Raw is closing out the year with a bang!
The last Monday of 2021, and Raw has a big night! The RKBRO-nament finals are finally here, and Miz & Mrs. renew their vows for the New Year!
- Matt Riddle w/ Randy Orton VS Chad Gable w/ Otis; Riddle wins.
- Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Otis w/ Chad Gable; Orton wins.
- Mixed Tag: Reggie & Dana Brooke VS R-Truth & Tamina; Reggie & Dana win.
- Tag Team RKBRO-nament Finals: The Street Profits VS Rey & Dominik Mysterio; The Street Profits win and will challenge RKBRO for the tag titles at WWE Day 1.
- AJ Styles VS
OmosApollo Crews w/ Commander Azeez; Styles wins.
- Kevin Owens VS Cedric Alexander w/ MVP & Shelton Benjamin; Kevin wins.
- WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Dolph Ziggler; Ziggler wins by disqualification, Priest retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
RKBRO heads to the ring!
The Bro is back by the Viper’s side as he’s about to take on the Dozer 1v1! Will Orton manage to hit Otis with the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment? Or will no neck mean no RKO?
Before the match, Orton and Riddle get mics. Orton doesn’t want to read Riddle’s Christmas card, but Riddle says what Orton mean sis, “Welcome to the final Monday Night Raw of 2021!” And if you loved them this year, you’ll love what they do in 2022, bro! Like patenting Riddle’s Bro-gurt! But can Orton do Riddle a favor>? “Close your eyes, and look into the future.” Orton wants this to stop right there. The only thing that will give Orton a Happy New Year is beating Otis right here tonight. And the only way RKBRO has a Happy New Year is retaining the tag titles at Day 1. And Riddle couldn’t agree more!
But while Orton took care of business, Riddle did some self-reflecting. Some self-vipering, like Orton told him to do. Riddle looked at himself from the outside. His skin was turning green and he was starting to grow scales. Orton gets where this is going. Go see a doctor, Riddle. But in seriousness, this isn’t The Matrix. Someone please show footage from last week so Riddle knows what actually happened. Highlights play of Orton taking out Chad Gable with an RKO, but also how he couldn’t get Otis though he tried three times. Riddle says, “Whoa, Randy! How’d you get a video to play up on that screen like that? It was like magic!”
But hey, Randy. Riddle is thinking, that Otis guy might be un-RKO-able. He has no neck! He’s like a human bulldozer! Like, imagine how many burritos he eats, and what kinds. Brutal! But that also got Riddle thinking of that time they went out for burgers and Orton said Riddle was his best friend. Don’t, Riddle. Just don’t. We all know Otis is a powerhouse- And here comes the Alpha Academy! Gable has a mic to say, “Randy, how did a nitwit like you get so far ahead of the curve? I love to see it. And I love to see that everybody else is about to learn the same free lesson I taught you last week.” There is no more dangerous man than his protégé, his prized pupil, his number one guy, OTIS!
Look at that face! Gable gives Otis a kiss on the cheek before continuing. “Now it is true, I recently achieved my Master’s Degree. And I did it with an immaculate 4.0 GPA.” Oh, booing education? Booing genius? Makes sense. He is a bit advanced for Motor City. Fans boo and Gable brings back, “SHOOSH!” The mindless morons of Detroit can perhaps understand that Randy Orton is no match for Otis. When Otis gets down with Orton and sends him limping into Day 1, regardless of the outcome, it won’t be long before the titles are around the waists of the Alpha Academy. Riddle has Gable slow down there. Gable seems pretty smart, but Riddle is a man higher education.
Riddle asks what Alpha Academy even means. What’s the curriculum? Does Otis even know? But Riddle’s got a lot of knowledge up in his noggin that he’d love to show, when he takes on Gable 1v1 tonight! Orton made it look easy, so… Gable says Riddle is an ignoramous. Riddle really wants to challenge an Olympian just days before the big match? What’s wrong with him? Actually, if the Academy gets a shot at both RKBRO members, then Gable accepts! Then check yourself before you wreck yourself! And after RKBRO sweeps, Riddle’s got a gift Orton will love.
So Gable, get your big, beautiful brain in the ring so it can meet the three most dangerous letters in all of sports entertainment: R! K! BRO! Well, that’s a few letters too many, but will Riddle show Gable that the Master’s Degree only goes so far in the ring?
Matt Riddle w/ Randy Orton VS Chad Gable w/ Otis!
Raw returns and the bell rings. Riddle and Gable circle, tie up, and go around. Gable waistlocks and SLAMS Riddle, rolls him around, but Riddle fights up. Gable SLAMS him down again, floats around, waistlocks again, then spins Riddle to snapmare. Gable waistlocks to bridging cover, TWO! Riddle is up, Gable spins him around and rolls again to another cover, TWO! Riddle is up but Gable arm-drags! Gable holds onto the arm, Riddle slips around and gets the TRIANGLE HOLD! Gable rolls, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Riddle lets off quickly. Gable gets up and Riddle paces as fans fire up. Gable and Riddle tie up, Riddle waistlocks but Gable elbows out!
Gable throat chops Riddle to a corner, then throws hands and forearms! Riddle hits back with forearms of his own, and he has Gable in the other corner to fire off KICKS! Riddle whips, Gable reverses but Riddle boots. Gable blocks to put that leg in the ropes, then he gets the other, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Orton coaches Riddle but Gable gets the leg for a KNEE JAMMER! And another! And then Gable YANKS the leg! “For the Academy!” Gable steps through for a toehold, then he has a standing toehold. Fans rally as Riddle endures, and Riddle fights free with his other leg! Riddle gets up, catches Gable but Gable dodges the Pele to roll, TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Gable is shocked but he gets to a corner. Gable climbs up, MOONSAULT, but into the TRIANGLE HOLD! Gable scrambles, rolls free, ANKLE LOCK! Riddle reaches out, Orton coaches him up but Gable drags Riddle from ropes! Riddle rolls to throw Gable away! Gable ducks a kick, waistlocks, rolls CHAOS THEORY, but Riddle lands on his feet! FINAL FLASH! Riddle goes up top now, FLOATING BRO!! Cover, Riddle wins!
Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall
But Otis POUNCES Riddle out of the ring! Orton warns Otis, and fans are fired up! The Viper and The Dozer have it out, after the break.
Randy Orton w/ Matt Riddle VS Otis w/ Chad Gable!
Raw returns and the bell rings! Orton kicks and fires off EuroUppers to keep Otis staggering! But Otis just powers out of the RKO! Orton hits the mat hard, Otis runs to SPLASH! “I’m the man!” Gable cheers on “4.Otis” as Otis runs to hit a falling headbutt! Orton flounders to a corner, Otis stalks up behind him. Otis RAMS his shoulder into Orton again and again, then lets off as the ref counts. Fans rally for Orton but Otis runs and RAMS into Orton again! Otis stalks Orton as Gable cheers him on. Otis drags Orton up, scoops him, but Orton slips out! Still no RKO as Otis shoves Orton out of the ring! Orton gets up, Otis runs in around the way, but Orton moves and Otis hits steel steps!
Orton hobbles back into the ring while Otis clutches his ribs. Otis gets on the apron, Orton KICKS him in the ropes! Otis is stuck, fans fire up! Orton isn’t even sure he can, but he gets Otis out for a DRAPING DDT! Fans are fired up and so is Riddle, but Orton gasps and sputters as he sits up. Fans rally up, Orton feeds off the energy, and he hears the voices in his head! Otis slowly gets up, but still no RKO! Otis scoops for a POWERSLAM! But he doesn’t cover, Gable wants his number one guy to top it off! Otis drags Orton to a drop zone, then climbs up top, for a VADER SPLASH, but he FLOPS! RKO!!! Cover, Orton wins!!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
Gable can’t believe it! The Viper still struck Otis down, despite him having a lot of muscle and no neck! Riddle gets a mic to say he’s so proud! Orton RKO’d the un-RKO-able! Now is the time we’ve been waiting for! Time for Riddle’s present to Orton! And there’s only one present good enough for Riddle’s best friend. And that is a big, big, beautiful hug! “Bring it in, dude!” Fans cheer on Orton and Riddle says “nobody will know!” But they’re in front of all these fans, and cameras. But Riddle says he should give them what they want! So Orton HUGS Riddle! And then teases an RKO! All in good fun, bros! Will Orton & Riddle keep the titles through Day 1 to make 2022 the year of RKBRO?
