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Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Report! (12/12/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE Network streaming service

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Cedric Alexander VS Ariya Daivari w/ Drew Gulak; Alexander wins.
  • Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick; Kalisto wins.
  • Enzo Amore w/ The ‘Zo Train VS Tony Nese; Nese wins, by disqualification.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Cruiserweight Championship Contender Series was given a “Second Chance” on Raw.

The Outlandish One lost his right to compete for the #1 Contender spot, but that gave four other members of the Cruiserweight Division another shot. Drew Gulak was confident that it wouldn’t matter who won the Fatal 4 Way, he would defeat them to then move on and defeat the champion, Enzo Amore! The Certified G didn’t take kindly to that assumption, but Gulak was still confident even as Cedric Alexander won that “second chance”. Can the Carolina Kid shatter that confidence and finally derail The ‘Zo Train once and for all?

 

Cedric Alexander VS Ariya Daivari w/ Drew Gulak!

“Gabba Gulak” faces Alexander on Monday to determine the new #1 Contender, but tonight he supports his ‘Zo Train comrade in “Daivari Dinero”, can they slow Alexander down just 24 hours after his major victory?

But first, Gulak speaks to the crowd. Since day one, it has been Gulak’s dream to create a #Better205Live. He takes one step closer when he defeats Alexander for the right to challenge his “mentor”, Enzo Amore, for that Cruiserweight Championship. Alexander won a “second chance” but his luck just ran out going up 1v1 with Ariya Daivari. Daivari is not in a holiday spirit after “Cedric the Grinch” stole that victory from him. Daivari will pound Alexander into the dirt! Please, no chanting! Gulak informs us that fellow ‘Zo Train member, Noam Dar, suffered a knee injury, and will need surgery. As a thoughtful gesture to their fallen friend, Gulak has a 93 point plan for a speedy recovery via hiiiiiiiiiis… POWERPOINT, PRESENTATION! Which is again interrupted by an entrance.

Cedric grins, he knows exactly what he is doing. He enters the ring and the match finally begins.

Alexander and Daivari circle, tie up, and Daivari powers Alexander to the ropes. He shoves Alexander and trash talks in Farsi, Alexander brushes it off. Fans chant, Gulak scolds them, the two circle and tie up again. Daivari gets Alexander’s arm, and wrenches with a wristlock while Gulak resorts to using his megaphone to quiet the fans. Alexander rolls and spins to trip up Daivari onto that sore back, fans duel with “Let’s go, Cedric!” “Power Point!” as Alexander speeds things up. He hits the handspring headscissors and dropkick, Daivari’s bad back bothers him again, cover, ONE. Gulak reprimands Alexander for flipping, another violation of #Drewtopia law. Alexander ignores him, bringing Daivari up for an arm wringer and wristlock. Gulak coaches Daivari as Alexander puts on an armlock, fans keep dueling with chants. Daivari gets up, pulls on Alexander’s hair, the ref breaks them up. Alexander ducks the sucker punch to give a chop, then another. Daivari kicks back and puts Alexander in a corner, but misses his chop, Alexander gives him another chop back. Alexander trash talks Gulak but runs in to be put on the apron. Alexander springboards, Daivari gets out of the ring, so Alexander speeds up, only for Gulak to get on the apron and in Alexander’s face.

Gulak orders Alexander to stop using the top rope, Alexander just lets him talk. But that gives Daivari an opening, he grabs Alexander to throw him right into buckles! Alexander hits face first, Gulak says that’s what he gets for being on the top rope. Daivari stomps away on Alexander now, the ref backs him off. Daivari grinds a knee into Alexander’s head now, then backs off again. He brings Alexander up for chops, “How do you like it?” Alexander is tossed out of the ring, the ref keeps Daivari from pursuing, so Gulak takes advantage by running Alexander over with a lariat!

The referee doesn’t see it at all, Daivari slips out to fetch Alexander, and even does the ‘Zo Train secret handshake with Gulak. Things return to the ring, cover, TWO. Daivari puts Alexander in a chinlock, fans rally and Alexander feeds off the energy. Alexander gets up, fights out with body shots, then forearms, he whips but is reversed, Daivari gives him a bulldog, TWO! Daivari goes right back to the chinlock to keep Alexander grounded, fans rally again. Alexander gets up, more body shots then a jawbreaker breaks him free. Alexander gives Daivari an uppercut, then dropkicks out a leg to send Daivari into a buckle. From the apron, Alexander gives Daivari a kick to the head!

Gulak frowns, but Alexander grins as he turns around, springboard lariat!

Cover, TWO! Alexander is getting a little frustrated but he isn’t done just yet. He fires up the fans, looks for the finish, but Daivari resists. Alexander throws a stiff right elbow to stun Daivari, but Daivari still counters the Lumbar Check into a headlock takeover pin, TWO! Daivari kicks, Alexander blocks then counters with the back elbow, handspring is caught into the spinebuster! Daivari powers through a bad back to go top rope, but Gulak disapproves. Gulak says to get down, Daivari doesn’t listen, Persian Lion Splash!

Direct hit, cover, TWO! Daivari is frustrated, Gulak is upset, but Alexander is still stirring. Daivari prepares his finish, but Alexander ducks the lariat to roll-up, TWO, handspring for the Neuralizer! Alexander brings Daivari up, Lumbar Check!

Alexander wins! He stares down Gulak as his hand is raised. Will Alexander become THE #1 Contender to the Cruiserweight Championship?

 

205 Live takes a look at the situations developing within the Cruiserweight Division.

Gulak feels he will not only defeat Alexander to become #1 Contender, he also feels he will defeat current Cruiserweight Champion, Enzo Amore, to become the new champion! Enzo keeps it real with Gulak by saying those PowerPoint presentations can be described by one word, and he was going to spell it out, but Gulak didn’t get the hint. At the same time, Nia Jax appeared. How You Doin’? Nia replied by saying she was doing fine, and was glad to see Enzo. She wants to talk with Enzo about something, but couldn’t speak in front of Gulak. What does the Brutal Beauty want from the Certified G?

 

The ‘Zo Train regroups backstage.

Daivari apologizes for the loss, his back is hurting. Gulak says that is all the more reason why he lost: Daivari went for a top rope move with an injury. “Well what do we got over here?” Enzo Amore has returned to 205 Live!

Enzo didn’t call a team meeting. Gulak says he was giving Daivari pointers. Who gave Gulak permission to give pointers? Enzo has an idea for Daivari: start bringing more to the table! Gulak reasons with Enzo, a lot has been going on, Nia Jax has been a distraction, but Gulak has been thinking on what Enzo said. Gulak knows it was wrong to joke about winning. Enzo sees “a foggy mind with a clear thought” for once. Gulak knows he’s meant to be behind Enzo, but it isn’t impossible for Gulak to win against Enzo and become champion. Gulak imagines that, but Enzo gets upset. Enzo says Gulak isn’t even worthy of holding his microphone, let alone hold the title. Tony Nese speaks up, saying Enzo shouldn’t talk to Gulak like that when Gulak is just trying to help. Enzo is surprised that “Tony Abs” has guts! Team PowerPoint, trying to undermine Enzo? No? Good, because that would be stupid considering they’re on the ‘Zo Train, which Enzo built with his own fists. Enzo rebuilt 205 Live, they sit at his table and enjoy the fruits of his labor. How ungrateful! Enzo takes a moment to calm down.

Enzo knows that sometimes you need to look in the mirror, recognize your faults, and work on yourself to be the best you. He needs to take a step back to be the best leader possible, and he will lead by example. Therefore, tonight, be ringside for Enzo’s match against Tony. What? Enzo VS Tony? Now who’s joking?

 

Kalisto VS Jack Gallagher w/ THE Brian Kendrick!

 

The Ungentlemanly Alliance beat down the Lucha Dragon, then talked trash while he was away, but now he’s back for revenge! Can the former Cruiserweight Champion get a 1v1 victory against the “cruel winter”?

