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Mitchell’s NJPW Music City Mayhem Results & Report! (7/30/22)

It’s going down on the Fairgrounds!

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NJPW MCM

This may be Nashville, but someone will be playing the Blues!

NJPW isn’t just about the G1 Climax! Nashville hosts a country hoedown of a showdown with Music City Mayhem! And in the main event, Interim AEW World Champion Jon Moxley takes on El Desperado!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: Fred Yehi, Shota Umino & Yuya Uemura VS Kevin Knight, Ren Narita & The DKC; Yehi, Umino & Uemura win.
  • MLW National Openweight Championship: Davey Richards VS Rocky Romero; Richards wins and retains the title.
  • NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Fred Rosser VS Big Damo; Rosser wins and retains.
  • Hiromu Takahashi VS Blake Christian; Hiromu wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Alex Zayne & FTR VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • KUSHIDA VS Alex Shelley; Time Limit Draw.
  • No Disqualifications: Jon Moxley VS El Desperado; Moxley wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

MLW National Openweight Championship: Davey Richards VS Rocky Romero!

Who needs to wait for a Forbidden Door? NJPW’s got a crossover right here with Major League Wrestling as the American Wolf brings this title to Nashville, to face his former tag team partner! Will Richards retain this title? Or will Azucar go from Player Coach to Player Champion?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who from the corps truly has no remorse!

Fans rally for “Rocky! Rocky!” as the two circle. They approach, and Richards offers a fist bump. Rocky is tentative, but he accepts, only for Richards to pull it back. They tie up, go around, and Richards puts Rocky on the ropes. The ref calls the ropebreak, but Rocky ducks Richards’ cheap shot to CHOP him down! Richards bails out of the ring while fans fire up. Richards hurries in, he and Rocky circle and knuckle lock. They go shoulder to shoulder, but Richards drops, rolls, and wristlocks to wrangle Rocky down. Rocky keeps his shoulders up, then gets up to roll, slip around and hip toss to a wristlock!

Fans rally, Richards gets up, he rolls and handsprings and rolls again to then bridge and KICK Rocky away! Fans fire up for that exchange, and the two reset. They tie up but Richards kicks low. Richards fires a forearm, Rocky hits back. Richards kicks, Rocky kicks, but Rocky KICKS and KICKS! Richards trips Rocky, has a toehold, but Rocky keeps his shoulders up again. Rocky rolls, facelocks and cradles, TWO, into the ARMBAR! Richards moves into a STRETCH MUFFLER! Rocky gets the ROPEBREAK, and Richards lets off quickly. Fans fire up for that newest exchange, and the two reset again.

Rocky kicks low, CHOPS hard and whips Richards. Richards reverses but Rocky holds ropes. Richards runs in but is sent out! Rocky goes to the apron for a FLYING KNEE! Down goes Richards and fans fire up again! Rocky brings Richards up to CHOP him against the apron! Richards staggers around the way and the ring count starts. Rocky kicks Richards, puts him in the ring at 4 of 20, but Richards trips him! Richards has the legs and ties them up, and he gets the fans fired up for the TWIST! Rocky clutches his knee after that figure four tweak, but Richards gets Rocky up to whip then CLOBBER! Cover, TWO!

Richards gets Rocky up to a BIG back suplex! Then he grabs the leg for a HALF CRAB! Fans rally as Rocky endures being bent! Rocky fights up but Richards finishes the step over to have the leg pulled back deeper! Rocky still crawls to the ROPEBREAK! Richards lets off quickly again, then paces around. Rocky SPITS at Richards! So Richards KICKS Rocky in the back! Richards drags Rocky up to KICK him down, and then tells the ref to check. Rocky says he’s okay, and the fans rally up. Richards drags Rocky up, KICKS him down again, but Rocky gets up! Fans fire up but Richards clinches Rocky to KICK him down again!

But Rocky’s right back up! Rocky CHOPS, forearms, repeat! Rocky whips, Richard reverses but Rocky RANAS! Richards ends up in a corner and Rocky hobbles to the other. Fans rally behind Rocky and he runs in for the clothesline! Rocky goes corner to corner, another! The Forever Clotheslines are stopped by a forearm! Richards fires off KICK after KICK, then he runs side to side, into a LARIAT! Rocky got one last one in there, and then he KICKS a wobbly Richards, CHOPS him, and cravats! No Sliced Bread but Rocky UPPERCUTS Richards, then FLYING TORNADO DDT! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally up as Rocky has Richards on the apron. Rocky brings Richards up and through the ropes to CLUB him! Richards shoves Rocky, Rocky CLUBS him and kicks, but Richards blocks that! Richards has Rocky in the ropes but Rocky ROCKS Richards first! Then CHOPS him again! Rocky suplexes but Richards blocks! Richard suplexes but Rocky blocks! They fight for suplex control, but then Rocky HOTSHOTS the arm! Rocky drags Richards through ropes, goes up the corner, and jumps for a missile dropkick! Direct hit and Richards flops back in! Cover, TWO!! Richards is still in this but the fans fire up!

Rocky KICKS Richards’ bad arm, and KICKS again. Then SOBATS! Richards is in the corner, Rocky runs in but Richards dodges! Richards is on the apron, he has the leg, and he DRAPING DRAGON SCREWS! Rocky flounders away but Richards’ bad arm slows him down. Fans fire up with Richards as he climbs all the same, and howls to the moon! DOUBLE STOMPS MISS as Rocky moves! BUt Richards gets around to waistlock. Rocky elbows free, runs, but into a ROUNDHOUSE! Richards gets ROcky up, Rocky throws more elbows, but Richards ducks the enziguri, only for the rewind heel kick to hit! Then the JUPM KNEE!

Rocky runs, for the SHIRANUI!! Cover, TWO, but into a DIABLO ARMBAR!! Richards clasps his hands but Rocky pulls them apart! Fans fire up, Richards rolls through to the ANKLE LOCK! Rocky endures, fans rally up and he rolls to kick Richards away. Richards rebounds to PENALTY KICK! Richards stands Rocky up to suplex, for the BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! But it’s back to the ANKLE LOCK!! Rocky survives only to endure! Rocky rolls, victory rolls, TWO! Richards has it now, Richards wins!!

Winner: Davey Richards, by pinfall (still MLW National Openweight Champion)

Fifteen years later, these two men are veterans of the ring, but it’s Richards who comes out the alpha! Rocky shoves Richards but Richards shoves back. They both wind up, to hug it out! Fans cheer, will the American Wolf continue to hunt for more challengers around the world?

 

NJPW Strong Openweight Championship: Fred Rosser VS Big Damo!

Mr. No Days Off has been running strong as the Openweight Champion, but he’s running right into the Beast of Belfast! Will Rosser have no choice but to take days off after tonight? Or will he be able to survive the North Ireland Nightmare in Nashville?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised by none other than Tiger Hattori, and we see who stays strong in this summer heat!

Rosser rushes Damo at the bell, but Damo CLOBBERS him! Damo gets Rosser up and puts him in a corner for big body shots! Rosser escapes to CHOP, LARIT, CHOP, repeat! But Damo shoves Rosser away. Rosser CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Damo kicks low! Damo tosses Rosser out, but Rosser comes right back! Rosser CLUBS Damo, fires off forearms and jabs, but Damo knees low and TOSSES Rosser out. Rosser gets right back in, and he CLUBS and CHOPS Damo again! Damo kicks, CLUBS and TOSSES Rosser again. Rosser gets up but Damo KNEES him at the apron! Damo goes out after Rosser, drags him up, but Rosser fires off elbows first!

Rosser turns Damo around, but Damo’s too big to lift! Rosser CLUBS Damo on the back, tries again, but Damo didn’t get smaller! Damo throws body shots then he CLOBBERS Rosser into the ring! Fans fire up as Damo slingshot SENTONS! Fans fire up more as Damo goes back out and drags Rosser from the apron. Damo SLAMS Rosser on the floor, then stands on him! Damo balances himself, but hops off as the ref reprimands. Damo refreshes the ring count and he waits on Rosser to get up. Damo mule kicks Rosser in the ribs! Then Damo drags Rosser up to RAM into railing! Front row fans get to see Damo CHOP Rosser, then CHOKE him, then CLUB him!

Rosser flounders around, but Damo drags Rosser up and into the ring. Fans rally but Damo stomps Rosser’s hand! Rosser CHOPS and headbutts and scoops! But Damo’s still too big! Damo throws a hard body shot, shoves Rosser down, and then he stands on Rosser again, before a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up and rally but Damo clamps onto Rosser’s face! Damo lets off as the ref reprimands, but Damo CLUBS Rosser. Damo whips Rosser for the DIVIDE! Cover, TWO! Rosser survives but Damo clamps onto him with a cording hold. Damo also gets a leg, he stretches Rosser back in a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow!

Rosser endures, crawls forward with his free arm and gets the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Rosser kicks with his free leg, but Damo lets off at 4. Damo paces and soaks up the heat from fans, and Damo BOOTS Rosser down! Damo drags Rosser around, fishhooks the face then elbows him! Damo clamps on a cording hold to stretch Rosser’s ribs! Fans rally and taunt Damo, and Damo throws Rosser away to FLASH them! That’s the Celtic salute right there! Damo stalks Rosser to a corner, then whips him corner to corner hard! Rosser falls, Damo soaks up more heat, and Damo drags Rosser up to a pump handle GUT BUSTER!

Fans rally for Rosser but Damo gets the legs tied up. Damo then chinbars and digs his knees in, FULL BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Rosser endures and pops out to a cover, TWO! Rosser gets up but Damo ROCKS him with a body shot! Rosser falls out, Damo grins and fans duel. Damo stalks Rosser, drags him up by an ear, but Rosser uses a camera cable to get at Damo! The ref reprimands, Rosser lets off at 4, and Rosser gets in while Damo sputters. Damo pie faces Rosser, talks trash and slaps him around. Rosser snarls and fans rally up behind him. Damo keeps pie facing, then he CLUBS Rosser! And throws forearms!

Rosser still snarls so Damo throws another heavy body shot! Damo talks more trash, stands Rosser up, but Rosser fires off boxing elbows! Damo HEADBUTTS but Rosser LARIATS! Damo stays up to Rosser keeps throwing LARIAT after LARIAT! Damo staggers but Rosser CLUBS him around! PINBALL LARIATS! But Damo just fires up! Rosser BOOTS Damo, and Rosser fires up! Rosser runs, and LARIATS Damo down!! Fans fire up as Damo staggers, and Rosser CHOPS and LARIATS and repeat in the corner! Rosser gets a leg to KICK the thigh, then he fires off more forearms and CHOPS! Rosser drives his knee in again and again, but lets off at 4.

Fans fire up while Damo is dazed. Rosser throws off his elbow pads to HIP ATTACK Damo in the corner! Cover, ONE!! Rosser pushes Damo down, drags him around, STF! Rosser CLUBS away on Damo to get the arm, but Damo resists! Rosser HEADBUTTS Damo, but Damo BITES the hand! The ref reprimands, Damo elbows Rosser away! Fans fire up, Damo slaps Rosser but Rosser JABS! Rosser fires off more boxing elbows but Damo EuroUppers! Rosser wobbles, but he HEADBUTTS! Rosser fires more boxing elbows, but Damo ROCKS Rosser, then EuroUppers and mule kicks! Damo runs, but Rosser KNEES him low!

Rosser fires off haymakers from all sides, then another HEADBUTT! Both men wobble but Rosser CHOPS! Fans fire up with Rosser, and he ROLLING ELBOWS! Down goes Damo! Rosser looms as Damo staggers up, and Rosser scoops him! But Damo CLUBS the ribs! Damo is free to POP-UP SPINEBUSTER to an ELBOW DROP! Damo fires up and he drags Rosser back up! Fireman’s carry for the WASTELAND, to the SENTON! Damo then goes up the corner, but Rosser anchors his foot! Damo rakes Rosser’s eyes! Rosser staggers away, but he comes back to CLUB the legs and back! Damo shoves Rosser away, but Rosser fires off more shots! ROLLING ELBOW!

Rosser drags Damo off the top! SIDEWINDER POWERSLAM! Cover, Rosser wins!

Winner: Fred Rosser, by pinfall (still NJPW Strong Openweight Champion)

Rosser put the “strong” in NJPW Strong with that one! He used all his strength to get Damo up and bring him down! Who is next to test the strength and stamina of Mr. No Days Off?

 

Hiromu Takahashi VS Blake Christian!

