New Year, NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion!
After plans changed for Day 1, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Joined the WWE World Championship and won it! Will Raw become Suplex City once again?
- RKBRO VS The Alpha Academy; The Alpha Academy wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Mixed Tag: Dana Brooke & Reggie VS Tamina & Akira Tozawa; Dana & Reggie win, Dana retains the title.
- WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Zelina Vega & Carmella VS Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H; Vega & Carmella win and retain the titles.
- The Street Profits VS Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez; The Street Profits win.
- WWE United States Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Damian Priest VS Dolph Ziggler; Priest wins and retains the title.
- AJ Styles VS Omos; Omos wins.
- WWE World Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Big E VS Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP; Lashley wins and will challenge Brock Lesnar for the title at the Royal Rumble.
PLAY BY PLAY
Raw opens with PAUL HEYMAN in the ring!
The Special Counsel is here to introduce himself to Atlanta as an Advocate, and he’d like to introduce us to his client. “And NEW Reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Heavyweight Champion of the Worrrrld…! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!!” Fans are going nuts as Lesnar makes his way out, Heyman back in his corner! Lesnar takes a victory lap around the ring, then TOSSES the steel steps into the ring! Lesnar stands those up, then stands on those steps like a podium! Heyman hands the mic over to Lesnar and Lesnar says, “Before we get this party started tonight, I’d like to give a big shoutout to my good buddy, Roman Reigns.”
Roman is more than likely at home, watching Raw, and watching the NEW WWE Heavyweight Champion, the REAL champion, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! “Get well soon, buddy.” But that said, “South Carolina! Acknowledge me.” Lesnar grins as he uses Roman’s catchphrase, and he also wants to acknowledge his Advocate, for advocating free agency, advocating all those strings he pulled to make Lesnar the new WWE Champion. Lesnar thanks Heyman and Heyman is given the mic back. Heyman says, “If you think it’s interesting out here, you should see the things that go on behind the scenes.”
Heyman negotiated Lesnar’s free agency, and then on Day 1, when Lesnar showed up, looking to win a title from a champion, and one champion couldn’t make it while the other was in a Fatal 4 Way, what’s better than that but a Fatal FIVE Way with Brock Lesnar? So all the machinations and strings were pulled, Lesnar enters the Fatal 5 Way, and now what does he do as YOUR WWE Heavyweight Champion? Well reigning, and defending, at the Royal Rumble of the originally scheduled Fatal 4 in tonight’s main event. Let’s rundown the challengers! First, Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, you lump them together because they’re a team now!
And in a match where it’s every man for himself, they figured out how to be jackals, hyenas, and go after the lions. Then winning together, they leave management to figure it out and who cares about them, right? But it’s a pretty smart thing for someone as dumb as Seth Rollins. Rollins likes to say he’s a Visionary but he’s too stupid to see he isn’t. If he had a vision for the future, he’d see that his wife is going to leave him when he fails to beat Brock Lesnar for the title! And he can’t, so who she gonna leave him for? Sure won’t be Kevin Owens! Kevin can’t beat Lesnar, either!
Maybe they should be traded to SmackDown as there’s a certain Tribal Chief who is vulnerable without his Special Counsel…! In fact, Heyman can prove it. One week without Heyman, Roman gets COVID. You can get past ‘Rona, but Karma is a bitch. Speaking of, let’s talk about MVP. No, wait, let’s not, since no one talks about MVP anyway. Let’s instead talk about Bobby Lashley. Lashley is a worthy challenger! Lesnar and Lashley hadn’t met at all before, that’s just a fact. No bumping into each other in the back, no shaking hands, it’s like they were avoiding each other. That’s not the case, cuz neither avoids anyone or anything.
But the first time they did met, Lashley speared Lesnar through a wall. Then Lesnar hit F5’s on everyone but Lashley who speared and damn near pinned Lesnar. The third time in that match, Lashley put Lesnar in the Hurt Lock and Heyman said this to Lesnar’s face, Lesnar didn’t look like he’d get out. That’s a testament to how damn good Lashley is. Except, Lashley was hitting Lesnar from a blindside. So if Lashley wins tonight and he faces Lesnar at the Rumble, he’ll have to face Lesnar face to face, and that is a whole different story. The story between jackin’ someone from behind, and just going down in history as the All Mighty Lesnar Wannabe!
There’s one more man in that match, the odds on favorite, the former champion in Big E. Heyman has nothing bad to say about Big E, that is a great champion. Big E did WWE justice and a credit to this company, the fans and the lineage of the title. Big E is that and more and would still be champion if he didn’t have to step into the ring with Lesnar. They have nothing but respect and admiration for Big E. If Big E wins and gets his rematch, then sir, it will be an absolute honor to witness that match. Big E will lose, which is no shame, but it’ll still be a honor to watch Big E lose to the greatest champion of all time, the winner of the Fatal 5 and the REIGNING, DEFENDING, UNDISPUTED WWE Heavyweight Champion of the WORLD! BRRROCK! LESNARRR!
Heyman and Lesnar head out and prepare to watch the main event. Who of the four will fight their way to become the one at the Rumble?
Randy Orton and Matt Riddle meet up backstage.
The Bro seems to still be in the Migos mindset as he rolls up on his scooter. Will the Stallion & Viper keep their momentum going as they take on “Master” Gable and The Dozer 2v2?