The Man with a Plan speaks, saying that “over one year ago”, Kendrick’s own Cruiserweight Championship was taken from him. He worked tirelessly towards being champion in the WWE, but that dream was taken with it. Kendrick has yet to be granted an opportunity to win the title back, but all Kalisto had to do was show up in 205 Live to be “gifted opportunity after opportunity after opportunity”! What does Kalisto do with those opportunities? Squander them. Gallagher speaks, saying they gave Kalisto an easy way out: stay away. Kalisto is like the “lazy sods at ringside”, so he should do the smart thing and stay in the locker room. Otherwise, the “little Lucha Dragon” will only springboard into a spider’s web. Kalisto chooses… to appear!

Kalisto upset Gallagher & Kendrick, but his fighting spirit won’t allow him to run and hide, this match will happen.

Gallagher and Kalisto circle, tie up, Gallagher gets the headlock and takeover. Kendrick watches closely as Kalisto gets back on his feet, Gallagher wrenches the arm and puts on a wristlock. Gallagher brings Kalisto down to the mat, cover, ONE. Kalisto resists further attempts, but Gallagher goes to put his weight on Kalisto, Kalisto uses that to monkey flip Gallagher. Gallagher maintains the double wristlock, Kalisto rolls back but now Gallagher monkey flips Kalisto. Kalisto lands on hsi feet, standing switch to tilt-o-whirl headscissors. Gallagher gets in a corner and puts Kalisto on the apron. Kalisto knocks him away to climb up top, high-flying arm-drag throws Gallagher! Gallagher gets out of the ring, Kalisto starts the “Lucha! Lucha!” chants, but Gallagher gets out of the way as Kalisto tumbles over the top rope. Gallagher joins Kalisto on the apron, Kalisto rocks him with a roundhouse. Kalisto runs on the apron, Kendrick saves Gallagher but takes that Penalty Kick himself!

Kalisto looks for Gallagher and spots him crawling around the other corner. He runs at Gallagher again but his kick is blocked, Gallagher slings that leg into the post! Kalisto falls to the floor, writhing as he clutches that leg. Gallagher leaves Kalisto out there, letting the ring count climb past 7. Kalisto hops on one leg and barely makes it back in the ring. Gallagher grabs that leg, and puts Kalisto in half-surfboard to stomp his knees.

The referee checks on Kalisto, Kalisto refuses to quit, so Gallagher rains down right hands. Gallagher stalks Kalisto to ropes, brings him up, and knees him down when Kalisto fights back. Gallagher puts Kalisto in a Tree of Woe, climbs up and wrenches on the bad leg before yanking it down!

Kalisto drops out of the Tree, Gallagher covers, TWO. Gallagher goes back to the bad leg, but Kalisto uses the good leg to kick Gallagher away. Kalisto limps but is caught again, dragon screw twists that knee again. Gallagher tortures that bad leg with a deep toe-and-ankle wrench. Kalisto endures, Kendrick smiles, but Kalisto kicks Gallagher away again. Kalisto can only crawl as Gallagher kicks him down. Gallagher mocks the “Lucha” chant, then scrapes his shoes on Kalisto’s face. Gallagher wrenches Kalisto’s leg on the ropes, even as Kalisto fights back. The referee backs Gallagher off momentarily, Kalisto tires but fails to stop Gallagher from going after that leg again. Gallagher wants Kalisto to quit, but Kalisto won’t, so Gallagher lifts Kalisto in a modified Stretch Muffler meets Horse Collar.

Kalisto endures the bend and stretch caused by gravity, fans rally and Kalisto pulls himself up. Sunset flip to the Listo Kick! Kalisto gets to ropes, then dodges Gallagher to send him outside. Gallagher lands on his feet, and walks off his frustration, but Kalisto can only limp as Gallagher returns. Gallagher grabs Kalisto’s bad leg again, Kalisto rolls to send Gallagher into buckles! Kalisto and Gallagher are both down, but Kalisto manages a boot from the mat. Kalisto uses his one good leg to hop up and hit a quebrada from the corner!

TWO! Kalisto and Gallagher both down, but Kalisto uses that to his advantage for another rolling Listo Kick! Kalisto manages to run and hit a spike-rana! Kendrick coaches Gallagher to get up, Kalisto covers, TWO! Gallagher grabs Kalisto’s mask at the eyes to dig in fingers before giving a stiff headbutt! Gallagher staggers over to Kalisto, Kalisto springs up and gets him in a huricanrana pin! Kalisto wins!

Kendrick stops Kalisto from enjoying his moment by clobbering that bad leg with a chop block! The Ungentlemanly Alliance circles like vultures, ready to pick the bones of the wounded Kalisto. But Gran Metalik comes to the rescue!

The King of the Ropes shoulders and kicks Gallagher and Kendrick away in turn, then springboards for a 2-for-1 missile dropkick!

Metalik handsprings to arm-drag Kendrick out of the ring, SUPERKICKS Gallagher, and feeds him to Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol!

Kendrick & Gallagher are down as Metalik & Kalisto stand tall. Has the Ungentlemanly Alliance’s “cruel winter” just run into a sudden Lucha heatwave?

 

Drew Gulak finds Enzo Amore backstage.

Enzo asks Gulak “why the long face?” Gulak realizes things got heated, but he wants to call of the match and talk things out. Enzo is surprised, why is Gulak worried? Things are okay in the ‘Zo Train. Then why does he have to fight Tony? Fight? Who said this was a fight? Enzo is the best Cruiserweight in the world, like this generation’s Dean Malenko. Enzo promises he’s just going to show Tony some holds, put on a “technical spectacle” and give fans what they want. This is the ‘Zo Train. Look at this way: it’ll be a good learning experience for everyone. Gulak still looks worried about that. What is Enzo really planning for the Premier Athlete?

 

The Cruiserweight Division’s newest addition is Hideo Itami.

The fierce striker from Japan finally moves up from NXT, and he is coming to 205 Live. Who will be the first man forced to show Itami respect?

 

Enzo Amore w/ The ‘Zo Train VS Tony Nese!

The Cruiserweight Champion does not like his authority being questioned, least of all from those within his own group. Nese looks dejected, unsure as to why Enzo wants to have this match with him. He doesn’t even count his abs upon entering! The Certified G and Bonafide Stud recites his entrance as usual, “How You Doin’?” echoes out in Cincinnati. The ‘Zo Train is doing well, especially after hearing about the first ever WWE Cruiserweight Tour happening in 2018. The Realest Champ and his unit are an “unbreakable unit”. Therefore, anyone who thinks otherwise, there’s only one word to describe you, Enzo spells it out for you, S A W F T!

Gulak and Nese seem unsure, but the bell rings. Nese tries to reason with Enzo as Enzo takes off his extra gear. Enzo warms up with a roll, then asks if Nese wants to wrestle. Do the fans want to see a “technical spectacle?” Fans have a mixed reaction. Enzo asks if Nese wants to be in the ring with him. Enzo shows off his fast feet, and wonders if Nese even saw his shoes. He even offers Nese a free leg!

Nese is in the ring with the best (Cruiserweight) in the world, so give it a try. Instead, Nese asks Daivari what’s going on but Enzo says there’s no point in that. Nese wants to talk behind Enzo’s back, is that it? Enzo let Nese do what he does, because Nese can’t face first place. Fans chant for Nese to “Beat him up!” Nese asks Gulak for help on this, Enzo slaps Nese! “What are you thinking, huh?” Enzo trash talks Nese. “There ain’t no Uber to the top! If you want to get to the top, you ride The ‘Zo Train!” Nese contains his rage, Enzo says to think twice before doing something. The fans keep chanting to “Beat him up!” Enzo says that Nese is smarter than this, but Nese keeps stepping closer and closer to Enzo. Enzo takes steps back, he gets cornered. Daivari attacks Nese from behind!?