The Ticking Timebomb didn’t get to be part of Forbidden Door, but this might be the next best thing. Will Hiromu get a big win in Nashville? Or will not even the Threepeat Best of the Super Juniors winner stop the beat of All Heart?

Even bigger than this, Daryl returns to NJPW! He joins Ian Riccaboni and Matt Rehwoldt on commentary! The bell rings and fans duel, “All Heart!” “Timebomb!” Hiromu and Blake circle, then they rush in! Hiromu dodges, headlocks but Blake powers out. Hiromu runs Blake over but Blake gets right up to run Hiromu over! Things speed up, Hiromu follows Blake and runs him over again, only for Blake to kip up! Blake wags his finger, but Hiromu CHOPS him down! Hiromu stomps but Blake blocks and kips up! Blake wags his finger again but Hiromu dropkicks the leg! Hiromu whips but Blake reverses to CHOP!

Blake whips, Hiromu reverses and hurdles, but Blake front flips over! Things keep moving, pop-up RANA! Hiromu bails out and fans fire up! Blake builds speed and then handsprings to fake Hiromu out! Hiromu gets in but Blake still wheelbarrows, victory rolls and SPLASHES! Hiromu bails out again and fans fire up as Blake builds speed to FLY! Direct hit at the ramp, and Blake lands on his feet! Nashville is fired up for “ALL HEART!” as he drags Hiromu back up. Blake puts Hiromu in, covers, TWO! Daryl is worried but Blake drags Hiromu up to ROCK with a forearm. Blake whips, Hiromu holds ropes, and then BOOTS back!

Hiromu goes up to HANGING HEADSCISSOR! Blake flails and the ref counts, Hiromu lets off at 4. Hiromu drags Blake out to POST Blake! Fans rally up while Hiromu catches his breath. Hiromu CHOPS Blake against railing, then CHOPS him again! Hiromu drags Blake around to snap suplex to the floor! Fans fire up while Blake writhes. The ring count starts, Hiromu gets in the ring at 5. Blake gets in at 7, but Hiromu is on him in a corner. Hiromu CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Blake fires off forearms! Blake CHOPS, Hiromu CHOPS! Blake ends up in the corner, Hiromu whips him corner to corner to then clothesline, snapmare and basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Fans rally up as Hiromu drags Blake into the headscissor squeeze! Blake endures and fans rally up. Blake turns, pries at the hold, but Hiromu squeezes tighter! Blake moves around, flails and reaches out, to the ROPEBREAK! Hiromu lets off at 4, and pretends to be shocked. Fans chant “OH MAH GAWD!” as Hiromu drags Blake up. Blake slips out of the suplex to half nelson but Hiromu elbows free. Hiromu ducks the heel kick but not the ROUNDHOUSE! Blake whips, Hiromu reverses but Blake handsprings for a NEURALIZER KICK! Fans fire up and Blake drags Hiromu up. Blake half nelsons but Hiromu elbows back.

Hiromu rolls but Blake rolls with him! HALF ‘N’ HALF! Hiromu bails out but Blake builds speed again! Blake FLIES with the Fosbury, Flop, and has a dragon sleeper! REVERSE DDT to the floor! Hiromu writhes but Blake drags him up to put in the ring. Cover, TWO! A cut on Blake’s forehead is open again, but he ignores it as he kicks Hiromu around. Blake throws forearms while egging Hiromu on. Hiromu gets up so Blake throws more forearms. Hiromu ROCKS Blake, Blake fakes Hiromu out to trip and DOUBLE STOMP! Fans fire up again and Blake goes to the corner. Blake climbs, Hiromu rushes over, but Blake boots him away!

Hiromu rushes in again but Blake goes up and over! Blake runs back in but Hiromu fireman’s carries! Blake slips off, wheelbarrows, victory rolls and SPLASHES onto knees! Cover, TWO!! Blake survives, and he’s got half a crimson mask going now. Fans rally up, Hiromu rises and he drags Blake up. Hiromu fireman’s carries but Blake fights that off. Blake waistlocks but he ducks the back elbow to throw a forearm! Hiromu throws it back so Blake throws another! They go back and forth with forearms, fans rally up as they go faster and faster, and Hiromu DECKS Blake! Blake kips back up!? Blake fires off a flurry, then runs, into an elbow!

Hiromu runs, into a mule kick! Blake runs but Hiromu follows to elbow! Hiromu runs, Blake follows to QUEBRADA! Fans fire up with Blake and he runs, into a fireman’s carry! Blake fights off to fireman’s carry in return, AIRPLANE SPIN! But Hiromu slips free to ROCK Blake! Blake BOOTS, then DOUBLE FOREARMS hit! DOUBLE LARIATS hit, then Blake ROUNDHOUSES! Blake runs, into a HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER! But Blake lands right on his feet?! And he DISCUS LARIATS Hiromu in return!! Fans are thunderous while both men are down! Blake gets up at the ropes, he hobbles over to Hiromu, and he drags Hiromu up.

Blake fireman’s carries and starts up the AIRPLANE SPIN, to then ROLLING DEATH VALLEY! Blake goes to a corner, springboard 450 SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives and Blake can’t believe it! Fans rally again as Blake drags Hiromu to a drop zone. Blake goes up the corner, slashes his throat, and 450, but he has to roll through as Hiromu moves! Blake comes back, but Hiromu gets him for an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly into the corner! Blake goes down and Hiromu gets to center. Fans rally up, Hiromu grits his teeth and drags Blake up. Fireman’s carry, but Blake fights, so Hiromu throws Blake into the dragon sleeper!

Hiromu inverted suplexes but Blake slips out to get a dragon sleeper! But Hiromu spins around to suplex, but Blake knees free! SCREW HIGH KICK! Hiromu wobbles, Blake runs, into a SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, but Blake gets around, hammerlock and cradle, TWO!!! Blake can’t believe it, but he runs into a POP-UP POWERBOMB! Hiromu gets Blake back up, VICTORY ROYALE!! Cover, TWO!! “This is Awesome!” as both men are still going! Hiromu runs to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Then dragon sleeper, lift and TIMEBOMB MK. II!! Cover, Hiromu wins!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall

The Timebomb learned why Blake is #AllHeart, but Blake learned why Hiromu won the BOSJ three years in a row! But both men respect each other after this battle. Will we see Blake make history in his own right one day? Will Hiromu get back up to the top soon enough?

 

Six Man Tag: Alex Zayne & FTR VS The United Empire!

The Sauce teams up with the simultaneous AAA, ROH & IWGP Tag Team Champions in a battle with TJP and Aussie Open! Will Zayne help Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood bring the heat to Nashville? Or will Kyle Fletcher, Mark Davis & Public Enemy #1 prove they’re worthy of being contenders?

Tanga Loa joins commentary for this one as the trios sort out. He really likes that Zayne has tacos all over his social media. Fans rally for “F T R!” as they hug it out with Zayne. Zayne starts against TJP and they circle. They tie up, TJP headlocks and hits the takeover. Zayne rolls, waistlocks, and he SLAMS TJP down! TJP fights up, reaches out but Zayne SLAMS him to keep him from the corner. TJP gets up, slips around to wrench an arm, but Zayne rolls, handsprings and wrenches back. TJP rolls, spins, cartwheels, drags Zayne in and TWISTING RANAS! But Zayne headscissors back! TJP headstands and pops free, but Zayne ducks the Penalty Kick!

Zayne rolls TJP up but TJP rolls through, to avoid the Eddy Gordo kick! Zayne blocks a kick, DOUBLE DROPKICKS cancel out, and both men kip up! Fans fire up as Zayne stares down the bigger men in Fletcher and Davis. But then he turns around, and TJP is dabbing on him! Zayne offers a handshake out of respect, but TJP SLAPS Zayne instead! Fans boo but TJP kicks and whips Zayne. Zayne catches the hurdle to a FLAPJACK, then runs to MARIPOSA! TJP tags out to Fletcher but Zayne dodges to mule kick! Zayne then runs for the SOMERSAULT AX KICK! Fletcher flounders but Zayne drags him up and tags in Dax!

Fans fire up as Dax the Ax is in and he stares Fletcher down. Fans rally for FTR again as Dax and Fletcher circle. They tie up, Fletcher puts Dax in a corner but Dax turns it around. Fletcher turns it back around, he lets off but then CHOPS! Fletcher throws a heavy body shot, then he stomps Dax in the corner. Fletcher CHOPS but Dax CHOPS Fletcher down! Fletcher flounders but Dax CHOPS him in the corner! Dax snapmares Fletcher, CHOPS him on the back, and then pushes him to a cover, TWO! Dax clamps on a chinlock to grind Fletcher. Fletcher fights up, pops out the back and headlocks back.

Dax powers up and out but Fletcher runs him over! Fans boo but things speed up. Dax DROPKICKS Fletcher, and Fletcher flounders away. Dax clutches an arm, though. The landing from the dropkick was rather double-edged, given Dax’s bad shoulder as a result of that Best 2 Out of 3 Falls at Death Before Dishonor. Fletcher waits on Dax while fans rally up. Dax stands, Fletcher storms over, but Dax gets a cradle! TWO, and Fletcher DECKS Dax! Fletcher drags Dax up, CHPOS him down, then puts him in a corner to CHOP again! Dax ROCKS and CHOPS away on Fletcher! Dax whips, Fletcher reverses and Davis gets a cheap shot in!

Fletcher CLOBBERS Dax, rains down fists, then tags in Davis. Aussie Open throw hands on Dax at the ropes, then Davis fires off more forearms! Dax staggers around, Davis has him against ropes again to whip. Dax reverses, Cash gets a cheap shot in, and then Dax CLOBBERS Davis! FTR returns the favor and fans fire up as Dax drags Davis up. Tag to Cash, FTR double whips to DOUBLE HAYMAKER! Davis falls and fans fire up more. Cash brings Davis up but Davis knees low. Davis scoops, Cash slips off to JAB, JAB, bob ‘n’ weave, uppercut and CHOP! Davis CHOPS back and Cash falls down!

Davis drags Cash up to ROCK with a forearm, then he whips Cash to a corner. Davis runs in to forearm smash, then he runs the ropes, but Cash RAMS into him! Cash LARIATS Davis down, then drags Davis up to HEADBUTT! Cash goes corner to corner but Davis puts him on the apron. Cash ROCKS Davis, CHOPS Fletcher, ROCKS Davis again, then CHOPS TJP! But then Davis DECKS Cash! Fletcher gets Cash up to APRON BACK SUPLEX! Dax rushes over to CHOP Fletcher! Zayne goes after TJP, Dax and Fletcher fire off haymakers, and fans fire up for the brawl! TJP gets Cash by his ears while Davis CLOBBERS Dax into railing! A fan even falls over!

Davis gets in and has Cash for a cover, but Cash has the ropes! Davis stomps the arm, but Cash CHOPS back! Fletcher grabs Cash, he and Davis mug Cash but the ref counts. Aussie Open lets off, Fletcher tags in, but here comes Dax with a chair! The ref stops that, and Fletcher gets the chair out of the ring. Aussie Open double whip Cash to DOUBLE ELBOW, PENALTY KICK and SENTON! Cover, TWO! Cash survives but Fletcher drags Cash up into a cobra twist! Fletcher CLUBS Cash in the ribs and stretches him more. Cash endures, fans rally up, but Fletcher scoops and SLAMS Cash down! Cover, TWO!

Fletcher tags TJP, and Fletcher scoop SLAMS Cash again. TJP slingshots sentons then covers, TWO! Fans rally up but TJP wraps Cash up in another cobra twist. Cash endures, fans rally, and Cash powers free to arm-drag TJP! TJP runs in but into body shots and haymakers! TJP ROCKS Cash but Cash ROCKS TJP! TJP ROCKS Cash, then SOBATS! Cash ends up in United Empire territory and TJP digs his boots in! The ref counts while fans boo, but TJP scrubs Cash’s face before 4. Fans rally for FTR, TJP runs but Cash CLOBBERS TJP! Both men are down and crawling, hot tag to Davis!

Davis drags Cash away, to SENTON onto knees! Cash saves himself, Davis tags Fletcher and he rushes the corner. He misses but Dax and Zayne, Cash back drops him! Hot tag to Dax! Dax JABS, JABS and DECKS Fletcher! Davis gets in, Dax ROCKS him first! TJP gets in, Dax DECKS him! Dax CHOPS and UPPERCUTS Fletcher, but Davis knees Dax! Davis whips, Dax reverses and wrenches to LARIAT! Davis stays up and roars, so Dax LARIATS him again! Davis still stays up so Dax reels him in. Davis dodges one lariat but not the NEXT! TJP gets back in, Dax gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Dax holds on, Zayne intercepts Fletcher! DOUBLE GERMAN SUPLEXES!

