We’re just one step away from the finals!
NJPW’s 2022 New Japan Cup and its biggest field ever is down to the FINAL FOUR! Who makes it through to tomorrow’s finals?
- 10 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & Guerrillas of Destiny VS Bullet Club; Bullet Club wins, by disqualification.
- Six Man Tag: Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Togi Makabe VS Suzuki-Gun; Yano, Ishii & Makabe win.
- Six Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS House of Torture; House of Torture wins.
- Six Man Tag: Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honma & Hirooki Goto VS Strong Hearts; Strong Hearts win.
- YOSHI-HASHI & YOH VS Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan; Cobb & Khan win.
- Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI VS Will Ospreay & Aaron Henare; Ospreay & Henare win.
- 2022 New Japan Cup Semifinal: Shingo Takagi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins and advances to the finals.
- 2022 New Japan Cup Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito; Naito wins and advances to the finals.
PLAY BY PLAY
10 Man Tag: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato & Guerrillas of Destiny VS Bullet Club!
The Once in a Century Talent has joined the Jado Avengers! Will the Ace, Six or Nine, the Good Bad Guy and Silverback finally be a winning combination over Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Gedo? Or do heroes fall to Too Sweet?
Once again, Bullet Club bails out of the ring, but Jado’s team is ready! Taguchi goes after Chase, then Taiji, while Wato is after ELP. Fale goes after Wato but Tanahashi’s after him. GoD go after Gedo, the bell rings to put this on record! ELP ROCKS Wato, Tanahashi CLUBS Fale, GoD knock Gedo down and Taguchi knocks Chase down. Tama throws hands on Chase now, Loa is after Fale, and Wato puts ELP in. Taguchi helps out, Six or Nine double whips to double drop toehold and double basement dropkick! ELP goes to a corner, Taiji runs in, but into Wato’s back elbow, uppercut and sobat!
Wato stomps ELP, drags him over and tags Taguchi. They mug ELP, Taguchi snapmares and throws a point blank hip attack. Tag to Wato, he gives a point blank hip attack! Tag back to Taguchi, another point blank hip. Tag to Tanahashi, and he gives a point blank hip attack! Tag back to Wato, another point blank hip! Tag to Taguchi, yet another point blank hip! Tag to Tama, and fans rally up! Tama brings ELP up, point blank hip! Fans cheer and Tama smiles. Tag to Wato, he and Taguchi both get in, and Taguchi knocks the rest of Bullet Club down while Wato bumps ELP off buckles.
Taguchi sets up in a corner and fans rally up. Wato whips but ELP reverses and Fale CLOBBERS Wato! Taguchi is unaware as he gets into the groove, but ELP knocks down the rest of the team! Fale storms over to Taguchi, ELP stomps Wato, and Taguchi realizes something is wrong. He turns around and freaks out when he sees Fale! Fale CLUBS Taguchi in the ass! And then again! Taguchi falls over and Fale pushes him out. Gedo SPANKS Taguchi! Gedo drags Taguchi out to RAM into railing! Taiji puts Wato in and ELP stands on Wato’s chest! ELP DOUBLE STOMPS Wato, then tags Taiji.
Taiji hops up, ELP has Wato in a double underhook, and Taiji jumps down, to claw Wato on the back! Wato falls over while ELP flexes. Fans rally up, the ref keeps Fale and Tanahashi from brawling again, and Taiji keeps Wato from reaching his team. Taiji CLUBS Wato on the back, and ELP CLAWS him! Taiji CLAWS him, too! Gedo keeps Wato trapped, Taiji brings Wato up to scoop and SLAM! Tag to Fale, but all of Bullet Club stands on Wato! The ref is busy keeping Tanahashi back but Tama gets in to CLUB everyone down! They hit Tama back, and Fale stomps Wato. Fale DECKS Loa and ROCKS Tanahashi!
Fans rally for Wato but Fale drags him up. Tag to Chase, they mug Wato, and Chase stomps Wato down. Chase drags Wato into a chinlock, grinds Wato down, but Wato reaches out. Chase drags him away, fans rally up more, and Wato throws body shots. Chase CLUBS away and stomps Wato back down! Wato’s team coaches him but Chase says, “SUCK IT!” Chase runs, into a CALF KICK! Both men are down, fans fire up, and Wato hot tags in Loa! Loa rallies on Chase, fires off on Bullet Club, then swings on Chase. Chase blocks and he fires off a strike fest! But Loa hits an atomic drop! Loa runs, and LARIATS!
Loa rallies on Chase again, SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up and Loa waits on Chase to get up. Loa runs but ELP CLOBBERS him! Taiji and ELP intercept Tama! The Cutest Tag Team reel in GoD, but GoD suplexes them first! Fans fire up and GoD corner SPLASH and LARIAT! Then they switch the other way, LARIAT and SPLASH! GoD whip Chase, body shot, uppercut and NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up and Loa tags in Tanahashi! The Ace fires up, but then gets a bit wary when Fale gets in! But GoD back him up! Tanahashi gets around, waistlocks Fale, Tama dropkicks, then Loa dropkicks! Tanahashi then runs to SLINGBLADE!
Fans fire up as Fale goes down! Chase runs in, Tanahashi blocks the kick to DRAGON SCREW! Tanahashi intercepts Gedo stepping in, DRAGONS CREW! Fans fire up as Tanahashi runs, but Chase gets around to half nelson! Tanahashi elbows free, runs, into a BOOT! Chase ducks the Shotei to C-TRIGGER! Chase runs, C-TRIGGER! Chase drags Tanahashi back up, underhooks, but he shoves Tanahashi away as Wato FLYING UPPERCUTS! Taiji SEATED SENTONS Wato! Taguchi HIP ATTACKS Taiji! ELP ENZIGURIS Taguchi! Loa catches ELP and scoops him to a POWERSLAM! Fans fire up but Fale LARIATS Loa!
Tama forearms Fale, he stays up, but Tama baits him to ropes and dumps him out! Chase sees Tama and freaks out! Chase grabs the ref, Gedo gets in, AMERICAN SAKURA! Those damn silver knuckles! Gedo wants Tanahashi to get up, but JADO tackles him! Jado fires off hands on Gedo but the ref sees that! He rings the bell!!
Winners: Bullet Club, by disqualification
Chase goes after Jado! Tama goes after Chase! Tama throws Chase out, then he and Loa check on Jado. GoD drag Gedo up, Bullet Club won’t get to celebrate this one! Tanahashi has the knuckle! And he gives it to Jado! But Chase drags Gedo out of the ring! Bullet Club still keeps winning one way or another against Jado’s team, but is their luck starting to run out?
2022 New Japan Cup Semifinal: Shingo Takagi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
The Rampaging Dragon got through his friend, Hiromu Takahashi, while the Submission Master scored a win over his longtime rival, Will Ospreay. Both have been to the finals of this tournament, but who falls this close to the finish?
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. They circle, approach, feel out the grapple, and fight for control. They end up on ropes, and Takagi lets off fast. ZSJ and Takagi reset, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Takagi finds leverage and pushes ZSJ back but ZSJ turns it around. ZSJ hooks Takagi’s arms in the ropes, but he still lets off clean. Fans cheer that as the two reset again. They feel out a knuckle lock, and then go shoulder to shoulder in a test of strength. Takagi pushes the wristlocks, puts more pressure, but ZSJ keeps fighting up. ZSJ rolls back and reverses pressure onto Takagi.
Takagi fights up now, he turns things around but ZSJ turns them again to kick and cravat! Takagi gets to ropes and fans cheer as ZSJ lets off quickly. ZSJ backs off to his corner and they reset again. ZSJ talks a little smack, he and Takagi tie up, and ZSJ gets around to spin Takagi for a cravat. Takagi endures the neck wrench, arm-drags free, and things speed up! ZSJ turns hip toss into cobra twist, but Takagi hip tosses free anyway! ZSJ avoids the sliding lariat, boots Takagi, but Takagi rebounds to run ZSJ over! Fans fire up and Takagi drops a knee on ZSJ. Takagi puts ZSJ in the corner, then puts his leg on the ropes to kick it!
The ref reprimands as Takagi keeps kicking, then Takagi stands on the leg! The ref reprimands, Takagi steps off to stand ZSJ up. Takagi fires off back elbows then ROCKS him with a forearm! Takagi stands ZSJ up again to whip to ropes and knee hard against them! Fans fire up, Takagi suplexes but ZSJ counters with a GUILLOTINE! Takagi powers out, ZSJ headbutts low and snapmares, but Takagi kicks ZSJ away before the twist! Takagi gets the leg, but ZSJ steps through the Dragon Screw to get the NECK TWIST! Fans fire up while Takagi bails out. ZSJ takes a moment to catch his breath while Takagi clutches his neck.
Fans rally up as Takagi stands. ZSJ goes out after Takagi to EuroUpper! And again! And again! ZSJ fires off more EuroUppers against the railing! The ref goes out and ZSJ stops. ZSJ then drags Takagi up to put him in the ring. APRON NECK TWIST! The ref reprimands and counts as ZSJ keeps on the neck. ZSJ lets off at 4, fans applaud and rally up. “TA-KA-GI!” “Z S J!” is the rhythm as ZSJ stands on Takagi’s head at the ropes. The ref reprimands but ZSJ talks trash on Takagi. ZSJ steps off to kick Takagi in the back! ZSJ also gives toying kicks to the head, then he fires off kicks in the corner. Takagi ROCKS ZSJ with a forearm!
ZSJ tackles Takagi and claws at Takagi’s face! The ref reprimands, ZSJ puts on a necklock! ZSJ pushes up to put pressure, then gets an arm. Takagi endures and fans rally up. ZSJ pulls on the arm but Takagi clasps hands. Takagi moves around, ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets off, storms up to Takagi and drags him up to EuroUpper against ropes. ZSJ eggs Takagi on, so Takagi CHOPS! ZSJ staggers, but he cravats and neck wrenches! Takagi grabs ropes, the ref counts and ZSJ lets off. ZSJ brings Takagi up to headlock, but Takagi powers out to ELBOW! JAB! But ZSJ jumps on for a GUILLOTINE! Takagi powers out and TOSSES ZSJ!
Fans fire up while both men are down. Fans rally up and Takagi sits up first. Takagi stands, brings ZSJ up, but ZSJ fights the saido. Takagi throws a body shot, a knee, and runs. ZSJ goes to arm-drag but Takagi blocks it! Takagi drags ZSJ back up to throw him down! And drop elbow after elbow, but then anticipates ZSJ putting up his knees! Takagi pushes the legs aside to drop a SENTON! Fans fire up again as Takagi checks his neck. Takagi tells everyone there’s more to come! Takagi gets up, stands ZSJ up, but ZSJ EuroUppers, only to miss! Takagi waistlocks but ZSJ elbows free and cravats for another neck wrench!
Takagi endures and fights up to scoop and SLAM ZSJ! Takagi hurries up the corner, YUKON ELBOW, but into an ARMBAR! ZSJ has the arm! Takagi scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer and ZSJ lets off quickly. Fans rally up while both men are down. Takagi works on getting his bad arm moving but ZSJ is up first. ZSJ stands on the bad hand, steps over to hammerlock and ARM TWIST! Takagi clutches the arm, but ZSJ isolates it in a top wristlock to STOMP it! Takagi writhes and the ref checks on him, but Takagi says he won’t stop here. Fans rally up and ZSJ eggs Takagi on.
ZSJ gives toying kicks, again and again and again, but Takagi blocks the boot! JAB! YUKON feint to a DDT! Both men are down again and fans fire up! Takagi shakes out the bad arm and then he drives elbows into ZSJ’s shoulder over and over and over! Fans rally, Takagi runs but ZSJ catches the sliding lariat into a DISARMER! ZSJ bends the arm back, then has it in an INVERTED ARMBAR! Takagi endures, even as ZSJ keeps him trapped with leg scissors! ZSJ even hooks one of the legs, it’s part Bow ‘n’ Arrow now! Fans rally up as Takagi fights free, scrambles, and gets a ROPEBREAK! ZSJ lets go in frustration as fans cheer.
Fans rally back up and both men slowly rise. ZSJ stands, he EuroUppers Takagi, but has to back off from his own back pain. ZSJ EuroUppers again, then again but Takagi catches ZSJ in a Gory Especial! ZSJ slips out to sleeper hold, but Takagi fights out to put ZSJ in the sleeper hold! ZSJ sits down as Takagi leans on the hold, then Takagi shifts to a dragon sleeper! But ZSJ fights up to turn it around on Takagi! Takagi slips around to suplex but ZSJ slips off and gets the sleeper hold back! Takagi steps around to power out, and he pops ZSJ up to fireman’s carry and DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Fans fire up as both men are down again!
