Mitchell’s NJPW Power Struggle Results & Report! (11/6/21)
The Power Struggle returns!
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
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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (3/20/23)
Monday is ImPAULsive!
The Road to WrestleMania gets even bigger!
On the same night Roman Reigns returns to Raw, Logan Paul hosts a special edition of his talk show, with The Miz as special guest!
- Austin Theory VS Montez Ford; Theory wins.
- Omos w/ MVP VS Mustafa Ali; Omos wins.
- Dominik Mysterio w/ Damian Priest VS Johnny Gargano w/ Dexter Lumis; Dom wins.
- Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Rhea Ripley; Rhea wins.
- Chad Gable w/ Otis VS Ricochet w/ Braun Strowman; Ricochet wins.
- Chelsea Green & Piper Niven VS Asuka & Bianca Belair; win.
PLAY BY PLAY
Kevin Owens is here!
The fans fire up as the Prizefighter heads to the ring, but it turns out, he’s not alone! SAMI ZAYN is here, too! The best frenemies reunited on SmackDown, so they’re rolling together here on Raw! Fans sing Sami’s song and then cheer for “SAMI! SAMI!” Kevin says, “I think they like you.” Fans then chant for “KO! KO!” Sami says, “Sounds like they like you, too, pal.” Kevin appreciates them cheering, and Sami says it feels really, really, really good to come out here on the same page with Kevin again. And he didn’t get a chance to say this last week, but Sami says he gets it.
After Elimination Chamber, for weeks Sami came up to Kevin, talking about not being friends and working together, he had it wrong. He thought of it as a business transaction, and that’s not how they’ve done this. They’ve needed each other their whole careers, whether as friends or enemies, they’ve always used each other to get to the next level, and they did it as brothers. Kevin says Sami is right about that, but here’s something Sami might not understand. For 20 years, Kevin’s been Sami’s biggest fan. Whether fighting each other or fighting alongside each other, Kevin’s been Sami’s biggest fan. Whenever he would be asked who is the best wrestler he’s been in the ring with, he’d say Sami Zayn.
So for the last six months, it was frustrating to see Sami in the Bloodline, being held under Roman’ Reigns’ thumb, when the truth is, Sami is better than all of them! He outgrew the Bloodline right away! Kevin knew it, the Bloodline knew it, and the FANS knew it! Kevin couldn’t take seeing Sami stay under Roman. But Sami got through to Kevin, and Kevin realized it was time to get over that and take down the Bloodline together. Sami says they both know what comes next. They look to the WrestleMania sign! And here come the Usos! Jimmy & Jey glare right at Sami & Kevin, and they have mics of their own to speak their minds.
Fans boo but Jey says, “Look at ’em! You see what I see?” Jimmy sees ’em, Uce. That right there is a backstabber! Sami, what you whispering about? Kevin’s Sami’s biggest fan, they like you, too! You two are just gonna backstab each other! They’re the kind of family that cuts at each other’s throats! Sami says they’re gonna talk about family with cutthroats and backstabbers, we all know it is Jey’s dream to get back at Roman Reigns! Jimmy says Sami’s the only one dreaming! Wake up! The two of them staring at the Mania sign like something’s gonna happen there. Nothing’s gonna happen there. NOTHING!
Kevin says let’s just cut to the chase. We all know where this is going, what they’re thinking. And by the sound of it, the fans are thinking the same thing! There’s only one way to settle this, and only one place to do it: The Grandest Stage of Them All! Jimmy & Jey as brothers VS these brothers, Kevin & Sami, for the Undisputed Tag Team titles at WrestleMania! Fans chant “YES! YES! YES!” Jimmy says the Usos are the greatest team in the world! Kevin & Sami don’t deserve anything! They’ve been on the same page for three minutes. The Usos have been down since day one! There won’t be a title match at WrestleMania!
Jey says, “To be honest, though… This might be our one shot to put this, uh, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens problem in the dirt. So yeah! Brother VS Brother at WrestleMania! WE ACCEPT!” In fact, why wait? The Usos rush the ring and the brawl is on! Kevin has Jimmy. Jey has Sami, but Jimmy POSTS Kevin and Sami TOSSES Jey! Jimmy then runs in to TOSS Sami! Sami throws hands, the Usos mug Sami, but Kevin CLOBBERS Jimmy into the timekeeper’s area! Now the Canadians mug Jey! They put Jey in the ring, Jey runs, into a SUPERKICK! And then Sami sets up, HELLUVA- NO, Jimmy bails Jey out!
Fans boo but the Usos regroup and grab chairs! But refs rush out, and a SUV pulls up backstage. The rest of the Bloodline arrives! Solo Sikoa & Paul Heyman get the door for the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns! Kevin & Sami dare the Usos to do something, but the Usos retreat to regroup with the Bloodline. But the match is made all the same! Will the Bloodline stand or crumble in Hollywood?