Zayne still has Fletcher, Dax still has TJP, and Cash intercepts Davis now! TRIPLE GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans are thunderous as Dax gets Fletcher up for a BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Fletcher survives but Dax drags him over to tag Cash. Cash tags Zayne, FTR gets Fletcher up while Zayne climbs. ASSISTED GOURD BUSTER, and Zayne CINNAMON TWISTS!! Cover, TJP breaks it! TJP and Davis throw FTR out, Aussie Open double whip Zayne to a corner. TJP whips Davis on to forearm smash! TJP whips Fletcher in to GAMANGIRI! Then Aussie Open gives TJP a boost for DOUBLE KNEES! TJP feeds Zayne to double underhooks POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO!!

Fans are thunderous as Zayne survives! The United Empire is frustrated but Fletcher tags in Davis. Fans rally, Davis drags Zayne up and ROCKS him with a right. Zayne is in a corner, Davis tags Fletcher, and Aussie Open puts Zayne up top. Davis CHOPS Zayne, Aussie Open climbs up after Zayne, and they double pump handle! Zayne fights free, TJP runs in but is sent into Aussie Open! TJP is down, Zayne uses him as a pommel horse to DOUBLE DRAGON RANA Aussie Open!! Fans fire up, FTR returns, they clothesline Davis and TJP out! Zayne has Fletcher for the LAST RIDE!! Cover, TWO!?!? Fletcher survives and shocks everyone!

Zayne hurries to get Fletcher up! Straitjacket and pump handle but Fletcher slips out. Fletcher shoves Zayne at Dax, Dax moves Zayne aside, Fletcher SUPERKICKS Dax! Zayne waistlocks Fletcher, rolls him up, but the ref is busy with Dax! Davis whips Zayne, he and Fletcher hook him up, COREALIS!! Fletcher covers, The United Empire wins!

Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall

Fans can’t believe it! The United Empire wins, though not over #SevenStarFTR. Will Aussie Open add the NJPW Strong Tag Team Championships to the collection of gold? Fletcher gets a mic to tell the Top Guys that before they head back to AEW, this is how things go in NJPW. When a team beats a current champion, which FTR are the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, right? That means that they’re next in line! The mic cut out a bit so fans aren’t sure what was said. Dax gets a mic but it isn’t working, either. So Dax gets up as high as he can to shout to everyone, he’s more than ready to fight Aussie Open! In Australia, even!

Dax also adds that uh… Top Guys Out! Will FTR look to take Aussie Open on once they’re champions in their own right?

 

KUSHIDA VS Alex Shelley!

The Time Splitters meet again! But they’re not teaming up tonight, they’re testing each other 1v1! Will Kushida prove to the Bone Soldier he is worthy of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship? Or will this Motor City Machine Gun take that right for his own?

Fans are already fired up for “Both These Guys! Both These Guys!” The bell rings and Kushida rushes in! Shelley dodges, headlocks but Kushida powers out. Things speed up, Kushida jumps on with body scissors! Shelley knows Kushida wants his arm so he gets the ROPEBREAK! Kushida lets go and Shelley bails out. Kushida says it was that close. Shelley says no it wasn’t. Shelley gets back in the ring and the fans cheer as the two circle again. They feel out the grapple, Shelley trips Kushida up and then runs. Shelley hops over Kushida’s dropdown to bring him up, but Kushida reverses the whip, only for Shelley to reverse the arm-drag!

Things keep moving, Kushida sunset flips but Shelley stays up to KIMURA! Kushida endures his own favorite hold as he scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Shelley lets off and Kushida pushes him away to get out of the ring. Fans rally and duel, Shelley holds ropes open for Kushida. Kushida accepts the gesture, and fans applaud the sportsmanship as Shelley leaves him be. Shelley and Kushida circle, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Kushida powers Shelley to a corner, the ref calls the break, and Kushida lets off cleanly. Fans fire up and Shelley comes back. Kushida rushes in but Shelley avoids the drop toehold. Kushida still approaches with his leg guard ready.

Shelley goes around, Kushida rolls and gets up. They tie up again, they end up on ropes and then in a corner. The ref counts, Shelley lets off with a kiss on the forehead. Fans fire up while Kushida keeps his cool. They tie up again, Shelley headlocks and he grinds Kushida down. Kushida endures, fights up, and powers out. Fans rally as Shelley runs Kushida over. Kushida gets up in a huff and shoves Shelley! They argue, Kushida shoves more so Shelley shoves back. They shove, shove, CHOP, CHOP, CHOP, CHOP! Fans fire up as they CHOPS keep going back and forth! Shelley ROCKS Kushida, throws body shots, then ROCKS Kushida again.

Shelley uppercuts and Kushida staggers. Shelley whips him to ropes but Kushida handsprings to back elbow! Fans fire up as Shelley goes down! Kushida aims from a corner, runs in but Shelley slips out, only for a SHOTEI to floor him, literally! Shelley sits up at the ramp but Kushida waits. The ring count starts so Kushida goes out, and he puts Shelley in. Kushida stalks Shelley and fans rally up. Kushida gets the arm, YANKS it, CLUBS it, then digs his knee into Shelley’s shoulder. Shelley endures as Kushida has both arms, chicken wing cradle! TWO, but Kushida keeps on the arms. Kushida moves around, headstands, then has CATTLE MUTILATION!

Shelley endures, kicks around but Kushida brings him away from ropes! They move around, Kushida floats to a cover, TWO! Kushida clamps on a chinlock then makes it a headlock to grind Shelley into the mat. Shelley endures, moves back, but Kushida shifts his leverage. Shelley fights up to avoid the Bully Choke, and he KICKS Kushida’s leg! Shelley throws a body shot and fans fire up as he runs. Kushida body scissors and rolls Shelley to an ARMBAR! Shelley hurries to clasp hands, but Kushida just mounts to shift, ARMBAR! Shelley reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Kushida lets go quickly and fans applaud the exchange.

Kushida drags Shelley around to omoplata one arm, and cording hold the other, then he adds a leg! Shelley is a pretzel right now but he still endures. Kushida steps over to hook both arms up, DOUBLE ARM TWEAK as he drops back! Fans rally and Kushida brings Shelley up. Kushida CHOPS, and CHOPS, then copies the Nature Boy’s strut before he wrenches Shelley’s arm for an ELBOW BREAKER! Shelley staggers away to a corner and fans fire up. Kushida runs in but Shelley elbows him away! Shelley goes up to FLYING KNEE Kushida’s arm! And he dropkicks the leg out! Shelley checks his bad arm while Kushida goes to the apron.

Fans duel, “Let’s Go, Shelley!” “KU-SHI-DA!” Shelley finds Kushida in a corner, runs in and gets a leg to put it on the ropes. Shelley KICKS the leg, pie faces Kushida and pulls on the leg! The ref counts, Shelley lets off but then gets the other, DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! Kushida grimaces in pain while he leans against ropes. Shelley drags Kushida out of the corner, has the leg again, and the arm! Shelley hits a DRAGON SCREW ARM WRINGER! Fans rally up while Kushida writhes. Shelley drags Kushida away, ties up the legs and simply squats on the DEATHLOCK! Kushida endures, fans rally up, and Kushida sits up, only for Shelley to HEADBUTT him down!

Shelley stands up to add Kushida’s arm into this pretzel knot of his own design! Kushida endures, he only has one arm free! Shelley BENDS the fingers, too! Shelley SNAPS those fingers, steps over the arm to omoplata and have a modified cradle! TWO!! Kushida manages to escape but Shelley keeps his cool. Shelley looms over Kushida and kicks him around. Shelley drags Kushida up by the bad arm but Kushida KICKS the leg! And again! And again! Fans rally, Shelley gets double knuckle locks and moves right to a straitjacket! Kushida endures, fights up, and fans rally again. Kushida turns things around on Shelley, but Shelley turns them right back!

Shelley keeps on the straitjacket, into a BACKSTABBER! Kushida writhes and fans rally up as Shelley aims. Kushida avoids the Penalty Kick and catches the clothesline to a spin, for a NECKBREAKER! Kushida roars, he and Shelley rise, and Kushida KICKS away on Shelley’s bad arm. Shelley reverses the whip but Kushida CROSSBODIES! Then fakes Shelley out to PELE him down! Kushida wrenches the arm, Shelley wrenches it back, but Kushida wrenches and wrangles Shelley into an omoplata, ARM TWISTER! Then DARK ARMBAR!! Shelley endures his arm being pulled back, and he kicks around with his legs!

Kushida grabs a leg, uses that to turn Shelley over, O’Conner Bridge! TWO!! Kushida runs in at the corner to SHOTEI! Fans fire up as Kushida shoves Shelley, and then jumps on! Body scissors and HOVER- NO, Shelley powers through to give Kushida the HOVERBOARD!! But Kushida reaches back to clasp hands, then he wrenches out to ROCK Shelley! Shelley staggers into a fireman’s carry! Shelley fights off, spins Kushida for a ROLLING ELBOW! But Kushida ROCKS Shelley again! Shelley spins, into the FASTBALL! Kushida fireman’s carries for the CRADLE SHOCK!! Cover, TWO!?!? Shelley survives but Kushida hurries to get him up

Kushida double underhooks, BUTTERFLY SUPLEX with a bridge! ROPEBREAK!! Shelley survives by inches! But Kushida goes out to the apron and climbs up the corner. Kushida leaps to KNEE the bad arm! And then somersault, spring up, but Shelley wrenches! Kushida KICKS the bad arm, but Shelley CLUBS that leg! Kushida kicks with the other but Shelley blocks to a DRAGON SCREW! Fans fire up again as Shelley watches Kushida stir. Shelley aims, but Kushida blocks the kick! Shelley SLAPS then ENZIGURIS, but Kushida PENALTY KICKS the bad arm! Hip toss and handspring dropkick! Fans fire up again as both men go to opposite corners.

Kushida runs in but Shelley catches him for a BUCKLE SHOT! Shelley goes up the corner while Kushida is down! Shelley reaches the top but Kushida HANDSPRING KICKS! Kushida then positions Shelley, goes up top after him, and has the HOVERBOARD! But that’s not all! Kushida stands up on top, but Shelley fights back! SUPER ATOMIC DROP! And then a SUPERKICK! Kushida wobbles, Shelley wrenches to fireman’s carry, for AIR RAID CRASH!! Cover, TWO!! But into the BORDER CITY STRETCH!! Kushida endures the over-the-shoulder crossface! He fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! And we’re at the two-minute warning!

Fans fire up as we’re so close to the end! Shelley drags Kushida up but Kushida fires off forearms! SHOTEI! But Shelley CHOPS! Kushida falls, so Shelley brings him up. Shelley CHOPS, Kushida is down, so Shelley brings him up again, for a CHOP! Shelley drags Kushida up one more time, wrenches through to an ELBOW BREAKER! One minute left in the 20 minute time limit! Shelley wants the Border City Stretch again, but Kushida arm-drags him away! Kushida slips around to roll-up, then roll then STEALS BORDER CITY STRETCH!!! But Shelley rolls it to a deep cradle! TWO!! Shelley ducks the buzzsaw, rolls Kushida, 30 seconds left!!

Shelley wants the stretch but Kushida slips around and STEALS BORDER CITY STRETCH AGAIN!! But Shelley slips out to put it on Kushida! But Kushida tips it to a deep cradle, TWO!!! DOUBLE LARIATS! DOUBLE LARIATS! BLADERUNNER!! Cover, TWO!!! INITO HOVERBOARD!!! The countdown is coming, Shelley endures and the bell rings!! TIME LIMIT DRAW!

Time Limit Draw

Fans give this one a standing ovation, because “Both These Guys!” gave it 110%! The Time Splitters share a smile, they’re still good friends. Will they both prove they’re still the top of the Junior Heavyweight Division?

 

No Disqualifications: Jon Moxley VS El Desperado!

The Interim AEW World Champion says to take that “interim” and shove it! The Maniac says he is THE champion, and he is THE Best in the World, despite CM Punk being out with injury. Will Moxley prove that, even when visiting NJPW? Or will the Rogue Luchador show he’s the Best in the World by beating Moxley at his own game?

As Desperado makes his entrance, he has a guitar on his shoulder and a bouquet of roses in his hand. Will he look to use both here tonight? And as we see the ring, it seems someone has already set up wooden planks with barbed wire all over them! As for Moxley, he actually enters from the ramp for once. The bell rings and fans rally up, “F him up, Moxley, F him up!” Moxley and Desperado circle, wary of those planks. They tie up, and Moxley powers Desperado towards one of those planks! Desperado turns it around and wants to send Moxley face first into it! Moxley fights back, waistlocks, but Desperado fights the suplex.