Fans rally, ZSJ rolls away to a corner. Takagi storms over, kicks at ZSJ, then brings him up. Takagi throws headbutts to ZSJ’s back, then hoists him up top. Takagi climbs, throws some body shots, then goes to the very top, SUPERPLEX! Fans fire up while both men are down again! Takagi’s superplex was double-edged given his bad shoulder and neck! Fans rally harder as Takagi crawls after ZSJ. ZSJ rolls away so Takagi fires up with “OI! OI! OI!” Fans fire up with him, Takagi gets the bad arm moving, and he runs corner to corner at ZSJ to clothesline! Then runs again, but into ZSJ’s backslide! Roll through, jackknife, TWO!!
Takagi is up, he spins ZSJ around to pump handle, but ZSJ wheelbarrows, only for Takagi to block! But ZSJ fights off the wheelbarrow suplex to victory roll and body scissor to EURO CLUTCH! TWO!! Takagi escapes, ZSJ PENALTY KICKS! Takagi swings, into a full nelson, DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridge, ONE!! ZSJ couldn’t hold long, but he gets to a corner as Takagi flounders. Fans rally up again and Takagi crawls his way over. ZSJ runs in, PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! ZSJ grows annoyed and he copies the “OI! OI! OI!” Fans rally, Takagi gets up and ZSJ scoops, Takagi slips out, ROLLING COBRA! TWO!! ZSJ escapes and fans fire up!
ZSJ BOOTS, scoops, but Takagi blocks and wrenches out to pump handle and… MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!! ZSJ survives and fans fire up again! Takagi grows frustrated, he shakes out the bad arm, and fans rally back up. Takagi roars and drags ZSJ back up. Takagi pump handles but ZSJ throws down elbows to fight the lift. Takagi and ZSJ both sit down. They each give a head junkyard dog headbutts, then stand back up. ZSJ EuroUppers, but he has to back off again. Takagi eggs ZSJ on and fans rally. ZSJ EuroUppers, and again, but there’s not a lot of power. Takagi fires off boxing elbows over and over and over!
ZSJ SLAPS Takagi! ZSJ fires off slapping palm strikes from all sides! JAB from Takagi! But ZSJ boots Takagi’s lariat! ZSJ jumps, Takagi catches him, but ZSJ wrenches out to PELE the arm! Takagi uses that momentum to run and SLIDING FOREARM! Takagi keeps going, PUMPING BOMBER!! But the bad arm slows Takagi down! Fans are thunderous, Takagi roars and he drags ZSJ back up! Pump handle, torture rack, but ZSJ fights off to IRON- NO! No octopus! Takagi powers up but ZSJ shifts around to a sleeper! He drags Takagi down, ARMBAR! Takagi moves around, but he ends up in a TRIANGLE HOLD!
ZSJ drive elbows in again and again, then uses all leg! Takagi doesn’t give up, ZSJ throws more elbows in, but Takagi still deadlifts! Fireman’s carry, but ZSJ slips around to a sleeper again! Takagi pries at the leg scissors, but ZSJ squeezes tighter! Takagi is fading, but he gets a second wind! Fans are thunderous as Takagi goes up the corner! SUPER BACKPACK SENTON!! But ZSJ holds on!?! Takagi flails, rolls around, ZSJ keeps after the back mount! Fans are thunderous again, but Takagi FLOPS! The ref calls it, ZSJ WINS!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission (advances to the finals)
The Submission Master hath slain the Dragon!! He returns to the New Japan Cup finale, will he be able to pull off another powerful performance in just 24 hours?
2022 New Japan Cup Semifinal: Kazuchika Okada VS Tetsuya Naito!
The Rainmaker overcame the #GLEAT CIMA, while the Uncontrollable Charisma survived the Hawaiian Hulk. Okada won against Naito in a world title match back in the New Years Golden Series, but that won’t slow Naito down. Will Naito be tranquilo all the way to the finals? Or will Okada keep his promise to be both IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and New Japan Cup winner at the same time?
The elaborate entrance attire is put aside, Naito of course taking his time. Okada is patient, he’s seen this plenty of times. The bell rings and fans applaud as these two stare down. Okada approaches and Naito stays by ropes, but they slowly circle. They feel out the grapple, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Naito uses a hand in Okada’s face, perhaps grabbing his nose, to put him on ropes. Red Shoes counts the ropebreak, and Naito lets off. Naito pats Okada on the shoulders, and fans applaud as they reset. Okada and Naito circle, tie up again, and Naito gets around. Okada wrenches the waistlock to a wristlock and he YANKS the arm.
Naito drop toeholds then floats to a headlock. Okada fights up, Naito grinds the hold, but Okada pries at the hold. Naito clamps on tighter, thrashes Okada around, but Okada fights up again. Naito powers up to keep the hold but Okada slips out to hammerlock. But Naito slips out the back to headlock! Fans cheer this technical exchange, and Naito grinds the headlock again. Naito brings Okada to his knees, but Okada fights back up. Okada throws body shots, pries at the headlock again, and he turns it around onto Naito. Naito rolls back to a cover, ONE, but Naito tries again. ONE, and Okada still has the headlock.
Naito endures, even as Okada pulls on the hold. Naito rolls but past the cover to pop out and headlock back! Okada keeps his shoulders up but Naito traps an arm. Okada headscissors back and holds tight as Naito tries to kip free. Okada pushes up to add pressure, but Naito endures. Naito kicks arounds, pops free, and rolls Okada to snapmare and headlock. Naito cranks on the hold, but Okada endures. Okada fights up, puts Naito on ropes, and Red Shoes counts the ropebreak. Naito lets go, Okada backs off, but Okada kicks low! Okada reels Naito into the headlock and fans cheer the exchange!
Naito powers up and out, but Okada runs him over! Fans cheer again, Okada throws forearms on Naito then whip him to ropes. Naito reverses to arm-drag Okada down! And kick low, to run, for a RANA! Fans fire up while Naito catches his breath. Naito drags Okada up, snapmares him down, and has a seated neck wrench with the cravat! Okada endures again, even as Naito pulls way back. Okada fights around to the ropebreak! The fans cheer, Red Shoes counts, and Naito brings Okada up to bump off buckles. Naito throws hard back elbows in the corner, and Okada sits down. Naito digs his boots in but Red Shoes counts.
Naito lets off but Okada puts Naito up top! DROPKICK! Naito tumbles to the floor! Okada catches his breath while Naito stirs and fans rally up as the ring count starts. Okada goes out, he brings Naito up to whip into railing! And then BOOTS him over! Fans fire up and Okada looms over Naito. Okada drags Naito back up and over the railing, for a DRAPING DDT to the floor! Naito is SPIKED, then he flops over! Okada is ice cold as he goes back to the ring, but the fans rally back up. Red Shoes checks but Naito is still in this. The ring count starts and Okada waits on Naito. Naito shakes out his arms at 5 of 20, and slowly sits up at 10.
Naito stands at 15, hobbles over, and gets in at 17! Okada looms over Naito again, stands on him for a cocky cover, but Red Shoes doesn’t count. Naito pushes the foot away anyway, but Okada kicks him around. Okada eggs Naito on and Naito gets up to CHOP! Okada doesn’t flinch, but Naito CHOPS again! And CHOPS again! Okada kicks low, reels Naito in and NECKBREAKER! Then chinlock! Naito endures, pries at the hold, Okada grinds Naito down! Naito reaches out, but Okada cranks him back harder! Fans rally and Naito keeps reaching out forward! ROPEBREAK! Okada lets off and fans cheer again.
Okada paces while Red Shoes checks on Naito. Naito’s still okay to continue, and he fires off forearms! Okada eggs him on, Naito keeps hitting, Okada kicks low and whips. Naito reverses, Okada ducks and dodges but Naito dropkicks the legs out! Fans rally up again, Naito throws more forearms and kicks! Naito CLUBS, whips, and hip tosses for a basement dropkick! Okada bails out but Naito pursues. Naito drags Okada up, and whips him into railing! Naito then CLUBS Okada on the neck, then again. Then he kicks Okada’s leg, and wraps it around railing! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Naito fires more forearms!
Red Shoes reprimands more but Naito lets off to get space, and he runs in to dropkick the railing! Okada’s leg gets jammed and he falls over! Fans fire up and Naito leaves Okada behind to go into the ring. Fans rally up and the ring count starts. Okada clutches his leg, grits his teeth, fights his way up, and is up at 15, to get in at 16! Naito knows just by the count stopping, and he stomps Okada down. Naito stomps the leg, scuffs Okada around, then stomps the leg again! Okada manages to get up but Naito has the bad leg, for a SHIN BREAKER! And then he runs, but Okada dodges the basement dropkick! Only to swing into a BACKBREAKER!
Naito drags Okada into the leg hook full nelson! Okada endures, fans rally up, and Okada moves around. Okada gets the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes wants Naito to let go but as always with this hold, Naito claims he needs help. Red Shoes counts, Naito holds his hands up, and Red Shoes pries the legs off. Naito stomps Okada, then looms over him. And then stomps him more! Naito drags Okada up, turns him, but Okada elbows out of the neckbreaker! Okada blocks a kick to spin Naito and BOOT him down! Fans rally up as Okada grits his teeth and runs corner to corner. BIG back elbow, then a kick and DDT! Cover, TWO!
Fans rally up again while both men are down. Okada stands, waits on Naito, then Alabama Lifts. Naito fights that off, CLUBS away on Okada’s back, but Okada back drops, only for Naito to make that an arm-drag! Okada rushes in, but Naito wrenches and hits a NECKBREAKER! Fans rally up again and Naito catches his breath and shakes out the cobwebs. Okada crawls his way to a corner, Naito runs in, but Okada BOOTS first! Naito dodges the shotgun dropkick to atomic drop! Naito shoves Okada to a corner, JUMP KICK! Leg sweep, COMBIN- NO! Alabama Lift and REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Then MONEY CLIP!
Fans rally, Naito endures and reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Okada lets off and fans rally up again, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” Okada drags Naito up first, scoops him and SLAMS him into the drop zone. Okada climbs to the top, but Naito gets up and rushes over! Okada leaps over him, but turns around into Naito’s spin and TORNADO- NO! No DDT, but Naito dodges the lariat, to run into the dropkick! Fans fire up and Okada has the MONEY CLIP! Okada grinds Naito down again as he squeezes tight, but fans rally as Naito endures! Naito kicks and reaches, gets up, but Okada hits a BACK2BACKBREAKER! And then, MONEY CLIP!
Naito endures all over again and fans rally back up. Naito kicks around, Okada squeezes tighter, but Naito still fights forward! Okada cranks the hold and Red Shoes checks on Naito. Naito is fading, turning purple, but he gets a second wind and the ROPEBREAK! Fans fire up again while both men are down. Okada brings Naito up, scoops and SLAMS him again, then goes back to the corner. Okada climbs up again, MACHO ELBOW! And fans fire up for the Rainmaker Pose! Okada drags Naito up, ripcords, but Naito gets around to hook a leg, LIGHTNING SPIRAL! Both men are down again and fans fire up!
Fans rally, “O-KA-DA!” “NA-I-TO!” as both men stir. Naito sits up first and gets to a corner. He watches Okada get up, runs in, but Okada dodges the dropkick! Okada uppercuts, whips, but Naito reverses and TORNADO DDT’s! Fans fire up again and Naito sees Okada go to the corner. Naito puts Okada up top, climbs up after him, and SUPER STEINER! Fans stay fired up as Naito again aims from the corner. Naito runs in, but into an elbow! And then an uppercut! Okada runs in but misses in the corner! Naito throws more hard back elbows! Red Shoes reprimands, and counts, and Naito lets up.
Naito brings Okada up, to throw more back elbows! Fans keep rallying and Red Shoes reprimands again. Naito steps back, to throw more elbows! Naito CLUBS Okada down, and then he pushes Red Shoes away. Naito hops up the corner, stands Okada up, ESPERANZA! Fans fire up again and Naito encourages them to get louder. They get louder, so Naito runs in and CORRIENDO SHIKI DESTINO! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives but Naito stays cool. Naito looms over Okada, brings him up, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but Okada slips free! Naito ROLLING KICKS, then hammerlocks and half nelsons! GLORIA! Then Naito goes up top?! STARDUST PRESS FLOPS!!
Okada escapes disaster and fans fire up again! Both men stir, and Okada stands up in the corner. Okada glares and then runs in, to SHOTGUN Naito to the other corner! Fans still rally as Okada drags Naito up. Naito blocks the gut wrench, fans rally up more, and Okada CLUBS Naito. Okada turns to a backslide, but he lets Naito slip off for a short arm LARIAT! Okada keeps wrist control and he drags Naito back up. Short arm LARIAT! Okada roars and fans fire up with him! Okada drags Naito back up, ripcord, but Naito fires off back elbows! Okada still holds on, so GERMAN SUPLEX! And Okada still holds on!
