Tonight’s Raw opens with the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP!
After ambushes, brawls and a BEEFY Six Man last night, Big E and Bobby Lashley throw down for the WWE Championship to OPEN tonight’s Raw!
- WWE World Championship: Big E VS Bobby Lashley; Big E wins by disqualification and retains the title.
- Erik w/ Ivar VS Angel Garza w/ Humberto Carrillo; Garza wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship: Reggie VS Ricochet; Reggie wins by disqualification and retains the title.
- Akira Tozawa VS Keith Lee; Lee wins.
- WWE United States Championship No Holds Barred Match: Damian Priest VS Sheamus; Priest wins and retains the title.
- Six Man Tag: Jeff Hardy, Mansoor & Mustafa Ali VS Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky; Mahal, Veer & Shanky win.
- Karrion Kross VS Jaxson Ryker; Kross wins.
- Matt Riddle VS AJ Styles w/ Omos; Styles wins.
- Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Charlotte Flair VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven; Charlotte wins and retains the title.
- WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Big E VS Bobby Lashley; Big E wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
WWE World Championship: Big E VS Bobby Lashley!
The Powerhouse of Positivity was the 2021 Mr. Money in the Bank and did what any Mr. Money in the Bank winner would do when he pounced on the Rocky Mountain Machine. But he won’t stand for being called a coward while being the one jumped from behind! Will Big E make Lashley feel real small in this Raw before the Draft?
Introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this massive Monday begins!
Fans rally for “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” as the two tie up and go around. They end up in a corner and Lashley pushes Big E into the buckles. The ref counts, Lashley lets off clean but the two stare down. Big E SLAPS Lashley so Lashley fires off haymakers and knees! The ref counts, Lashley lets off again and runs side to side to ROCK Big E with a forearm! Big E crawls, Lashley gets him up and on the ropes to choke him! Lashley also throws forearms but the ref counts. Lashley lets off to glare at the ref, then he gets Big E up to bump off buckles. Lashley throws back elbows but fans rally behind Big E. The ref counts again, Lashley lets off to suplex Big E down! Cover, ONE!!
Lashley snarls as he stalks Big E. Lashley stands Big E up for a knee, whips him out of the ring, then soaks up the heat as he paces. Big E stands up, Lashley goes out after him and RAMS him into barriers! Then he fireman’s carries to POST Big E! Big E hits the floor and Lashley encourages the boos as he says he’s becoming champ again. Lashley hears the ring count start so he goes after Big E, only to get an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Big E gets even as Raw goes picture in picture.
Lashley sputters and Big E staggers. Big E gets Lashley in the ring, but Lashley hits back then runs to BLAST Big E off the apron! Lashley soaks up more heat as he paces and lets the ring count put pressure on Big E. At the same time, it’s Champion’s Advantage so Lashley goes back out at 7 to brawl with Big E! Big E throws body shots but Lashley throws him into steel steps! Lashley gets right in the faces of the front row fans before he brings Big E up. Raw returns to single picture as Lashley puts Big E back in the ring. Lashley catches Big E for a COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Big E still has power to spare but Lashley wraps on a chinlock to cut the air off.
Big E fights up as fans rally and he throws body shots. Big E gets free but he runs into an elbow! Lashley soaks up more heat before he whips Big E to a corner. Lashley runs in to RAM his shoulder into Big E. Lashley puts Big E up top, throws hands then climbs up to join him. Big E throws body shots again and then CLUBS Lashley down! Fans fire up but Lashley comes back to ROCK Big E! Lashley climbs up, Big E resists and throws more body shots. Big E shoves Lashley down, Lashley staggers but goes side to side to ROCK Big E with a right! Big E falls off the top and hits the floor! Lashley revels in his own power before he goes outside to fetch Big E.
Lashley runs in around the way but into DOUBLE LARIATS! Both men are wrecked down on the outside but Lashley crawls around the way. The ring count climbs to 5 of 10, then 7. Both men are in at 9! Lashley CLUBS Big E but Big E CLUBS back. They throw forearms, haymakers, and then stand up to keep brawling. Big E gets the edge with big fists but Lashley knees low! Lashley whips Big E into a corner, then whips corner to corner. Lashley goes corner to corner but into the clinch! Lashley fights off the urenage to hit a NECKBREAKER! Lashley stands, Big E sits up, and Lashley throws down fists. Fans rally up and Big E is feeding off the haymakers!
Lashley pushes Big E, runs, but Big E drops to then hurdle! Big E ELBOWS Lashley, then scoops! Lashley grabs ropes to avoid the Big Ending, so Big E puts him on the apron. Big E ROCKS Lashley, builds speed and SPEARS Lashley off the apron! But wait, is that Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin in Hurt Business gear? Aren’t they OUT of that group? But then Big E gets in to get a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Lashley sees his old associates and smiles to see he has allies again. Lashley aims at Big E, runs in, and SPEARS! But here come the NEW DAY! Woods and Kofi fight Alexander and Benjamin in the ring and the ref throws it all out!
Winner: Big E, by disqualification; retains the title
The Hurt Business is reformed and they’re brawling with the New Day! Big E throws Lashley out, Woods takes care of Alexander, Kofi takes care of Shelton! Cincinnati is fired up as Kofi and Woods FLY to take out Cedric and Shelton! Security and management hurry out but Big E CLOBBERS Lashley into the timekeeper’s area! Adam Pearce shouts, “ENOUGH! I have seen enough! Dammit, it is not gonna end like that! Not in Cincinnati! This match needs to decide who the better man is once and for all.” Pearce tells Lashley and Big E they will compete again tonight, with the title on the line, and inside a STEEL CAGE! Cincy goes nuts hearing that one! Will the battle for the gold finally end inside the steel?