Raw returns sand Riddle rolls back in. Where has he been? And no, no, no on all that he’s got on. What? Wasn’t it awesome hanging out with Migos? They’ve got sweet connections, and Riddle can’t get their music out of his head. They could be their own rap group! The Notorious R I Double D to the L E, and Lil’ Ran-Dog. Word on the street is that “Swim Shady,” Riddle’s pet fish, is available. Orton sighs and has Riddle take off the shades and chains. Is he gonna try them on? No, he’s not putting this crap on. How does Riddle have all these celebrity connections? No, it doesn’t matter. What happened to the resolutions they made for this year?
Well, they talked about going to the Grand Canyon, grocery shopping for some things, and getting on Farmville. Oh yeah, and “Listen to Randy more.” Exactly! Last week, they were on the same page and look what happened? Riddle beat Gable and Orton beat that walking tree trunk, Otis. They also won at Day 1 to retain the tag titles. How did they do that? How? Because they are… What? Our name is… Who? Our name is… CHIKA CHIKA RKBRO! That was awesome, Randy! They are totally rappers now. Orton has Riddle focus, and they head to the ring.
RKBRO VS The Alpha Academy!
Riddle & Randy swept Gable & Otis when it was 1v1 twice in a row, but will they still be top of the class now that it’s a full tag team match? Or will Gable and #4pointOtis ruin the New Year for the old champions?
As the Academy make their entrance, Gable gloats about his Master’s Degree and how he’s handing out free lessons. Plus, look at his number one guy! Look at his face! The first resolution is for RKBRO. They’re gonna learn “acceptance.” They are going to accept that their title reign is coming to an end at the hands of the Alpha Academy. And it’ll be curtesy of the four most dangerous letters: O T I S. The Academy attacks and it’s a brawl! Gable is after Orton, Otis TOSSES Riddle out of the ring! Otis hits Orton with the WRECKING ELBOW! The Academy then goes out after RKBRO, Otis brings Riddle around to hit an EXPLODER!
The ref shouts at Gable and Otis while they gloat “FOR THE ACADEMY!” and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Riddle is firing off forearm son Gable! Riddle hits Otis, too! But then Gable DECKS Riddle, and hits a TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Gable gets a leg for a KNEE JAMMER, then another one! And then a YANK on the leg, before a third KNEE JAMMER! Gable has the toehold but Riddle endures. Riddle drags himself back, kicks away at Gable with his free leg and gets free. Gable tags Otis then gets Riddle’s arm. Gable reels Riddle in, flapjack to Otis’ trophy lift and SLAM! Otis covers, TWO! Otis puts Riddle in the corner, tags Gable, then they mug Riddle, and whip for a BIG back elbow! Gable rains down fists, then stands Riddle back up.
Tag to Otis, Gable scoops and SLAMS Riddle, Otis runs for a BIG elbow drop! Fans rally up for “Randy! Randy!” but Otis sits Riddle up for a neck wrench. Riddle fights up, Otis whips him to a corner. Riddle hits Gable down, then goes up and over Otis and Otis POSTS himself! Riddle crawls, Otis reels him in to back suplex, but Riddle lands on his feet! ROUNDHOUSE staggers Otis to ropes! But Gable sneaks up to the RKBRO corner and trips Orton off the apron! Orton goes after Gable but Otis SPLASHES Riddle! Otis then goes out to CLOBBER Orton! Gable tells Otis to hurry, and Otis gets in, to get a FINAL FLASH! Riddle hears voices, but NO RKO!
Otis turns Riddle around, POWERSLAM! Cover, The Alpha Academy wins!
Winners: The Alpha Academy, by pinfall
Whether or not RKBRO was on the same page, the Alpha Academy had all the answers to the test! Will Gable & Otis look to graduate from being A+ contenders to NEW Raw Tag Team Champions?
Backstage interview with Bobby Lashley & MVP.
If Lashley wins tonight- MVP stops there and says not to get ahead of ourselves. If we’re talking about the future, the inevitable future, the All Mighty has to overcome insurmountable odds. He has to beat Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Big E. This is a Herculean task! Having finished being a bit sarcastic here, MVP walks off stage. Sarah asks Lashley his thoughts. “Brock Lesnar fears me!” Will the Rocky Mountain Machine repeat what he did to get into the Fatal 4 Way, just all at once?
Backstage interview with Omos.
How does he react to AJ Styles saying he regrets taking Omos under his wing, and calling Omos a piece of- Omos puts his massive hand over Kevin Patrick’s face. “That’s how I react.” Will Omos do the same to Styles when they finally face off later tonight?
WWE 24/7 Championship Mixed Tag: Dana Brooke & Reggie VS Tamina & Akira Tozawa!
Since R-Truth didn’t work, it seems the Daughter of Superfly is using the Stamina Monster as her tag partner this time. Will they be the combination that stops the Flex Appear and slick sommelier in their tracks?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and how does a tag match for a singles title work out? We’re going to find out tonight, after the break!
Raw returns and the teams sort out. Tozawa wants to face Dana but this is still Mixed tag, men face men. Reggie and Tozawa circle, approach, and Tozawa dodges to mule kick! Reggie ducks the spin kick but Tozawa slips under to sunset flip! TWO, Tozawa kicks low again then ROCKS Reggie with a jab! Tozawa grins as he suplexes, but Reggie slips out to dropkick Tozawa away! Reggie tells Dana he’s got this but then Tozawa hits low! Tozawa whips Reggie in, runs but Reggie dodges and Tozawa BOOTS Tamina! Tamina doesn’t go down and Tozawa’s frozen in fear! Tamina scowls, roars, and SLAPS Tozawa down!