The match ends but the “lesson” doesn’t! Enzo “checks” on Nese as he and Daivari stomp Certified Mudholes into him. Gulak is confused, what is happening before his very eyes?

Enzo tells Nese to remember his place! He and Daivari stomp away more and more, Gulak is frozen in place. Fans boo and jeer, Daivari drags Nese to the center of the ring. Enzo asks Nese, “Do you know who I am?! I’m the best damn Cruiserweight in the world!” Enzo is the Conductor of the ‘Zo Train! Nese needs to know his place. Fans boo and referees tell Enzo to stop. Enzo acknowledges their disapproval, but he still puts his foot up against Nese’s head. Enzo notices Gulak is still outside the ring.

Gulak asks “What?” Enzo lets go of Nese and walks over to Gulak, telling him to “get in and prove your worth.” Gulak asks “Why?” Why? Because they’re The ‘Zo Train! Is Gulak on The ‘Zo Train or not? Gulak paces, conflicted on what to do. Enzo waits, Gulak gets on the apron. Good boy, Gulak. Enzo tells him to “use your head”, but Gulak is still conflicted. Gulak says this isn’t right, Nese doesn’t deserve this. Enzo asks what Gulak is going to do about it, then. Is Gulak gonna “pony up”? Is Gulak gonna man up? Gulak paces, still conflicted, Enzo dares him to do something. Fans also shout for Gulak to choose a side, but Enzo says not to listen to them. The referees insist things stop, but Enzo ignores them. Gulak and Enzo stare down, Gulak asks “You wanna get hard?”

He kicks Nese in the head!?

And Enzo says the kick is good.

Gulak betrays his Team PowerPoint pal, Daivari says he did what he had to. Enzo says he’s better than everyone, but doesn’t think Nese is alright. Make sure he’s “alright”. Gulak does, by punching and stomping Nese more. Enzo applauds, he has Daivari fetch his things. Gulak stomps a mudhole into Nese, Enzo cheers him on, but fans disapprove. Enzo asks if Nese is gonna run his mouth again. Daivari picks Nese up, and Enzo says things are alright. Enzo “shows mercy” by giving Nese a Jor-DONE-Zo.

The Certified G made an example of the Premier Athlete, Gulak and Daivari have fallen in line. Will Gulak do what Enzo wants him to by defeating Cedric Alexander this Monday? Or will the ‘Zo Train run itself into the ground?

 

My Thoughts:

This episode was really close to being something great, but perhaps timing was what limited its quality. The side story of the Division is still going strong, as Kalisto does great in toughing it out against Jack Gallagher. Naturally, Kendrick attacks Kalisto afterward to emphasize how the Ungentle Men are sore losers, but then just as logically, Gran Metalik rescues his fellow luchador. I really look forward to the tag team match between these four, it’ll be even more acrobatic than the Kendrick-Gallagher VS Swann-Alexander match, and I hope they add a stipulation to allow there to be even more aggression. Those two qualities combined should get great attention for the Cruiserweight Division.

The Cruiserweight Championship story was both the strongest yet weakest point of tonight. It built up strong with Gulak supporting Daivari in a losing effort to Alexander to give the True Face of the Division momentum towards the #1 Contender’s match next Monday. However, the real focus of the story was The ‘Zo Train, where Enzo makes his 205 Live return to see what has become of his stable while he was away. The tension between leader and followers is great, and even Nese felt on the brink of a Face Turn. And that is where the problem lies. Everyone played their roles perfectly to build that tension between Gulak and Enzo, and fans were practically begging Gulak turn on Enzo. Unfortunately, with the Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender match still to happen on Raw, Gulak couldn’t turn Face just yet, or else that would make for a Face VS Face match and WWE dislikes doing those. Gulak instead breaks and betrays his good pal so he can stay in Enzo’s good graces. He can still turn Face after defeating Alexander, but in the moment, it was a disappointment as fans turned on Gulak by chanting “This is Boring!” That chant is inaccurate, there was a lot of complexity going on, but “This is Disappointing” is too much to chant.

My Score: 7.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (6/24/24)

Who is in control?

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Who moves on to Money in the Bank?

After last Monday Night Raw’s wild ending, everyone just wants to move forward. But will the Wyatt Sick6 cast their shadow on the MITB qualifiers?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bron Breakker VS Ludwig Kaiser; Kaiser wins, by disqualification.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Lyra Valkyria VS Kairi Sane VS Shayna Baszler; Lyra wins and advances to MITB Toronto.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Chad Gable VS Braun Strowman VS Bronson Reed; Gable wins and advances to MITB Toronto.
  • Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; Alba & Isla win.
  • Karrion Kross VS Kofi Kingston; Kross wins.
  • WWE World Tag Team Championships: The Awesome Truth VS Finn Balor & JD McDonagh; Finn & JD win and become the new WWE World Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

The Miz is on commentary!

Pat McAfee is taking tonight off for some obvious reasons, between last Monday night and how that bled over into the Pat McAfee Show.

 

Drew McIntyre is here?!

We know from Friday Night SmackDown that The Scottish Terminator did NOT quit, he just hunted CM Punk down in Chicago to beat him down! And now he’s here in Indiana, with fans chanting “C M PUNK!” at him. McIntyre says people were talking about how he quit last Monday, but they’re not talking about that anymore, are they? They’re talking about Friday! It was so good, McIntyre wants to see it again. Footage replays as McIntyre hauls a bloodied and half conscious Punk from backstage to the stage, just to drop him down in front of the Chicago fans. The fans here boo that but McIntyre smiles.

McIntyre says he prayed for this, and “The Big Man” made it happen, because he is the big man! And everyone chanting Punk’s name for months now? He’s done with you! When you chant his name, it is just in memory of him now. You’ve watched what Punk has done to McIntyre. He screwed McIntyre over in Scotland, in front of McIntyre’s friends, family, countrymen, and his WIFE! McIntyre promised his wife the world title and Punk stopped that, and the fans still chant that damn name! Those who chant for Punk are dead to him! McIntyre will talk right to Punk because he’s sitting at home now.

“I hope you’re uncomfortable and in pain, and being fed through a straw, because I did that to you. I put you there! And I didn’t just take your dignity, though, did I? I also took this.” McIntyre shows the friendship bracelet Punk was wearing! It’s worth about 50 cents, because a fan made it, but it means so much to Punk because it has the names of his wife, AJ Lee, and his stupid looking dog, Larry! The fans boo but McIntyre says Punk wears this when he leaves home so he can take them with him so that he isn’t alone. The fans chant for “LARRY! LARRY!” McIntyre says Punk IS alone, because of McIntyre.

Punk is in pain, is miserable, and that is the theme going forward, because McIntyre will enter the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and Punk will watch McIntyre all alone, and McIntyre will win while Punk is in pain because of him. McIntyre knows what it feels like to be alone. He’s felt it every time the fans chanted Punk’s name, as the roster accepted Punk and as management accepted Punk, even after McIntyre told the world what kind of person Punk really is! But McIntyre’s not alone now, is he? He puts on the bracelet, and says he has Punk’s dog and Punk’s wife, Punk’s family, in McIntyre’s corner.

McIntyre will win MITB, cash in that night, and Punk will be miserable and in pain as McIntyre has PUNK’S family by his side, and once again becomes World Heavyweight Champion, in spite of Punk! The fans boo but McIntyre has made his mission clear. Will he give everyone else broken dreams on his way back to the top of the mountain?

 

A car pulls up in the back.

And out of it exits Chad Gable! He doesn’t want cameras on him right now. He even has security help him get his things and walk through the halls. Gable is clearly not over the horrors of last Monday Night Raw, but will he be able to focus on the colossal challenge ahead of him tonight?

 

Backstage interview with Chad Gable.