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens.
Kevin Patrick thanks Kevin Owens for taking this time. KO and Rollins had a huge impact on Bobby Lashley and Big E after their match last week, and it just so happens Raw received a video message from Big E. KO sarcastically goes, “Wow,” as the video plays. “At WWE Day 1, I defend my WWE Championship against Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley and Kevin Owens. Now the whole world wants to know, will one of these men is going to use my champion’s disadvantage to their advantage and climb the WWE mountain like Sir Edmund Hillary.” Big E has spent the last few months talking about these men and their motivations. But for Big E, he has to get back to himself.
This is about Big E and his story. This is about starting life over at 23. This is about sleeping on a tiny, studio apartment floor while working on his craft. This is about showing up to work, ever week, knowing he is worth more. This is about getting to the very top of the industry the right way. This is about knowing he hasn’t come this far to only come this far. This is about walking out of Day 1 STILL our WWE Champion! And OH, you got ta feel that, sucka!
Back to present, KO says Big E is wrong. It is about his story, coming to work, over the odds, but not this week! Kevin Owens is here! HE shows up every week! This is about Kevin Owens’ story. And Kevin- Wait, they’re both Kevin, that’s not good. Kevin Patrick needs to change his name. One week to do that. But this is about the IMPORTANT Kevin’s story! And his perfect plan. it has all gone off without a hitch. He’s in the title match, he’s best friends with Rollins, and as such, he and Rollins executed Kevin’s plan to take Lashley out. Rollins did stuff but it was Kevin’s idea. And the next part is at Day 1, when Kevin Owens wins the WWE Championship.
Does Kevin Patrick have a problem with that? No. Then think about that while you think about the name. No, wait, you’re Bert now. Kevin leaves “Bert” Patrick behind, but will he pull off a huge victory to start off 2022?
Mixed Tag: Reggie & Dana Brooke VS R-Truth & Tamina!
The former WWE 24/7 Champion is helping The Flex Appeal hold onto the gold for the holidays, but will that all fall apart this close to New Year’s? Or will the 52-time European Television 747 I-95 South Champion and the Daughter of Superfly be the ones having a crappy New Year?
Raw returns and Truth says let’s crank it up! Truth says “What’s up?!” to Detroit, and then Tamina makes her entrance. Truth and Tamina are already at odds just getting in the ring, and then about who starts. Truth insists he start, Tamina is annoyed, but Truth and Reggie circle. They shake hands, and Truth gets the headlock! “I gottee!” But Reggie powers out, but Truth runs him over! Truth breaks it down with some dance moves, then sees Reggie’s drop down coming to do some Michael Jackson on him. Reggie kips up to egg Truth on. Things speed up, Reggie handsprings and back elbows Truth down!
Reggie whips, Truth reverses but Reggie dodges, and both men COLLIDE, head to head! Truth and Reggie are dazed, they crawl for their corners, hot tag to Tamina! She SUPERKICKS Reggie down, Dana still tries to tag even though she doesn’t have to, and Tamina storms over. Dana KNEES Tamina away, ducks and dodges to fire off kicks! Dana then cartwheels and dropkicks Tamina down! Dana keeps moving, handspring SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Dana clubs away on Tamina, then runs, into a BIG back elbow! Tamina tells the fans to shut up as she drags Dana up. Tamina thrashes Dana around, Truth tags in! But then, that means Reggie is legal!
Truth still back suplexes Dana, she lands on her feet to needlessly tag Reggie! Truth kicks Reggie, whips him to ropes, but Reggie wheelbarrows and victory roll FACEBUSTERS! Cover, Reggie & Dana win!
Winners: Reggie & Dana Brooke, by pinfall
Tamina is even more upset with Truth for losing, and Truth tries to defend his choice of strategy. Tamina just swings on him! Truth does the splits then splits! Tamina rushes Reggie and Dana, they dodge and Dana back elbows Tamina in the corner! Dana and Reggie take off with the 24/7 Championship, will 2022 be their year?
Backstage with Nikki A.S.H.
Does Nikki feel WWE made the right choice keeping Nikki from ringside for Rhea Ripley VS Zelina Vega? Well, we all saw Rhea victorious without Nikki. Rhea doesn’t need Nikki’s help. But they chose to be tag partners not because they needed to, but because they wanted to. Nikki likes to think she’s inspired Rhea, even if she’s down on her luck. And Rhea’s pep talks have helped put Nikki in the right mindset. Zelina and Carmella try to bring them down, but they’ve only made Nikki & Rhea stronger! So maybe the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions put their money where their mouths are. Rhea & Nikki officially challenge them for those titles! BOOM, ZAP, POW!
Tag Team RKBRO-nament Finals: The Street Profits VS Rey & Dominik Mysterio!
Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are back at 100%, it is finally time to face off with the Mysterio Familia! Will RKBRO be meeting the Sultans of Swag or the former father-son tag team champions at Day 1?
Raw returns and the Mysterios make their entrance. The teams sort out, and Ford starts against Dom. They circle, tie up, and Ford headlocks. He hits a takeover, Dom headscissors but Ford kips free. They go again, Dom headlocks tot he takeover but Ford headscissors. Dom kips free, Ford arm-drags but Dom arm-drags back. Both men kip up and fans cheer the exchange. RKBRO is watching backstage, too, and Dawkins says Ford’s cornrows are still good. Dom and Ford shake hands, but Ford wrenches! Tag to Dawkins and Dawkins gest the handoff, but Dom rolls and rolls and gets free! Tag to Rey and fans fire up!
Things speed up already, Rey and Dawkins each dodge, but Dawkins blocks the arm-drag to whip. Dawkins hurdles but Rey tilt-o-whirl headscissors! Rey fires off in the corner, Dawkins carries Rey but Rey sunset flips! Dawkins drags Rey up but Rey kicks free. Rey runs but gets run over! Dawkins checks his face, he drags Rey up again. Tag to Ford, double whip and dropkick for Rey! Then the back suplex SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Ford clamps onto Rey’s arm to grind the shoulder. Rey fights up, uses the ropes to flip through, but Ford whips. Rey wheelbarrows and victory rolls, TWO! Rey avoids the enziguri to tag Dom!
The Mysterios double whip and double kick to then Double Russian Leg Sweep! Dom covers, TWO! Dom drags Ford up, wrenches, tags Rey, and Rey KCIKS the arm! Rey whips, Ford reverses but Rey kicks back! Rey waistlocks, Ford switches. Dom tags in as Rey bucks the O’Conner! Rey springboards to an Electric Chair! Rey has to fight Ford, and he RANAS Ford out of the ring! Rey dropkicks Dawkins down, Dom and Rey build speed together, and they both SLIDE! SPLASH for Dawkins, SUNSET BOMB into barriers for Ford! Father and son are standing tall as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Ford has Dom down with a chinlock. Dom fights up, throws body shots, but Ford CLUBS him down! RKBRO is still watching as Ford runs in but misses in the corner! Ford bounces off buckles, Dom runs in to tilt-o-whirl and dragon sleeper, FLIPPING DDT! Both men crawl, hot tags to Dawkins and Rey! Fans fire up as Rey goes up and hits a SEATED SENTON! Things keep moving, Rey springboards to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Dawkins flounders, Rey KICKS him to a corner. Rey whips Dawkins corner to corner but Dawkins reverses to kick low and whip. Rey boots back, goes up again, and leapfrog RANAS Dawkins, to then drop toehold him to ropes!