Okada brings Naito back up, ripcord, but Naito dodges! But Okada DROPKICKS again! Okada roars again and fans are fired up again! Okada gut wrenches, but Naito kicks and flails to fight it off. Naito throws body shots, then he scoops Okada, but Okada slips off! DISCUS- NO! Naito blocks to fire off elbows! Okada gets around, ripcord, but Naito ducks and tilt-o-whirls, only for Okada to block Destino! But Okada then lets Naito down, short arm- No! Naito ducks and ENZIGURIS! Naito whips, Okada reverses, but Naito fakes out the dropkick! ROLLING JACKKNIFE! TWO!! Fans are thunderous as Okada escapes!
Okada Alabama Lifts, but Naito sunset flips, only for Okada to sit on the cover! TWO!! Okada swings, Naito ducks but Okada elbows the waistlock. Naito swings, Okada ducks and ripcords, but Naito wrenches to hammerlock, POLVO DE ESTRELLA! Cover, Naito WINS!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (advances to the finals)
Naito redeems himself from the New Years Golden Series, and the Rainmaker’s promise has been broken! Naito gets a win off the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and keeps him from the finals! Okada is just as stunned as anyone, and Naito rubs it in with a tranquilo reclining. Okada applauds, because he does respect Naito. Naito then catches his breath and gets the mic.
“Buenas noches, Osaka-Jo Hall~! Osaka-Jo Hall hosted two New Japan Cup semifinal matches today. Thank you all for coming out to the venue. Gracias, amigos.” Fans cheer that sentiment, and Naito says, “By th eway, where’s tomorrow’s opponent? Has he gone home already? You’re still hanging out, aren’t you? Why not come down to the ring? Zack-chan, where are you? Zack, c’mon. Where are you? Have you gone home?” Fans clap for ZSJ, and he appears! Naito says, “Took you long enough, Zack-san. Please, come down to the ring.” ZSJ says, “Hasta manana,” he’l lsee Naito tomorrow. But Naito says in English, “Please, come to the ring. Please.”
ZSJ tries Japanese now, “Ashita, ashita,” tomorrow. ZSJ commends Naito on a good day’s work, but ZSJ says okay then. “Zack-san? Tomorrow? Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.” ZSJ gives back the “Yoroshiku onegaishimasu,” as both men look forward to “working” with each other. Fans cheer that exchange, and Naito adds “Hasta manana. Adios.” Naito then poses the question: Will he win the New Japan Cup? Or will it be Zack Sabre Jr? The last time they went 1v1 in Osaka was in the G1 Climax opener. ZSJ did win that, so please look forward to Naito getting his revenge tomorrow! And until then, the final here in Osaka-Jo Hall, TRANQUILO! Assen na yo. He hopes to see everyone back here tomorrow.
But for now, we close this out the only right way! “Bushi! Sanada! Hiromu! Takagi! Y Naito. Nosotros… Los Ingoberrrrrnables~! DE! JA! PON!” The Uncontrollable Charisma will meet the Submission Master in the finale of the biggest New Japan Cup ever! Who takes that trophy and goes for the gold at Hyper Battle?
A great penultimate event for the New Japan Cup! The 10 Man Tag opening was pretty convenient for me, but it was surprising that Bullet Club won again, and with a disqualification. All of this has to mean a sweep from #JadoAvengers, from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag titles to GoD VS Chase & Fale to Jado VS Gedo. We got a lot of fun looking filler matches, good to see Strong Hearts get a win as a trio, and the United Empire stays strong because I’m still thinking they’ll challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles, and Ospreay can do any number of things in the background of the world title scene.
The semifinal matches were awesome stuff, and honestly both results surprised me. I thought Takagi was going to get back to the finals but ZSJ got him with that sleeper and is very strong going into the finals. Naito winning off his unique cradle was a great way to keep Okada strong in the loss. Naito now has a title match in his back pocket, so I can’t be sure he wins the cup. Naito won the cup back in 2016, the year before ZSJ did, this is going to be an awesome match for the finals.
My Score: 8.9/10
Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Road Results & Report! (7/4/22)
We’re in the homestretch!
NJPW is turning the corner towards the finish line!
While America celebrates its independence, NJPW has fireworks of their own! Will two Aces trump Bullet Club’s Bone Soldier Reborn & Fang Revived?
- Minoru Suzuki VS Kosei Fujita; Suzuki wins.
- TAKA Michinoku VS Satoshi Kojima; Kojima wins.
- Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe VS Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ryohei Oiwa; Honma & Makabe win.
- Six Man Tag: Yuji Nagata, Clark Connors & The DKC VS Suzuki-Gun; Suzuki-Gun wins.
- Six Man Tag: Chaos VS House of Torture; Chaos wins.
- 10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon; LIJ wins.
- KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA; Taiji & Kenta win.
PLAY BY PLAY
10 Man Tag: Alex Zayne, Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada VS Los Ingobernables de Japon!
The Sauce was part of yesterday’s winning combination in the main event, and now the table is set for a bigger meal! Will he, Six or Nine, the Stone Pitbull and the Rainmaker have their fill? Or will Bushi, Sanada, Hiromu, Takagi y Naito be the ones having a fiesta before the G1?
LIJ first bumps and the teams sort out, we have Sanada and Ishii to start. Fans rally at the bell, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up, Sanada wrenches to a wristlock but Ishii throws a body shot. Ishii wrenches to a hammerlock but Sanada switches it onto Ishii. Ishii switches it back, but Sanada switches again to then get a headlock. Ishii powers up and out, then avoids the boot. Sanada avoids the lariat but Ishii avoids another boot. Sanada gets around to waistlock and shove Ishii to a corner, then runs in. Ishii dodges but then Sanada dodges, and Sanada kicks. Ishii blocks that, spins Sanada to a waistlock, but Sanada throws elbows.
Ishii ducks the elbow but Sanada ducks a forearm to waistlock Ishii. Ishii swings elbows but Sanada ducks then trips Ishii. Sanada wants Paradise but Ishii kicks Sanada away. Sanada gets up but Ishii trips him! Ishii tries to steal Paradise but Sanada kicks him away! Fans applaud the exchange as the two stare down. Fans rally again, “SA-NA-DA!” “I-SHI-I!” They tie up again, Sanada waistlocks and shoves but Ishii holds ropes. Ishii runs in but into another waistlock. Ishii switches and shoves Sanada but Sanada holds ropes. Sanada runs in but Ishii avoids the basement dropkick. Sanada avoids the Penalty Kick and dropkicks!
Ishii stays up but runs into a forearm! Sanada runs, but Ishii runs him over! Fans fire up and the Stone Pitbull drags up Cold Skull. Ishii bumps Sanada off buckles and tags in Okada. Okada CLUBS Sanada, scoops him and SLAMS him, then goes to the apron. Slingshot senton! Fans applaud and Okada drags Sanada up. Okada CLUBS Sanada again, and again, then whips him to ropes. Sanada reverses and Bushi hits Okada at the ropes! Okada’s team protests but Sanada dropkicks Okada’s leg out! Fans rally up while both men are down. Sanada tags Naito and he kicks and CLUBS away on Okada.
Naito whips Okada corner to corner, runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep and swinging dropkick! Combinacion Cabron! Naito strikes his pose and fans applaud. Naito drags Okada up, turns him around, but Okada fights off the neckbreaker. Okada kicks low to DDT! Fans rally up again as Okada drags Naito up. Tag to Taguchi and Wato comes in to knock down Hiromu. Taguchi CLUBS Naito, drags him up and gives him a point blank hip attack. Six or Nine double whip Naito to double drop toehold! And roll to double basement dropkick! Taguchi sees Bushi coming, Six or Nine double back elbow, double uppercut and DOUBLE SOBAT!
The ref reprimands but Six or Nine go back after Naito. They double whip him corner to corner, Taguchi CORNER HIPS! Taguchi then sets up for WATO IN MOTION! Wato sets up for HIP IN- NO, Naito dodges and Taguchi hits buckles! Hiromu uses Wato as a step, TIMEBOMB IN MOTION! Naito then kicks Wato and throws him out while Hiromu keeps after Taguchi. Hiromu and Naito double whip Taguchi but he ducks the clothesline. Taguchi jumps, but into a DOUBLE ATOMIC DROP! Naito then gets a boost from Hiromu to TORNADO DDT! Hiromu takes out Zayne and Ishii while fans fire up.
LIJ goes after Okada and the rest while Naito SPANKS Taguchi! And again! And again! Naito drags Taguchi up and tags in Takagi. LIJ mugs Taguchi with a DOUBLE SPANK! And a DOUBLE SPANK again! Takagi then reels Taguchi in for a BIG atomic drop! Taguchi staggers about, but Takagi throws knees against the ropes. The ref reprimands and Takagi lets off. Fans rally up for “TA-KA-GI!” “TA-GU-CHI!” while Taguchi flops over. Takagi brings Taguchi up and whips him to ropes, to KNEE him hard against them! Takagi reels Taguchi in to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO! Taguchi is still in this and fans rally as Takagi drags him up.
Takagi YANKS and wrenches an arm, then tags in Bushi. LIJ go after Taguchi’s ass again with more spanks! Taguchi writhes but Bushi keeps him from his team. Bushi bumps Taguchi off buckles, stomps and CHOPS him, then brings him around to kick. Bushi goes up and missile dropkicks! BUSHIROONI! Fans rally up and Bushi stands on Taguchi’s face. Taguchi flails and Bushi covers, ROPEBREAK! Naito swats the foot away, Bushi covers again, TWO! Bushi CLUBS Taguchi down before he can get to his corner, and he stomps Taguchi’s ass! Bushi FISHERMAN- NO, Taguchi slips out! But Bushi kicks low!
Bushi runs, Taguchi jumps, but into another atomic drop! Bushi SPANKS Taguchi again! Bushi whips but Taguchi reverses to HIP ATTACK! Fans fire up while both men are down! They crawl for their corners, hot tags to Zayne and Hiromu! The Sauce rallies on LIJ, fires off elbows on Hiromu, then SOBATS! Zayne runs for the SOMERSAULT AX KICK! Direct hit and Hiromu flounders to a corner! Fans fire up and Zayne runs in corner to corner to back elbow! Zayne puts Hiromu up top but Naito runs in! Zayne sends Naito into Hiromu! Zayne then uses Naito as a boost to DRAGON RANA Hiromu off the top!
Fans fire up more and Zayne rolls Naito up to EDDY GORDO KICK! Fans rally and Zayne sees Hiromu regrouping with Sanada and Bushi. The ref is reprimanding those three and Zayne wants the ref to move. The ref doesn’t hear him so Zayne shrugs and builds speed! Zayne FLIES over the ref to wipe out LIJ! Fans are fired up and Zayne fetches Hiromu. Zayne puts Hiromu in, stalks him, then brings him up. Zayne wrenches and scoops, BAJA BLAST! Cover, TWO! Okada DECKS Takagi and has Zayne carry on. Fans rally up, “HI-RO-MU!” “AL-EX ZAYNE!” Zayne drags Hiromu up, wraps him up, but Hiromu fights the straitjacket.
Hiromu swings but into a spin. Hiromu catches Zayne’s clothesline and spins, then jumps up, but Zayne blocks the rana takedown! Zayne throws Hiromu away, but Hiromu wheelbarrows to COMPLETE SHOT! Fans fire up while both men are down! Hiromu and Zayne stir, crawl for their corners, and Zayne hot tags Wato! The Way of the Grandmaster fires up as he brings Hiromu up. Hiromu fights the waistlock and elbows free. Hiromu blocks the kick, and the punch, but not the ELBOW! Wato runs, but into an elbow! Hiromu runs, into a dropkick! Wato fires up and fans fire up with him! Wato BUZZS- NO, Hiromu blocks the kick to a DRAGON SCREW!
Fans rally and Hiromu crawls for his corner. Hot tag to Takagi, and the Dragon says here it comes! Takagi runs in at Wato, blocks the boot and clotheslines! Takagi suplexes, Wato fights it, but Takagi turns it into a swinging neckbreaker! Cover, Okada breaks it! Okada coaches Wato and fans rally up. Takagi brings Wato up to throw elbows! Takagi then runs to SLID- NO, Wato dodges to BOOT and whip! Takagi reverses, but Wato RANAS! Taguchi knocks Naito and Bushi down, then Zayne and Wato double whip Takagi. Wato runs in but is put on the apron. Takagi does the same to Zayne, but Taguchi HIP ATTACKS!
