Wait, speaking of, here comes Damian Priest! He isn’t going to wait for Sheamus to leave, he wants to soak up the spotlight right now. He even gets in Sheamus’ face! Sheamus is furious Priest is “stepping on his moment,” but fans chant, “NO HE’S NOT!” Priest dares Sheamus to do something about it then, but Sheamus leaves. Only to rush Priest from behind! Priest sees that coming and dumps Sheamus out! The Fella is furious, but here comes the Guru of Greatness!
John Morrison w/ The Miz VS Damian Priest!
Miz fires the Drip Stick as they make their way down the ramp! America’s Moist Wanted is ready to extinguish Priest, but will he end up the one devastated and evaporated?
The bell rings and Morrison circles with Priest. They approach, Morrison gets around but Priest throws him down with an arm-drag. Priest clamps onto the arm, Morrison fights up but Priest wrenches to wristlock., Morrison knees low, uppercuts, and goes after Priest in a corner. Priest TOSSES Morrison into a corner and fires off fast hands! Priest ROCKS Morrison with a right, then glares at Miz. Miz claims he’s not doing anything, but then he secretly loads up a Drip Stick. Morrison crawls away but Priest drags him back from the ropes. Priest gets Morrison up but Morrison PELES him down! And then SHINING WIZARDS! Cover, ONE!!
Miz is upset about the count but Morrison goes to ground ‘n’ pound. Miz quotes Karate Kid, “Get him a body bag!” as Morrison floats all over to rain down more shots. Priest endures, Morrison digs his knee in and shifts to an armlock and chinlock combo. Miz rallies for Morrison as Priest works on an escape. Priest clubs at Morrison’s chest and then uses his leg to club Morrison over and over! Priest is free, he gets up, and Morrison hurries up. Priest dodges to BELL CLAP, then spin for KICK, KICK and KICK! ROLLING ELBOW! Morrison staggers and rebounds into a LARIAT! Fans fire up with Priest as he paces around Morrison.
Priest gets Morrison up, suplexes, but Morrison fights free to fire off! Priest knees low, Morrison ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest ROCKS Morrison back! Priest blocks a kick, Morrison blocks a kick, they both block elbows! Morrison cartwheels over a leg sweep but Priest ducks the Penalty Kick! Priest schoolboy rolls Morrison, Morrison rolls through, BOTH men kick from the mat! Fans fire up as both men are down from that striking extravaganza! Priest gets up as fans rally, “This is Awesome!” Morrison gets to a corner, Priest stalks over, but Morrison throws Priest out! Morrison WRECKS Priest with a dropkick, then climbs up top! TORNILLO PLANCHA!!
Miz is fired up, fans can’t believe what they saw, and Morrison puts Priest in. Priest kicks but Morrison dodges to hang that leg on the ropes. Morrison EDDY GORDO kicks, then springboards, into a WHEEL KICK! Priest drags Morrison up, dragon sleeper, but Miz SQUIRT SQUIRT! Priest just smiles and blows a kiss to Miz, as Morrison gets THE RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall
#HitTheLights, Morrison is out! But Priest still feels Miz needs to learn. Miz scoots back as best he can, Morrison rushes out but Priest DECKS him! Miz double barrels but then stops. Priest takes the sticks to SQUIRT SQUIRT Johnny Drip Drip! Fans cheer as Priest points to Miz, and Miz shouts, “NO! NO!” But Miz cornered himself. Priest says he OWNS Miz, but Miz gets furious and stands up!?! His leg wasn’t injured at all?! Even Morrison can’t believe Miz was faking! Well in that case, Miz RUNS away! All the way to the stage in a flash, the A-Lister is gone!
Priest gets a mic to tell Orlando, “Hell yeah! Hey, for months, we’ve all seen Sheamus come out here. And he comes out to run his mouth, pick apart his opponents when they’re not looking-” But Sheamus walks back out to interrupt “Damo,” and tell him that if he has something to say, say it to Sheamus’ face. Don’t wait until he leaves the room. He expects more from Priest on that. Priest says that’s rich coming from Sheamus. But for months, we’ve all seen this: Sheamus treats people like garbage and is straight up a bully. But here’s the thing. Just like every other bully in life, Priest will get him, too. But this will be at SummerSlam for the US Championship!!
Sheamus says “Priesty” talks a big game, and he calls Sheamus the bully. Well maybe he IS a bully! And maybe he likes being a bully! But the truth is, Sheamus doesn’t care what Priest or anyone else thinks. But he will put Priest in his place! Be ready for the fight of your life, because Sheamus ACCEPTS! Las Vegas just got that much more golden! Wait, Morrison is getting back in! Priest BOOTS him down! Wait, that was more like a Brogue! “See that, Sheamus? That’s gonna be YOU at SummerSlam!” The Celtic Warrior, the Archer of Infamy, who survives Sin City to have the title around their waist?
Mansoor apologizes backstage.
He is so sorry for their loss last week, but to make it up to Mustafa Ali, Mansoor got him this new jacket. Mustafa actually admits it’s amazing! Nice job, kid. But like he’s said before, Mansoor has to stop apologizing. There’s no need to apologize when you make a mistake, but you do need to learn from those mistakes. Understand? Of course. Yeah, he’ll do better next time. In the meantime, Ali will show Mansoor “how it’s done.” All Mansoor needs to do is watch and learn. They head out, will the reinvigorated Beacon be able to topple the towering T-Bar?
Mustafa Ali w/ Mansoor VS T-Bar w/ Mace!
