The Rogue Luchador is making a push for the top!
El Desperado may be IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, but he isn’t Best of the Super Juniors just yet! Will he get one step closer to that goal this round?
- Best of the Super Juniors 28: Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Wato wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 28: Robbie Eagles VS DOUKI; Eagles wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 28: BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori; Bushi wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 28: El Phantasmo VS SHO; ELP wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 28: Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryusuke Taguchi; Hiromu wins.
- Best of the Super Juniors 28: YOH VS El Desperado; Yoh wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Here are the current BOSJ 28 standings!
SHO: 6-1, 12 points
El Desperado: 4-2-1, 9 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 4-3, 8 points
Taiji Ishimori: 4-3, 8 points
Ryusuke Taguchi: 4-3, 8 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 3-3-1, 7 points
Robbie Eagles: 3-4, 6 points
El Phantasmo: 3-4, 6 points
Bushi: 3-4, 6 points
YOH: 3-4, 6 points
Master Wato: 2-5, 4 points
Douki: 2-5, 4 points
Best of the Super Juniors 28: Master Wato VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!
The Way of the Grandmaster is struggling while the Heel Master is just behind the leaders. Will Wato keep his chances alive? Or is this where it ends for him?
The second Wato hops down from the corner, Kanemaru attacks! Kanemaru stomps Wato down as the bell sounds, and Kanemaru drags Wato up just to CLUB him back down. Kanemaru whips Wato to a corner but Wato reverses. Wato runs in, is put on the apron but he forearms Kanemaru away. Wato springboards but Kanemaru gets under. Kanemaru knees low, runs, but into an arm-drag! Wato hurdles, back elbows, uppercuts and sobats! Fans fire up while Kanemaru bails out. Wato builds speed but Kanemaru gets in to dropkick the legs out! Wato clutches the knee, fans rally up and Kanemaru drags Wato up. Kanemaru gets a leg, and hits the SHIN BREAKER, then he CLUBS the leg!
Wato is down again but Kanemaru drags him by the leg, to YANK the leg! Kanemaru gets the leg again and drops an elbow on the knee. Kanemaru clamps onto the leg for a toehold, but Wato works to fight back. Wato drags himself and Kanemaru over, to the ropebreak! Kanemaru lets off to drop knee after knee on Wato’s leg. Kanemaru stomps the leg, then drags Wato up to whip him to ropes. Kanemaru dropkicks the leg out, Wato writhes, but fans rally up. Kanemaru gets the leg to SMASH the knee into the mat! Cover, TWO! Another try, TWO! Kanemaru keeps cool while fans rally up. Kanemaru gets the leg and turns Wato for a HALF CRAB!
Wato endures, moves around, and powers his way to the ropebreak! Kanemaru lets off, but he stomps the leg again. Kanemaru kicks Wato around, toying with him. Wato chops back but Kanemaru just kicks the leg. Kanemaru CLUBS Wato down, then stands on the knee! Wato gets the rope, the ref counts, Kanemaru steps off but he kicks Wato against the ropes. Wato throws back elbows and forearms, but Kanemaru rakes eyes! Kanemaru knees low, whips but Wato reverses to CALF KICK! Fans rally up, Wato hobbles over and brings Kanemaru up, but Kanemaru rakes eyes! Kanemaru whips but Wato RANAS back! Kanemaru bails out, fans fire up and Wato gets his bad leg moving.
Wato builds speed, and FLIES! The tornillo takes Kanemaru down at the railing! Fans fire up, Wato gets back up. A ring count starts, Wato puts Kanemaru in at 5 of 20. Wato gets on the apron, springboards, and FLYING UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up with Wato as he gets back up. Wato waits on Kanemaru to rise, Wato fires off kick after kick, then SUPERKICKS! Cover, TWO! Wato crawls over to Kanemaru, gets him up and wrenches. Kanemaru fights the Mouse Trap, Wato rains down elbows! Wato spins but Kanemaru avoids the Screw High Kick to dropkick the legs out! Fans fire up, Kanemaru gets the leg for a DRAGON SCREW! And then a FIGURE FOUR!
Wato endures, tries to pry the hold apart, but Kanemaru holds him in place. Fans rally as Wato crawls, reaches out, turns and rolls to get the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Kanemaru lets Wato go. Wato gets to a corner, Kanemaru runs in to BOOT! Kanemaru scoops and SLAMS Wato, then goes up to MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives but Kanemaru fires up! Fans rally up as Kanemaru suplexes, but Wato slips out to ROUNDHOUSE! Kanemaru stays up to kick the leg and ENZIGURI! Wato stays up to ROUNDHOUSE again! Both men go down and fans fire up! Wato goes to ropes, then hobbles back to Kanemaru.
Wato brings Kanemaru up, ducks Kanemaru’s clothesline to tilt-o-whirl, roll-up, but Kanemaru rolls through to dropkick the leg out! Kanemaru gets the leg again, steps through, but Wato turns figure four into a cradle! TWO!! Wato gets right up to sobat! SCREW HIGH KICK! Wato fires up, gets Kanemaru up to wrench and MOUSE TRAP DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Kanemaru escapes but Wato roars again! Wato drags Kanemaru up, but Kanemaru blocks the scoop! Kanemaru tries to suplex but Wato blocks. Wato scoops, for the T T D!! Wato goes to the corner and climbs up, R P P!! Cover, Wato wins!!
Winner: Master Wato, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kanemaru earns o)
Even Wato seems surprised he won! He shows the Heel Master not to underestimate the Way of the Grandmaster! But does Wato still have a chance to be the Best of the Super Juniors?
Best of the Super Juniors 28: Robbie Eagles VS DOUKI!
The Sniper of the Skies is doing better than Japones Del Mal, but they both are long shots for the finals. Will one run be completely shot down right here?
The bell rings and fans rally up already. Eagles gets them to get louder, and then he circles with Douki. The two approach, Douki trips then runs, but he jumps over Eagles’ dropdown to trip Eagles and roll him to an arm-drag. Douki hurdles, Eagles leaps over and side steps. Douki rolls off Eagles’ back, Eagles ducks the clothesline but Douki ducks the kicks! Douki drags Eagles into the wheelbarrow, but Eagles uses that to victory roll! Eagles gets the legs but Douki kicks him away. Both men kip up and fans fire up! Douki and Eagles stare down, until Douki knees low. Douki clubs Eagles, but Eagles holds the ropes to deny the whip.
Douki knees low again, Eagles reverses to go up and around and arm-drag! Eagles ducks and dodges to RANA! Douki gets up, but he avoids the wheel kick! Eagles goes to a corner, Douki runs in but is tossed back, Eagles hits the wheel kick after all! Douki bails out, Eagles builds speed and fakes Douki out with the springboard. Douki slides in as Eagles rushes out, and then Douki DIVES! Direct hit and Eagles hits railing right in front of commentary! Douki bumps Eagles off the apron then ASAI MOONSAULTS! Douki fires up and fans fire up, too, while Taichi on commentary is rather surprised by all this. The fans rally, Douki and Eagles slowly get up.
Douki wrenches Eagles and whips him into railing! Eagles falls, Douki leaves him behind while the ring count climbs. Eagles gets in at 10 of 20 but Douki stomps him down. Douki stands on Eagles’ neck at the ropes but the ref counts. Douki lets off at 4, drags Eagles up and whips him to ropes to elbow him down. Cover, TWO! Douki clamps on a chinlock and digs his knee into Eagles’ back. Eagles endures, moves around, gets to his feet and throws back elbows. Douki rakes Eagles’ eyes! The ref reprimands, Eagles goes to a corner. Douki whips corner to corner and runs in to clothesline! Douki SLAMS Eagles down, then runs to DOUBLE STOMP! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up as Douki drags Eagles up. Douki CHOPS Eagles and Eagles goes to a corner. Douki whips him corner to corner, runs in but Eagles boots back! Douki tries again but Eagles slides under to sunset flip. Douki rolls through, Eagles gets around to schoolboy with bridge, TWO! Douki HELL STABS! Eagles drops to his knees, Douki gets him up to swing. Eagles slips out to kick out the legs, then runs to BLINDSIDE LARIAT! Both men are down and fans rally up. Eagles fires up and fans rally. Eagles KICKS Douki in the chest, again and again, then runs, but Douki blocks! Douki rakes eyes, whips Eagles, but Eagles reverses to dropkick Douki down!
Eagles sees Douki go to the corner, he runs in and DOUBLE KNEES! Eagles rolls back to 619 sweep the leg! Then he runs in to METEORA ! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while Eagles goes to the apron. Eagles waves hi to Taichi, then springboards to dropkick Douki’s leg out! Fans fire up, Eagles gets the leg but Douki kicks him away. Eagles comes back with the PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Eagles drops a knee on Douki’s knee! Fans fire up again as Eagles climbs a corner. Eagles 450’s, but he sees the knees coming, so he gets the legs and steps through, but Douki drags him down to ITALIAN STRETCH #32!
Eagles moves around, reaches, but Douki drags him away from the ropes to put the stretch on again. Eagles is fading, fans rally up, and Eagles gets a second wind to get the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Douki lets go at 4. Eagles sputters, Douki drags him up and scoops. SWINGING NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, TWO! Douki gives a thumbs down, he vows to end it now. Douki goes to the apron, Eagles rises, slingshot but Eagles gets under! Douki clutches his knee as it jams, but he gets up and rushes over to Eagles on the apron. Eagles blocks the punch to GAMANGIRI! Eagles springboards but Douki gets under.