Fans are thunderous as Rey dials it up, but into Dawkins’ FLYING ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Dawkins and Rey are both down now, but Rey elbows from the ropes. Rey BOOTS, and QUEBRADAS! But Dawkins catches him, spins him, but Rey TORNADO DDTs! Cover, Ford breaks it in time! Dom runs in to give Ford a NECKBREAKER! Dawkins DECKS Dom, but Rey rolls Dawkins up! TWO! Dawkins kicks low, gut wrenches, but Rey slips out, but Dawkins gets the underhooks! THE SILENCER! Ford goes up top, for a HUGE FROM THE HEAVENS SPLASH!! Dominik breaks the cover!! Dawkins gets Dom up but Dom throws Dawkins out! Dom runs, triangle jump and PLANCHA!
Ford straddle attacks Rey down! Ford hauls Rey up, scoops and Canadian racks, but Rey RANAS out of the bomb! Rey tags Dom, then runs to 619 Ford down! Rey FLYING RANAS Dawkins! Dom is up top, FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!?! Ford survives Latino Heat and Riddle is shocked backstage! Rey says they’ll hit the double! Dom drags Ford up, whips, but Ford reverses. Dom wheelbarrows and body scissors Ford to the ropes! But Ford staggers up, into a drop toehold! The Mysterios run but Dawkins trips Rey! Only Dom hits a 619, but Ford is back up! Dom SUPERKICKS Ford, but Dawkins slides Rey out to the floor! Dom fires off on Dawkins, whips but Dawkins reverses!
Dom dodges, springboards, but into an Electric Chair! BLOCKBUSTER DOOMSDAY from Profits!! Cover, The Profits win!!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the Raw Tag Team Championships)
The Mysterios’ call got disconnected at just the right time for Ford & Dawkins, and now they’re going to Atlanta! Will Day 1 be the first day of a new reign for the Profits?
Miz meets with crew backstage.
The bouquet for the vow renewal ceremony came in, and Miz is upset. He wouldn’t have brought these to the guy’s funeral! Does this guy not understand what’s happening tonight?! This is him and Maryse renewing their vows! One of the most storied unions in all WWE history. Miz called in some really big favors, such as calling in WWE Hall of Famer, Eric Bischoff! Bischoff congratulates Miz and Miz thanks him for being here to officiate. Well, Bischoff’s been invited to a lot of WWE weddings, and when he got this invitation, how could he say no? And in his experience, this is going to be… What is it Miz says? Oh, of course. It’ll be must-see TV. Miz and Bischoff shake hands and Miz is upset about the roses again. Will things go awesomely for the It Couple?
AJ Styles is here!
The Phenomenal and the Colossal had a huge falling out, and Styles will speak to what happened, after the break.
Raw returns and Styles has a mic. “Omos said the next time he sees me in this ring, he’ll be in a match with me.” But uh, Styles is here. Where’s Omos? Styles doesn’t want to hear Omos is scared. Or maybe he is? Scared that he won’t live up to his full potential? Styles gets that. He was scared early on in his career. But he was never selfish and unappreciative! You gotta pay your dues to get to the top. And Omos’ dues will be paid to Styles! So the next time Styles sees Omos, all 400 pounds and 7’4″ of him, Styles will kick Omos’ teeth in. Here’s some food for thought. “I’ve got 20+ years of experience on you. I’ve seen ’em come and go, those giants!” But there’s only been ONE Phenomenal AJ Styles!
Wait, is Grayson Waller in the crowd!? Seriously? Waller is talking some smack as Styles points out the “not quite yet a superstar,” another guy who doesn’t want to pay his dues. But hey, Waller can get in. The security can let him in. Waller jumps over the barriers and gets a mic. Waller gets in the ring, does his drop steps, and Styles says he should introduce Waller to the fans. “Grayson Waller, WWE Universe. WWE Universe, Grayson Waller.” Fans boo, they know all about Waller. Waller says this was nice of Styles. But Waller figured that since Styles visited Waller on NXT, he’d do the same here on Raw. Then he’d show the world what they can see every Tuesday night: the Grayson Waller Effect.
And pay his dues? All Waller had to do was get under the skin of this “Superstar” and Styles was begging to get in the ring with him. Waller likes it here! Monday nights feel right! And they’ll feel even better when Omos is done with Styles, and Waller takes Styles’ spot. Oh, Waller likes it here? Of course he does! This is where stars are made. And Waller isn’t a star. Not even close. But since Waller is here, maybe Styles can show Waller around, give him a Phenomenal Forearm, and help him count the lights on his way out. But instead of any of that, here comes Apollo Crews! He and Commander Azeez walk out and Apollo has a mic.
“AJ, you and Omos are very similar to myself and Commander Azeez. But your giant has now left you, and we are a united front. AJ, your giant is not here tonight. But mine is!” And Azeez says, “AJ, if you want to slay giants, maybe you’ll fight me right now.” Challenge accepted! Get in the ring! Apollo likes the sound of that, and even Waller wants to see this one. Will Styles make an example of Azeez to superstars big and small?
Backstage interview with Carmella.
Nikki issued the challenge on behalf of herself and Rhea Ripley, what is Mella’s response? “Her Majesty,” Queen Zelina and Mella have taken it under consideration, and they accept! There is a hierarchy in the division, and if it takes a title match to put Rhea & Nikki in their place, then so be it. Those two are only fooling themselves if they seriously think they compare to Mella’s flawless beauty and Zelina’s regal grace. Okay, Rhea does have this “hot gothic warrior” thing going for her, and Mella likes that. And Rhea could destroy anyone with her bare hands. And she did beat the beloved queen last week.
But this will be a tag team match, which means Nikki will need to tag in. And we all know how that ends. Mella feels a bit bad for Rhea. But Nikki said it was Rhea’s choice to team with her. The fact Nikki has all these people convinced she’s almost a superhero when she’s not even close is sad. Nikki is almost second best. She is almost a good partner. She is almost good enough. But almost doesn’t count! And Zelina & Mella are definitely going to remain WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions!
AJ Styles VS Apollo Crews w/ Commander Azeez!
Raw returns, the bell rings, and despite how it looked, we’re getting The Phenomenal One VS the Pride of Nigeria! Last minute changes aside, will Styles still prove he can beat anyone at any time?
The bell rings, the two circle and approach, and Apollo kicks low to CLUB Styles on the back. Apollo fires off haymakers, CLUBS him, then runs, into Styles’ dropkick! Styles drags Apollo up, CHOPS him in the corner, then follows him to another corner to whip corner to corner. Styles runs in and hits a BIG clothesline! Styles throws Apollo down, fires up, and then runs to drop a knee! Cover, ONE! Apollo flounders away to the ropes, Styles storms over after him. Styles stands Apollo up but Apollo throat chops! Apollo suplexes and SLAMS Styles down! Styles goes to ropes, Apollo whips him to ropes but Styles holds ropes to BOOT back!
Styles runs in but into a back drop! Cover, ONE! Apollo drags Styles up, whips him to a corner hard, and Styles bounces off the buckles! Apollo drags Styles up, wrenches but Styles throws forearms! Apollo hits back, kicks and whips Styles into the corner again, and Styles bounces off chest first! Apollo soaks up the heat from Detroit as he stalks Styles. Apollo throws hands, but Styles headscissors Apollo out! Styles then slingshots but Apollo moves! Apollo gets a leg, yanks Styles down and KNEES him low! Apollo then trophy lifts and SNAKE EYES Styles off apron, to then BOOT him down! Apollo is fired up as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Apollo grinds Styles down with a chinlock. Styles fights up but Apollo wrangles him down. Fans rally as Styles endures, and Styles fights up again. Styles throws body shots, throws haymakers, but Apollo hits back. Styles ducks to PELE! Apollo is down and fans rally up. Styles gets up to fire off the Phenomenal Blitz! SLIDING FOREARM! Styles fires up and fans are with him as he run sin at the corner. Apollo BOOTS Styles, but runs into a fireman’s carry, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up as Styles drags Apollo up and reels him in. Apollo back drops out of the Clash but Styles sunset flips!