They split things in tag matches, now they try things 1v1! Will extinction still come to Ali and Mansoor, even if it’s just one at a time?
Raw returns as Ali and Mansoor make their entrance. Ali still doesn’t want Mansoor to be chummy, despite the nice gift of the jacket. The bell rings, Ali and T-Bar circle. They tie up, T-Bar TOSSES Ali to a corner then back elbows! T-Bar whips Ali corner to corner, then BACK DROPS him on the rebound! Cover, TWO! T-Bar keeps cool as he drags Ali up. Ali throws body shots, T-Bar knees low then whips Ali to ropes. Ali ducks and dodges and dropkicks T-Bar out of the ring! T-Bar gets back in but into Ali’s KICK! Ali PLANCHAS and takes T-Bar- NEVERMIND! T-Bar rolls through to pick Ali up to KNEE and SWING into barriers!
T-Bar drags Ali up, throws him into the ring at 6 of 10 and follows. T-Bar scowls as he aims, CYCLONE KICK!! Cover, TWO!?! Ali survives and shocks T-Bar! Ali gets to ropes, T-Bar stalks after him, and T-Bar gets Ali up to whip him corner to corner. Ali boots back, hops up and up and leaps, but into a choke grip! CHOKE BACKBREAKER! Cover, ROPEBREAK! Ali survives again and T-Bar can’t believe it! T-Bar glares at Mansoor, but Mace CLOBBERS Mansoor! “Snitches get stiches, boy!” T-Bar drags Ali up, choke grips, but Ali wheelbarrows! Ali goes up and over to waistlock and O’Conner Roll, TWO! Ali goes up and up and leaps to TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up as T-Bar is in a drop zone!
Ali goes up top, takes aim, but T-Bar BOOTS from below! Ali is tripped up, T-Bar hauls him out to a torture rack, FEAST YOUR EYES!! Cover, T-Bar wins!
Winner: T-Bar, by pinfall
Ali is still in trouble as Mace drags him back up! Double choke grips, but Mansoor FLIES in! Missile dropkick takes T-Bar out! Then he fires off on Mace! Mace swings, Mansoor dodges and fires off more forearms! Mace blocks the whip, whips Mansoor, but Mansoor dumps Mace out! Mansoor triangle jump DROPKICKS Mace down! The titans regroup as Mansoor stands tall! Ali can’t believe it, either! But does this mean he and Mansoor are a real team now?
Reggie has a photoshoot.
The WWE 24/7 Champion says it feels good on this side of the camera. Carmella and Nia Jax always had him work the camera, taking hundreds if not thousands of photos, all just to post one on Instagram. A janitor with a suspiciously fake beard wheels in as Reggie says he could get used to this. But then a delivery man steps into frame, with his own suspiciously fake facial hair. Uh, does Reggie know you? “SPRING SHOT MEMORIES~!” It’s Akira Tozawa and he throws the packages at Reggie! Reggie stumbles, Tozawa rolls him up, ref counts… Truth breaks it up! Truth was the janitor!
Truth and Tozawa argue about what the other is doing, because they’re BOTH letting Reggie get away! Reggie gest around the janitor cart, around the prop ring, over road cases, but now he’s stuck! Wait, nope! He LEAPS over Tozawa to get to the exit! Tozawa and Truth argue about whose fault this was, but the point is: Will anyone ever wrangle Reggie with such amazing agility at his disposal?
Backstage interview with AJ Styles & Omos.
Kevin wants Styles’ reaction to Orton’s return. Oh, so glad he’s back, really, great moment. NOT. Styles doesn’t care that Orton is back, that he broke up his little team, that he feels better off alone, Styles doesn’t care! What Styles care about is, if Orton thinks he can come right back and be the top of the mountain after being away so long, he’s mistaken. Styles is a champion. Omos is a champion. They deserve respect. Orton made a big mistake, a colossal mistake. So just like Riddle’s scooter, they’ll have to break Orton and put him back on the sidelines, for good. Omos says, “C’mon, bro,” and the two head out. Will Styles back up his talk? Or will he be snake-bit by the end of tonight?
Bobby Lashley is here!
MVP accompanies The All Mighty, the Chief Hurt Officer, the WWE World Champion out to the ring, knowing full well Goldberg’s coming for him and the title at SummerSlam. Montel Vontavius Porter has a mic to ask the fans to please rise and show the proper respect to the champion. Then he notes last week, Lashley being gracious enough to bless the world with a blockbuster of a main event: The All Mighty Lashley VS WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg for THE WWE Championship! Now sadly, that announcement has been “mired in controversy.” There are some “false narratives being spun” on which MVP needs to set the record straight.
If Goldberg was looking for a fight, it was right here in this ring, just inches away. But Goldberg never raised his hand to the man, and wisely. Goldberg left in an orderly fashion, and maybe he was embarrassed or wanted to save face, but he savagely and cowardly returned and attacked MVP with a “rib-crushing” Spear for absolutely no reason at all! And then, because Goldberg needed to make up for that, he LIED and said he did it because MVP was threatening his 15 year old son. MVP is a father, Lashley is a father, they have sons of their own and they would never do such things. They were acting in humanitarian capacities.
What MVP said was simple: If you love you father, Gage, please dissuade Goldberg from this fool’s errand; if Goldberg shows up at SummerSlam, his career will be over. Lashley will end Goldberg’s career. For that, Goldberg attacks MVP! MVP has been slandered before, but when you slander him, you slander Lashley, as well! Now most don’t know what it’s like getting hit by a Goldberg Spear, “but it’s like getting hit by a Mack truck!” MVP has tearing in his knee, four bruised ribs and two cracked ribs on the other side. His x-rays can prove it. But the only thing more devastating than a Goldberg Spear is an All Mighty Lashley Spear.