Douki boots back and is on the apron, but he slingshots into a fireman’s carry! Swing to a knee smash, SHIRAN- NO, Douki slips out of that and elbows Eagles back. Douki goes to run but Eagles reels him in. Douki breaks free to mule kick but Eagles dodges the enziguri! Eagles rolls Douki, hooks him up, but Douki turns backpack into torture rack, for a SWINGING SIDEWALK SLAM! Both men are down and fans fire up! Douki crawls to the cover, TWO! Douki grows frustrated but he fires himself up as fans rally. Douki stalks Eagles, reels him into the wheelbarrow, full nelson, SUPLEX DE LU- NO! Eagles lands on his feet out of it!
Eagles BOOTS Douki’s clothesline, blocks the kick, and steps through to TURBO BACKPACK! Fans fire up with Eagles as he goes to the corner and climbs up. 450 SPLASH to the legs! RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Douki endures, reaches out, but Eagles drags him from ropes! Douki taps, Eagles wins!
Winner: Robbie Eagles, by submission (gains 2 points; Douki earns 0)
The Sniper of the Skies hits the mark and breaks even in the round robin! Will he be able to fly high and reach the top?f
Best of the Super Juniors 28: BUSHI VS Taiji Ishimori!
Both the Black Mask and the Bone Soldier lost last round, and when it came to LIJ VS Cutest Tag Team, these two were the winning halves. Who stands tall as they settle the score?
The bell rings and fans rally up. Bushi kicks, whips, Taiji reverses but Bushi rolls off his back. Bushi keeps moving, he slips around Taiji to arm-drag and dropkick! Taiji bails out, Bushi builds speed, but Bushi fakes Taiji out just to roll back and taunt him. Taiji gets in but Bushi kicks him low to turn him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE! Bushi stays cool as he stomps Taiji down. Bushi then brings Taiji up to hang him out to dry on the ropes. Bushi goes to the corner but Taiji avoids the dropkick to shoulder in and hotshot Bushi down! Taiji drags Bushi out to whip him into railing! Taiji drags Bushi up, fireman’s carries and SNAKE EYES Bushi off the apron!
The ref reprimands and has Taiji back off while he checks on Bushi. Taiji uses that time to untie the blue corner buckle pad. The Bullet Club special comes into play and the ring count climbs. Bushi sits up at 8 of 20, stands up at 11, takes a few more moments, then gets in at 17. Taiji kicks Bushi to snapmare him for a chinlock. Bushi endures, even as Taiji twists him. Taiji makes it a cover, ONE! Taiji pulls Bushi’s shirt off him, to choke him with it! The ref reprimands, counts. Taiji lets go at 4. Fans rally up, Taiji drags Bushi up, then wrenches an arm and hammerlocks it, to RAM Bushi’s shoulder into the bare buckles!
The ref reprimands but the damage is done, and Taiji drags Bushi up to wrench the bad arm for a double wristlock. Taiji pulls on the arm, Bushi fights up, but Taiji kicks him back down! Fans rally while Bushi endures Taiji pulling at the arm. Taiji floats to a cover, TWO! Taiji knuckle locks, wrenches, snapmares and WRINGS the arm! Bushi writhes, fans rally up, and Taiji drags Bushi up to bump him off padded buckle. Taiji wrenches and whips corner to corner, then runs in, but into a boot! Bushi RANAS Taiji down and fans fire up! Bushi stalks Taiji, drags him up and fires off forearms. Bushi whips Taiji, Taiji reverses but runs into a SWING KICK!
Bushi goes up top and leaps to missile dropkick! BUSHIROONI! Taiji bails out, Bushi DIVES! Direct hit and they hit railing! Fans fire up with Bushi as he stands back up. Bushi drags Taiji up and puts him in the ring. Bushi stomps Taiji, drags him up, and catches Taiji’s clothesline to spin him for a DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up while Bushi goes to a corner. Bushi runs at Taiji, but Taiji blocks the Code Breaker! Bushi kicks back, whips, but Taiji handsprings to NEURALIZER! Both men are down, fans rally up again, and Bushi goes back to the corner. Taiji runs in but blocks boots to put Bushi in the ropes. ENZIGURI then SLIDING GERMAN!
Taiji gets back in, drags Bushi back up, and gut wrenches, only for Bushi to fight free. Bushi shoves Taiji to a corner, blocks the boot and puts it in the ropes to dropkick the leg! DRAPING BACKSTABBER! Cover, TWO! Bushi goes back to the corner, climbs up and M- NO! Taiji blocks to a fireman’s, then the gut wrench, CIPHER UTAKI! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Taiji drags Bushi up, Bushi fires off forearms! Bushi reels Taiji in but Taiji slips out of the fisherman to spin and POST Bushi! The ref reprimands, Taiji drags Bushi out to hammerlock, half nelson, scoop and SHOULDER BREAKER! Then roll to the omoplata, YES LOCK!
Bushi endures, crawls around, reaches out, but Taiji pulls back harder! Bushi keeps moving, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Taiji lets off, fans rally up but Taiji drags Bushi up. Taiji wrenches the bad arm, ELBOW BREAKER! Taiji runs, but Bushi catches him for a backslide! Taiji kicks the bridge away and gets the arm for the BONE LOCK!! Bushi crawls, reaches, fans rally up, but Taiji rolls him away and facelocks, BLOODY- NO! Bushi fights free to ENZIGURI Taiji down! Taiji gets up to BOOT! Taiji runs but Bushi dropkicks him down! Fans fire up as Bushi rises again. Bushi fires up, drags Taiji up, DESTROYER!! Both men are down and Bushi goes to a corner.
Bushi runs back out, CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO!! Taiji survives but Bushi crawls over to a corner. Fans fire up, Bushi goes up the corner, MX!! Cover, BUSHI WINS!
Winner: Bushi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taiji earns 0)
The Black Mask sweeps the Cutest Tag Team! Will this give Bushi new life in this tournament? Are Taiji’s own chances starting to dwindle?
Best of the Super Juniors 28: El Phantasmo VS SHO!
It’s Bullet Club VS Bullet Club once again as The Headbanga and the Murder Machine clash! But will ELP continue to make his case to replace The Switchblade? Or will Sho prove the House of Torture is the new elite of the club?
Sho wants to Low Sweet cuz they’re Bullet Club, but ELP says HE is Bullet Club. Sho and his guys are “Fake Bullet Club.” ELP is Bullet Club, Sho is “shit.” Sho says ELP can’t just decide who’s real or fake, but ELP doesn’t understand Japanese so he needs someone to help him. A Young Lion translates that Sho is saying ELP should give up, he’s not leading Bullet Club, so it doesn’t really matter, Sho is winning BOSJ. ELP says Sho can kiss his cute little ass. And that gets translated, too! Better yet, ELP says to tell him that Sho should lay down for him. ELP then swivels his hips. Sho says no, and has the Young Lion say back that they should just Too Sweet.
What’s that in Japanese? Say that. It’s Too Sweet. Sho says “Sweet” is “amai.” But the bell rings, fans rally up, and Sho wants the Too Sweet. ELP throws it up, and they Low Sweet, only for Sho to drag ELP into SNAKE BITE! ELP scrambles and gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Sho lets go at 4. Sho says this is why ELP should’ve laid down! Sho stomps ELP, drags him up and whips, but ELP reverses, hurdles, drops and KNEES Sho down! Cover, TWO! ELP STANDING MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up, ELP drags Sho up and climbs up. ELP rains down fists and gets all the way to 10, before he brings Sho to another corner.
ELP climbs up, he punches with the “E! L P!” rhythm and gets 9. ELP puts Sho in another corner, and does it all over again! ELP then brings Sho to the fourth corner, fans fire up, and ELP climbs, only for Sho to throw him out! Sho goes out after ELP, wrenches the wrist and bends the fingers. The ref counts, Sho lets off at 4. Sho drags ELP up, wrenches and then brings the arm around the corner post to bend it against the crossbar! The ref counts, Sho lets go at 4. Sho slides in and the ring count begins. ELP hobbles up, gets in at 8 of 20, and Sho stomps ELP to the corner. Sho digs his boots in, the ref counts, Sho lets off at 4. Sho drags ELP to a cover, ONE! Sho rakes ELP’s eyes!
The ref counts, Sho lets off at 4 and pushes the ref. Fans rally up and ELP CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Sho rakes eyes again! The ref reprimands, counts, and Sho lets off at 4. Sho drags ELP up, whips him corner to corner, but ELP goes up and over, ducks and springboards to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Both men are down and fans rally up. Sho goes to a corner, but ELP kips up! Fans fire up, ELP gives Sho an atomic drop then mocks his pain, to scoop and SLAM! ELP goes to the corner, DIVING AX HANDLE! ELP tunes up from the corner, getting “that” ready. Sho staggers up, but he blocks the kick to flip ELP!
ELP lands on his stomach, Sho wrenches an arm to kick, KICK and SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up, Sho drags ELP up and reels him in to tuck the arms. ELP blocks the lift, wrenches out to whip, and the ref has to scramble out of the way! Sho runs in but into a roll-up, TWO! Cradle, TWO! ELP gets around to backslide, TWO!! Sho escapes but ELP knees low. ELP runs, Sho uses the ref as a shield! ELP hurdles over the ref but Sho SPEARS! Sho crawls to the cover, TWO! Sho is frustrated but he aims his bow. Sho drags ELP up, reels him in, double pump handle, but ELP blocks again! ELP back drops, Sho sunset flips but ELP high stacks, to step over the arms!
