The Road to WrestleKingdom 16 starts here!
NJPW begins the countdown to WrestleKingdom 16, and Power Struggle is on another level! Will Takagi VS Okada be changed to an entirely different match?
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Chaos VS House of Torture; House of Torture wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.
- Provisional KOPW 2021 Amateur Wrestling Match: Toru Yano VS Great-O-Khan; Yano wins and retains the trophy.
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles VS El Desperado; Desperado wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
- IWGP US Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS KENTA; Kenta wins and becomes the new IWGP US Heavyweight Champion.
- WrestleKingdom Right to Challenge Contract: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado; Okada wins and retains the Right to Challenge.
- IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Zack Sabre Jr; Takagi wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Chaos VS House of Torture!
Tomohiro Ishii finished the G1 5-3, Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi both finished 3-6, but now they must focus on being a trio again! The King of Darkness, Tokyo Pimp and the traitorous High Voltage are coming for the titles, will Chaos #StayGold in Osaka?
The introductions are made, Bullet Club Low Sweet, and Chaos anticipates the sneak attack! They brawl and Ishii throws out Sho while Hashi throws out Evil and Goto throws out Yujiro Takahashi. The bell rings to get this on record as Ishii throws Sho into railing and Hashi POSTS Evil! Hashi also throws Dick Togo into the ring! He isn’t part of the match but Chaos knows better than to let tricky Dick off easy. Chaos surrounds Dick and hammer away on him! Fans cheer as Dick bails out. Ishii DECKS Evil, Hashi ROCKS Sho, and Goto keeps after Yujiro. Evil throws Ishii into railing but Goto bumps Yujiro off buckles and fires forearms.
Goto whips corner to corner, runs in and MURAMASA! But Yujiro BITES Goto’s hand to deny the bulldog! The ref reprimands, Yujiro clubs Goto’s arm. Yujiro whips Goto into the blue corner, and surprise! Evil takes the buckle pad off! Goto hits bare steel as the Bullet Club’s favorite strategy comes into play. Evil goes after Hashi on the outside while Yujiro stomps Goto down. Evil RAMS Hashi into the timekeeper’s area! Sho and Dick mug Ishii while Yujiro chokes Goto. The ref counts, Yujiro lets off and tags in Evil. Evil uses Sho’s old Chaos towel to choke Goto! The ref is busy with the outside shenanigans but Evil calls for the pin. Cover, TWO!
Evil is frustrated already but he tags Sho in. Sho digs his fingers into Goto’s face! The ref reprimands, Sho shifts to a chinlock. Goto endures, gets a ropebreak, and the ref counts. Sho lets off at 3, fans rally up for Goto but Sho slaps him around. Goto glares at Sho and eggs him on. Sho kicks, Goto CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! Sho rakes eyes! The ref counts, Sho stops to run, but Goto follows. Sho dodges but Goto deflects the boot to LARIAT! Yujiro gets in to go after Goto and whip him to the corner! Goto stops himself and DECKS Evil! Goto sends Yujiro into the bare buckles then hits a BIG back suplex! Fans fire up as both men are down! Hot tag to Ishii!
The Stone Pitbull runs into forearms and a KICK from Sho, but he just ROCKS Sho with a forearm! Ishii whips Sho, Sho reverses but Ishii comes back to run him over! Ishii kicks Sho around and into a corner. Ishii stomps Sho, slaps him around, but Sho rakes eyes and fires off forearms! Sho sits Ishii down to dig both boots in! The ref counts, Sho stops at 4. Sho eggs Ishii on and fans rally up. Ishii stands, slaps Sho then puts him in the corner to CHOP! And CHOP! Those are high shots already! The ref warns Ishii but Ishii tells him to shut up as he CHOPS Sho again! Ishii drags Sho up and suplexes but Sho blocks to wrench and waistlock.
Ishii elbows out, runs but things speed up. Sho goes the other way, but Ishii blocks the spear! Ishii suplexes, but Sho resists again to wrench the fingers! Sho wrenches the arm, KICKS away on the leg and chest, but Ishii blocks. Sho rakes eyes again, the ref reprimands and Sho whips. Ishii reverses, Sho ducks and dodges to ram Ishii. Ishii rebounds and dodges Sho, only for Evil to get a cheap shot in! Sho SPEARS Ishii down! Fans fire up as both men are down, but Sho tags Evil. Evil kicks at Ishii, drags him up, but blocks the kick to give it to the ref! Ishii blocks Evil’s kick to spin him for a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down, Evil gets to a corner. Ishii crawls, hot tag to Hashi!
The Headhunter runs in to clothesline Evil! Then he shoves Evil out to go up the corner, BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Hashi drags Evil up and reels him in, but Evil pulls hair! Hashi breaks free to fire off hands and a CHOP! Evil staggers, Hashi runs but Yujiro is there with the pimp cane! The ref warns Yujiro, Evil waistlocks Hashi but Hashi elbows free. Evil grabs the ref to keep him from seeing Dick trip Hashi! Goto gets in but Evil mule kicks him down. Yujiro gets in, he and Evil double whip, but Goto ducks the double clothesline to shove Evil into Yujiro! Goto then headlocks Evil, but Evil powers out to send Goto into the bare buckles!
The House of Torture regroups, and they mug Hashi. Sho and Evil double whip Hashi corner to corner, then Evil clotheslines! Sho adds his clothesline, then Yujiro BOOTS! Yujiro reels Hashi in, FISHERMAN BUSTER! Evil drags Hashi up as fans rally up, and Evil fireman’s carries for DARKNESS FALLS! Cover, Ishii breaks it in time! Sho goes after Ishii and kicks him out of the ring. Sho stomps Ishii at the ramp while fans rally back up. Evil slashes his throat and drags Hashi up again. Evil spins Hashi but Hashi denies the STO! Hashi kicks but Evil blocks and rakes eyes! Evil throws Hashi’s leg into the ref and down he goes! Dick gets in, he and Evil give Hashi MAGIC KILLER!
Evil calls for the ref, cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and Evil is furious! The fans fire up but Evil drags Hashi back up. Another slash of the throat and Evil reels Hashi in. Hashi wrenches out of the STO! Evil rakes eyes again, kicks low and whips, but Hashi reverses to send Evil into the bare buckles! SUPERKICK! Dick gets on the apron, Hashi throws Evil into him! Schoolboy with bridge, but Sho and Yujiro both get in to break the cover! Goto and Ishii go after them, but Sho and Yujiro whip. Ishii and Goto reverse, fireman’s carries and STEREO USHIGOROSHIS! Fans fire up with Chaos as Hashi aims at Evil. Hashi runs, but Evil catches the lariat! EVERYTHING-
No, Hashi fights out and gets around to DRAGON SUPLEX Evil! Hashi runs and LARIATS! Fans fire up with Hashi again as he gets Evil up. KUMAGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Evil survives but Hashi fires up more! Hashi drags Evil back up, half nelson and pump handle, but Evil grabs the ref! They end up by the ropes, Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! But Hashi powers out and DECKS Dick! Yujiro gets in, but Hashi ducks the pimp cane! Hashi feeds Yujiro to Goto’s LARIAT! Sho gets in and JAMS Goto with a chair! Ishii gets in to DECK Sho! Evil shoves the ref at Ishii, but Ishii pushes the ref aside. Evil runs in, Ishii waistlocks, but Evil gets away as Hashi runs in, and Hashi LARIATS Ishii!
Evil rakes Hashi’s eyes, runs, but Hashi moves and Goto fireman’s carries! Evil slips out but Goto dodges, SUPERKICK from Hashi! Goto fireman’s carries again, Hashi SUPERKICKS Hashi into the USHIGOROSHI, and Ishii adds a SLIDING LARIAT! Chaos knocks Sho and Yujiro off the apron, then Goto-Hashi get Evil with dragon sleeper and leg lift, SHOTOU!! Cover, Dick drags the ref out!! Goto glares at Dick, but Sho and Yujiro get in to DOUBLE LOW BLOW Goto-Hashi down! Ishii runs in to DOUBLE LARIAT Sho and Yujiro down! Ishii drags Evil up but Dick uses the SPOILER CHOKER! Dick chokes Ishii out, Sho gets in with a WRENCH!
Sho CLOBBERS Hashi with the wrench! Sho sneaks away and uses the wrench to choke Goto! Evil drags Hashi up, reels him in, EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, HOUSE OF TORTURE WINS!!
Winners: The House of Torture, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)
The dastardly King of Darkness and his cohorts dethroned Goto-Hashi-Ishii! And to add on, CANE SHOT for Goto! And then they CUT the Chaos towel up and throw away the pieces! Sho has the wrench again, and he takes aim at Goto, only for YOH to return!! Yoh fires off on Sho, Yujiro, and SUPERKICKS Evil! Yoh rains down furious forearms onto Sho! Sho runs away before Yoh can do any more, but it’s clear there’s no running from his past! Will Direct Drive find a way to avenge himself and Chaos for what High Voltage has done to them?
Provisional KOPW 2021 ???: Toru Yano VS Great-O-Khan!
The Producer definitely upset the Dominator in each of their past encounters, so now the KOPW trophy is on the line! The fans had the choice, and they didn’t want the #KissMyFeet match, they went with the AMATEUR WRESTLING MATCH! As such, two referees and Yuji Nagata will be the judges for this match, to make sure things are done properly! Will Blue Justice make sure both Yano and Khan keep this one clean?
Young Lions help demonstrate amateur wrestling for the sake of fans perhaps not as familiar, and to make clear how the point system will work. After the explanations, Khan makes his entrance, and he’s wearing a wrestling singlet! And he even as Aaron Henare as his cornerman! Yano then makes his entrance, and he’s in his own singlet! The introductions are made, the trophy is raised, and we see these two go back to wrestling’s roots!
The bell rings and the two shake hands. They circle, feel things out, tie up, and time is ticking. Yano holds off Khan’s attempts at his legs, they tie up again, and Khan keeps pushing the offense. They end up in the ropes, the ref whistles and the two break. Fans cheer the opening exchange and the two go again. Yano goes for a leg but Khan holds him off now. Khan tries for a takeover but Yano holds that off to turn things around and put Khan on the ropes. The ref calls for a break and Nagata awards a point to Yano! The two reset, tie up, Khan gets around but Yano gets away. Last minute of this first period, Yano shoots in but Khan holds him off!
Khan and Yano are in a deadlock, the ref calls for a reset. They go again, Khan works to fake Yano out and then shoots in low to get the waistlock! That’s two points! Khan keeps the waistlock, tries to roll Yano, but Yano resists! They end up in the ropes, but Khan still gets the two points! He’s got a 4-1 lead with just 20 seconds left. The clock is paused as they reset, and they go again. Yano tries but we’re under 10 seconds, and then time is up!
Yano: 1; Khan: 4
The cornermen help refresh Khan and Yano and Henare says Khan has Yano on speed. Yano may be down but he keeps cool as the second period begins.
Khan and Yano tie up right away, fighting for control. Yano pushes the issue and they end up on ropes. Point for Yano, he’s already begun his comeback. They go again, another clinch but then Yano fights to a facelock. Khan keeps himself up with both hands and then slips out. Yano holds off the attempt at a leg, and the two go again. Khan stays on the offensive and puts Yano on the ropes. That’s a point for Khan to keep this at a three point advantage. They tie up again, Yano slips around but can’t get the waistlock. Khan and Yano circle, Yano goes after Khan but Khan slips away. Fans rally up and the two tie up. Khan shoots in, Yano blocks but Khan slips away again.
Last minute of the period, they’re in another clinch, but Yano gets a THROW! That’s FOUR points and Yano’s going for a back mount! Khan gets to ropes before Yano can turn him over. But Yano has the lead as we only have 30 seconds in this round! Yano and Khan go again, Khan gets aggressive but Yano holds him off. Khan keeps trying to shoot in but Yano holds him back with a facelock. And that’s the round!
Yano: 6; Khan: 5
Fans are fired up and Khan is frustrated, as Yano is declared the winner!
Winner: Toru Yano (still provisional Mr. KOPW 2021)
Khan is a sore loser and attacks from behind! Henare attacks Yano’s Young Lion, and Nagata gets up on the apron, only for Khan to Mongolian Chop him down! The straps come down as Khan and Henare stomp Yano. Khan drags Yano up and whips him corner to corner! Then he runs in to clothesline! Henare adds a SHINING WIZARD! Henare and Khan BOOT ROUNDHOUSE COMBO Yano down! Khan throws off the sweatband to let his ponytail out, and Henare drags Yano up to Khan can clamp on the iron claw! ELIMINATOR SLAM! Nagata gets in and runs Khan and Henare off! Blue Justice stands up against the United Empire, but will he and Yano be able to avenge this disrespect?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Robbie Eagles VS El Desperado!
In quite the surprise, the Sniper of the Skies and Tiger Mask took the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships from Suzuki-Gun on the Road to Power Struggle. That makes Eagles the newest Mr. Junior Heavyweight! But will he be able to stay a double champion? Or will the Rogue Luchador redeem himself and take back one of those belts?
The introductions are made, the singles title is raised, and we see how high Eagles can really fly!
Fans already rally for “EA-GLE-SU! EA-GLE-SU!” at the bell. Eagles and Desperado slowly circle, approach and tie up. Desperado waistlocks, Eagles switches and trips Desperado then runs. Desperado stays low but Eagles stops to jump up! But Desperado rolls and the knee drop hits nothing but mat! Desperado bails out and Eagles says he was that close. Desperado gets in around the way, circles with Eagles again and fans rally. They tie up, Eagles wrenches to a wristlock, but Desperado pokes Eagles in the eye! Desperado wrenches as the ref reprimands, but Eagles rolls and rolls and handsprings to wrench back.
Eagles gets the headlock, Desperado fights up and powers out to reel Eagles into a headlock of his own. Eagles powers out but Desperado runs him over! Fans cheer, things speed up and Eagles hurdles. Desperado jumps over, comes back and leaping arm-drags Eagles out! Eagles gets to the apron, shoulders back in then slingshots up and over to come back and springboard FLYING arm-drag! Desperado is sent out, and Eagles builds speed, but he fakes Desperado out to springboard and flip back. Eagles double guns and blows them out while Desperado gets frustrated. Desperado gets on the apron but Eagles dropkicks him down!
Eagles builds speed, baseball slides but Desperado ducks under to kick low! Desperado runs Eagles at the corner, but Eagles goes up and around to mule kick Desperado back! Fans cheer that agility, and Eagles runs, but is popped up to the apron. Desperado blocks the mule kick to trip Eagles up! Desperado builds speed to SOMERSAULT TOPE! Direct hit at the ramp and fans cheer! Desperado mockingly asks Robbie what happened, and then drags him up. Desperado has media move aside so he can POST Eagles this time! Desperado leaves Eagles behind but fans rally up. Eagles is back into the ring as the count starts, but Desperado is after him.
Eagles throws body shots and a chop, but Desperado shrugs it off. Eagles chops again, but Desperado CHOPS Eagles down! Desperado stands on Eagles’ head, lets off as the ref reprimands, and then drags Eagles up. Desperado reels Eagles in, then suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Desperado stomps Eagles down but fans rally up. Desperado goes after a leg, stands on the knee, but lets off as the ref counts. Desperado comes back to stand on Eagles’ leg again! The ref counts, Desperado lets off at 4, and he brings Eagles up to snapmare him down. Desperado traps one arm in a hammerlock and then has a chinlock. Desperado grinds Eagles’ neck but Eagles endures as fans rally again.