Austin Theory VS Montez Ford!
The Now United States Champion didn’t like all the jokes made at his expense, and he took it out on Angelo Dawkins. But will he be able to do the same to the other half of the Profits? Or will A-Town go down this close to WrestleMania?
Raw returns and Ford makes his entrance. Dawkins sees him out to the ramp then falls back, as Ford did for Dawkins last week. The bell rings and Theory circles with Ford. Fans chant, “We Want The Smoke!” Ford and Theory tie up, Theory headlocks, but Ford powers up. Theory holds on tight, but Ford tries again. Ford gets free, but Theory runs him over! Theory does the running man then says, “All Day.” Fans boo but Theory talks trash on Ford. Ford ties up with Theory, headlocks back, but Theory powers out. Ford leaps over Theory, then CLOBBERS him! Fans fire up while Theory is dazed. Ford says, “You Can’t See Me!”
Ford stalks Theory, but Theory throws body shots and haymakers! Theory CHOKES Ford on the ropes! The ref counts, Theory lets off, but Theory storms up to bump Ford off buckles. Theory stomps away on Ford, the ref counts, but Theory lets off at 4. Fans boo but Theory soaks it all up. Theory then brings Ford up, but Ford turns things around and gives all those stomps back! Theory dodges the haymaker to kick and whip, but Ford reverses and follows to LARIAT! Theory stands, Ford clotheslines Theory up and out! Fans fire up, and Ford TOSSES Theory over the barriers! Fans fire up more as Ford celebrates with them and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Theory has Ford up top, but Ford fights back with body shots! Ford ROCKS Theory, Theory holds onto ropes to stay up, but Ford CLAWS his face then DECKS him! Ford stands up to CROSSBODY! Both men are down and fans fire up! Theory and Ford stand, Theory storms up but Ford counter punches! And again! Ford rallies with big clotheslines, then he dodges to UPPERCUT! Ford hits a BIG back suplex, to a handspring, “You Can’t See Me!” STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Theory survives but Ford has the fans behind him. Ford waits on Theory to stand, and then clinches, but Theory elbows free!
Theory brings Ford in, Ford wrenches out and ROCKS Theory! Theory rebounds to BOOT! Ford ENZIGURIS in return! Theory staggers, but he still fireman’s carries! Ford slips free to DDT! Theory bails out and sputters, but Ford kips up to then FLY!! Direct hit at the ramp and St. Louis is thunderous! Ford puts Theory back in, climbs up the corner, and FROM THE HEAVEN- NO, Ford has to roll through as Theory moves! Somersault SHOTGUN! Theory calls his shot, fireman’s carries, A-TOWN DOWN!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
One miscalculation from Ford and Theory pulls out the victory! But as close as this was, will Theory find himself struggling against the living legend that is John Cena?
Theory gets the mic to say, “He didn’t believe in me, and now he does. And John, you don’t believe in me. But at WrestleMania, you will!” Theory points to the sign, will WrestleMania belong to The Now?
The Bloodline regroups in the private suite.
The Usos sit with Roman, and he says that wasn’t the best start to the night. Are they good? They’re good. Well, it looked like they took a beating. Well, yeah, a few shots. But y’know what? Nothing can hurt Jimmy or hit him harder than being torn away from his brother. Nothing! And then having to sit here and answer to it like it’s his fault! Is Jimmy standing up to Roman? “I will never forgive Sami Zayn for this.” At Mania, the Usos got him. Roman sure hopes so. He really does. “Wise Man!” “Yes, My Tribal Chief?” “Bring me Adam Pearce.” “Yes, My Tribal Chief.” Heyman heads out, as do Jimmy and Solo, but Roman tells Jey to stay.
Jey sits closer with Roman now, but what will the Tribal Chief have to say to him?
Raw returns as Roman and Jey continue to sit.
Roman says, “It’s been a minute. Haven’t seen you. Haven’t heard from you. I got to beg your brother to get some answers. And now you’re back, making decisions. In order to make decisions, you gotta be part of the Bloodline. Are you with us? Are you Bloodline? Are you still my family?” Jey says he is with Roman. He is Bloodline, Uce. The two look at each other, eye to eye, and Roman says, “I hope so. So I’ma let you do you. I’ll see you later.” Jey nods and goes to stand up, but then Roman puts a hand on his knee. “I love you.” Jey goes, and Heyman returns. “My Tribal Chief.” “Yes, Wise Man?” “Did you find out the answers you were looking for?” Roman says yes.
BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!
As first announced on SmackDown, there will be two Fatal 4 Way Tag Team showcase matches! While the women’s division is competing for their spots, the four men’s teams are decided! The Street Profits VS The Viking Raiders VS The Alpha Academy VS Braun Strowman & Ricochet!