Apollo rolls through to DEADLIFT POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Apollo grows frustrated as Styles survives. Apollo drags Styles back up, trophy lifts but Styles slips off. Styles is in the corner, he elbows Apollo away. Styles goes up to QUEBRADA DDT! Styles goes to the apron and prepares his armband. But Azeez gets Apollo out of the ring! The ref reprimand Azeez, Styles runs in but Apollo gets him for fireman’s carry, and APRON DEATH VALLEY!! Apollo drags Styles in for a cover, TWO!! Styles survives and fans fire up again while Apollo loses his cool! Styles crawls to a corner, Apollo drags him up and to the top rope.
Apollo climbs up, but Styles slips under to trip him up! Styles then gets Apollo for a back suplex, but Apollo lands on his feet to ENZIGURI! Apollo pops Styles up but Styles turns Crews Missile into HURICANRANA! Cover, TWO!! Apollo escapes, but he runs into a trip and jackknife! TWO, into position, STYLES CLASH!! Cover, Styles wins!!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Azeez is upset and storms into the ring, but Styles gets away! Will Azeez get his shot at Styles next time? He turns around, Styles hits a PHENOMENAL FOREARM on Azeez! When and where will Styles get his shot on Omos?
Seth Rollins speaks via video message.
“Classic Kevin Owens, trying to take all the credit. Well, is he lying? Is he telling the truth? Nobody knows!” But since it’s the holidays, Rollins is in a giving spirit. He’ll give Kevin all the credit! Because at Day 1, Rollins takes what is rightfully his: the WWE Championship. Because even from afar, he is the Visionary, the revolutionary, he is Seth Freakin’ Rollins!
Kevin Owens heads to the ring!
Big E said his piece, Rollins just said his, and now Kevin wants to say even more! What will he have to say about Day 1’s Fatal 4 Way after the break?
Raw returns and Kevin says, “I gotta tell you all, I am in a great mood. In a festive mood, you might even say!” He had a great Christmas, and last night he main evented in Madison Square Garden! He won, just trust him, don’t look it up. And in five days, the entire world will rejoice when Kevin becomes WWE Champion at Day 1! And look, Kevin’s the only one out of the four that’s actually here tonight! Not sure why that is, but it makes Kevin smarter than Rollins, tougher than Big E and a LOT stronger than Bobby Lashley! But Kevin can’t blame those guys for not showing up in a dump like Detroit, but it is important Kevin is here to show everyone the example.
At Day 1, we will finally get a champion we can be proud of. The odds might not be in Kevin’s favor as he has to survive three of the top performer sin the WWE. But let’s think about those odds based on last week. First of all, Rollins stomped Lashley’s head right through steel steps. Kevin was an innocent bystander in all that, but that helps Kevin. If Lashley shows up, he’ll go after Rollins. Big E got speared by Lashley and is dealing with MVP’s crap, so Big E goes after them. And then Rollins and Kevin are like this! One mind, one heart, one soul! That is because Kevin created the perfect plan, executed it perfectly, and that will make Kevin THE WWE Champion!
But MVP appears! And he tells Kevin, “Oh contraire, monfrair.” Kevin could not be more wrong! As a matter of fact, MVP will give Kevin credit for a well orchestrated plan. He whined his way into Day 1, pitted his foes against each other to throw them all off, all very well done. But if Kevin thinks Lashley forgot about the apron powerbomb, he is very, very mistaken. As Kevin will find out when he gets snatched up into a Hurt Lock. It takes a lot more than a stomp on steps to take Lashley out, or a powerbomb to the apron. But Kevin is right about one thing: Lashley will be at Day 1 to wreak havoc on Rollins.
But here’s a specific message for Kevin: “I am going to rip the wet noodle arms off of Kevin’s ectomorphic body.” There’s no way Lashley wrote that big word. MVP says it doesn’t matter if it’s Rollins, Big E or Kevin Owens, someone is gonna end up in a Hurt Lock, because we are back in the All Mighty Era. Now what was that about Kevin’s odds of winning? Think about it before you answer. “Well, as utterly terrifying as that text message is,” Kevin still feels really good about his odds of walking out of Day 1. Text Lashley that in return! Well that’s only because Kevin’s an idiot. Kevin says his mom says he’s special, first of all.
Wait, Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin show up! The Hurt Business is back to 100% power with these two backing MVP up. Kevin sees how it is. He’s not the only one who plans ahead. MVP isn’t taking credit for this. Why are these two here? Alexander says Kevin is right. Hate to admit it, but he is. One man cannot beat three. Even the All Mighty can’t take on the whole world. So just think about it? When was Lashley at his best? When he was rolling with them! They know what Lashley needs. MVP stops them there before they say something they’ll regret. Lashley doesn’t need anyone. Not even MVP. But if they wanna talk business…
Kevin says we know where this is going! Cedric & Shelton want to reform the group, they want MVP to tell Lashley that’s a good idea, and maybe by beating up Kevin, that’ll convince Lashley. Skip all that so Kevin can have his match with Cedric! MVP says that is something they agree on. Let’s get to work. MVP walks with PRIME Alexander and the Gold Standard to the ring, will they make sure the Prizefighter is in no shape for Day 1?
Kevin Owens VS Cedric Alexander w/ MVP & Shelton Benjamin!
Raw returns again and the bell rings. Kevin kicks and fires off hands on Cedric, has him in the corner, then lets off as the ref counts. Cedric comes back with haymakers, then runs. Things speed up and Kevin CLBOBERS Cedric with an elbow! Then he drops a SENTON! MVP is on commentary as Kevin whips Cedric into the corner. Kevin runs in to CANNONBALL! Kevin drags Cedric to a drop zone, stomps him down, then goes up the corner. MVP says Lashley will rip those noodly arms off Kevin, and Cedric bails out. Kevin hops down, gets Cedric in a fireman’s carry, but Cedric fights his way off to then ROUNDHOUSE and STO to the apron!
Cedric catches his breath, puts Kevin in, covers, TWO! Cedric drags Kevin up, throws forearms, then waistlocks. Kevin fights free, pump handles and suplexes for a GHOSTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Kevin is frustrated but he drags Cedric up to whip him to ropes. Pop-up but Cedric slips out! Handspring and NEURALIZER! Kevin bails out, Cedric builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit into barriers! Fans fire up and Cedric puts Kevin in the ring. Cedric GAMANGIRIS, steps in and hits the COMPLETE SHOT! cover, TWO! Kevin survives but Cedric is frustrated. Cedric gets Kevin up, throws uppercuts, then runs, but Kevin LARIATS him inside-out! Then reels him in to pop-up POWERBOMB!
Kevin isn’t done there! He tells Lashley to watch this! STUNNER! Cover, Kevin wins!
Winner: Kevin Owens, by pinfall
MVP applauds, but then Benjamin gets in! He wants his shot at Kevin! Kevin isn’t so sure, Benjamin calls for a mic. Benjamin gets the mic, only to get a STUNNER! Kevin takes care of the Hurt Business, but will he take care of the business waiting for him at Day 1?
WWE United States Championship: Damian Priest VS Dolph Ziggler!
The Archer of Infamy really only owes the Show-Off this match because of “Big Bob” giving a GLORIOUS assist. But without the other Dirty Dawg at ringside, does Ziggler stand a chance of taking the title from Priest?
Raw returns and Damian Priest speaks on the darkness he keeps at bay. He did lose control of “Damian” last week. Priest enjoyed planting Roode’s head into the floor. When the blind rage takes control, no one can stop him. That same rage could hurt him against Ziggler, who has held just about every title there is to hold here in the WWE. That doesn’t happen by accident. At any moment, Ziggler could steal the whole show. If Priest loses control, Ziggler will take advantage. But he’ll come face to face with Damian, and there’s not where you want to be. Damian’s rage has cost him in the past, but it’ll also be what keeps the title exactly where it belongs.
Priest finally makes his entrance. Will Priest control his dark side to still shine into the New Year?