Erik w/ Ivar VS Angel Garza w/ Humberto Carrillo!
The Viking Raiders settle for singles action against the heartthrob cousins. Will Erik give Garza a Viking Experience he won’t forget? Or will the Lethal Lothario look even better against a former Raw Tag Team Champion?
The bell rings, Erik waistlocks but Garza elbows free. Erik shoves Garza down, waistlocks and SLAMS him down again, then kicks. Garza blocks to knee! Garza runs to LARIAT! OFF COME THE PANTS! Garza goes after Erik but Erik throws hands. Garza knees Erik down, clamps on and clubs him before putting on a dragon sleeper. Erik fights back but Garza traps an arm. Garza has a seated cobra twist but Erik endures. Fans rally, Erik fights up but Garza uses the beard to jam Erik up! Garza boots, Erik DECKS Garza with a right! Erik CLOBBERS Garza into a corner, then hauls him up for an EXPLODER! Erik stalks Garza but Garza kicks back
Garza whips Erik, Erik reverses and reels him in, Ace Ten Mao! Carrillo distracts Erik but Ivar rushes over. But Erik turns around into a SUPERKICK! WING CLIPPER!! Cover, Garza wins!
Winner: Angel Garza, by pinfall
Ivar snarls and rushes in, but Carrillo helps Garza get away. The cousins smile and celebrate together, but will they stick together through the WWE Draft?
WWE 24/7 Championship: Reggie VS Ricochet!
The one man Cirque du Sommelier can do a lot through the air, but he might learn some things from the One and Only King of Flight! Will Ricochet swoop in and take the title away? Or is there still time left on Reggie’s reign?
Raw returns and Ricochet makes his entrance. Also, R-Truth, Drew Gulak and Drake Maverick are watching in the front row… Is this part of their brilliant new plan? The bell rings, Ricochet and Reggie shake hands and then tie up. Ricochet headlocks, Reggie powers out but then things speed up as Ricochet front flips over him. They go again. Ricochet waistlocks, Reggie switches, Ricochet switches back but Reggie slips out the back then does his own front flip over “Rico.” Ricochet gives credit where credit is due, and they tie up again. Reggie headlocks, Ricochet wrenches out and puts Reggie in a corner to whip corner to corner. Reggie goes up and over but so does Ricochet!
Reggie runs at Ricochet but Ricochet arm-drags him out. Ricochet then builds speed to FLY! Direct hit and the two men are down! Maverick sends his henchmen! They beat up Reggie to end the match!
Winner: Reggie, by disqualification; retains the title
Truth and Gulak mug Ricochet but they’re forgetting about Reggie! Ricochet flips off the table to QUEBRADA the mob down! Maverick shouts into his walkie-talkie and here comes Akira Tozawa! He was their back-up plan! Reggie hurries back to the ring, slips around him and hits the SPINNING CROSSBODY! Reggie hurries away and Maverick is upset with his bungling minions again. Will Team Rockstar Spud ever dethrone the slipper sommelier?
Matt Riddle scoots around backstage.
The Bro is humming Randy Orton’s theme song, but Kevin Patrick asks him how he’s preparing for AJ Styles. Riddle’s getting in the zone flying solo because Orton is taking a week off. Orton needed some time away from Riddle or else, and these are Orton’s words, he might RKO Riddle onto the concrete. Riddle said that’d just hurt Orton’s back but anyway, Riddle wonders if Orton is chilling at a spa to get ready for the Draft. Or he could be right outside getting some Skyline Chili. Either way, Orton deserves a cheat day because of his hard work. If anything, Orton is just at home watching his bro, Riddle, right here tonight.
Riddle has a message for Orton: “I miss you and I love you.” Riddle has Orton with him at all times, though, in these headphones as he jams out to Voices. Kevin leaves it at this, because here comes Omos and Styles! Riddle is a deer in headlights, but will he be all good against The Phenomenal One 1v1?
Akira Tozawa is still in the ring?
The Stamina Monster was sulking after another failed attempt, and now he wants to vent. “Tonight, I demand a match with R-Truth! I demand a match with Drew Gulak! I demand a match with Drake Maverick! I don’t care who it is!” Tozawa waits, but it isn’t either of those three! It’s KEITH LEE!!
Akira Tozawa VS Keith Lee!
The Limitless Bearcat is here to get himself a fight, too! The bell rings and Tozawa bangs his head on buckles cursing his luck. Tozawa runs in but Lee CLOBBERS him! Then whips him and SPLASHES in the corner! Lee TOSSES Tozawa across the ring, then fireman’s carries for the BIG BANG CATASTROPHE!! Cover, Lee wins!
Winner: Keith Lee, by pinfall
And he’s barely even breathing hard. Tozawa might be barely breathing, will he learn to watch what he says? As for Lee, he’s back but who will he get to limit break next?
Big E and the New Day are fired up.
Kevin asks how Big E feels about the Steel Cage rematch tonight. Big E wants to first bring up the “family reunion” we just got. Kofi and Woods sing and Big E tells Cedric and Benjamin that if they wanna bring their narrow behinds up into his business, that’s just fine! Bobby, you know when that cage goes up, it’s going down! And Big E promised that he was gonna cash in, and he did! He promised that he and New Day would win, and they did! So just like Babe Ruthe in his prime, Big E’s calling one more shot! Steel Cage, just Big E, just Lashley, and Big E promises and assures Lashley that he walks out once more as the RIGHTFUL WWE Champion! The cage is ready, but who survives its sadistic steel?