Reggie is in the corner, runs and 450 SEATED SENTONS! Cover, Reggie & Dana win!
Winners: Reggie & Dana Brooke, by pinfall (Dana is still WWE 24/7 Champion)
Well, Reggie did all the work, but he’s fine with Dana still holding the gold. Tamina is down another sidekick, will she just have to do this alone?
Becky Lynch is here!
The Raw Women’s Champion is still Big Time! The Man is here to ring in the New Year, but what is next for her? We’ll see, after the break.
Raw returns and Becky is given a proper introduction. “Here we are, huh? 2022. There’s something about the new year that inspires so much hope in people. It doesn’t matter if you failed the whole of last year, or you failed the whole last five years. Hell, it doesn’t matter if you failed your whole life. When that clock strikes midnight, everything can change for the better. New Year, New You, huh? Yeah, now I know for a fact that all those women in the back, they have at the top of their New Year’s Resolutions, ‘Become Raw Women’s Champion.’ And I admire their ambition, I really do. But at the top of mine is, ‘Remain Raw Women’s Champion.'”
And now, if we have learned anything from the last few years, it is that Becky is the consistent homeostasis that is unyielding to the roster’s brittle willpower. Sorry, she means, they can’t beat her. Many have tried, many have failed, no one can beat Becky. But Becky would be remiss if she says she hasn’t taken the time to think back this past year. Were her decisions right? Wrong? 365 days, 365 blank canvases, what has Becky become? A work of art! Now stay with her if you can. Say you go to a museum and you see a famous Van Gogh and you look at it in awe. You may not understand all the details, the nuances, the complexities, but it makes you feel something.
Becky says she makes us feel something! That is what good art does! She makes you feel! And the other thing about fine art is that it reveals the truth. So Becky standing here as the Vincent Van Goat is going to show us that no, you’re not going to lose those last 10 pounds. No, you’re not going to get that job promotion you were looking for. And no, you’re not finally gonna get the hell outta South Carolina! And all those girls back there, they are not going to win the Raw Women’s Championship. If you don’t believe her, just look at Liv Morgan! She swore to all the fans that she was going to win the title, and on the very first day of this new year, she broke that promise.
But here comes Liv! Liv says, “Wow~! New Year, New Ugly Jacket, and same delusional Becks.” Hey, Becky likes this jacket. Uh, well she’s the only one. But Liv was hearing all this about her coming up short, so here’s something she should know: There is no one harder on Liv than herself. But Liv was just thinking… Liv knows, and Liv knows Becky knows, just how close Liv was to winning. Becky got one thing wrong, too. The only thing Liv ever promised from the moment she was old enough to dream of being in this ring is that she would give it her all and leave it all in the ring every chance she got! And that’s what she did at Day 1.
Becky says that’s lovely and all. Liv maybe will be champion one day, after Becky retires. She’s holding onto the title. This is what happens when you’re Big Time, and there’s only one Big Time, and it sure ain’t Liv. But speaking of big, here comes the EST, Bianca Belair! “Oh, just like you ain’t the EST of WWE.” And y’know what? Bianca is tired of hearing Becky talking like she’s untouchable. Liv ain’t buying it, and neither is Bianca. And Bianca doesn’t trust Becky as far as she can throw her. Oh wait, that doesn’t make sense, because Bianca could throw Becky pretty damn far.
Now, Bianca may have taken a Doudrop Detour, but she graciously stepped aside to allow others time to catch up. But now, Bianca the EST is right back in line for Big Time Becks! No no no no. Becky says these two are victims of her routine: Beat, Sleep, Repeat. But hey, maybe these two can get together and do a support group where they talk about how they almost beat Becky but came up short. Wait, that already exists. It’s the Raw Women’s locker room! Li says, “Oh haha.” What does Becky know about being in the locker room? She hasn’t spent time in there in years! And as for Bianca, but Liv says they’re in the middle of something,
Oh, y’know, Liv, no offense taken, but at the end of the day, Bianca and Becky have beef that goes back way before Liv’s. Becky says this is rather interesting. These two need to figure this out 1v1, and Becky’s shared spotlight enough for tonight. These two can get out and let Becky know later on. Becky ushers Liv and Bianca out, but she instead gets double kicks and double whipped right out of the ring! Then Liv and Bianca stare down. They each say they’re getting the belt, and then they start throwing hands! Bianca RAMS Liv into a corner, then RAMS into her more and more! Liv shoves back, boots Bianca away, then ENZIGURIS!
Liv is roaring and she drags Bianca up! But Bianca ROCKS Liv, torture racks, but Becky CLOBBERS them both! Becky reels Bianca in for the MAN HANDLE SLAM! Becky picks up her belt, but that bull’s eye is only getting bigger! Will the EST or the Liv-ing Embodiment hit the mark?
Kevin Owens finds Seth Rollins backstage.
“There he is! Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins!” Does Rollins like that Kevin said it nice and loud for him? Rollins chuckles and says he’s glad to see Kevin. Maybe Kevin can help Rollins with a problem he’s having. He wants to know what to do about Paul Heyman. Does Rollins staple Heyman’s lips shut? Or just rip his tongue out? Rollins thought about castration, but it’s not like Heyman uses that all that much, anyway. Kevin likes the staples thing. They can worry about that later, after they figure out what they’ll do tonight. Rollins is listening. Well they have the same problem they had before Day 1.