Wait, he has Sho in position, but ELP said he wouldn’t copy the “ghosts” of Bullet Club! So ELP make sit a Styles BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Sho drags ELP in for SNAKE BITE!! ELP endures, fights, moves around, fans rally up, and ELP reaches out to get a ROPEBREAK! Sho lets go, ELP sputters on the apron. Sho staggers around as he heads for ELP. Sho waistlocks but ELP blocks the German Suplex! ELP elbows free but Sho CLUBS him on the back. Sho whips ELP at the ref but ELP stops himself. Sho kicks ELP and whips him back in, but the REF goes up and over! Sho whips the ref at ELP! ELP and the ref dosido and ELP SPEARS Sho down! Cover, TWO!
ELP grows frustrated but the fans rally up. ELP says BANG, drags Sho up and reels him in. ELP tucks the arm, but Sho back drops! ELP sunset flips, Sho slips out and dead lifts, but ELP slips out to knee low! ELP runs but Sho knees low back! Sho runs, but ELP pokes him in the eye! ELP runs but Sho pokes ELP in the eye! ELP pulls hair! Sho pulls hair, too! The ref reprimands, ELP gives Sho the PURPLE NURPLE! So Sho gives that back, too! The ref reprimands, and then he CLUBS the arms! The ref apologizes, tunrs out that hurt. ELP blocks Sho’s chop to knuckle lock and CHOP back. ELP goes up and up, tightrope walks, but Sho THROWS ELP at the ref!
The ref gets clear, and Sho hurries to get his wrench!! ELP dodges, fakes Sho out and mule kicks low! “That” is definitely in the boot! ELP tunes up in the corner and fans fire up! Sho taps?! He’s quitting!! ELP WINS!
Winner: El Phantasmo, by forfeit (gains 2 points; Sho earns 0)
The Murder Machine didn’t want to face Sudden Death, so he gives up before he got his head kicked off! Will this be what gives the Headbanga the Best of the Super Juniors win and the top spot in Bullet Club?
Best of the Super Juniors 28: Hiromu Takahashi VS Ryusuke Taguchi!
The Ticking Timebomb lost to El Phantasmo and the loaded-not-loaded boot, but the Funky Weapon took care of Douki and his Italian Stretch #32. Will Hiromu-chan heat back up? Or will self-destruct against the King of Oh My Garfunkel?
Hiromu’s page for Taguchi in the BOSJ 28 guide references last year’s match-up, where “grandpa” Taguchi was basically caught with his pants down. The bell rings and Hiromu rushes in, but into a roll-up! TWO, and Hiromu fireman’s carries! But Taguchi makes it a crucifix takedown! TWO, to La Magistrol! TWO, Taguchi trips Hiromu to a jackknife, TWO! Now a backslide! TWO, roll to another backslide! TWO, another backslide, TWO! Taguchi still has the arms hooked but Hiromu gets up and breaks free! But Taguchi drags him into cradle! TWO, things speed up, Hiromu sunset flips, TWO! Taguchi sits on it, TWO! Taguchi high stacks, TWO and Hiromu has the sunset!
TWO and Taguchi sits again, TWO!! Hiromu scrambles to get out of the ring while fans fire up! Taguchi is frustrated, but he waits on Hiromu. Hiromu wants Taguchi to back off so he can get in. They argue about it, Taguchi wanting the ring count to start but Hiromu wanting space to get in. Taguchi finally backs off and even puts his hands behind his back. Hiromu isn’t sure about that, so Taguchi covers his eyes. Hiromu slides in, but Taguchi runs in to HIP- NO, Hiromu catches him for a waistlock, but Taguchi victory rolls! TWO, Taguchi blocks the superkick to OH MY GARFUNKEL! Hiromu rolls to throw Taguchi, then he rakes Taguchi’s eyes.
Hiromu whips, Taguchi reverses, and Taguchi blocks the rana to OH MY GARFUNKEL! Hiromu rolls again but Taguchi sits on it, TWO! Hiromu kicks, whips and runs in to clothesline in the corner! Hiromu rolls Taguchi to run, but Taguchi ducks and runs. Hiromu pops Taguchi up but Taguchi ranas through to a cover, TWO!! Hiromu flounders to a corner, Taguchi runs but he fakes out Hiromu’s overhead suplex! Taguchi drags Hiromu by a leg, turns him over and OH MY GARFUNKEL! Hiromu endures the ankle lock, crawls forward, but Taguchi pulls him back into the chicken wings! Hiromu elbows free, runs but into a cobra twist cradle! But Hiromu rocks it back!
Taguchi makes it a ROLLING CRADLE! They roll and roll, cover, TWO!! Both men stagger around dizzily, Hiromu falls over! Taguchi goes in circles, but he drops an elbow on the leg! OH MY GARFUNKEL! Hiromu reaches out, Taguchi drags him from ropes to RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP, and GROUND OCTOPUS! Hiromu endures, reaches out, but Taguchi rolls him to get OH MY GARFUNKEL! Hiromu crawls, reaches out but Taguchi thrashes the leg! Fans fire up, Taguchi gets Hiromu into the chicken wings! Hiromu resists, breaks free but Taguchi gets him for a cradle, TWO! Hiromu has the cradle, TWO! Taguchi has the cradle, TWO! Hiromu has it, TWO!
Taguchi, then Hiromu, ROLLING CRADLE! It ends with Taguchi on top, TWO!!! Hiromu escapes but Taguchi has OH MY GARFUNKEL! Hiromu tries to get away again but Taguchi drops an elbow on the leg! Taguchi leans all his weight on the hold but Hiromu still endures! Hiromu crawls, Taguchi pulls him back and reels him in. Chicken wings, but Hiromu victory rolls! TWO and Taguchi has it! TWO, Hiromu has it back, TWO! Taguchi has it again, TWO!! Hiromu gets up, Taguchi ENZIGURIS! Hiromu staggers and rebounds off ropes but Taguchi fires up. Taguchi runs, ducks and dodges to LARIAT!! Ryusuke-chan Bomber?!
Taguchi drags Hiromu up, chicken wings, but Hiromu wrenches out and pump handles for the cradle! HIROMU WINS!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taguchi earns 0)
What a fast and furious match! Taguchi may not have gotten caught with his pants down, but he still feels like the fool. Is there still a chance for the Funky Weapon this year? As for Hiromu, is he about to climb back up to the top and keep his promise of back-to-back years?
Best of the Super Juniors 28: YOH VS El Desperado!
Mr. Direct Drive has finally gotten going, but now he runs into the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! Will Yoh bring down the Rogue Luchador in his biggest win yet? Or will Desperado drive Yoh out of the running?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two slowly circle. They approach, feel out the grapple, and Desperado hooks an arm but Yoh gets a leg. Desperado facelocks, Yoh slips out to to hammerlock then waistlock. Desperado breaks free, wrenches to a wristlock, but Yoh rolls, handsprings and wrenches back to a hammerlock. Desperado reaches back to headlock and he grinds Yoh down. Yoh pries the hold, but Desperado holds on tighter. Yoh drops to slip out and have the hammerlock. Yoh JAMS the arm, and again. Desperado sits up, rolls, wrenches, hammerlocks, spins Yoh to a headlock and takeover, but Yoh headscissors. Desperado kips free and fans cheer the stand off.
Desperado and Yoh reset and circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up again. Yoh headlocks and grinds, but Desperado fights up and pie faces Yoh into a facelock. Desperado spins Yoh, snapmares him and chinlocks. Yoh endures, moves around, fights back up and throws elbows. Yoh arm-drags Desperado down to have the cording hold. Desperado endures, moves around, kicks his way over and gets the ropebreak. The fans cheer and Yoh lets off cleanly. Desperado bails out to cool off. Yoh waits, Desperado slides in, and the two go again. Desperado shoots around to waistlock, but Yoh drop toeholds to get the facelock. Desperado spins out to facelock but Yoh spins out to headlock.
Yoh hits the takeover, Desperado headscissors and Desperado keeps Yoh down. Yoh moves around, hops and handsprings out and fans cheer. Desperado even applauds, though not genuinely. Desperado kicks low, headlocks, but Yoh powers out. Yoh side steps, drop toeholds and basement dropkicks! Desperado bails out, fans fire up and Yoh slingshots. Yoh lands on the apron as Desperado slides in, and then Yoh DECKS Desperado with an elbow! Yoh steps in but Desperado dropkicks the leg! Yoh falls and Red Shoes goes out to check on him. Desperado goes out to fetch Yoh, and whips him into railings! Yoh falls in a heap but Desperado stomps him down.
Desperado stomps Yoh’s leg, drags Yoh around and turns him over to SMASH the knee into the floor! Yoh clutches his leg, Red Shoes starts the ring count, and Desperado goes in at 6 of 20. Fans rally up, Yoh is still down at 15. Yoh gets up at 17, hobbles in at 18, and Desperado is after him already. Desperado suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Desperado gets the leg to YANK it, then SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Desperado keeps cool, fans rally up while Yoh writhes. Desperado taunts Yoh, pats him on the face, but Yoh chops! Desperado eggs Yoh on, Yoh chops again, but Desperado CHOPS him off his feet! Desperado stands on Yoh’s head in the corner, but lets off as Red Shoes reprimands.
Desperado whips Yoh corner to corner, then runs in, to clothesline! Yoh flops down, Desperado covers, TWO! Desperado gets the leg to drop down on it, and tie up the legs in a BUTTERFLY DEATHLOCK! Yoh keeps his shoulders up but he still endures the leg lock. Yoh CHOPS, Desperado “falls” to put more pressure on the hold! Desperado rolls and has the traditional deathlock as he kicks and digs his heel into the knee. Yoh scrambles around, and gets the ropebreak! Desperado lets off and “Oops,” drops knees on the knee. Fans rally up, Desperado wags his finger, and he drags Yoh up. Desperado has the leg, but Yoh turns shinbreaker into sunset flip, TWO!