WWE United States Championship No Holds Barred Match: Damian Priest VS Sheamus!
Extreme Rules and the Triple Threat with Jeff Hardy wasn’t enough for these two! The Archer of Infamy takes on The Fella for a third round, but who wins when there MUST be a winner?
Raw returns to the ring as Sheamus makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and one way or another, this is the exclamation point on this rivalry!
The two rush right into a tie-up and they go into a corner. They go around, Sheamus puts Priest in a corner but Priest pushes back and puts Sheamus on ropes. Sheamus gets a headlock but Priest slips out so they tie up again. Priest wrenches an arm, CLUBS it, tries to bring Sheamus down but he counters with a facelock. Sheamus powers his way to a lateral press but Priest keeps his arms up. Sheamus throws down elbows, clamps on a headlock, then hits a takeover. Sheamus still wants a lateral press but Priest resists. Sheamus powers him to a cover, ONE, and Priest gets up to his feet. Priest wrenches to a hammerlock and CLUBS the arm more, but Sheamus gets to ropes.
Priest doesn’t have to let off, though, and he CLUBS Sheamus again! Sheamus elbows Priest away, CLUBS him in return, and then CLUBS him down. Priest gets mad and gets up but Sheamus whips him corner to corner. Priest reverses, runs in and back elbows! Priest whips back the other way to back elbow again, then a BROKEN ARROW! Cover, ONE!! Sheamus bails out but Priest pursues, only for Sheamus to trip him on the apron! Priest lands hard, Sheamus throws body shots. Priest blocks the suplex to give a suplex to the floor! Sheamus hobbles away and Priest pursues again, and a BOOT sends Sheamus tumbling over the steps!
Time to get extreme as Priest brings out a TABLE! A day late, technically, but better late than never. Priest sets the table up by ringside but Sheamus CLOBBERS him from behind! Sheamus hauls Priest up, THROWS him at the steps, and Priest tumbles up and over! Sheamus goes to reposition the table, but Priest comes FLYING over the steps with a forearm! Direct hit, and now Priest brings Sheamus to the ring. Sheamus puts Priest in first, then stands him up against ropes. Sheamus has Priest up for Beats of the Bodhrain, but Priest blocks at 5! And ROCKS Sheamus with a right! Then another! Sheamus teeters, but he dodges the boot to fire forearms back!
Sheamus hauls Priest up to a fireman’s carry, WHITE NOISE through the table!! Both men crash through wood and to the floor and are down as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Sheamus SMACKS Priest with a kendo stick! Sheamus counts them out, he’s already gotten two so here’s THREE! But then he trolls fans on the fourth and CHOKES Priest with the kendo stick! Sheamus has the bamboo in Priest’s mouth for a new take on the Dublin Smile, but fans rally up behind Priest. Priest powers up, powers the kendo stick away from his face, but Sheamus CLUBS him on the back! Sheamus smirks as he watches Priest get up. Priest elbows Sheamus away, but Sheamus scoops for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO! Sheamus is frustrated but he gets a new table! Sheamus sets that up in the corner while Priest flounders to the other side.
Sheamus fetches Priest, stomps his hand, then brings him up to throw hands. Priest counter punches, body shots, uppercuts, forearms and then whips. Sheamus kicks the back drop away, then brings Priest around , only for Priest to put him outside. Sheamus goes to the corner but Priest runs in. Sheamus HOTSHOTS Priest, goes up top, and showboats, before he leaps into a KENDO STRIKE! Priest SMACKS Sheamus in return and with interest! Sheamus is stinging and Priest CLOBBERS him up and out of the ring! Fans are fired up as Priest goes out and runs to BACK ELBOW Sheamus against barriers! Priest roars and fans fire up with him as he looms over Sheamus!
Priest drags Sheamus up, but Sheamus POSTS him! Sheamus RAMS Priest into barriers, then Sheamus goes into the ring with a chair. Sheamus sits in the chair to soak up the heat and watches Priest drag himself back into the ring. Sheamus goes over to Priest, stands him up and places the chair on his face. Priest ROCKS Sheamus with haymakers and body shots! Fast hands and JUMP KICK! Priest springboards but Sheamus CLUBS him! Sheamus RAMS Priest into a chair that was wedged in the corner!! Sheamus then hauls Priest up in an Alabama for an ALABAMA SLAMMA! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Sheamus seethes.
Fans boo as Sheamus soaks up some heat and aims from a corner. Sheamus runs, into a CHAIR! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN SLAM!! Cover, TWO!! The Fella survives and the Archer is frustrated! The two sit up, they throw forearms on the mat, then Sheamus gets the edge. Priest hits back, they stand up and Priest gives BIG boxing elbows! ROUNDHOUSE! ANOTHER! Sheamus staggers and Priest runs to the ropes, but he fakes the Brogue out to LARIAT! Fans are thunderous as Priest runs in at the corner. Sheamus puts him out again but gets another ROUNDHOUSE! Priest climbs the ropes for the jump, into a KNEE!! Cover, TWO!?! Priest barely gets an arm up!