Taguchi, Zayne and Wato coordinate, HIP AND DOUBLE KICK COMBO! Taguchi stands Takagi up for Wato’s FLYING UPPERCUT! Cover, Hiromu breaks it! Taguchi throws Hiromu out and fans rally up. Wato goes back to a corner while Takagi snarls. Wato goes after Takagi, but he can’t scoop Takagi! But Takagi can scoop Wato! Wato fights free, CLUBS Takagi, but Takagi just shrugs. Wato runs, but into Takagi’s ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up and Takagi brings Wato up, to SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Wato survives but Takagi points to the camera. There’s still more! “OI! OI! OI!”
Fans rally up and Takagi brings Wato up again. Pump handle but then Okada gets in. Takagi BOOTS Okada, JABS, but Okada FLAPJACKS Takagi! Naito runs in but into an uppercut. Okada whips but Naito avoids the dropkick to basement dropkick! Ishii runs in to run Naito over! Sanada fireman’s carries Ishii, to throw him into the dragon sleeper! Ishii slips out to suplex but Sanada slips out to ROCK Ishii! Sanada spins but into Ishii’s SUPLEX! Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS Ishii! Wato dodges to SCREW HIGH KICK! Wato waistlocks and HIGH ANGLE GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!!
Wato is shocked but the fans fire up! Wato brings Takagi up, wrenches and hooks him, but Takagi fights the Mouse Trap. Takagi fireman’s carries but Wato CRUCIFIX DRIVERS! Cover, TWO! BUZZ- NO, Takagi ducks the kick! Takagi waistlocks but Wato elbows free and SOBATS! Front kick and SUPER- NO, Takagi blocks and shoves Wato, to pop-up DEATH VALLEY! Then Takagi runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!! Wato survives and fans fire up! Bushi DIVES to take out Zayne! Takagi fires up and drags Wato back up. Pump handle and lift, MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall
The Dragon slays the Grandmaster, but he shows his respect with a pat on the chest. Wait, Taguchi tries to Iron Claw and maybe even Stink Face Hiromu! And Ishii stares down with Sanada. But with LIJ victorious, will their heavyweights take over the G1 Climax? Or will the Stone Pitbull have something to say about all that?
KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taiji Ishimori & KENTA!
Speaking of that winning combination, the Time Splitter and the Once in a Century Talent are sticking together in a rematch with the Bone Soldier & Fang Revived! Will it only take a pair of Aces to win again? Or can the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion turn things around before the end of the New Japan Road?
Tanahashi shows off the muscles, and again fans are impressed. Taiji shows off his, too, though, to see who is better. The teams sort out and Kushida starts against Taiji for one more preview of their title match. They circle and fans rally. They tie up, Kushida goes low but Taiji uses that to waistlock. Kushida rolls and brings Taiji down then floats. Taiji resists the lateral press but Kushida goes after his legs. Kushida digs a knee in, throws down a palm strike, then tries for a press. Taiji moves around, gets Kushida’s arm but Kushida headscissors to counter. Kushida pushes up to put on the pressure, but Taiji moves around.
Taiji ties up Kushida’s legs then headstands to pop free. Fans applaud the opening exchange as the two reset. They feel out a knuckle lock, then Kushida KICKS a leg! And again! Kushida keeps his leg guard up as Taiji moves around. Kushida goes after a leg but Taiji pushes him away. Kushida jumps on to body scissor, then he knuckle locks and wrenches an arm. Kushida wrenches, full nelsons, spins Taiji and hammerlocks to then flying-mare! Kushida chinlocks but Taiji slips out to wrench and cover, ONE! Fans applaud as the two stand off again. Taiji backs away to his corner and Kenta tags in.
Kushida goes to his corner and he tags Tanahashi in. Fans rally “LET’S GO, ACE!” as Tanahashi and Kenta circle. Kenta starts up his own clap rhythm and fans follow along. The clapping duels between them, but the “LET’S GO, ACE!” wins out. Kenta is annoyed so he steps out to the apron. Fans clap for Kenta to try and get him back into this. Kenta steps back in slowly, but Tanahashi starts up “LET’S GO, ACE” again. Kenta tries even harder to get his clapping going, the dueling continues, and Tanahashi dares Kenta to come at him. They circle, but then Kenta uses ropes as defense. Tanahashi backs away and Kenta returns.
Kenta and Tanahashi finally approach, but Kenta again backs away to ropes. Tanahashi decides to join Kenta in the ropes. Tanahashi tells Kenta to get serious, and the two return to center. They approach and Kenta kicks low! Kenta headlocks and grinds Tanahashi down. Tanahashi pries the headlock open and turns it around onto Kenta! Fans applaud and now Kenta endures. Kenta powers up but can’t power out as Tanahashi holds tight. Tanahashi grinds the headlock but Kenta pulls hair! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi pulls Kenta’s hair! They both end up in a corner and Red Shoes counts. Tanahashi lets go to throw body shots!
Tanahashi whips corner to corner, Kenta reverses to uppercut! Kenta whips Tanahashi corner to corner now, but runs into an elbow! Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! Fans rally as Tanahashi air guitars. Tanahashi brings Kenta over, tag to Kushida, and Tanahashi feeds Kenta to Kushida’s HOTSHOT! Kushida drags Kenta up, wrenches the arm and hits an ELBOW BREAKER! Things speed up but Kenta CLOBBERS Kushida and DECKS Tanahashi! Taiji gets in to throw Kushida out while Kenta whips Tanahashi hard into railing! Tanahashi drops in a heap while Taiji throws hands on Kushida.
Kushida hits Taiji back while Kenta rains down fists on Tanahashi! Taiji rakes Kushida’s eyes while Kenta stomps Tanahashi. Taiji puts Kushida in, CHOKES him, but Red Shoes reprimands. Kenta gets in to claw Kushida’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Kenta drags Kushida away to whip hard into the corner. Tag to Taiji, and they both dig their boots into Kushida. Red Shoes counts and they let off. Fans rally for “KU-SHI-DA!” as Taiji drags Kushida up. Taiji wrenches an arm, CLUBS it, then CLUBS it again. Taiji YANKS the arm, wrenches again, then snapmares Kushida to WRING the arm out!
Kushida writhes but Taiji smirks. Kushida CHOPS Taiji, but Taiji eggs him on. Kushida CHOPS again, but Taiji CHOPS back. Taiji CHOPS Kushida at the ropes, Kenta HOTSHOTS the arm! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji says it is in return for what they did to Kenta. Taiji stands on Kushida’s hand then stomps Kushida’s head! Tag to Kenta, he drags Kushida back from Tanahashi. Kenta stomps the bad arm, then snapmares Kushida for a KICK! Kenta stares Tanahashi down then covers, ONE! Fans rally, Kenta tells them to shut up. Kushida throws body shots and forearms but Kenta knees low. Kenta whips, Kushida handsprings to BACK ELBOW!
Fans fire up and Kushida rolls, hot tag to Tanahashi! Tanahashi drags Kenta up to fire off fast hands! Taiji gets in to CLUB Tanahashi! Red Shoes reprimands but Tanahashi SHOTEIS Taiji down! Taiji bails out and Tanahashi whips Kenta to a corner. Tanahashi runs in to SHOTGUN! And then HALF HATCH SUPLEX! Fans fire up and Tanahashi waits on Kenta to rise. Tanahashi runs, but Kenta sends Tanahashi out! Tanahashi skins the cat, but he has to BOOT Taiji away. Kenta SHOTGUNS Tanahashi down! Fans rally up while Taiji stomps Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Kushida into railing and stomps him down!
Taiji drags Tanahashi up while Kenta DDTs Kushida to the floor! Taiji rakes Tanahashi’s eyes, then he goes after Kushida with haymakers. Kenta kicks Tanahashi while he’s down, puts him in the ring, then covers, TWO! Kenta wraps on a headscissor squeeze! Fans rally while Tanahashi endures, and he reaches out with a leg. Kenta squeezes tighter but Tanahashi gets the ROPEBREAK! Taiji swats the foot away but Red Shoes saw that. Red Shoes wants Kenta to let go but Kenta thrashes around. Red Shoes makes Kenta let go, and he drags Tanahashi over. Kenta whips Tanahashi into bare buckles!
Kenta CLAWS at Tanahashi’s shoulders! Kenta tags Taiji and Taiji hops up onto the top rope. Fans rally as Kenta stands Tanahashi up. Taiji jumps, to CLAW Tanahashi’s back! Tanahashi grits his teeth while he drops to the mat. Fans rally up and Taiji drags Tanahashi back up. Taiji reels Tanahashi in, to CLAW his back again! Red Shoes reprimands but Taiji smirks. Taiji drags Tanahashi up to wrench and whip into the bare buckles again! Tanahashi clutches that shoulder as he falls over but the fans still rally behind him. Taiji drags Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fires off body shots. Taiji KNEES low and CLAWS Tanahashi’s back again.
Tag to Kenta, he CLAWS Tanahashi, but Tanahashi CLAWS Kenta back! Fans rally, but Kenta DECKS Kushida to deny the tag! Kenta throws haymakers but Tanahashi fires up! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he powers up. Kenta runs, BOOTS, but Tanahashi stays up! Kenta BOOTS again but Tanahashi kicks, into a DRAGON SCREW! Kenta has the bad leg, turns Tanahashi over, STF! Tanahashi endures and fans rally, but Kushida barrels in to break the hold! Taiji throws Kushida out, then goes out after him while Kenta keeps on Tanahashi. Kenta RAMS Tanahashi into Red Shoes! Then he DDTs Tanahashi down!
Taiji whips Kushida into railing while Kenta searches under the ring. Kenta brings out a crutch! Kenta aims at Tanahashi, wanting revenge for being put on the shelf. But Tanahashi dodges the crutch to hit a SLINGBLADE! Fans fire up while both men are down! Taiji hides the crutch while Red Shoes returns. Fans rally, both men stir, and they head for their corners! Hot tags to Taiji and Kushida! Kushida climbs up to FLYING AX HANDLE! And KICK and KICK and KICK the arm! Kushida whips, Taiji reverses, but Kushida FLYING FOREARMS! Taiji gets up but Kushida wheelbarrows and victory rolls, STOMP 182! Cover, TWO!
Kushida rains down palm strikes on Taiji! Kushida then gets an arm, wrenches and ELBOW BREAKERS! PENALTY KICK to the arm! Kushida whips and hip tosses into the ARMBAR Tanahashi intercepts Kenta for the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF! Fans rally while Bullet Club endures double submissions! Taiji fights around, rolls and gets the ROPEBREAK! Kushida and Tanahashi let Taiji and Kenta go, and Tanahashi kicks Kenta out. Kushida drags Taiji up as the fans rally. Kushida hammerlocks but Taiji fights free. Taiji ROCKS Kushida, but Kushida dropkicks the bad arm! Kushida keeps moving, tilt-o-whirl, but Taiji blocks!
Taiji powers up to CIPHER UTAKI! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi was late but Kushida survives on his own. Kenta attacks Tanahashi and throws him back out. Fans rally up for “KU-SHI-DA!” while Kenta fires off haymakers on Tanahashi. Kenta throws Tanahashi at the stage, and then brings him backstage! Taiji has Kushida all alone and says BANG! Taiji drags Kushida up, half hatch, but the bad arm holds him back! Kushida KICKS the arm, but Taiji hits MYSTICO! And BONE LOCK!! Kushida endures, flails, fans rally, but Taiji pulls back! KUSHIDA TAPS, TAIJI WINS!
Winner: Taiji Ishimori & Kenta, by submission
The Bone Solder just made the Time Splitter tap out! Kenta and Tanahashi still brawl, clearly wanting to start their G1 battle now! But with Kushida losing momentum, is this a sign he’s not quite up to speed yet? As for Taiji, he gets the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship back on, and gets the mic.
“I won! HAH! Kushida! I said I would put you to the test, and you failed. You want to challenge me? You’ve got to be kidding me. You thought you could just show up and beat me? Don’t take me so lightly, bastard. Let me say this: You’re a long way from the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship!” Taiji asks what Kushida has to say about that. Nothing? Then go home! Kushida does head backstage, clearly upset with himself more than anything. Taiji says we don’t know who is really challenging for the belt now.
“But I will defend this belt all over and prove that I am the definitive Junior Heavyweight Champion. In the end, the most important, most important, MOST IMPORTANT thing…! Oi, look at me. I’ll show you greatness and strength. It’s Reborn!” The Bone Soldier shoots down the Time Splitter, but will time only tell if Kushida can get back to the title?