Desperado hurries up but Yoh fires forearms. Desperado kicks the leg out! Desperado whips but Yoh holds ropes to block. Desperado keeps trying but Yoh still holds on. Desperado SLAPS Yoh and Yoh flounders against ropes. Desperado whips, Yoh comes back with FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up, Yoh still clutches his leg, but he and Desperado slowly getup. Desperado is in one corner, Yoh is in the other. Yoh runs corner to corner to back elbow, then NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Yoh stands and brings Desperado around. Desperado fights the suplex, then Yoh fights the suplex in return, only to jam his knee! Desperado runs but Yoh dumps him out!
Yoh then PLANCHAS! Direct hit and fans fire up! Yoh slowly gets up, drags Desperado into the ring, and fans cheer as he gets Desperado up for a FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Yoh gets his bad leg moving, and Yoh brings Desperado up again. Yoh full nelsons, but Desperado fights and then RAMS Yoh into a corner. Desperado fires back elbows, runs in, and blocks a boot to dropkick the bad leg! Yoh falls, Desperado gets the leg for a STRETCH MUFFLER! Yoh scrambles to the ropebreak! Desperado lets off and fans rally up again. Desperado drags Yoh up, has the leg, but Yoh fights the shinbreaker off. Desperado SPINEBUSTERS, then DRAGON SCREWS!
Desperado keeps on the leg for the STRETCH MUFFLER! Yoh reaches, flails, crawls, but Desperado drags him away! Desperado gets an arm for NUMERO DOS!! Yoh endures, fans fire up as Yoh crawls with his one arm, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Desperado lets go in frustration, but he drags Yoh back to go to the corner. Desperado climbs, to FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Yoh is still in this and Desperado can’t believe it! Fans rally up, Desperado says this will end it. Desperado drags Yoh up, gut wrench, but Yoh fights free. Desperado throws a forearm, Yoh forearms back. Desperado rebounds but Yoh blocks the boot to EuroUpper! Yoh runs, but into an elbow!
Desperado runs but into a DROPKICK! Yoh gets Desperado up, GHOSTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Yoh clutches the knee, being it was the one for the impact, but fans fire up again. Yoh fires up, drags Desperado over, but Desperado spins to get the cradle, TWO! Desperado blocks the superkick but Yoh blocks the torture rack! Yoh spins, Desperado catches the haymaker to GUITARRA- NO, Yoh slips out to waistlock and O’Conner Roll, FIVE STAR CLUT- NO, Desperado holds off the bridge and rolls Yoh to get the leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! But Yoh rolls to get a cover, TWO!! Desperado escapes, fans fire up, Yoh spins Desperado to backslide, TWO!
Yoh gets Desperado in underhooks. Desperado NORTHERN LIGHTS out of it, bridging cover, TWO!! Desperado kicks the leg and ROCKS Yoh with an elbow! Yoh goes Matrix to dodge the lariat, but Desperado ducks the superkick to DECK Yoh with the elbow! Desperado fires up and fans are with him! Desperado underhooks Yoh, PINCH- NO! Yoh lands on his feet and back drops free! Fans fire up more as Yoh is in the corner. Desperado gets up, runs in, but into a SUPERKICK! Yoh staggers, gets Desperado back up, full nelson for DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Desperado escapes, Yoh roars! Yoh drags Desperado up, underhooks him, DIRECT DRIVE!! Cover, YOH WINS!!!
Winner: Yoh, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Desperado earns 0)
A major upset in the main event!! Yoh has climbed up from a shaky start to a strong contender in this tournament! Is the champion’s run hitting choppy waters? As for Yoh, he’s handed the mic and fans rally up as he catches his breath. Yoh’s only response to his victory is a triumphant shout! Is this all Yoh needs to make a run at the top?
Here are the NEW BOSJ 28 standings!
SHO: 6-2, 12 points
El Desperado: 4-3-1, 9 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 4-3-1, 9 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 4-4, 8 points
Ryusuke Taguchi: 4-4, 8 points
Robbie Eagles: 4-4, 8 points
El Phantasmo: 4-4, 8 points
Bushi: 4-4, 8 points
Taiji Ishimori: 4-4, 8 points
YOH: 4-4, 8 points
Master Wato: 3-5, 6 points
Douki: 2-6, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Another great round from BOSJ, and quite the shocker in the main event. I didn’t think Yoh was going to get this one, but now we have a stacked 4-4, 8 point block. Wato gets his own surprising win over Kanemaru but Kanemaru is still in the running as part of that stacked block, and Eagles gets back up while taking Douki out of the running. The interplay of Sho and ELP over this potential new Bullet Club Civil War was a lot of great stuff, and ELP winning was more about Bullet Club than the BOSJ standings as Sho is still several points ahead of everyone.
Hiromu VS Taguchi was awesome stuff just on the fast pace, and with Desperado losing, he and Hiromu are tied again. Things could get really complicated going into the finals of this tournament, I wonder if NJPW would do a Triple Threat if Hiromu and Desperado stay tied in the end.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Is Becky Lynch sweatin’ Doudrop?
The Man prepares for the Royal Rumble!
“Doudrop” Piper Niven is coming for the Raw Women’s Championship, and she won’t be Manhandled so easily! How will Becky Lynch counter Piper’s power?
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch; Piper & Becky win.
- Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens; Kevin wins.
- Finn Balor VS Austin Theory; Theory wins.
- Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley; No Contest.
- Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos; Omos wins.
- 8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs; The Street Profits & Mysterios win.
- Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins; Lashley wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
Tulsa, Oklahoma, The Man has come ’round! Fans chant her name as she gets the mic, and she welcomes them to the Big Time! “Now we are less than two weeks away from the Royal Rumble, and the Raw Women’s Division has never been hotter. And whether you like to admit it or not, there’s only one person responsible for that, and that’s me.” Becky says it is so hot that there are stars from generations past, like Lita, Mickie James and the Bella Twins, all hoping that they can win the Rumble and challenge the #VanGOAT at WrestleMania. Face it, they need Becky because she makes stars.
Look no further than Doudrop. Becky has kindly given her the biggest opportunity of her life, a taste of the Big Time at one of the biggest events of the year. The people didn’t get her that! Piper Niven didn’t get it for herself. Becky did that! That is what Becky does! She makes people better, than she beats ’em! But Becky will admit that she admires Piper’s tenacity. She came from the rolling hills of Scotland and made a name for herself. Well no, someone else had to make up a name for her. So Becky will shoot it straight for “Doudou.” A doudrop will never be champion so long as The Man is still here.
But speaking of, here she comes! Piper storms right up to the ring, gets herself a mic and says she’s gonna tell Becky something. “You didn’t get me anything. I got myself this title match at Royal Rumble. But if it was really your plan to face me instead of Bianca, than it’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made. Just make sure you stay well out of my way tonight.” Becky says she did get Piper that win last week, and if Piper just follows her lead, they’ll get a win here tonight. But here comes Bianca Belair! “Oh, Becky. You really out here spittin’ all this nonsense about being the GOAT, the greatEST of all time, but let me remind y’all that you can’t spell greatest without E S T.”
Bianca joins Piper and Becky in the ring as fans chant for “EST! EST!” Bianca reminds us SHE is the EST of WWE. And Doudrop, uh, okay. The only reason Piper is facing Becky is because Ms. Big Time was so scared of Bianca, she interfered in last week’s match. But girl, uh-uh. That’s just buyin’ time. Because Bianca is officially entering the Royal Rumble match! And it’s gonna be every woman for themselves, so if Bianca’s gotta throw out every 29 other women like she did last year, she’ll do it. Then she’ll go main event WrestleMania… again. And Bianca can go after whichever champion she wants, which could be Becky or Piper.
But now, Bianca’s tag partner, Liv Morgan, arrives! “Well, well, well, Bianca. We may be tag teaming tonight, but I am also officially entering myself in the Royal Rumble match. And that’s not all, that’s not all. Because in two weeks, I’m also the one winning it.” But that means Bianca will be one of the 29 she outlasts on the way to WrestleMania. But since we’re on the same page- Piper pretends to snore and then says this is boring. Everyone, shut up and ref, get in here! Piper wants to fight, but it’s Becky who riles up Liv and Bianca, and then uses Piper as a shield! Piper welcomes someone to bring it, but this starts after the break.
Chad Gable prepares a speech.
“Greetings and salutations…” Otis walks over, the valedictorian of The Alpha Academy. Will this graduation ceremony go off without a hitch?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch!
Raw returns and the bell rings, and Bianca dropkicks Piper! Piper stays up but Bianca whips. Piper blocks, reverses, but Bianca goes up tot ell Piper to kiss this. Then Bianca leaps over Piper, spins her around and reels her in, but Piper blocks the suplex. Piper suplexes, Bianca slips out and then dodges in the corner! Piper hits buckles, Bianca ROCKS Piper with a forearm, then runs in to ram Piper. Piper rebounds to run Bianca over! Piper runs, Becky tags in! Piper is annoyed with Becky but Becky says she’s got this. They argue, Becky turns around into a dropkick! Bianca kips up, tags Liv, Liv dodges Becky to DECK Piper and SHOTGUN Becky!
Becky is in a corner, Liv back body blocks, then SHINING WIZARDS! Liv whips, Becky reverses but Liv stops to back elbow. Liv goes up to leap and missile dropkick Becky down! Liv then brings Becky around, springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, Piper breaks it! Bianca gets in to ROCK Piper, but she can’t lift Piper for the torture rack. Piper shoves Bianca into a corner and SPLASHES! Piper runs at Liv but Liv sends her out! Becky rolls Liv up, has feet on the ropes, TWO! Liv kicks low, KICKS again, then runs in, but Becky dodges! Liv elbows Becky again, but runs into a MANHANDLE SLAM! Cover, Piper breaks it?! But that was her own teammate!