At least, Cathy Kelley hopes for some words from the former Olympian ahead of his Triple Threat match. Security is doubled both inside and out to protect him. There have been murmurs of shock that Gable is even here tonight. Other than the wound on his forehead from last week, there is no word on the extent of his injuries from the Wyatt SICK6 attack. Gable was not the only victim of that rampage, will any of them be alright going into the night?

 

Bron Breakker VS Ludwig Kaiser!

The Big Bad Booty Nephew nearly broke the Impeccable German in half last week, all because of how Kaiser ruined the fun he was having with The Fella. Will Bron finish the job and leave Kaiser in pieces? Or will being #MeanerThanEvil not be enough against the European excellence?

Raw returns and Kaiser is at gorilla. Jackie Redmond is there to interview him. She says with all due respect, he is still visibly upset from last week, which was technically all because he interfered with the match of Bron and Sheamus. Kaiser says let’s forget about Sheamus, alright? Bron Breakker is strong, explosive and fast. Kaiser felt all that when Bron viciously attacked him. But Kaiser will prove he is destined for greatness! He will prove that Bron Breakker is no Ludwig Kaiser. The music plays and Kaiser makes his entrance, will he find that statement works better the other way around?

The bell rings and the fans bark for Bron. The two tie up, Bron powers Kaiser to a corner, but the ref counts. Bron lets off slowly, grins, but Kaiser pie faces him! The fans boo but Bron CHOKES Kaiser! The ref counts, Bron lets off, but Kaiser BOOTS him! And SLAPS him! And CLUBS him! Kaiser UPPERCUTS, CLUBS Bron again, then fires forearms. Bron fires back and the fans rally. Bron gets the edge, but Kaiser headlocks. Bron powers out, Kaiser reverses but Bron runs and runs and CLOBBERS Kaiser! The fans fire up and bark, and even Miz likes that! Bron snarls and goes back to drag Kaiser up.

Kaiser fights the facelock, puts Bron on ropes, and they end up in the ropes. The ref counts, Kaiser lets off, but he HOTSHOTS Bron! Bron sputters, Kaiser KICKS him down! Kaiser rains down fists, the fans boo, but Kaiser lets off to snarl and soak up the heat. Kaiser goes back but Bron RAMS him into a corner! The fans fire up as Bron RAMS into Kaiser again and again! Bron lets off to scowl at the ref, and Kaiser wants mercy. Bron just RAMS into him again and again! The ref counts, Bron grabs at Kaiser but Kaiser CLAWS the eyes! The fans boo but the ref misses it, and Kaiser KICKS the legs out! Kaiser CLUBS away on Bron now!

Kaiser drags Bron up to KICK him back down! Kaiser gets Bron up to POST him, and Bron is stuck in the ropes! Kaiser runs side to side to DROPKICK Bron to the floor! Miz says Kaiser is becoming a standout as he moves from the tag division to singles, and Kaiser goes out to scuff Bron. The fans chant “YOU SUCK!” but Kaiser sees the steel steps. Kaiser brings Bron over, but Bron RAMS Kaiser into the apron! Kaiser grimaces while Bron goes up the apron. The fans bark, Bron aims, and Bron FLYING LARIATS Kaiser over the desk! Bron does Kaiser like he did Sheamus, the fans are losing their minds, and Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Kaiser has Bron down now, and under the ropes. Kaiser fires off hands, lets off as the ref counts, and he talks trash as Bron flounders. The fans boo more, but Kaiser KICKS Bron! Kaiser eggs Bron on, pie faces him, then SLAPS him! Bron scowls and the fans rally up. Bron rises, Kaiser looks worried, so Kaiser fires CHOP after CHOP! Bron fires haymaker after haymaker! Bron whips, Kaiser reveres, but Bron runs through the lariat to FLYING BACK ELBOW! The fans fire up for the freakish athleticism and Bron hauls Kaiser, for a deadlift BELLY2BELLY! Bron then GERMAN SUPLEXES!

Kaiser flounders, Bron runs in to clothesline at the corner! The fans are behind Bron as he puts Kaiser up top. Bron climbs, but Kaiser HEADBUTTS, then throws hands! Bron staggers away, but he comes right back up, to SUPER STEINER! The fans go nuts and even Miz can’t believe what he just saw! The straps come down, Bron gets Kaiser by the neck, then trophy lifts! But Kaiser slips free! Kaiser UPPERCUTS, but Bron DUMPS Kaiser up and out! The fans fire up as Kaiser crawls, and Bron goes out the side. Bron grins and he comes in around the way, but Kaiser sends him into steel steps! Kaiser grins as he avoids that car crash!

Kaiser gets back int he ring, but then slips out the side. Now Kaiser runs in around the way, but SHEAMUS KNEES HIM DOWN!!

Winner: Ludwig Kaiser, by disqualification

The Celtic Warrior gets payback on Kaiser and the fans are loving it! Sheamus now clears the desk and the fans are loving this even more! Sheamus hauls Kaiser up, lifts, but Kaiser fights it! Bron SPEARS Sheamus down!! The fans bark with Bron as he wipes out two men with one move! Will nothing and no one stop Bron from breaking through to that next level?

 

The Judgment Day hangs out int he clubhouse.

Carlito is over, so they’re playing WWE 2K while having some chicken nuggets. They’re having Rhea Ripley beat up on all sorts of superstars. Damian Priest walks in, and he asks who hooked them up with the goods? Carlito says it wasn’t him. Dominik puts the nugs down to say that while Priest might not like this, these are all gifts from Liv Morgan. Dude, seriously? Carlito says Liv helped him win his match so she can’t be all bad. Pause the game… Carlito says yeah, they do need to figure this out. When are the distractions gonna end? Someone texts Dom, and he checks. Now what? Whoa…

Dom shows the guys, and JD’s jaw practically hits the floor! Carlito says that’s cool. Priest glares at Carlito and Carlito says no, n-not cool. Dom says Liv is crazy and Priest agrees, but it is crazier how Liv even has Dom’s number! Priest isn’t telling Dom what to do, but if it were him, he’d find a way to end this with Liv tonight. Just saying. And guys, are you having fun? You know who else is having fun? Braun Strowman, because he’s having his way with them every week. Priest doesn’t wanna be a broken record, but that should’ve been handled by now. But hey, enjoy the games. Finn says yeah, Priest is right. They gotta handle Braun, tonight.

Carlito & JD agree, but they go back to WWE 2K. Will the Judgment Day finally put their foots down and establish dominance?

 

Bron returns backstage.

And he bangs on the door of Adam Pearce. Pearce says good God almighty, calm down! What’s the issue? Bron’s issue is that he’s sick and tired of everyone getting involved in his matches! He would’ve beaten Kaiser if not for Sheamus, and he would’ve beaten Sheamus last week if not for Kaiser! Bron wants a match with Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship. He is sick of this, do something! Pearce says alright, just calm down before you have a heart attack. But then speaking of Sami, here he is! And the champ stares Bron down. If Bron wants the title match, well, no one is here to get in the way. Any time, any place, just name it.

Then how about Bron VS Sami at Money in the Bank? Sami tells Pearce, “You tell Bron Breakker he’s got his match.” Pearce says then at MITB, Sami VS Bron for the IC title is OFFICIAL. Bron says he’ll destroy Sami. Bron leaves, will he tear Sami apart in Toronto?

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Lyra Valkyria VS Kairi Sane VS Shayna Baszler!

The Morrigan has been a thorn in the side of Damage CTRL, only because they’ve been trying to hold her down ever since they got here. But will Lyra be able to fly high and head for Toronto? Will the Pirate Princess help Iyo Sky double their chances in the ladder match? Or will the Queen of Spades stop everyone from overlooking her and finally head back to the top?