MVP tells Goldberg, “you have no one to blame but yourself.” They’re violent men by nature, but if you’re a WWE superstar, and you involve your son in your battles, anything can happen! Maybe don’t’ bring him here! MVP takes a moment, the ribs make it hard to breathe. He can’t cough, he can’t sneeze, he can’t even laugh, but that’s appropriate. This is no laughing matter. Goldberg got Gage involved, so this is for Gage: “Please, I beg you, convince you father not to show up to SummerSlam.” Because if that happens, Gage will watch his father be “humiliated, annihilated and absolutely destroyed in a way you’ve not seen before! Because Bobby Lashley is gonna END Goldberg’s career!”
Look at the upside, though. The upside is that Gage will have his dad home for his football games, baseball games, and they can sit on the couch to watch the WWE as they reminisce about the time Gage didn’t care enough about his dad to stop him from facing Lashley. They can have all the father-son time they want after that. Isn’t that beautiful? Lashley agrees, and has a message for Goldberg now: “Bill, do NOT let your son watch SummerSlam. Because if he does, he will watch the destruction that I’m gonna put upon you! And it’s gonna be so bad, that you won’t even want to have him share the same last name as you!” At SummerSlam, Goldberg isn’t next. He’s DONE.
Mighty words from the All Mighty and MVP, but will this only motivate the old gladiator to get back to being that old gladiator again?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley.
Sarah asks her about Nikki A.S.H’s win over Charlotte Flair in the No Holds Barred match, and how that makes her feel about tonight’s match. Rhea said it last week, there’s nothing more brutal than NHB, and she gives credit to Nikki for holding her own. Nikki’s held her own rather well as Raw Women’s Champion, and that takes a lot of heart and guts to be an Almost Super Hero. But almost isn’t good enough to stay champion. As a former Raw Women’s Champion, Rhea understands the balance between light and dark needed to be a champion. Does Nikki have a dark side? Rhea hasn’t seen it.
So unfortunately for Nikki, no matter how hard she tries, how hard she believe in herself, it won’t protect her from the Nightmare unleashed tonight, nor at SummerSlam, when Rhea becomes NEW Raw Women’s Champion. That alone right there was her brutality, but Rhea unleash even more of it as she tests Nikki’s might?
Rhea Ripley VS Nikki A.S.H!
Raw returns as the Almost Superhero is interviewed backstage. Sarah says last week was one of the biggest wins in Nikki’s career, but is she at all prepared for Rhea? Nikki says being almost a superhero means she has to be prepared for things not always going her way. “But if you believe in yourself enough, you can achieve your dreams! Just look at her as Raw Women’s Champion! Tonight, Nikki’s dream might turn into a nightmare. But she’ll be okay because she has the trusty nightlight that is her spirit and her drive!
When she began this journey, when she became champion, she knew that Rhea and Charlotte would be dangerous. But Nikki didn’t almost beat Charlotte last week, she DID beat Charlotte last week! And tonight, she’s almost positive she’ll win here. At SummerSlam, she has the odds stacked against her, but she’ll do whatever it takes to remain Raw Women’s Champion! Nikki’s music plays, she heads out for the ring, but will she almost or definitely maintain her momentum for SummerSlam?
The bell rings, Rhea and Nikki circle. They tie up, Rhea throws Nikki down hard, but Nikki avoids the kick to the ribs! Roll up, TWO, but Nikki headlocks. Rhea powers up, Nikki grinds the hold tighter, but Rhea powers up again. Nikki makes it a takeover, Rhea fights around to her feet, but Nikki uses the corner to go up and around for another takedown! Rhea gets frustrated but she fights back up. Rhea throws body shots, powers up again and SLAMS Nikki down face-first! Nikki clutches her bad ribs, Rhea kicks her in the side! Nikki gets to a corner, Rhea RAMS into her! Rhea throws body shots to go after those bad ribs!
Rhea bumps Nikki off buckles, then TOSSES her across the ring! Nikki gets to the other corner and Rhea dares her to get up. Nikki does and Rhea RAMS back into her! The ref counts, Rhea lets off, Nikki hits back! Rhea CLUBS Nikki down, gets her up, and whips her to a corner hard! Nikki bounces off buckles, Rhea taunts her about the bad ribs, then CLUBS her on the back. Rhea throws Nikki out of the ring, goes out after her, but Nikki shoves her away. Nikki runs but into a flapjack to the apron! Nikki falls to the floor and writhes in pain while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Rhea has Nikki in a rear bearhug! Fans rally as Nikki fights but Rhea slams her down! Rhea knees Nikki in the back again and again, then cubs away on her! Nikki gets to ropes and Rhea has to back off a moment. Rhea stalks Nikki to a corner, gets her up and throws hands. Nikki shoves Rhea, boots her, then elbows her away. Nikki fires counter punches, Rhea shoves her but Nikki turns back drop into a DDT! Nikki and Rhea are down and fans rally. Nikki gets up and drags Rhea around. Nikki fires forearms, but Rhea blocks the whip. Rhea whips Nikki but Nikki tilt-o-whirls to headscissor! Rhea ends up in a corner, Nikki RAMS in!