Desperado throws elbows, gets free, and fans fire up. Moxley and Desperado each check the barbed wire, and it is legit. They tie up again with knuckle locks, and they’re in a test of strength. Desperado pushes Moxley back but Moxley turns things around to get a full nelson! Now Moxley wants to send Desperado into wires face first! Desperado switches, pushes Moxley, but Moxley holds ropes to avoid the barbed wire. Moxley elbows Desperado, whips him but Desperado stops before hitting the corner! Fans fire up the standoff as the two circle again. They talk some trash and Moxley dares Desperado to hit him! No guard, even!

Desperado throws a forearm, so Moxley forearms back! Fans rally as Moxley eggs Desperado on. Desperado fires a forearm, Moxley gives it back, and they go back and forth! Fans rally, Desperado pokes Moxley in the eyes! Desperado runs, rams Moxley, but Moxley rebounds to run Desperado over! Fans fire up, and Moxley says he’s going to take off that mask! Moxley drags Desperado around and he claws at the eyes of the mask! Desperado fights to keep the mask together but Moxley stands him up to CHOP! And CHOP! Moxley fires off forearms and CHOPS on repeat, then a ROLLING ELBOW sits Desperado down!

Moxley whips Desperado corner to corner, Desperado dodges and runs back in, and he blocks Moxley’s boot! DRAGON SCREW! Moxley hobbles and falls while Desperado fixes his mask. Desperado SPLASHES the leg, then he stalks Moxley to ropes. Fans rally, Desperado digs is boots into Moxley at the ropes! Desperado lets off, even though there’s no ropebreak count, because he’s going for his bouquet of roses. Surprise, it was never about the roses! He hid BAMBOO SKEWERS in there! Fans are freaking out already as Desperado prepares a handful of them! Moxley blocks the skewer attack! Moxley throws a body shot, runs, but Desperado dropkicks the leg out!

Fans fire up as Desperado gets Moxley up! AND DIGS IN THE SKEWERS! Desperado JAMS THEM IN!! About a dozen skewers stay stuck in, but that’s still not even half of how many Desperado had! Desperado kisses Moxley’s forehead wound before a MONO LOCO to push the skewers in more! Fans freak out while Moxley gets up with skewers dangling all over his forehead! Obviously Moxley’s bleeding, and Desperado has Moxley on the ropes as he pulls them out, one at a time! Desperado has unskewered Moxley and he stomps him down. Moxley flounders away onto ropes, Desperado DIGS at the forehead wound!

Desperado wipes Moxley’s blood on his body like it’s paint, then digs in at the wound more! Desperado kicks Moxley around but Moxley throws a haymaker. Moxley’s the one who falls over, though, but Desperado drags him up. Moxley blocks the whip into barbed wire plan, but Desperado stomps the feet! Desperado pushes Moxley’s face into the wires, making sure the forehead gets plenty of it! Moxley gets free of the barbs but Desperado taunts Moxley, “You Can’t See Me!” Desperado avoids the wild haymakers, and he gets a leg to step through, DEATHLOCK! Desperado thrashes the hold but Moxley endures!

Fans rally up as Desperado puts more pressure on the legs. Moxley fires off haymakers, then pulls at the mask! He rips the eye hole open more! Desperado lets Moxley out of the hold, and Moxley CHOPS him! And CHOPS! And CHOPS! Moxley whips, Desperado holds ropes and then dumps Moxley out! Moxley flounders, a crimson mask forming. Desperado builds speed and DIVES into a smash hit!! Moxley used Desperado’s guitar against him! Fans lose their minds over that one while Moxley tears up what’s left of the guitar. Moxley then holds onto a jagged edge of it and he brings Desperado up.

Moxley puts Desperado into the ring, and he sits him up, to JAM Desperado’s forehead with the wood shard! And then HAMMER ELBOW! WOOD JAM, HAMMER ELBOW, on repeat! Then Moxley focuses on the wood piece! Now Desperado is bleeding from his forehead! Moxley positions a barbed wire cross and he grins as he fetches the twin. Moxley says he’ll use them both if he has to, and he brings Desperado up. Scoop, but Desperado slips off! To SPEAR Moxley through a wood plank!! Moxley’s groin is trapped inside the barbed wire! Moxley manages to get free, but Desperado drags him up! Desperado whips, but Moxley reverses!

Desperado stops himself short, Moxley runs in, and he SHOTGUNS Desperado into the other wood blank!! Fans are thunderous as they lose their minds over Desperado being caught in wires! The tassels of his mask are tangled up but Moxley drags Desperado out. Moxley reels Desperado in, gets him up, PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives and Moxley can’t believe it! Fans fire up as Moxley gets up and fires up. Moxley goes out to look under the ring. Moxley searches, fans chant, “We Want Tables!” Tada! A TABLE! Moxley sets this up at ringside while Desperado flops out of the ring. Desperado finds chairs!

Moxley has the table ready, but Desperado uses one chair to sit up while he brings out more. Moxley finds Desperado, and Desperado drop toeholds Moxley onto the one chair! Then he JAMS Moxley’s face with the other! Desperado brings Moxley up to put him on the table. Desperado RAKES the bloody forehead, then makes his way up the corner! Fans fire up again but Moxley goes up after Desperado! Moxley THROWS Desperado off the top and through the table!! Fans are thunderous again while Desperado is down in the wreckage. Wait, what did Moxley just find? A plank covered in cut-up aluminum cans?!?

Fans chant, “YOU SICK F***!” at Moxley for even imagining that contraption, because who else would make that? Moxley drags Desperado in, and then X-PLEXES Desperado onto the cans!! Cover, TWO!?!? Desperado barely gets that arm up but he still got it up! “This is Awesome!” as Moxley and Desperado stir. Moxley stands, runs, and PENALTY KICKS! Desperado sits back up and eggs Moxley on!? Moxley accepts and runs gain, PENALTY KICK! But Desperado rises again! Moxley PENALTY- NO, Desperado blocks, spins Moxley around, dropkicks the leg out from behind, then DRAGON SCREWS it!

Desperado holds onto the leg, stomps away on Moxley’s hip, and then hooks him up in the STRETCH MUFFLER!! Moxley endures as Desperado thrashes the leg around! Moxley fights, sits up, and gets the ARMBAR!! But Desperado stands to steal DRAGON STOMPS!! Desperado isn’t Blackpool Combat Club but he knows that’s Bryan Danielson’s move! Desperado then goes to a corner, climbs up top, and FROG SPLASHES!! Cover, TWO!!! Moxley survives but fans fire up! Desperado gets up, stalks Moxley, and he brings Moxley in, but Moxley ROCKS him with a forearm! Desperado hits back, Moxley hits again, and fans rally up!

Moxley JABS, JABS, but Desperado ROCKS Moxley! And again! And again! Moxley fires off a flurry of forearms, but swings into a spin and backslide, but Desperado turns that into PINCHE LOCO!! But he holds onto the underhooks, only for Moxley to wrench out and LARIAT! Moxley hauls Desperado up, DEATH RIDER!!! But Moxley isn’t done there, he clamps on the BULLY CHOKE!!! Desperado endures, flips Moxley off, but he passes out! Moxley wins!!

Winner: Jon Moxley, by submission

These two went to the extreme just for fun, and it was one hell of a match! And because this is a NJPW show, Moxley gets the mic to close this out! Fans chant for “Moxley! Moxley!” as he paces, and Moxley, “In case you haven’t noticed with everything going on. In case you haven’t noticed, look to your right and to your left and even behind you at all these fans here in Nashville. Professional wrestling in the year of our Lord, 2022, was alive and well!” Fans cheer for that! Moxley does his best to continue, even though the mic sucks.

Moxley says it doesn’t matter if the card says NJPW, AEW, or ROH, the only three letters that matter on the card are M-O-X!! When you see those letters, you know that no matter where we are, no matter what day of the week it is, you know s*it is about to go down!! Moxley stands tall, what will it take to hang with the Death Rider himself?


My Thoughts:

A great event for NJPW on a busy weekend in wrestling. NJPW had the G1 Climax, this event, and NJPW Ignition, and then of course WWE had SummerSlam. I skipped the opening match because while it’s cool to see Shota Umino here, it was all NJPW Strong guys that are borderline Young Lions.

Then we got some great midcard championship matches here, with a quick crossover with MLW here. Richards and Rocky were tag team partners like 15 years ago, so it great to see them sorta reunite here. That said, Richards naturally retains as he’s the MLW guy and I don’t see Rocky bringing that MLW title all around NJPW, AEW and CMLL. Great match from Rosser and Damo for the NJPW Strong Openweight title, and while I haven’t been keeping up with NJPW Strong, it seems Rosser is being booked strong (no pun intended) as the second-ever champion. Those who know NJPW Strong would know who else is/isn’t being booked strong, too, so maybe Rosser keeps giving us great matches for this title during his run.

A great singles match from Hiromu and Blake Christian. This match should prove to everyone that Blake Christian is a top talent already, even with him still being so young. WWE was foolish to let him go, and they were definitely misusing him in a romcom angle with Cora Jade and something about superheroes. Maybe Blake can get an Openweight title shot? As for Hiromu, great for him to get this win after losing out on the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, and great to see Daryl back period, I do not know what’s been keeping him away. Also an awesome match out of Kushida and Shelley, and I love that they went to a time limit draw. It would’ve been really hard to choose a winner, what with Shelley challenging for the title in Impact.

Great Six Man Tag from Zayne & FTR VS United Empire. Just as I was wondering if Zayne was in the match to take the pin, that’s what happens. But even then, Aussie Open feels that entitles them to a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. Sadly, the one glaring flaw of this event was the technical difficulties with those wireless mics. But either way, it was clear that FTR is willing to take on anyone from NJPW, and it would be really interesting if Aussie Open wins the NJPW Strong Tag Team Championships to try and make things Winners Take All again. How wild would it be if FTR added those brand new titles to their achievements while being only the second ever champions? Though, maybe for that reason alone, the other team wins and Aussie Open have nothing to lose.

And of course, Moxley in anything No Disqualification is going to be insane. Barbed wire planks that were shaped like crosses, skewers hidden inside of roses, the guitar smash, and much more, Desperado proves he can go in a hardcore environment. But in the end, Moxley wins because as AEW World Champion, interim or otherwise, he can’t lose until that title is on the line. Again, technical difficulties ruined most of Moxley’s promo, but he got the tagline of it out. Moxley obviously takes pride in leading the way for all of the non-WWE pro-wrestling that’s going on, and will do everything in his power to get AEW, NJPW, ROH and wherever else he might be asked to appear the attention of the wrestling fandom.

My Score: 8.6


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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Dark Results & Report! (2/7/23)

Konosuke Takeshita gets Dark!

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The future of wrestling could be defined in the Dark!

Konosuke Takeshita is going strong in AEW, but he takes on MLW’s EJ Nduka! Will Konosuke still be The Future? Or will The Judge bring down the law?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Slim J VS Mascara Dorada; wins.
  • Rush w/ Jose the Assistant VS Aiden Park; wins.
  • The Outrunners VS Logan Cruz & Tyshaun Perez; wins.
  • Baliyan Akki VS Rico Gonzalez; wins.
  • Blake Christian VS Serpentico w/ Luther; wins.
  • Dalton Castle w/ The Boys VS Dante Casanova; wins.
  • Kiera Hogan VS Megan Meyers; wins.
  • Konosuke Takeshita VS EJ Nduka; wins.

QUICK NOTES

Another pretty good line-up, but the highlight is of course Konosuke VS Nduka. Both are great, having been champions outside of AEW. In fact, Nduka will be featured on tonight’s debut edition of MLW Underground on the Reelz channel. Nduka is challenging Alex Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match. Between AEW Dark on YouTube and the MLW television debut, Nduka is going to get noticed by a lot of wrestling fans, and he very well could be the new MLW Champion the next time he’s in AEW.


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (2/6/23)

Time to rage in the cage!

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Will it end where it all began?

Damage CTRL denied us and Becky Lynch the cage match with Bayley before, but now that Raw is in Orlando, The Man VS The Role Model WILL happen! Will this all come full circle for both these Horsewomen?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins; Priest wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
  • Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano; Lumis wins.
  • Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella; Carmella wins and advances to the Raw Women’s Championship Elimination Chamber match.
  • Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy; Alexander & Benjamin win.
  • Chelsea Green VS ???; Asuka wins.
  • Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford; Ford wins and advances to the United States title Elimination Chamber match.
  • Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch; Becky wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Edge and Beth Phoenix are here!