Eagles reaches out but Desperado traps that arm in a chicken wing. Desperado pulls hair, but the ref reprimands. Eagles kicks and scrambles and gets a ropebreak with a leg! Desperado lets Eagles go, to stomp the bad leg again! Desperado digs his boots into Eagles at the ropes again but the ref counts. Desperado lets off, stalks Eagles at the ropes, then drags him up to reel him in. Eagles knees free of the shin breaker then manages a RANA! Desperado gets mad but he runs into a WHEEL KICK! Eagles manages to kip up! Fans rally behind him as he KICKS and KICKS and KICKS Desperado! Eagles runs, but Desperado ducks, only for Eagles to come back with a BLINDSIDE LARIAT!
Desperado bails out but Eagles builds speed and DIVES! A somersault tope of his own, and Eagles lands on his feet! Fans fire up and rally behind Eagles as he hobbles back to Desperado. Eagles gets Desperado up, puts him in the ring and aims. Springboard and missile dropkick to the leg! Eagles gets the leg, rolls, hooks Desperado up, RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Desperado screams in pain, Eagles thrashes the legs, but Desperado crawls and reaches out for the ROPEBREAK! The fans are fired up and the ref counts the break. Eagles lets Desperado go and Desperado flounders to a corner. Eagles KICKS the bad leg, then runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE!
Eagles rolls back but Desperado BOOTS back! But Eagles uses a tiger feint to kick out the bad leg! Eagles runs corner to corner again to METEORA! Desperado flops, Eagles jackknife bridges, TWO! Desperado is still in this but fans rally up. Eagles gets fans clapping, “Robbie, Robbie, Robbie! OI OI OI!” Eagles then gets Desperado up, cravats but no sliced bread! Desperado shoves Eagles away, blocks a boot but not the second! Eagles runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO! STRETCH MUFFLER! Desperado thrashes the leg, reaches out, but Eagles keeps Desperado from getting his arms.
Desperado keeps after the leg, Eagles clubs Desperado but Desperado works harder! Eagles crawls and reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Desperado lets go, but then drags Eagles from the ropes for a GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Eagles clutches the leg while Desperado gets his own moving. Desperado rolls Eagles to GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO!! Eagles survives but Desperado fires up! Desperado reels Eagles into underhooks, but no Pinche! Eagles slips out to SLICED BREAD! But the bad leg bothers Eagles, he can’t make a cover! Eagles crawls over, cover, TWO! Desperado gets up, Eagles SUPERKICKS him down!
Eagles goes to the corner, climbs up and aims, 450 SPLASH onto knees!! Double-edged for Desperado but fans fire up as both men are down. Eagles crawls, Desperado hobbles up, and Desperado goes back for Eagles. Eagles throws forearms but Desperado scowls. Desperado ROCKS Eagles with a forearm in return! Eagles ROCKS Desperado, Desperado ROCKS Eagles! The forearms keep going back and forth and fans rally up as they pick up speed. Desperado wobbles, Eagles throws more forearms, but Desperado kicks the bad leg out! Eagles kicks Desperado’s bad leg out from below!
Eagles KICKS Desperado in the chest again and again! Desperado blocks one, reels Eagles into a fireman’s carry, pops him up, but Eagles POISON-RANAS! And runs to FLYING GAMANGIRI! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives again but Eagles keeps his focus. Eagles rolls Desperado and picks him up, but Desperado denies the Turbo Backpack to suplex. Eagles fights out, victory rolls, and wants the leg! Desperado kicks him low first! Desperado gets Eagles in the inverted Gory Especial but Eagles slips out to ROUNDHOUSE, SUPERKICK and PE- NO! Desperado ducks the enziguri to get the leg and roll! STRETCH MUFFLER! But Eagles rolls it to a cradle, TWO!!
Desperado runs into a schoolboy with bridge! TWO, LOCO MONO!! Eagles is down but Desperado fires up! Desperado goes for the inverted Gory Especial, GUITARRA DE LA MUERTA! Cover, TWO!?! Eagles survives and Desperado is shocked! Desperado slashes the throat and vows to end this. He hobbles over, drags Eagles up and underhooks, PINCHE- RANA! Eagles has a cover, TWO!! KNEE DROP to Desperado’s bad leg! Fans are thunderous as Eagles drags Desperado and kicks away on the bad leg. Eagles steps through, Desperado schoolboys! TWO, to NUMERO DOS!! Eagles endures and reaches out with only one limb free!
Desperado turns and rolls him away, and gets BOTH arms for NUMERO DOS PLUS!! Eagles endures, and verbally quits! Desperado wins!!
Winner: El Desperado, by submission (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
Desperado takes back the singles title! Eagles could not keep going with the weight of both belts, but will he be back to try again? Or is Desperado going to be on to bigger and better on the road to WrestleKingdom?
IWGP US Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS KENTA!
The Ace and Fang Revived have some history when it comes to this title, and their rivalry looks to leave a new mark on the belt’s history. Will the Once in a Century Talent stay golden? Or will Bullet Club leave Osaka with another prize around their waists?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Kenta takes a bite out of Tanahashi!
Fans already rally with “Let’s Go, Ace! Let’s Go, Ace!” but Kenta takes over with his clap rhythm. Tanahashi gets fans back on “Let’s Go, Ace!” but Kenta bails out. Tanahashi refuses to be trolled and the “Let’s Go, Ace!” continues. Kenta gets on the apron and claps, so fans join his clapping. Kenta gets back in the ring, circles with Tanahashi, and they tie up. Tanahashi puts Kenta on ropes, the ref calls for the ropebreak and Tanahashi lets off. Kenta bails out again so “Let’s Go, Ace!” returns. Kenta gets back on the apron, takes his time walking through the ropes, and circles with Tanahashi again.
Tanahashi and Kenta tie up, are in a deadlock, and Tanahashi puts him on ropes. Kenta turns things around, but Tanahashi turns it back. Kenta pulls hair to turn it around but Tanahashi pulls hair, too! The ref calls for the break and Tanahashi lets off to air guitar. Then he tosses it to Kenta! Kenta turns it into an air violin? He tosses it back to Tanahashi then kicks low! Kenta headlocks, Tanahashi pries at the hold and gets a top wristlock, to a headlock of his own! Fans cheer the exchange, but Kenta powers up, only for Tanahashi to hold tight! Kenta rolls to a cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps the headlock, Kenta endures the grind, and fans again rally, “Let’s Go, Ace!”
Kenta pulls hair, throws body shots then whips. Tanahashi reverses and arm-drags Kenta to then dropkick him down! Kenta bails out, Tanahashi PLANCHAS! Direct hit and fans fire up with Tanahashi! Tanahashi hops up on the apron and fans clap along, “Let’s Go, Ace!” Tanahashi skins the cat and fans cheer the agility. Kenta is annoyed, so he just grabs the US title belt! Kenta wants to run away with it? Tanahashi pursues Kenta up the ramp and knocks him down! Tanahashi brings Kenta up, Kenta elbows him away. The ref calls for them to get in the ring, Tanahashi runs at Kenta but into a POWERSLAM to the ramp! Kenta gets the belt again and goes back to ringside.
The ring count starts, Kenta is in at 4 of 20 and he wants Tanahashi to be counted out! The count reaches 10, Tanahashi rises, and Kenta already holds the belt up like it’s his. The count reaches 15, Kenta wants things to speed up. Tanahashi stands at 17 and hobbles over, and manages to slide in at 19! Kenta is furious, he gives the belt back to the ref, but that’s all a ploy so he can untie a buckle pad a la Yano! Kenta drags Tanahashi up and whips him into the bare buckles! The ref reprimands but Kenta claims it was like that before. Kenta rains down fists, but lets off as the ref reprimands the closed fists. Kenta turns Tanahashi for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Kenta clamps on with headscissors and squeezes tight! Tanahashi endures, turns Kenta over, but Kenta turns it back. But they’re by the ropes and Tanahashi gets a ropebreak with a foot! Kenta lets off and drags Tanahashi up. Tanahashi fires off hands, Kenta hits back and hits a DDT! Cover, TWO! Kenta argues the count but the ref says that was fair. Kenta wraps on a chinlock and grinds Tanahashi down. Tanahashi endures, fights up, throws body shots, but Kenta throws him down by his hair! Kenta claps, fans join in and Kenta mockingly asks Tanahashi what’s wrong. Kenta gives toying kicks in the corner but Tanahashi grits his teeth and fires back!
Kenta KICKS Tanahashi into the corner, eggs Tanahashi on, and Tanahashi fires off more forearms. Kenta BOOTS Tanahashi and Tanahashi wobbles. Tanahashi still elbows back and goes up to CROSSBODY Kenta down! Fans rally as both men stir. Tanahashi fires off fast hands, whips Kenta to ropes but Kenta reverses, only to get FLYING FOREARMS! Tanahashi fires up, brings Kenta up and scoop SLAMS him into a drop zone. Tanahashi goes up, second rope SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up behind Tanahashi and he runs, but Kenta BOOTS first! Tanahashi tries again, gets another BOOT, then runs into a POWERSLAM! Fans fire up as both men are down again!
Kenta stands, drags Tanahashi up, waistlocks, but Tanahashi elbows out. Tanahashi runs but into boots! Kenta goes up, reels Tanahashi in, TORNADO HOTSHOT! Kenta climbs, FLYING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Kenta argues the count again then drags Tanahashi back up. Fans still rally but Kenta puts Tanahashi through ropes, but Tanahashi fights. Tanahashi gets the leg, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Kenta flops out of the ring and fans rally harder for Tanahashi. Tanahashi goes up the corner, but Kenta goes up to ROCK him first! Tanahashi tumbles to the apron, tries to skin the cat but Kenta dropkicks him down first!
Kenta drags Tanahashi up and whips him at railing! Then he BOOTS Tanahashi up and over! Tanahashi is in no man’s land but fans still rally up. Kenta goes looking under the ring while the ref checks on Tanahashi. Kenta finds what he’s looking for: a TABLE! Tanahashi crawls back to ringside but Kenta’s set the table up already. Kenta fetches Tanahashi but the ref tells him to stop. Kenta POSTS Tanahashi instead, and brings him around towards where he put the table. Kenta puts Tanahashi on the apron, climbs up to join him and fireman’s carries! Tanahashi holds ropes, throws elbows on Kenta, then turns things around with a fireman’s carry of his own!
Kenta holds the ropes now, gets into the ring but Tanahashi ROKCS him. Tanahashi goes to shoulder but Kenta dodges to KICK and KICK Tanahashi. Kenta brings Tanahashi out on the ropes, BRAIN KILLER! Both men are down from the draping DDT but fans rally up. Kenta crawls, Tanahashi rolls to a corner, Kenta runs in corner to corner to BOOT! Tanahashi sits down, Kenta goes back corner to corner, HESITATION DROPKICK! Kenta fires up and climbs the corner, DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives the coup de grace but Kenta slashes the throat. Kenta then considers the table. Kenta brings Tanahashi around, throws him back out, and follows after.
Kenta CLUBS Tanahashi, puts him on the table, rains down fists, but the ref reprimands him. Kenta gets back in the ring, to then climb the corner! Tanahashi falls off the table so Kenta has to hop down. DIVING STOMPS from the apron! Kenta drags Tanahashi up and brings him around to whip. Tanahashi reverses to SLINGBLADE to the floor! Fans fire up again as both men are down! Tanahashi gets up, drags Kenta up, and brings him back to the table! Tanahashi puts Kenta on the table, rains down forearms, then goes into the ring. Tanahashi goes up top as fast as he can but the ref tells him not to! Tanahashi doesn’t care, he SUPER HIGH FLY FLOWS through the table!!!
Fans are thunderous as Kenta and Tanahashi are down in the wreckage! The ref checks and somehow, both men are okay to continue! The ring count starts, Tanahashi writhes and manages to get up at 7 of 20. Kenta stirs, Tanahashi drags him up at 13 and puts him in at 15. Kenta manages to stand and Tanahashi runs, to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives, even after all that, but Tanahashi goes up top fast! HIGH FLY ATTACK! But he isn’t done there, he goes right back up top! HIGH FLY FLOW onto knees! Kenta saves himself at the last second! Tanahashi gets back up first, but Kenta drags him into an omoplata! GAME OVER CROSSFACE!
Tanahashi flails, reaches and gets a ROPEBREAK! Kenta doesn’t let go but the ref forces him to. Fans rally up again, Tanahashi gets to ropes but Kenta runs in to KNEE him in the back! Kenta runs and runs to BUSAIKU KNEE! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi is still in this but Kenta fires up! Kenta drags Tanahashi back up, fireman’s carries, GO TO- NO! Tanahashi blocks for a DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi gets the leg again, GROUND DRAGON SCREW! Then Tanahashi ties up the legs, but Kenta resists the turnover! Tanahashi keeps trying, Kenta throws him into bare buckles! Schoolboy, TWO!!! Tanahashi survives and Kenta can’t believe it!
Kenta gets up, aims from a corner and Tanahashi stands, BUSAIKU KNEE! Cover, TWO! Kenta roars, drags Tanahashi back up, fireman’s carry, GO TO- SLINGBLADE!! Tanahashi counters at the last second and fans fire up again! Tanahashi runs but Kenta redirects him into bare buckles! Fireman’s carry, GO TO SLEEP!! Cover, KENTA WINS!
Winner: Kenta, by pinfall (NEW IWGP US Heavyweight Champion)
Bullet Club gets another belt! Kenta puts Tanahashi down, is there a new Ace in NJPW?
WrestleKingdom Right to Challenge Contract: Kazuchika Okada VS Tama Tonga w/ Jado!
If you’re wondering where Right to Challenge briefcase is and why the classic IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt is back, The Rainmaker is making a point of what he’s planning. When Okada wins the top title at WrestleKingdom 16, he’s reinstating the belt he became synonymous with in NJPW. However, that’s if he can avenge his one loss in the G1 Climax 31! Will the Good Bad Guy shock the world again and take Okada’s title shot from him?
The introductions are made, the symbolic belt is raised, and we’ll see who has the right to challenge the top champion!
Tama and Okada rush each other at the bell, but Tama ROCKS Okada with big forearms! Tama CLUBS Okada, but Okada throws forearms back. Okada whips, Tama reverses but Okada swings. Tama dodges, but then Okada dodges and comes back, GUN- No, Okada holds that off! Okada want the arm but Tama arm-drags him off. Tama runs in but is put on the apron and Okada DECKS him. Okada runs but Tama moves, so Okada rolls back and shows off a bit. Fans cheer and Okada dares Tama to come back. Tama paces around the outside, slides back in but Okada blocks his kick. Okada CLUBS the leg, ROCKS Tama with a forearm, then bumps Tama off buckles.
Okada throws back elbows in the corner but Tama shoves Okada. Okada ROCKS Tama with another forearm, then he brings Tama around to hit a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE, but Okada keeps cool. Okada wraps Tama up in a straitjacket stretch and fans rally as Tama endures. Okada keeps on the arms but Tama reaches with his legs. Tama scoots and gets the ropebreak! Fans cheer, Okada lets off, and Tama throws body shots. Okada eggs Tama on, Tama throws shoulders and body shots. Okada knees low, snapmares and sits Tama up to run and basement dropkick! Fans rally up as Okada slowly stalks Tama.