Nikki runs, wheelbarrows, and victory rolls, TWO! Rhea staggers up, kicks Nikki down, then drags Nikki up. Pump handle, but Nikki fights to turn Riptide to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Nikki winces and walks into Rhea’s kick from below! Rhea gets Nikki up in a corner and fires off body shots! Rhea hoists Nikki up top, throws hands, climbs up to join Nikki, and fans fire up as they stand on the very top! Nikki resists, fights back, forearms and knocks Rhea down! Nikki adjusts position but her ribs slow her down! Nikki- GETS SHOVED by Charlotte?!
Winner: Nikki A.S.H, by disqualification
The Queen strikes at the most opportune time! And she BOOTS Rhea down, too! Charlotte gets Nikki up, scoops and EXPLODERS! Charlotte kips up, fans go nuts with ‘WOO~” and “BOO!” but Rhea gets NATURAL SELECTION!! Charlotte soaks up the cheers, jeers and everything in between as she snatches the Raw Women’s Championship. Will SummerSlam end with Charlotte getting her twelfth (14 if you include NXT) women’s championship reign?
Elias… walks… alone…
The Drifter drags his guitar along as he walks through the woods. There’s a bonfire that calls to him. Elias stares into the flames, then holds his guitar in hands. His head is full of fans chanting “Walk With Elias,” but also the sound of his back being battered by every manner of wooden guitar, cello or other string instrument by all his past opponents. From Braun Strowman to Jeff Hardy to most recently, Jaxson Ryker. Elias looks at his guitar, strums it one more time, and takes a deep breath before he tosses his guitar to the flames. “WWE stood for Walk With Elias. But Elias is dead.” Then, who is this that now walks through the shadows?
Backstage interview with Charlotte Flair.
Can she shed some light as to why she attacked Nikki and Rhea tonight? Well to spell it out for Sarah, “As I watched those two tear each other apart, I created a strategic opportunity to rub salt in the wounds.” Charlotte doesn’t need to be pinned to lose the Triple Threat. While she wants to reclaim the title, she’s not taking any chances. If Rhea and Nikki were on Charlotte’s level, they would’ve anticipated the attack. Anyone who’s been at the top and stayed at the top knows that you become a target. Hell, she showed last week that a little bit of empathy, maybe even vulnerability, and she becomes a target for criticism!? One loss and that erases everything before?!
Charlotte is THE MOST DECORATED WOMAN in WWE history. Everyone can pray for her downfall or steal the opportunities she creates and earns, but nothing is stopping her walking out of SummerSlam THE Raw Women’s Champion. The Queen is confident, but can she really outplay two opponents at once?
Backstage interview with Randy Orton.
Can he explain why he’s distancing himself from Riddle? It’s simple: Orton works better alone. He doesn’t need teammates, distractions, or friendships. He just needs to defeat Styles, which he will, and he will do that alone. The Viper heads out, but will these words all come back to bite him?
AJ Styles w/ Omos VS Randy Orton!
A phenomenal main event, a phenomenal rematch from many times before, but will it be Too Sweet? Styles and Orton finish the night off, after the break!
Raw returns once again as Styles and Omos make their entrance. The bell rings and fans rally behind “RANDY! RANDY!” as Styles goes right at Orton! Orton counter punches, gets Styles in a corner and stomps away! Orton bumps Styles off buckles, gets him up to EuroUpper, then stalk him as he staggers about. Orton throws more hands, Styles kicks back then CHOSPS! And CHOPS! And whips, only for Orton to reverse. Styles slides under, Oroton EuroUppers Styles down! Orton suplexes to hang styles out to dry! Styles flops down on the apron, clutching his ribs. Orton paces, glares at Omos, but Omos shakes his head.
Orton stomps Styles, fans chant “R K O!” but he stomps Styles’ head instead. Styles bails out, Orton goes out after him, and they end up by the announce desk. Orton stares Omos down, and bumps Styles off the desk! Orton gets Styles up, but Omos takes a step closer so Omos shoves Styles aside. They stare down, Styles whips Orton but Orton reverses to send Styles into the apron! Orton puts Styles in the ring, he glances back at Omos, but the ring count is climbing! Styles WRECKS Orton with a dropkick and the count rests. Styles SLINGSHOT FOREARMS and Orton is down! Omos nods as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns once more and Styles has Orton in a headlock. Orton fights with body shots but Styles dropkicks him down! Orton sits up in a daze, into the SLIDING FOREARM! Cover, TWO! Styles grows frustrated but Omos has confidence in him. Styles gets Orton in a chinlock and squeezes tight. Orton pulls Styles’ hair but lets go as the ref reprimands. Styles taunts Orton but Orton fights up. Fans rally as Orton pulls hair again! The ref reprimands, Orton HEADBUTTS Styles before 4! Styles ROCKS Orton with a right, but Orton ROCKS him back! The haymakers fly back and forth, fast and heavy! Orton gets the edge, Styles kicks low! Styles runs, but Orton CLOBBERS him!
Orton rallies, ducks, and SPINNING POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO! Orton is a bit surprised and also amused that Styles survived. Orton glares at Omos, drags Styles up, but Styles KICKS Orton’s leg! Orton hobbles, Styles whips him, but Orton reverse to the BACK2BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Orton seethes, stalks Styles around the ring, and puts Styles in a corner. Orton puts Styles up top, throws hands, then climbs up to join him. Orton blows a mocking kiss to Omos, gets Styles up, but Styles slips through to trip Orton up! Orton hits buckles on the way down, Styles rolls him for a CALF- NO! Orton sits up to avoid the hold, only for Styles to CRANK back on the leg!