Sheamus is too sore to be frustrated and he can barely walk. “This is Awesome!” as Priest and Sheamus shake out the stars. Sheamus gets a kendo stick to SMACK Priest again! He stands Priest up with the stick but Priest swats that away to duck, BELL CLAP and BOOT! Dragon sleeper, but Sheamus uses that to scoop Priest! But Priest slips out before heading for table! Sheamus mule kicks, whips but Priest reverses and Sheamus CRASHES through table!! Priest roars, hauls Sheamus up and dragon sleepers, RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
Now THAT is how you #LiveForever! If this is truly the end for him and Sheamus, where will the Archer of Infamy look to next to add to his legacy?
Mustafa Ali and Mansoor talk at gorilla position.
Is this what he wants? A Six Man Tag with Jeff Hardy? What is he thinking? Oh c’mon, Mustafa. Are you really not excited to be teaming with THE Jeff Hardy? Hardy is a tag team legend! And this could be the difference between them being separated in the Draft or being taken together as a tag team! Hardy can help! Did Ali ever ask for help? If Ali saw that face painted freak to his face, he’d- What would you say, Ali? Uh… That he and Mansoor are honored to be working with him. Hardy says that Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky are “some big scary bastards,” but Hardy’s faced bigger and scarier. But he’s also excited for this team up. Plus, they get to twist some fate!
Six Man Tag: Jeff Hardy, Mansoor & Mustafa Ali VS Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky!
The Star of Saudi Arabia joins in with the dance moves, but The Beacon is still reluctant. But can they and the Charismatic Enigma overcome the Modern Day Maharaja and his compatriots in Cincinnati?
Raw returns and Mahal’s team make their entrance. Ali starts with Shanky and dropkicks at the bell! And then again! Shanky steadies himself to tilt-o-whirl SIDEWALK SLAM! Shanky roars as he stands over Ali, then he tags in Veer. Veer stands Ali up to CLUB him on the back, then scoops him. Ali slips off to put Veer in a corner then tags to Mansoor! Mansoor rallies but Veer doesn’t budge from the forearms! Mansoor CHOPS, whips, but Veer reverses and follows to VEER THESZ PRESS! Then drops a LEAPING elbow! Cover, TWO! Veer clamps onto Mansoor with a neck wrench! Fans rally as Mansoor endures but Veer leans on the hold. Mansoor fights up but Veer KNEES him low.
Tag to Shanky, he brings Mansoor around and DECKS him with a right hand. Shanky throws back elbows, then goes corner to corner, but Mansoor dodges the boot! Mansoor crawls, Shanky tags Mahal, hot tag to Hardy! Hardy rallies with haymakers on Mahal, then whips. Mahal reverses but Hardy clobbers him! Hardy DECKS Veer and Shanky to atomic drop, leg trip and leg splitting leg drop! Basement dropkick and a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Hardy throws off the shirt and kicks low, but Mahal avoids the Twist! Ali tags in as Hardy elbows Mahal away. Somersault FACEBUSTER! Cover but Veer breaks it! Hardy goes after Veer but Veer throws him out.
Veer goes to the corner, Shanky hobbles after Hardy. Shanky gets Hardy up but Mansoor LEAPS in to knock Shanky down! Veer tags in and stalks Ali, BIG shoulder tackle! Veer dares Ali to get back up and he winds up, FAST BALL LARIAT!! Cover, Team Mahal wins!
Winners: Jinder Mahal, Veer & Shanky, by pinfall
The Million Dollar Arm pays dividends for the Maharaja! Will they be ready to take over whatever brand the Draft puts them on?
Karrion Kross speaks.
“My name is Karrion Kross. And I’ve never felt more rejuvenated, more reinvigorated or more alive than now. Because I’ve only just begun to taste the vindication of erasing souls. Sure, some of your favorite superstars have limped out of the ring with torn ligaments and broken spirits, but that’s nothing more than a preliminary trial.” No one truly knows where they’ll end up by the end of this, but it all leads to the agony Kross causes. You won’t recognize the affliction until the last waking moment. In the end, they will all #FallAndPray. Who will Kross cross out next? We find out next!
Karrion Kross VS Jaxson Ryker!
Raw returns and Ryker’s made his way out to the ring. The bell rings and the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock so they break, and Ryker eggs Kross on. Kross fires off haymakers and then stomps Ryker in a corner. Kross runs but into haymakers from Ryker. Kross BOOTS Ryker, has him against ropes and claws at his face while they’re in the corner. The ref counts and Kross eggs on the Marine. Ryker throws hands in return, but Kross gets under to hit an EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Kross keeps on Ryker with an armlock but Ryker fight sup. Ryker pulls an ear, throws body shots but Kross knees low. Kross whips, Ryker reverses and RAMS Kross!
Ryker fireman’s carries but Kross fights free to DOOMSDAY SAIDO! KROSSJACKET! Ryker flails, tries to fight free, but he taps! Kross wins!
Winner: Karrion Kross, by submission
Mr. Apocalypse smirks as he conquers Ryker. Will time only tell where and when Kross brings the end to a champion’s title reign?
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville talk backstage.
They’re both excited to see who steps up to Charlotte Flair’s open challenge tonight, but then they’re visited by “Doudrop” Piper Niven. What can they do for her? Well, they could give her the match with Flair just cuz. Sonya says they don’t want Piper thinking she doesn’t deserve a title match, unlike Naomi who doesn’t deserve to be on SmackDown. But that’s besides the point. Piper’s beaten Eva twice and no one will see this coming. But if Piper wins, can she do the dance with them? Y’mean this one? Piper does her little side to side shimmy and Sonya loves it. So then will Piper dethrone the Queen to dance her way to the Draft?
Bobby Lashley speaks.