Backstage interview with Adam Pearce.
Byron Saxton is with the WWE Official, and asks for some insight about this showcase matches. Yes, this is a great opportunity to showcase the best tag teams in the men’s and women’s divisions, and- Chelsea Green asks to talk to the manager. Hi, Chelsea, it’s him, Pearce. Then Chelsea wants him to know that she just made matching gear for herself and her tag team partner, Carmella, but Carmella isn’t available tonight! Yes, he knows, so- So he’ll have no problem to agreeing to this new tag partner she found, someone who has no love lost for Bianca Belair and Asuka. In comes Piper Niven!
Chelsea introduces Piper, and says she will help Chelsea destroy the competition. Talk to whoever you have to in order to make this official. For what feels like the thousandth time, Pearce is the one. He is the general manager, he makes things official, and he- Well if he’s so official, then go ahead and make it official that these two are in the Women’s Fatal 4 Way Showcase! That’s what he was in the middle of doing! Oh! Finalizing? Do you know who she is?! She is Chelsea green, she is a star, and you do not want to make her angry. Don’t make her go on social media and at WWE to put her on blast. Or worse, walk him! Put her in! ‘Kay, bye.
Pearce sighs, but at the very least, Chelsea and Piper are going to see if they’re a worthy duo against the EST and the Empress of Tomorrow.
It’s a tale of the tape!
“WrestleMania has played host to some of the biggest collisions in WWE history. And this year, two titans are set for a colossal showdown.” Brock Lesnar has used his natural physical gifts for roughly 20 years. He is 6’3″ and 285 pounds, with a wingspan of 81 inches, Lesnar has the ultimate tools to deliver suplexes and the F5. So it is no surprise that he has achieved so many accolades: seven-time WWE Champion, three-time Universal Champion, two-time Royal Rumble winner. He even dominated the octagon to become UFC Heavyweight Champion. It is clear that Lesnar is capable of decimating anyone he’s faced.
But he’s never faced someone like Omos. The Nigerian Giant’s sheer size made him a spectacle upon arrival. 7’3″, 416 pounds, making him dwarf even Khali, Kane and the Undertaker. The 87 inch reach gives him a foot of advantage over the average boxer, and his 14.5 inch hands are twice the size of a normal man’s. Omos has already cemented himself as a force of nature in the WWE. These two have all the components to overwhelm the ordinary competitor, but they’re both far from ordinary. This will be a battle unlike any other, on the only stage big enough to contain them!
Omos w/ MVP VS Mustafa Ali!
If that tale of the tape wasn’t enough for you, then prepare to see the Nigerian Giant in action! Will the Beacon be broken this close to WrestleMania?
The bell rings and Ali tries to reason with Omos. Ali believes in positivity now, and he will win with a smile on his face. Omos SHOVES Ali all the way to the corner! Omos talks trash on Ali, then CLOBBERS him! Ali flounders and Omos roars. Dolph Ziggler is watching backstage, he is not impressed by Ali’s overenthusiasm. Omos drags Ali up to MOUNTAINTOP SLAM!! Cover, Omos wins!
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
MVP gets the mic and says the Nigerian Giant fears no man, animal or beast. But Brock Lesnar will learn to fear the Nigerian Giant at WrestleMania! But will The Beast be able able to build Suplex City on the huge foundation that is this mountain?
Security knocks on Logan Paul’s door.
Logan Paul and his entourage head out, and Miz walks over for a handshake. Miz was hoping to go over the questions for tonight, since Logan will surely want have him, this year’s host of WrestleMania, as his guest on ImPAULsive TV tonight. Yeah, no, hard pass. Logan leaves Miz hanging and heads to gorilla, but will he regret showing up on Raw tonight?
Logan Paul heads to the ring.
Fans are torn as “the Maverick” is ready to host the Raw debut of his talk show. “EY YOOO, ST. LOUIS~! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get a little ImPAULsive, shall we?” Logan knows last week, Seth Rollins said that the fans don’t want Logan here. Well too bad because tonight, you’re in HIS house! ImPAULsive TV, baby! Boo all you want, but here’s the reality, y’all. He doesn’t have to be here. He doesn’t. He’s made his millions off his name and his brands, but he’s here because he loves it. He hears you, and sadly, y’all don’t love him. Maybe two people do: his dad, who he dragged to St. Louis, and that kid who had the “Drink Prime” sign. Much love, kid.
But the rest of y’all, no matter how many times he gets on the mic for their entertainment, no matter how many of these “superstars” he beats up, the fans will never respect him. But guess what? He doesn’t care! It isn’t his fault you DORKS refuse to see the amount of talent standing in front of you! Logan is a 360 degree entertainer, there is nothing he can’t do, there is no seat he can’t fill, there is no person on this roster he can’t compete with. Whether you like him or not, yes, he IS that good. That’s why he didn’t invite anyone to be his guest tonight. Because he can do it all! And did you think any of his celebrity friends would come to a place like St. Louis?