Styles pull hard but Orton endures the Calf Crusher to get the ROPEBREAK! Styles lets go in frustration, but both he and Orton slowly rise. Orton gets to a corner, Styles runs in, but Orton puts Styles on the apron! Styles ROCKS Orton with a forearm, springboards, but Orton moves! Styles stops his flight and Orton CLOBBERS him on the apron! Orton fires up and gets Styles through the ropes! Fans fire up for the DRAPING DDT! Orton then hears the voices in his head! But Omos drags Styles to safety! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Omos and Orton talk trash at each other. Orton says Omos doesn’t put his hands on Styles, that’s Orton’s job!
Orton then dares Omos to take off his nick jacket and do something! Omos does take off the jacket, but Styles ENZIGURIS Orton! But here comes RIDDLE!! He POSTS Omos and jumps on for a SLEEPER!! Fans are going nuts as Omos can’t get Riddle off his back! So Omos RAMS Riddle into the post! Styles springboards, INTO AN RKO!!! Cover, Orton wins!!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
Orton kept his word! He got Styles with the three most dangerous letters in wrestling today! But then Orton notices Riddle and Riddle apologizes, but he knew Omos was gonna do something like that! Fans chant “R K BRO!” as Riddle wants a hug. Orton can’t believe Riddle even thinks that’s possible! Orton says no, he goes to the apron, but Riddle says, “Please! Listen tot he people!” The fans get louder, Orton gets back in the ring and Riddle holds out his arms. Orton- Wait, THEY HUG IT OUT?!! Orton has Riddle calm down, and then Riddle raises Orton’s hand in victory! Orton lets Riddle keep going, and then an R K O FOR RIDDLE!!!
So close and yet so far. The Bro was warned, even by The Viper, but he still didn’t think it’d ever happen. But wait, is Orton now patting Riddle’s head? Just when you think RKBRO is done, Orton pulls us back in. Is the Viper’s volatile and variable nature the real riddle in all this?
This is such a great yet conflicting episode, because while it’s been the same people again and again, and while there are still some glaring flaws in how Team Vince is booking it, so much of the action was great so that there wasn’t anything boring. To get the flaws out of the way: another inconsistent use of the “Championship Contenders Match,” where Sheamus VS Ricochet was but Nikki VS Rhea wasn’t; equally arbitrary use of Brand 2 Brand Invitation; the pacing of #EvaLution and “Doudrop.” The first one is obvious, it’s another weird Vince whim that just adds unnecessary details. People will understand if a match with a champion is non-title just on the phrase “is for the [something something] championship” NOT being said. This is way too hand-holding condescending to me.
The Brand 2 Brand is still a novel idea allowing USA Network and Fox to “share” superstars of certain standing and popularity levels, and honestly it could be used more. And also, it only made Corbin a buffer in the McIntyre VS Mahal story since pacing is a lost art on Raw. Similarly, there’s bad pacing and story direction in the Eva-Piper stuff. Multiple times, they had the opening for Piper to ditch Eva, go by her REAL name, and have the fans behind her (especially since they’re so solidly against Eva Marie). Then Piper could be getting in on the Raw Women’s title scene, or at least feuding with Shayna, Nia, maybe even Rhea.
Speaking of the Raw Women’s title scene… Rhea’s promo was alright, but it is out of nowhere for her to say a line like “I know how to balance the light and the dark,” and for her to dare Nikki to bring out a darkside. But given how RawDown mentality completely dumps on NXT, of course no one acknowledges the wild, frantic SAnitY Nikki here, not even those who were in NXT at the same time. Nikki’s own promo was solid, but she had multiple lines that would’ve worked as the punctuation on the promo and then she kept adding. The Nikki VS Rhea match was still really good, and Charlotte’s ambush worked out fairly well, too.
Tonight’s 24/7 Championship segment was great fun and certainly the most dynamic with the camera following Reggie all over like that. There was good progress in the story of Ali and Mansoor: the jacket Mansoor got Ali does look great; Ali VS T-Bar was a really good match to remind us of Ali’s resilience; Mansoor looked great fighting off Mace. These two teams are tied in tag matches so obviously we need a tiebreaker soon. And while MVP and Lashley didn’t falter and delivered strong promos, this whole angle with Gage is so forced. It’s just a cheap way to get Heel Heat on Hurt Business and give Face points to Goldberg, because this is the “dream match” no one was dreaming of.
Elias throwing away his guitar is actually rather compelling. You don’t always get to see the (kayfabe) process of a wrestler changing or the emotional attachments and internal conflict that go with that. I am actually curious to see where Elias goes from here. Kross’ story on Raw defaulting back to Hardy is whatever, but I guess Keith Lee and Kross going back and forth is just filler for right now. Maybe once Kross is on Raw full-time, he and Keith get to settle things in a match on par with what NXT would put on, and then fans can understand what WWE sees in Kross. Maybe.
But the best stuff was the RKBRO story. Orton is back, he doesn’t want Riddle around but not so much that he can yell our shout at him to go away. Orlando really liked Riddle so that helped the story. Riddle is to be the one we’re sympathetic towards, even if Riddle was more loyal to Orton than Orton was to Riddle. Orton VS Styles is another great match and great main event. Omos continues to do well as the stoic statue at ringside, always confident because Styles is that good and Omos himself is that big. And the very last moment is so good that I am equal parts excited and bummed out.