“Big E, you call yourself the rightful WWE champion? And that makes me sick! Makes my blood boil! You became champion by cashing in a briefcase after I had a grueling match with Randy Orton and I was injured.” But he isn’t injured anymore. He’ll be happy to be in a steel cage, because he can beat Big E up, bash his head in, climb out or even take mercy and just open the door as the rightful WWE Champion! There are many ways to win and losing is NOT an option, but will Lashley once again be All Mighty?
Matt Riddle VS AJ Styles w/ Omos!
The Bro is going solo like Han, but will he shoot first on the Phenomenal One? Or will Styles bring Riddle down from his high and get that much closer to a Raw Tag Team Championship rematch?
Raw returns and Styles makes his entrance, Omos at his back. The bell rings and Styles circles with Riddle. They tie up, Riddle waistlocks and SLAMS Styles to the mat, but holds on as Styles gets up. Styles powers Riddle into a corner, throws an elbow as he exits, but Riddle dodges to fire off KICKS! Riddle tops it off but Styles blocks to put the leg on the ropes! Styles KICKS the hammy and then KICKS Riddle down! Styles paces while he seethes and then he kicks again. Riddle blocks to fire off palm strikes and forearms! Riddle whips, Styles reverses but Riddle goes up and over and KICKS Styles down! BROTON! Riddle gut wrenches Styles for a suplex, then gets up to do it again!
Riddle holds on and wants a third, and he gets the third! Styles writhes from the hattrick while fans fire up. Cover, ONE! Riddle keeps his cool as Omos seethes. Styles throat chops Riddle, then storms in, into a KNEE! Styles staggers back to the corner, Riddle runs in to forearm smash! Riddle runs side to side but Styles CLOBBERS him! Styles suplexes to TOSS Riddle out to the floor! The ref tells Omos to give Riddle space, Styles goes out to SLIDING KNEE from the apron! Riddle is down, Styles fetches him up as the ring count starts, and Styles puts Riddle in the ring. Styles takes his time returning, soaks up the heat and mocks Riddle about Orton being absent again.
Riddle throws body shots in return then fires forearms. Riddle runs but into a BACKBREAKER! “I’m the main event! ME!” Styles is clearly frustrated about more than just being without tag titles. Styles drags Riddle up, throws him out of the ring, and again Omos looms over Riddle as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Riddle throws hands but Styles knees low. Styles swings but Riddle spins him for a PELE! Riddle runs in to forearm, then goes side to side. Styles tries to hit him first but Riddle dodges to hit Styles after all! BROSPLODER! PENALTY- NO, Styles ducks it, avoids the moonsault, and gets knees up for the Broton! Riddle writhes, Styles reels him in for a fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as both men are down but Styles drags himself up first. Styles says this is it, but Riddle fires off palm strikes! Styles the roundhouse to unload the Phenomenal Blitz, into a FINAL FLASH! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Riddle grows frustrated but he gets up and brings Styles around. Riddle fireman’s carries but Styles fights free. Styles ducks the clothesline to PELE! Both men are down again and Omos is seething on Styles’ behalf. Styles is up, he spins but Riddle ducks to ripcord, FINAL FLASH! Both men are down again but Riddle keeps wrist control! Riddle drags Styles up as he fires up, but Styles ducks the kick to pump handle to a GUT BUSTER! Riddle writhes and sputters but Styles isn’t done with him. Styles goes to the apron and takes aim. Fans rally up as Styles prepares the arm, springboard, but Riddle KICKS his legs out! Styles gets a hotshot then falls to the floor, to get a PENALTY KICK!
SPRINGBOARD FLOATING BRO! Direct hit and Cincy is thunderous for Riddle as he puts Styles in! Riddle goes up top now, FLOATING BRO into a CALF CRUSHER!! Styles catches Riddle out of the sky and CRANKS back on the leg! Riddle endures, crawls, flails, powers up and gets the ROPEBREAK! Omos is furious as Styles lets go. Styles gets the leg again but Riddle drops so he can boot Styles away. Styles slides in, into another KNEE! Riddle hears voices in his head just like his bro, the Viper! Fans fire up, Omos panics, but Styles turns RKO into BURNING HAMMER!! Styles stands Riddle up, for the STYLES CLASH!!! Cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Omos says, “That’s what I’m talking about!” All worries are relieved as the Phenomenal One truly gets a phenomenal victory! Then Omos hauls Riddle up for a COLOSSAL CHOKE SLAM! Will this prove to management to give these two another shot at the Raw Tag Team Championships? Or even the SmackDown Tag Team Championships on Fridays?
Backstage interview with Shayna Baszler.
Sarah wants to know what was going through her mind when she brutally injured Nia Jax last week. Shayna seems conflicted all over again, so she chooses not to answer. Will the Queen of Spades’ actions speak loudly for her the next time she’s in the ring?
Raw Women’s Championship Open Challenge: Charlotte Flair VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven!
The Queen not only defeated Alexa Bliss at Extreme Rules, she tore her heart out by ripping Lily to shreds. But she confident puts up this challenge, and the woman who Doudropped the #EvaLution accepts! Will Piper dry up Charlotte’s reign to being her own? Or will we still say #LongLivetheQueen?
Raw returns and Piper makes her entrance. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the fans love Piper’s energy as she goes up against the top of the mountain!