“Two words: Get real!” They’d be outta here quicker than the St. Louis Rams! Oh, sorry, the LA Rams! In fact, he’s looking to joining the Rams back in LA when he challenged “your hear,” Seth Rollins, to a match at WrestleMania, April 1st, Logan’s 28th birthday. Happy birthday to himself, he gets to kick some ass. But jokes aside, the match will be great. Rollins is top three in the business. But Logan was talking with his brother, Jake, and Jake made a good point. It is hard to be afraid of a guy named “Seth.” Seths are nice guys. Seth Rogan, Seth Curry, though he’s not as good as Steph Curry, but hey.
And maybe, if Rollins hadn’t started this beef, they could’ve been friends! But now, Logan just wants to see himself knock Rollins out again. Actually, can we do that? Can we get a replay of him knocking Rollins out? It was two weeks ago, Rollins gave Miz a superkick and then Logan hit his One Lucky Punch. Do you guys like Rollins? Let’s see that again. Oh, so good! Rollins looked so dumb. Okay, one more time! Put some production value on it. BOP! SMACK! WHAM! Beautiful! Like watching Picasso paint. Logan could see that all day! But then Logan’s mic gets cut? Logan isn’t sure what’s going on here. Did the production team not get the mics right?
Fans cheer that Logan can’t be heard, but he just trades mic. But wait! Rollins is in the production truck! He “apologizes” to “Mr. Paul” about that. He isn’t sure what’s wrong. Logan’s audio isn’t working, the video isn’t working. What could the problem be? HAHAHAHAHAHA! Now the real question, Logan, is how on Earth are we gonna save this terribly awful episode of ImPAULsive TV? Any ideas? OH! Rollins has one. HAHAHAHAHA! “BURN IT DOWN~!” See you soon, Logan! HAHAHAHA! Rollins struts all the way from the truck to gorilla, in a leopard print outfit, too. Logan mocks the fans singing as tone deaf.
Rollins heads to the ring and fans sing more, “OH~ OHH~ OHHHH~!” Logan says St. Louis can’t keep a football team and they can’t keep a tune. And Rollins’ outfit is stupid. Rollins stands with Logan in the ring as fans sing, has the mic, but then TACKLES Logan! The two brawl, spill out of the ring, and Rollins throws hands! Refs rush in, as does Adam Pearce! Fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” and the two get loose! They COLLIDE, and then Rollins TACKLES Logan over the announce desk! Logan scrambles away, but Rollins trips him on the desk!! Logan lands hard, Rollins wants more, but security drags him away!
Rollins rips up Logan’s set, and hurries up the corner! He SUPER CROSSBODIES onto the security! But Logan hits ONE LUCKY PUNCH!! Logan laughs more than Rollins and he takes his leave. Logan says that’s another one, so third time will be the charm. Will Logan get another lucky punch at WrestleMania? Or will Rollins finally burn this “tourist” down?
Dominik Mysterio w/ Damian Priest VS Johnny Gargano w/ Dexter Lumis!
“Ex-Con” Dom keeps pushing his father, Rey, to fight him, but Rey has not caved in. Will the “pathetic, punk-ass kid” take out his frustrations in this match tonight? Or will Johnny Wrestling slap some sense into one smartass before handling another at Stand & Deliver?
The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Dom gets around but Gargano wrenches to a wristlock. Gargano avoids the body shot to WRING Dom’s arm, then wrenches it again. Dom headlocks, Gargano powers out, and things speed up. Gargano hurdles, drops and CLOBBERS Dom! Dom flounders but Gargano puts him in a corner. Gargano climbs up to rain down fists! Fans count as Gargano goes WAY past ten! Gargano lets off and fans fire up, but Dom kicks Gargano in the ribs! Dom RAMS into Gargano in the corner, Gargano pushes past, but Dom whips him corner to corner. Dom runs in but Gargano goes up and over to schoolboy KICK!
Dom staggers, Gargano RANAS him out of the ring! Fans fire up, Gargano builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit at the ramp! Fans fire up but Gargano clutches his ribs. Gargano stands, Priest coaches Dom up, but Gargano brings Dom around. Dom RAMS Gargano into steel steps! Dom then RAMS Gargano into the barriers! Fans cheer Gargano on but Dom fireman’s carries to SNAKE EYES! Gargano falls to the mat and Dom soaks up the heat as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Dom taunts Gargano while tearing away the rib tape. Dom drags Gargano up, gives some Latino Heat, then suplexes for Uno Amigo! And then Dos Amigos! Fans boo but Gargano fights the third! Gargano suplexes Dom into buckles! Both men are down and fans rally up for Johnny Wrestling. Gargano stands, he fires hands on Dom, blocks a kick, then spins Dom to CLOBBER him! Gargano rallies with more clotheslines, then he ducks ‘n’ dodges to OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Fans fire up and Dom goes to the apron. Gargano avoids the shoulder to KICK Dom! But Dom HOTSHOTS Gargano!