Another good event for NJPW with just one more to go tomorrow. Chaos winning against House of Torture this time could just be to even out the math going into their NEVER Openweight Six Man title match. It’s still hard to tell how much NJPW puts into their go-home math, so maybe Chaos’ Goto, Hashi & Yoh still win those titles off Evil, Yujiro & Sho like I predicted yesterday. The 10 Man Tag was a lot of fun, and it seems Zayne has good chemistry with Taguchi and Wato if they ever wanted to be NEVER Openweight Six Man champions. But LIJ wins again to show they’re all going into the G1 Climax with great momentum.
The tag match main event was great stuff, but I had a feeling it would even out between Kushida and Taiji. The G1 takes center stage so it’s going to be some time before the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match happens. Both guys will be 100% rested by then so there won’t be any doubts or excuses (in kayfabe) as to who wins and loses that match.
My Score: 8.4/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (7/4/22)
Happy Independence Day, America!
Let’s see if there’s fireworks after Money in the Bank!
Liv Morgan became Ms. MITB, and then cashed in on the SmackDown Women’s Championship! Who will Bianca Belair defend her Raw Women’s title against at SummerSlam?
- Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor & Damian Priest; Rey & Dom win, by disqualification.
- The Miz VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.
- Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS Carmella & Natalya; Bianca & Liv win.
- Seth Rollins VS Ezekiel; Rollins wins.
- Six Man Tag: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits VS (Austin) Theory & The Alpha Academy; Lashley & The Profits win.
- Gunther w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS R-Truth; Gunther wins.
- No Holds Barred: Asuka VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Life. Liberty. The Pursuit of happiness.
We hold these truths to be self-evident. Now we celebrate the way only the WWE can! Be ready for the Big Time, hang out with your bros, and get ready to break the bank for this must-see Fourth of July Raw!
Welcome the NEW WWE United States Champion, Bobby Lashley!
San Diego is fired up to see that the All Mighty has gold again! Lashley is happy to see the fans, too, and he gets a mic to say, “I’ve been waiting for this moment a long time. And it couldn’t be a more fitting night than tonight to say this. Welcome to Monday Night Raw!” Fans chant for “BOBBY! BOBBY!” and Lashley says, “America’s Independence Day holds a very special place in all of our hearts.” Fans chant for “USA! USA!” and Lashley says he couldn’t be more proud to be here in front of the fans as the NEW United States Champion! But let’s not get it twisted. It isn’t the title that makes the man, it is the man that makes the title.
Lashley says that to say this, and please pay attention: “There is not another man in any division or any promotion that can beat me for this United States Championship.” But then (Austin) Theory has to make his way out. The former champion and new Mr. Money in the Bank has a mic of his own to tell Bobby, “Why do you get to kick off Monday Night Raw? Everybody’s been on the edge of their seats since Saturday, just waiting to hear from Mr. Headline himself, ME!” Sure, Lashley got his victory, but the world is talking about the YOUNGEST Mr. MITB in WWE History! Fans boo because that’s not true.
Theory says he had the odds stacked against him. It was hard work at MITB. Fans chant “You Suck!” and Lashley makes sure Theory knows it’s for him. Theory says shut up. He was in there with seasoned veterans, former MITB winners, but made it happen! Theory does have to admit, Lashley had him in the first half. But just like Michael Jordan or Tom Brady, Theory shined brighter than ever in the clutch! And Theory climbed up of the ladder and grabbed the briefcase to prove to the world that he can do this #ALLDAY! Lashley says he thought Theory was actively trying to become an arrogant jackass. But he was wrong, this is just second nature to Theory.
Did Theory ever think that he was gifted an opportunity he didn’t deserve just because Lashley shattered that fragile ego into a million pieces? But hey, if Theory wants another trip to the Hurt Lock, here it is! Theory says that Lashley will get a chance and fail to do so in their Six Man Tag. But Lashley, Theory sees him, Lashley sees Theory, and Theory just makes it happen. Theory always makes things happen. But the way Theory sees it, he’s going straight to the top! And y’know what? Theory was informed today that at SummerSlam, he gets a rematch to take back HIS United States Championship!
Boo all you want, fans, this is just the start! Theory knows Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns fight for the Undisputed Universal Championship one last time, one last match, Last Man Standing. They will beat the hell out of each other from one side of the stadium tot he other. And whoever is the last man standing, they go A-Town Down! At only 24 years old, Theory cashes in his contract and walks out the unified, undisputed, unquestionable, GREATEST CHAMPION in WWE history! Fans boo and Lashley says, “You forgot the If part of your whole plan. If you make it to SummerSlam! Because just like you said, it is Independence Day, and these people deserve some fireworks!”
Lashley throws down the mic, Theory tosses the case at him! Theory ROCKS Lashley then CLUBS away on him with the briefcase! Fans boo as Theory keeps hitting Lashley over an dover until the locks on it break! Theory goes back for one more, but Lashley blocks! And CLOBBERS Theory, to then MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER!! Theory grabs the case and scrambles away while he can still move! Will Lashley end up clamping the Hurt Lock onto Theory later tonight and make him the youngest failed Mr. MITB in history?
Backstage interview with The Mysterios!
Megan asks if Rey & Dominik have a response to the inflammatory comments made by The Judgement Day? Dom says that what Finn said was both disgraceful and disrespectful. There is no one in this business Dom would rather learn from than El Jefe, his father, Rey Mysterio. Rey reminds everyone that he and Dom are the first and only father-son tag team champions in WWE history. They must be doing something right then. As far as tonight, it has been ten YEARS since Rey’s been back in San Diego to wrestle, and this is Dom’s first. And because this is their house, they’re going to teach Finn & Priest to respect 619!
Rey & Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor & Damian Priest!
San Diego is all fired up to have their hometown heroes live and in person! The music plays and the Mysterios watch the ramp, but the Judgement Day attack from behind! They stomp the Mysterios down, then throw them out! Raw goes picture in picture while fans boo the Prince and the Punishment!
Rey gets up and throws off his shirt. Dom gets up and does the same, and the Mysterios regroup. The Judgement Day wait on the hometown heroes, and Rey gets in the ring. The bell rings, Finn kicks Rey and bumps him off buckles. Finn fires off body shots, tags Priest, and Priest stands Rey up to ROCK with a right hand! Rey falls over, Priest stomps him then CHOKES him on the ropes! Priest lets off as the ref counts, then he KICKS Rey around. Priest bumps Rey off buckles, tags Finn back in, and the Judgement Day mug Rey. Finn brings Rey out to knee but Rey throws body shots. Rey runs and slides to SOBAT!
Rey KICKS Finn more, then runs, only for Finn to CLOBBER him! Cover, TWO! Finn clamps onto Rey with a chinlock and grinds him down. Rey endures, fights up, but Finn knees him low. Finn CHOPS Rey in a corner, whips him corner to corner hard, and soaks up the heat as Rey falls to the mat. Finn drags Rey up, whips him corner to corner hard again, and Rey writhes. Finn stalks Rey, kicks him at the ropes, stomps him into the corner, and digs his boots in! The ref counts, Finn lets off, and Finn stands Rey up to whip him corner to corner again. Raw returns as Rey hits buckles but Rey hits Finn back! Rey tilt-o-whirl RANAS Finn away!
Hot tag to Dom! Dom dropkicks Finn, then arm-drags him around! Dom runs in at the corner but Finn kicks low. Finn bumps Dom off buckles, but Dom dodges the chop! Dom knuckle locks, CHOPS, and goes up and up to FLYING ARM-DRAG! Finn gets to his corner and tags Priest but Dom doesn’t back down. Priest kick slow, CLUBS Dom, then ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest whips Dom to ropes but Dom holds ropes. Dom elbows Priest, dodges the haymaker and whips Priest to dropkick him! Priest comes back but Dom dumps him out! Tag to Rey and he SEATED SENTONS Priest down! Fans fire up while Finn freaks out!
Rey puts Priest in, Finn runs over but Rey BOOTS him! Rey slingshots, but Priest DECKS him out of the air! Priest drags Rey up, bumps him off buckles and throws body shots. Tag to Finn, Finn stomps Rey and brings him out to scoop. Rey slips off and ENZIGURIS! Hot tag to Dom! Dom goes up top to CROSSBODY! Dom DECKS Priest, then CLOBBERS Finn! Dom whips, Finn reverses but Dom holds ropes again. Dom drop toeholds Finn to ropes! Priest hurries to tag in as Dom dials it up! Priest intercepts the call and drags Dom out, to TOSS into barriers! The Judgement Day is back on top as Raw goes picture in picture again!
Dom writhes while Priest looms over him. Priest drags Dom up, scoops him and hits SNAKE EYES off the apron! Dom flounders and Priest hauls him back up and in. Priest stares Rey down then gest in the ring. Priest drags Dom up to tag Finn. Priest scoop SLAMS Dom for Finn to SLINGSHOT STOMP! Finn paces around as he soaks up the heat, then he goes back for Dom. Finn drops elbow after elbow, then covers, TWO! Dom is still in this but Finn clamps on a chinlock. Dom endures as Finn grinds him down. San Diego rallies for Dom and he fights up, only for Finn to throw him down by his hair!
Tag to Priest and the Judgement Day mugs Dom against ropes. Priest stands Dom up, whips him into the corner, then taunts Rey. Priest runs in to back elbow Dom! Tag to Finn, the Judgement Day mugs Dom again, then Finn snapmares and KICKS! Cover, TWO! Finn drags Dom up by his hair and throws down elbows while staring down Rey. Rey coaches Dom but Finn clamps the chinlock back on. Dom endures again while the fans rally up. Dom fights to his feet, throws elbows, and Raw returns to single picture. Dom reaches for Rey but Finn throws knees. Finn whips but Dom kicks him, and SLING-DOGS!
Fans fire up as Dom and Finn crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Priest and Rey! The King of Lucha rallies with dropkicks to the legs! And then KICKS the leg! Rey whips but Priest blocks! Priest whips Rey to a corner but Rey goes up, only to get caught. TORNADO DDT COUNTER! Cover, TWO!! Priest survives but Rey hurries to a corner. Rey climbs up but Priest gets him first! Rey RAMS into Priest, GAMANGIRIS, then climbs back up. SEATED SENTON! Cover, Finn breaks it! Dom gets in o SUPERKICK Finn! Dom and Rey regroup, Dom runs in but Priest BOOTS him! Rey gets a boost from Dom to SUPER RANA Priest! Cover, TWO!!
Rey keeps cool and he calls the shots. Rey dropkicks Priest to the ropes and dials it up! Fans want it, but Priest BOOTS Rey down! Still no call connecting, and Priest ROUNDHOUSES Dom for good measure! Priest drags Rey up, fireman’s carries, and he tags in Finn. WASTELAND SLAM from Priest, Finn is up top and COUP DE- NO, Rey dodges! Rey dropkicks legs out and Finn is on ropes! Priest gets in but Dom dropkicks and Rey drop toeholds! Dial it up, DOUBLE 619!! Fans fire up and Rey climbs up, gives some Latino Heat! FROG SPLASH onto knees! Finn covers, TWO!! Rey survives and Finn can’t believe it!
But Priest throws a chair in! The ref is upset, he stops that from happening. But Finn gets another chair, only for Dom to have it! Finn shoves Dom down, but Rey flops! Talk about Latino Heat! The ref sees this, and he assumes just what Rey wants him to! The Judgement Day is DISQUALIFIED!!
Winners: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, by disqualification
Finn is furious! Rey & Dom give true tribute to Eddie Guerrero and the fans love it! Will The Judgement Day ever live this one down? Do they have something to learn from Mysterio?
Backstage interview with The Miz.
Megan asks Miz what his reaction was to Logan Paul calling him out. “Proud.” Really? Yes. Miz is proud because he loves confidence, outlandish statements and headline grabbing. That is what Logan Paul does on his social media and podcasts. It is how he has his fanbase! But Logan surrounds himself with Yes Men and Yes Women who do what he says. Out there, it’s successful. But here in the WWE, it’s a different animal. It will humble you. Miz knows. He was on The Real World. But he doesn’t want Logan to make the same mistakes Miz did. Miz is a nice guy! Logan, retract your statement and accept Miz’s offer. They will be a success, they will be Undisputed Tag Team Champions!
But if Logan doesn’t, Miz will be relentless! He will make Logan earn everything, and Logan will be humbled! Speaking of which… Last week, Miz basically quite against AJ Styles. Uh, quit? He had two matches last week! If anyone is quitting, tapping out or being pin, it is Styles! Miz doesn’t take to sophomoric jokes. As in, his tiny- NO! Don’t say it, Megan. Miz will show everyone that he has COLOSSAL, MASSIVE, GIGANTIC, AMERICAN BALLS! He is the Miz! And he’s… AWESOME! But will Miz back up his words with actions? Or will this be another phenomenal win for AJ Styles?
The Street Profits host a party in the parking lot!