Raw returns and Kairi makes her entrance, followed by Shayna. The bell rings, the three feel things out, and then Kari takes a swing! Lyra gets around, Kairi BOOTS Shayna, then Kairi switches to headlock. Lyra powers out, hip tosses Kairi down to a cover, ONE!! Lyra whips Kairi to a corner hard, but then Shayna LARIATS Lyra! Shayna keeps going and clotheslines Kairi in the corner, then gut wrench SLAMS her! Cover, TWO! Kairi bails out so Shayna goes right after Lyra. Shayna whips Lyra to a corner, but Lyra goes up and over, sweeps the legs, and reels her in for a NORTHERN LIGHTS! Bridging cover, Kairi AX KICKS it apart!

Kairi wrenches to a wristlock, whips, but Lyra reverses. Kairi goes up and gets both Lyra and Shayna for a RANA ARM-DRAG COMBO! The fans fire up as Kairi goes up, and she aims to SUPER CROSSBODY both Lyra & Shayna down! The fans fire up with Kairi while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Shayna suplexes Kairi, only for Kairi to APRON DDT!! Both women are down and the fans fire up, but then Lyra runs in to WRECK Kairi with a dropkick! Lyra puts Kairi in the ring, climbs up, and MISSILE DROPKICKS! Lyra isn’t done there, she hauls Kairi up to fisherman BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Kairi survives and then Shayna BUZZSAWS Lyra! Shayna CLUBS Lyra, drags her up, and whips her to ropes. Lyra slides under, but Shayna stops the heel kick to LEG CAPTURE SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Kairi runs up to BLOCKBUSTER Shayna! Kairi drags Shayna to a drop zone and the fans fire up!

Kairi goes up, INSANE ELBOW onto knees!! Shayna drags Kairi up in a KIRAFUDA, but Lyra rolls Shayna up! TWO!! Shayna escapes, Lyra SOBATS, KICKS and RAMS into her! And then ENZIGIRIS! Shayna falls, Kairi rises, but Lyra runs. Kairi ducks the enzigiri, goes for a leg, but Lyra steps over, gut wrenches, and SITOUT POWERBOMBS! Cover, Shayna KNEES Lyra in the face!! Cover, TWO!! All three women are down and the fans fire up! “This is Awesome!” as the three stir. Kairi goes to a corner, Shayna runs in but only gets buckles. URAKEN! Kairi hurries up while Shayna falls, but Shayna rises again!

Shayna GAMANGIRIS Kairi, but Lyra waistlocks Shayna! Shayna ELBOWS free, but Lyra ducks the kick! Lyra fireman’s carries, Shayna slips out! KIRAFUDA!! Lyra flails, falls back, but Kairi aims! Lyra rolls back, TWO! INSANE ELBOW!! But Lyra fireman’s carries, NIGHTWING DRIVER!!! Cover, Lyra wins!!

Winner: Lyra Valkyria, by pinfall (advances to MITB)

It was a fast and furious finish, and when the dust cleared, it was Lyra standing tall! But will she be able to fly over the field and get up that ladder to bring down the briefcase?

 

McIntyre argues with Pearce backstage.

Everything that Punk did to him, costing him at WrestleMania, costing him at Clash at the Castle, McIntyre should automatically be in the MITB ladder match! Pearce says no, everyone has to earn their way into that match, especially the guy that “quit” last week. Oh, whatever, it’s not like McIntyre meant it. Well, Pearce is gonna mean what he says, and no, McIntyre doesn’t deserve it. All McIntyre’s done is disrupt things on Raw and SmackDown. Oh, well, did McIntyre deserve CM Punk snatching a referee shirt, running out there and screwing McIntyre over? Does Seth Rollins deserve the shot at Priest after just coming back when McIntyre beat him at Mania?

McIntyre will tell Pearce this: He believes Pearce will do the right thing. Because if he doesn’t, he’ll see the true meaning of the word “disruption.” McIntyre leaves, but then Liv Morgan walks in. She’s wearing a shirt that reads “Daddy’s Girl,” and she smiles as she makes her way to gorilla. The WWE Women’s World Champion makes her entrance, and we’ll find out what she’s up to, after the break.

 

Raw returns and…

Liv has the mic to say, “Oh, Dominik~! Since I couldn’t seem to catch you backstage, I thought I’d come all the way out here to get your attention. I hope you really, really, really liked the gifts I gave you,. But I hope you liked that text I sent you even more.” She knows he’s playing hard to get, but once he’s honest with herself that she is what he really wants, she promises there’s so much more in store for him. Rhea’s never gotten Dom any gifts, has she? She’s never cared about him the way Liv does. Will “Daddy Dom” please come out here? He can thank her for the gifts, and she promises to give him another right in front of all these people.

But instead, Zelina Vega makes her way out here! La Muneca says she has a gift for everyone: it’s shutting Liv the hell up. Zelina doesn’t get why Liv’s obsessed with Rhea’s “sloppy seconds.” But that’s not even why she’s here. Zelina is here to talk about something that Liv has clearly forgotten about. While Liv is running around chasing that Dirty D, Zelina is here chasing the WWE Women’s World Championship. The fans like that! Liv says oh goodness, she has not forgotten about the title. This is the most important thing in her life! She took out Rhea for this title. She put Becky into early retirement for this! There is NOTHING that means more to her than this.

But it seems to Zelina that Liv is just about having fun. And that that fun is all she’s worried about. What’s wrong with having fun? Zelina will tell her what’s wrong. Liv schemed for her opportunities, Zelina starves for hers. So her Why will always top Liv’s libido. And what sounds “fun” to Zelina is Liv putting that title on the line. How does that sound? Zelina VS Liv for the WWE Women’s World Championship, here tonight! The fans fire up for that idea! Liv says she’d love to, but she’s busy. How about next week? Zelina is NOT waiting for next week! Try her. But wait, here domes Com! The fans boo but Liv is all smiles.

Dom has a mic, but Liv asks if he liked those gifts. She knows he does. Dom says he did get the gifts, but no he did not like them. Oh, but she knows he loved that text, right? She even gets the ropes for him. Dom tentatively steps inside, and Zelina asks what is going on here. The fans chant “SLOPPY SECONDS!” and Zelina gags before she laughs. Zelina says if Liv is too afraid to fight, she didn’t need to bring her man out here. Dom says he’s not Liv’s man. The fans boo but Dom keeps trying to talk. If Zelina’s gonna fight Liv for the Women’s World Championship… The fans keep booing, but Dom says he wants to help.

Okay, wait, this is rich. He wants to what? He wants to help! Dom knows Zelina and Rhea have had their issues, and Zelina says that’s an understatement. Dom tells the fans to let him talk! Liv agrees, Daddy needs to speak. Dom says he’d rather seen anyone but Liv with the title! Zelina says no, if she wanted to hear anything out of Dom, she would’ve tossed a coin in his begging bowl. Second, she doesn’t need Dom’s help, nor does she want it. So- LIV ATTACKS ZELINA! Liv and Zelina scrap on the mat, the fans fire up, and then Rey gets in! Rey pushes Dom aside to drag Liv away, then he goes to Zelina’s side. But then Dom SHOVES Rey!

The fans boo as Dom again disrespects his dad, and Liv takes that as Dom fighting to protect her! Dom gets outta there, but Liv hurries after. Just what is going on with this WWE telenovela?

 

Cathy Kelley still waits by Chad Gable’s room.

She confirms that WWE medical has checked on Gable, and Adam Pearce has also talked with Gable. Pearce now exits and Cathy asks for an update. Gable is shaken up, as would anyone, but he IS medically cleared and focused on tonight’s Triple Threat. Then has Gable provided any further details on that brutal attack and his mental state? Pearce says that isn’t his story to tell, and Gable might not be in a position to tell it just yet. Will Gable be alright when facing two giants so soon after facing a living nightmare?

 

Liv continues to follow after Dom.

Dom tells her to leave him alone but she just wants to talk. Liv thanks Dom for being her hero out there. He saved her from his deadbeat dad! Now she knows he wants this as much as she does. No, that was just because he can’t stand his dad! Liv still thanks him, and hugs him. Dom squirms away, but then R-Truth walks in. Was that Tom or Nick Mysterio? Well, whichever one it was, he’s a reluctant hero. Those are the best kind, right? Liv says they sure are. Truth always has a soft spot for Tom/Nick. Wouldn’t it be nice to do something for a guy like that? Liv says Truth has no idea. Truth loves it when love is in the air.