Charlotte and Piper circle, approach and tie up. They’re in a deadlock so Charlotte gets a headlock. Piper powers out and runs Charlotte over! Charlotte is surprised and Piper nods that’s how it is. Things speed up, Piper rolls then side steps to redirect and run Charlotte again! Fans fire up with Piper but Charlottes kicks low. Charlotte scoops but Piper’s pretty big. Piper scoops Charlotte but Charlotte slips out to shove. Piper ducks and dodges to CLOBBER Charlotte with a double sledge! Then the BACK SENTON! Fans fire up as Piper runs but here comes Eva…! The EvaLution is not done with Piper, no matter how many times she loses.
And Charlotte BOOTS then NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, Charlotte wins!
Winner: Charlotte Flair, by pinfall (still Raw Women’s Champion)
Eva storms right into the ring to talk trash on Piper. “That’s what you get.” Eva is taking the spotlight and that just annoys Charlotte so Charlotte CLOBBERS her! Eva just got humbled, but will the Queen ever stop stylin’ and profilin’ as Raw Women’s Champion?
Goldberg is live via satellite.
“Bobby Lashley. Let’s talk man to man here. I’m a father, you’re a father. I don’t know what kind of father you are, but for your kid’s sake, I hope you’re a better father than you are a liar.” When Lashley put his hands on Goldberg’s neck to choke him out, he had the balls to say it was a misunderstanding. But there’s no misunderstanding. Just like when Goldberg’s son was born and he swore on everything that is holy to protect him from all that would hurt him. Lashley hurt Goldberg’s son. Now, Goldberg will fulfill his promise to his wife, son and to Lashley when he hurts Lashley really badly. If Goldberg’s lucky, he’ll even kill Lashley.
One thing people forget about Goldberg is that he will enjoy every single second of what he does. Gage Goldberg is Bill Goldberg’s son, and Bobby Lashley is about to be Goldberg’s victim. But will Lashley also be a champion when Goldberg comes for his livelihood?
Eva Marie is still in the ring.
She picked herself up over break and has to say, if she had the opportunity that Piper just had, she would be Raw Women’s Champion. And honestly, she is tired of being taken advantage of and disrespected, especially from all the fans. Eva could beat any woman in the locker room and they all know it! But before Eva can exit the ring, Shayna Baszler comes out to go right to the ring! Eva tries to get out the other way but Shayna gets her in the KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Shayna thrashes Eva around as she squeezes her out! Eva barely has the energy to tap but she goes to sleep! And fans cheer for the Queen of Spades!
But Shayna isn’t done! She drags Eva to the apron and kicks away on the arm! Eva flops to the floor but Shayna pulls the steps apart! Shayna wants to repeat what she did to Nia! She isolates the arm and Eva pleads, but Shayna still STOMPS the arm!! Referees rush out as Shayna makes history repeat itself! But unlike with Nia, Shayna embraces what she’s doing to Eva! Fans want that “One More Time!” but medics already have Eva out of the way. Shayna leaves it at this, but will she be satisfied until she’s dismantled every woman in her way to the title?
Backstage interview with Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H!
The NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions have found success together because just look at them. They’re complete opposites, but opposites attract. And one thing they have in common is that they wanted these titles. They fist bump but Rhea has Nikki stop moving around. And the draft doesn’t matter, they can go wherever whenever. No matter what, #SuperBrutality is ready to fly! Well, they’re working on that. But now that they’re champs, they need… matching outfits! Rhea, what do you say to the color blue? Blue is a good color, on Nikki. Then what about a blue cape? They can BOTH be Almost SuperHeroes! Will Rhea stick to her black and metal? Or will she lighten up her outlook with some help from Nikki?
The cage begins to lower.
It is ready for all the violence and anger that will be unleashed, but will either Big E or Lashley still be standing after tonight?
WWE World Championship Steel Cage Match: Big E VS Bobby Lashley!
The big battle to open the show didn’t finish with a big ending, but there’s still time tonight! This match is to prove who is TRULY WWE Champion, but will he be a Powerhouse of Positivity or a Rocky Mountain Machine that leads the way into the Draft?
The introductions are made, the door opens and Lashley attacks Big E right away! Lashley kicks Big E down, goes out after him and, after taking the belt off him, RAMS him into barriers! And then RAMS him into the timekeeper’s area! Lashley drags Big E up, brings him back around for forearms and then RAMS him into steel steps! Fans boo but Lashley soaks it all up as he looms over Big E. Lashley hauls Big E up again to RAM into the side of the cage from the outside! And then chokes him against barriers before firing clubbing forearms! Lashley fireman’s carries Big E to POST him off the corner of the cage!
The referees reprimand Lashley and check on Big E as Lashley paces around. Lashley pulls steel steps apart, takes aim at Big E and RAMS him down from behind! Big E flounders but Lashley wants fans to boo louder as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Big E has gotten into the cage! He isn’t letting this end without a real fight and Lashley laughs. The bell rings, the door closes and Lashley runs in, into an Urenage-E!! Cover, ONE!! Big E gets Lashley up to RAM him into steel! And then more steel! Big E is giving it all back as he whips Lashley into a corner! But Lashley comes back to CLOBBER him! Fans boo but Lashley feeds off it as he drops elbows on Big E, then stands him up for forearms. Lashley RAMS Big E into steel and Big E staggers around. Lashley fires hands in a corner, digs his forearms in, then lets off to go corner to corner, and RAM Big E back into the corner!
Lashley brings Big E around, suplexes and holds him up, then SLAMS Big E down! Lashley brings Big E around to straddle and knock him down. Fans boo as Lashley paces around again. Big E slowly gets up, Lashley takes aim from a corner. Lashley runs in but Big E HIP TOSSES him into the corner! Big E RAMS Lashley into more steel, side to side and back again! Lashley wobbles, Big E scoops, but Lashley slips out to get the arms! Big E resists the full nelson, elbows but Lashley uses that to half nelson! Big E resists so Lashley scoops for a HALF NELSON SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Lashley snarls, but he decides to climb the cage! Big E hurries up and after him!