Raw returns, the introductions are made, and the belt is raised. Who wins gold in the last Raw main event of 2021?
Priest approaches but Ziggler uses ropes as a defense. The ref has Priest back off, but Priest blocks the sucker superkick! Priest throws the foot down but Ziggler dodges to fire off body shots! Priest grabs Ziggler to TOSS him to the corner! Ziggler dodges again to fire off hands, but Priest shoves him away. Priest kicks but Ziggler dodges to ZIG- NO! Priest bucks Ziggler, Ziggler dodges and ducks, but Priest BOOTS him down! Priest drags Ziggler back up, bumps him off buckles, then drags him up again. Priest ROCKS Ziggler with a forearm, then he puts Ziggler in the corner for knee after knee. Priest ROCKS Ziggler again, then drags him back up.
Priest whips corner to corner, runs in, but Ziggler dodges the back elbow! Ziggler kicks Priest, scrapes laces off Priest’s face, then bumps him off buckles. Ziggler throws body shots, bumps him off buckles again, then throws body shots against the ropes. Priest ROCKS Ziggler again, and again! Priest whips, Ziggler kicks back! Ziggler runs but into the back elbow! Priest runs at Ziggler to clothesline him out of the ring! A ring count starts while Ziggler is down, but Priest goes out after him. Ziggler dodges to shove Priest into barriers! Ziggler runs in but Priest TOSSES him off the DDT and Ziggler crashes into spare chairs in the timekeeper’s area! Ziggler is down as Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as Ziggler fires off on Priest in the corner with fast hands! Ziggler goes corner to corner, but he misses the splash as Priest moves! Priest ROCKS Ziggler with more haymakers, then he whips but Ziggler reverses to kick low and FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is growing frustrated but he shakes his head. Ziggler throws hands and says, “I call the shots here!” He DECKS Priest, says we’re looking at the new champ, but Priest counter punches! And ROCKS Ziggler again! Priest fires off hands from all sides, then WHEEL KICKS! Priest fires up, runs in and back elbows in the corner! Priest pushes Ziggler along to run in and hit another back elbow in the other corner!
Priest runs, gets around, shoves Ziggler to ropes and pops him up for a FLAPJACK! Then Priest spins Ziggler around, BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Ziggler survives and Priest sighs. Priest takes aim at Ziggler, but Ziggler goes into ropes to avoid the choke grip. Priest chases after but Ziggler hits a cheap shot! Ziggler runs, into the choke grip! SOUTH OF- NO! Body scissor takedown to a over, TWO! Ziggler dodges in the corner, runs in, SATELLITE DDT! Cover, TWO! Ziggler is beside himself, but he shakes his head again. Ziggler watches Priest get up, pushes him around, and shouts, “You will never be like me! This is what a champion looks like!”
Priest slaps Ziggler’s hands away, so Ziggler SLAPS him! Damian is here! Priest fires off haymakers and knees from all sides! The ref counts as Priest throws Ziggler down and rains down elbows! Ziggler gets to a corner, Priest runs in to forearm smash! Priest fires off more shouts, the ref is counting! The count hits 5, Priest is disqualified!
Winner: Dolph Ziggler, by disqualification; Priest retains the WWE US Championship
But Priest doesn’t stop! He kicks Ziggler out of the ring, drags Ziggler up, and he hoists Ziggler up to RAM him into barriers! Priest drags Ziggler back up, dragon sleeper, and THE RECKONING on the floor! Priest’s rage subsides, and he still has the gold. Will anyone ever survive the Archer of Infamy’s anger to take that title from him?
Eric Bischoff heads to the ring!
He’s back, and ready to officiate the It Couple’s vow renewal! But will things go about as smoothly as the usual, well, any special occasion that happens on WWE TV?
Raw returns and the ringside area has been turned into a wedding altar. Bischoff says it is truly, truly great to be back in a WWE ring. Especially for such an amazing moment, a cherished moment, as we’re about to see. In this industry, they honor and respect the sanctity of marriage. And this couple, they’re a perfect example of that. So introducing first, the groom, the man that is the Most Must-See Superstar in WWE History, THE MIZ! Miz makes his entrance, and he staggers a bit going up the steps into the ring. Miz manages to laugh it off, but is it a bad omen? But moving on, the blushing bride, Maryse! “Here Comes The Bride” plays as Maryse walks out to the ring.
Miz helps Maryse up the steps to avoid any mishaps, and then they go to the mics. Miz says this is the last Raw of 2021, so what better way to commemorate a year where he was WWE Champion, dominated Dancing with the Stars, and her wife made a triumphant return to Raw as they embarrassed one of the most decorated stars in Edge. And then Saturday, at Day 1, the old Edge is gone, and this new Edge can’t live up to the new standards set by Miz! Miz will dominate at Day 1! So in honor of that, they wanted to give us something uplifting to cap off the year. Here is their wedding vow renewal!
Miz says they were married in the sunny and beautiful Bahamas, but now they’re here, in decrepit, disgusting Detroit. But it’s not where they are, but who they are with. Miz is with his one true love in Maryse. Miz thanks Bischoff for officiating. Bischoff is a legend in this business and a visionary just like Miz. Bischoff says it means so much that they wanted him to share this moment. Bischoff has Maryse go first. “Michael, the first time I met you 15 years ago, I knew right there and then that you are the man of my dreams. You are my rock, you are my world, you are my everything. I love you so, so much.” The fans boo the entire time Maryse gets emotional.
At Day 1, Maryse knows Miz will show the world what she already knows: That he is the best father, the best husband, and a way better WWE superstar compared to Edge. If loving Miz is wrong, then she never wants to be right. “Michael Mizanin, will you continue to be my husband?” Miz jokingly asks if he should. Oh, the fans’ opinions don’t matter, they willing live in Detroit! And cheer for the Lions. Miz has his turn now. “Maryse, when we met in 2006, you didn’t speak a word of English, so I’m going to do my vows in French.” Oh no… Miz does his best job with it, but the accent seems a bit thick. Maryse corrects him here and there, and he slips into Spanish.
Okay, just do it in English. Miz says she is beautiful, intelligent, and a perfect role model to their daughters. If he was a woman, he’d want to be just like Maryse! When they make love, it’s like fireworks! And Maryse is the only person that can tame Miz’s wild heart. If she stays by his side, he will continue to love her in return. “Maryse, will you continue to be my wife?” Miz brings back, “When my hand goes up, your mouth goes shut!” Maryse says YES, and Bischoff says this was so beautiful! So now, without further ado, if anyone has any objections- Well hell, we know how this will turn out. EDGE is here!
The Rated R Superstar goes up the ramp, takes the steps slowly so he doesn’t trip like Miz did, and then he gets a mic. “Don’t fall. Good to see you, Eric.” Edge says he isn’t here to ruin anything. He could talk about how obnoxious The It Couple is and how he threw up in his mouth a little listening to them, but he won’t. He could talk about what kind of man Miz is for using his wife as a shield and then a decoy, but he won’t. And that’s because finally, Day 1, Edge has a match against Miz. And Edge is going to beat Miz’s ass! Miz says Edge thought they didn’t see this coming? No, they wanted him a front row seat of what true love looks like! The It Couple kisses to finish the renewal.
Edge says, “Get a room.” And true love? For the last few weeks, they have embarrassed him. Edge called it yet Miz still slipped through the cracks. But what goes around comes around. So before Edge beats Miz at Day 1, he’ll embarrass Miz here. And so Edge calls to someone in the back. Miz gets mad, what’s he doing?! Edge says he’s just messing with Miz. Playing mind games! Edge isn’t here to spoil the wedding so… Oh wait, he didn’t want this to be a white wedding did he? The red lights come up, and Edge hops off the ring so that BLACK PAINT can splatter all over the It Couple! Edge grins as he shouts out The Brood, but will he make things even worse come New Year’s Day?