Orlando goes nuts as the Rated R Superstar and the Glamazon make their way to the ring! Edge even takes some selfies with fans in the front row before he stands with Beth in the ring. The Grit Couple is of course here for revenge on the Judgment Day, a grudge that goes back to last year and Extreme Rules. They get the mic, and Edge says, “Oh, Orlando…! I gotta try and bring my heart rate down after watching that video, and just say it is so damn good to be back.” Orlando is happy to have them back, and Edge says he’s “The King of Comebacks as this point, it’s getting silly.” But we all know why they’re here this time: The Judgment Day.

Fans boo and Edge agrees. But the Judgment Day is his fault. The idea was to try and elevate talent he felt deserved it. And to be honest, it worked. All of them are at a better place now than they were a year ago. Finn Balor is on a level Edge has never seen before and that is saying something. Damian Priest has proven he’s a workhorse that come out week after week against the very best. Rhea Ripley, well… Fans do cheer Rhea, and Rhea went from number one to outlast everyone, and has punched her ticket to WrestleMania. Edge makes sure everyone sees him point at the sign. Oh, and Dom’s there, too.

“For the last year, we have battled back and forth. From Cardiff to Portland to Toronto, all leading up to Extreme Rules. And I knew that Finn Balor didn’t have what it takes to physically hurt me enough to make me say, ‘I Quit.’ But as you saw in the video, the minute I saw Rhea Ripley bash Beth in the back of the head with brass knuckles and hold that chair in her hand, I knew exactly what was going to happen and I was helpless to stop it. And I am the kind of man, and I know a lot of you can relate out there, I am the kind of man that is not used to feeling helpless.” Fans cheer, and Edge “congratulates” Judgment Day with a sarcastic clap.

Fans chant “You Still Got It!” and Edge says, “I never lost it.” Fans cheer that! Edge continues to say, “But here’s the thing, guys. You just made a bad problem even worse. Because I am a cruel, vindictive, sick bastard, who will sink to any level to get my pound of flesh!” Beth calms Edge and says she’ll cut to the chase. “If you’ve got the stones, Ripley, Balor, my husband and I are here to finish this.” But speaking of, here comes the Judgment Day! Finn, Priest and Dom have the mics but Rhea isn’t here. Finn asks if he’s the only one who notices a pattern. Edge makes his triumphant return, only for the Judgment Day to beat him down again and again and again!

Finn tells Edge, “It might be time for you to say ‘I quit.’ HAHAHA!” Dom says word on the street travels fast. Fans boo Dom but Finn tells them to let Dom talk. Dom says since Edge & Beth have been gone, he has served hard time! Fans continue to boo, Finn again says to let Dom talk! Dom tells Edge & Beth to run along, before he does something to them he learned “on the inside.” Just like he did to his deadbeat dad! Rey didn’t even make it into the Rumble match! Priest says Dom’s right. Fans chant “You Suck!” but Priest says it doesn’t matter. Edge and Rey are “something else.” Every time they come back, Judgment Day beats them down, but they come back for more.

So next time they beat Edge down, Extreme Rules will look like child’s play. And speaking of child’s play, after Dawkins gets cooked and Priest enters the Money… Wait, no, Edge has him so flustered. Finn says it’s alright, Edge has Finn all mad, too. Priest promises Edge that he hates him that he can’t even speak right. Priest is getting inside the Elimination Chamber to be the United States Champion! Dom wishes Rhea was here, she could see what they’re about to do to Edge. But Rhea is busy promoting WrestleMania. Edge tells Dom to shut up! Fans cheer that! Edge says he was right, but they all confuse him! They don’t know what they really want!

Priest, the night he clotheslined Edge’s head off, he claimed he didn’t want a leader. And yet, he’s following Finn around like a giant labradoodle. He’s better than that! As for Finn, he’s a Dollar Store Jamiroquai! It’s insanity. Google Jamiroquai, kids. But the difference between Judgment Day and The Grit Couple is that Edge and Beth have each other’s backs. But they all just drop each other quicker than “Ex Con Dom” did his drawers in the clink! “Which is fitting, considering how many times you screwed your dad over.” And by the way, Edge can’t wait until Rey snaps and 619s Dom’s teeth down his stupid throat! It’s coming!

Beth says Rhea’s not here cuz she’s doing promotional appearances? We all know it’s because Beth speared Rhea’s soul out of her body. But listen to her very closely: she didn’t come here to talk. She came to beat Rhea’s ass!! But if she’s not here tonight, how about this? The Rated R Superstar, Edge and the Glamazon, Beth Phoenix VS Finn Balor & Rhea Ripley at Elimination Chamber! Oh, oh, really? Does Dom think Rhea’s in? Dom says Mami is totally in. Finn is in, so they accept! That is, if Edge & Beth make it to Elimination Chamber. The Judgment Day surrounds the ring, Edge & Beth stand their ground, and the fight is on!

Beth runs off Dom, Priest & Finn go after Edge, but here comes ANGELO DAWKINS! Dawkins BLASTS Dom, then fires off on Priest! Dawkins clotheslines Dawkins out, Edge SPEARS Finn down! Dom is freaking out, and Ford creeps up behind him. Ford spooks Dom, puts him in the ring, and Dom wants mercy! He gets chicken wings and a GLAM SLAM instead! Orlando is all fired up, but will the Curse of Greatness be able to take down Damian? Or will Punishment be heading for Montreal?

Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Damian Priest VS Angelo Dawkins!

Raw returns as Priest stomps away on Dawkins, this match already underway. But it is also truly 1v1 as Adam Pearce made sure during the break to say no one else is allowed ringside! Priest stands Dawkins up to ROCK him with a right, then whips him to ropes. Dawkins handsprings over and DROPKCIKS Priest! Dawkins fireman’s carries for a FLAPJACK! Priest bails out, Dawkins builds speed, but Priest moves. Dawkins stops, slides out the side, and runs in to POUNCE Priest onto the announce desk!! Fans are thunderous as Priest flops to the floor! Dawkins puts Priest in the ring, sees him go to the corner, and runs in to CYCLONE- FOREARM!

Priest snarls as he stomps away on Dawkins again. Priest drags Dawkins up, rams him into a corner and fires off hands! Priest whips corner to corner, runs in and back elbows! Priest brings Dawkins up for a BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Priest snarls, he sits Dawkins up and pulls on the arms for a motorcycle stretch. Dawkins endures, Orlando rallies up, and Dawkins fights but Priest CLUBS him down! Cover, TWO! Priest clamps on with a chinlock now, and he bends Dawkins against his knee. Dawkins endures, fans rally up, and Dawkins fights up. Priest swings, Dawkins blocks to ROCK back! And again! And again! Anda gain!

Priest shoves, Dawkins bobs ‘n’ weaves then ROCKS Priest again! Dawkins dodges Priest’s boot to ENZIGURI! Priest runs in again but Dawkins dumps him out! Fans fire up as Dawkins goes out and runs in again, but into a LARIAT! Priest glares at Dawkins as he storms up on him. Priest drags Dawkins up, BIG suplex to the floor! Priest slides in the ring but just to refresh the count. Priest runs in around the way, leaps off the steps and FLYING KCIKS Dawkins down! Fans boo but Priest is in control as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and both men are down after a collision. Fans rally up, Dawkins and Priest go to opposite ends, and Dawkins runs in to rally with clotheslines! Priest hits low, whips, but Dawkins hurdles and FLYING UPPERCUTS! Fans fire up with Dawkins, he runs corner to corner to CYCLONE! And ENZIGURI! And facelock, but Priest wrenches out, Dawkins ducks the lariat, to clinch and EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Dawkins grows a little frustrated but fans rally up. Dawkins brings Priest up, ROCKS him with a right, then climbs a corner. Priest choke grips first! Priest then climbs up to join Dawkins, but Dawkins HOTSHOTS him back!

Dawkins hurries in, but into a SUPERKICK! Clinch and COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, TWO! Dawkins survives and Priest is growing frustrated now. Priest holds up his hand and fans boo. Dawkins rises, Priest clamps on, SOUTH OF- NO, Dawkins pops free for the SILENCER! Cover, TWO!! Dawkins hurries to a corner and climbs back up! SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Priest survives and Dawkins is beside himself! But Orlando fires up as he drags Priest back up. Priest clamps onto a leg, Dawkins throws hands! Dawkins brings Priest up again, but Priest ROCKS him with a forearm! Priest staggers, into a RIGHT from Dawkins!

Priest goes to a corner, Dawkins runs in, but into a SPINNING ROUNDHOUSE! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN!! Cover, Priest wins!!

Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)

The Punisher pulverizes Dawkins, and now he’s taking aim at the US Championship! Will Priest hit his mark and take that title back?

 

The United States Champion pulls into the arena.

Austin Theory drives a black Lamborghini, showing that The Now rides in style. Will he have anything to say about the Elimination Chamber field as it fills out tonight?

 

Adam Pearce meets with Maximum Males Models.

Maxxine Dupri finishes signing the contract, she, Maçé & Mansöôr are now officially part of Monday Night Raw. Pearce is happy to have them here, and is sure they have big WrestleMania plans. Maxxine confirms, she has big, BIG plans. But then Chelsea Green walks in and asks, “Are you the manager?” Chelsea, you know Pearce is the manager, they spoke last week. Pearce has MMM excuse themselves, and Chelsea says that, as they spoke last week, she is supposed to have a private room, with Swiss chocolates and fresh spring water. He took care of that. Oh, well, that was Belgian chocolate. She’s been to Belgium, she knows the difference.

Anyway, while she has him, she wants to talk about how she’s NOT in the Elimination Chamber match. But Liv is, Raquel is, Nikki is, all of who she could be. With all due respect, Chelsea, you didn’t even last five seconds in the Women’s Rumble, so- Uh, sorry, does she need to call his manager? All she wants is an opportunity. her family is in attendance, so she deserves a match. And in that match, she deserves to be presented as the big star she is. So he either makes this right, or… One call could cost him his job. Okay, thanks, bye. Chelsea heads out, but will Pearce bend to her demands?

 

Baron Corbin w/ JBL VS Dexter Lumis w/ Johnny Gargano!

The Modern Day Wrestling God didn’t last all that long in the Men’s Rumble, and he didn’t get a win over Johnny Wrestling last week. The Rumble was because of Lesnar, that match with Gargano was because of Lumis. Can Corbin even the score with the Tortured Artist? Or will JBL start to question his investment into Baron?

Raw returns and Lumis makes his entrance. Corbin attacks Lumis as soon as he’s in the ring! The ref reprimands and fans boo, but Corbin lets off. The bell rings and Corbin hits a SPLASH in the corner! Corbin throws Lumis down, elbows him down, then clamps on a chinlock. Corbin grinds Lumis down but fans chant, “Corbin Sucks!” Lumis endures, fights up and fights free of the hold. Lumis then headlocks, but Corbin powers out. Corbin CLOBBERS Lumis, then rains down more elbows! Corbin clamps the chinlock on again, and insults the fans. JBL coaches Corbin, Lumis still endures and fights his way back up.

Corbin knees low, he puts Lumis in a corner and fires off forearms. Corbin whips corner to corner hard and Lumis bounces off buckles! Cover, TWO! Corbin says Lumis is nothing and Gargano isn’t anything, either. Gargano says he still got a win off Corbin. Corbin grinds forearms into Lumis’ face, then twists Lumis’ head in a neck wrench. Fans rally and Lumis fights up again. Lumis throws hands, dodges Corbin’s, then DECKS him! And DECKS him again! Pop-up UPPERCUT! Lumis runs to clothesline in the corner, then BULLDOG! Fans fire up as Lumis catches Corbin for a BIG back suplex! Kip up to LEG DROP!

Fans fire up as Corbin flounders up. Lumis clinches, but Corbin RAMS him into a corner. Corbin fires off elbows, then runs in, but only gets buckles! Lumis clinches for the SIDE EFFECT! Cover, Lumis wins!

Winner: Dexter Lumis, by pinfall

JBL is speechless as Gargano stands with Lumis. Gargano is headed to the Elimination Chamber for the US title, but will Lumis find himself in title talks soon enough?

 

Backstage interview with Becky Lynch.

Byron Saxton says The Man finally has Bayley inside that Steel Cage. What does tonight mean to her? “Orlando, Florida! Orlando, where it all began. Ten years ago, when I got off the plane with my bags to chase this WWE dream. When I first met you, Byron Saxton. A lot has happened in Orlando in those ten years, but ten years ago, I first met Bayley. In the weight room in the NXT Performance Center. And she seemed sweet and she seemed kind, and she wanted to be great. And her way of being great was high-fiving people and hugging people, and attaching herself to whoever she thought would be her meal ticket to the top.