Piper drags Becky out of the way, wants to cover, but she’s not legal! So Piper hurries back to her corner, tags herself in, and then runs to SPLASH Liv! Cover, Piper and Becky win!
Winners: “Doudrop” Piper Niven & Becky Lynch, by pinfall
Then Piper celebrates by giving Becky a VADER SEATED SENTON! Piper laughs as she looms over Becky, but will she have the last laugh at the Rumble?
Reggie and Dana Brooke talk with someone.
Reggie knows they’ve faced giants in their career, so can they give Reggie any advice when facing Omos tonight? The person he’s talking to is Edge! Edge thinks, and he tells Reggie that he can do things Edge can’t even comprehend. So he has a chance? Hell no! Beth Phoenix scolds Edge with a smack, and Edge says he still wishes Reggie luck. And Beth talks with Dana real quick. She’s seen Dana bust her butt for years here, so it’s so great Dana has a title. Dana thanks Beth for that, and hurries away to keep up with Reggie. Edge and Beth then see Damian Priest. They shake hands and hug and Priest is happy to see the Grit Couple.
Edge says he likes what he sees with Priest’s other side. Yeah, Priest’s other side is a bit edgy, but being serious here, Priest wants some ideas on the Rumble match. Edge has experience, having won two, one of which he won from starting first. There’s no better man to ask for pointers than Edge. Well cardio is one thing, but the main thing is to keep doing you. Priest’s style is working. Someone brings over a note for Beth, and it’s from Maryse. She wants to meet Beth 1v1, woman to woman. Edge says that’s suspicious. Beth is of course going to go but Edge is going to go with her. Beth agrees, and Edge says he and Priest can talk more later. What will the It Couple have planned for the Grit Couple?
Kevin Owens then walks over to ask Priest something. Kevin is looking forward to their match tonight. Really? Yeah, no lie! He’s looking- Oh, right, because Kevin’s so honest. Yes, especially having a good, clean match. Good competition, show off some technical prowess. But also that side, that nutso, vicious side. That side shouldn’t come out. Kevin is just hoping for them having a good, clean match. Kevin also has an announcement to make, so see you then. Good talk. Kevin and his tie hurries off, but will Priest keep Damian from tearing into the Prizefighter?
Kevin heads to the ring!
The KO Show is back, and tonight’s guest is Seth Freakin’ Rollins! What will Kevin ask his new best buddy? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Kevin welcomes us to his show. He wishes he could say it’s good to be here in Tulsa, but that would be a vile lie because this place is brutal. Don’t get mad at him telling the truth! And another truth is that Kevin has a very special guest. He is a man Kevin is proud to call his best friend, and after this man beats Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble like he has in a plethora of matches before, he will be called the Universal Champion. Please welcome Seth! FRRRRREAKIN’! ROLLINS~! Rollins makes his way out to the ring, fired up as always, but especially now after having evaded a Bloodline beatdown on SmackDown last Friday.
Rollins takes up a mic and Kevin lets Rollins decide if they sit or stand. Rollins wants to stand, so he and Kevin kick the chairs aside. Kevin thanks Rollins for accepting his invitation to be a guest. Kevin wants to tell Rollins that he admires Rollins so much. There is so much Kevin admires about Rollins. From the great suits, like this striped one. He looks like a million bucks! MAHVELOUS! And even more so, Kevin admires Rollins’ courage. Do people realize how much guts it took for Rollins to show up on SmackDown, into the lion’s den, get face to face with Roman, and berate him into realizing that “The Head of the Table” is only possible because Rollins set the table.
“Yes, yes, yes! Kev, you hit the nail on the head right there!” Friday got a little testy, but the truth is, Roman’s rattled. Roman’s nervous, and dare Rollins say, Roman is scared. He’s scared! You heard it here first! Roman took the low road taking shots at Rollins’ family, sending the Usos after him. But everyone saw that the Usos couldn’t get the job done. Rollins says Roman is playing checkers while Rollins is playing chess! If Roman keeps this up, winning at the Rumble will be like taking candy from a baby. A little baby Roman! And Rollins will turn the title from blue to red and bring the Universal Championship back to their show, Monday Night Raw!
That’s huge! When Rollins wins, he’s staying on Raw with Kevin! Yes, 100%! Incredible! Then that means Raw has the best champion! Raw wouldn’t need Lesnar or Lashley, they’d have Rollins! Kevin again hits the nail on the head. Get rid of Lesnar. Rollins has a match with Lashley tonight, they can get rid of Lashley tonight! Who knows? Kevin likes the sound of that. But he has something of his own to announce and it is “earth shattering.” It will change the face of the industry! Right here and now, Kevin is officially declaring for the Royal Rumble! Rollins says that IS earth shattering!
Kevin will win the Rumble, Rollins will beat Roman, and the WWE Universe will get the match they… well, not deserve. But they’ll get the biggest Mania main-event ever! SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS VS KEVIN FREAKIN’ OWENS! Rollins likes where Kevin’s head is at. But here comes Damian Priest! Rollins says this is his time and Kevin’s show! If Priest steps any closer, Kevin will kick his ass! Kevin wants Rollins to stop but Priest tells Rollins to shut up! They’re both delusional idiots! There is not one person on this planet that believes Rollins will win at the Rumble. And Kevin is just a liar, so he isn’t winning, either.
And if Kevin doesn’t want to see Damian, then don’t wake him up. Oh and by the way, Priest talked with Pearce and Sonya. Their match tonight? That starts NOW! Kevin is freaking out, but Rollins tries to encourage him. Will it not matter when the Archer of Infamy takes aim?
In the animal kingdom, the lion bides its time as it hunts its prey. Step by step, until it finally strikes, leaving only scraps for the hyenas. When will the Million Dollar Arm finally strike?
Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens!
Raw returns and the bell rings. They tie up, Kevin waistlocks, but Priest pries free to wrench to a wristlock. Kevin rolls, headlocks, but Priest uses a chinbar to push Kevin back and power out. Kevin rams Priest, but then Kevin apologizes, Things speed up, Priest runs Kevin over with a shoulder! Priest runs in at the corner, but Kevin puts him on the apron! Kevin elbows Priest away, but Priest ROUNDHOUSES back! Priest steps in but into a SHOTGUN! Kevin stomps Priest at the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, then drags Priest to center for a SENTON! Kevin wraps on a chinlock and leans on Priest but fans rally up.
Priest fights up, priest the hold open but Kevin CLUBS him on the back. Kevin CHOPS, whips, but Priest reverses. Kevin KCISK back, CHOPS again, and CHOPS! Priest snarls, but Kevin apologizes again. This is just good, clean wrestling! Priest cools off, but then he fires off fast hands! WHEEL KICK! Kevin goes to a corner, Priest runs in but Kevin bails out. Fans boo, Priest keeps cool, but then Priest goes out the side. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps, into a SUPERKICK! Kevin gets back in the ring to refresh the count, then FROG SPLASHES off the apron! Kevin roars while Priest sputters! Kevin drags Priest up and in as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Priest CLOBBERS Kevin! Fans fire up as Priest aims from a corner, and Priest throws haymakers! Priest fires off KICK after KICK, then a ROLLING ELBOW! Kevin rebounds, into a FLAPJACK! Priest runs at Kevin in the corner, for a big back elbow! Priest reels Kevin in, but Kevin wrenches out to ROCK Priest! Kevin whips, Priest rebounds to LARIAT! Priest gets Kevin up for the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest is annoyed but he drags Kevin up. Priest ROCKS Kevin with a right, hoists him up top in the corner and ROCKS him again! Priest climbs up, but Kevin hits back!
Priest and Kevin brawl, Priest gets the edge. Priest brings Kevin up, but Kevin blocks the superplex! Kevin throws body shots, and even a headbutt! Kevin headbutts again, Priest falls down! Kevin adjusts, SWANTON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Kevin thinks of what he has to do now. Kevin aims, kicks but no stunner! Kevin ducks the heel kick, tries gain, but Priest dragon sleepers! But Kevin slips free to pop Priest up, SIT-OUT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives again and Kevin is shocked! Fans rally up, Kevin aims, kicks, but Priest blocks to spin and ROUNDHOUSE! Kevin wobbles into a choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!!
Priest is shocked that Kevin survives! Kevin rolls away to a corner but Priest follows. Priest throws hands, whips Kevin corner to corner, but Kevin falls, clutching his leg. The ref checks on Kevin, Kevin flounders up saying it’s cramping up. The ref wants a medic to check this, fans boo but Priest isn’t sure what to make of this. But then Kevin suckers him in for a STUNNER!! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
Priest was right about Kevin being a liar! But now, Kevin could also be a contender! Will Kevin add the US Championship to his Road to WrestleMania?
Backstage interview with Nikki A.S.H.
What is her plan heading into tonight’s match with former tag partner, Rhea Ripley? Nikki tells Sarah that this is no different than any other match. It is clear to Nikki now that she stands on her own, and she couldn’t feel any better. Rhea should be down and out, completely mortified after being proven the friend Nikki didn’t think she was. But Nikki, you were the one who attacked Rhea- Sarah, you need to get your facts straight! Rhea is the one who broke up the team. Rhea is the one who decided to take their friendship and flush it! She is the villain, not Nikki! And Nikki is the closest thing that the people of Tulsa will ever have to a real hero. She will be the People’s Hero.