Big E CLUBS Lashley’s legs, climbs up to join Lashley up top, and he drags Lashley into position, only for Lashley to turn things into a DRAGON SLEEPER! The ropes help with leverage and Big E is fading! Fans rally with “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” but Lashley lets Big E go. Big E falls to the floor, Lashley starts climbing up again! Big E flounders as Lashley reaches the top, and Big E springs back to life! Big E drags Lashley down, they brawl on the top rope and Big E dribbles Lashley’s face off steel! Lashley falls back and fans fire up as Big E starts to climb! But as he reaches the top, here comes the HURT BUSINESS! Cedric and Shelton attack and send Big E back inside!
Big E falls against ropes and then to the floor! The Hurt Business shout to their Chief Hurt Officer and he heads for the door. But the New Day SLAMS it shut on him!! And then Woods and Kofi drag Cedric and Shelton down! Kofi is up top but Shelton whips Woods at steel. Woods goes Spider-Man to CLOBBER Shelton! Kofi SUPER TRUST FALLS to take out Hurt Business!! The New Day shout to Big E to keep going as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Big E battles with Lashley up top, but Lashley hits a SUPERPLEX! Lashley crawls to the cover, TWO! Big E is still in this and fans rally up behind him. Big E and Lashley slowly rise, Lashley goes to a corner and runs corner to corner at Big E, but into a big elbow! Big E runs but Lashley hurdles! But he turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then ANOTHER! Lashley swings, Big E dodges then gets the THIRD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up as Big E runs, but Lashley SPEARS before the splash! Cover, TWO!! Lashley and Cincy are shocked Big E survives! Fans rally again but Lashley stands first. Lashley hauls Big E up, turns him, NECKBREAKER!
Lashley goes to a corner and climbs while Big E is down. But he isn’t leaving the ring, he waits for Big E to stand for a FLYING ELBOW! Lashley looms over Big E again and drags him back up, snap suplex! Lashley signals for the door and strolls over, but Big E anchors him! Lashley stomps Big E down then walks for the door but again Big E grabs on. Lashley stomps him and tells him to stay down, but Big E refuses! Big E grabs Lashley’s arm, Lashley scowls and drags Big E up to swing on him. Big E ducks and scoops, BIG ENDING!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives and Cincy is surprised again, but Big E keeps his cool.
Big E heads for the door as fans cheer but Lashley anchors Big E now. Lashley gets up as he has a leg and he reels Big E in, but Big E dodges to get Lashley up! Lashley fights free to uppercut and whip, to then hit a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Lashley grins as he paces, and he goes to a corner to climb up the wall. Big E hurries as Lashley reaches the top, and Big E CLUBS Lashley on the back again! And again! Lashley throws hands, Big E elbows him back. Big E elbows and elbows and elbows and elbows! Then he gets Lashley in position, for a SUPER BIG ENDING!! Cover, Big E wins!!
Winner: Big E, by pinfall (still WWE World Champion)
That might be an understatement! That was an AMAZING ending! And in the end, Big E proves he is mightier than the Rocky Mountain Machine! Will Raw continue to #ThinkBig even after the Draft?
But wait! Here comes DREW MCINTYRE! Lashley’s embargo on the Scottish Warrior is long gone, and now he’s aiming his Claymore at Big E! Big E is just fine with that, but will McIntyre be granted mercy by the Draft and still have a way back to the world title?
What a great Raw, especially knowing this is the “go-home” to the Draft and the follow-up to Extreme Rules. WWE rebounds fairly well from the slightly blasphemous headscratcher ending of Reigns VS Demon Balor by keeping things fairly strong through the whole night. Well, even “fairly” seems generous. Ricochet got 24/7 Division’d outta nowhere and yet he and Reggie don’t even get a chance to really show everyone what they can do. Reggie retains because Maverick’s team bungle things up, but at least Keith Lee gets a strong return as he squashes Tozawa. And for those unsure or unaware about the “Bearcat” nickname, it is to pay homage to wrestling history, especially in terms of African-American wrestler history. But whether Bearcat or Limitless, Keith Lee should hopefully get to a title this time.
Speaking of titles, we got an awesome US Championship match out of Priest VS Sheamus in a No Holds Barred match, but I really wish this is what we got at Extreme Rules. Yes, USA Network and Raw need the ratings but WWE just keeps going bass ackwards through the process. But with this, I am thinking/hoping Sheamus goes to SmackDown in the Draft. As I said last night for Extreme Rules, Sheamus can go after the Intercontinental Championship and complete his Grand Slam. As for Priest, his card’s open so maybe Keith Lee gets next up. Then in the Raw Women’s Championship match, I was naïve to think Eva Marie wouldn’t screw Piper over.
Now I’d rant again about Vince dragging us kicking and screaming back to the days before #GiveDivasAChance, but then Shayna got to wreck Eva as a vicious statement saying that not only is she back to her old form, but we aren’t quite in such shallow waters yet. If anything, Shayna taking Eva out of the equation for a moment means she will be going for the title, perhaps having to go through Piper to do it. We got a decent promo out of the women’s tag champions, but could it kill Raw’s writers to realize, “Hey, the champs literally got called out on SmackDown, shouldn’t they respond to that?” Continuity between brands and networks would help everyone, y’know.