I really, really wanted Styles & Omos VS RKBRO, as did a LOT of fans, and WWE certainly felt that. I won’t give them so much credit as to say, “Oh they had this moment here tonight locked in since the start of this.” But it was obvious what the different possibilities were, and just as it seemed it was a “yes” to RKBRO at SummerSlam, it was a swift “no,” but then perhaps a “maybe.” This is all very wild and unpredictable, and I remember back to a time in these articles when I said that wrestling was fun when it was all that. And it still is, even if it is a bit confusing at the same time!
My Score: 8.3/10
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 FINALS Day Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
Kota Ibushi looks to 3-Peat, Kazuchika Okada looks to win his first G1 in 7 years! Who will win?
So we get a fairly basic card. A few undercard tags, the semi-main contains Shingo and most of the main players not in the Finals. Jeff Cobb goes from a shot in the Finals to the opening match, that’s a big blow to the ego.
There’s a few interesting threads that can be pulled at, but the major draw is the G1 Climax 31 Finals. So let’s get to it!
- Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Boston Crab @8:40 – **
- United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata: Yano wins via Roll-Up @8:29 – **
- House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii: EVIL wins via Everything is Evil @11:20 – * ½
- KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Chase wins via Package Piledriver @10:41 – ** ½
- 5 Minute UWF Rules Match::Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr: Time Limit Draw @5:00 – *****
- TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi: Shingo wins via Pumping Bomber @12:17 – *** ½
- G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Referee Stoppage @25:37 – *** ¼
Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Commentary doesn’t even really try to hide the fact that these Young Lions are very early in their careers and have no real chance. They are in this match to learn, build endurance and get experience.
Nothing special in this match, they give the Lions a few flash pinfall attempts but again, we all know better. More just moments of surprise cause the Suzuki-Gun duo were playing with their food. Still far too fresh in their training to show anything more than basics, and all I’ll say is, they didn’t embarrass themselves, so that’s a positive.
United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) vs Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata
So one of the most successful teams and singles wrestlers this year, against a clown and a veteran. I mean Nagata is no slouch, but he’s not in a position to be upsetting two rising stars. Maybe Yano pulls off some thievery, but I’m not really intrigued.
Early on we see the usual Yano stuff of shenanigans and turnbuckle pads going missing. Nagata gets tagged in and we get some real wrestling. However, Cobb and Nagata square off outside when they aren’t the legal men, and Yano executes the miraculous shot to the Ding-Ding, and Rolls-Up O-Khan for the win!
This does continue the weird story between O-Khan and Yano, so at least there’s a thread of story, but it does definitely leave Cobb in a weird spot.
House of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) w/Dick Togo vs Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii
Early on SHO starts with the mind games having a CHAOS towel in the ring and wiping his body with it, and being generally mocking. Things start quick, turnbuckle pads are taken off, people get wrapped into ropes and I suppose this is a more tolerable usage of EVIL. House of Torture can torture the 6 man division with bad wrestling and cliché paint by numbers heel work.
Togo uses the garrot on HASHI, but HASHI and Goto manage to hit GYR on EVIL, but Dick Togo of course gets involved to distract the referee. Chairs lay out the CHOAS members, Everything is EVIL on HASHI and yeah yeah, House wins and challenge for the six mans. Ugh.
KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Chase Owens w/Jado vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Tiger Mask IV & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So wait, we get all Bullet Club members against the veteran Hontai Squad? I mean Tanahashi has looked extremely mortal lately, and he’s not really bringing a ton of back up. When Makabe is the second best one on your squad, and he’s barely wrestled this year…you gotta wonder.
Makabe starts things off and we can see his back and waist heavily taped. So it looks like Makabe’s part time schedule could have something to do with injuries. Injured or not, Makabe gets the most of Loa, brings in Honma, then Honma eats some offense from Tama, until Honma counters and lands a big suplex. Tiger Mask IV comes in and actually cleans house, it takes a little bit before Tama does the Double Leapfrog Haku Chop to start taking control.
Bullet Club smacks around Tiger Mask until KENTA eats a Tiger Driver (ironic, I’m aware) and then Tanahashi gets tagged in. Tanahashi works to get a measure of revenge on the Bullet Club, but then we get some spam moments. G.o.D. tries to take out Makabe, but Makabe wipes out G.o.D. easily. Makabe brings in Honma, Honma takes it to Chase Owens, but no avail. A missed Kokeshi, a blocked Brainbuster attempt, and then C Trigger into Package Piledriver gives Chase the win.
Chase looks to be setting up a challenge, but KENTA blindsides Tanahashi with the belt. KENTA and Chase play tug of war a little, Chase tells KENTA he pinned him, KENTA says he doesn’t care, and Chase relents. He says KENTA can get the first shot, but he got next.
5 Minute UWF Rules Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs Zack Sabre Jr
This…this is amazing. Shibata gets his first match in 4 years, and it’s against the most perfect wrestler for Shibata to have a technical and safe exhibition match.
Since its UWF this is usually done in a points system like the old IMPACT Grand Championship. But a 1 round exhibition doesn’t allow for anything beyond a Draw, but this is wonderful. It’s a technical marvel with counters, submissions, references to Inoki’s classic on the ground pose that we saw Great-O-Khan reference back to during the G1. This is just a great moment, and hard to do any real play by play, but it’s a technical marvel. Hell, Shibata looks better than he ever has.
WAIT – After the match Shibata says “Next time I’m in the ring, I will be in my ring gear”. He punctuates the line with a hard flat back bump and a kip up. …Shibata is back? SHIBATA IS BACK?!