And sometimes, heroes have to do things that regular people don’t understand. After tonight, Rhea will realize that she needs a superhero, whether she likes it or not. Nikki strikes her superhero pose and walks away, but will Rhea’s brutality smack some sense into her?
The Alpha Academy heads to the ring.
Pomp & Circumstance plays because today is Otis’ graduation! Will the NEW Raw Tag Team Champions be celebrating on top of their big title victory from last week?
Raw returns and Gable is at the podium. “Greetings and salutations my fellow colleagues and… Oh who am I kidding? I don’t have any colleagues here, considering I’m an Olympian with a Master’s Degree that did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA! Thank you! Don’t do that. Don’t boo education. That’s gross, everybody.” But it makes sense, since the odds of anyone in Oklahoma having a Master’s, let alone graduating high school, are slim to none! Now shoosh! Tonight is about celebrating. Not just an institution but an individual. Gable could go on and on about himself, because his list is long.
But tonight is about a man who overcame the odds. An absolute tree trunk in the ring and a great student in the classroom. Gable’s prized pupil, his protégé, his number one guy, OTIS! Gable’s so proud. Last week, Otis applied the lessons and passed his final exam by decimating the moronic RKBRO and claimed the Academy’s rightful spot as tag team champions! So tonight, it is Gable’s honor and pleasure- Fans chant with “RKBRO! RKBRO!” They’re trying to have a ceremony for Otis! Gable presents to Otis, who has no last name anymore, the highest graduating honors from the Alpha Academy! The music plays again as they hug it out.
Gable says Otis has the floor. Look at that face! Otis thanks Chad, and says Gable has helped him reach his full potential. But now he has a warning: expect pure carnage for anyone who messes with the titles! They ain’t stopping, and they ain’t ever gonna stop! But here comes Matt Riddle! The Bro is in his own graduation gown, but it has mismatched sleeves… Riddle asks, “What’s up, bros? Big O, you’re looking pretty, pretty tight. And you guys don’t even wanna know what I had to get this graduation gown on time.” But when he got invited to this ceremony, he knew he had to make a very special speech.
Riddle brings out his speech, written on a napkin from this morning’s breakfast buffet. “Fellow graduates and Tulsinians. IT felt like just last week, Randy and I were the WWE Raw Tag Team Champions. We were livin’ on the edge, drivin’ with the top down, lettin’ the wind blow through our hair. We were just a couple o’ young, wild stallions runnin’ free. But today is graduation day. And our lives will change forever. Randy would always say, ‘Life comes at ya pretty fast.'” Gable stops him there, he has no idea what he’s going on about. Riddle was NOT invited to this. And Oklahoma can’t afford to lose another braincell, so just be on your way.
Riddle has “Gablestiltskin” take it easy. Riddle wants to say how proud he is of them. Them and their astronomical necks. See? He can use big words, too, Chad! Gable says Riddle is an idiot. He already ruined Otis’ night, so get to the point. RKBRO wants a rematch? Problem is, Riddle probably can’t even define the word rematch. Riddle so can! A rematch is… uh… when you have to light something up twice! Like a candle! But hey, a rematch sounds like a pretty sick idea. Fans wanna see it! Gable knew it. No wonder Orton left Riddle high and dry. Where even is he? Riddle unzips his gown to show off his “Hey Raaaandy” shirt.
Gable and Otis will give them a rematch, under one condition: they have to prove their mental aptitude in an Alpha Academy Academic Challenge! Otis suddenly looks worried. TO spell it out, it’s Riddle & Randy VS the Academy to prove the smarter team! Because we already saw who the physically dominant team is! Whoa, an academic challenge? Like Billy Madison? Or more like Wheel of Fortune? Riddle loves spinning that wheel, and maybe he and Otis could run in a giant hamster wheel. Gable kinda looks like a jacked hamster, but with three times the brains. Otis is furious and throws off his gown! Riddle wants Otis to back it up and cool off.
Otis storms up the ramp, barking about this being his night! But Orton gets in the ring to RKO Gable!! And then Riddle trips up Otis on the apron! RKBRO got one over on the Academy, and now Orton wears one of the red graduation gowns! Orton gets the mic to then tell the Academy, “We accept!” Will Riddle & Orton get PhDs in kicking the Academy’s asses?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Theory thanks Vince for the rematch with Finn Balor. But uh, what’s Vince watching on his TV? It was the previous match, where Finn won. Oh… Theory knows he lost, but then he beat the hell outta Finn and nearly ended his career. In fact, it was like a half victory. No such thing. So tonight, Theory needs to beat Finn and beat him up. If Theory doesn’t, Vince will get someone to drag Theory to this office and Vince will beat Theory up! Smash him all over, and by the time he’s finished, it’ll just be blood, snot and broken teeth. Then Vince will take a selfie with that. And send it to Mama Theory! Oh… Theory has been warned, will he make good on this rematch?
WWE honors Martin Luther King Jr.
“Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. That all men would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That dream of MLK’s, where we judge not by the color of skin but by character, is still alive. We will all reach the Promised Land together.
Finn Balor VS Austin Theory!
Raw returns and Theory makes his entrance. The Prince is back after being out a month, will he make Theory pay for every minute he’s missed? The bell rings, they circle and tie up, and Theory puts Finn on ropes. The ref counts, Theory lets off but Finn blocks the cheap shot to kick and headlock! Finn thrashes to grind Theory down, Theory powers out but Finn ducks and dodges, only for Theory to CLOBBER him with an elbow! Theory drags Finn out of the ring to smack off the apron! And then whip him into barriers! Theory goes into the ring and the ring count climbs. Finn stands but Theory goes out after him.
Theory whips, Finn reverses, and Theory hits barriers! Finn then hits a SLINGBLADE! Theory writhes, the count is rising, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Finn rallies, trips and DOUBLE STOMPS Theory down! Theory goes to a corner, Finn runs in and CHOPS! Finn whips Theory corner to corner, Theory reverse but Finn reverses back, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO! Finn snarls, Theory crawl to ropes and Finn KICKS him out of the ring! Finn drags Theory up but Theory HOTSHOTS! Theory somersaults in, but into a SLINGBLADE! Finn then runs, into a LARIAT from Theory! Theory hauls Finn up to FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Fireman’s carry, A T- NO! Finn makes it a roll up, TWO! Theory and Finn get up, and Finn goes to the apron. Finn shoulders into Theory, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs up!
But Theory avoids the Coup De Grace to somersault SHOTGUN! Fireman’s carry, A T L!! Cover, Theory wins!
Winner: Austin Theory, by pinfall
Theory saves himself from Vince’s wrath, and he gets his victory selfie. But to make good on what Vince told him, Theory fires off fists! Theory then drags Finn up, fireman’s carries again, for another A T L! Theory tells Finn to expect the unexpected. But will Finn find a way to teach Theory and Mr. McMahon respect for The Prince?
Nikki A.S.H. VS Rhea Ripley!
Before the match, Rhea is interviewed backstage. How does she respond to Nikki saying it was Rhea who ruined the relationship? Rhea says she never intended for this to hurt their friendship. But Nikki made up her mind. Rhea isn’t one to forgive very easily, so what kind of hero attacks a friend? If Rhea’s the villain here, than Nikki’s more delirious than Rhea thought. It’s time to remind everyone who Rhea Ripley is. Is Nikki in for a Nightmare tonight?
Raw returns and Nikki makes her entrance, but then so do Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella. Mella says, “Hear ye, hear ye, Tulsa. The Most Beautiful Woman in All of WWE and Your Queen have arrived to tell everyone in this dusty arena that everything we predicted about Nikki A.S.H. has come true.” Zelina’s word is absolute, and therefore she is correct by default. Not only is she a beloved queen, but also a fairy godmother. Rhea would never have been rid of Nikki without their little push. Rhea should be thanking them! Because they’ve been telling Rhea for weeks that if she stuck with an Almost Superhero, she’d never be nothing more than an almost threat.
But seems things are too late. Rhea doesn’t look like anything more than a low class loser. Without Nikki as her security blanket, does Rhea have what it takes? As Zelina’s said, you’re either the most powerful women in the room, or you’re nothing. Zelina is queen, but Rhea will be standing there, covered in trash, looking for someone to leech off of. Rhea doesn’t have the guts to be champion all on her own. Rhea tells them to bring it, then, but Nikki goes after Rhea! The ref wants Nikki to let off, but Nikki keeps hammering Rhea down! Rhea hits back but Nikki throws Rhea down! Nikki is seething, and then she drags Rhea up. Rhea kicks Nikki away but Nikki throws her out!
Nikki WRECKS Rhea with a dropkick, then goes out to RAM her into steel steps! The Almost Superhero leaves Rhea down, but the match is called off. Will Rhea get right? Or will she get revenge?
Dana Brooke and Reggie regroup backstage.
What did they talk about? Staying low and staying mobile. That’s right! Reggie is faster, stronger and amazing! Use Omos’ size against him, tire him out, and go for the legs. Meanwhile, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, Tamina, and a referee are watching while eating popcorn. Dana says Reggie can be vicious and ruthless while also super athletic. Reggie says, “Who am I kidding?” He ran into Omos full speed and bounced off him! Dana says Reggie is the most capable man she knows. Just stay away from him. But even Dana looks worried. Truth says Dana must really hate Reggie. She just told him to get got! Will Reggie even survive his run-in with Omos?
Reggie w/ Dana Brooke VS Omos!