“But I, too, Byron, I wanted to be great. And my way of being great was smashing faces, kicking down doors and changing the game so that I could become The Man of this industry! And Bayley… Bayley didn’t like that. No, she didn’t like that. So she’s attacked me and hit me with chairs and separated my shoulder. And she brought my family into this. And Bayley, I’m gonna learn you to not talk about my family. But all that aside, I had a plan. And tonight, I got what I want, and that is a Steel Cage Match.

“And so Bayley, you can bring your little friends, and you can bring your little tricks. Well, there is one hand that I haven’t played yet, and I’m thinking… I’m thinking, Byron, tonight might be the night.” What does Big Time Becks have planned for the Role Model in tonight’s main event?

 

Brock Lesnar is here!

Orlando goes nuts again as The Beast walks out to the ring and tips his cowboy hat with a feather in it. Lesnar gets the mic to say, “I appreciate ya. Thank you very much. Good evening, Orlando. Did y’all by chance catch the Royal Rumble? I did, too. I thought it sucked. At least, I had a sucky experience. At the Royal Rumble, Brock Lesnar got his ass thrown out over the top rope. That’s not the worst of it. I got my ass thrown over the top rope, by Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Now I apologize. I wasn’t on Raw last week, I had to get my head together a little bit. Bobby, you finally struck a chord in Brock Lesnar.”

All last week, Lesnar could not get Lashley out of his head. Lesnar tried to go hunting, and all he could think about was Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! Next day, Lesnar wakes up, wants to go ice fishing. He likes coastal fishing, too, but he tries to go, but all he can think of is Bobby Who? Bobby Lashley! He sits down for a big ol’ steak dinner, and all he can think about is Bobby Lashley! He gets into bed at night with his wife, and… Well, four or five hours later, all Lesnar could think about is Bobby Lashley! So for a whole week, Lesnar thought about what he’s gonna do with Lashley. Lesnar has a resolution. A violent resolution, but still.

You see, within Lesnar’s “five dollar denim jacket, is a multi-million dollar contract.” Fans like the sound of that. Lesnar reads the contract: “Bobby Lashley VS Brock Lesnar at Elimination Chamber.” Now Lashley, if you’ve got balls, you’ll get down here and sign the contract! Well here comes Lashley! Lashley is in shades and a nice suit as he heads down the ramp and to the ring. Lashley gets himself a mic, and he says, “Well nice of you to grace us with your presence, Brock. I didn’t even know you were gonna be here. But since you are, let’s take a little walk down memory lane.”

Match number one, what happened? Lashley pinned Lesnar. Match number two, Lesnar won. But if memory serves, Lashley laid Lesnar out cold as he walked out of the ring. And the third meeting was at the Royal Rumble, and Lashley threw Lesnar out without a problem. Lesnar steps closer and hands Lashley the contract. Lashley takes it, and again says that if memory serves, Lashley will be done under his terms. Lashley is going to take Lesnar’s contract and let his agent look at it, and his manager, and his lawyer, then Lashley will get back to Lesnar. This will be under consideration.

Oh, is Lesnar surprised? Surprised that Bobby Who has one up on you? Lashley emphasizes that with a poke of the finger. Lesnar smirks, and he reels Lashley in! F5!! Lesnar puts the contract in Lashley’s pocket, but fans chant “ONE MORE TIME!” Lesnar figures why not! Fireman’s carry, F5!! The Beast puts his hat back on, takes his leave, and the ball is now in the All Mighty’s court. Will this all but guarantee Lashley will want that match with Lesnar in Montreal?

 

Johnny Gargano finds Candice LeRae backstage.

Mr. Wrestling says hello to Mrs. Wrestling, tonight is big, right? How is she feeling? Luck hasn’t been on her side but she feels good. Lumis has a picture for good luck. Wow, the whole family! Gargano, Candice, little Quill and their dog, Pawdme, and… Who is that in the back? Nikki Cross? Cuz she’s SPYING on them! Nikki laughs and runs off! Candice isn’t sure what to make of that, but will she worry more about it once she’s in the chamber with crazy Cross?

 

Women’s Elimination Chamber Qualifier Fatal 4 Way: Mia Yim VS Candice LeRae VS Piper Niven VS Carmella!

Raquel Gonzalez, Liv Morgan, Nikki Cross, Asuka and Natalya are waiting, and there’s just one spot left in the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match! Will it be Michin, Mrs. Wrestling, the Scottish Viper, or the FABULOUS Princess of Staten Island going all the way to Montreal for that golden opportunity?

Raw returns, Candice is already in the ring as Mia makes her entrance. Then, last but not least, Piper Niven! She’s dropped the nickname, will she make a name for herself on the Road to WrestleMania? The bell rings and Piper CLOBBERS Mia and Candice! Piper and Mella stare down, Mella talking trash even though this is her return match. Piper scares Mella with a growl and Mella bails out to hang by hubby Corey Graves. Piper whips Candice into Mia at a corner, then runs in to SANDWICH them! Candice and Mia both fall, and Piper grins. Mella hops on for a SLEEPER! Piper throws her right off!

Mella bails out again, but Mia and Candice fire off on Piper! Piper shoves them away, runs, but into a double drop toehold! She ends up on ropes, DOUBLE DROPKICKS send her out! Fans fire up with Mia and Candice, but then the two friends circle. They fist bump, and then Mia rushes in. Candice avoids the clothesline but Mia jumps over the leg sweep. Candice deflects a boot to waistlock, but Mia switches. Candice elbows free, Mia blocks a kick, and Mia slips under to pick Candice up! BUCKLE BOMB! Mia hoists Candice up top, CHOPS her, then blocks another kick! Mia has Candice in an Electric Chair, but Candice POISON-RANAS!

Mella scurries in to cover Candice, TWO! Cover on Mia, TWO! Cover back on Candice, TWO! Another cover on Mia, TWO! Piper TRIPLE SPLASHES them all!! Cover on Mia, TWO!! Piper drags Mia up to throw her out, then she kicks Candice out. Piper covers Mella, TWO!! Piper drags Mella up, throws her right out, and Piper is all fired up! Orlando is fired up with her, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Piper has everyone in corners. Piper SPLASHES Mia, SPLASHES Candice, but Mella dodges! FABULOUS KICK! Piper rebounds to CLOBBER Mella! Candice CROSSBODIES, but Piper catches her! Mia runs in to hit a NECKBREAKER that takes Piper down! All four women are down but Piper bails out of the ring! Orlando fires up while the others stir. Mella shouts, “This is MY match!” But Mia says no it ain’t! Mella throws a forearm, but Mia ROCKS Mella! Mella throws another, but Mia fires off a flurry! Mia BOOTS, then wrenches to hit EAT DA FEET!! Cover, Piper drags Mella away!

Fans are torn but Mia is shocked! Piper storms in, Mia throws body shots and haymakers! Piper ducks a roundhouse to HEADBUTT! Mia wobbles, Piper reels her in but Candice is up top! MISSILE DROPKICK! Piper is down, Candice LIONSAULTS! cover, Mia breaks it! Friends or not, this is every woman for herself! Mia says sorry, but then Piper shoves Mia into Candice! Candice falls, but Mia runs, but into a SCRAPBUSTER! Cover, Candice breaks it! Piper pulls at her hair and bites her fingers in frustration, but she has Candice to herself now. Candice fires off haymakers, but Piper shoves her down. SENTON FLOPS as Candice moves!

Candice STEP-UP SENTONS! But Mella rolls Candice up! TWO!! Candice escapes, DEKCS Mella, and Mella goes to a corner. Candice runs in but is sent into buckles! Mella shouts at Candice and stomps a fabulous mudhole in! Fans boo as Mella moonwalks and says, “Mella! Is! Money!” FABULOUS BRONCO BUSTER! But Piper runs in! Mella dodges, CANNONBALL for Candice! FABULOUS KICK for Piper! Mella stacks Candice, and WINS!

Winner: Carmella, by pinfall (advances to the Raw Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s match)

The Princess of Staten Island took advantage, and she is heading to Montreal! But will she be the one heading to WrestleMania with that golden ticket?

 

Baron Corbin regroups with JBL backstage.

Corbin laughs it off. “That didn’t go as planned, did it?” But where are they going to eat? Maybe get some drinks or something? JBL asks, “We? There ain’t no ‘we’. I headlined WrestleMania, I sold out arenas all over the world, I was must-watch television. You are channel changing television. That sound you hear when you get the ring, that’s the sound of remote controls around the world changing the channel to watch anything but you. And I don’t give a damn about you. I give a damn about the fact that MY Hall of Fame legacy, my CHAMPIONSHIP career, has lost all credibility, because of YOU!”

Corbin frowns but JBL continues. “Modern Day Wrestling God? I’ll tell you what you need. Not some cute little shirt, but a red nose and floppy shoes. Because you are a clown. You do not belong near me.” Corbin asks where this is coming from. He can do better! He’ll do better! JBL says, “You can’t polish a turd. I tried.” JBL storms off, did Corbin blow another major opportunity?

Meanwhile, we can see in the background that MVP is talking with Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. They shake hands, having a much better talk than JBL and Corbin just did. As the Wrestling God partnership falls apart, are we seeing the return of the Hurt Business?

 

Piper Niven finds Candice LeRae backstage!

Piper blames Candice for that loss! Piper should be going to WrestleMania! Mia storms in and makes Piper back off. Piper says they’re both very luck. If either of them get in the way of her and the title again, she will not be forgiving. Mia and Candice stick together, but will they both have to worry about the angry Scottish Viper slithering around?

 

Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin VS The Alpha Academy!

Speaking of, PRIME Alexander and the Gold Standard are going up against “Master” Chad Gable and his number one guy, Otis! It’s a battle of former Raw Tag Team Champions, will one of these teams make a big impression on the Road to WrestleMania?

Raw returns and MVP is with Cedric & Shelton in their entrance! The teams sort out and Gable circles with Cedric. They tie up, Gable waistlocks and SLAMS Cedric, but Cedric gets up, only for Gable to snapmare. Gable rolls with Cedric, has a waistlock again, but Cedric pries free, only for Gable to headlock for the takeover. Cedric headscissors, Gable kips free, but Cedric arm-drags Gable. Gable arm-drags back, then blocks Cedric’s arm-drag to say, “SHOOSH!” Gable stands Cedric up but Cedric mule kicks back. Cedric runs, handsprings, but into a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cedric flounders and Gable shouts, “A THANK YEW~!”

Gable tags Otis, the fans fire up and Otis struts. Gable cravats Cedric, Otis runs and CLOBBERS Cedric! Fans fire up but MVP protests. Cedric tags Shelton and he fires forearms on Otis! Shelton whips but Otis blocks! Otis whips, Shelton LARIATS, but Otis stays up! Shelton runs but Otis scoops! Shelton slips free to ROUNDHOUSE! Otis staggers, Shelton runs in to STEP- UP- NO!! Otis carries Shelton out for a WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM! Fans fire up with the tree trunk and he runs, to SPLASH! Fans rally while Shelton sputters, but Otis CLUBS him on the back. Otis whips Shelton corner to corner hard and Shelton falls to the mat!

Fans rally behind Otis and he brings Shelton up. Shelton kicks but Otis blocks, and Otis spins Shelton around, only for the DRAGON WHIP to hit! Otis staggers around, Shelton runs in but into another SLAM! Otis drags Shelton up, puts him in a corner, and then runs in, only to get buckles! MVP coaches Shelton and he crawls, but so does Otis! Hot tags to Gable and Cedric! Cedric rallies on Gable, runs in to forearm smash int he corner, then snapmare and BASEMENT DROPKICK! MVP is fired up with Cedric and Cedric whips. Gable reverses, Cedric goes up and over. Things keep moving, NEURALIZER!

Gable flops out of the ring, Cedric builds speed! Cedric DIVES, but into an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly! Gable puts Cedric in while MVP shouts to shake it off! Gable is up top, for the DIVING HEADBUTT! Cover, Shelton breaks it! Otis CLUBS Shelton, throws him to a corner, and then runs in, only to get more buckles! STEP-UP KNEE! And then another STEP-UP KNEE! And a SAMOAN DROP!?! Fans are thunderous after that, but Gable KNEES Shelton out! Cedric is up, Gable CLOBBERS him! Gable goes up top, to MOONSAULT! Cedric avoids it, back suplex, LUMBAR CHECK!! Cover, Cedric & Shelton win!