There was a lot of news just today about WWE doing wonky things with their COVID-19 protocols. They pull the biggest names from their Madison Square Garden event, and even here tonight, but then say they won’t do as much testing. That’s a can of worms for another article, but that meant much of Raw tonight was adlibbed and altered, and sadly not all for the better. For one, we still got the usual crap of recap packages and extra commercial breaks before the main event match, and then that US Championship match just wasn’t what it should’ve been. They’re still insisting on giving Priest his Jekyll & Hyde, Incredible Hulk berserker rage, and he had Champion’s Advantage save him from losing the belt. Sigh…
Now, I should’ve figured the vow renewal would close the night out, and it went just as expected, but I love that Edge got to reference The Brood again and dump that gunk all over Miz & Maryse. Edge VS Miz is going to be a really good match, and I hope we see Beth Phoenix counteract Maryse. Meanwhile, there seemed to be just this mess of an adjustment for not having Styles VS Omos tonight. Waller showing up was nice and all to give us continuity between Raw and NXT (probably only because Vince is in charge of both now), but then Azeez challenges Styles only for Apollo to face him? Styles of course wins either way, but it all just seemed a bit sloppy.
The Mixed Tag was an oddly logical step for the 24/7 Championship story, even though no one tried to go for the title after. What was even more awkward was Dana and Reggie insisting on actually tagging in and out. It’s Mixed, not Co-Ed. Though, I suppose this could be a roundabout way for WWE to do away with some of that for the sake of this 24/7 Division? Of course, WWE went and cut talent that could be competing for this belt in the Women’s Division, even if this title isn’t that big of a deal anymore. Maybe it should go to NXT and give some 2.0 kids something to do. I bet Andre Chase could make a great 24/7 Champion.
Everything else we got was great, though. Good video messages from Big E and Seth Rollins, and Kevin Owens had good promos, both with Kevin “Bert” Patrick and with MVP and the still not quite reunited Hurt Business. Kevin had a really good match, but I’m thinking that he takes the loss at Day 1. RKBRO had a great promo that blended Christmas and New Year’s, and they had great singles matches against The Alpha Academy. The Profits VS The Mysterios was a great match, and I’m a touch surprised the Profits won here, as I’m pretty sure RKBRO still retains at Day 1. But at the same time, the Profits make the better choice because they’ll be able to give RKBRO a great match. Then Rey & Dom can try again at the Royal Rumble or something.
My Score: 8.2/10
NOAH WEEKLY NEWSLETTER VOL.187 ~ 29TH SEPTEMBER 2022
Keiji Mutoh continues his Retirement tour and bringing out faces from the past! NOAH has a new champion! Interesting inter-promotional battles on the horizon as well!
Kaito Kiyomiya is the new GHC Heavyweight Champion, nominates Kazuyuki Fujita as challenger
Following provocation by Kenoh not only saying that he was going to be the one to inherit Keiji Mutoh’s Shining Wizard and the memory of Keiji Mutoh himself (and the outright claim that Kiyomiya would simply forget about Mutoh once Mutoh had retired, which Kiyomiya didn’t even bother responding to), Kenoh went one step further at their last pre match on the 19th September by pulling Keiji Mutoh’s pose, kissing his hand, putting it to Kiyomiya’s lips and then exploding it. Kiyomiya erupted in fury at this, it was far more than any verbal provocation of Kenoh’s, which I guess he has learned to ignore over the years. They fought for the GHC Heavyweight in Nagoya on September 25th, with Kiyomiya emerging victorious following a modified Shining Wizard. As Kenoh left it was like a spell was broken. Kenoh went backstage and muttered about Kiyomiya being the company favorite and in his interview the day after winning the title, Kiyomiya said nothing about Keiji Mutoh. Mutoh as we know had been a focus of both Kiyomiya and Kenoh leading up to the title match.
Back in the ring, Kiyomiya called out his next opponent. Kazuyuki Fujita. Fujita came to the ring, carrying a can of beer which he swigged from. Getting in the ring he circled Kiyomiya and took off his t-shirt. Kiyomiya said that he was expecting a fight, but Fujita did something that no other NOAH wrestler had (or perhaps would) do, and that was to throw himself at Kiyomiya and then make nuzzling motions against his head, while he licked the belt. Kiyomiya pushed him off, and Fujita retaliated by pouring beer over his head.
Kiyomiya screaming that he hated beer was met with Fujita toasting him from the ramp and yelling “Kampaiii” (“cheers”) after a fight had broken out, and Kiyomiya threw him from the ring.
Backstage, Kiyomiya said his reason for nominating Kazuyuki Fujita as his challenger was that he had never been defeated for the GHC Heavyweight. Fujita had to give up the belt due to Coronavirus. It has been a recurring theme of most of the GHC Heavyweight champions since Go Shiozaki, that Fujita has been the man to beat in order to cement yourself as champion. Kiyomiya was picking up that torch.
As for Fujita, he played it as if he was a Casanova and had been asked out on a date by warning Kiyomiya that when you experience Fujita, you can never go back because you were never going to be the same. He was going to “make it a night to remember”. He sipped his beer, and licked his lips afterwards.
Title match has been set for NOAH’s return to Ariake on the 30th October.
STINGER lose, NOAH Junior Regulars win, enter Tadasuke (with a chair)
Following a period of brutal attacks on Seiki Yoshioka (by the end of the match he could hardly use one side of his body) and a title challenge where Atsushi Kotoge was bloodied up, The NOAH Junior Regulars emerged victorious and bought the tag titles home to their unit. They had very little time to celebrate their win and put ice on their wounds, when Tadasuke burst in and attacked Atsushi Kotoge with a chair while Hi69 beat up on the already incapacitated Seiki Yoshioka. Tadasuke (wild grin on his face) got on the microphone and made a challenge for the tag titles. Then Tadasuke wiped the blood from Kotoge that had got on his hands on his hair, leaving red streaks in the peroxide. Tadasuke was even waving the bloodied seat of the chair, which had detached during the attack, around backstage.
Title match will be on the 30th October when NOAH return to the Ariake complex.
Takashi Sugiura and Satoshi Kojima, NOAH’s most dysfunctional tag team, win the GHC Heavyweight tag titles
It must be said that with the combined efforts of Satoshi Kojima and Hideki Suzuki, we almost have our Sugi back.
At the press conference/title match signing, Sugi and Kojima appeared dressed in suits and wearing dark glasses. They looked something between The Men In Black and “Dangerous Detectives” (as Tokyo Sports called them which stems from a Japanese TV show). Hideki Suzuki was on form, not only mistranslating Timothy Thatcher and stating at one point that Thatcher said he came to Japan to “beat you up” and being rude to a journalist for being overfamiliar with his “punk mouth”, the highlight of the press conference was his long close up stare at Sugi, who was trying not to laugh.
The dysfunctional team won the titles in Nagoya on the 25th September, and despite their falling out during the match, Sugi actually gave Kojima a proper handshake. Then they went back to squabbling backstage over Kojima talking on the mic when it was Sugi who got the win. No challengers have come forward as of yet.
HAYATA retains the GHC Junior, Ninja Mack makes his long awaited challenge
It had been an emotional match for YO-HEY, and for fans. Cutting out the aerial techniques that had characterized their earlier matches, both he and HAYATA demonstrated how much they had both evolved by concentrating on a more NOAH based ground attack with submissions. YO-HEY might have failed in the challenge, but he had at least gotten one win over HAYATA in the pre-match. He knew the title match would be different and he would need to level up, and afterwards he reflected and said he would start from rock bottom in order to make his next challenge. What fans had noticed that while things had changed between them, some things were the same, such as YO-HEY coloring his hair, his tongue (and even his boxer shorts) purple, which is HAYATA’s color, and HAYATA not speaking as much as he has done in previous title challenges, as he is content to let YO-HEY talk. After the match, Ninja Mack came to challenge. HAYATA accepted by saying, that he was “finally interested in the belt” and acknowledging him as challenger. Title match will of course be on the 30th October. But HAYATA is not immediately going into a fallout match with Ninja Mack at NOAH’s next event on the 30th, but is having a tag match against YO-HEY.