Raw returns and Reggie makes his entrance. Dana is cheering him on, but she still looks very worried. Omos points out the clear height difference, and then he roars! Even that scares Reggie! But then here come the 24/7 Championship hunters! Dana runs into the ring, scoots under Omos and out the other side. Omos catches Tozawa, TOSSES him out, then CLOBBERS Truth! Tamina stares Omos down and Reggie climbs the corner. Tamina goes around Omos, the bell rings, and Reggie leaps! Into Omos’ arms! Omos uses both hands for the MOUNTAIN TOSS! Omos says it’s that easy. Cover, Omos wins.
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Omos didn’t break a sweat with that one! Will the colossus of Raw continue to dominate until he’s on top of the world?
Maryse heads to the ring!
As her note said, she is here to talk with Beth face-to-face. But will that all this be? Or do Miz & Mrs. have a plan for the Glamazon? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Maryse has a mic to say, “Bonsoir (good evening), Tulsa.” She assures us The Miz couldn’t make it. He has a very big mouth and likes to agree to things without asking her first, so tonight, she is cleaning up his mess. She then asks Beth to come out alone so they can do this right. Woman to woman, wife to wife and mother to mother, Maryse wants to talk. Beth makes her entrance, but Edge still follows her out. Maryse wants Edge to wait on the ramp until they’ve had this conversation. There aren’t many ways to put this, but the match at the Rumble, it has to be canceled. Uh, okay. This oughta be good, so Beth is all ears.
Maryse says she doesn’t want it, surely Beth doesn’t want it, and the fans don’t want it! Fans boo, they DO want it. Maryse is trying to have a heartfelt moment, guys. Really? Really? Really? Maryse is sure sounding like Miz here… Maryse says she has the mic, so she can be louder than everyone here. It doesn’t matter what you think! Now she’s The Rock? But anyway, Maryse wants Beth to listen. They’re from the same generation in WWE. They fought together. Remember those two minute matches? Fans chant, “You Suck!” but Maryse asks if they’re done.
But Beth, c’mon. They fought together and made the Women’s Division what it is today! They’re great at what they do! Just look at them! Women nowadays main event WrestleMania thanks to these two! So if anything, Maryse thinks that they should be on the same team. They should be a unit! Friends! Even their daughters can be friends! They can have play dates, dinners, or even just a coffee. Beth wants Maryse to know that she speaks for everyone here when she says, “Just shut up!” Seriously? BFF’s? Playdates? Is anyone buying this? NOPE! So that means Maryse takes acting lessons from The Miz.
Beth boils it down to a simple answer: the match is NOT off. Beth is NOT missing the chance to tag team with her husband for the first time ever. And she is NOT missing the chance to Glam Slam Maryse’s ass through the canvas! In fact, why not give the fans a preview? Beth storms up to the ring but Maryse stays put. Wait, Miz attacks Edge at the ramp! But Edge DECKS Miz! Maryse really was lying about Miz being at home! But then Maryse CLOBBERS Beth with her purse! What’s in that bag?! Maryse and Miz decide to show us: it was a BRICK! A literal BRICK! Maryse tosses her hair back and celebrates with The Miz. But will Edge and Beth only look to break The It Couple for that one?
The Street Profits are fired up backstage!
Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford have a dream! The dream is that they have a plan and will execute it and win! The best part is, they do it in Tulsa, Oklahoma~! YESSIR! All the bodies in the ring, it’ll be like a mini Rumble. Which is great cuz the Profits were the first to declare for this year’s Rumble! Their first one, tossin’ bodies! But will Ford throw Dawkins? Rey Mysterio & Dom walk over to say not to worry. They’re a team tonight, and they’ll also be in the Rumble. Rey has to get this off his chest: Los Mysterios will outlast 28 other men in the Rumble. And then, not only will they throw those guys out, they’ll take the Mysterio name back to the Mania main event!
Okay, all due respect, that’s only if the Profits don’t make it there first. Because the Profits are up! And WE WANT THE SMOKE! Will these four burn it down to then light it up on the Road to WrestleMania?
8 Man Tag: The Street Profits & The Mysterios VS Apollo Crews, Commander Azeez & The Dirty Dawgs!
Raw returns and the Dawgs make their entrance. Then the Pride of Nigeria and his right hand man make their entrance. Teams sort out, Dolph Ziggler starts against Dom. They tie up, Dom waistlocks but Ziggler elbows free. Ziggler talks trash, runs, but Dom follows to RANA! Dom runs at Ziggler in the corner but Ziggler CLOBBERS Dom! Tag to Robert Roode and he stomps Dom. Roode drags Dom up, suplexes, but Dom knees free! Dom kicks low, tags Rey, and Rey gets a boost to RANA! Rey whips, Roode reverses but Rey dodges and tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey runs in but Roode puts him on the apron. Rey DECKS Roode, climbs, and leaps, but the rana is blocked
Roode brings Rey up, but Rey RANAS Roode out of the ring! Ziggler and Dom get in, Dom whips but Ziggler throws Dom up and out! Ford and Dawkins DROPKCIK Ziggler out! All eight men are on the outside now and shouting, but the ref keeps the peace while Raw goes to break!
Raw returns, Roode tags Ziggler and the Dawgs double whip Rey to double elbow him down. Then the Dawgs hit Rey’s corner to knock everyone down! Fans boo but Ziggler drags Rey over to tag Apollo. Apollo hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is upset on Apollo’s behalf, but Apollo decides he’ll finish it now. Apollo gets Rey up, trophy lifts, but Rey fights free to a DDT! Both men are down and fans fire up! Rey crawls, Dawks is back! Hot tag to the Curse of Greatness! And he rallies on everyone! He hurdles Apollo to hit a FLYING BACK ELBOW! Roode runs into an EXPLODER! Ziggler runs into an EXPLODER!
Dawkins gives Apollo a CYCLONE SPLASH, then the SILENCER! But Azeez gets in to break the cover! Ford returns to ENZIGURI Azeez out! The Dawgs TOSS Ford out! But the Mysterios dropkick the Dawgs onto the ropes! STEREO 619’s! Dom goes up and out to LEAP at Azeez! But Azeez catches him! Rey jumps to add on, the Mysterios take out Azeez! But Apollo rolls Dawkins up! TWO, and pop-up for SKY HIGH! Tag to Ford, he’s up top! FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, the Profits & Mysterios win!
Winners: The Street Profits & The Mysterios, by pinfall
Ford was five-star again with that splash, but then the Mysterios decide to dump the Profits out! Rey says that’s nothing personal, just a sample of the Rumble. And then he dumps Dom out! The son’s got a lot to learn still. But will Dom & Rey look to be in that final handful at the Rumble to put their name back on the WrestleMania marquee?
WWE looks at the parallels of Lashley and Lesnar.
“Forge: to form by heating and hammering; to beat into shape.” Great warriors are born at the forge, shaped by the heat of the fire and tried in the brutality of combat. This is the beginning of two such warriors. “The great plains often invoke idyllic dreams of an unending cascades of crops and green pastures. But in winter, these dreams are overtaken by the harsh reality of desolation and decay. It is here that the heart of a Beast was forged, and a Conqueror was born.” Brock Lesnar is a two-time NCAA All American with over 100 victories, and the NCAA Division I Heavyweight Champion. And just five months after his WWE debut, The Next Big Thing was WWE Champion.
After ravaging every challenger in the WWE, the Beast would go to the UFC, and in just three fights, he’d reign supreme as the UFC Heavyweight Champion. Then upon returning to the WWE, Lesnar’s path of devastation continued. He took 16-time WWE Champion John Cena to Suplex City, ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania undefeated streak, and cemented his dominance as a three-time Universal and six-time World Champion. He is a Beast without limits, without remorse, and without fear.
“Discipline. Restraint. Control. It is from these fires that the All Mighty was forged. Son of a US Army drill sergeant, Bobby Lashley learned at an early age that only by rigorously harnessing his natural ability that he would the greatness that he sought.” A three-time NAIA wrestling champion, Lashley would follow his father’s footsteps into the Army, and he honed his craft onto his way to winning gold in the Armed Forces Championship. Lashley would emerge in WWE as a peak physical specimen, unleashing a torrent of physical power and ferocity. But while he won gold, Lashley couldn’t quite find that next level.
A sojourn into MMA ignited the fires and Lashley had a 15-2 record. Then he’d return to the WWE and he would unleash havoc on opponent after opponent with his arsenal of high impact moves, headlined by the Hurt Lock full nelson. He would become United States Champion, Intercontinental Champion, and ultimately, WWE World Champion. Now, Lashley is ready for the one challenge that eluded him. For 20 years, Lashley believes Lesnar was ducking him. But Lesnar is confident that if they’d met before, Lesnar would’ve already beaten him. But the Royal Rumble will see the champion Beast collide with an All Mighty challenger.
These paths have finally crossed. Two warriors, forged in flame, battle and gold, fight for the ultimate prize. Only one emerges THE WWE World Champion. Will the ring even stay standing as these wage war?
The Miz & Maryse are heading out.
Kevin Patrick stops them to ask about that vicious attack. Miz says it took ONE SHOT to take down the Glamazon! Now Beth needs medical attention! Now the Grit Couple is the SH- Maryse stops Miz there. The girls are watching at home. Oh, right. Daddy loves ya, girls! And Miz loves Mommy. He is the best husband ever, because he remembered that Maryse’s birthday is next week! So before saying bonny nut- No, no, it’s bonne nuit. The T is silent. Right, bonne nuit to the Grit Couple, Miz is going to throw the most expensive, extravagant and amazing birthday party that anyone has ever seen, because Miz loves Maryse.
Nothing, especially not Edge & Beth, is stronger than their love. These two make-out right in front of us… But will announcing the birthday party here come back to bite the It Couple?
Alexa Bliss has another therapy session.