Dom hurries up to SLINGSHOT- NO, Gargano avoids the senton! SLINGSHOT SPEAR! Cover, TWO! Dom survives but Gargano keeps his focus. Dom wants mercy now? Fans boo and Gargano storms up, but Dom sends him into buckles! Roll up, feet on the ropes! The ref notices in time and calls off the count! Dom argues with the ref, but Gargano SUPERKICKS Dom down! Cover, TWO!! Dom survives and Priest is relieved. Gargano drags Dom up, Dom throws body shots, but Gargano ROCKS Dom with a forearm! Dom ROCKS Gargano back, the forearms go back and forth! Gargano gets the edge, but Dom drop toeholds him!
Fans boo but Dom dials it up, only for Gargano to duck the 619! DISCUS LARIAT! Scoop and LAWN DART! Gargano aims from the corner, SUPERKICK!! Cover, TWO!!! Priest is relieved again but Gargano puts Dom up top. Gargano CHOPS and ROCKS Dom, then climbs up after him. Gargano CHOPS away on Dom, then stands him up. Dom throws body shots in return just as furious! Dom CLUBS away on Gargano, then SUPER GOURD BUSTERS! Dom adjusts to FROG SPLASH onto Gargano’s back! Cover, DOM WINS!
Winner: Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall
Priest celebrates with Dom, and Dom pulls it out on an NXT Triple Crown winner! But Dom isn’t done, as he gets the mic. Fans boo, but Dom says, “Last Friday night on SmackDown, my good for nothing father denied my challenge once again to a match at WrestleMania. But you know what, Jefe? I’m not gonna stop until I get what I want. And at the end of the day, I know that this Friday night on SmackDown in las Vegas, the entire Mysterio family will be there live. So I believe that’s the same family that blocked my number, kicked me outta the group chat, and wanted nothing to do with me. But that’s okay, because the Judgment Day group chat is much better.
“But I think I figured out a way to get you to accept my match, and that’s gonna be when I say hi to mom and ask for her permission for you to face me at WrestleMania. That’s if you have the balls to get them out of her purse.” Dom insults his father, but will he regret dragging the rest of the family into this?
The Usos and Solo talk backstage.
Then Heyman walks over and asks if they’re waiting on the Tribal Chief. Because he’s waiting on them to go to the jet. The seafood has been delivered. Shrimp, lobster, mahi mahi. Roman is so proud of all of them, they can take the rest of the night off and indulge. So they can go eat? Okay! Wait, not Solo. Roman needs to talk with Solo. Solo walks back into the suite with Heyman, and Jey says aight. No mahi mahi for Solo. Will the Usos not be needed for what Roman has planned later tonight?
“If you push me, I will not just resist. I will throw you through a wall. Finn, I am a hostile man. I keep it caged so I can be the man I’ve become so I can function in society. But inside the cage… Well, that’s caged no more. I won’t apologize for it, I won’t fight it, I will lean into it, I will revel in it, I will savor it. Finn, you have no idea what I’m capable of inside Hell in a Cell, you have no idea what goes through your soul when that steel door slams shut behind you. But I do. I’ve been baptized inside the cell by the Deadman himself! The cell has become my one friend, my partner, my cathedral of pain. It rewards me for the streak that runs through me.
“You cannot become what you need to become by remaining what you are. Finn, you and I are two men who clearly understand that, so I grasped what you meant when you said that Hell couldn’t handle your demons.” Edge laughs, and says, “The scriptures, they say, ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil!’ Well, I never have. Because I’m the evil in the valley. So leave Finn at home. Bring your demon… To meet the devil. He’d like to meet him.” Edge has a sinister smile, what will happen when the Rated R Superstar and the Prince unleash it all in one final battle?
Rhea Ripley heads to the ring.
Judgment Day is coming for WrestleMania, and that includes the Eradicator going after the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Rhea gets the mic and has the music cut. Fans rally for “MAMI! MAMI!” and Rhea is amused. “Last Friday, Charlotte, she said that I needed to be a champion. She said that I needed to be a star. And y’know, I actually agree with those statements. But the one thing I don’t agree with is living in the past. Charlotte doesn’t wanna accept her future, and that is why she keeps talking about what happened three years ago at my first WrestleMania, when we stepped into the ring one-on-one for the first time.