Winners: Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin, by pinfall

MVP is all fired up! He celebrates with his guys, is this the revival of the Hurt Business?

 

Backstage interview with The Miz.

Cathy Kelley knows The A-Lister was caught off guard last week by Rick Boogs, but what is his reaction to that return? His reaction? Miz will gladly give it to Pearce, along with a bill for the damages to his $10,000 suit that Maryse bought Miz! Who makes someone compete in a suit?! And as far as “Boogs” goes, what? He’s supposed to be impressed that Boogs can bench press 500 pounds and play the electric guitar? But speaking of, here comes Boogs! Uh, how did he get a meeting before The Miz? Oh, of course, he’s special, right? Wow, Boogs is special? Thanks, Miz.

But Boogs is just excited to be reunited with the Boogs Crew in the WWE Universe. The Boogs Crew? Oh, cut the humble crap. Miz would’ve won easily, if he was dressed and ready. Boogs got luck and he knows it, but he’s also lucky that Pearce is a lazy and incompetent official. Because if it was different and Miz was ready, it would’ve been a different story! Pearce walks up behind Miz and says, “Tell me how you really feel.” Miz sighs and smiles at Pearce. Pearce says that if Miz wants a rematch with Boogs, all he had to do was ask. In fact, how about next week? Boogs says that is righteous! THICK RICK VS The Miz, he’s so excited! Rick “Boogs out” on his exercise bar!

Miz looks at Pearce, then frowns as he walks away. But then Chelsea walks back in. She’s about to go to the ring, so she wants him to find an opponent, or she will call his boss. Okay thanks, bye~! The Hot Mess heads out, but who will Pearce send out to face her?

 

Chelsea Green VS ???

“Shh… It’s Chelsea.” Orlando has mixed feelings as The Hot Mess struts her way to the ring in her first singles match since coming back to the WWE. She’s already got an ego over the fact that she is back, but is she going to be ready for her opponent tonight? Because her opponent is ASUKA!!

Wait, is that Raquel Rodriguez in the crowd? Big Mami Cool snuck in from SmackDown to watch Raw in person, and she’s distracting Asuka! The bell rings and Chelsea SHOTGUNS Asuka down! Chelsea CLUBS away on Asuka, but now we see Natalya sneaking in from the other side! And Liv Morgan! Chelsea dribbles Asuka off the mat, brings her up, and shushes her, before she SLAPS her! Mella struts her way back out, since all the Chamber entrants are here. Chelsea BOOTS Asuka into buckles! Chelsea drags Asuka up, clinches, picks her up, COMPLETE SHOT! Chelsea sees everyone else and asks if they all watched that.

Chelsea says SHE should be in the Chamber, not “whatever this is,” in reference to Mella. Chelsea goes back to Asuka, kicks dirt, and also talks trash on Natty. Wait, Nikki sneaks out here now? Nikki laughs at Chelsea. Chelsea says if Nikki wants crazy, she’ll give her crazy! Chelsea also talks trash on Liv and Raquel. But Asuka gest back up! Chelsea senses something is wrong, and Asuka eggs her on in Japanese! Chelsea swings, misses, and Asuka fires off a strike fest! URAKEN! URAKEN! SOBAT! FRONT KICK! URAKEN and HEEL KICK! GERMAN SUPLEX! BUZZSAW! Chelsea wants a time-out!

Chelsea gets to a corner, Asuka runs in, but Chelsea BOOTS her! Chelsea runs in, into a CODE BREAKER, which Asuka then turns into a DOUBLE ARMBAR!!! Chelsea verbally quits, Asuka wins!

Winner: Asuka, by submission

The Empress of Tomorrow stands tall tonight, and she makes sure to look her future opponents in the eye. But then BIANCA BELAIR appears! The RawEST Women’s Champion is here, and she tells them all, “I want all of y’all to take a good look at each other and tell me what you see. Cuz I’ll tell you what I see. I see six top tier women in the WWE.” Fans cheer that. “But… Who has what it takes to win the Elimination Chamber match? Who has what it takes to go one on one with the EST of WWE? Because last year, I was in your position. I know what it’s like to be in an Elimination Chamber match, and I know what it takes to win. That’s how I got this.”

Bianca holds up the title, and says, “I want to wish each and every one of you good luck. Because whoever makes it out… I’ll be ready to see you at WrestleMania.” The EST has sent her message to all her potential contenders, but just who will survive the Chamber to meet Bianca in Hollywood?

 

Cody Rhodes is here!

Orlando goes nuts again as the American Nightmare makes his way to the ring. Fans chant Cody’s name as he gets the mic. “So, what do you guys wanna talk about? Hmm… Last week, I used my interview time to come out here and talk to you with respect about my current WrestleMania opponent, The Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, the biggest superstar in the world, the Best in the World, Roman Reigns.” Fans boo Roman, then chant for “SAMI! SAMI!” So they just read Cody’s mind. Cody did say “current.” Cody’s path to WrestleMania is straight and clear, but the destination is foggy.

The reason being, Roman is putting the titles on the line at Elimination Chamber, “against a guy who has kicked up all the dust, a guy who has all the momentum, a guy that’s walking into his hometown, and that is Sami Zayn.” Fans cheer and chant for Sami and Cody continues. “You guys seem like a perfect judge for my next question. It looks more and more like at WrestleMania, it’s going to be me standing there, challenging for the championship against Sami Zayn.” Fans like the sound of that! Cody says this with the utmost respect. “I have respect for anyone avenging an injustice done to them. I have respect for my friend, Sami Zayn. I wish you the best of luck, may the best man win.”

But wait! “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman. And I serve as Special Counsel, and The Wise Man, to YOUR Tribal Chief, the reigning! Defending! Undisputed! WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman…! Reigns!” Fans boo as Heyman continues into the ring. Fans chant “E C DUB!” and Heyman steps into the ring. Heyman tells Cody that something he may one day find out in life, “hopefully not at my expense, but one day, is that life at the very top in this industry requires an understanding that the only week busier than the week leading into a major event like the Royal Rumble, or watch the point, WrestleMania…

“Is the week coming out of a major event, like the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. And I’m sure you know that the Tribal Chief and I have had a lot on our plates in the last week. And a few things fell through the cracks, admittedly, on the Island of Relevancy. One of which is the Tribal Chief and I, in front of the entire world, want to congratulate you on winning the 2023 WWE Men’s Royal Rumble match.” Cody and Heyman shake hands and Heyman says Cody earned it and that he’s very proud of Cody. Fans cheer that, and chant, “You Deserve It!”

Cody knows that his father had a nickname for Heyman, his brother had a nickname for Heyman. But if you’ll indulge Cody, Cody will go with “Mr. Heyman.” It is because Cody has “unparalleled respect” for Heyman and Heyman knows why. But if they’re going to pull back the curtain here, might as well pull it back for everyone here in the crowd and watching at home. This is a story that should’ve been told a long time ago. The year was 2000. The till in Cody’s family dried up a bit, and Hard Times was more than a famous promo. “Simply put, my family went broke.” $100 in a checking account for all of them.

To put a visual on it, Cody’s dad was doing local car commercials and not for money. Just so he could keep a car. Fans chant for Dusty now and Heyman gets emotional. “But then he got a phone call,” Cody continues. Heyman called Dusty. Heyman told Dusty that ECW as in town, that Steve Corino was gonna talk some smack, and that if Dusty would just agree to appear on camera, that if Dusty would be on ECW TV, Heyman “would pay him and pay him well.” Fans again chant for “E C DUB!” Cody says Heyman kept his word. In addition to the money that the Rhodes family sorely needed, ECW gave Dusty his confidence back, and Cody can never repay Heyman for that.

Flash forward a bit, and they might talk about it, but before coming back here, Cody was somewhere else, “causing a little bit of trouble.” From one disruptor in sports entertainment to another, Heyman showed Cody the way, so thank you again. Fans applaud that, and Heyman again gets emotional. Fans chant, “Thank You, Paul! Thank You, Paul!” Heyman says Cody is good. Cody really got Heyman there. Heyman was here to schmooze business with him, and Cody got him personally. Heyman sighs, fans cheer, and if we’re peeling back and shooting from the hip, let’s go all the way.

Heyman says this isn’t about him, and with all due respect and love and admiration and even acknowledgement, this isn’t about Dusty. This is about Cody, about everything Cody has fought for from the bottom to the top, out the door, back in, to winning the Rumble to main-eventing WrestleMania! “And winning WrestleMania is a whole different story. Just getting there is a long, long road.” And that’s Cody’s story. That’s Cody’s story that he needs to finish to find out if this is a dream come true, or if he must “suffer the nightmare of coming just this close.”

Because Cody isn’t just main-eventing WrestleMania, he’s trying to “take away from the greatest box office attraction and greatest champion of all time, Roman… Reigns.” Fans boo but Heyman says that’s no easy task for any mere mortal, let alone someone that has no idea what it’s like under that spotlight. Will Cody crumble and wither? Will he self-destruct under that pressure because no one ever prepared him for it? Heyman says down the road is the WWE Performance Center. At that very place, Cody’s father, the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes, trained and prepped the biggest stars of this generation.

Cody’s father, Dusty, trained and prepped Seth Rollins, trained and prepped Becky Lynch, trained and prepped Bayley, trained and prepped Kevin Owens, trained and prepped for the highest level of success, the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. But do you know who Dusty didn’t train and prep? Dusty did not train nor prepare Cody. Cody tries to smile through that but Heyman says he could counsel Cody that maybe, just maybe, Dusty wanted Cody to make it on his own. That’s how much love Dusty had for him. That Dusty wanted Cody to step out of the shadow of a national monument such as the American Dream himself.

Perhaps Dusty didn’t want Cody going through life as “Dusty’s son,” but as Cody Rhodes, “WrestleMania Main Eventer Who Stopped the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.” Maybe. But Cody, Heyman can’t convey in words how much he loved Dusty. But he can say to Cody’s face that Dusty loved Cody. To share this personally, in Heyman’s last conversation with Dusty, Dusty told Heyman… “You, Cody, were his favorite son.” Cody and the fans aren’t sure what to make of that, but then Heyman adds, “But Roman Reigns was the son he always wanted.” Heyman drops the mic and fans cannot believe he just said that!

Cody rushes up on Heyman but Heyman backs away. Fans want Cody to go after Heyman but Heyman wants him to reconsider. Cody offers a handshake, then makes Heyman take it. “I’m just trying to win a wrestling championship, and everybody, everybody, wants to make it personal. And that’s what you just did, and you’re not gonna pay for it, Mr. Heyman. Your boy, Roman Reigns, is going to pay for it. At WrestleMania, when I take those titles, personally.” Cody pushes the mic into Heyman then heads out. Will Cody ironically be hoping Roman beats Sami Zayn at Elimination Chamber so he can be the one to tear the Tribal Chief down?

 

Elimination Chamber Match Qualifier: Elias VS Montez Ford!

There is just ONE spot left in the United States Championship match, and it comes down to The Drifter and the flyest high flyer WWE has seen in a long time! Will all of Montreal #WalkWithElias? Or will this Profit be up, looking for gold?

Raw returns and Elias makes his entrance while Austin Theory is on commentary. The bell rings and Elias circles with Ford. They tie up, and they are in a deadlock. They go around, Ford puts Elias in a corner but Elias turns it around. The ref counts, both men let off, and they reset. Ford and Elias tie up again, Elias headlocks and he grinds Ford down. Ford powers up but Elias holds tight. Ford tries again, but Elias still holds tight. Theory isn’t concerned about Elias’ level of aggression, because the person with aggression is him. Ford powers up and out, but Elias runs him over! Cover, TWO!

Elias stands Ford up but Ford rolls Elias up, TWO! Ford cradles, TWO! Elias headlocks again and he hits a takeover. Ford keeps his shoulder up, moves around, and fans rally. Theory likes Ford’s athleticism, and the move on his regimen, but he’s intrigued to face Elias since they’ve never met in a match. Ford fights up, powers out, and things speed up. Ford hurdles then runs Elias over! Ford DROPKICKS Elisa, and then Ford snarls as he whips. Elias reverses but Ford KICKS back! Ford runs in, but into a FLAPJACK HOTSHOT! Ford sputters to a corner and Elias storms up to CHOP, UPPERCUT and repeat!