Truth tells Tom/Nick is playing hard to get. They sure are. But Liv has an idea how she can do something nice for Dom and his friends. She can talk with Pearce about a match of Dom VS Rey for next week, and for tonight, it can be JD & Finn in a match for the World Tag Team Championships. Can Truth help with that? Yeah, Truth used to be cool with Finn, but he never liked JD. JD’s never been in Judgment Day, and he’s got a freakishly large head. Liv says JD sure does. But Liv knows the guys would love a tag match with the best team in the world. Truth says he’s one half of THE WWE World Tag Team Chamipons!

OMG really? Can he help? Of course! He’s the best! Well, yes, he is. Okay, just make sure to go talk to Pearce. Liv thanks Truth, heads out, and Truth says he’s always ready to help Carmella. Miz is NOT happy on commentary, and now he has to intercept Truth! Michael Cole is now alone on commentary, will Judgment Day get everything they could ever want?

 

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Chad Gable VS Braun Strowman VS Bronson Reed!

It’s the moment of truth for the former leader of The Alpha Academy. Will what happened last week leave him in any shape to face the Monster of All Monsters and the Colossal Aussie? Or will he pull off the truly biggest upset victory in WWE history?

Raw returns and Bronson makes his entrance, followed by Gable’s. Gable has a mic to say, “Do you believe in miracles?” The fans are torn, but Gable says the rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated. Yes, eh was left bloodied and bludgeoned, left for dead by a bunch of monsters. There’s just one problem: Chad Gable cannot be killed! He LIVES! And in an act of true bravery, he is out here tonight to face these two monsters. And like last week, he will persevere, go on to MITB, win the briefcase, and he will become The Master in the Bank. Gable steps into the ring, but the tron is getting all glitchy…

The bell rings, Gable looks between the two mountainous men, and he CHOPS Bronson! Bronson doesn’t flinch! Gable CHOPS Braun, but Braun doesn’t flinch! Bronson CHOPS Gable, then Braun CHOPS Gable down! Gable bails out so now the big men are left alone. The fans fire up for “MEAT! MEAT! MEAT!” The two tie up, go around, and Bronson headlocks. Braun powers up and out, Bronson ducks ‘n’ dodges and RAMS Braun! Braun gets stuck int he ropes a moment, but comes back to CLOBBER Bronson! Braun keeps moving, but Bronson DUMPS him out! Gable gets in, and he waistlocks Bronson! Bronson elbows free!

Bronson lifts Gab le, and THROWS him at Braun, but Braun catches Gable! Gable fights, but Bronson DIVES?! Down goes everyone and the fans fire up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Gable has Braun in a HANGING ARMBAR! Braun gets free, but Bronson SPLASHES him! Gable gets in, ducks ‘n’ dodges Bronson to DROPKICK! Bronson SENTONS but Gable dodges! Gable has the giants in the corners, and he runs to forearm SMASH Bronson! And forearm SMASH for Braun! Gable goes back to Bronson but Bronson busts through the lariat to SPLASH Braun! SPLASH to Gable, then a whip into Braun’s BOOT! Bronson runs up but Braun BOOTS him, too! Braun then runs to run Bronson over! Another BOOT for Gable! Braun gets Gable up and TOSSES him into Bronson!

Both Bronson and Gable fall and the fans fire up! Braun sees both men go outside, so it’s time to get on the tracks! The Strowman Express runs to CLOBBER Gable! And CLOBBER Bronson! Braun storms back into the ring as the fans fire up, and he runs, only for Bronson to move! Braun POSTS himself! Gable GERMAN SUPLEXES Bronson!! Bridging cover, TWO!! Bronson survives but Gable stomps him to a drop zone. Gable goes up and up, but Braun trips him up! Braun drags Bronson out to POST him, then scoops him, for a MONSTER SLAM on the floor! The fans fire up as Braun huffs and puffs and rips off his shirt!

Braun drags Bronson back up, but then JUDGMENT DAY attacks! JD, Dom, Finn & Carlito all attack, but Braun fights them all off! Braun stalks JD, grabs him and Dom, then goes to the ramp, only for Finn to CHOP BLOCK Braun! Judgment Day mugs the Monster of All Monsters, the fans boo, but this leaves Gable and Bronson alone! Gable adjusts, has his target, and MOONSAULTS! Cover, GABLE WINS!!

Winner: Chad Gable, by pinfall (advances to MITB)

Judgment Day handles their Braun problem, and Gable actually comes through on his promise! Will Gable continue to do as he said and win the MITB contract?

Wait! The lights start turning off! The fireflies are coming out and Gable is in a panic! There’s fog filling the ring, and the piano starts playing! And then a spotlight shines on Gable, as SISTER ABIGAIL rises!! She creeps up behind him, and Gable falls into a corner! Gable scurries out of the ring but he can’t look away from fear. But then Abby crawls her way over to something else. There’s a box on the floor, and she picks it up. She sets it down on the commentary desk. What’s in the box, Cole? What’s in the box?! Abby continues on, walking through the crowd. And then she goes into the shadows, and disappears.

 

Raw returns and…

Michael Cole holds up the package. The fans are chanting “OPEN IT! OPEN IT!” The box is meant for Pat McAfee but he’s not here tonight. Cole unwraps the package, opens it up, and pulls out a VHS tape. It has the words “PLAY ME” on it, but hopefully the production truck has something.

 

Gable is backsatge.

He knocks on a door, and is thankful Otis is there. Gable asks if the others are there. He needs to talk with them. Otis calls to them, and out walk Tozawa & Maxxine. Gable says after last week, h is life flashed before his eyes, and when it did, all he could see was them, his family. It takes a big man to admit when he was wrong. These last two months have been rough for all of them, and he knows he stepped over the line. He owns that. So from the bottom of his heart, he is sorry. But that’s what families do, right? They fight, but they stick together. Otis says yeah, but anyone who hurts Tozawa & Maxxine isn’t family.

Otis is sorry for what happened to Gable, but he said what he said. They’re done. Otis leads the others away and Maxxine tells Gable that he put them through a lot. Gable really hurt Otis. Otis looked up to Gable. But for what it is worth, they are glad he’s okay. What happened to him must’ve been terrifying. But Otis just needs time, okay? Maxxine will talk with him. Maxxine heads back inside, and Gable turns around to see The Creeds & Ivy Nile. They ask if he’s alright, and Gable says no! He’s not alright! He needs help… Will Gable have to move on if Otis is unable to forgive him?

 

Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance!

The wicked witches are back in action after winning the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships at Clash at the Castle, and it’s going to be against the high-flying, good vibing party girls of KC Squared! Will Kayden & Katana be able to break the spell already cast by the new champs? Or will there be no After Party here tonight?

The teams sort out, Alba and Kayden start up and they tie up. Alba throws Kayden down then soaks up the cheers and jeers. But then Kayden YANKS Alba into ropes! Isla runs in, Kayden throws her out! Kayden runs and WRECKS both Alba & Isla with a dropkick! The fans fire up, Katana comes around, and she gets a boost to CROSSBODY Alba & Isla down! KC Squared is all fired up and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns as Kayden has Alba in a TRAILER HITCH! Alba endures, crawls over, and has the ROPEBREAK! Kayden lets go in frustration but she runs back up, only for Alba to YANK her into ropes! Kayden flounders, Alba brings her up and Isla tags in. The lasses double suplex, only for Kayden to counter with a DOUBLE DDT! The fans rally up, Kayden SUPERKICKS Isla down! Kayden grabs Isla by the legs and puts her in the drop zone. Katana tags in, and she goes up for the KEG STAND! Cover, Alba breaks it! The fans fire up as Alba RAMS into Kayden! Kayden TOSSES Alba, gets Isla up, and Katana climbs.