Okada brings Tama up, scoops and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron to slingshot, but Tama moves! Okada rolls through the senton and is put on the apron. He ROCKS Tama, but Tama GUNSTUN HOTSHOTS! Fans fire up as Okada falls to the floor. Tama goes out, stomps Okada, then goes into the ring. Red Shoes starts the ring count and it reaches 10 of 20 before Okada gets up. Tama gets impatient, goes out and snap suplexes Okada to the floor! Red Shoes goes out to check on Okada, he’s alright to continue, and fans rally as the ring count restarts. The count reaches 10 of 20 again before Okada sits up. Okada crawls at 14, stands at 17, and is in at 18!
Tama rains down rights but Red Shoes reprimands about closed fists. Tama scoops, SLAMS and drops an elbow! Then another! Then a JUMPING elbow! Cover, TWO! Tama paces, fans rally up for “O-KA-DA!” and Tama sits Okada up to CLUB him in the chest. Tama wrenches the neck, traps an arm in a top wristlock then clubs away on Okada more! Tama lets off and paces before he drags Okada up into a chinlock. Tama digs his knee into Okada’s back but Okada endures. Tama pulls back but Okada fights up and throws body shots. Tama shifts to a full SLEEPER and he drags Okada down into body scissors! Okada endures and gets out of the scissors, but Tama turns him from the ropes.
Okada sits up, fans rally up more, but Tama moves around to lean on Okada. Tama thrashes Okada around but Okada fights up. Okada throws body shots, runs, but Tama wraps on another sleeper! Tama brings Okada back down, but still Okada endures. Okada fights back up as fans rally, and he throws elbows. Okada is free, he ROCKS Tama then runs, but Tama follows to get a sleeper! But Okada slips right out and ROCKS Tama in the back! Then BOOTS Tama down! Fans fire up as both men are down and stirring. Okada stands up, Tama follows, and Okada brings him around for forearms.
Okada whips, Tama reverses but Okada ducks and dodges to CLOBBER Tama with a back elbow! Fans fire up and Okada whips Tama to the corner. Tama boots back, runs in but into a FLAPJACK! That was a big one! Cover, TWO! Okada keeps cool as Tama rolls away to a corner. Okada storms over, blocks the boot and ROCKS Tama with a forearm. Okada puts Tama up top to dropkick him down to the floor! Fans fire up again as Okada rests in the ring. Fans rally up for “O-KA-DA!” and he slowly goes out the side. Okada stalks up behind Tama, brings him around and hits a DDT to the floor! Okada takes his time getting up and going into the ring while the count begins.
The count reaches 10 of 20 but Okada goes out to fetch Tama. Okada puts Tama back in the ring, then goes up the corner. Tama staggers back up, Okada leaps to missile dropkick! Cover, TWO! Okada gets Tama up, wrenches and puts on the MONEY CLIP! Okada wrangles Tama down the mat but Tama grabs at hair. Red Shoes reprimands, Tama crawls and reaches out to ropes, and gets the ropebreak with a foot! Okada lets go and Tama sputters as he bails out. Okada goes out after him again, CLUBS him on the back, and drags him around the way to the ramp. Okada scoops, but Tama fights out to TONGAN TWIST to the ramp!
Both men are down and fans fire up again. Tama gets up first, the ring count is 7 of 20 as he staggers about. Tama drags Okada up at 11, puts him in the ring at 15, and fans cheer as Tama wants to finish this properly. Tama steadies himself, runs corner to corner and hits a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Okada is still in this but Tama drags him back up in a dragon sleeper, TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Jado coaches Tama up. Fans rally, Tama drags Okada up, but Okada blocks the fireman’s carry. Okada CLUBS Tama, wrenches the arm, but Tama steps inside the Money Clip to RAM Okada into buckles. Tama whips, Okada reverses, MONEY CLIP!
Tama endures but he still drops to a knee. Fans rally, Tama throws body shots and then ROCKS Okada with a forearm. Okada dodges the super forearm to a BACK2BACKBREAKER! And MONEY CLIP!! Tama flails and kicks, reaches out, but Okada drags him back from the ropes! Okada leans on the hold, Tama still endures but he’s fading! Tama gets a second wind and gets the ropebreak! Okada lets go and both men catch their breath while fans cheer. Okada gets up, paces, then brings Tama back up. Okada scoops, SLAMS Tama in a drop zone, and goes up top. MACHO ELBOW! Fans fire up with the Rainmaker Pose!
Okada drags Tama up, wristlock ripcords but Tama dodges the lariat! And he fakes out Okada’s dropkick! Okada gets to a corner, Tama runs in but Okada pops him up to the Alabama lift! Tama fights off but Okada ROCKS him with a forearm! Okada runs in but Tama pops him up! ALABAMA SLAMA! Tama hurries to get Okada up, fireman’s carries and ROLLING DEATH VALLEY! Tama hurries up top and SUPREME FLOW! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and fans rally up. Tama stands, waits on Okada, GUN- NO! Okada ripcords, but Tama jumps again! Okada blocks Gun Stun to a gut wrench, but Tama slips off the back! GUN-
NO! Ripcord, but Tama ducks under, slips around, Half Hatch, BLOODY SUNDAY!! A shoutout to the Prince and fans are thunderous! Tama hears voices like the Viper, fans drum along and Okada slowly rises. GUN- Still no! Okada shoves Tama away to dropkick him down! Both men are on the mat and fans fire up again. Tama gets to one corner, Okada goes to the opposite. Okada runs corner to corner but Tama dodges the back elbow! Tama goes to the opposite corner now, runs in, but Okada dodges the splash! Tama blocks the gut wrench, throws elbows to get free, but Okada runs in to SHOTGUN dropkick!
Okada drags Tama up, gut wrenches, but again Tama blocks! Okada CLUBS Tama on the back, ROCKS him with a EuroUpper, then ROCKS him with another! And again! Tama drops to a knee, Okada gut wrenches, but Tama slips to get the gut wrench and TOMBSTONE! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Tama powers up, brings Okada up, and underhooks, but Okada fights out to wrench. Tama ducks the lariat and waistlocks but Okada elbows free and runs, into Tama’s dropkick! Fans fire up and Tama is back on his feet! Tama gets Okada up, reels him in, and underhooks again, but Okada again fights and back drops, to then sit on the cover, TWO!!
Tama gets up, GUN- NO! Ripcord, but Tama ducks and runs, but into Okada’s dropkick! Okada fires up and fans are right with him! Okada drags Tama up, gut wrench and a throw into GUN- NO! Okada somehow holds off the cutter to waistlock, but Tama throws elbows. Okada holds on to HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! And holds on again to ripcord, GUN- NO! Okada again holds it off to spin, but Tama gets around, slips through, underhooks, but Okada back drops free again! Tama comes back and leaps, but into a gut wrench, MICHONOKU! Ripcord, RAINMAKER!! Cover, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by pinfall (still Right to Challenger holder)
This was a fast and furious chess match, but it is still the Rainmaker who stands tall! He keeps the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he does show Tama respect. Who else will be gunning for Okada’s golden ticket? Will anyone stop Okada from resetting the NJPW landscape?
IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Speaking of avenging losses, the Dragon was one of the Submission Master’s biggest wins in this year’s G1. Will ZSJ give us a repeat performance and stand at the top of NJPW? Or will Takagi refuse to #JustTapOut?
The introductions are made, the top title belt is raised, and we see if a Dangerous Tekker can become a double champion!
Fans rally up as the two stare down. The two approach, feel things out, circle and then tie up. Takagi puts ZSJ on the ropes but lets off quickly. They approach again, Takagi gets around to waistlock, but ZSJ switches. Takagi switches back, ZSJ pries an arm to a hammerlock but Takagi headlocks to a facelock. Takagi snapmares, but ZSJ slips out to get the arm again. ZSJ goes from hammerlock to snapmare but Takagi slips out now to get a wristlock. Takagi YANKS the arm, ZSJ tries to fight the wrench but Takagi still gets it. ZSJ bridges, handsprings, slips through and wrenches Takagi to a wristlock. Takagi powers ZSJ back, rolls, but ZSJ rolls with him to keep the wristlock.
Takagi arm-drags but ZSJ arm-drags back to have an armlock! Takagi fights back up, puts ZSJ on the ropes, and then gets away. Fans cheer the technical exchange as the two reset. ZSJ and Takagi approach as fans rally up, “TA-KA-GI!” or perhaps even “ZSJ!” The two tie up, are in a deadlock for a moment, but Takagi pushes ZSJ back to ropes. Red Shoes calls for another break, Takagi lets off but points out ZSJ is still hooking legs. ZSJ lets off and Takagi swings, but ZSJ ducks the chop to get a cravat. Takagi tries to break it but ZSJ lets go long enough to avoid the clubbing, and then gets the cravat right back!
Takagi rolls to throw ZSJ off, things speed up, and ZSJ catches Takagi into a cobra twist! Takagi hip tosses free, ELBOWS, but ZSJ jumps on before the Yukon Lariat! Takagi throws off the Guillotine, avoids the Pele to the arm, and sits ZSJ up to run and SLIDING- No, ZSJ ducks and Penalty Kicks, but Takagi avoids that! They go arm-drag for arm-drag, ZSJ has the armlock but Takagi headscissors but ZSJ kips free, only for Takagi to run him over with a shoulder! Fans cheer as ZSJ goes to a corner. Takagi storms over, digs his knee in, but lets off as Red Shoes counts. Takagi puts ZSJ’s leg on the rope and stomps away on it!
Takagi stands on the knee, ZSJ kicks and him and says, “You’re the champion?” Takagi says, “Yes, I am champion!” Takagi drags ZSJ up to a facelock, ZSJ drops but Takagi stands him up to CHOP! ZSJ eggs him on, Takagi CHOPS him again! Takagi chops but ZSJ blocks! Takagi rolls but ZSJ uses that to get an ARMBAR! Takagi blocks, turns ZSJ over and wheelbarrows, but ZSJ drags Takagi down to a KNEEBAR! Takagi fights up, ZSJ shifts to a HEEL HOOK! Takagi endures, fights up and turns ZSJ in to a SHARPSHOOTER! Then an STF! Takagi focuses on the crossface, then wants a Fujiwara! ZSJ moves around to get the ropebreak! Takagi lets go and ZSJ bails out.
ZSJ kicks railing in frustration then wants Takagi to back off. Red Shoes has Takagi back up, and Takagi drops down, daring ZSJ to come get him. ZSJ doesn’t fall for it, so Takagi stands up to have one hand behind his back. ZSJ gets in, they knuckle lock, and ZSJ wrenches the arm. Takagi adds the other arm and he has the strength advantage now. ZSJ rolls back to reverse the pressure onto Takagi! Takagi fights up, turns things around, fireman’s carries, but ZSJ gets to the apron. ZSJ ducks the chop and has a rope assisted OCTOPUS! Red Shoes counts, ZSJ lets go quickly and catches his breath. Takagi joins ZSJ on the apron, ZSJ KICKS Takagi. And KICKS. And KICKS!
Takagi fireman’s carries! ZSJ slips back into the ring and has a SLEEPER over the ropes! But Takagi pries it open to ELBOW BREAKER! But ZSJ comes back for another SLEEPER! And body scissors! Red Shoes reprimands, they’re in the ropes! ZSJ lets go at 4 and Takagi flops to the floor! Red Shoes checks on Takagi but ZSJ talks trash as fans rally up. ZSJ waits as Takagi drags himself up. Takagi gets to the apron, ZSJ is there to PENALTY KICK him down! Fans fire up and ZSJ goes back into the ring. The count starts but ZSJ doesn’t want to wait, and he goes back out to put Takagi in the ring. ZSJ sits Takagi up to dropkick him in the back of the head!
Takagi goes to a corner, ZSJ walks over and fish hooks Takagi’s face! ZSJ then gets the arms for a straitjacket stretch, and uses his shoulder for leverage. Takagi gets the ropebreak with a foot and ZSJ lets go. ZSJ taunts Takagi with how time is ticking on the 60 minute limit, but Takagi throws body shots. ZSJ gives those backs, snapmares, but Takagi kicks him away from the neck twist. ZSJ kicks, Takagi blocks, but ZSJ slips out of the dragon screw to NECK TWIST! Cover, TWO! ZSJ keeps on Takagi with a cravat neck wrench and some short shoulders. Takagi throws body shots, ZSJ headlocks but Takagi powers out to ELBOW, JAB and YUKON- GUILLOTINE!
ZSJ has Takagi again, but Takagi powers out to a BIG suplex! Fans rally up, ZSJ goes to a corner and Takagi fires off elbows! Takagi throws a knee, whips corner to corner, then runs in to clothesline! ZSJ staggers, Takagi runs but blocks a boot to JAB! Yukon feint to a DDT! Cover, TWO! Takagi fires up and fans rally as he brings ZSJ up. Takagi throws forearms, then a DOUBLE CHOP! ZSJ stays standing, and he headbutts low, only to uppercut into a Gory Especial! But ZSJ blocks Noshigami with a sleeper! ZSJ slips around to hook a leg, then put on the IRON OCTOPUS! Takagi endures, powers up and denies the sunset, but ZSJ catches sliding lariat to an ARM TWIST!
Fans fire up as both men are down. ZSJ grabs Takagi’s arm, bends it and isolates it, then STOMPS it! Ghost pin, TWO, but ZSJ uses that for a mounted ARMBAR! Behind the back grip, then a double wristlock! Takagi rolls to the ropebreak! ZSJ lets go and both men are down again. Fans rally up, ZSJ gets an arm and wrenches it. And wrenches again! And again! Takagi swings, ZSJ ducks and tilt-o-whirls into an octopus stretch, but Takagi makes it a SIDEWALK SLAM! Takagi shakes out the bad arm as fans rally, and he runs in, blocks a boot and LARIATS through! But ZSJ shoves Takagi and eggs Takagi on! Takagi eggs him on in return, and ZSJ fires off EuroUppers!
Takagi fires up, swings, but into a full nelson! He breaks it, but ZSJ GERMAN SUPLEXES! But Takagi’s right up to SAIDO! But ZSJ is up, into the ELBOW! ZSJ catches the Yukon, wrenches and PELES the arm! Then he BOOTS Takagi’s lariat, ducks the Yukon, and runs, to tilt-o-whirl FACEBUSTER! But Takagi’s right back up!? POINT-BLANK PUMPING LARIAT! But ZSJ’s right back up!! PENALTY KICK! Both men are down and fans are thunderous! ZSJ sits up, Takagi follows, and ZSJ facelocks. Takagi blocks the scoop, switches to a waistlock but ZSJ throws elbows back. Takagi ducks and puts ZSJ’s leg in the ropes. Takagi gets the other, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW!
Fans rally as both men are down again. Takagi gets up and shakes out the bad arm before he drags ZSJ back up. ZSJ EuroUppers but into a backslide! ZSJ rolls through but Takagi traps ZSJ’s head to NECK TWIST! Fans fire up as Takagi shows some savvy. Takagi drags ZSJ back up, reels him in, POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO! But into an STF! ZSJ endures, reaches, crawls, but Takagi rolls him away into a crossface! ZSJ endures again, fights and gets the ropebreak! Takagi lets go but he grabs at the legs. Wheelbarrow, but ZSJ slips out to get the arm! Takagi resists the wristlock and CLUBS ZSJ. ZSJ boots a lariat away, roundhouses another away, and then scoops to ZACK DRIVER!!
Both men are down and fans fire up again! ZSJ and Takagi stir, sit up, and ZSJ gets Takagi’s arm for an ELBOW BREAKER! And another! Takagi tries a sleeper but ZSJ switches it onto him. Takagi powers out, pops ZSJ to a fireman’s carry, but ZSJ slips into a backpack sleeper, but Takagi drops right down on him! But ZSJ shifts to an ARMBAR! Takagi clasps hands, turns, and fights up but ZSJ lets him go. Takagi runs to SLIDING FOREARM! Both men are down again and fans fire back up. Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” and fans clap along. Takagi fires up and says, “MOTO!” He pump handles but ZSJ victory rolls, TWO!