This is the original Fatal 4 Way, with Big E and Lashley in their way. Obstacles, if you will, to the WWE Championship, if you will. Or rather, obstacles to the opportunity at the title. So Kevin thinks they stick to the plan, them together taking care of those two, then one of them wins, doesn’t matter who, and that person faces Lesnar at the Rumble. Then that guy who didn’t win helps the one who did so that they defeat Lesnar, and then they both go to WrestleMania, Kevin VS Rollins, for the title. How does that sound? Sounds huge, right? It’s a great plan. Rollins does love that plan. Yes, thank you! Rollins and Kevin can trust each other, sounds like a plan!
Rollins heads off laughing all the way, but Kevin hopes Rollins isn’t lying. But the question is, will Kevin stick to that plan on his end?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Zelina Vega & Carmella VS Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H!
The Queen of the Ring and the (self-proclaimed) Most Beautiful Woman in All the WWE have confidence just looking in the mirror every day. Meanwhile, the Nightmare has been trying to get the Almost Super Hero to fire back up and bring that super positivity back! Will Rhea & Nikki pull it together and pull off a win to start their 2022? Or will Zelina & Mella reign eternal?
Raw returns, the belts are raised, and things start with Rhea and Vega. Nikki gets the fans rallying behind Rhea already, but Vega gets in Rhea’s face. Vega SLAPS Rhea, but Rhea SLAPS back! Rhea whips, Vega wheelbarrows and spins around, but Rhea powers out to a suplex! Rhea carries Vega around like that, with one arm, then SLAMS Vega down! Cover, TWO! Rhea drags Vega over, wants to tag in but Nikki is hesitant. She still does tag, Rhea snapmares and Nikki neck snaps! Cover, TWO! Nikki whips Vega, Vega reverses but Nikki goes up and over. Things speed up but Nikki trips, but she still hits a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!
Mella calls to Vega now that she has her mask on, and Vega clings to ropes. Nikki pulls at Vega, Vega holds on, then drop toeholds Nikki into ropes! Vega rains down hammering fists, then drags Nikki around into a chinlock. Vega stretches Nikki back, but Nikki endures. Fans rally up, Nikki fights up and throws body shots, and then she arm-drags free! Vega comes back to throw Nikki by her hair! Vega takes a bow, then sucker punches Rhea! Fans boo but Vega waves, only for Nikki to kick low and fireman’s carry! Vega slips off to roll up, Vega & Mella win!!
Winners: Zelina Vega & Carmella, by pinfall (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)
Mella celebrates because she won without lifting a finger! Rhea isn’t even sure what happened there and Nikki apologizes. Will Nikki ever figure out what’s going wrong?
Johnny Knoxville wants in!
He loves being part of Jackass, but he wants to make a run for the Royal Rumble! Thirty men enter, one man left standing! He hopes the WWE is going big, because Knoxville doesn’t want to hurt anyone. He already has a shirt that says “Johnny Knoxville, World Champion,” but will that even come close to coming true?
Rey & Dominik Mysterio speak.
Rey’s been in this business for a very long time. Not only has he taken out 29 other opponents in the Royal Rumble after entering second, he got to watch his son enter his first Rumble just last year. This year, they’re both entering the Rumble to show the world that it may be every man for himself, that the Mysterios are still an unstoppable duo!
The Street Profits are here!
We’re on the road to WrestleMania, which means they’re four weeks away from St. Louis and the Rumble! Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins are entering the Rumble match! They’ll take care of business, even against each other. Everyone for themselves, fam. The Profits are up and #WeWantTheSmoke! But will they start that in a big tag match to kick off the New Year?
The Street Profits VS Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez!
Raw returns as the Pride of Nigeria and his bodyguard make their entrance. The teams sort out, Ford is ready and he starts against Azeez. They circle, tie up, Azeez whips Ford to a corner. Ford dodges to then CHOP, CHOP and throw body shots. Ford kicks, kicks and CHOPS, but Azeez blocks the whip to put Ford back in a corner. Ford dodges again, runs, dodges, but Azeez runs him over! Azeez snarls, drags Ford up and scoops to SLAM him down. Azeez runs for a FALLING HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO! Dawkins is also there, but Azeez keeps on Ford. Azeez back suplexes, Ford lands on his feet to ENZIGURI!
Azeez staggers but he manages a tag to Apollo, hot tag to Dawkins! Dawkins rallies on Apollo and Azeez, but then Apollo kicks low to whip Dawkins to ropes. Dawkins hurdles, then leaps for a back elbow! Apollo goes to a corner, CYCLONE SPLASH from Dawkins! Underhooks to the SILENCER! Cover, Azeez drags Dawkins off the cover! Azeez whips, Dawkins holds ropes then dumps Azeez out! Azeez drags Dawkins out with him, scoops him, but Dawkins slips off to POST him! Dawkins gets in, into Apollo’s ENZIGURI! Apollo waistlocks, Dawkins bucks the roll-up and Ford tags in! ANOINTING to the FROM THE HEAVENS SPLASH! Cover, the Profits win!
Winners: The Street Profits, by pinfall
And just like that, the Profits are back up! Will they both reach new heights as they enter the Royal Rumble this year?