Keiji Mutoh’s Retirement Road
Keiji Mutoh has been very busy.
– 23rd September: Great Muta appears in AEW
The Great Muta made a surprise appearance in AEW to rescue Sting, who had been tied to a chair by Darby Allen. Muta came to the ring, advanced on Sting and then turned and spat green mist into the face of Allen and then reunited with Sting. Keiji Mutoh announced that Sting would attend Muta’s retirement on the 22nd in Yokohama, but has not said in what capacity, although it is assumed that they will tag. Regarding any further appearances in America, Mutoh said he didn’t think it was likely, but did warn that The Great Muta may pop up somewhere as you never knew where he would turn up next.
– 25th September: Keiji Mutoh Retirement Road: Love Forever 2
Keiji Mutoh teamed with his junior Kazuyuki Fujita to take on Mutoh’s classmate, Masakatsu Funaki and Katsuhiko Nakajima, who Mutoh has known since he was a boy, and still calls affectionately “Katsuhiko”. Nakajima said he was going to break up this class reunion, and while Mutoh did get kicked (Nakajima smirked and said it was fun when Mutoh later complained his leg still hurt) but it was Fujita who got the worst of it. During the match, Nakajima pulled out Mutoh’s Space Rolling Elbow. Mutoh was initially not pleased, but then he became very happy to see it and said that he thought that “Katsuhiko” did it because he had some small measure of feeling for him. I think had Nakajima been a more acrobatic wrestler, Mutoh might have handed it to him. Mutoh won the match with The Shining Wizard, pinning Nakajima. This was Mutoh’s farewell to Nagoya, his classmate, his junior and Nakajima.
– 26th September: Hiroshi Tanahashi comes to the press conference and a tag match is announced
Hiroshi Tanahashi presented 38 roses to Mutoh when he came to the press conference. Each rose symbolizes a year of Mutoh’s career. Mutoh joked that he should have laid them at his feet, as had happened in boxing recently. Tanahashi said he wasn’t good at ad-libbing, and then introduced himself as “one of the greatest New Japan talents in the past one hundred years”. During the press conference, a tag match was announced. New Japan’s Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe and Honma Tomoaki will team together against the team of Naomichi Marufuji, Keiji Mutoh and Keiji Mutoh. This will take place on the 30th October. Mutoh has not given up hope of appearing one final time in the New Japan ring.
– 16th October: A new match is announced
NOAH announced that due to fan demand, Keiji Mutoh will be appearing in Fukuoka. He will tag with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima against Naomichi Marufuji, HAYATA and Jack Morris. Satoshi Kojima is of course connected to Mutoh through All Japan and New Japan, Naomichi Marufuji has wanted a match against Mutoh (he will be tagging with him as we know on the 30th October) and HAYATA has been a big fan of Mutoh for a while, as he has influenced a lot of his style and persona. HAYATA thinks of himself and The Great Muta as “The Phantom Team”. Muta doesn’t like to speak and HAYATA said, neither does he.
Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima head overseas
Naomichi Marufuji and Katsuhiko Nakajima will appear for Evolution Pro Wrestling in New York for their anniversary show on November 12th. Marufuji’s match is yet to be announced, but Nakajima will take on Josh Alexander. Alexander has said he wonders how Nakajima is going to kick after he snaps his ankle. They will also appear at King of Indies in San Francisco on November 19th.
NOSAWA vs Katsuhiko Nakajima (and Kenoh)
After being beaten up by Katsuhiko Nakajima who gave him some pretty stiff soccerball kicks outside the ring at Korakuen Hall recently, (although he would tell you that Nakajima tried to beat him up), NOSAWA Rongai has been on a quest to face Nakajima in a match. Then he threw in Kenoh, so it could be himself and Eita versus Kongoh. Hideki Suzuki told him that he was probably going to die, but NOSAWA has taken no notice and kept on with his demand. His demand has not been met because rather than facing Nakajima and Kenoh, NOAH have booked him against rookies Yasutaka Yano and Kai Fujimura. NOSAWA thinks he is having to go through some kind of trial.
ELSEWHERE IN NOAH
– Hideki Suzuki has hinted that perhaps Takashi Sugiura might like to get back online.
– Yoshiki Inamura and YO-HEY continued their guild, despite the fact that YO-HEY said someone attacked and burned their castle down. A picture was taken of YO-HEY and Inamura playing the game, with YO-HEY seated cross legged on Inamura, who was doing a bridge in the ring. We have seen Inamura used as a weight, but is he now used as furniture?
– NOAH’s Director, Narihiro Takeda, wrote on a NOAH Note that he would like for Darby Allin to come to NOAH one day.
– Tadasuke got a match thrown out by ripping off Alejandro’s mask. Tadasuke did not care, and did not even respond when Alejandro asked if he wanted a mask for himself?
– Daiki Inaba had his long awaited singles match with Katsuhiko Nakajima, but failed to revenge himself for Nakajima’s behavior in W-1. Nakajima even went for the cocky pin by grinning and leaning on Inaba.
– There was usual chaos at the NOAH Junior Space sessions as Daisuke Harada is not there to take control. Atsushi Kotoge seems to be the main culprit, forgetting to invite Seiki Yoshioka in and at one time even failing to press record.
– It’s probably best that Daiki Inaba, who apparently likes to be in the nip backstage, was not present when NOAH was at Differ. It was bad enough that Sugi used to wander around naked…
– Mitsuharu Misawa wrote in a diary entry for 2006 about filming an advert for THE LEAVE, and having to sing first thing in the morning while they were filming. Probably due to the fact that he had a problem with his throat anyway, was a heavy smoker and had taken “so many chops and kicks” to it in his career, he said he sounded very hoarse.
EVENT RECAPS AND POST MATCH PROMOS
SUNNY VOYAGE – September 19th
N-INNOVATION – September 21st
GRAND SHIP 2022 IN NAGOYA/KEIJI MUTOH RETIREMENT ROAD – September 25th
- GHC Heavyweight Champion: Kaito Kiyomiya
Challenger: Kazuyuki Fujita, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC Junior Champion: HAYATA
Challenger: Ninja Mack, [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC Heavyweight Tag Champions: KojiSugi (Satoshi Kojima & Takashi Sugiura)
- GHC Junior Tag Champions: The NOAH Junior Regulars (Atsushi Kotoge & Seiki Yoshioka)
Challengers: Kongoh Juniors (Tadasuke & Hi69), [Muto Retirement Road] ABEMA presents Ariake Gaisen-THE RETURN-PRO-WRESTLING LOVE FOREVER . 3 ~TRIUMPH~ Sunday 30th October, Ariake Arena, Tokyo
- GHC National Champion: Masakatsu Funaki
Challenger: Masa Kitamiya, SUNNY VOYAGE 2022 – Friday September 30th (Bandaijima Multi-Purpose Square Ogama)
(This event will not be broadcast live, but hopefully this match will be shown via Instagram)
THIS WEEK IN NOAH
– Friday, October 7th
STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Time: 18:30 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse/ABEMA (live)
– Saturday, October 8th
STAR NAVIGATION 2022 – Korakuen Hall, Tokyo
Time: 18:30 JST
Broadcast: WrestleUniverse (live)
Note about broadcasts
Unless you are living in Japan or have a VPN you know is compatible with ABEMA, please do not subscribe to the service. For fans living outside of Japan, a subscription to WrestleUniverse would be better as they show more NOAH shows than ABEMA, and usually the events get uploaded very quickly. ABEMA broadcasts are only in Japanese, you can only watch them live, and this is the only NOAH they show. They do not broadcast old shows as these belong to Samurai TV.
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
Wednesday, 5th October: Keiji Mutoh debut anniversary (38)
Wednesday, 5th October: Seiki Yoshioka debut anniversary (14)
“Taka & Satoshi” reveal a “dangerous detective” look, mischievous Suzuki is a reckless interpreter, the GHC tag signing ceremony is thrown into chaos by bizarre question and answer between the two teams
With thanks to: Metal NOAH
GIF taken from WrestleUniverse & NOAH Official YouTube
Picture credit: YO-HEY & NOAH.co.jp
Andrew’s IMPACT Wrestling Results & Match Ratings: 9.29.2022
Bound for Glory is 8 days away, but Victory Road just happened. What kind of show do we get with some fallout and penultimate hype?