ZSJ trips Takagi, gets a body scissor and turns Takagi over, but Takagi turns EuroClutch into sleeper and body scissors! ZSJ endures, but he’s already turning red. ZSJ sits up, pushes back and gets free, but Takagi blocks the Penalty Kick! ZSJ SLAPS Takagi, but Takagi catches him into MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives but Takagi keeps his focus. Fans rally up again, Takagi runs as ZSJ stands, PUMPING BOMBER!! ZSJ tumbles to ropes and Takagi can’t go after him because of the pain in his arm. But fans still rally, and Takagi gets up and roars! Takagi hauls ZSJ up to the top rope and then has a fireman’s carry up top! ZSJ fights to get a double wristlock!
Red Shoes reprimands them both, but Takagi throws forearms and headbutts. Takagi CLUBS ZSJ down off the ropes, but ZSJ gets back up. Takagi boot shim away, but ZSJ springs right up for a SUPER ARMBAR TAKEDOWN!! Takagi clasps hands but ZSJ shifts sides! ZSJ drags Takagi into a TRIANGLE HOLD! Takagi endures, dead lifts but ZSJ hooks the ARMBAR! Takagi falls but into the ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go, both men too sore to be frustrated. ZSJ kicks at the bad arm but Takagi sits up. ZSJ kicks Takagi down, but Takagi sits back up. ZSJ kicks and kicks and kicks! Takagi eggs ZSJ on, ZSJ gets the arm and STOMPS it! ZSJ runs to PENALTY KICK!
ZSJ drags Takagi up, SIT-OUT ZACK DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?! No one can believe Takagi survived that!! ZSJ gets the arm, throws elbows into the shoulder and chest, then sits Takagi up for more elbows. Takagi blocks one, wrenches for an ELBOW- NO! ZSJ hops on for another backpack sleeper! Takagi stays up this time, fans rally hard as ever, and Takagi goes to a corner. Takagi climbs, Red Shoes calls for the break, ZSJ still holds on, SUPER BACKPACK SENTON! Takagi is free but both men are down and fans are thunderous again. Takagi flounders, ZSJ springs on him for the DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Omoplata, but Takagi rolls, into a TRIANGLE HOLD!
ZSJ throws elbows into Takagi’s head, squeezes as tight as he can, and fans are rallying as hard as they can! Takagi endures, grabs at Red Shoes, then dead lifts! Fireman’s carry, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! But he’s too tired to cover!! Fans are thunderous again, Takagi rises and roars, and he drags ZSJ up. Takagi ROCKS ZSJ with elbow after elbow, and he eggs ZSJ on. “Oi, Zack! OI!” ZSJ gets up, EuroUppers again and again, but Takagi headbutts his own arm to get it working. Boxing elbows back and forth from all sides and then he ROCKS ZSJ! ZSJ SLAPS away with palm strikes! Takagi JABS! He ducks the roundhouse but not the ENZIGURI! Takagi SLIDING FOREARMS!!
Fans are electric as Takagi drags ZSJ up. ZSJ holds off the fireman’s carry, Takagi wrenches and tries the pump handle but ZSJ slips around to flip Takagi over with the pump handles! EURO CLUTCH!! TWO!!! Takagi narrowly escapes and even Takagi’s is surprised! ZSJ EuroUppers, and again, but Takagi pats ZSJ on the shoulder. ZSJ swings, but into the Gory Especial! NOSHIGAMI!! Both men are down again, but the fans only get hotter for this! Takagi pump handles and torture racks but ZSJ slips out to a dragon sleeper! Takagi powers through to dragon sleeper, and put ZSJ in the ropes! DRAPING GTR!!
Takagi drags ZSJ back up, powers up, POINT-BLANK PUMPING!! Cover, TWO! ZSJ is still in this and time’s still running out. Takagi gives quick headbutts, then pump handles and torture racks, LAST OF THE DRAGONS!! Cover, Takagi wins!!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)
The Dragon still reigns! Taichi jumps off commentary to kick the Young Lions away and check on ZSJ. Taichi argues the count but Red Shoes defends it was all fair. Will there be another chance for the Tekkers in the future?
As for Takagi, he gets the belt back and does his best to put it on display as he rests on the mat. But wait! Here comes Okada and his Right to Challenge Heavyweight Championship! Okada joins Takagi in the ring, and then Okada gets the mic first. “Takagi, congratulations on your defense. And thanks for the hard work. From here, the G1 31 Champion will take over from the World Champion and carry NJPW. Thank you for all that you’ve done.” Okada confirms that the belt he carries is his contract for January 4th.
Okada then says, “The G1 Champion, the World Heavyweight Champion, who’s the real deal? Let’s find out.” Takagi may be the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, but he’s also a G1 Climax A Block loser! “Step up to me, Kazuchika Okada, you bastard!” Takagi gets his turn with the mic and says he didn’t think Okada would come out here. Saves him having to call Okada out. But Okada’s right, he didn’t make it out of the A Block. He came in second and Ibushi went to the finals. But if Takagi had made it, Okada knows he wouldn’t have won, right? “Are you still carrying that toy around? You like that thing, huh? But you are a great G1 Champion. That can’t be denied.
“But I did managed to defend this belt today, somehow.” Okada understands what Takagi’s saying, right? Does he get it? The G1 Champion VS The World Heavyweight Champion? “Let’s find out who the strongest is! And let’s do it on January 4th in the Tokyo Dome!” Fans cheer for that, and Takagi drops the mic. The two champions stare down for a moment, then turn to the crowd to see who gets more cheers. Okada takes his leave to give Takagi his moment. Takagi stays to say, “I’m not leaving this half-assed. This is the last big Osaka event for the year, so let me speak just a bit more.” Fans cheer that. “Okay, here we go!
“Today was tough. Really, really tough.” Takagi thought he’d give up so many times, but he couldn’t lose now, could he? ZSJ was “the best and strongest challenger possible.” But you know what that means? Takagi beat the best challenger, making him the best in the world right now! He thanks the fans for that applause. But his dreams and visions are far from over. He is only looking on and up. “Like a dragon, with this IWGP World Heavyweight title, I’m soaring to the Tokyo Dome!” Mic drop! But will Takagi keep from dropping that title all the way to the New Year?
What a great event and what a big event size wise for Power Struggle. So much change to the title landscape but really some needed ones. I like that Bullet Club has gotten some gold back. They have all of the NEVER titles, with Jay White still NEVER Openweight Champion while in the US, and now Kenta has the US title here. Still waiting on a proper Bullet Club Civil War, and these belts can be a big part of that. Those matches were both great, with a lot of story in Sho betraying Chaos and then being chased off by Yoh, while Tanahashi VS Kenta was just great overall.
Yano VS Khan was a great way of using KOPW to give us something actually serious and technical. I figured Yano would win, but I like that we’re also getting Nagata involved. Nagata taking on Khan would be a really good match, but who knows where that brings either after that. Eagles VS Desperado was great, and I was surprised to learn Eagles & Tiger Mask won the tag titles. Desperado getting the singles title back was only a little surprising, as he’s been a great singles champion and of course can be there to take on Hiromu at some point. The World Tag League and Best of the Super Juniors combo series is coming back, chances are Eagles & Tiger Mask are gonna be busy.
And of course the top title picture is awesome. Okada VS Tama II was Tama’s newest best singles match, but I figured Okada would retain the Right to Challenge. Okada making the old IWGP Heavyweight title the representation of the contract is genius, and Okada will surely hold onto it until WK16. Takagi VS ZSJ was awesome stuff, though at a certain point I felt maybe they were both getting gassed. They were going so hard for so long, it’s obviously not easy to keep that up. But It was probably the best match all week, and Takagi gets a big win. Okada walking out to officially call Takagi out was good stuff, that match could go either way. Honestly, the old Heavyweight Championship belt is a better design, but I don’t think that’s going to give Okada the win.
My Score: 9.3/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Road Results & Report! (7/4/22)
We’re in the homestretch!
NJPW is turning the corner towards the finish line!
While America celebrates its independence, NJPW has fireworks of their own! Will two Aces trump Bullet Club’s Bone Soldier Reborn & Fang Revived?
- Minoru Suzuki VS Kosei Fujita; Suzuki wins.
- TAKA Michinoku VS Satoshi Kojima; Kojima wins.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ryohei Oiwa; Honma & Makabe win.
- Six Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Clark Connors & The DKC VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- 10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA; Taiji & Kenta win.
PLAY BY PLAY
10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Sauce was part of yesterday’s winning combination in the main event, and now the table is set for a bigger meal! Will he, Six or Nine, the Stone Pitbull and the Rainmaker have their fill? Or will Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi y Naito be the ones having a fiesta before the G1?
LIJ first bumps and the teams sort out, we have Sanada and Ishii to start. Fans rally at the bell, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up, Sanada wrenches to a wristlock but Ishii throws a body shot. Ishii wrenches to a hammerlock but Sanada switches it onto Ishii. Ishii switches it back, but Sanada switches again to then get a headlock. Ishii powers up and out, then avoids the boot. Sanada avoids the lariat but Ishii avoids another boot. Sanada gets around to waistlock and shove Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but then Sanada dodges, and Sanada kicks. Ishii blocks that, spins Sanada to a waistlock, but Sanada throws elbows.
Ishii ducks the elbow but Sanada ducks a forearm to waistlock Ishii. Ishii swings elbows but Sanada ducks then trips Ishii. Sanada wants Paradise but Ishii kicks Sanada away. Sanada gets up but Ishii trips him! Ishii tries to steal Paradise but Sanada kicks him away! Fans applaud the exchange as the two stare down. Fans rally again, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up again, Sanada waistlocks and shoves but Ishii holds ropes. Ishii runs in but into another waistlock. Ishii switches and shoves Sanada but Sanada holds ropes. Sanada runs in but Ishii avoids the basement dropkick. Sanada avoids the Penalty Kick and dropkicks!
Ishii stays up but runs into a forearm! Sanada runs, but Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up and the Stone Pitbull drags up Cold Skull. Ishii bumps Sanada off buckles and tags in Okada. Okada CLUBS Sanada, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron. Slingshot senton! Fans applaud and Okada drags Sanada up. Okada CLUBS Sanada again, and again, then whips him to ropes. Sanada reverses and Bushi hits Okada at the ropes! Okada’s team protests but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s leg out! Fans rally up while both men are down. Sanada tags Naito and he kicks and CLUBS away on Okada.
Naito whips Okada corner to corner, runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep and swinging dropkick! Combinacion Cabron! Naito strikes his pose and fans applaud. Naito drags Okada up, turns him around, but Okada fights off the neckbreaker. Okada kicks low to DDT! Fans rally up again as Okada drags Naito up. Tag to Taguchi and Wato comes in to knock down Hiromu. Taguchi CLUBS Naito, drags him up and gives him a point blank hip attack. Six or Nine double whip Naito to double drop toehold! And roll to double basement dropkick! Taguchi sees Bushi coming, Six or Nine double back elbow, double uppercut and DOUBLE SOBAT!
The ref reprimands but Six or Nine go back after Naito. They double whip him corner to corner, Taguchi CORNER HIPS! Taguchi then sets up for WATO IN MOTION! Wato sets up for HIP IN- NO, Naito dodges and Taguchi hits buckles! Hiromu uses Wato as a step, TIMEBOMB IN MOTION! Naito then kicks Wato and throws him out while Hiromu keeps after Taguchi. Hiromu and Naito double whip Taguchi but he ducks the clothesline. Taguchi jumps, but into a DOUBLE ATOMIC DROP! Naito then gets a boost from Hiromu to TORNADO DDT! Hiromu takes out Zayne and Ishii while fans fire up.
LIJ goes after Okada and the rest while Naito SPANKS Taguchi! And again! And again! Naito drags Taguchi up and tags in Takagi. LIJ mugs Taguchi with a DOUBLE SPANK! And a DOUBLE SPANK again! Takagi then reels Taguchi in for a BIG atomic drop! Taguchi staggers about, but Takagi throws knees against the ropes. The ref reprimands and Takagi lets off. Fans rally up for “TA-KA-GI!” “TA-GU-CHI!” while Taguchi flops over. Takagi brings Taguchi up and whips him to ropes, to KNEE him hard against them! Takagi reels Taguchi in to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Taguchi is still in this and fans rally as Takagi drags him up.
Takagi YANKS and wrenches an arm, then tags in Bushi. LIJ go after Taguchi’s ass again with more spanks! Taguchi writhes but Bushi keeps him from his team. Bushi bumps Taguchi off buckles, stomps and CHOPS him, then brings him around to kick. Bushi goes up and missile dropkicks! BUSHIROONI! Fans rally up and Bushi stands on Taguchi’s face. Taguchi flails and Bushi covers, ROPEBREAK! Naito swats the foot away, Bushi covers again, TWO! Bushi CLUBS Taguchi down before he can get to his corner, and he stomps Taguchi’s ass! Bushi FISHERMAN- NO, Taguchi slips out! But Bushi kicks low!
Bushi runs, Taguchi jumps, but into another atomic drop! Bushi SPANKS Taguchi again! Bushi whips but Taguchi reverses to HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up while both men are down! They crawl for their corners, hot tags to Zayne and Hiromu! The Sauce rallies on LIJ, fires off elbows on Hiromu, then SOBATS! Zayne runs for the SOMERSAULT AX KICK! Direct hit and Hiromu flounders to a corner! Fans fire up and Zayne runs in corner to corner to back elbow! Zayne puts Hiromu up top but Naito runs in! Zayne sends Naito into Hiromu! Zayne then uses Naito as a boost to DRAGON RANA Hiromu off the top!
Fans fire up more and Zayne rolls Naito up to EDDY GORDO KICK! Fans rally and Zayne sees Hiromu regrouping with Sanada and Bushi. The ref is reprimanding those three and Zayne wants the ref to move. The ref doesn’t hear him so Zayne shrugs and builds speed! Zayne FLIES over the ref to wipe out LIJ! Fans are fired up and Zayne fetches Hiromu. Zayne puts Hiromu in, stalks him, then brings him up. Zayne wrenches and scoops, BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! Okada DECKS Takagi and has Zayne carry on. Fans rally up, “HI-RO-MU!” “AL-EX ZAYNE!” Zayne drags Hiromu up, wraps him up, but Hiromu fights the straitjacket.
Hiromu swings but into a spin. Hiromu catches Zayne’s clothesline and spins, then jumps up, but Zayne blocks the rana takedown! Zayne throws Hiromu away, but Hiromu wheelbarrows to COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hiromu and Zayne stir, crawl for their corners, and Zayne hot tags Wato! The Way of the Grandmaster fires up as he brings Hiromu up. Hiromu fights the waistlock and elbows free. Hiromu blocks the kick, and the punch, but not the ELBOW! Wato runs, but into an elbow! Hiromu runs, into a dropkick! Wato fires up and fans fire up with him! Wato BUZZS- NO, Hiromu blocks the kick to a DRAGON SCREW!
Fans rally and Hiromu crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Takagi, and the Dragon says here it comes! Takagi runs in at Wato, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi suplexes, Wato fights it, but Takagi turns it into a swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Okada breaks it! Okada coaches Wato and fans rally up. Takagi brings Wato up to throw elbows! Takagi then runs to SLID- NO, Wato dodges to BOOT and whip! Takagi reverses, but Wato RANAS! Taguchi knocks Naito and Bushi down, then Zayne and Wato double whip Takagi. Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Takagi does the same to Zayne, but Taguchi HIP ATTACKS!