“Back when I was trying to make a name for myself and earn respect. Now Charlotte, she thinks that she’s the leader of the Women’s Division. But leaders, they actually respect others. And Charlotte, after that match, I knew that you didn’t respect anyone. I knew that you didn’t respect me. And to be honest, I don’t think that you ever will. Because I make you question the respect you have for yourself. When you hear the name ‘Rhea Ripley,’ you question everything. Don’t ‘What’ me, you’re all pathetic.” Fans boo but Rhea smiles. Rhea says that she brings out all the deepest insecurities that Charlotte tries to mask as confidence.
Rhea says that Charlotte knows that every single time they’ve gone to war, Rhea’s gotten up and kept going, because that is what she does. And what Charlotte does is try to keep people down. But not her! Charlotte, you have to admit that it is time. “You’re done! You’re washed. It’s over. It’s over and you have to go home, where you mean absolutely nothing. Because without the WWE, you are nothing.” Fans boo but Rhea says she doesn’t care about Charlotte’s insecurities, or if she respects Rhea. “Because at WrestleMania, I will become a champion, and I will be the biggest star here in the WWE!”
“And Charlotte~… My little Charlotte, when you see me holding your crown above your head… You’re gonna know that all your insecurities are true. I don’t need you to respect me. But you will fear me.” Wait, Damage Control is coming out here now? Bayley tells Rhea, “Earlier, when you were talking about leaders, I was waiting for you to mention my name. Because, Rhea, I do respect you. We all respect you! Anyone that puts Charlotte Flair in her place has the utmost respect from Damage Control. But um, if you needed any tips on how to beat Charlotte, you could’ve just asked your Role Model, because I did beat Charlotte in my first WrestleMania.
“And I’m pretty sure you saw what we did to Trish Stratus! We-” Rhea cuts Bayley off there and says she doesn’t need any help from them. Well, Bayley thought Rhea might say that. Because Rhea has gotten so cocky! Rhea this, Rhea that, everyone is talking about Rhea dominating the roster! Well guess what/ Raw is THEIR show, so DMG CTRL will show her what Bayley means. Rhea laughs. This is HER show? Mate, Rhea isn’t ring ready, but if one of them wants to get her out of her ring, go ahead. Um, well, ding dong, guess Bayley will be the one, since she’s dressed. Then bring it.
Pearce is backstage, he tells the ref to make this official now. The ref rushes out, Bayley VS Rhea is ready to go, after the break!
Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Rhea Ripley!
Raw returns and the bell rings for this match to begin. Rhea and Bayley circle, tie up, and Bayley waistlocks. Bayley ducks the elbow, gets a leg, but Rhea gut wrenches! Bayley fights free, goes after an arm, but Rhea shoves her away. Bayley shoves Rhea, and she says, “You think you’re so strong and cool, huh?!” But Rhea shoves back! Bayley pie faces Rhea, but Rhea just gets mad! Bayley wants her to take it easy but Rhea fires off in the corner! Rhea whips corner to corner, Bayley hits buckles hard, then Rhea runs in and fires off more forearms! Rhea whips Bayley into the corner again, runs in, but is put on the apron.
Bayley ROCKS Rhea and HOTSHOTS her! Kai & Sky fire up as Bayley runs side to side to SHOTGUN Rhea off the apron! Rhea staggers, Bayley runs in, but Rhea blocks the daredevil dropkick! Rhea shoves Bayley away, but Bayley grabs an arm to YANK Rhea into the post! Rhea staggers, Bayley storms up, but Rhea SHOVES her into barriers! Rhea goes up, and she CANNONBALLS onto Bayley! Kai & Sky back off, Rhea puts Bayley in the ring, and Rhea pushes Bayley to a cover, TWO! Rhea stalks Bayley, CLUBS her on the back, but Bayley throws body shots. Rhea blocks boots, carriers Bayley out to then RAM her into the corner!
Rhea snapmares, and KAMI-GOYES!! Cover, TWO!?! Bayley survives and Rhea is annoyed, but Rhea drags Bayley up to whip her to ropes. Rhea ROCKS Bayley in the back! Rhea dusts herself off and says this is HER ring. Rhea shoves and CLUBS Bayley again! Bayley staggers, Rhea whips her again, but Bayley ROCKS Rhea back! Bayley CHOPS away on Rhea, puts Rhea in a corner, then runs in, only for Rhea to catch her! Atomic FACEBUSTER! Rhea runs, stomps, and then drags Bayley up. Bayley fights the pump handle, Sky distracts, and Kai claws Rhea’s face! Bayley trips Rhea, high stacks, feet on the ropes! TWO!!
Rhea survives DMG CTRL playing a bit of number games a la Judgment Day, but Bayley hits a SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Wait, here comes Becky Lynch! The Man leads the legendary Lita and Trish Stratus out, with a HUGE bag of popcorn between the three of them. Is the Big Time trio just here to watch the show? We’ll see, after the break.