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to their Fourth of July Extravaganza Bonanza Cookout! They got burgers, ribs, dogs, beverages, corn on the cob and cornholing! Enjoy America’s 246th Birthday! But just like Montez Ford’s shoulder on Saturday, the USA is up! And WE! WANT! SHOOOOOSH! The Alpha Academy crash the party, and Chad Gable says this is typical. How can the Profits be partying after losing at MITB? And spare them the excuses. Shoulder up or not, a loss is a loss. And just like everyone else, The Profits think this holiday is about parties and fireworks and eating food. Pathetic!
But Master Gable has a history lesson in an annotated version of the Declaration of Independence. So please, shoosh! A thank yew. Gable begins reading but Ford intercepts. “These truths to be self-evident. That every man and woman has the right to shut Chad Gable up!” That doesn’t say that! SLAP! Gable is upset but Otis says not to disrespect an American Olympian! And Otis says he can eat TWENTY of those hotdogs without breaking a sweat! Whoa, whoa, whoa. First off, if you’re talking about American heroes, Ford served as a US Marine. Second, Otis is looking at the THREE-TIME Hotdog Eating Champion in Dawkins! THREE! Otis says he can suck ’em down like Coca Cola!
Whoa, okay, hold on. Idea! HOTDOG EATING CONTEST! Otis says no problem! He’ll take Dawkins down! There’s going to be a hotdog eating contest before their Six Man Tag match later? Hopefully there won’t be any upset stomachs tonight…
The Mysterios are backstage, when the Judgement Day attacks again!
Finn & Priest are sore losers! Finn TOSSES Rey over trunks while Priest SMACKS Dom off some! Finn gets a ladder, Priest scoops Dom, and they LAWN DART Dom into the ladder! Refs and security rush in but Finn tells them it is over when Finn says it’s over! Priest tells Rey that nothing will save him or Dom except giving in. Will the Mysterios made made to side with the Judgement Day?
The Miz VS AJ Styles!
Raw returns as The Miz makes his entrance. The bell rings and Miz rushes in, but Styles blocks the kick! Styles headlocks, Miz powers out but Styles runs Miz over. Styles runs but fakes Miz out to KICK him while he’s down. Styles then snapmares Miz to KICK him again! Styles drags Miz up to CHOP him in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Miz reverses, Styles comes back but Miz kitchen sink knees! Miz bumps Styles off buckles, fans boo but Miz throws haymakers. Miz whips Styles to ropes but Styles turns knee into roll-up! TWO, and Styles dropkicks Miz back down! Styles clotheslines Miz out of the ring, too!
Fans fire up and Styles throws up the Too Sweet. Styles slingshots to FOREARM Miz down! Styles is fired up as Raw goes picture in picture. Styles drags Miz up and puts him in the ring. Styles stalks Miz but Miz slips out again. The ring count climbs, is Miz going to run away again? Styles goes out to chase him down! Miz gets back in the ring and KICKS Styles as he slides in! Miz digs his boot into Styles’ face, springboard stomps him, then soaks up the heat. Styles sits up but Miz KICKS him! And KICKS! Miz fishhooks Styles’ face, then clamps on a chinlock. Styles endures, fights up, and throws elbows to get free.
Styles swings but into Miz’s A-LIST COMBINATION! Cover, TWO! Miz flexes and fans boo. Miz paces around, flexes more but fans still boo. They taunt him about his “TINY BALLS!” Miz goes back to Styles and says he has MASSIVE balls! But Styles ROCKS him with haymakers! Styles whips Miz corner to corner, Miz reverses, and Styles hits hard, chest first! Miz hurries to cover Styles, TWO! Miz is annoyed but he drags Styles up to bump him off buckles. Miz KICKS and throws haymakers on repeat. The ref reprimands, Miz runs corner to corner, but only into buckles! Miz falls, clutching his legs, and Raw returns to single picture.
Fans rally as Styles and Miz stir. Miz is back in the corner, he hobbles out but Styles throws hands! Styles fires off the Phenomenal Blitz, topping it off with a LARIAT! And SLIDING FOREARM! Fans fire up and Styles runs in at the corner, to hit a BIG clotheslines! then a fireman’s carry to an USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO! Styles is frustrated but fans rally up behind him. Miz wants mercy but Styles storms up on him. Miz YANKS Styles into buckles! Miz gets up, runs corner to corner, but into a clinch! Styles rolls Miz but Miz rolls through to BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Miz is frustrated but he glares at Styles as he stirs.
Miz drives knees into Styles’ leg. Miz steps through, Styles kicks Miz away! Styles is in a corner, Miz runs in but into BOOTS! Styles is on the apron, he springboards, PHENOMENAL FOREARM! Cover, Styles wins!
Winner: AJ Styles, by pinfall
Big or small, Miz’s nuts didn’t help against Styles’ guts! But wait! CIAMPA attacks! Why is the Blackhearted Tommaso Ciampa after Styles on Miz’s behalf? Ciampa POSTS Styles, then brings down his kneepad! Styles flounders back into the ring, for the PSYCHO- NO, Styles dodges the knee to PELE! And PELE again! Styles reels Ciampa in, but Miz gest the full nelson! SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!! Miz gets the last word against Styles thanks to his Guardian Psycho! Will Ciampa watch out for the Hollywood A-Lister against Logan Paul, too?
Liv Morgan is here!
And after becoming the new Miss Money in the Bank, she cashed in on Ronda Rousey, and became the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! San Diego is fired up to see her have this moment, “You Deserve It!” Liv is already emotional as she has the mic, but she keeps it together to say thank you, “but WE deserve it!” Liv is so proud to be standing here as our NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! “All of my dreams finally came true, all thanks to one unbelievable night at Money in the Bank. To outclimb six of the greatest female competitors in WWE, in the hardest battle of my life. But do you guys know what got me through that? All of you guys!”
The fans have stayed with Liv on this journey every single step of the way, and she thanks us for that. We believed in her when she feels like she gave us nothing to believe in, and yet we still stayed with her. Liv is so excited now, and she wants us to know that we gave her the confidence she needed to win MITB and cash-in on the very same night, to defeat Ronda Rousey and become the NEW SmackDown Women’s Champion! “Saying that out loud, it literally, it takes my breath away. So I hope you guys understand that this? This isn’t just for me. This championship, this is for ALL OF US!” But then here comes Natalya!
Liv is surprised to see the Queen of Harts here, but Natty is smiling. “Liv, there’s one person here that you should be thank, and that’s me. I am the only reason, and I mean only reason, why you were able to cash in your MITB contract. That’s because I destroyed Ronda Rousey’s knee with the most dangerous submission in the WWE, the Sharpshooter.” Natty gets in the ring with Liv to say that while she’d like a thank you, she’d much rather have that SmackDown Women’s Championship! Liv says okay, but she feels like Natty is having a hard time accepting her loss. But since Liv is the new champion, it makes total sense that Natty would come after this giant target.
But since they’re both on SmackDown, if Natty really, really wants her chance, you know where to find her. But wait! Is that Carmella? Mella wants someone to explain to her why either of them are here? This may be about red, white and blue tonight, but this is Raw. So these two can take their “blue brand butts” back to SmackDown where they belong. Fans boo and Mella is honestly shocked that these two can even share a ring. If Liv came between Mella and the Raw title, she would smack her down just like she did Bianca Belair. Did you see that? It was so good. But no worries, Nat, there’s still time.
So Natty and Liv can take their business to Friday so the spotlight can be on Mella, the next Raw Women’s Champion. Um, didn’t she have enough? After all, all eyes were on Mella when she lost. But if Mella really wants Liv to go, make her go. That gives Mella an idea. Natty, you thinking what she’s thinking? Then okay! They’ll both make Liv leave! Liv fires off hands first! But that’s 2v1! They put Liv in a corner and stomp away, but here comes BIANCA BELAIR! The Raw Women’s Champion gets in, RAMS into Mella, then slingshots to fire off! The champions turn things around on Natty and Mella! Liv tosses Natty, Bianca DECKS Mella, and now Adam Pearce hurries out!
Pearce says it seems everyone wants to fight, so he officially gives these four a match! It will be Bianca & Liv VS Mella & Natty, and that is NOW! Will the RawEST Women’s Champion and the newest SmackDown Women’s Champion stand their ground and turn back the Most Beautiful and the BOAT?
Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan VS Carmella & Natalya!
Raw is picture-in-picture while the teams sort out. Natty tells fans to shut up, and Mella steps up against Bianca. Fans chant for “E S T!” as the bell rings and the two circle. Mella tells fans to shut up, then she ties up with Bianca. They go around, Bianca headlocks and grinds Mella, but Mella pulls hair. The ref reprimands, but Bianca hits a takeover. Bianca grinds Mella down but Mella headscissors back. Bianca kicks but can’t get free until she kips up. Mella is upset but Bianca eggs Mella on. They circle again, tie back up, and Mella waistlocks. Bianca switches, Mella elbows free, then headlocks Bianca.
Mella grinds, Bianca fights up as fans rally, and Bianca powers out to run Mella over! Mella scrambles away and tags in Natty. Natty wants Liv so Bianca obliges. Liv tags in and she circles with Natty. They tie up, Natty hits a headlock takeover but Liv headscissors. Natty kips free, and the two reset. Liv brushes herself off while Natty mockingly applauds. Liv kicks low, headlocks, and hits a takeover. Natty headscissors, Liv kips free, and the two reset again. Tags back to Bianca and Mella, and they go again. Bianca kicks low, bumps Mella off buckles, and Raw returns to single picture as Bianca headlocks.
Mella powers out, Bianca handsprings over and says kiss this! Things speed up, Bianca hurdles, but Mella drop son the roll! Cover, TWO, Bianca waistlocks and O’Conner Rolls! ONE, Bianca goes up the corner to say kiss this! Mella runs in, Bianca goes up and over to dropkick! And kip up! Fans fire up and Bianca tags Liv. The champs work together, Bianca whips Liv in to body block! Cover, TWO! Liv hurries after Mella but Mella tags in Natty. Natty runs in to trip Liv, float to a facelock, but Liv slips out to hammerlock and headlock. Natty powers out, Liv elbows her away. But Natty rebounds and SIT-DOWNS, then basement dropkicks! Cover, TWO!
Natty keeps on Liv but Liv wheelbarrows to victory roll! TWO, Liv dropkicks Natty down! Cover, TWO! Liv taunts Mella, whips Natty to ropes, but Natty reverses and Liv hits ropes chest first hard! Cover, TWO! Natty CLUBS Liv, SLAPS her, but Liv SLAPS back! It’s a brawl! Fans fire up, Natty hoists Liv up but Liv kicks and sunset flips! ONE, Natty has the legs! SHARPSHOOTER! Liv endures, reaches for Bianca, Bianca uses her hair as a lifeline! The ref reprimands but Liv has made it to the corner! Bianca tags in, then taunts Natty! Natty swings on her but gets run over! Bianca dropkicks Natty then reels her in! POWER- NO, RANA from Natty!
Bianca ducks the discus to BOOT Natty, then reel her in! Bianca suplexes, but Mella runs in! Bianca BOOTS Mella, but Natty gets free of the suplex to get the legs! Bianca kicks her away but Mella sneaks a tag! Bianca suplexes Natty again for the stalling suplex and SLAM! Natty scurries away, Bianca pursues, FABULOUS KICK into the post! Mella smiles and taunts Bianca while Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Mella has Bianca down in a chinlock. Mella laughs as she leans on the hold but Bianca endures. Fans rally up and Bianca fights to move around. Mella shakes her head and become a backpack, but Bianca still stands! Bianca brings Mella around for a BACKBREAKER! Hot tag to Natty and she CLOBBERS Bianca! Natty drags Bianca away, bumps her off buckles, and fires off stomps! The ref counts, Natty lets off, and Bianca fights back! She hits Mella, BOOTS Natty, then dodges Natty to send her out! Fans fire up as Bianca crawls, but Natty gets back in! Natty gets a leg but Bianca leaps to tag Liv!
Liv dodges Natty, DECKS Mella, kicks Natty and ENZIGURIS! Fans fire up with Liv and she runs in at Natty in the corner, SHINING WIZARD! Liv shoves Natty to run and FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, Mella breaks it! Mella talks trash on the new champ but Liv hits a CODE BREAKER on her! Natty hits a DISCUS! Cover, Bianca breaks it! Mella throws Bianca out and leaps, but into Bianca’s arms! Bianca aims but Mella slips off to POST her! Liv KNEES Mella, Natty rolls Liv! TWO, but Natty has the legs! SHARP- NO, Liv kicks Natty to ropes, ObLIVion!! Cover, Liv and Bianca wins!
Winners: Bianca Belair & Liv Morgan, by pinfall
The champions stand tall! Another great moment for the livliEST champions in WWE today, will they both move on to have the hottEST SummerSlams ever?