Taguchi, Zayne and Wato coordinate, HIP AND DOUBLE KICK COMBO! Taguchi stands Takagi up for Wato’s FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, Hiromu breaks it! Taguchi throws Hiromu out and fans rally up. Wato goes back to a corner while Takagi snarls. Wato goes after Takagi, but he can’t scoop Takagi! But Takagi can scoop Wato! Wato fights free, CLUBS Takagi, but Takagi just shrugs. Wato runs, but into Takagi’s ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up and Takagi brings Wato up, to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Wato survives but Takagi points to the camera. There’s still more! “OI! OI! OI!”
Fans rally up and Takagi brings Wato up again. Pump handle but then Okada gets in. Takagi BOOTS Okada, JABS, but Okada FLAPJACKS Takagi! Naito runs in but into an uppercut. Okada whips but Naito avoids the dropkick to basement dropkick! Ishii runs in to run Naito over! Sanada fireman’s carries Ishii, to throw him into the dragon sleeper! Ishii slips out to suplex but Sanada slips out to ROCK Ishii! Sanada spins but into Ishii’s SUPLEX! Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS Ishii! Wato dodges to SCREW HIGH KICK! Wato waistlocks and HIGH ANGLE GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Wato is shocked but the fans fire up! Wato brings Takagi up, wrenches and hooks him, but Takagi fights the Mouse Trap. Takagi fireman’s carries but Wato CRUCIFIX DRIVERS! Cover, TWO! BUZZ- NO, Takagi ducks the kick! Takagi waistlocks but Wato elbows free and SOBATS! Front kick and SUPER- NO, Takagi blocks and shoves Wato, to pop-up DEATH VALLEY! Then Takagi runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives and fans fire up! Bushi DIVES to take out Zayne! Takagi fires up and drags Wato back up. Pump handle and lift, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
The Dragon slays the Grandmaster, but he shows his respect with a pat on the chest. Wait, Taguchi tries to Iron Claw and maybe even Stink Face Hiromu! And Ishii stares down with Sanada. But with LIJ victorious, will their heavyweights take over the G1 Climax? Or will the Stone Pitbull have something to say about all that?
KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA!
Speaking of that winning combination, the Time Splitter and the Once in a Century Talent are sticking together in a rematch with the Bone Soldier & Fang Revived! Will it only take a pair of Aces to win again? Or can the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion turn things around before the end of the New Japan Road?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles, and again fans are impressed. Taiji shows off his, too, though, to see who is better. The teams sort out and Kushida starts against Taiji for one more preview of their title match. They circle and fans rally. They tie up, Kushida goes low but Taiji uses that to waistlock. Kushida rolls and brings Taiji down then floats. Taiji resists the lateral press but Kushida goes after his legs. Kushida digs a knee in, throws down a palm strike, then tries for a press. Taiji moves around, gets Kushida’s arm but Kushida headscissors to counter. Kushida pushes up to put on the pressure, but Taiji moves around.
Taiji ties up Kushida’s legs then headstands to pop free. Fans applaud the opening exchange as the two reset. They feel out a knuckle lock, then Kushida KICKS a leg! And again! Kushida keeps his leg guard up as Taiji moves around. Kushida goes after a leg but Taiji pushes him away. Kushida jumps on to body scissor, then he knuckle locks and wrenches an arm. Kushida wrenches, full nelsons, spins Taiji and hammerlocks to then flying-mare! Kushida chinlocks but Taiji slips out to wrench and cover, ONE! Fans applaud as the two stand off again. Taiji backs away to his corner and Kenta tags in.
Kushida goes to his corner and he tags Tanahashi in. Fans rally “LET’S GO, ACE!” as Tanahashi and Kenta circle. Kenta starts up his own clap rhythm and fans follow along. The clapping duels between them, but the “LET’S GO, ACE!” wins out. Kenta is annoyed so he steps out to the apron. Fans clap for Kenta to try and get him back into this. Kenta steps back in slowly, but Tanahashi starts up “LET’S GO, ACE” again. Kenta tries even harder to get his clapping going, the dueling continues, and Tanahashi dares Kenta to come at him. They circle, but then Kenta uses ropes as defense. Tanahashi backs away and Kenta returns.
Kenta and Tanahashi finally approach, but Kenta again backs away to ropes. Tanahashi decides to join Kenta in the ropes. Tanahashi tells Kenta to get serious, and the two return to center. They approach and Kenta kicks low! Kenta headlocks and grinds Tanahashi down. Tanahashi pries the headlock open and turns it around onto Kenta! Fans applaud and now Kenta endures. Kenta powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Tanahashi grinds the headlock but Kenta pulls hair! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi pulls Kenta’s hair! They both end up in a corner and Red Shoes counts. Tanahashi lets go to throw body shots!
Tanahashi whips corner to corner, Kenta reverses to uppercut! Kenta whips Tanahashi corner to corner now, but runs into an elbow! Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Fans rally as Tanahashi air guitars. Tanahashi brings Kenta over, tag to Kushida, and Tanahashi feeds Kenta to Kushida’s HOTSHOT! Kushida drags Kenta up, wrenches the arm and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! Things speed up but Kenta CLOBBERS Kushida and DECKS Tanahashi! Taiji gets in to throw Kushida out while Kenta whips Tanahashi hard into railing! Tanahashi drops in a heap while Taiji throws hands on Kushida.
Kushida hits Taiji back while Kenta rains down fists on Tanahashi! Taiji rakes Kushida’s eyes while Kenta stomps Tanahashi. Taiji puts Kushida in, CHOKES him, but Red Shoes reprimands. Kenta gets in to claw Kushida’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kenta drags Kushida away to whip hard into the corner. Tag to Taiji, and they both dig their boots into Kushida. Red Shoes counts and they let off. Fans rally for “KU-SHI-DA!” as Taiji drags Kushida up. Taiji wrenches an arm, CLUBS it, then CLUBS it again. Taiji YANKS the arm, wrenches again, then snapmares Kushida to WRING the arm out!
Kushida writhes but Taiji smirks. Kushida CHOPS Taiji, but Taiji eggs him on. Kushida CHOPS again, but Taiji CHOPS back. Taiji CHOPS Kushida at the ropes, Kenta HOTSHOTS the arm! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji says it is in return for what they did to Kenta. Taiji stands on Kushida’s hand then stomps Kushida’s head! Tag to Kenta, he drags Kushida back from Tanahashi. Kenta stomps the bad arm, then snapmares Kushida for a KICK! Kenta stares Tanahashi down then covers, ONE! Fans rally, Kenta tells them to shut up. Kushida throws body shots and forearms but Kenta knees low. Kenta whips, Kushida handsprings to BACK ELBOW!
Fans fire up and Kushida rolls, hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi drags Kenta up to fire off fast hands! Taiji gets in to CLUB Tanahashi! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi SHOTEIS Taiji down! Taiji bails out and Tanahashi whips Kenta to a corner. Tanahashi runs in to SHOTGUN! And then HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Fans fire up and Tanahashi waits on Kenta to rise. Tanahashi runs, but Kenta sends Tanahashi out! Tanahashi skins the cat, but he has to BOOT Taiji away. Kenta SHOTGUNS Tanahashi down! Fans rally up while Taiji stomps Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Kushida into railing and stomps him down!
Taiji drags Tanahashi up while Kenta DDTs Kushida to the floor! Taiji rakes Tanahashi’s eyes, then he goes after Kushida with haymakers. Kenta kicks Tanahashi while he’s down, puts him in the ring, then covers, TWO! Kenta wraps on a headscissor squeeze! Fans rally while Tanahashi endures, and he reaches out with a leg. Kenta squeezes tighter but Tanahashi gets the ROPEBREAK! Taiji swats the foot away but Red Shoes saw that. Red Shoes wants Kenta to let go but Kenta thrashes around. Red Shoes makes Kenta let go, and he drags Tanahashi over. Kenta whips Tanahashi into bare buckles!
Kenta CLAWS at Tanahashi’s shoulders! Kenta tags Taiji and Taiji hops up onto the top rope. Fans rally as Kenta stands Tanahashi up. Taiji jumps, to CLAW Tanahashi’s back! Tanahashi grits his teeth while he drops to the mat. Fans rally up and Taiji drags Tanahashi back up. Taiji reels Tanahashi in, to CLAW his back again! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji smirks. Taiji drags Tanahashi up to wrench and whip into the bare buckles again! Tanahashi clutches that shoulder as he falls over but the fans still rally behind him. Taiji drags Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fires off body shots. Taiji KNEES low and CLAWS Tanahashi’s back again.
Tag to Kenta, he CLAWS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi CLAWS Kenta back! Fans rally, but Kenta DECKS Kushida to deny the tag! Kenta throws haymakers but Tanahashi fires up! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he powers up. Kenta runs, BOOTS, but Tanahashi stays up! Kenta BOOTS again but Tanahashi kicks, into a DRAGON SCREW! Kenta has the bad leg, turns Tanahashi over, STF! Tanahashi endures and fans rally, but Kushida barrels in to break the hold! Taiji throws Kushida out, then goes out after him while Kenta keeps on Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Tanahashi into Red Shoes! Then he DDTs Tanahashi down!
Taiji whips Kushida into railing while Kenta searches under the ring. Kenta brings out a crutch! Kenta aims at Tanahashi, wanting revenge for being put on the shelf. But Tanahashi dodges the crutch to hit a SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both men are down! Taiji hides the crutch while Red Shoes returns. Fans rally, both men stir, and they head for their corners! Hot tags to Taiji and Kushida! Kushida climbs up to FLYING AX HANDLE! And KICK and KICK and KICK the arm! Kushida whips, Taiji reverses, but Kushida FLYING FOREARMS! Taiji gets up but Kushida wheelbarrows and victory rolls, STOMP 182! Cover, TWO!
Kushida rains down palm strikes on Taiji! Kushida then gets an arm, wrenches and ELBOW BREAKERS! PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kushida whips and hip tosses into the ARMBAR Tanahashi intercepts Kenta for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Fans rally while Bullet Club endures double submissions! Taiji fights around, rolls and gets the ROPEBREAK! Kushida and Tanahashi let Taiji and Kenta go, and Tanahashi kicks Kenta out. Kushida drags Taiji up as the fans rally. Kushida hammerlocks but Taiji fights free. Taiji ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida dropkicks the bad arm! Kushida keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl, but Taiji blocks!
Taiji powers up to CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi was late but Kushida survives on his own. Kenta attacks Tanahashi and throws him back out. Fans rally up for “KU-SHI-DA!” while Kenta fires off haymakers on Tanahashi. Kenta throws Tanahashi at the stage, and then brings him backstage! Taiji has Kushida all alone and says BANG! Taiji drags Kushida up, half hatch, but the bad arm holds him back! Kushida KICKS the arm, but Taiji hits MYSTICO! And BONE LOCK!! Kushida endures, flails, fans rally, but Taiji pulls back! KUSHIDA TAPS, TAIJI WINS!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori & Kenta, by submission
The Bone Solder just made the Time Splitter tap out! Kenta and Tanahashi still brawl, clearly wanting to start their G1 battle now! But with Kushida losing momentum, is this a sign he’s not quite up to speed yet? As for Taiji, he gets the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back on, and gets the mic.
“I won! HAH! Kushida! I said I would put you to the test, and you failed. You want to challenge me? You’ve got to be kidding me. You thought you could just show up and beat me? Don’t take me so lightly, bastard. Let me say this: You’re a long way from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship!” Taiji asks what Kushida has to say about that. Nothing? Then go home! Kushida does head backstage, clearly upset with himself more than anything. Taiji says we don’t know who is really challenging for the belt now.
“But I will defend this belt all over and prove that I am the definitive Junior Heavyweight Champion. In the end, the most important, most important, MOST IMPORTANT thing…! Oi, look at me. I’ll show you greatness and strength. It’s Reborn!” The Bone Soldier shoots down the Time Splitter, but will time only tell if Kushida can get back to the title?
Another good event for NJPW with just one more to go tomorrow. Chaos winning against House of Torture this time could just be to even out the math going into their NEVER Openweight Six Man title match. It’s still hard to tell how much NJPW puts into their go-home math, so maybe Chaos’ Goto, Hashi & Yoh still win those titles off Evil, Yujiro & Sho like I predicted yesterday. The 10 Man Tag was a lot of fun, and it seems Zayne has good chemistry with Taguchi and Wato if they ever wanted to be NEVER Openweight Six Man champions. But LIJ wins again to show they’re all going into the G1 Climax with great momentum.
The tag match main event was great stuff, but I had a feeling it would even out between Kushida and Taiji. The G1 takes center stage so it’s going to be some time before the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match happens. Both guys will be 100% rested by then so there won’t be any doubts or excuses (in kayfabe) as to who wins and loses that match.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (7/4/22)
Happy Independence Day, America!
Let’s see if there’s fireworks after Money in the Bank!
Liv Morgan became Ms. MITB, and then cashed in on the SmackDown Women’s Championship! Who will Bianca Belair defend her Raw Women’s title against at SummerSlam?
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor & Damian Priest; Rey & Dom win, by disqualification.
- The Miz VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS Carmella & Natalya; Bianca & Liv win.
- Seth Rollins VS Ezekiel; Rollins wins.
- Six Man Tag: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits VS (Austin) Theory & The Alpha Academy; Lashley & The Profits win.
- Gunther w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS R-Truth; Gunther wins.
- No Holds Barred: Asuka VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of happiness.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. Now we celebrate the way only the WWE can! Be ready for the Big Time, hang out with your bros, and get ready to break the bank for this must-see Fourth of July Raw!
Welcome the NEW WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley!
San Diego is fired up to see that the All Mighty has gold again! Lashley is happy to see the fans, too, and he gets a mic to say, “I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time. And it couldn’t be a more fitting night than tonight to say this. Welcome to Monday Night Raw!” Fans chant for “BOBBY! BOBBY!” and Lashley says, “America’s Independence Day holds a very special place in all of our hearts.” Fans chant for “USA! USA!” and Lashley says he couldn’t be more proud to be here in front of the fans as the NEW United States Champion! But let’s not get it twisted. It isn’t the title that makes the man, it is the man that makes the title.
Lashley says that to say this, and please pay attention: “There is not another man in any division or any promotion that can beat me for this United States Championship.” But then (Austin) Theory has to make his way out. The former champion and new Mr. Money in the Bank has a mic of his own to tell Bobby, “Why do you get to kick off Monday Night Raw? Everybody’s been on the edge of their seats since Saturday, just waiting to hear from Mr. Headline himself, ME!” Sure, Lashley got his victory, but the world is talking about the YOUNGEST Mr. MITB in WWE History! Fans boo because that’s not true.
Theory says he had the odds stacked against him. It was hard work at MITB. Fans chant “You Suck!” and Lashley makes sure Theory knows it’s for him. Theory says shut up. He was in there with seasoned veterans, former MITB winners, but made it happen! Theory does have to admit, Lashley had him in the first half. But just like Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, Theory shined brighter than ever in the clutch! And Theory climbed up of the ladder and grabbed the briefcase to prove to the world that he can do this #ALLDAY! Lashley says he thought Theory was actively trying to become an arrogant jackass. But he was wrong, this is just second nature to Theory.