TenCozy, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato vs Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi
Taguchi and Hiromu start off with a good bit of comedy, before everyone not named Tenzan starts doing the Mongolian Chops, much to Tenzan’s chagrin. Wato has some nice spots early before LIJ do their wonderful Bum Rush. BUSHI comes in, uses the shirt and then LIJ starts dominating Wato. Wato manages to get a little space and get Kojima in and we get Machine Gun Chops on SANADA in the corner!
Hiromu tries to block it, gets shoved in the corner for his own chops, BUSHI tries to stop it, and gets put in the corner for the Triple Stacker of Chops. Shingo looks, and then drops off the apron and decides he’s just gonna let them play. Shingo does cut off Kojima before he does his signature Elbow, so Shingo didn’t ignore his team, just decided he wasn’t gonna fall into the dumb spot.
Signature spams, LIJ pain train, signature spam again, and then we get solid call backs. Shingo and Tenzan are the last two, Shingo uses Mongolian Chops, Tenzan responds in his own way. Some haymakers thrown, a Headbutt from Tenzan, the attempted Flying Headbutt, but Shingo cuts him off, Pumping Bomber, and Shingo wins!
G1 Finals: Kota Ibushi vs Kazuchika Okada
So they feel each other out early, and have the usual fast pace wild swings that get dodged and end in a small rest moment where they just smile and absorb the energy of the match. Before Ibushi can really get anything going, the arrogance of the Rainmaker returns. Very deliberate shots, perfectly rolling through his Slingshot Senton, and his single foot Dropkick. It’s really interesting to see Okada reverting back to his old self. The 2017 form is further exemplified by Shibata’s return since it helps to bring everyone back to “brighter days”.
Okada goes for his corner Hip Attack, but now Ibushi gets to start a comeback. Dropkick, Roundhouse Kicks, Standing Moonsault and Okada powders. After some fighting on the outside, Okada takes control again and hits a DDT on the ramp, which has Ibushi pretty much out. Okada waits in the ring until about 18, before he decides that’s not how he wants to win. Drags Ibushi in, tries the Money Clip, Ibushi won’t go in comfortably, Okada rocks him, whips him into the ropes, hits the Million Dollar Dropkick, and finally gets the Money Clip sunk in. Okada is in a different aggressive form that we haven’t seen since 2018 when his nearly 2 year title reign ended and he went balloon crazy.
Savage Elbow, Rainmaker Pose, Zoom Out…Wind up…Rainmaker misses and Ibushi returns with his own Lariat turning Okada inside out. Now they stand up for the strike exchange. Okada falls into an old Nakamura trap, where he starts winning the exchange, taunts the challenger and gets rocked. Ibushi grins, hits the Frankensteiner sending Okada to Powder. So now it’s Moonsault time for Ibushi, and lands perfectly on Okada.
Going back inside, Ibushi looks for Kamigoye, Okada blocks and then ducks the Round Kick, goes for a Backslide, but Ibushi rolls through and kicks Okada. Okada then eats a V Trigger and a Kamigoye…but it’s only 2! Okada flips Ibushi over when he attempts another Kamigoye, Double Legged Cradle, but ibushi kicks out. They lay each other out, Ibushi crawls to the top rope, Phoenix Splash and…Ibushi lands weird. He immediately grabs his arm, Red Shoes goes over to Ibushi, and after a few moments Red Shoes calls for the bell.
Okada wins the G1 off of Ibushi missing the Phoenix Splash and possibly dislocating his right arm.
Overall Score: 7.25/10
There’s a dark poetry in the ending to this year’s G1. Starting with Naito’s injury and ending with Ibushi’s injury, just makes this a fairly cursed year which plays into the cursed aspect of this World Heavyweight Championship. In a way, this works out for the best since if this tournament was supposed to make a newer wrestler and ended the same way, there would always be an asterisk. But it’s Okada, he’s a proven commodity and no one will really question his victory. I really appreciated the fact that he always loomed close while Ibushi was struggling with the doctor and through his injury. He held his hand many times, even seemed to tell him it’s fine, we’ll do it correctly 1 more time in the future.
Katsuyori Shibata returns, Kazuchika Okada returns to the a level of prominence by winning the G1 Climax 31 and this is a nice way to remind people of the names that many of the current crop of IWC fans know. New Japan grew quickly because of AJ Styles and Kenny Omega’s Bullet Clubs, but in the last few years we’ve seen many of the names we know fall to the back or go to different companies. This could be a return to form finally for New Japan.
Even if it ended off a failed Phoenix Splash, it could help New Japan rise from the ashes of community favor like a Phoenix.
Andrew’s IMPACT Results & Match Ratings: 10.21.2021
Bound for Glory is on Saturday! How does IMPACT! hype us up for one of their crowning PPVs of the year?!
We get to see Mickie in an IMPACT ring for the first since 2015, Heath tries to get answers out of Rhino and we’ll probably see a lot of Josh Alexander and Christian Cage fleshing out the last little bits of the World Title match.
Aside from that, do we get anything of note to talk about, or is it just an appetizer for the real show on Saturday?
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
- Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice: NO CONTEST/Double Pinfall – ***
- Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve: Tenille wins via Spotlight Kick – ***
- Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James: Mickie wins via Mick DDT – *** ¼
- Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel: Miguel wins via Meteora – ** ¾
The Insiders Stream on YouTube didn’t start until about 9:00pm, I’m not sure why IMPACT constantly has issues, but YouTube is not a hard platform to utilize. These delays are inane and embarrassing.