But then Alba trips Kayden up! Isla avoids Katana, but Katana rolls Isla! TWO, and Isla ROUNDHOUSES Katana down! Tag to Alba, she gets Katana up in the Gory Especial, double double, TOIL AND TROUBLE!! Cover, Alba & Isla win!

Winners: Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn, by pinfall

But wait! Now DMG CTRL runs in to CLOBBER Alba & Isla! The fans boo but they beat the tag champs down 3v2! Then Dakota BOOTS Katana for good measure! Iyo goes up top, takes aim, and OVER THE MOONSAULT for both Isla & Alba! The Evil Genius said DMG CTRL needs to make a change, will this increased intensity help them take over Raw?

 

Priest returns to the clubhouse.

But Liv’s already there? She says hi then bye, and Priest hopes this was Dom ending things. Priest steps inside, but only Finn is here? Finn thought Priest was heading home already. No, he had to come back and grab the world title so that he can go out and address Seth Rollins. Don’t tell Priest that it didn’t look sketchy just now! Don’t accuse Finn of things. Liv was here telling them all that Dom’s got a match with Rey, and that Finn & JD have a tag title match TONIGHT! Oh, she did that? Yeah! It ain’t ideal, but a title match is a title match. Finn will take what he can get. Liv seems a little too good to be true, Finn admits that.

Priest says that’s exactly right. Priest will go handle his business, and he wishes Finn good luck in the tag title match. Finn nods, Priest leaves, but then Finn rolls his eyes. Is Priest getting worked up over nothing? Or is there something going on here between The Prince and “Daddy’s Girl?”

 

The Miz finds Truth.

Miz asks if Truth talked to Pearce. Oh, he did, and it’s official. Why isn’t Miz in gear? They gotta get to gorilla. Miz asks if Truth has been paying attention. Miz was on commentary tonight! Oh, oops. Truth says he did it for love. Liv and Dom is a classic romcom. Like Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, and Shrek! Miz doesn’t care about that right now! This is about them! Truth says he loves Miz, but only as a friend. Truth heads out, Miz is beside himself. What is Miz to do with Truth? What are they going to do against The Prince & Irish Ace?

 

Damian Priest heads to the ring.

El Campeon has already had a busy night just trying to keep his team on track, but now he will focus on his own business. Priest has the mic and says we all saw the Seth Rollins video package earlier. It was humbling and inspiring. Real talk, Priest sees what Rollins meant when he said he sees a version of himself in Priest. He gets it. They’re both someone who can be in a group, stand out as a leader, and elevate everyone around them. They’re both someone who can come out here as champion, representing Raw, while always rising to the occasion. And tell you waht. Priest knows what he sees in Seth.

Priest sees a man… he does not want to become. To break it down, Priest doesn’t wanna be here and see his successor. See someone who is bigger, stronger, and better than him. No, don’t get him wrong. Rollins is great, but Priest is the champion of the world! And so long as he IS world champion, sorry, but Rollins will never see the mountaintop again. But wait! Here comes Rollins himself! The fans fire up as The Visionary struts his way out as Cruella’s male counterpart and goes to the ring. Indianapolis sings for Rollins as he gets the mic, and he tells them, “We are partying in Indy today!”

The fans cheer and Rollins says this is why: Royal Rumble 2025 is coming their way! But that’s in February. Tonight is Monday, and so it’s still his show, it is MONDAY NIGHT ROLLINS! The fans sing more, and Priest is amused. Rollins revels in it, then says Priest goes “All Rise for El Campeon,” well all sing for Seth Freakin’ Rollins. But Priest wants to come out here, run his mouth about Rollins, is that it? No, no, Rollins wants to get this right. Priest says that as long as he is World Heavyweight Champion, Rollins will never get the belt back? That’s about right. Ooh… Well that is bold, Priest, very bold.

The problem is, man… Rollins doesn’t believe that. Rollins doesn’t believe in this confidence, this is false bravado. Does Priest even believe the crap coming out of his mouth? Does Indy believe the crap coming out of Priest’s mouth? “NO! NO! NO!” Rollins says they don’t buy it and here’s why. They don’t buy Priest as the man, as the mountain, because his actions and his words don’t line up. Priest says all the right things, says he doesn’t want anyone’s help when it comes to this title. However, in both of his title defenses so far, it was very obvious that Priest needed the help. If not for Judgment Day or CM Punk, Priest wouldn’t be here as World Heavyweight Champion!

Priest says yeah, he gets that opinion, and Rollins is right. Priest didn’t ask for help, but people got involved. The fans boo, then chant “YOU SUCK!” Priest frowns, but says he is the world champ! And he can’t change what happened. But what he can do, look at Rollins while holding the world title, while Rollins is there representing the past and holding on to a whole lot of nothing. Rollins says, “For now.” Rollins isn’t here to run Priest down. No, Rollins has a lot of respect. But Rollins doesn’t appreciate being one-upped. Priest one-ups Rollins by challenging him to this title match> Respect, that was a bold move.

But now Rollins is here to one-up right back. A challenge for challenge. Rollins says they should sweeten the pot at MITB. Y’know, nothing official, no Pearce or anything. More like a side bet, or a gentlemen’s agreement. A cherry on top. What does Priest say that if somehow he retains the title, he gets his wish. As long as Priest is champion, Rollins never challenges for it again. But when Rollins wins, takes back the title Priest has been keeping warm these past two months, we find out if Priest really can stand on his own two feet. WHEN Rollins wins at MITB, Priest… must LEAVE Judgment Day! The fans like that idea!

Priest is a bit speechless here. Rollins says we can find out if Priest really can walk a mile on Rollins’ shoes. What does El Campeon say to that? Priest chuckles, and he has to admit, that’s good. As Priest sees it, he’s the champion. So to him, Judgment Day needs him more than he needs them. But as far as this “agreement” goes, Priest accepts. Now Rollins is shocked. They shake on it, but wait! Here comes Der Ring General! Indy fires up as Gunther goes to the ring to join Visionary and Punisher. Gunther looks between the two, the fans chant “This is Awesome!” and then Gunther gets a mic.

Gunther has everyone hold on, and he says he fully understands there’s a lot on the line here. The world title, and the gentlemen’s agreement. MITB, Seth Rollins, the workhorse who established the prestige of this title, against Damian Priest, the man who is carrying Monday Night Raw on his back right now. Gunther wishes good luck to both men. He cannot wait to see this match. The fans cheer that! Gunther then adds, “May the better man win. But don’t make a mistake. At SummerSlam, the better man out of you two, will be the lesser man when he steps in the ring with me.” Gunther drops the mic and heads out. Will the King of the Ring prove he’s the greatest of them all in Cleveland?

And as for Rollins and Priest, will The Visionary make good on the last shot he might have for a long time? Or will he force the Judgment Day to do things without their Punisher?

 

The VHS tape is ready.

The production team has a VCR to play it, and so here we are. A buzzard, the piano playing, the Wyatt Sick6, and of course, Uncle Howdy. “Are you… Happy? How have you been since the loss? Do you feel as though you have been… forgotten? Do you remember who you are?” BO DALLAS!? And he says, “I’m nobody.” Howdy says, “There you are. How did it feel when your brother died?” Bo says one of the most important things in his life… was taken from him. And it feels like nothing was ever gonna matter again. Howdy says, “Don’t you think you’re exploiting your brother’s legacy?” Bo says all he ever wanted his whole life… was to be like his brother.

Bo looked up to his brother, wanted to be like his brother. And he worked his entire career, his life, so he could have the chance to work next to his brother. They were going to… They were going to rule together. They finally made it! They had it all! And then it was taken away. There is no one on this Earth that feels more hurt by his loss than Bo! No one feels what Bo feels! So what is he supposed to do? Let his life become a mausoleum? To let everyone forget about what his brother stood for, what he fought for, what he believed in?! They wanted to forget about Bo. “They wanted to forget about all of us!”