Did Theory ever think that he was gifted an opportunity he didn’t deserve just because Lashley shattered that fragile ego into a million pieces? But hey, if Theory wants another trip to the Hurt Lock, here it is! Theory says that Lashley will get a chance and fail to do so in their Six Man Tag. But Lashley, Theory sees him, Lashley sees Theory, and Theory just makes it happen. Theory always makes things happen. But the way Theory sees it, he’s going straight to the top! And y’know what? Theory was informed today that at SummerSlam, he gets a rematch to take back HIS United States Championship!
Boo all you want, fans, this is just the start! Theory knows Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns fight for the Undisputed Universal Championship one last time, one last match, Last Man Standing. They will beat the hell out of each other from one side of the stadium tot he other. And whoever is the last man standing, they go A-Town Down! At only 24 years old, Theory cashes in his contract and walks out the unified, undisputed, unquestionable, GREATEST CHAMPION in WWE history! Fans boo and Lashley says, “You forgot the If part of your whole plan. If you make it to SummerSlam! Because just like you said, it is Independence Day, and these people deserve some fireworks!”
Lashley throws down the mic, Theory tosses the case at him! Theory ROCKS Lashley then CLUBS away on him with the briefcase! Fans boo as Theory keeps hitting Lashley over an dover until the locks on it break! Theory goes back for one more, but Lashley blocks! And CLOBBERS Theory, to then MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER!! Theory grabs the case and scrambles away while he can still move! Will Lashley end up clamping the Hurt Lock onto Theory later tonight and make him the youngest failed Mr. MITB in history?
Backstage interview with The Mysterios!
Megan asks if Rey & Dominik have a response to the inflammatory comments made by The Judgement Day? Dom says that what Finn said was both disgraceful and disrespectful. There is no one in this business Dom would rather learn from than El Jefe, his father, Rey Mysterio. Rey reminds everyone that he and Dom are the first and only father-son tag team champions in WWE history. They must be doing something right then. As far as tonight, it has been ten YEARS since Rey’s been back in San Diego to wrestle, and this is Dom’s first. And because this is their house, they’re going to teach Finn & Priest to respect 619!
Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor & Damian Priest!
San Diego is all fired up to have their hometown heroes live and in person! The music plays and the Mysterios watch the ramp, but the Judgement Day attack from behind! They stomp the Mysterios down, then throw them out! Raw goes picture in picture while fans boo the Prince and the Punishment!
Rey gets up and throws off his shirt. Dom gets up and does the same, and the Mysterios regroup. The Judgement Day wait on the hometown heroes, and Rey gets in the ring. The bell rings, Finn kicks Rey and bumps him off buckles. Finn fires off body shots, tags Priest, and Priest stands Rey up to ROCK with a right hand! Rey falls over, Priest stomps him then CHOKES him on the ropes! Priest lets off as the ref counts, then he KICKS Rey around. Priest bumps Rey off buckles, tags Finn back in, and the Judgement Day mug Rey. Finn brings Rey out to knee but Rey throws body shots. Rey runs and slides to SOBAT!
Rey KICKS Finn more, then runs, only for Finn to CLOBBER him! Cover, TWO! Finn clamps onto Rey with a chinlock and grinds him down. Rey endures, fights up, but Finn knees him low. Finn CHOPS Rey in a corner, whips him corner to corner hard, and soaks up the heat as Rey falls to the mat. Finn drags Rey up, whips him corner to corner hard again, and Rey writhes. Finn stalks Rey, kicks him at the ropes, stomps him into the corner, and digs his boots in! The ref counts, Finn lets off, and Finn stands Rey up to whip him corner to corner again. Raw returns as Rey hits buckles but Rey hits Finn back! Rey tilt-o-whirl RANAS Finn away!
Hot tag to Dom! Dom dropkicks Finn, then arm-drags him around! Dom runs in at the corner but Finn kicks low. Finn bumps Dom off buckles, but Dom dodges the chop! Dom knuckle locks, CHOPS, and goes up and up to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Finn gets to his corner and tags Priest but Dom doesn’t back down. Priest kick slow, CLUBS Dom, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest whips Dom to ropes but Dom holds ropes. Dom elbows Priest, dodges the haymaker and whips Priest to dropkick him! Priest comes back but Dom dumps him out! Tag to Rey and he SEATED SENTONS Priest down! Fans fire up while Finn freaks out!
Rey puts Priest in, Finn runs over but Rey BOOTS him! Rey slingshots, but Priest DECKS him out of the air! Priest drags Rey up, bumps him off buckles and throws body shots. Tag to Finn, Finn stomps Rey and brings him out to scoop. Rey slips off and ENZIGURIS! Hot tag to Dom! Dom goes up top to CROSSBODY! Dom DECKS Priest, then CLOBBERS Finn! Dom whips, Finn reverses but Dom holds ropes again. Dom drop toeholds Finn to ropes! Priest hurries to tag in as Dom dials it up! Priest intercepts the call and drags Dom out, to TOSS into barriers! The Judgement Day is back on top as Raw goes picture in picture again!
Dom writhes while Priest looms over him. Priest drags Dom up, scoops him and hits SNAKE EYES off the apron! Dom flounders and Priest hauls him back up and in. Priest stares Rey down then gest in the ring. Priest drags Dom up to tag Finn. Priest scoop SLAMS Dom for Finn to SLINGSHOT STOMP! Finn paces around as he soaks up the heat, then he goes back for Dom. Finn drops elbow after elbow, then covers, TWO! Dom is still in this but Finn clamps on a chinlock. Dom endures as Finn grinds him down. San Diego rallies for Dom and he fights up, only for Finn to throw him down by his hair!
Tag to Priest and the Judgement Day mugs Dom against ropes. Priest stands Dom up, whips him into the corner, then taunts Rey. Priest runs in to back elbow Dom! Tag to Finn, the Judgement Day mugs Dom again, then Finn snapmares and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Finn drags Dom up by his hair and throws down elbows while staring down Rey. Rey coaches Dom but Finn clamps the chinlock back on. Dom endures again while the fans rally up. Dom fights to his feet, throws elbows, and Raw returns to single picture. Dom reaches for Rey but Finn throws knees. Finn whips but Dom kicks him, and SLING-DOGS!
Fans fire up as Dom and Finn crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Priest and Rey! The King of Lucha rallies with dropkicks to the legs! And then KICKS the leg! Rey whips but Priest blocks! Priest whips Rey to a corner but Rey goes up, only to get caught. TORNADO DDT COUNTER! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives but Rey hurries to a corner. Rey climbs up but Priest gets him first! Rey RAMS into Priest, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs back up. SEATED SENTON! Cover, Finn breaks it! Dom gets in o SUPERKICK Finn! Dom and Rey regroup, Dom runs in but Priest BOOTS him! Rey gets a boost from Dom to SUPER RANA Priest! Cover, TWO!!
Rey keeps cool and he calls the shots. Rey dropkicks Priest to the ropes and dials it up! Fans want it, but Priest BOOTS Rey down! Still no call connecting, and Priest ROUNDHOUSES Dom for good measure! Priest drags Rey up, fireman’s carries, and he tags in Finn. WASTELAND SLAM from Priest, Finn is up top and COUP DE- NO, Rey dodges! Rey dropkicks legs out and Finn is on ropes! Priest gets in but Dom dropkicks and Rey drop toeholds! Dial it up, DOUBLE 619!! Fans fire up and Rey climbs up, gives some Latino Heat! FROG SPLASH onto knees! Finn covers, TWO!! Rey survives and Finn can’t believe it!
But Priest throws a chair in! The ref is upset, he stops that from happening. But Finn gets another chair, only for Dom to have it! Finn shoves Dom down, but Rey flops! Talk about Latino Heat! The ref sees this, and he assumes just what Rey wants him to! The Judgement Day is DISQUALIFIED!!
Winners: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, by disqualification
Finn is furious! Rey & Dom give true tribute to Eddie Guerrero and the fans love it! Will The Judgement Day ever live this one down? Do they have something to learn from Mysterio?
Backstage interview with The Miz.
Megan asks Miz what his reaction was to Logan Paul calling him out. “Proud.” Really? Yes. Miz is proud because he loves confidence, outlandish statements and headline grabbing. That is what Logan Paul does on his social media and podcasts. It is how he has his fanbase! But Logan surrounds himself with Yes Men and Yes Women who do what he says. Out there, it’s successful. But here in the WWE, it’s a different animal. It will humble you. Miz knows. He was on The Real World. But he doesn’t want Logan to make the same mistakes Miz did. Miz is a nice guy! Logan, retract your statement and accept Miz’s offer. They will be a success, they will be Undisputed Tag Team Champions!
But if Logan doesn’t, Miz will be relentless! He will make Logan earn everything, and Logan will be humbled! Speaking of which… Last week, Miz basically quite against AJ Styles. Uh, quit? He had two matches last week! If anyone is quitting, tapping out or being pin, it is Styles! Miz doesn’t take to sophomoric jokes. As in, his tiny- NO! Don’t say it, Megan. Miz will show everyone that he has COLOSSAL, MASSIVE, GIGANTIC, AMERICAN BALLS! He is the Miz! And he’s… AWESOME! But will Miz back up his words with actions? Or will this be another phenomenal win for AJ Styles?
The Street Profits host a party in the parking lot!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to their Fourth of July Extravaganza Bonanza Cookout! They got burgers, ribs, dogs, beverages, corn on the cob and cornholing! Enjoy America’s 246th Birthday! But just like Montez Ford’s shoulder on Saturday, the USA is up! And WE! WANT! SHOOOOOSH! The Alpha Academy crash the party, and Chad Gable says this is typical. How can the Profits be partying after losing at MITB? And spare them the excuses. Shoulder up or not, a loss is a loss. And just like everyone else, The Profits think this holiday is about parties and fireworks and eating food. Pathetic!
But Master Gable has a history lesson in an annotated version of the Declaration of Independence. So please, shoosh! A thank yew. Gable begins reading but Ford intercepts. “These truths to be self-evident. That every man and woman has the right to shut Chad Gable up!” That doesn’t say that! SLAP! Gable is upset but Otis says not to disrespect an American Olympian! And Otis says he can eat TWENTY of those hotdogs without breaking a sweat! Whoa, whoa, whoa. First off, if you’re talking about American heroes, Ford served as a US Marine. Second, Otis is looking at the THREE-TIME Hotdog Eating Champion in Dawkins! THREE! Otis says he can suck ’em down like Coca Cola!
Whoa, okay, hold on. Idea! HOTDOG EATING CONTEST! Otis says no problem! He’ll take Dawkins down! There’s going to be a hotdog eating contest before their Six Man Tag match later? Hopefully there won’t be any upset stomachs tonight…
The Mysterios are backstage, when the Judgement Day attacks again!
Finn & Priest are sore losers! Finn TOSSES Rey over trunks while Priest SMACKS Dom off some! Finn gets a ladder, Priest scoops Dom, and they LAWN DART Dom into the ladder! Refs and security rush in but Finn tells them it is over when Finn says it’s over! Priest tells Rey that nothing will save him or Dom except giving in. Will the Mysterios made made to side with the Judgement Day?
The Miz VS AJ Styles!
Raw returns as The Miz makes his entrance. The bell rings and Miz rushes in, but Styles blocks the kick! Styles headlocks, Miz powers out but Styles runs Miz over. Styles runs but fakes Miz out to KICK him while he’s down. Styles then snapmares Miz to KICK him again! Styles drags Miz up to CHOP him in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Miz reverses, Styles comes back but Miz kitchen sink knees! Miz bumps Styles off buckles, fans boo but Miz throws haymakers. Miz whips Styles to ropes but Styles turns knee into roll-up! TWO, and Styles dropkicks Miz back down! Styles clotheslines Miz out of the ring, too!
Fans fire up and Styles throws up the Too Sweet. Styles slingshots to FOREARM Miz down! Styles is fired up as Raw goes picture in picture. Styles drags Miz up and puts him in the ring. Styles stalks Miz but Miz slips out again. The ring count climbs, is Miz going to run away again? Styles goes out to chase him down! Miz gets back in the ring and KICKS Styles as he slides in! Miz digs his boot into Styles’ face, springboard stomps him, then soaks up the heat. Styles sits up but Miz KICKS him! And KICKS! Miz fishhooks Styles’ face, then clamps on a chinlock. Styles endures, fights up, and throws elbows to get free.
Styles swings but into Miz’s A-LIST COMBINATION! Cover, TWO! Miz flexes and fans boo. Miz paces around, flexes more but fans still boo. They taunt him about his “TINY BALLS!” Miz goes back to Styles and says he has MASSIVE balls! But Styles ROCKS him with haymakers! Styles whips Miz corner to corner, Miz reverses, and Styles hits hard, chest first! Miz hurries to cover Styles, TWO! Miz is annoyed but he drags Styles up to bump him off buckles. Miz KICKS and throws haymakers on repeat. The ref reprimands, Miz runs corner to corner, but only into buckles! Miz falls, clutching his legs, and Raw returns to single picture.
Fans rally as Styles and Miz stir. Miz is back in the corner, he hobbles out but Styles throws hands! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, topping it off with a LARIAT! And SLIDING FOREARM! Fans fire up and Styles runs in at the corner, to hit a BIG clotheslines! then a fireman’s carry to an USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Styles is frustrated but fans rally up behind him. Miz wants mercy but Styles storms up on him. Miz YANKS Styles into buckles! Miz gets up, runs corner to corner, but into a clinch! Styles rolls Miz but Miz rolls through to BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Miz is frustrated but he glares at Styles as he stirs.
Miz drives knees into Styles’ leg. Miz steps through, Styles kicks Miz away! Styles is in a corner, Miz runs in but into BOOTS! Styles is on the apron, he springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Big or small, Miz’s nuts didn’t help against Styles’ guts! But wait! CIAMPA attacks! Why is the Blackhearted Tommaso Ciampa after Styles on Miz’s behalf? Ciampa POSTS Styles, then brings down his kneepad! Styles flounders back into the ring, for the PSYCHO- NO, Styles dodges the knee to PELE! And PELE again! Styles reels Ciampa in, but Miz gest the full nelson! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!! Miz gets the last word against Styles thanks to his Guardian Psycho! Will Ciampa watch out for the Hollywood A-Lister against Logan Paul, too?
Liv Morgan is here!
And after becoming the new Miss Money in the Bank, she cashed in on Ronda Rousey, and became the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! San Diego is fired up to see her have this moment, “You Deserve It!” Liv is already emotional as she has the mic, but she keeps it together to say thank you, “but WE deserve it!” Liv is so proud to be standing here as our NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! “All of my dreams finally came true, all thanks to one unbelievable night at Money in the Bank. To outclimb six of the greatest female competitors in WWE, in the hardest battle of my life. But do you guys know what got me through that? All of you guys!”
The fans have stayed with Liv on this journey every single step of the way, and she thanks us for that. We believed in her when she feels like she gave us nothing to believe in, and yet we still stayed with her. Liv is so excited now, and she wants us to know that we gave her the confidence she needed to win MITB and cash-in on the very same night, to defeat Ronda Rousey and become the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! “Saying that out loud, it literally, it takes my breath away. So I hope you guys understand that this? This isn’t just for me. This championship, this is for ALL OF US!” But then here comes Natalya!