Raw returns to the cookout!
Otis and Gable talk hotdog eating strategy while other superstars, like Shelton Benjamin, “Doudrop” Piper Niven and others enjoy their meals. Veer Mahaan is even here. Cedric Alexander & Mustafa Ali decide to have a little fun with the Lion of India. Alexander leans over and taps Veer on the left shoulder, but then he and Ali both go to the right so that no one is there. And then they snatch his food! Veer is furious and he chases them down! MVP tells Omos that the takeaway from MITB is this: It took three former world champions and three future world champions to gang up on Omos because he is literally the biggest threat here!
Dana Brooke rushes in, but she’s being chased down by the usual 24/7 Championship hunters. Omos looks that way, and Reggie bumps into him! Not again! Omos TOSSES Reggie into the trash! The Profits see that and say, “SHEESH!” Then Zeke is here and says it is so beautiful here. The party is bumping, he is all Zeked Up. When he and his brothers were kid, they got into pie eating contests all the time. Really? Who won? Uh, well, let’s just say no one. Zeke would “Zeke” the pie all over the floor, Elrod would throw up after seeing that, then Elias would throw up after seeing that. A real barforama.
But anyway, isn’t it about time for the hotdog eating showdown? Hopefully the results are better than him and his brothers. But then the ketchup misfires all over Seth Rollins’ lace shirt. Zeke apologizes and dabs it off with the hotdog bun. Oh, there’s some in Rollins’ beard… Rollins glares at Zeke, but then laughs it off? The Profits and Zeke laugh with him, but then Rollins gets mad again. Rollins tastes the ketchup then heads off. Whoa, Seth is Zekeing out. Seth Zekein’ Rollins here. But Zeke is worried. Will the Visionary burn him down?
A cryptic video plays.
A church and candles. A gold medal, a license plate, some colorful armbands, a pair of taped-up glasses. Do you think you know who this is?
Seth Rollins VS Ezekiel!
Raw returns and Elias’ younger brother makes his entrance. The bell rings and Rollins fires off on Zeke for the ketchup! Zeke covers up but Rollins stomps away on him in the corner! The ref counts, Rollins lets off, and then he drags Zeke up to CHOP him! Zeke staggers away but Rollins bumps him off buckles. Rollins whips Zeke but Zeke reverses. Rollins tumbles up, back, and into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Rollins bails out and Zeke hurries after him! Rollins hurries back in, Zeke chases after, but Rollins HOTSHOTS Zeke off ropes! Rollins then turns Zeke for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Rollins is annoyed but fans rally for Zeke. Rollins ROCKS Zeke with haymakers and forearms, then has Zeke in a corner. Rollins CHOPS, then whips corner to corner, but Zeke goes up and MULE KICKS Rollins away! Just like his brother! Zeke runs in to CHOP and fire off body shots and forearms! The ref counts but Zeke fires off more! Zeke whips, then FLAPJACKS Rollins! Rollins staggers up, into a CHOP! Zeke trophy lifts, but Rollins slips off to shove. Zeke tosses Rollins out to the floor! Zeke hurries after Rollins again but Rollins kicks low. Rollins snarls, runs in, but Zeke trophy lifts him to TOSS him into the timekeeper’s area! Zeke roars as Raw goes picture in picture!
Zeke takes a moment to catch his breath, then he gets in the ring. Zeke goes back out to fetch Rollins, stomping him before bringing him around. But Rollins POSTS Zeke! Rollins gets in the ring, lets the ring count climb, and Zeke gets in at 7 of 10! Rollins is annoyed, he drags Zeke up and turns him, for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Rollins clamps on with a chinlock, then shifts to a neck wrench. Rollins twists Zeke’s head but Zeke endures and reaches for ropes. Zeke fights up as fans rally, and Zeke throws elbows. Zeke is free, he runs, but Rollins follows to SLINGBLADE! Cover, TWO!
Rollins huffs and puffs while Zeke goes to a corner. Rollins talks smack to the fans then runs corner to corner, but Zeke puts him on the apron! Rollins HOTSHOTS Zeke, then springboards, to FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Zeke is still in this and Rollins is frustrated. Rollins argues the count but the ref says it was fair. Rollins looms over Zeke, hearing the fans chanting for Elias’ brother. Rollins drags Zeke up and suplexes, but Zeke blocks! Raw returns to single picture as Zeke keeps fighting, to then suplex Rollins back! Both men are down and fans rally again. Rollins runs in but Zeke CLOBBERS Rollins!
Zeke starts to rally, he ducks a haymaker to lift Rollins for a FALL AWAY SLAM! Rollins flounders to a corner and Zeke runs in, STINGER SPLASH! Zeke keeps moving, STINGER SPLASH to the back! Then an Electric Chair Lift! Rollins slips off, runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO! Zeke is a bit frustrated and he has to catch his breath. Zeke aims at Rollins from across the way, runs in again, but no splash! BUCKLE SHOT! Rollins then goes up the corner to leap and- JUMP KNEE from Zeke! Cover, TWO! Zeke keeps going, he hits a FISHERMAN SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives and Zeke can’t believe it!
Zeke drags Rollins to the drop zone and he climbs up top. Fans fire up, but Rollins ROCKS Zeke first! Rollins throws more haymakers, then he climbs up after Zeke. Rollins brings Zeke around, but Zeke shoves Rollins away! Zeke adjusts but Rollins is right back up! Zeke fights Rollins again, slips under to get the Electric Chair, SPIN-OUT BOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives again, and Zeke is learning why Rollins is a Grand Slam Champion. Zeke drags Rollins up, fans continue to rally, and Rollins kicks low. Rollins hits a ROLLING ELBOW, but Zeke ROCKS Rollins again. Rollins ROCKS Zeke, Zeke ROCKS Rollins back!
Rollins ROCKS Zeke, Zeke ROCKS Rollins, we go faster and faster and fans fire up! Zeke CHOPS and forearms but Rollins HEABUTTS! ROLLING- NO, roll-up! Cover, TWO! Zeke hurries to cradle, TWO! Rollins ROLLING ELBOWS Zeke, then gives him the DREAM- NO, Zeke backslides! TWO!! CURB STOMP OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Rollins wins!
Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall
What a Freakin’ Zekein match! Rollins gets revenge for his ruined wardrobe, but will this help him get back up towards a title in time for SummerSlam? Will Elias and Elrod be there for their brother to cheer him up?
Wait, Rollins turns to look at Zeke again. Rollins isn’t done with Zeke and aims from the corner! But Riddle hits an RKO outta nowhere!! The Bro gets his own revenge! Will Rollins have to worry about The Stallion before moving on to the gold?
Raw returns to the cookout!
The hotdog eating contest is red hot as Dawkins and Otis chow down. It’s hard to say who is in the lead, but when time is up… AKIRA TOZAWA wins! His 48 dwarfs Otis’ 23 and Dawkins’ 22! Gable says there’s no way! No way some little guy beat his tree trunk! Otis say she doesn’t feel so good. But Theory says the Academy has to hold it together, the Six Man Tag is coming up. See you all in the ring. Gable says he can just get some Pepto. But will that be enough to settle Otis’ upset stomach before having to go toe-to-toe with the All Mighty?
Six Man Tag: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits VS (Austin) Theory & The Alpha Academy!
The Rocky Mountain Machine is the NEW United States Champion, while Ford & Dawkins were almost Undisputed Tag Team Champions. Will Lashley help the Profits get back up and get after those titles again? Or will the youngest Mr. MITB ever be taking an extra special selfie here tonight?
Raw returns and the Profits make their entrance. Theory makes his entrance next, followed by the Academy. The teams sort out and Dawkins starts against Theory. They circle, tie up, and Theory headlocks. Dawkins powers out, but Theory runs him over and flexes at Lashley. Fans boo but Theory just soaks it up. Theory and Dawkins circle again, tie back up, and Dawkins waistlocks. Theory elbows free, throws haymakers, then whips corner to corner. Dawkins reverses and runs in to CYCLONE SPLASH, then ENZIGURI! Dawkins covers, ONE!! Dawkins keeps on Theory but Theory powers him to the corner and Otis tags in.
Fans chant “We Want The Smoke!” but Otis clubs away on Dawkins, to then short arm LARIAT! Tag to Gable, he drags Dawkins up to get a leg and DRAGON SCREW! Then Gable stands Dawkins back up, for another DRAGON SCREW! Gable YANKS the leg, then says “A Thank Yew~!” Gable brings Dawkins up but Dawkins fires hands! Gable keeps Dawkins from his corner but Dawkins sunset flips. Gable rolls through to get an ANKLE LOCK! Dawkins rolls through to get free! Tag to Ford! Ford GAMANGIRIS Gable, goes right up and CROSSBODIES! Ford keeps going, sidestep and follow to a LARIAT! STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!
Tag to Dawkins, Otis runs in and the Profits dump him out. Theory rushes in, into Lashley’s COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley and Ford get Theory and Gable, for double stalling suplexes! They both salute as veterans of the US Armed Forces, for a DOUBLE SLAM! Fans fire up and Dawkins runs to get a boost and FLY onto Theory and the Academy! Fans fire up with the #AllMightyProfits as Raw goes picture in picture!
Theory and the Academy stir while Ford rallies the fans. A ring count climbs, so Ford goes out to AX HANDLE Gable! Ford puts Gable in, keeps him from his corner, but Gable powers Ford back. Otis tags in, the Academy whip and CLOBBER Ford! Otis flexes at Lashley, Gable says, “A Thank Yew!” Otis drags Ford up, CLUBS him hard on the back, then looms over him. Otis stands on Ford’s back at the ropes! The ref counts, Otis steps off, and Gable gets cheap shots in! So does Theory! “A Thank Yew!” Otis drags Ford up to whip him hard into a corner! Otis HEADBUTTS Ford down, then CHOKES him on ropes!
The ref counts, Otis lets off at 4, but now Theory CHOKES Ford! Theory gets away with it as Gable tells fans to SHOOSH. Otis stomps Ford, drags him over, and tags in Theory. They mug Ford, Theory brings Ford up to snap suplex, then he floats to a cover. TWO but Theory clamps on with a chinlock. Ford endures, even as Theory leans on him. Ford fights up, Theory knees him low, then whips him hard into a corner! Corner clothesline and a tag to Otis, and Otis taunts Ford. Otis brings Ford up to CLUB him down, and Raw returns to single picture as Otis hoists Ford up. FALL AWAY SLAM! Ford flounders while Otis flexes.
Fans boo but Otis takes a moment to settle his stomach. Otis SPLASHES Ford in the corner, drags him over to the corner, and tags in Theory. They mug Ford, Theory snapmares and stomps Ford! Cover, TWO! Theory clamps on with another chinlock but Ford endures. Fans rally, Ford grits his teeth and fights up again, but Theory knees him low. Theory taunts, but Ford wrenches out to DDT Theory down! Gable rushes in but Ford throws him out! Ford reaches out but Gable trips Dawkins to deny the tag! Theory then keeps Ford from Lashley while Dawkins chases Gable. Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins in front of commentary!
Fans boo but Theory and the Academy have control. Theory drags Ford up, taunts Lashley, and back suplexes. Ford lands on his feet, dodges Theory, hot tag to Lashley! Theory runs away to tag Gable! Lashley TOSSES Gable! And runs him over! Lashley rallies while Theory winces, and Lashley TOSSES Gable to a corner. Lashley run sin but Gable elbows him, Gable runs in, into a LIFTING COMPLETE SHOT! Lashley DECKS Otis, Theory runs away gain. Dawkins POUNCES Theory over the announce desk! Lashley is surprised, too! Lashley nods, then scoops Gable to hit a POWERSLAM! Cover, Otis breaks it!
But that splash hurt Otis’ gut! Ford gets in, runs in but Otis TOSSES Ford! Otis CLOBBERS Dawkins with an elbow, but Lashley SPEARS Otis down! Ford is up, FROM THE HEAVENS!! Otis flounders out, Gable rolls Ford! CHAOS THEORY!! Gable dodges Lashley, gets him for an EXPLODER, and then heads up top! MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Lashley survives and Gable is upset with the count. Gable stalks Lashley, waistlocks, but Lashley bucks him away. Lashley dodges to SPEAR Gable down! Cover, Lashley and the Profits win!
Winners: Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits, by pinfall
A mighty win for a mighty champion! Will this momentum help Lashley defeat Theory again? Will the Profits be able to cash in on a rematch of their own? As for Otis, he staggers into the ring, and BARFS UP HOTDOGS! Everyone is disgusted and shocked, will Gable’s number one guy be feeling more like number two?
Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.