She and her therapist sit quietly a moment before he welcomes her back. He’s happy to say that there are less breakable things here in the office. She isn’t sure about that. But these sessions will continue. He will not tolerate a repeat of last week, though. He does apologize for showing her such a sensitive subject, but he had to know where she stood psychological. He promises her that she will be on the road to recovery. Neat. Now, let’s do word association. Okay, sure. How does she feel about the word, “Trust.” “Lily.” Friend? Lily. Home? Lily. Doll… Lily. Imaginary. Alexa gets up out of her seat and glares at him. Okay, time’s up.
The doc bolts but Alexa cools off. She sits back down, looks around the room, but stays quiet. Will Alexa ever get over her twistedly tragic past?
Bobby Lashley w/ MVP VS Seth Rollins!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is ready to wreck everything, including Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, The Visionary is preparing to repeat history and defeat Roman Reigns once again. But who will have some major momentum on their side going towards those titanic title matches? The main event of top championship challengers begins after the break!
Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance. The bell rings and Lashley glares while Rollins smirks. The two circle, fans rally up, and the two tie up. Rollins headlocks, Lashley powers up to power out, but Rollins duck sand dodges. Lashley hurdles then runs Rollins over! Fans cheer as Lashley mocks Rollins’ pose. The two reset, circle and tie up again. Rollins waistlocks, Lashley uses ropes to buck Rollins away, but Rollins hurdles and drops to then go perpendicular, SLINGBLADE! Rollins kicks, reels Lashley in, but Lashley back drops free! Lashley stalks Rollins, but Rollins fights the full nelson! Rollins drops to KICK Lashley, then he dumps Lashley out!
Rollins builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit but Lashley stays up! Rollins goes back in, builds speed again, DIVES, but into a clinch! OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley roars and Rollins flounders while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Rollins has Lashley down now! Rollins drags Lashley to a corner to SLAM a leg against the post! Rollins SLAMS the leg again, talks trash to MVP, then gets in as the ring count reaches 5 of 10. Rollins drags Lashley up, puts the bad leg in the ropes, pulls until the ref counts, then dropkicks the leg! Lashley falls, Rollins drags him to center and steps through to drop a leg on the knee! Lashley snarls and fans rally up. MVP coaches Lashley, but Rollins drops another leg on the bad knee! And then another! Rollins has the toehold, ties up the legs, but Lashley fights, only for Rollins to still get the Indian Deathlock!
Rollins keeps Lashley’s hands away while Lashley endures the hold. Rollins SLAPS Lashley in the side, but Lashley pulls hair! The ref reprimands, Lashley lets go but he punches Rollins! Rollins lets the legs free, but then he gets the bad one for a DRAGON SCREW! And into a HALF CRAB! Lashley endures, even as Rollins sits deep! Lashley powers up, fans rally up, and Lashley turns, only for Rollins to stomp the leg! Rollins has the Half Crab again! MVP coaches Lashley more but Rollins talks trash on “Bob.” Lashley fights up, turns things over, and he boots Rollins away! Rollins falls out of the ring but he’s right back in! Lashley avoids the stomp for a COMPLETE SHOT!
MVP says that’s the All Mighty Lashley he knows! Lashley grits his teeth and pushes up, just as Rollins also sits up. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! And then another! Lashley runs in at the corner, to RAM into Rollins! Lashley turns Rollins around, NECKBREAKER! Lashley fires up and Tulsa fires up with him! Lashley gets Rollins up, suplexes, but Rollins fights free! Lashley kicks low to gut wrench, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives but MVP coaches Lashley to keep going. Lashley aims from a corner, Rollins rises, Lashley runs in, into a KNEE! Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW! Then runs, but into a scoop!
Rollins slips out, shoves Lashley into buckles, then kicks low! Rollins underhooks the arms, PEDIGREE!! Cover, TWO!?! Lashley survives but Rollins is too tired to be shocked! Fans rally behind Lashley but Rollins stands. Rollins goes to a corner, climbs up top, but Lashley gets him with a choke grip! Lashley climbs up, but Rollins fights with elbows! But Lashley clinches, for a SUPER BELLY2BELLY!! Rollins goes flying to the other side of the ring! Lashley gets back to a corner but the Hurt Business go after him!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by disqualification
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin mug Lashley but Lashley fights back! That’s still 2v1, and they POST him! Alexander & Benjamin shout that he’s brought this upon himself, and then the POST Lashley again! They glare at MVP but then drag Lashley back up. But Lashley DOUBLE SUPLEXES them instead! COMPLETE SHOT for Benjamin! Fireman’s carry and the POST for Alexander! Lashley SPEARS Benjamin through barriers! Rollins is shocked at seeing the carnage, but the USOS run out from the crowd! Rollins turns around, into DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Jimmy & Jey make up for missing the target on SmackDown!
Rollins lost the match and then got got! Will he stand a chance of dethroning the Head of the Table if the Usos can get him on his show? As for Lashley, will he be able to go for the gold if he has his former henchmen coming after him?
This was a decent episode, but with really glaring low points. Does Vince just hate Women’s Wrestling again? Why is it that the matches tonight were basically filler to move the story along? Nikki VS Rhea being No Contest was whatever since it at least went with story. But that opening tag match had Becky, Piper, Bianca and Liv, all of which are basically the stars of the Raw Women’s Division. Yet Vince couldn’t be bothered to give that match more than a bathroom break amount of time! I suppose because it was Piper ending it all very quickly, we’re supposed to think Piper is that great, but honestly it just hurt all four women. If Bianca was taken out by just a corner splash, how is she to win the Rumble?
Finn VS Theory 2 was also way too short. I get there was a commercial break in the middle but that just makes it worse. Theory winning was clean also a shame, and not because of Vince’s weird threat to him. I get that Theory needed to win to make a feud out of this, but why not dirty it up a little? When is Finn going to get a chance to comment on how Theory is Vince’s pet project and all that? This whole thing is just hurting my brain. And only a little less than the Veer Mahaan videos coming back. He better show up in the Rumble. And this week’s Alexa therapy session was filler. It was just her associating everything with Lily but not even in a more compelling way than last week’s “triggered Alexa” vignette.
We got a good 8 Man Tag but it was also on the short side. It was pretty standard Rumble season stuff for Rey & Dom to dump the Profits out, but Rey dumping Dom was a bit of a surprise. Maybe Dom will do the same during the Rumble on Rey? I did appreciate them weaving three backstage segments into one, going from Reggie wanting advice from Edge but basically striking out, and then Edge talking with Priest and then Priest talking with Kevin. If Dana still has the 24/7 title come the Women’s Rumble, can that title end up hot potato’d around to end up on someone from SmackDown? Or does Fox just hate that title?
Omos of course destroyed Reggie, but I almost thought he was going to somehow end up 24/7 champion. That’d probably put the end to the title, though, because who would even try to take it from him? Kevin had a very good match with Priest, and his win definitely puts him in line for the US Championship, but who knows if Kevin will even go for it with him so closely connected to Rollins in their stories. And we got a good promo segment out of Maryse and Beth. But Maryse bringing up the Diva Era short matches and yet we got a short women’s match here, the irony clearly goes over Vince’s thick head. That brick in the purse, though. And telegraphing the birthday stuff for next week, Maryse’s cake is definitely going into someone’s face.
The Alpha Academy graduation was a pretty good segment. I am sure Riddle was referencing something but I can’t place it. I can’t believe they’re kayfabing that Otis never had the last name “Dozovic.” That’s taking Vince’s love of editing names to a new, dumber level. But I loved the face Otis made when Gable said they were going to have a tag team academic challenge. He’s going to end up the weak link for his team since this graduation was based on his in-ring skills. The Lesnar Lashley vignette was well made, but a rather melodramatic theme in the narration. After the string of short matches, it just felt like WWE trying too hard to be cinematic and not enough about action.
Lashley VS Rollins was great stuff, until the Hurt Business “ruined” things. It just keeps reminding us of how flippant they’ve been with that faction’s story. They work together against Goldberg but then not together against Lesnar, and now the Hurt Business is just being thrown at Lashley in an attempt to build Lashley as brutal and dominant without it being in the matches. The Usos getting the drop on Rollins was pretty good, though, since that carries over from SmackDown. If they’d let it just be the Usos trying to mess with Rollins, I think things would’ve felt a bit better.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s AEW Dark: Elevation Results & Report! (1/17/22)
Raleigh gets Elevated!
A lucky seven for Elevation!
AEW continues in Raleigh and has a strong seven for Elevation! Jay Lethal is keeping himself sharp for what could be an FTW Championship showdown!
- Matt Sydal & Lee Moriarty VS JR Miller & Marcus Kross; Sydal & Moriarty wins.
- Tay Conti VS Ameera; Conti wins.
- Gunn Club VS JB Cole & T.I.M; Gunn Club wins.
- Frankie Kazarian VS Labron Kozone; Kaz wins.
- Ruby Soho VS Kenzie Page; Soho wins.
- Private Party VS Chase Emory & Patrick Scott; Private Party wins.
- Jay Lethal VS Alexander Moss; Lethal wins.
Pretty clear cut stuff here, but I like that we’re seeing Sydal & Moriarty in tag action again. Kenzie Page is back in AEW and she’ll give Ruby Soho a good match. Good to see Kaz back in action, they kinda let the ball drop on his Elite Hunter story but maybe he can build himself up towards the TNT Championship. And I have a feeling in Gunn Club’s match, fans will troll Austin & Colten as “Ass Boys” again and that could come close to costing them.
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Mitchell’s AEW Rampage Results & Report! (1/14/22)
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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (1/14/22)
SmackDown gets extreme!
POD is WAR: Back In The Saddle
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