Backstage interview with Damian Priest.
What are his thoughts on the unique stipulation for tonight’s title match? No Champion’s Advantage is pretty big. We’ve all seen the side of Priest that’s furious, and that’s the side Dolph Ziggler wants. But if Priest can keep his cool, calm collected side going, he’ll win. Well, he’ll beat Ziggler either way, it’s just a matter of beating him with mercy, or if “Damian” erupts in rage. That’s up to Ziggler. If Ziggler does it straight up, it’ll be a fair fight. If not, Ziggler knows what’ll happen. But either way, Priest remains champion. Will the Archer of Infamy keep his focus and his cool to keep the gold around his waist?
Sonya Deville & Adam Pearce are excited.
The first Raw of 2022 and they have the huge Fatal 4 Way main event! Who knew? But then Piper Niven barges in and is very upset. Is this some kinda joke? Bianca and Liv want another chance at a match with Becky? How is this happening? Piper will not be cut in line again! Um, Pearce will speak for management when he respectfully asks, what the hell is she yelling about? Piper asks if grandpa Pearce is deaf! She is tired, the fans are tired, everyone is tired of seeing the same women get title opportunity after opportunity. Bianca, Liv, repeat. Piper demands, DEMANDS, that she be given her first chance!
Okay, breathe, relax. They don’t give out title opportunities. But they are in the business of giving opportunities to those who prove themselves. So how about this: next week in Philadelphia, Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match, Liv Morgan VS Bianca Belair VS “Doudrop,” winner going on to face Becky for the title at the Royal Rumble. That’s more like it. Piper leaves satisfied, but will she be the one taking the golden ticket to St. Louis?
WWE United States Championship, No Champion’s Advantage: Damian Priest VS Dolph Ziggler!
Raw returns and Ziggler makes his entrance. The introductions are made, the title is raised, and we see if Priest loses control or just the title.
Ziggler and Priest circle, approach, and Ziggler dodges to SLAP Priest! Priest grabs Ziggler, throws him to a corner and fires off haymakers! Priest lets off at 4, but Ziggler insists it was 5. Priest BOOTS Ziggler out of the ring, then goes out to run in. Ziggler dodges the leg lariat, jumps up, but no DDT! Ziggler fights and kicks off the barriers for a TORNADO DDT! Both men are down and the ring count is climbing as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Priest ROCKS Ziggler with a haymaker, then dodges Ziggler’s punch to BELL CLAP! Priest throws more strikes, Ziggler staggers, Priest FLAPJACKS him! Priest roars and fans fire up as he runs corner to corner to back elbow! Priest then reels Ziggler in, but no Broken Arrow! Ziggler slips out to POST Priest, then RUNNING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down as Ziggler is beside himself! Ziggler drags Priest up to scrape laces off his face, then does it again. Ziggler pushes Priest around, wanting to bring out the rage. “Give me that title! Give me what’s mine!” Priest ROCKS Ziggler, and then ROCKS him again!
Priest KICKS, KICKS and KICKS, to then ROUNDHOUSE! Ziggler staggers, Priest gets him up for a Canadian Rack, CLIFFHANGER DDT! Cover, TWO! Priest keeps his focus and he goes to a corner. Priest climbs up, fans fire up, but Ziggler leaps up to get him! Priest blocks the superplex, fans fire up more, and Priest slips down to HOTSHOT and ROUNDHOUSE Ziggler down! Priest goes back up, but Ziggler has the ref check on him. Robert Roode appears from outta nowhere to trip Priest up! Priest tumbles down, Ziggler hits a FAMOUSER!! Cover, TWO?! Priest survives and the Dirty Dawgs are furious!
Priest slowly sits up, and now Damian is here! He glares at Roode, but then at Ziggler! Priest CLOBBERS Ziggler, goes out and fires off on Roode! The ring count is climbing but Priest gets a chair! Priest stalks Roode as we’re at 5 of 10, Priest hears 7! Priest gets in the ring but he brought the chair! Ziggler dares Priest to hit him with it! Priest has wild eyes, but then he sees Roode shouting on the apron, “HIT HIM!” Priest SMACKS Roode! But ZIGZAG!! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives and Damian is still fuming! Priest drags himself up the ropes, Ziggler runs in, but no Superkick! THE RECKONING!! Cover, Priest wins!
Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (still WWE United States Champion)
The rage subsides, and Priest survives the Dirty Dawgs’ dastardly plan! Will Priest be able to continue riding the line of rage and reason as he reigns?
Austin Theory visits Vince McMahon.
Vince says he only said, “Who is it?” Not, “Come in.” Theory apologizes. But Vince doesn’t like that, either. Apologizing is a sign of weakness. Vince never apologizes. “Sor- I didn’t mean to interrupt.” No, no, when people say stuff like that, of course they meant to interrupt. Why else would they do that? Well, Theory is just here to ask about a rematch with Finn Balor. Rematch? Theory lost to him. But then he made up for it and then some with that attack from behind in the hallway. Theory beat the hell outta Finn and we haven’t seen him since. That’s rather admirable. Vince says if you can’t beat someone one way, you find another way to do it.
Right, “expect the unexpected.” Just like Vince taught him. And that is what happened to Finn. Alright, let’s have a seat. Vince has a surprise for Theory. Sit back a bit. Vince says that at the Royal Rumble, Theory will be in the Rumble match! And of course, if he wins, he’ll go to the main event of WrestleMania against the champion of his choice! Theory is speechless! Will Theory make Vince proud by winning his golden ticket to the Grandest Stage of Them All?