Liv is surprised to see the Queen of Harts here, but Natty is smiling. “Liv, there’s one person here that you should be thank, and that’s me. I am the only reason, and I mean only reason, why you were able to cash in your MITB contract. That’s because I destroyed Ronda Rousey’s knee with the most dangerous submission in the WWE, the Sharpshooter.” Natty gets in the ring with Liv to say that while she’d like a thank you, she’d much rather have that SmackDown Women’s Championship! Liv says okay, but she feels like Natty is having a hard time accepting her loss. But since Liv is the new champion, it makes total sense that Natty would come after this giant target.
But since they’re both on SmackDown, if Natty really, really wants her chance, you know where to find her. But wait! Is that Carmella? Mella wants someone to explain to her why either of them are here? This may be about red, white and blue tonight, but this is Raw. So these two can take their “blue brand butts” back to SmackDown where they belong. Fans boo and Mella is honestly shocked that these two can even share a ring. If Liv came between Mella and the Raw title, she would smack her down just like she did Bianca Belair. Did you see that? It was so good. But no worries, Nat, there’s still time.
So Natty and Liv can take their business to Friday so the spotlight can be on Mella, the next Raw Women’s Champion. Um, didn’t she have enough? After all, all eyes were on Mella when she lost. But if Mella really wants Liv to go, make her go. That gives Mella an idea. Natty, you thinking what she’s thinking? Then okay! They’ll both make Liv leave! Liv fires off hands first! But that’s 2v1! They put Liv in a corner and stomp away, but here comes BIANCA BELAIR! The Raw Women’s Champion gets in, RAMS into Mella, then slingshots to fire off! The champions turn things around on Natty and Mella! Liv tosses Natty, Bianca DECKS Mella, and now Adam Pearce hurries out!
Pearce says it seems everyone wants to fight, so he officially gives these four a match! It will be Bianca & Liv VS Mella & Natty, and that is NOW! Will the RawEST Women’s Champion and the newest SmackDown Women’s Champion stand their ground and turn back the Most Beautiful and the BOAT?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS Carmella & Natalya!
Raw is picture-in-picture while the teams sort out. Natty tells fans to shut up, and Mella steps up against Bianca. Fans chant for “E S T!” as the bell rings and the two circle. Mella tells fans to shut up, then she ties up with Bianca. They go around, Bianca headlocks and grinds Mella, but Mella pulls hair. The ref reprimands, but Bianca hits a takeover. Bianca grinds Mella down but Mella headscissors back. Bianca kicks but can’t get free until she kips up. Mella is upset but Bianca eggs Mella on. They circle again, tie back up, and Mella waistlocks. Bianca switches, Mella elbows free, then headlocks Bianca.
Mella grinds, Bianca fights up as fans rally, and Bianca powers out to run Mella over! Mella scrambles away and tags in Natty. Natty wants Liv so Bianca obliges. Liv tags in and she circles with Natty. They tie up, Natty hits a headlock takeover but Liv headscissors. Natty kips free, and the two reset. Liv brushes herself off while Natty mockingly applauds. Liv kicks low, headlocks, and hits a takeover. Natty headscissors, Liv kips free, and the two reset again. Tags back to Bianca and Mella, and they go again. Bianca kicks low, bumps Mella off buckles, and Raw returns to single picture as Bianca headlocks.
Mella powers out, Bianca handsprings over and says kiss this! Things speed up, Bianca hurdles, but Mella drop son the roll! Cover, TWO, Bianca waistlocks and O’Conner Rolls! ONE, Bianca goes up the corner to say kiss this! Mella runs in, Bianca goes up and over to dropkick! And kip up! Fans fire up and Bianca tags Liv. The champs work together, Bianca whips Liv in to body block! Cover, TWO! Liv hurries after Mella but Mella tags in Natty. Natty runs in to trip Liv, float to a facelock, but Liv slips out to hammerlock and headlock. Natty powers out, Liv elbows her away. But Natty rebounds and SIT-DOWNS, then basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO!
Natty keeps on Liv but Liv wheelbarrows to victory roll! TWO, Liv dropkicks Natty down! Cover, TWO! Liv taunts Mella, whips Natty to ropes, but Natty reverses and Liv hits ropes chest first hard! Cover, TWO! Natty CLUBS Liv, SLAPS her, but Liv SLAPS back! It’s a brawl! Fans fire up, Natty hoists Liv up but Liv kicks and sunset flips! ONE, Natty has the legs! SHARPSHOOTER! Liv endures, reaches for Bianca, Bianca uses her hair as a lifeline! The ref reprimands but Liv has made it to the corner! Bianca tags in, then taunts Natty! Natty swings on her but gets run over! Bianca dropkicks Natty then reels her in! POWER- NO, RANA from Natty!
Bianca ducks the discus to BOOT Natty, then reel her in! Bianca suplexes, but Mella runs in! Bianca BOOTS Mella, but Natty gets free of the suplex to get the legs! Bianca kicks her away but Mella sneaks a tag! Bianca suplexes Natty again for the stalling suplex and SLAM! Natty scurries away, Bianca pursues, FABULOUS KICK into the post! Mella smiles and taunts Bianca while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Mella has Bianca down in a chinlock. Mella laughs as she leans on the hold but Bianca endures. Fans rally up and Bianca fights to move around. Mella shakes her head and become a backpack, but Bianca still stands! Bianca brings Mella around for a BACKBREAKER! Hot tag to Natty and she CLOBBERS Bianca! Natty drags Bianca away, bumps her off buckles, and fires off stomps! The ref counts, Natty lets off, and Bianca fights back! She hits Mella, BOOTS Natty, then dodges Natty to send her out! Fans fire up as Bianca crawls, but Natty gets back in! Natty gets a leg but Bianca leaps to tag Liv!
Liv dodges Natty, DECKS Mella, kicks Natty and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up with Liv and she runs in at Natty in the corner, SHINING WIZARD! Liv shoves Natty to run and FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, Mella breaks it! Mella talks trash on the new champ but Liv hits a CODE BREAKER on her! Natty hits a DISCUS! Cover, Bianca breaks it! Mella throws Bianca out and leaps, but into Bianca’s arms! Bianca aims but Mella slips off to POST her! Liv KNEES Mella, Natty rolls Liv! TWO, but Natty has the legs! SHARP- NO, Liv kicks Natty to ropes, ObLIVion!! Cover, Liv and Bianca wins!
Winners: Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan, by pinfall
The champions stand tall! Another great moment for the livliEST champions in WWE today, will they both move on to have the hottEST SummerSlams ever?
Raw returns to the cookout!
Otis and Gable talk hotdog eating strategy while other superstars, like Shelton Benjamin, “Doudrop” Piper Niven and others enjoy their meals. Veer Mahaan is even here. Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali decide to have a little fun with the Lion of India. Alexander leans over and taps Veer on the left shoulder, but then he and Ali both go to the right so that no one is there. And then they snatch his food! Veer is furious and he chases them down! MVP tells Omos that the takeaway from MITB is this: It took three former world champions and three future world champions to gang up on Omos because he is literally the biggest threat here!
Dana Brooke rushes in, but she’s being chased down by the usual 24/7 Championship hunters. Omos looks that way, and Reggie bumps into him! Not again! Omos TOSSES Reggie into the trash! The Profits see that and say, “SHEESH!” Then Zeke is here and says it is so beautiful here. The party is bumping, he is all Zeked Up. When he and his brothers were kid, they got into pie eating contests all the time. Really? Who won? Uh, well, let’s just say no one. Zeke would “Zeke” the pie all over the floor, Elrod would throw up after seeing that, then Elias would throw up after seeing that. A real barforama.
But anyway, isn’t it about time for the hotdog eating showdown? Hopefully the results are better than him and his brothers. But then the ketchup misfires all over Seth Rollins’ lace shirt. Zeke apologizes and dabs it off with the hotdog bun. Oh, there’s some in Rollins’ beard… Rollins glares at Zeke, but then laughs it off? The Profits and Zeke laugh with him, but then Rollins gets mad again. Rollins tastes the ketchup then heads off. Whoa, Seth is Zekeing out. Seth Zekein’ Rollins here. But Zeke is worried. Will the Visionary burn him down?
A cryptic video plays.
A church and candles. A gold medal, a license plate, some colorful armbands, a pair of taped-up glasses. Do you think you know who this is?
Seth Rollins VS Ezekiel!
Raw returns and Elias’ younger brother makes his entrance. The bell rings and Rollins fires off on Zeke for the ketchup! Zeke covers up but Rollins stomps away on him in the corner! The ref counts, Rollins lets off, and then he drags Zeke up to CHOP him! Zeke staggers away but Rollins bumps him off buckles. Rollins whips Zeke but Zeke reverses. Rollins tumbles up, back, and into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rollins bails out and Zeke hurries after him! Rollins hurries back in, Zeke chases after, but Rollins HOTSHOTS Zeke off ropes! Rollins then turns Zeke for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Rollins is annoyed but fans rally for Zeke. Rollins ROCKS Zeke with haymakers and forearms, then has Zeke in a corner. Rollins CHOPS, then whips corner to corner, but Zeke goes up and MULE KICKS Rollins away! Just like his brother! Zeke runs in to CHOP and fire off body shots and forearms! The ref counts but Zeke fires off more! Zeke whips, then FLAPJACKS Rollins! Rollins staggers up, into a CHOP! Zeke trophy lifts, but Rollins slips off to shove. Zeke tosses Rollins out to the floor! Zeke hurries after Rollins again but Rollins kicks low. Rollins snarls, runs in, but Zeke trophy lifts him to TOSS him into the timekeeper’s area! Zeke roars as Raw goes picture in picture!
Zeke takes a moment to catch his breath, then he gets in the ring. Zeke goes back out to fetch Rollins, stomping him before bringing him around. But Rollins POSTS Zeke! Rollins gets in the ring, lets the ring count climb, and Zeke gets in at 7 of 10! Rollins is annoyed, he drags Zeke up and turns him, for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Rollins clamps on with a chinlock, then shifts to a neck wrench. Rollins twists Zeke’s head but Zeke endures and reaches for ropes. Zeke fights up as fans rally, and Zeke throws elbows. Zeke is free, he runs, but Rollins follows to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!
Rollins huffs and puffs while Zeke goes to a corner. Rollins talks smack to the fans then runs corner to corner, but Zeke puts him on the apron! Rollins HOTSHOTS Zeke, then springboards, to FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Zeke is still in this and Rollins is frustrated. Rollins argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Rollins looms over Zeke, hearing the fans chanting for Elias’ brother. Rollins drags Zeke up and suplexes, but Zeke blocks! Raw returns to single picture as Zeke keeps fighting, to then suplex Rollins back! Both men are down and fans rally again. Rollins runs in but Zeke CLOBBERS Rollins!
Zeke starts to rally, he ducks a haymaker to lift Rollins for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Rollins flounders to a corner and Zeke runs in, STINGER SPLASH! Zeke keeps moving, STINGER SPLASH to the back! Then an Electric Chair Lift! Rollins slips off, runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO! Zeke is a bit frustrated and he has to catch his breath. Zeke aims at Rollins from across the way, runs in again, but no splash! BUCKLE SHOT! Rollins then goes up the corner to leap and- JUMP KNEE from Zeke! Cover, TWO! Zeke keeps going, he hits a FISHERMAN SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives and Zeke can’t believe it!
Zeke drags Rollins to the drop zone and he climbs up top. Fans fire up, but Rollins ROCKS Zeke first! Rollins throws more haymakers, then he climbs up after Zeke. Rollins brings Zeke around, but Zeke shoves Rollins away! Zeke adjusts but Rollins is right back up! Zeke fights Rollins again, slips under to get the Electric Chair, SPIN-OUT BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives again, and Zeke is learning why Rollins is a Grand Slam Champion. Zeke drags Rollins up, fans continue to rally, and Rollins kicks low. Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW, but Zeke ROCKS Rollins again. Rollins ROCKS Zeke, Zeke ROCKS Rollins back!
Rollins ROCKS Zeke, Zeke ROCKS Rollins, we go faster and faster and fans fire up! Zeke CHOPS and forearms but Rollins HEABUTTS! ROLLING- NO, roll-up! Cover, TWO! Zeke hurries to cradle, TWO! Rollins ROLLING ELBOWS Zeke, then gives him the DREAM- NO, Zeke backslides! TWO!! CURB STOMP OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Rollins wins!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall
What a Freakin’ Zekein match! Rollins gets revenge for his ruined wardrobe, but will this help him get back up towards a title in time for SummerSlam? Will Elias and Elrod be there for their brother to cheer him up?
Wait, Rollins turns to look at Zeke again. Rollins isn’t done with Zeke and aims from the corner! But Riddle hits an RKO outta nowhere!! The Bro gets his own revenge! Will Rollins have to worry about The Stallion before moving on to the gold?
Raw returns to the cookout!
The hotdog eating contest is red hot as Dawkins and Otis chow down. It’s hard to say who is in the lead, but when time is up… AKIRA TOZAWA wins! His 48 dwarfs Otis’ 23 and Dawkins’ 22! Gable says there’s no way! No way some little guy beat his tree trunk! Otis say she doesn’t feel so good. But Theory says the Academy has to hold it together, the Six Man Tag is coming up. See you all in the ring. Gable says he can just get some Pepto. But will that be enough to settle Otis’ upset stomach before having to go toe-to-toe with the All Mighty?
Six Man Tag: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits VS (Austin) Theory & The Alpha Academy!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is the NEW United States Champion, while Ford & Dawkins were almost Undisputed Tag Team Champions. Will Lashley help the Profits get back up and get after those titles again? Or will the youngest Mr. MITB ever be taking an extra special selfie here tonight?
Raw returns and the Profits make their entrance. Theory makes his entrance next, followed by the Academy. The teams sort out and Dawkins starts against Theory. They circle, tie up, and Theory headlocks. Dawkins powers out, but Theory runs him over and flexes at Lashley. Fans boo but Theory just soaks it up. Theory and Dawkins circle again, tie back up, and Dawkins waistlocks. Theory elbows free, throws haymakers, then whips corner to corner. Dawkins reverses and runs in to CYCLONE SPLASH, then ENZIGURI! Dawkins covers, ONE!! Dawkins keeps on Theory but Theory powers him to the corner and Otis tags in.
Fans chant “We Want The Smoke!” but Otis clubs away on Dawkins, to then short arm LARIAT! Tag to Gable, he drags Dawkins up to get a leg and DRAGON SCREW! Then Gable stands Dawkins back up, for another DRAGON SCREW! Gable YANKS the leg, then says “A Thank Yew~!” Gable brings Dawkins up but Dawkins fires hands! Gable keeps Dawkins from his corner but Dawkins sunset flips. Gable rolls through to get an ANKLE LOCK! Dawkins rolls through to get free! Tag to Ford! Ford GAMANGIRIS Gable, goes right up and CROSSBODIES! Ford keeps going, sidestep and follow to a LARIAT! STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Tag to Dawkins, Otis runs in and the Profits dump him out. Theory rushes in, into Lashley’s COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley and Ford get Theory and Gable, for double stalling suplexes! They both salute as veterans of the US Armed Forces, for a DOUBLE SLAM! Fans fire up and Dawkins runs to get a boost and FLY onto Theory and the Academy! Fans fire up with the #AllMightyProfits as Raw goes picture in picture!
Theory and the Academy stir while Ford rallies the fans. A ring count climbs, so Ford goes out to AX HANDLE Gable! Ford puts Gable in, keeps him from his corner, but Gable powers Ford back. Otis tags in, the Academy whip and CLOBBER Ford! Otis flexes at Lashley, Gable says, “A Thank Yew!” Otis drags Ford up, CLUBS him hard on the back, then looms over him. Otis stands on Ford’s back at the ropes! The ref counts, Otis steps off, and Gable gets cheap shots in! So does Theory! “A Thank Yew!” Otis drags Ford up to whip him hard into a corner! Otis HEADBUTTS Ford down, then CHOKES him on ropes!