I was a bit surprised Team Jinder won, but it makes sense since they’ve been flattened over and over by Drew McIntyre and they need something to get back up. I like the use of the Million Dollar Arm from Veer, that wind-up lariat is a great finisher. I would hope the Draft keeps Mahal’s group together, and same for Mansoor & Mustafa, but Hardy going to SmackDown could help freshen some things up, including for himself. Kross VS Ryker was whatever, but it does make me wonder where Elias has been. We saw that vignette where Elias stated he was giving up the musician gimmick, but clearly WWE has no idea what to do with him when he isn’t that. Maybe he resurfaces in the Draft and finds that new character to get himself going again.
Riddle VS Styles may have been yet another rematch, but this was truly a great match to improve the night. It is clear Styles & Omos are still on a course to once again collide with RKBRO, but it just shows Vince doesn’t know what else to do with his own great selection of teams. Why not get T-Bar & Mace going as Tweeners that fight RKBRO and Styles-Omos? Dijak can do more than just throw people around and I’m sure the same goes for Dio Maddin, Vince just has to realize they’re not only what his mind comes up with. Meanwhile, Goldberg has a decent promo that in a roundabout way sets up a Crown Jewel match without saying anything about it, but obviously its happening.
The world title story was rather paint-by-numbers for WWE but still pretty action packed. The opening world title match was really good until the absolutely unmotivated Hurt Business reunion. Well, other than MVP can’t be around in person for a long time and Lashley clearly needs someone to help him out when things get desperate. Which is NOT how an “all mighty” Heel should be, but whatever. I am a bit surprised we didn’t get Kofi & Woods VS Cedric & Shelton in the middle somewhere but I suppose if the Hurt Business is back, we might get one more of those during the Draft event.
Lashley losing could easily be a sign he’s moving to SmackDown and his team is going with him, but then that’d mean SmackDown has the two “star power” matches, Lashley VS Goldberg and Roman VS Lesnar, and I don’t think USA would allow that. Hurt Business probably stays on Raw and we relive the summer. Meanwhile, what a great move to have McIntyre step up. Whether or not the Draft moves McIntyre, he does deserve a match with Big E now that the ban on the world title is lifted. Big E VS McIntyre shouldn’t be saved for Crown Jewel, it should happen on one of the Draft nights to add to the suspense.
McIntyre could win and be moved, could lose and be moved, could win and stay, or could lose and stay, all with some great possibilities for him in the Fall and Winter. As I said last night and in relation to Sheamus, McIntyre should go for the Grand Slam in time for Survivor Series. He can lose in an awesome match to Big E, stay on Raw, fight his way to the US title and be a champion in time to face the Intercontinental Champion from SmackDown, aka Sheamus, in a really huge Survivor Series showdown.
My Score: 8.5/10
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!
Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 7
Cook's pick record is looking as bad as Romeo Crennel's NFL head coaching record. Maybe he gets the ball rolling?...
3 Man Weave: Oreos & White Women
The Weave is back on full alert with Deshaun Watson speculation, MLB Playoff talk and our NBA season preview!
Down The Wire: Week 6 NFL Recap
Tom and Dave dive into the best and worst of Week 6 in the NFL, along with a few QB...
Chairshot Radio: Hockey Talk- And So It Begins 
The 2021-22 NHL Season is officially underway and Patrick & Dave are here to recap some of the biggest stories...
Cook’s 2021 NFL Gambling Picks: Week 6
The only thing worse than Cook's string of picks, would be certain head coaches life choices. Some people will never...
Bandwagon Nerds #101: DC Fandome 2021
DC takes over the Bandwagon as Patrick, Dave, Rey and PC Tunney break down the day that was DC Fandome...
Mitchell’s Hyrule Puro-Resu News Report! (10/17/21)
HPW Media questions Link and his family!
Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Twelve Foot Ninja – Vengeance (2021)
Well the JAR was dropped into Australia and hot damn this band is unique. Their new album Vengeance really explores...
BWN Nerds’ Movie Review: Free Guy (2021)
The Nerds tackle the new Ryan Reynolds movie Free Guy! It did surprisingly well at box offices and has been...
BWN100 Special Edition: The Omar Spahi Interview
Without question, the highlight of the 100th Episode of Bandwagon Nerds was the phenomenal interview that Patrick O’Dowd and Dave...
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?
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...
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (10/21/21)
Will history be denied in the Climax?
Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (10/21/21)
Happy third anniversary!
Chairshot Radio: Five Rounds Fallout for UFC Vegas 40
Rey Ca$h and Mags bring you #HeadTrauma Thursdays, as Mags talks about the biggest stories coming out of the UFC...
The Paradox of the Wrestling War in 2021
The IWC has been talking about a certain Friday Night and what numbers matter. Tommy Starr chimes in with his...
Mitchell’s WWE Crown Jewel Results & Report! (10/21/21)
Who ascends to the throne?
Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 31 Results & Report! (10/20/21)
B Block's final round!
Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (10/20/21)
Another Best Of!
Andrew’s G1 Climax 31 Day 18 Results & Match Ratings: 10.20.2021
Last day for B Block! Jeff Cobb is on an undefeated run, but it comes down to him versus Okada...
Coverage7 days ago
Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (10/15/21)
AEW Coverage6 days ago
Mitchell’s AEW Dynamite Results & Report! (10/16/21)
AEW Coverage7 days ago
Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (10/15/21)
Entertainment5 days ago
Andrew’s Judgmental Album Reviews: Twelve Foot Ninja – Vengeance (2021)