Elias fires off, the ref counts, and Elias lets off. Elias then stomps Ford again, CHOPS him, and whips to back drop Ford! Ford bails out, Elias pursues, and Elias RAMS Ford into barriers! Elias then brings Ford up to STEEL STEPS BACK SUPLEX! Elias roars and fans are torn as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Elias has Ford in a motorcycle stretch. Ford endures, turns, but Elias drags him up into a waistlock. BACKBREAKER! Elias then goes to a corner and climbs up top, but Ford hops up after him! Ford fires haymakers, Elias throws body shots, and Elias CLUBS Ford down. Elias SUNSET FLIPS, but Ford holds onto the ropes! Fans fire up as Ford fights his way back up, and he ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias turns things into an Electric Chair Lift! SPINNING POWERBOMB! Cover, TWO! Theory says he thought that would end it, though he sounds a bit sarcastic.

Ford crawls to the apron and Elias storms over. Ford GAMANGIRIS Elias, ducks a haymaker, then bumps Elias off buckles to GAMANGIRI again! Ford goes back up, CROSSBODIES, and says “SUCK IT!” Ford rallies with clotheslines, then runs to LEAPING LARIAT! Elias staggers, Ford pumps up and hits a BIG back suplex! Kip up but Ford’s back tightens up. Ford powers through to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Theory likes that Elias is still in this, but Ford brings Elias up. Elias CHOPS! ford ROCKS Elias with a right! Elias ROCKS Ford, but Ford ENZIGURIS! Ford runs, into the SYMPHO-KNEE!

Elias fireman’s carries for a DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Ford survives and Elias grows frustrated. Theory doesn’t worry about the match, and goes on to talk trash on the other entrants. Theory thinks Johnny Gargano will be a stay-at-home dad, Bronson Reed probably can’t fit in a pod, but then gets mad at Kevin Patrick for bringing up the loss to Bronson back in their NXT days. Elias meanwhile RAMS Ford into a corner, RAMS him again, and again, and again! Elias backs off, runs in again, but Ford puts him on the apron! Elias shoulders in, slingshots, but into a HAYMAKER!

Elias flounders away, Ford goes corner to corner to FLY!! Direct hit and down goes Elias! Ford puts Elias in the ring and fans fire up! Ford goes up top, and leaps in FROM THE HEAVENS!! Cover, Ford wins!

Winner: Montez Ford, by pinfall (advances to the United States Championship Elimination Chamber match)

Ford takes the last spot, but Theory stands on the desk to hold up the title. Will Theory still have that title after the Elimination Chamber? Wait! SETH ROLLINS CLIPS THEROY! Theory hits the desk and Rollins laughs! Fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” before the CURB STOMP to the floor! The Now didn’t see The Visionary coming, will nothing and no one stop Rollins from winning in the Chamber?

 

Bayley talks with Damage CTRL backstage.

Dakota Kai is in crutches given what Becky Lynch did to her last week, but Bayley isn’t worry. She tells Kai & Sky the plan and prepares for the main event, which is up next!

 

Steel Cage: Bayley w/ Damage CTRL VS Becky Lynch!

The Role Model used Damage CTRL to take control away from The Man and deny us all this match on the Raw 30th Anniversary episode. But now, there’s no running from this, there’s no hiding from this, and there’s no getting around this! Will Bayley survive Becky’s Big Time wrath? Or will Becky leave Bayley behind just like when they were in NXT?

The bell rings, fans fire up, but Bayley smirks. Fans rally for Becky as she and Bayley circle. They feel things out, Bayley ROCKS Becky then climbs the wall! Becky yanks her down, she won’t let Bayley just run away like a coward. They talk trash, Bayley says Becky doesn’t tell her what to do or when to do it. Bayley shoves Becky, so Becky ROCKS Bayley! They go back and forth, Becky gets the edge, but Bayley kicks a leg out! Becky trips Bayley! Becky says she was going for the door, but that’s not how this is going down. Becky whips but Bayley turns it around, only for Becky to stop from hitting the steel.

Becky hits Bayley back, but Bayley also blocks hitting steel. Bayley elbows Becky away but Becky goes for an arm! Bayley and Becky go around, but Bayley throws Becky into the steel! Kai & Sky like what they see as Bayley sends Becky into more steel! Bayley stomps away on Becky, then digs her boots in! She also digs Becky into the frame of the cage! Fans boo but Bayley covers, ONE!! Becky is hanging tough, so Bayley decides to climb. Becky hurries over and dropkicks the cage to shake Bayley loose! Bayley falls to the mat, then Becky drags her up to RAM her into the steel! Becky drags Bayley up again to RAM her into more steel!

Becky runs to basement dropkick Bayley into the steel! And again! Becky stomps away on Bayley now, then pushes her face into the steel! “You think you can talk about my husband?! You think you can talk about my husband now, Bayley?!” Becky lets off, then drags Bayley up. Fans rally and Becky throws Bayley into more steel! Bayley drags herself out while Becky climbs the cage. Bayley hurries to anchor Becky, but Becky kicks her away. Bayley climbs up after Becky, but Becky kicks her again. Bayley anchors a foot, but Becky dribbles Bayley’s face off steel! Becky then adjusts, brings Bayley around, but Bayley RAMS Becky into steel!

Bayley dribbles Becky now, throws her off the ropes, then adjusts to MACHO ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Kai & Sky coach Bayley on as she has control, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns just as Becky kicks out of a cover! And she wants the arm! Bayley hurries to push Becky away, but Becky hits a FLYING FOREARM! Both women are down and Orlando fires up! Kai & Sky coaches Bayley as she and Becky both stand. The forearms go back and forth again! Fans rally behind Becky as she gets the edge, uppercuts and SOBATS! Becky runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and JUMP KICKS Bayley down! Becky whips Bayley to a corner, but Bayley uses that to get up the wall! Becky grabs Bayley’s legs to SLAM them against the steel! And again! Bayley holds on with her hands but Becky RAMS her into the steel again and again! SUPER JUMP KICK!

Bayley ends up slumped on the ropes, for Becky’s SUPER GUILLOTINE LEG DROP!! Cover, TWO!! Fans rally and Becky fires up. Kai & Sky plead with Bayley as she gets up, but Becky clinches. Bayley slips out of the slam to SAIDO! Cover, TWO!! Becky is still in this and fans fire up again! Bayley drags herself to ropes, climbs the cage, but Becky rises! Becky drags Bayley back down, has her draped on the ropes and TOSSES her into the steel! Becky runs, to drop a leg, brother! But Bayley turns it into a HEEL HOOK!! Becky flails, reaches out, and crawls her way to the door! Becky grabs the frame but Bayley drags her away!

Bayley stands Becky up but Becky rolls to send Bayley into buckles! Roll-up, TWO!! Back to the HEEL HOOK! Becky still crawls, they roll to ropes, and Becky SMACKS Bayley off steel! And again! And again! Bayley is dazed but Becky hobbles back up. Becky climbs a corner but Bayley anchors her foot. Becky kicks her away, but Bayley tries again. Becky kicks Bayley again, but Bayley hurries up after her! They brawl, Becky shoves Bayley away! Becky is on the top rope but Bayley CLUBS her! Bayley clubs after and they braw on the top rope! Bayley RAMS Becky into the steel, SUPER BAYLEY2BELLY!! Cover, TWO!?!

Kai & Sky can’t believe it, and neither can Orlando! Bayley stalks Becky, but then decides to climb the wall! Bayley reaches the top! Becky hurries up after Bayley, catches up to Bayley, and they brawl up top now! Fans rally as the haymakers go back and forth! Bayley SMACKS Becky off the top! But Becky grabs an arm! Becky uses that to drag herself back up, DISARM-HER ON TOP OF THE CAGE!!! Bayley slips free, gets caught up on the ropes, and flops to the mat! But Becky just adjusts, only for Sky to climb up after her! The Evil Genius brawls with Becky, and then she kicks Becky down into the ring! Kai sneaks a crutch to Bayley!

Bayley JAMS Becky with the crutch! But wait, is that LITA?!? The living legend is here and she goes up after Sky! Lita YANKS Sky right off the cage! Lita storms up on Kai and uses her other crutch to YANK her into steel steps! Lita JAMS Sky, reels her in, TWIST OF FATE to the floor!! Bayley is flabbergasted, but she hurries for the door! Fans are losing their minds as Lita SLAMS the door shut! Bayley staggers into a MANHANDLE SLAM!!! Cover, Becky wins!!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall

Becky had Big Time back-up, was this the ace in the hole she talked about? Did Lita help Becky put behind her Damage CTRL once and for all?


My Thoughts:

A great Raw, and full to the brim at that. Great opening segment with Edge, Beth and Judgment Day. I am glad they’re giving us that Mixed Tag for Elimination Chamber, but I was hoping they would make it Edge & Beth VS Rhea & Dom. But at the same time, if Dom was involved, it’d be obvious Dom would take the loss just so The Grit Couple can win without really hurting Rhea’s momentum. With Finn in that match instead, it could go either way. Rhea could beat Beth to win it while we see Edge and Finn set up a 1v1 rematch for WrestleMania. That’s two birds, one stone, so perhaps WWE will go with that.

I also like that they used the brawl that broke out to bring in the Profits. Dom taking the Glam Slam was beloved by all, and of course we go right into Dawkins VS Priest. Priest winning makes sense, he really is the workhorse Edge said he is, Priest will have a great showing in the Elimination Chamber. Elias VS Ford was great stuff, even with Theory on commentary. Theory wasn’t bad, but what does he really add talking himself up? At the same time, it was great for Rollins to drive-by Theory to get himself some momentum while not in the ring. And as I’d hoped, Ford is in the Chamber now, so get ready for a From the Heavens off a pod.

Corbin VS Lumis being a comparative squash was a bit of a surprise, but it leading to JBL dumping Corbin was also quite surprising. At the same time, something had to give. The WWE never books Corbin strong forever, which is why Corbin has been through more changes to his character these last few years than anyone else. I’m not sure what’ll get Corbin to the next level, if WWE even cares to do that. I still think they skipped through the Bum Ass Corbin stuff too soon, but that’s on Vince. Maybe Corbin will start trying to earn JBL’s respect like he needs it as validation for who he is.

And because HHH’s team is really clever, they gave us another “Easter egg” in a promo, with MVP talking with Cedric & Shelton before their match. Their match against Alpha Academy was pretty good, though it seemed clunky at the start. Commentary touched on it, I think Shelton was just not quite ready for how big and strong Otis was gonna run in there. But Shelton & Cedric win because clearly, the Hurt Business is on its way back. Lesnar and Lashley had a good promo together, and I’m a little surprised we’re getting that match at the Chamber. Maybe there will be something crazy that happens, compelling a WrestleMania match. Plus, from Lashley’s promo, he’s counting their Rumble match confrontation as part of the record, so the Chamber match would be round 4, making Mania round 5 and a tiebreaker of sorts.

Good backstage promos with Adam Pearce. Miz putting his foot in his mouth and ending up in a rematch with Boogs was good stuff. Officially signing MMM to Raw was a nice detail to help give us a reason we’re even watching Pearce, which sets up Chelsea “Karen Joke Punchline” Green complaining to him and getting a match. And seeing as how Chelsea avoided bringing Asuka up, it was perfect that she had to fight Asuka. It was a logical surprise to have the other women in the Elimination Chamber match show up, though I feel like Chelsea could’ve been faster about talking trash. Asuka wins, of course, and Bianca had a great promo calling out all the contenders.

Speaking of, the Fatal 4 was great stuff, and I suppose Mella winning is a good choice. She’s returning, she’s got momentum just on that, but she’ll surely be used to build up Asuka in that match. Mella had that segment with Asuka last week, Asuka will definitely mist and eliminate Mella. Asuka is definitely a frontrunner to win the Chamber, and this return to Kana in presentation has to mean Asuka’s going to WrestleMania. Piper threatening Candice and Mia was good stuff. Piper might get a partner to take them on at some point, but we can get some great 1v1 matches out of Piper VS Candice and Piper VS Mia.

Cody’s promo segment with Heyman was so good. I just knew Heyman was setting up that insult on Cody about Dusty wanting someone like Roman as a son, and it was still powerful. And while Sami Zayn is great, it of course gave the idea that WrestleMania’s main event will stay Roman VS Cody. Then we got a great main event in the Steel Cage match. Granted, it was the usual Steel Cage formula: throw each other into steel; keep each other from climbing up and out multiple times; Heel still has minions interfere. But I did like that Lita showed up to help Becky in a callback to their Crown Jewel match. Lita helping Becky win was good stuff cuz it was DMG CTRL facing karma, and fans got to see the legendary Lita celebrate with the iconic Becky. Hell, maybe we get some kind of tag match now so Lita can return to WrestleMania.

My Score: 8.7/10


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