Bullet Club (Chris Bey & Hikuleo) vs FinJuice
Bey and Leo try some trickery early, but Finlay keeps pace. When Leo gets back into the match he starts throwing Finlay around a bit, which opens up opportunity for Bey. Bey looks to get flashy, but Finlay manages to get Juice in and Juice comes in hot. He nearly flips Bey out of the ring, takes Leo off the apron and tags in Finlay for some tandem work.
Leo breaks up the pinfall and then throws out Juice. Finlay grabs Bey in a Backbreaker/STO combination but Bey’s feet bump the referee. Leo chokeslams Finlay, puts Bey on top, but it takes the new referee too long to show up and it’s only a two count. We see Hikuleo trying to finish things, while the new referee tries to wake up the original referee. Leo gets double teamed, Juice Rolls Up Leo and then Bey Rolls Up Finlay, both referees count a 3 count for the different pinfalls. So we get a little call back to Beer Money and Motor City Machine Guns if we’re staying within TNA Universe.
This will probably end up a triple threat, unlike the MCMG/Beer Money double pinfall which ended in overtime.
There’s a long segment with Josh Alexander giving us his story. It’s not a bad segment, but the only advantage to the show starting late means I got to rewind for the match and speed through most of this. Alexander is a great story, but I already mostly know it, and would really like to see him win at Bound for Glory. Get the title back on a wrestler on the actual IMPACT roster.
Jordynne Grace & Fallah Bahh vs Tenille Dashwood & John Skyler vs Chelsea Green & Crazzy Steve:
This is a Digital Media Championship preliminary match. I find it interesting that there’s 3 men and 3 women. So instead of one or two for “inclusion” it’s actually an even spread. The way the teams are broken apart is interesting too where it’s Power vs Crazy vs Opportunistic.
The gimmicks actually paid off in the match. Jodynne massacred kids, but then things started to get a little messy. Fallah gets a handle on things, squishes the world, and then looks to BAHHnzai Drop on Tenille but Kaleb gets involved. A little more confusion, Steve hits King Kill 33 on Fallah, but Skyler pulls Steve out of the ring. Tenille hits the Spotlight Kick and the Opportunistic team win because well…there was an opportunity.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Pick Your Poison: Savannah Evans w/Tasha Steelz vs Mickie James
Mickie takes a moment to absorb the accolades from the crowd first, and then we see a quick strategy twist. Savannah looks for a few Haymakers and using her reach to her advantage, where Mickie just finds a few quick strikes and interesting angles to land some offense. Mickie looked to be building some momentum, and then Tasha got involved.
Savannah starts to dominate after the assist from her second. Big Bear Hug in the middle has Savannah just ragdolling Mickie until she can land a few choice Forearms. Mickie fights out, Sole Butts, a few nice attacks and Mickie hits the Avalanche Thesz Press, but only a 2 count. Deonna’s music plays as Savannah kicks out, Mickie is distracted and then we see Savannah lay in some big shots. The Full Nelson Bomb only gets Savannah a 2. Mick Kick rocks Mickie and then Mick DDT for the win. Hardcore Country wins the match.
Deonna walks down, mouths off…actually pushes Mickie…so I’m confused about the no contact clause…but then Rehwoldt shows up behind Mickie and wipes her out.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) October 22, 2021
Alex Zayne vs Trey Miguel
The Sauce against the other guy who can’t speak but likes to try to use food analogies and sucks at it, aka, Trey Miguel. He’s like a Young Will Ospreay with less ability to talk…so no upside at the moment cause Ospreay was pretty awful up until a year or two ago.
So this is just a lot of counters, blocks, Arm Wringers, not much direct offense, just a lot of choreographed spots. This feels like a much slower paced version of a Ricochet/Ospreay match from 2016. Zayne is a more fluid wrestler, and he just makes everything look good. Miguel does a weird Cradled Octopus but Zayne responds with a Handspring Frankensteiner, as an early highlight spot.
Miguel in Ospreay fashion hits the Cheeky Nandos, into the corner stuck Tiger Feint, Meteora and Trey wins.
Thankfully Maclin attacks Trey after the match so I feel generally better. Bullet Club comes out and take out both Maclin and Trey. El Phantasmo just baby faced himself in my house.
Show ends with the usual talking segment hyping the World Title match. Alexander gets a “You Deserve It” from the crowd and portrays himself as the everyman fighting for his boys. Christian’s music hits and Captain Charisma vacuum shows up to stir a pot that doesn’t need to be stirred.
Christian taking the experienced thrives under pressure condescending veteran angle is…annoying. Like I said a few weeks ago, the boxes they are trying to play in, I don’t love. Alexander does flip the script nicely talking about how people classified him as nothing more than a Tag Team guy, and “sounding familiar” strikes a chord with Christian. Small scuffle as Christian tries to snip back, but it’s fairly paint by numbers.
Overall Score: 5/10
Low key? This was a pretty lame episode for an Impact Go Home. The matches weren’t really anything special, with the most happening during Pick Your Poison, but it effectively being a non-issue. The YouTube delay of course hurt my enjoyment of the show, but even without the delay, I don’t really feel like this would’ve registered much higher on my scale.
I am looking forward to Bound for Glory because of who’s in the matches, but this episode didn’t help sell it. Thankfully it’s already sold out, and most people probably decided if they were purchasing it by now.
When it comes down to it, I’m expecting quite a few title changes, even though I’m figuring that Mickie’s involvement is more of a one off to give the rub to younger talent and cement her dominant reign. Alexander I would love to see win the belt and The IInspiration would do wonders and put an immediate spotlight on a division that has floundered behind a lack of real teams and no real direction.
So I’ll see all of you on Saturday for Bound for Glory!
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