Victory Road just happened, but Bound for Glory is like 8 nights away? You know I forgot that it was such a quick turn around. That makes tonight weird, since there’s some fallout, but then there’s gonna be a lot of table setting for Bound for Glory.
This episode could be awful. The last week or so haven’t exactly set the world afire, so I’m curious if the highlight really is just gonna be the Monster’s Ball with Masha and Allie Katch.
*insert joke about possibly gagging and balls and Swinger’s Dungeon*
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
- Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid: Bullet Club win via Finesse & Fold – **
- IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve: Myers retains via Roster Cut – ** 1/2
- Delirious vs Black Taurus: Black Taurus wins via Destination Hellhole – ** 1/4
- PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath: Rich wins via Phoenix Splash – ** 1/4
- Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch: Masha wins via Russian Death Device – *** 1/2
Bullet Club (Ace Austin & Chris Bey w/Juice Robinson) vs Trey Miguel & Laredo Kid
I don’t think I could care less about this match if I tried. Trey and Laredo are worthless. Laredo has eaten so many terrible losses and Trey is just bad. If the BC Juniors don’t win…I will really question the booking.
My biggest takeaway early is the commentary tries to put over Trey “turning heads”. No he doesn’t, he is legitimately hard to watch and everything that Will Ospreay did wrong in his early career; is basically Trey, but with less personality. Oh did you expect play by play? They isolate Laredo, decent tandem attacks, when Trey comes in it’s bad offense typical Cruiser garbage with laughable facials and body language.
Just typical crap with Trey. Were there some cool high spots? Sure. Do I care? NOPE.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
IMPACT Digital Media Championship: Brian Myers (c) vs Crazzy Steve
Steve starts with some of his quirky mat wrestling, Arm Wringers into Drop Toe Holds and face biting. It shocked Myers early, but he takes a small shortcut and starts trying to slow down the psycho from Decay. Steve bounces off the ropes and Myers does his sliding trip move before commercial.
Back from commercial, Snapmare from Steve and the neck twister into some corner offense of Hip Attacks and Sentons for 2. Myers dodges King Kill 33, lands a few pot shots, Implant DDT for 2. Into the corner, face bite, Upside Down, after the rope break Myers grabs the referee to block Steve. Eye Poke, Roster Cut, AND STILL…
Simple, but entertaining. Plus it continues Myers’ arrogant, full of himself for absolutely no reason persona. Oh and he offers up an Open Challenge for Bound for Glory. Maybe Bobby Fish? Someone new? Could be interesting.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
Delirious vs Black Taurus
Delirious is between gibberish and Stone Cold early on while they’re just trading shots. Delirious twists the Nose Ring…in the mask…and Taurus sells it momentarily before stomping the foot and decking him. This is just a weird match. I mean we all know Delirious is weird, but he’s not all comedy; and Taurus is supposed to be legit-ish.
Admittedly, with the exception of Victory Road, it has been years since I’ve watched a Delirious match. So the level of ridiculousness has hit Toru Yano levels, especially after the 10 count Leg Drops. Taurus powders, comes back in, Shoulder Tackle, Blackhole Backbreaker into a Samoan Drop. As soon as Taurus looks in charge, Delirious throws together a combo, eats a Headbutt and then Destination Hellhole.
Sheesh okay after 2 interview segments we get to Honor No More’s victory celebration segment. Just a lot of talking and inaction, so this just goes to feed that weird feeling I had coming into the show because of the timing. Eddie does the usual thing where hates on PCO and accuses him of being the weak link, which is a smart story angle since the fans tend to like PCO’s gimmick and this makes him more sympathetic to casual observers.
Oh good Taven is talking now. Wait did I just say that? DAMN YOU IMPACT! Made me like Matt Taven. Maria stirs the pot a little saying that Eddie is a better wrestler than Josh and Moose…by the implications.
Thank God, Josh Alexander finally breaks up the segment with…more talking. Okay never mind. Jesus since the end of the Delirious match it was like 15 minutes before Josh finally charged the ring and threw down a bit with Honor No More. Rich Swann and Heath make a bit of the babyface save for Josh, but the numbers are still on Honor No More’s side. Oh MCMG come down in a tracksuit and dress clothes! Someone wasn’t ready to be doing a run in.
PCO & Vincent vs Rich Swann & Heath
Well isn’t that convenient that four of the men in the donnybrook were supposed to be in a match anyway.
Rich uses his quickness to try and stay ahead of PCO, but PCO cuts him off in the corner into the Corner Hung Codebreaker, then the leaned against the ropes Leg Drop thing. Vincent throws together a T-Bone Suplex into a Flatliner and keeps the vibes flowing on Rich Swann.
PCO clears out Heath, but PCO’s hand gets stuck in the ropes. Vincent eats a flip kick and the Phoenix Splash while PCO and Heath are brawling on the outside after the rope issue with PCO.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) September 30, 2022
Pick Your Poison: Monster’s Ball Match: Masha Slamovich vs Allie Katch
Haymakers and Headbutts start things off as they both hit the ropes and lay out one another with dual clotheslines. Trash can lid duel, Masha gets first contact, but Allie blocks and returns 3 shots. German Suplex from Masha into whipping her with a chain, some choking and then general pulling with the chain in Katch’s mouth or around her eyes. Katch claws at Masha’s eyes to try and get some space.
Headbutts and Biting from Masha as Allie tries to power out of a Bow and Arrow. More chain choking…I’m not sure if this is a wrestling match or BDSM prep at the moment. Ahh Masha needs more Cowbell but Allie cuts her off with a trash can lid. Allie tries a Piledriver through a door, but Masha turns it into an Air Raid Crash into the opposite corner.
Commercial break, and Allie is getting choked again. Spots get a little redundant, slams, chokes, and blood. OHHH – it’s a “Use the Door” chant. I thought it was – nah – I won’t say what I thought it was. Chairshot from Masha misses, but a Snap Suplex from Masha onto the chair gets some usefulness. Straight Right to the gut and an Axe Kick allows Masha to hit the Death Valley Driver onto the propped up chair. Masha goes back to biting after it was only 2. Allie cuts off Masha going to the top, Superplex onto the trash can lid, into a Death Valley Driver through the door – but Masha kicks out.
Allie tries a Piledriver on the apron a few times, but Masha blocks. Masha tries for the Release German to the floor but Allie holds on. Dazed strikes, bites and then a Russian Leg Sweep through the table lays both out for a short time. Masha grabs a black bag, it’s gotta be tacks for Monster’s Ball. Masha eats a few tacks for good show, picks up Allie but Allie fights. Piledriver into the tacks from Allie, only 2. Allie opens a trash can, and empties a bunch of cut up soda cans. Hits Masha with the can, Masha fires, Spinning Heel Kick and then Russian Death Device into the pile of tacks and cans.
Overall Score: 6.25/10
The main event was pretty good, maybe even a little better than I gave it credit for; I’m just sick of seeing some crazy hardcore match so often from Impact. It feels like its weekly, and that’s too damn much. Trey is terrible, and that’s a hill I’m willing to die on. He sells poorly, he doesn’t tell a story with his wrestling and he looks like an idiot pretending to be something he isn’t; and that’s talented.
Myers is fine with his classic delusional heel style, Delirious gave a bit of a rub to Taurus so I’m guessing he’s probably next up in the X Division. But a straight 15 minutes of interviews and talking is just too damn much especially when the surrounding wrestling isn’t very good or hearty enough to help people tolerate talking time.
I do however love Joe Hendry. So…yeah. There’s always some quirky gimmicks that just resonate well with me, and this is gorgeous.
All in all, decent enough; though next week could be a real banger of a Go Home.
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