But Becky tells Megan that no one gives a damn about anything but Big Time. Becky isn’t sharing spotlights just because Otis ate one too many hotdogs. Is Becky upset about her loss at MITB? Or just about tonight’s No Holds Barred? Becky IS upset, her body is broken to bits, and she is mad as hell. Ever since Asuka came back, anything that could go wrong has gone wrong! Becky shouldn’t have had to fight her way into a Triple Threat at Hell in a Cell, she should’ve just had a 1v1 rematch, but she still did. She shouldn’t have had to fight her way into the MITB Ladder match, but she did! And y’know what that makes her? A fighter!
Asuka can try and ruin Becky’s life, but No Holds Barred means no disqualifications, no restrictions, and NO holding back on Asuka as Becky makes her way back to HER Raw Women’s Championship! So Becky IS ready for Asuka, but Asuka isn’t ready for No Holds Barred Becks!
Uncle Sam is here?
Oh, it’s Uncle TRUTH! He waves to the fans as he goes to the ring, and he’s going to give us a real Fourth of July Celebration! What will that look like? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Truth says let’s get the USA chants going! “U S A!” “WHAT?” “U S A! U S A!” Truth likes that. Now, WWE Universe, allow him to introduce himself. He is the one, the only, UNCLE SAM! Uh, sure. Truth says that today is his favorite holiday. “Today, we celebrate our Independence Day! Now, now, now. As we all know from the movie, Independence Day, today we are here to honor those brave American heroes saved the Earth from the alien invasion back in 1996! Will Smith! Jeff Goldblum! And we can’t forget our favorite American hero, Vivica A. Fox. As we honor them, I would like to read my favorite passage from the Constitution. ‘Welcome ta Earf! BOP!'”
But wait, that ominous music! It’s LUDWIG KAISER! Imperium is here on Raw and Ludwig says if Truth is done with this ridiculous charade, he would like to introduce us to “a man who is actually worthy of celebration! Stand and pay respect to YOUR WWE Intercontinental Champion… DER RING GENERAL…! GUNTHER!!” And with that, the Intercontinental Champion invades Raw! Gunther storms up to the ring with Ludwig at his side. Truth gets the “U S A!” chants going, but Gunther steps up to “Uncle Sam,” to SLAP the wig off his head! The ref has Gunther back up, and this is a match now!
Gunther w/ Ludwig Kaiser VS R-Truth!
The bell rings, Truth tries to adjust his wig, but Gunther BOOTS him down! Gunther drags Truth up to CLUB him down, stomp him down, then egg him on. Gunther drags Truth up again but Truth fires off forearms! Fans fire up as Truth throws knees then runs, but the scissor kick misses! LARIAT! Gunther drags Truth up, reels him in, GENERAL BOMB!! High stack, Gunther wins!
Winner: GUNTHER, by pinfall
The Intercontinental Champion dominates Truth, making even Raw sacred! Will
Backstage interview with Alexa Bliss.
Sarah asks what her reaction to her friend, Liv, cashing in on Ronda Rousey and becoming champion. Well, just like last week, Alexa says she has no friends. But she is still happy for Liv. We all knew Liv would be champion one day. But Alexa realized it has been way too long since she held something other than Lily. Becky and Mella want Bianca, but maybe we need some Twisted Bliss. And imagine if Lily got a matching toy belt so they can go around together. Asuka walks in and pokes fun at Alexa. Alexa isn’t next to face Bianca, it will be Asuka after she beats down Becky in the main event! Alexa isn’t so sure, but who wins that race to the title match in Tennessee?
No Holds Barred: Asuka VS Becky Lynch!
The Empress of Tomorrow and Big Time Becks have been going back and forth for months, from Hell in a Cell to Money in the Bank. But now, with SummerSlam on the horizon, both of them agree this has to end! Who survives this fight when there’s nothing to hold them back?
Becky gets things started already, as she brings out a table! Becky’s ready to get extreme, will things only escalate from here? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Becky’s even brought out chairs and made a pile of them! Asuka makes her entrance and not only is she wearing a Jason Voorhees mask, she’s got a trash can! Becky is wary as Asuka brings that can into the ring, and then rushes her with a chair! Asuka stomps the chair down, the bell rings, Becky dodges the can but then Asuka CHUCKS it at her! SLIDING KICK! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives but Asuka stomps her down. Asuka then takes Becky’s chair to SMACK her with it! Asuka goes out and fetches more of those chairs Becky brought, but Becky kicks Asuka back. Becky wedges a chair in a corner, though that proves rather troublesome.
Asuka runs in with a chair! Becky blocks the shot, but Asuka then BACKHANDS Becky down! Asuka fires up, sets the chair up, and she drop toeholds. Becky catches herself from hitting the seat and throws Asuka at the chair. Asuka stops herself, mule kicks Becky, but Becky gets her chair from the corner. Becky resets the chair, but Asuka kicks her into it! Asuka brings Becky around but Becky blocks the suplex! Becky whips Asuka, Asuka reverses, but Becky hurdles the chair! Asuka uses the chair to go up and SHOTGUN Becky into the corner chair! Asuka then headlocks to BULLDOG Becky off the standing chair!
Becky goes to the apron but Asuka hurries after her. Asuka fires off fists but Becky blocks the German Suplex! Becky elbows Asuka, Asuka tries a powerbomb! Becky clings desperately to the ropes, then she stomps Asuka on the apron! And then APRON LEG DROP! Asuka flops down but Becky drags her up. BECKSPLODER onto the chair pile! Becky then hurries to clear off the announce desk! Fans fire up as Becky takes a chair to SMACK Asuka on the back! Asuka JAMS Becky from below, and hurries after Becky. Asuka runs in, HIP ATTACK into a chair and through barriers!! Fans lose their minds while Raw goes picture in picture!
Asuka grits her teeth and rises up. Asuka fires up, drags Becky up and puts her back in the ring. Cover, TWO! Becky bails out again but Asuka pursues. Becky gets a kendo stick and SMACKS Asuka with it! And again! And again! Becky soaks up the heat while Asuka crawls, and then Becky SMACKS her again! Asuka kicks low, but Becky blocks the suplex. Becky throws body shots, but Asuka RAMS her into steel steps! Asuka uses the kendo stick to SMACK Becky now! And again, and again! And again! Becky scrambles over the barriers to get away but Asuka pursues! Fans get an even closer experience as they brawl!
Becky hip drops Asuka, flexes, and fans fire up as Becky CLUBS Asuka along the way. Asuka ROCKS Becky with a stack of cups!? Asuka fires off forearms on Becky, then kicks and SOBATS her back to ringside. Asuka tosses Becky over barriers, but then Becky mule kicks Asuka down. Becky puts Asuka in the ring, looks under the ring, and brings out another table! But then she says no more tables, she puts the chairs in the ring! But Asuka WRECKS Becky with a dropkick! Asuka puts Becky in, brings the last few chairs in, only for Becky to WRECK her back! Becky drags Asuka up and in while fans chant for the table.
Becky pulls the chair from the corner out and sets it on Asuka. Then another chair, SMACKS the chair into Asuka’s chest! Becky has Asuka covered in chairs before she climbs up. But Asuka gets up to JAM Becky! Asuka makes sure the chair pile is nice and big, then she goes up after Becky! SUPERPLEX onto the chair pile!! Becky and Asuka are both down but they’re somehow both okay to continue. Asuka covers, TWO!! Becky survives and “This is Awesome!” as the two brawl on their knees! They go forearm for forearm, and Asuka dribbles Becky off the chairs! Asuka gets her trash can back, and she puts it on Becky! To KICK Becky over!
Asuka sits Becky up to KICK and KICK and KICK! And punch and BACKHAND! Becky somehow stays up, Asuka drums the top then goes up top! Asuka leaps to missile dropkick Becky down! Cover, TWO!! Becky survives being canned and smashed, but Asuka has the fans fired up for the table! Asuka goes out, brings out a table from below the ring, but Becky attacks her first! The table leans against the ring while Becky RAMS Asuka into steel steps. Becky puts this table in the ring and she throws the trash can out. Becky sets up the table but Asuka CLUBS her down! Asuka CLUBS Becky more but Becky throws body shots. And then a CHAIR SHOT!
Becky finishes setting up the table, but Asuka clamps on with an ASUKA LOCK!! Becky RAMS Asuka into buckles, gets free, but Asuka puts her outside! Asuka DECKS Becky, goes out after her, and then puts her back in. Asuka goes looking under the ring again, and she brings out… An umbrella? A Kabuki style umbrella! Asuka brings that in to SMACK, but Becky blocks! Asuka kicks, GREEN MIST! But the umbrella blocks most of it! Asuka still ROUNDHOUSES Becky down! Cover, TWO! Asuka puts Becky on the table and fans fire up as Asuka climbs! But Becky ROCKS Asuka first! Becky has an Electric Chair Lift but Asuka fights back!
Becky puts Asuka back on the corner, goes up with her, SUPER MANHANDLE SLAM through the table!!! Cover, Becky wins!!
Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall
This was a Big Time No Holds Barred battle, and in the end, Becky was ready for Asuka! She is fired up now that she’s back on top, but will she get back to the very top before the summer is over?
After the disappointing ending to a great PPV this weekend, Raw After MITB turned out great through and through! I will say, it was interesting to see some SmackDown stars show up here, but I suppose that just makes this episode feel even bigger. Gunther’s whole thing on RawDown has been about “I’m the foreigner Heel, I don’t like Americans, hate me for that reason,” so him beating up Truth while Truth cosplays Uncle Sam made sense in that context. Gunther is going to dominate for a long time, so this did help build some Heel heat that he had to go and ruin the fun just so he could get a win.
And in the case of Liv Morgan showing up, this was so we could all celebrate and she could give her first promo as champion before fully moving over to SmackDown. Liv & Bianca VS Natty & Mella was a very good match, and it’s clear what the plans for SummerSlam are. Mella isn’t giving up on the Raw title, and Natty wants another shot at the SmackDown title now that it isn’t Ronda as champion. Both matches will be good for SummerSlam, but I would think that both champions retain. Bianca beat Mella already, I don’t see her losing the second time. And Natty makes for a solid first defense for Liv to fully establish herself.
Good stuff out of Mysterios VS Judgement Day, and a great tribute to Eddie Guerrero with how that match finished. But of course Judgement Day attacked them backstage to keep this feud going. Combine that with the cryptic videos that are about Edge, I wonder if Edge and Rey join forces again after years and years, and they have an awesome tag match against Finn & Priest at SummerSlam. Miz had a good promo to try and reason with Logan Paul, but you can bet it won’t affect Logan at all. Styles VS Miz happening again was okay, it still turned out to be a really good match, and it seems if Logan isn’t going to join Miz, Ciampa is more than open to the idea. Maybe we get Miz & Ciampa VS Styles & Logan at SummerSlam to settle everything at once.
Good ol’ WWE giving us another classic holiday themed party. Good reason for everyone to be around and interacting with each other, such as the 24/7 Division running through and Reggie getting tossed by Omos again. Alexander & Ali working together to prank Veer could just be for laughs or it could be WWE’s goofy way of starting a feud between them. Either way, we need the Heart & Soul of 205 Live to reunite as a tag team to give more teams for the Undisputed Tag Team Champions to face. It was pretty clever for the cookout to also give us motivation behind Rollins VS Zeke, which turned out to be a great match. Rollins wins, of course, but I like that Riddle got the better of him. They’re definitely going to be a SummerSlam match since neither is Mr. MITB.
And speaking of that dumb move from MITB, Theory did a decent job of cutting a promo as Mr. MITB. Of course Theory wants his US Championship back to follow in Rollins’ footsteps from when Rollins was dual world and US Champion. We got a great six man, and great to see the Faces win as they all move towards SummerSlam. I’d hope Theory doesn’t win the US title back, Lashley deserves to reign longer than four weeks. And Theory should really focus on his cash-in, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Theory takes a count-out loss to stay healthy. But of course there had to be barf tonight. The second the hotdog eating contest was a thing, I knew this was going to end up like Titus O’Neil on Thanksgiving after losing to Cesaro and his swing.
I’m actually glad Asuka interrupted Alexa Bliss before she just repeated what she said last week. Asuka VS Becky was a great No Holds Barred match, though it might’ve had a rough start as the two tried to make things work when that chair just wouldn’t stay in the corner. I really liked that Asuka brought out the umbrella, it was a partial callback to Kabuki Warriors with Kairi Sane, and it worked out to be a shield to the mist, though the timing was a bit off. Becky still ended up a bit green, but the finish was great stuff. Becky is back, and I suppose Mella getting the SummerSlam match isn’t a given. We’re almost getting an exact replay of last year if Becky were to take Mella’s spot from her on the show, who knows what happens.
My Score: 8.5/10
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