Raw returns again and Bayle waits on Rhea to rise. Rhea stands, Bayley reels her in, BAYLEY2BELLY!! Cover, ONE?!?! Rhea shocks Bayley and even Becky is surprised. Bayley huffs and puffs and reels Rhea back in, another BAYLEY2BELLY!! And then a short arm- NO, Rhea dodges to atomic FACEBUSTER! But Bayley avoids the basement dropkick! Bayley runs to REGAL KNEE! Rhea is dazed, Kai & Sky fire up, and Becky keeps munching popcorn. Fans cheer Becky but Bayley drags Rhea up to fire forearms. Rhea fires them back! The forearms go back and forth, Bayley gets the edge, but Rhea shoves her away.
Bayley avoids the boot, ROCKS Rhea, but Rhea BACK ELBOWS! Fans fire up as both women stagger, and Bayley ELBOWS Rhea in the corner! Bayley waits on Rhea, runs back in, SUNSET FLIP- NO, Rhea stays up! Rhea drags Bayley right up, BOOTS her right down, and then has a wild look in her eyes! Rhea drags Bayley by the legs, into the PRISM TRAP!! Bayley endures the inverted cloverleaf, reaches out for Kai & Sky, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Rhea lets go at 4, and Bayley bails out. Rhea drags Kai up instead! Sky freaks out, but Bayley POSTS Rhea’s head! But here come Becky and the legends!
Kai & Sky brawl with Trish & Lita, but Trish & Lita toss them aside! Becky scares Bayley back into the ring, into a HEADBUTT from Rhea! And then RIPTIDE!! Cover, Rhea wins!
Winner: Rhea Ripley, by pinfall
Becky says that’s too bad for Bayley, it was so close. But Rhea is rolling down the Road to WrestleMania, will she rip the Queen down off her throne?
Chad Gable is looking for Otis.
No one’s seen him, it feels like last week. Wait, Otis is getting a spa day? Coach, this is a manicure. Okay, he has been busy with his modeling, but guess what! Gable got them into the WrestleMania Men’s Fatal 4 Way Tag Team Showcase! Wow, really? Yeah! And tonight, Gable is up against one of their opponents in Ricochet. Ricky? Yes! And Otis knows Braun will be out there, so Gable needs his number one guy! Let’s go! But Maxxine Durpi walks in. Otīse’s mani looks marvelous! And now, she’s scheduled him for a session with one of the world’s greatest hand photographers. She sent some samples and the photographer says he MUST work with Otīse!
Maxxine says this is a pivotal moment for Otise’s career! Gable says the models have a match with the Good Brothers, though. Actually, that was postponed. Unfortunately, Mace overexposed his cheeks during a shoot in Mykonos. None of that make sense. When you’re beautiful, you don’t have to make sense! Gable wouldn’t know since he’s so “horrifically middle class.” Now, Otīse, come along, they’re late for the photog. Otis is torn between his coach and his manager. Otis says, “Coach, let’s ride.” Gable’s happy but Maxxine can’t even. Will the Alpha Academy win big tonight on the road to the showcase?
Chad Gable w/ Otis VS Ricochet w/ Braun Strowman!
Raw returns and “SHOOOOSH~! Shoosh, please.” Gable makes his entrance, his number one guy by his side, though admiring his clean hands and trimmed fingernails. The bell rings and and the circle. Ricochet waistlocks, Gable wrenches out and wristlocks, but Ricochet slips through to wrench and wristlock back. Gable rolls, spins, drop toeholds, and floats to a facelock. Ricochet rolls but Gable rolls with him. Ricochet slips free but Gable gets him again. Ricochet slips free again and backs away, and Gable says, “A Thank Yew!” The two reset, tie up again, and Gable headlocks.
Fans rally, Otis admires his hands, but Gable hits a headlock takeover. Ricochet headscissors, Gable kips free and roles reverse as Ricochet headlocks for the takeover and Gable headscissors. Gable holds on tight, Ricochet rolls and turns Gable over to then slip free and float to a facelock. Gable wrenches to wristlock, whips, but Ricochet reverses. Gable goes up and sunset flips, TWO! Ricochet hurries in, Gable dodges but Ricochet rolls off Gable’s back. Ricochet rolls under, handsprings to headscissor, then he DROPKICKS Gable down! Fans fire up, Ricochet runs in, but into a throat chop! Gable goes up, but Ricochet GAMANGIRIS!