The ref counts, Otis lets off at 4, but now Theory CHOKES Ford! Theory gets away with it as Gable tells fans to SHOOSH. Otis stomps Ford, drags him over, and tags in Theory. They mug Ford, Theory brings Ford up to snap suplex, then he floats to a cover. TWO but Theory clamps on with a chinlock. Ford endures, even as Theory leans on him. Ford fights up, Theory knees him low, then whips him hard into a corner! Corner clothesline and a tag to Otis, and Otis taunts Ford. Otis brings Ford up to CLUB him down, and Raw returns to single picture as Otis hoists Ford up. FALL AWAY SLAM! Ford flounders while Otis flexes.
Fans boo but Otis takes a moment to settle his stomach. Otis SPLASHES Ford in the corner, drags him over to the corner, and tags in Theory. They mug Ford, Theory snapmares and stomps Ford! Cover, TWO! Theory clamps on with another chinlock but Ford endures. Fans rally, Ford grits his teeth and fights up again, but Theory knees him low. Theory taunts, but Ford wrenches out to DDT Theory down! Gable rushes in but Ford throws him out! Ford reaches out but Gable trips Dawkins to deny the tag! Theory then keeps Ford from Lashley while Dawkins chases Gable. Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins in front of commentary!
Fans boo but Theory and the Academy have control. Theory drags Ford up, taunts Lashley, and back suplexes. Ford lands on his feet, dodges Theory, hot tag to Lashley! Theory runs away to tag Gable! Lashley TOSSES Gable! And runs him over! Lashley rallies while Theory winces, and Lashley TOSSES Gable to a corner. Lashley run sin but Gable elbows him, Gable runs in, into a LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley DECKS Otis, Theory runs away gain. Dawkins POUNCES Theory over the announce desk! Lashley is surprised, too! Lashley nods, then scoops Gable to hit a POWERSLAM! Cover, Otis breaks it!
But that splash hurt Otis’ gut! Ford gets in, runs in but Otis TOSSES Ford! Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins with an elbow, but Lashley SPEARS Otis down! Ford is up, FROM THE HEAVENS!! Otis flounders out, Gable rolls Ford! CHAOS THEORY!! Gable dodges Lashley, gets him for an EXPLODER, and then heads up top! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Lashley survives and Gable is upset with the count. Gable stalks Lashley, waistlocks, but Lashley bucks him away. Lashley dodges to SPEAR Gable down! Cover, Lashley and the Profits win!
Winners: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits, by pinfall
A mighty win for a mighty champion! Will this momentum help Lashley defeat Theory again? Will the Profits be able to cash in on a rematch of their own? As for Otis, he staggers into the ring, and BARFS UP HOTDOGS! Everyone is disgusted and shocked, will Gable’s number one guy be feeling more like number two?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
But Becky tells Megan that no one gives a damn about anything but Big Time. Becky isn’t sharing spotlights just because Otis ate one too many hotdogs. Is Becky upset about her loss at MITB? Or just about tonight’s No Holds Barred? Becky IS upset, her body is broken to bits, and she is mad as hell. Ever since Asuka came back, anything that could go wrong has gone wrong! Becky shouldn’t have had to fight her way into a Triple Threat at Hell in a Cell, she should’ve just had a 1v1 rematch, but she still did. She shouldn’t have had to fight her way into the MITB Ladder match, but she did! And y’know what that makes her? A fighter!
Asuka can try and ruin Becky’s life, but No Holds Barred means no disqualifications, no restrictions, and NO holding back on Asuka as Becky makes her way back to HER Raw Women’s Championship! So Becky IS ready for Asuka, but Asuka isn’t ready for No Holds Barred Becks!
Uncle Sam is here?
Oh, it’s Uncle TRUTH! He waves to the fans as he goes to the ring, and he’s going to give us a real Fourth of July Celebration! What will that look like? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Truth says let’s get the USA chants going! “U S A!” “WHAT?” “U S A! U S A!” Truth likes that. Now, WWE Universe, allow him to introduce himself. He is the one, the only, UNCLE SAM! Uh, sure. Truth says that today is his favorite holiday. “Today, we celebrate our Independence Day! Now, now, now. As we all know from the movie, Independence Day, today we are here to honor those brave American heroes saved the Earth from the alien invasion back in 1996! Will Smith! Jeff Goldblum! And we can’t forget our favorite American hero, Vivica A. Fox. As we honor them, I would like to read my favorite passage from the Constitution. ‘Welcome ta Earf! BOP!'”
But wait, that ominous music! It’s LUDWIG KAISER! Imperium is here on Raw and Ludwig says if Truth is done with this ridiculous charade, he would like to introduce us to “a man who is actually worthy of celebration! Stand and pay respect to YOUR WWE Intercontinental Champion… DER RING GENERAL…! GUNTHER!!” And with that, the Intercontinental Champion invades Raw! Gunther storms up to the ring with Ludwig at his side. Truth gets the “U S A!” chants going, but Gunther steps up to “Uncle Sam,” to SLAP the wig off his head! The ref has Gunther back up, and this is a match now!
Gunther w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS R-Truth!
The bell rings, Truth tries to adjust his wig, but Gunther BOOTS him down! Gunther drags Truth up to CLUB him down, stomp him down, then egg him on. Gunther drags Truth up again but Truth fires off forearms! Fans fire up as Truth throws knees then runs, but the scissor kick misses! LARIAT! Gunther drags Truth up, reels him in, GENERAL BOMB!! High stack, Gunther wins!
Winner: GUNTHER, by pinfall
The Intercontinental Champion dominates Truth, making even Raw sacred! Will
Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.
Sarah asks what her reaction to her friend, Liv, cashing in on Ronda Rousey and becoming champion. Well, just like last week, Alexa says she has no friends. But she is still happy for Liv. We all knew Liv would be champion one day. But Alexa realized it has been way too long since she held something other than Lily. Becky and Mella want Bianca, but maybe we need some Twisted Bliss. And imagine if Lily got a matching toy belt so they can go around together. Asuka walks in and pokes fun at Alexa. Alexa isn’t next to face Bianca, it will be Asuka after she beats down Becky in the main event! Alexa isn’t so sure, but who wins that race to the title match in Tennessee?
No Holds Barred: Asuka VS Becky Lynch!
The Empress of Tomorrow and Big Time Becks have been going back and forth for months, from Hell in a Cell to Money in the Bank. But now, with SummerSlam on the horizon, both of them agree this has to end! Who survives this fight when there’s nothing to hold them back?
Becky gets things started already, as she brings out a table! Becky’s ready to get extreme, will things only escalate from here? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Becky’s even brought out chairs and made a pile of them! Asuka makes her entrance and not only is she wearing a Jason Voorhees mask, she’s got a trash can! Becky is wary as Asuka brings that can into the ring, and then rushes her with a chair! Asuka stomps the chair down, the bell rings, Becky dodges the can but then Asuka CHUCKS it at her! SLIDING KICK! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives but Asuka stomps her down. Asuka then takes Becky’s chair to SMACK her with it! Asuka goes out and fetches more of those chairs Becky brought, but Becky kicks Asuka back. Becky wedges a chair in a corner, though that proves rather troublesome.
Asuka runs in with a chair! Becky blocks the shot, but Asuka then BACKHANDS Becky down! Asuka fires up, sets the chair up, and she drop toeholds. Becky catches herself from hitting the seat and throws Asuka at the chair. Asuka stops herself, mule kicks Becky, but Becky gets her chair from the corner. Becky resets the chair, but Asuka kicks her into it! Asuka brings Becky around but Becky blocks the suplex! Becky whips Asuka, Asuka reverses, but Becky hurdles the chair! Asuka uses the chair to go up and SHOTGUN Becky into the corner chair! Asuka then headlocks to BULLDOG Becky off the standing chair!
Becky goes to the apron but Asuka hurries after her. Asuka fires off fists but Becky blocks the German Suplex! Becky elbows Asuka, Asuka tries a powerbomb! Becky clings desperately to the ropes, then she stomps Asuka on the apron! And then APRON LEG DROP! Asuka flops down but Becky drags her up. BECKSPLODER onto the chair pile! Becky then hurries to clear off the announce desk! Fans fire up as Becky takes a chair to SMACK Asuka on the back! Asuka JAMS Becky from below, and hurries after Becky. Asuka runs in, HIP ATTACK into a chair and through barriers!! Fans lose their minds while Raw goes picture in picture!
Asuka grits her teeth and rises up. Asuka fires up, drags Becky up and puts her back in the ring. Cover, TWO! Becky bails out again but Asuka pursues. Becky gets a kendo stick and SMACKS Asuka with it! And again! And again! Becky soaks up the heat while Asuka crawls, and then Becky SMACKS her again! Asuka kicks low, but Becky blocks the suplex. Becky throws body shots, but Asuka RAMS her into steel steps! Asuka uses the kendo stick to SMACK Becky now! And again, and again! And again! Becky scrambles over the barriers to get away but Asuka pursues! Fans get an even closer experience as they brawl!
Becky hip drops Asuka, flexes, and fans fire up as Becky CLUBS Asuka along the way. Asuka ROCKS Becky with a stack of cups!? Asuka fires off forearms on Becky, then kicks and SOBATS her back to ringside. Asuka tosses Becky over barriers, but then Becky mule kicks Asuka down. Becky puts Asuka in the ring, looks under the ring, and brings out another table! But then she says no more tables, she puts the chairs in the ring! But Asuka WRECKS Becky with a dropkick! Asuka puts Becky in, brings the last few chairs in, only for Becky to WRECK her back! Becky drags Asuka up and in while fans chant for the table.
Becky pulls the chair from the corner out and sets it on Asuka. Then another chair, SMACKS the chair into Asuka’s chest! Becky has Asuka covered in chairs before she climbs up. But Asuka gets up to JAM Becky! Asuka makes sure the chair pile is nice and big, then she goes up after Becky! SUPERPLEX onto the chair pile!! Becky and Asuka are both down but they’re somehow both okay to continue. Asuka covers, TWO!! Becky survives and “This is Awesome!” as the two brawl on their knees! They go forearm for forearm, and Asuka dribbles Becky off the chairs! Asuka gets her trash can back, and she puts it on Becky! To KICK Becky over!
Asuka sits Becky up to KICK and KICK and KICK! And punch and BACKHAND! Becky somehow stays up, Asuka drums the top then goes up top! Asuka leaps to missile dropkick Becky down! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives being canned and smashed, but Asuka has the fans fired up for the table! Asuka goes out, brings out a table from below the ring, but Becky attacks her first! The table leans against the ring while Becky RAMS Asuka into steel steps. Becky puts this table in the ring and she throws the trash can out. Becky sets up the table but Asuka CLUBS her down! Asuka CLUBS Becky more but Becky throws body shots. And then a CHAIR SHOT!
Becky finishes setting up the table, but Asuka clamps on with an ASUKA LOCK!! Becky RAMS Asuka into buckles, gets free, but Asuka puts her outside! Asuka DECKS Becky, goes out after her, and then puts her back in. Asuka goes looking under the ring again, and she brings out… An umbrella? A Kabuki style umbrella! Asuka brings that in to SMACK, but Becky blocks! Asuka kicks, GREEN MIST! But the umbrella blocks most of it! Asuka still ROUNDHOUSES Becky down! Cover, TWO! Asuka puts Becky on the table and fans fire up as Asuka climbs! But Becky ROCKS Asuka first! Becky has an Electric Chair Lift but Asuka fights back!
Becky puts Asuka back on the corner, goes up with her, SUPER MANHANDLE SLAM through the table!!! Cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
This was a Big Time No Holds Barred battle, and in the end, Becky was ready for Asuka! She is fired up now that she’s back on top, but will she get back to the very top before the summer is over?
After the disappointing ending to a great PPV this weekend, Raw After MITB turned out great through and through! I will say, it was interesting to see some SmackDown stars show up here, but I suppose that just makes this episode feel even bigger. Gunther’s whole thing on RawDown has been about “I’m the foreigner Heel, I don’t like Americans, hate me for that reason,” so him beating up Truth while Truth cosplays Uncle Sam made sense in that context. Gunther is going to dominate for a long time, so this did help build some Heel heat that he had to go and ruin the fun just so he could get a win.
And in the case of Liv Morgan showing up, this was so we could all celebrate and she could give her first promo as champion before fully moving over to SmackDown. Liv & Bianca VS Natty & Mella was a very good match, and it’s clear what the plans for SummerSlam are. Mella isn’t giving up on the Raw title, and Natty wants another shot at the SmackDown title now that it isn’t Ronda as champion. Both matches will be good for SummerSlam, but I would think that both champions retain. Bianca beat Mella already, I don’t see her losing the second time. And Natty makes for a solid first defense for Liv to fully establish herself.
Good stuff out of Mysterios VS Judgement Day, and a great tribute to Eddie Guerrero with how that match finished. But of course Judgement Day attacked them backstage to keep this feud going. Combine that with the cryptic videos that are about Edge, I wonder if Edge and Rey join forces again after years and years, and they have an awesome tag match against Finn & Priest at SummerSlam. Miz had a good promo to try and reason with Logan Paul, but you can bet it won’t affect Logan at all. Styles VS Miz happening again was okay, it still turned out to be a really good match, and it seems if Logan isn’t going to join Miz, Ciampa is more than open to the idea. Maybe we get Miz & Ciampa VS Styles & Logan at SummerSlam to settle everything at once.
Good ol’ WWE giving us another classic holiday themed party. Good reason for everyone to be around and interacting with each other, such as the 24/7 Division running through and Reggie getting tossed by Omos again. Alexander & Ali working together to prank Veer could just be for laughs or it could be WWE’s goofy way of starting a feud between them. Either way, we need the Heart & Soul of 205 Live to reunite as a tag team to give more teams for the Undisputed Tag Team Champions to face. It was pretty clever for the cookout to also give us motivation behind Rollins VS Zeke, which turned out to be a great match. Rollins wins, of course, but I like that Riddle got the better of him. They’re definitely going to be a SummerSlam match since neither is Mr. MITB.
And speaking of that dumb move from MITB, Theory did a decent job of cutting a promo as Mr. MITB. Of course Theory wants his US Championship back to follow in Rollins’ footsteps from when Rollins was dual world and US Champion. We got a great six man, and great to see the Faces win as they all move towards SummerSlam. I’d hope Theory doesn’t win the US title back, Lashley deserves to reign longer than four weeks. And Theory should really focus on his cash-in, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Theory takes a count-out loss to stay healthy. But of course there had to be barf tonight. The second the hotdog eating contest was a thing, I knew this was going to end up like Titus O’Neil on Thanksgiving after losing to Cesaro and his swing.
I’m actually glad Asuka interrupted Alexa Bliss before she just repeated what she said last week. Asuka VS Becky was a great No Holds Barred match, though it might’ve had a rough start as the two tried to make things work when that chair just wouldn’t stay in the corner. I really liked that Asuka brought out the umbrella, it was a partial callback to Kabuki Warriors with Kairi Sane, and it worked out to be a shield to the mist, though the timing was a bit off. Becky still ended up a bit green, but the finish was great stuff. Becky is back, and I suppose Mella getting the SummerSlam match isn’t a given. We’re almost getting an exact replay of last year if Becky were to take Mella’s spot from her on the show, who knows what happens.
My Score: 8.5/10
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