The Miz & Maryse are here!
The It Couple are back again, even after what happened at Day 1. What will they have to see about that Rated R surprise? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and The Miz has a mic. “I stand before you- No, we stand before you, outraged over the outcome that happened at Day 1.” Miz had Edge right where he wanted him, one Skull Crushing Finale away form defeating Edge and having the respect he deserves. Miz is amazed he has to remind us that he is the one and only TWO-TIME WWE Grand Slam Champion! That makes him an all time great and someone who has surpassed his peers and predecessors. Yet he still has to prove himself against Edge, “a one-time Grand Slam Champion.” One, uno, or in French, Err! No, ar. Ar. Oui.
But the one-time Grand Slam Champion’s resilience, and some questionable calls by the ref, kept Edge alive until that last kick out. That is when Miz saw the look of defeat in Edge’s eyes! The look of despair, the look of a young boy asking for his mommy. Or in Edge’s case, his wife. Because his wife, WWE Hall of Famer, Beth Phoenix, showed up. She interfered in the match and allowed Edge to cheat fate and steal a pathetic victory! “Edge deserved to lose! You know it and I know it!” They all know this because of what Edge did to Miz & Maryse last week! If you don’t remember, here’s the replay. It was a BROOD BATH to end the vow renewal ceremony!
Oh, fans find that funny? “YES!” They liked that? “YES!” They enjoyed that? Well that’s because your lives and relationships are so miserable, you like seeing bad things happen to good people! But your disgusting auras do not affect them, for true love always wins. Miz & Maryse kiss, and Miz says that after that night, Miz vowed to end Edge’s career. But when Miz got in that ring at Day 1, it wasn’t old Edge, Brood Edge, Rated R Edge, or even WWE Hall of Famer that Miz respected and wanted respect from. It was an Edge that hides behind his wife! What kind of man does that? Fans say, “YOU!” No, not Miz!
Edge doesn’t deserve anyone’s respect! What kind of man relies on his wife to fight his own battles? “YOU!” Who would do that? “YOU!” No, not The Miz! He is strong, brave and handsome. And that’s why Maryse married Miz. She loves him so much. They kiss again and Maryse says that Beth stole their moment. If Beth was here, Maryse would punch her right in the face! Well here comes the Glamazon! Beth Phoenix stands on stage, and here comes Edge! The Rated R Superstar and Glamazon go to the ring with mics of their own to respond to the It Couple. “You were saying, Maryse?” Beth offers up a cheek, but Edge figured they wouldn’t do anything.
Most people would just take the L and move in, Miz. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, Edge knows Miz better than that. He knew Miz would bitch, moan, whine and complain as to why Edge won. It could’ve been the Browns lost last week, but what else is new? It could’ve been Miz didn’t get his socks starched. It could’ve been Miz dropped a deuce in his drawers the minute he heard Beth’s music. Does Edge really need to illustrate to South Carolina, pause for the pop, exactly what a hypocrite Miz is? Ububububub, you got nothing? “For once, Miz is at a loss for words! Did not know that was possible.”
And by the way, Edge never asks Beth to fight his battles. Everything that went down at Day 1, to be clear, was all Beth’s idea. And Edge’s idea now is this: if Miz wants to rectify what happened, even though he picked this fight with Edge and even though that result would’ve happened even without Beth, Edge is just crazy enough to give Miz what he wants. Actually, they’re crazy enough to give them what they want. Imagine this: a huge marquee, lights and letters! “The Miz & Maryse, the It Couple VS The Rated R Superstar & The Glamazon, the Grit Couple, at the Royal Rumble!” What do they say? Fans say, “YES! YES! YES!”
Miz asks, “Are you serious?” Maryse, the gorgeous, vivacious and intelligent star and executive producer of USA’s hit reality show, Miz & Mrs., the sexiest alchemist, and one of the longest reigning Diva’s Champions and the mother of Miz’s children, teaming together with him to go against Edge and Beth? A simple yes or no will suffice. What’s it gonna be? “We accept!” Maryse seems a bit surprised by that, though. They argue, Beth shows punch and Maryse falls on her butt! Beth and Edge smirk, will they finally put Miz in his place?
Backstage interview with Big E.
The former WWE Champion had the odds stacked against him at Day 1, so how motivated is he to win tonight’s match to get a chance at regaining that title? “Being WWE Champion meant a lot to me. And uh, it meant something to a lot of people, too. Now, there’s no shame in losing to Brock Lesnar. But what we don’t do is get kicked and stay down. What we don’t do is wallow in self pity. Because what we do is we make sure that our next chapter is our best chapter, you feel me?” Big E has the chance to right all the wrongs. Tonight he starts his path back to reclaiming what is his! And he’ll be damned if there’s a soul on earth who can stop him! Will we all feel the power once again after tonight’s Fatal 4 Way?
AJ Styles VS Omos!
The Phenomenal & The Colossal had their falling out, and there’s been enough talk. Will Styles be able to topple the mountain of a man now that he stands all alone? Or will he be left in the long, long shadow cast by his former protégé?