Ricochet UPPERCUTS Gable, climbs up after him, and fires off hands! Ricochet then stands on the very top, to SUPER- NO, Gable blocks the Steiner! Gable brings Ricochet up, fireman’s carries, but Ricochet throws elbows! Gable still lifts Ricochet, and SLAMS him down! Gable then adjusts up top, leaps, FLYING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives but Gable is still in control as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Gable is back up top, to MOONSAULT! Ricochet moves, Gable lands on his feet, and Ricochet BOOTS him away! Ricochet then somersault SHOTGUNS Gable down! Fans fire up, Gable goes to a corner, and Otis coaches him up. Ricochet stands, runs in, and CHOPS! Ricochet whips Gable corner to corner, Gable reverses but Ricochet goes up and over and UPPERCUTS! Ricochet roars, RAMS in, bumps Gable off buckles and ROUNDHOUSES him away! SPRINGBOARD LARIAT! Fans fire up more and Ricochet STANDING SHOOTING STARS! Cover, TWO!!
Gable is still in this but Braun tells Ricochet he still has this. Fans rally up, Ricochet waits on Gable, then he fireman’s carries. Gable fights free but Ricochet elbows! Ricochet swings, into a backslide! Roll through, LA MAGISTROL! TWO!! Ricochet trips Gable, jackknife bridges, TWO as Gable bridges up! Gable spins this around, Crucifix Lift into a Canadian Rack, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO!!! Ricochet survives, Braun is relieved but Otis is worried! “This is Awesome!” as Gable gets a leg but Ricochet boots him away. Gable ducks the leg lariat, and catches the leap into an ANKLE LOCK!!
Ricochet endures, rolls, sends Gable away and SUPERKICKS! Gable wobbles, into a V-TRIGGER! Ricochet suplexes, but Gable slips free to DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!! Ricochet escapes by nanoseconds and fans fire up again! But wait, Maxxine comes strutting out to fetch Otis. Otis doesn’t wanna go but Maxxine says the photographer is waiting. Gable is stunned that Otis is leaving! Gable O’Conner Rolls, CHAOS- NO, Ricochet slips out to SLICED BREAD! Fans fire up again as Ricochet goes up top! SHOOTING STAR PRESS!! Cover, Ricochet wins!
Winner: Ricochet, by pinfall
The One and Only adds to his highlight reel, and he is rolling down the Road to WrestleMania! Will he and Braun do even bigger in the showcase? Who will #GetTheseHands?
Chelsea Green & Piper Niven VS Asuka & Bianca Belair!
The Hot Mess was almost in a pickle without the Fabulous Princess of Staten Island. But she was lucky to find a Scottish Viper willing to take on the Empress of Tomorrow and the RawEST Women’s Champion. Will Chelsea & Piper show Pearce that they’re worthy of the WrestleMania showcase? Or will Asuka and Bianca showcase why they’re the top two women on Raw?
Raw returns and both Chelsea & Piper are already ringside. Asuka makes her entrance now, and the teams sort out. Bianca insists she’ll start, and Chelsea sneaks up behind her to waistlock! Bianca switches, ripcords and CLOBBERS Chelsea! Bianca handsprings and Asuka makes the tag before the MOONSAULT! Bianca says no, that wasn’t the plan, but Chelsea gets away to tag Piper! They rush in, but Asuka and Bianca both dodge! Asuka CLOBBERS Chelsea and Bianca DROPKICKS Piper! Piper & Chelsea bail out, Asuka and Bianca stare down despite being tag partners. Fans cheer, the ring count starts, and Raw goes to break.
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Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (3/20/23)
Winnipeg gets Elevated!
The Naturally Limitless ride again!
Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee continue as a duo in AEW! Will they be rolling through the tag division on Elevation? And what of Swerve’s warning to Keith?
- Skye Blue VS TFA (Taryn From Accounting); Skye wins.
- Jake Hager w/ Angelo Parker VS Adam Knight; Hager wins.
- Emi Sakura VS Zoe Sager; Sakura wins.
- Brandon Cutler VS Jason Geiger; Cutler wins.
- Six Man Tag: Matt Hardy, Isiah Kassidy & Ethan Page VS Massive Damage, Mo Jabari & Sebastian Wolfe; Hardy, Kassidy & Ethan win.
- Top Flight VS Michael Allen Richard Clark & Shaun Moore; Top Flight wins.
- ROH Women’s World Championship Proving Grounds Match: Athena VS Taylor Rising; Athena wins and denies Taylor a title opportunity.
- Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee VS Levi Night & Jessie V; Dustin & Keith win.
- Tony Nese & Ari Daivari w/ Mark Sterling VS Alex Reynolds & John Silver; Reynolds & Silver win.
A great line-up, namely in some literally great names showing up. “Massive Damage,” “Taryn From Accounting,” and of course, Michael Allen Richard Clark. M A R C, he’s a MARK! I almost hope some of these names stick around through ROH.
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Let us know what you think on social media @ChairshotMedia and always remember to use the hashtag #UseYourHead!
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It's lights out, but for who?
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A March Madness of topics, and Seinfeld Season 4 Episode 6...The Watch!
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Will Hobbs is on a Rampage!
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The quarterfinals begin!
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