Raw returns as Omos makes his entrance. The bell rings, the two stare down and fans rally up. Omos compares their heights, but Styles KICKS away on the leg! Styles throws hands, Omos throws Styles to a corner! Styles dodges, fires off CHOPS and haymakers, but Omos backs him down! Styles bails out, dares Omos to come out after him, so Omos down, only for Styles to KICK Omos’ leg! Omos steps back in, Styles hurries after him, but Omos BOOTS Styles down! Omos CLUBS Styles in the corner, then chokes Styles before he whips him corner to corner! Styles slides but hits POST! Omos goes out after Styles and drags him up.
Omos TOSSES Styles back into the ring, stalks Styles to a corner, but Styles kicks the leg! Styles throws more forearms and haymakers, then Phenomenal Blitz! Omos stays standing through that, and fireman’s carries Styles! Styles slips off, scrambles to a corner and BOOTS back! Omos stays up so Styles BOOTS him again! Styles forearms from the apron, fans fire up, and Styles springboards, into Omos’ hands! But Styles fights that to HOTSHOT! Springboard again, PHENOMENAL FOR- CHOP!! Omos swats Styles down, and then dares Styles to get up. Styles goes to a corner, Omos hoists Styles up top and looks him in the eyes.
Omos tells Styles this is what happens, and he fireman’s carries for a SLAM to the mat! Omos hauls Styles back up, has him with both hands, COLOSSAL SLAM! Cover, Omos wins!
Winner: Omos, by pinfall
Styles may be phenomenal, but not even a WWE Grand Slam Champion could stop Omos! Will no one stop Omos now that he’s doing what he wants?
WWE World Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 4 Way: Big E VS Seth Rollins VS Kevin Owens VS Bobby Lashley w/ MVP!
Oh, the irony. This was meant to be the match to determine the WWE World Champion coming into tonight, but now it will be the match that determines who goes after the Beast, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! The Powerhouse of Positivity vows to fight even harder to get back to the top, while the Architect & Prizefighter look to work together again, and the All Mighty simply looks to inflict damage. Who rises up to head for the Royal Rumble?
Raw returns as Big E makes his entrance, followed by Rollins, and then Lashley. All four men are in the ring, but only one can win! We see who that is, after the break!
Raw returns again, and the bell rings. Lashley and Big E clotheslines Kevin and Rollins! Lashley goes out after Rollins while Kevin and Big E brawl in the ring. Lashley RAMS Rollins into apron, and again, while Kevin fires hands on Big E. Big E hits back, Lashley fireman’s carries Rollins to POST him! Kevin sees that and cringes, and then he gets run over by Big E! Kevin goes to the apron, Big E runs to SPEAR Kevin off! It was a glancing blow but Kevin still falls! Big E is right back up, too, and he goes back to the ring. He meets Lashley and fans fire up for this one! They circle, talk some trash, and they start throwing hands!
Big E, Lashley, Big E, Lashley! Lashley knees low, CLUBS Big E then runs, but Big E drops, hurdles, and ELBOWS Lashley! Lashley comes back to LARIAT Big E! Lashley gets Big E up, suplexes, and SLAMS Big E down! Kevin returns but Lashley spins him around for a NECKBREAKER! Lashley drags Kevin up and reels him in for a suplex! Lashley holds Kevin up before the SLAM! Lashley paces as Kevin and Big E bail out. Fans rally behind Lashley, he runs and SPEARS himself through barriers as Rollins saves Kevin! They regroup but Kevin points out Big E. Rollins turns around into an OVERHEAD Belly2Bell! Kevin runs in but gets SMACKED off the desk!
Big E takes the hood off the desk, clears off the monitors, and fans fire up as he CLUBS Rollins! Big E brings Rollins over, but Kevin saves Rollins! Kevin whips Big E into steel steps! Rollins and Kevin keep working together as they get Big E up to whip him into the POST! They dump the pieces of barrier onto Lashley, and Kevin even swipes at MVP. Kevin and Rollins get Big E to the desk, and they DOUBLE POWERBOMB Big E through the desk!! The teamwork might make the dream work, but Raw goes to break!
Raw returns once again, and Lashley returns! He drags Rollins out for fast hands but Kevin goes out after him! Lashley gets mugged, put back in the ring, and then Rollins & Kevin work together to mug him more. Big E is slumped in a corner, Lashley crawls to another. Rollins CLUBS away on Lashley, Kevin stomps Big E down. Kevin whips Rollins in at Lashley for a forearm smash, then Rollins whips Kevin in for a CANNONBALL! Kevin and Rollins soak up the heat, and then they repeat the process on Big E. Kevin whips Rollins in, but Big E gives him the Urenag-E! Big E runs, into a SUPERKICK from Kevin! But Lashley CLOBBERS Kevin!
Lashley snarls as MVP shouts, “The All Mighty will not be disrespected!” Kevin and Rollins regroup, but Big E and Lashley look at each other. They decide to work together against Kevin and Rollins! The chase is on, Rollins going into the crowd on one end, and Kevin the other! But Big E and Lashley chase them up the stairs! They brawl with the fans right there with them! They’re even going to the pavilion around the back! Lashley SMACKS Rollins off trash barrels! Kevin whips Big E into a light! HURT LOCK on Rollins! Kevin has a trash can lid and he SMACKS Lashley with it! But that only pissed Lashley off!
Kevin finds himself by the merch table, Big E gets him for an URENAGE through the table! Big E and Lashley are standing tall in the unlikeliest of spots, and Raw goes to break!
Raw returns one more time, and Lashley has turned on Big E as they brawl in the crowd now! Lashley throws hands, Big E hits back, but then Rollins CLUBS Big E from behind! All three of them are brawling in an entryway, but where is Kevin? He reappears on the railing and SWANTONS onto them all!! Fans are loving this as the ref check son all four men. Rollins is up first and he seems surprised he survived! Kevin drags himself up and Rollins regroups with him. Kevin is so fired up, he gives Rollins a kiss on the cheek! They drag Big E back to ringside, “This is Awesome!” as things go back to the ring.
Kevin hurries up top, SWANTON BOMB! Rollins hits a FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Rollins and Kevin can’t believe it! Big E survives, and he’s building energy as he sits back up! Rollins and Kevin look worried, but they DOUBLE SUPERKICK Big E back down! Kevin sets Rollins up, but Big E fights free! Big E scoops Rollins, Rollins slips off and shoves Big E at Kevin! POP-UP- NOPE! Big E fights that, Kevin kicks but Big E shoves him away. No Stunner, but Rollins hits a DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! Feed to the POP-UP POWERBOMB!! Cover, Lashley shoves Rollins down to break it!
Lashley goes after Kevin, OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Rollins gets up, OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Lashley goes outside, runs and CLOBBERS Kevin! Rollins staggers up, Lashley goes in, but Rollins spins for a ROLLING ELBOW! But Big E scoops Rollins, only for Rollins to slip off again! Rollins shoves Big E into a SPEAR! Lashley is up, Rollins swings but misses, SPEAR! Kevin returns, he SUPERKICKS Lashley, kicks and- NO! No Stunner, just a SPEAR! Cover, Lashley wins!!
Winner: Bobby Lashley, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE World Championship)
It’s happening! It is finally happening! Lashley and Lesnar will go 1v1, and for THE WWE Championship! Will the Beast be the one conquered by the All Mighty? Or does Lesnar stay the alpha male of the WWE?
Speaking of Lesnar, Lesnar is watching and Kevin Patrick asks if he has a comment. Yes, he does. Tell Roman Reigns that Lesnar will see him this Friday on SmackDown. Whoa! Is Lesnar planning something even bigger than what’s looming at the Royal Rumble? Or will it all tie together once Beast and Tribal Chief meet on SmackDown?
This was a great Raw to start the year, at the end of the night. The main event should always be the best thing on a show, but in tonight’s case, it was not hard to be the best. In a vacuum, the Fatal 4 was still awesome, and Lashley getting the win is great for the world title story. Heyman’s great promo earlier, the second best thing tonight, gave kudos to both Lashley and Big E, but it is great that we’re finally getting Lesnar VS Lashley 1v1. Lesnar shrugging Lashley off to talk about Roman is also great, we could definitely be heading for a Winner Takes All scenario at WrestleMania. Lesnar VS Lashley at Rumble, then we also factor in the Rumble winner, and use Mania being two nights to see who comes out the newest Undisputed WWE Champion.
Everything else felt phoned in, even though we saw Vince here tonight. Vince’s newest segment with Theory was whatever, it was easy enough to say Theory is in the Rumble. He won’t win it, but I bet he’s given a really good number. And I also hope Finn uses that moment to return and screw Theory over so they can set up some kind of grudge match. If Vince still has any sense, Finn will win out so that he can be reestablished towards a title. Priest VS Ziggler was fairly good, and it makes sense Roode would wait to appear until the most opportune time. A little surprised Priest retains, but I hope what’s next is Big E. Big E could still try for the Rumble, but I want Big E to become a Grand Slam Champion. That man deserves nothing less after how his reign ended.
RKBRO had a good match with The Alpha Academy, but it went pretty quick after the commercial break. Other tag teams are entering the Royal Rumble, such as the Mysterios and Profits, so it seems pretty clear Alpha Academy is challenging RKBRO at the Rumble. They do make for a good contender team, but I’m not sure of their chances of taking the titles. Profits had a good match against Apollo & Azeez, and I feel like Ford himself is going to have a really good showing in the Rumble match. I don’t want the Profits to split up, but I do feel like Ford is the one who would be given a singles title shot.
Meanwhile, the 24/7 Championship is being used in the stupidest way possible. A Mixed Tag where the champion doesn’t even get involved? Why not have some controversy where Reggie wins the match and is the one given the title? What would’ve happened if Tozawa won? Would Tamina be given the belt or would he? Also, get more women back from the free agency void to go after this belt, at least. Dana literally just has to watch out for Tamina since the male superstars are apparently not allowed to roll Dana up. And speaking of being used stupidly, the Women’s Tag titles! How come those matches aren’t allowed to last more than five minutes?! Why don’t they just reset Nikki into her SAnitY form and let her go nuts on Mella & Vega? She might get disqualified like that but at least it’d be fun!
One thing that’s actually a bit interesting is that the Raw Women’s Championship scene is getting busy again. Naturally, Liv wants one more shot, and Bianca has been building herself back up a match at a time, but Piper has her own point about the same contenders getting more chances. Of course, this also goes back to WWE needing to get some women back in the roster instead of cutting them away. And honestly, I hope Piper wins the Triple Threat. It’ll make for something fresh because we’ll see Piper and Becky finally interact, and honestly, WWE giving us a Heel VS Heel title story would itself be refreshing. Raw needs it, the WWE needs it, and we the fans need it.
My Score: 7.9/10
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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