Bo says they need to remember. The Wyatts made them all remember! Howdy says, “Yes, we did!” The two sides of one mind sit in the dark room, and then the video ends. What will the Wyatt Sick6 do to “make us remember” next?

 

Karrion Kross VS Kofi Kingston!

Mr. Apocalypse put out the challenge, and then got what he hoped for in #KofiMania running wild! There’s an agreement to leave everyone else in the back so that this is a fair fight, but will it really be fair? Or will the New Day find a way to triumph over The Final Testament?

The bell rings and Kofi DROPKICKS Kross right out of the ring! Kofi then FLIES and he takes Kross down! The fans fire up with Kofi and he gets Kross up and into the ring. Kofi goes up the corner, “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” but Kross avoids the ax handle. Kofi comes back but into a BACKBREAKER! Kross then shifts to get Kofi back up, fireman’s carry, DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Cover, TWO! Kofi tumbles out of the ring but Kross has a confident sneer, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns, the fans rally, and Kofi JAWBREAKERS free of Kross! Kofi goes to the apron, springboadds in, and AX HANDLES! Kofi keeps rallying with CHOPS and a DORPKICK! Kofi runs, but into Kross’ arms! Kross RAMS Kofi into the corner, runs back in, but Kofi goes out to PENDULUM KICK! Kofi goes back up, to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO, and Kross swings! Kofi dodges, and he LEAPING LARIATS! The fans fire up and Kofi gives us the “NEW~ DAY~!” BOOM DROP! Kross sputters and the fans fire up. Kofi claps, and the fans clap along. Kofi aims from the corner, but then Paul Ellering is on the tron!

Ellering shouts at Kofi, “Is it worth it? Is it really worth it!?” The Authors of Pain are beating up on Woods! Kofi hurries to the ropes but Kross reels him in! Kofi runs, dodges, but into the scoop and FINAL PRAYER!! Cover, Kross wins!

Winner: Karrion Kross, by pinfall

Kross holds up seven fingers, because Kofi is “lucky” number seven in Kross’ list of former WWE Champions he has defeated. But it would seem The New Day fell into their trap, will nothing stop The Final Testament from ruling over Raw?

 

WWE World Tag Team Championships: The Awesome Truth VS Finn Balor & JD McDonagh!

Miz really should’ve had Truth join him on commentary earlier tonight, because now they’re having to defend their titles on short notice! Again! Will the Hollywood A-Lister and the former 54-time WWE 24/7 Champion ever be done with The Judgment Day? Or will the luck of the Irish bring these belts back to the clubhouse?

Raw returns and The Awesome Truth makes their entrance. That takes care of the introductions, then the belts are raised, and we see if all is truly fair in love and war.

Truth starts against JD and the fans rally up. Truth and JD circle, but then Finn pushes Truth! JD CLUBS Truth, stomps away in the corner, but lets off as the ref counts. Finn tags in, he drags Truth up to ROCK him. Finn headlocks, Truth powers up and out, then Truth drops and blocks a kick. Truth kicks low, runs, and SCISSOR KICKS! Finn flounders to a corner, Truth does the splits! Truth goes corner to corner to STINGER SPLASH! Truth then brings Finn over to tag Miz. The Awesome Truth double whips, DOUBLE ELBOWS, then they do their secret handshake before the DOUBLE ELBOW DROP!

JD runs in but he gest a DOUBLE HIP TOSS! Finn runs in, but into a DOUBLE FLAPJACK! Then Miz & Truth DOUBLE LARIAT JD up and out! Indy is all fired up, but then here comes Liv! Whose side is she on? We’ll just wait and see, after the break.

Raw returns again and Finn stomps away on Truth at the ropes! The ref counts, Finn tags JD, and JD slingshots to ARABIAN PRESS! Cover, TWO! Liv is still at the ramp, but JD CHOKES Truth on the ropes. The ref counts, JD lets off to argue, and Finn gets a cheap shot in! JD stomps Truth, tags Finn, and they mug Truth. Truth writhes, Finn drags him up and whips. Truth KICKS Finn back, but then Finn rebounds, DOUBLE LARIATS take both men down! The fans fire up and Miz reaches out. Truth and Finn crawl, hot tags to JD and Miz! JD trips up, Miz KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! The fans are thunderous as Miz stomps away in the corner!

The ref counts, Miz lets off at 4, and he runs corner to corner to A-LIST LARAIT! Miz pushes Miz down, dodges Finn and Finn kicks post! Miz YANKS Finn down, hurries back up, but JD runs up. Miz RAMS into JD, but Dom & Carlito show up now! Liv says hi, but Dom & Carlito go after Miz! Miz kicks Carlito, TOSSES him over the desk, then hurries up., Miz BOOTS JD, springboards and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! JD survives and the fans fire up! JD goes to a corner, Miz runs in, but into a BOOT! JD goes up, but Miz trips him up, and Miz DRAPING CODE BREAKERS! Miz hauls JD up, but Finn returns! Miz kicks Finn, too! DOUBLE DDTS! Cover on JD, TWO!!

Dom & Carlito are frustrated but The Judgment Day is still in this. Miz has the fans fired up, and he rises up. But Dom’s on the apron! Miz swings on Dom, JD rolls Miz up! TWO, and JD swings. Miz dodges to WRECK Dom with a dropkick! JD swings again, but into the SKULL CRUSHING FINALE!! Cover, Carlito helps with the ROPEBREAK! The fans boo as Caribbean Cool gets away with one! But then  Miz grabs at Carlito’s hair! Carlito gets free, Miz goes for JD, but JD HEADBUTTS Miz down! And here comes BRAUN! Braun storms down to the ringside, he chases Dom & Carlito away, just like last week!

The fans fire up as Miz and JD slowly stir. Finn is back and he reaches out. Liv seems unsure what to do without Dom here. JD crawls, as does Miz. Hot tags to Finn and Truth! Truth dodges Finn, and fires those FLYING SHOULDER TACKLES! Truth hits the SPIN OUT BOMB! And we know what that means “YOU CAN’T-” NO, Finn KICKS Truth in the face! Miz gets up, Finn DECKS him off the apron! But Truth drop toeholds Finn, into the STF!! Finn endures, flails, reaches out, but JD CLOBBERS Truth! Miz springboards in, into a DROPKICK! Truth gets JD up, SPIN OUT BOMB! But Finn rolls Truth! TWO!!

Truth hurries to his feet, gets under Finn, and SPIN OUT BOMB! Finn & JD are side by side, and the fans fire up! DOUBLE “YOU CAN’T SEE ME~!” Truth runs, for a TEN KNUCKLE SHUFFLE!! JD flops out, Finn flounders around, and LIV gets on the apron!? Truth is distracted, Liv says love is in the air! Do this for her! Liv hugs Truth, JD distracts the ref, and then Liv HOTSHOTS Truth!! Finn SHOTGUNS Truth down!! Finn goes up top! COUP DE GRACE!!! Cover, JUDGMENT DAY WINS!!

Winner: Finn Balor & JD McDonagh, by pinfall (NEW WWE World Tag Team Champions)

Liv IS a bad girl! She just screwed Truth so that Dom’s friends could succeed! Judgment Day has more gold again, and Liv stands with them! Finn & JD allow it, but what will Priest have to say about this? What will Mami Rhea have to say about it?


My Thoughts:

An awesome episode of Raw here tonight! Great “surprise” of McIntyre showing up to really add some heat to this  already red hot feud with Punk. Of course he just expects to be in the MITB match, and he’ll be getting his chance to qualify, but it’s hard to say if he’ll actually become Mr. MITB. Punk could easily show up in Boston next week to mess McIntyre over, or he’ll show up in Toronto to yank McIntyre off the ladder. Either way, something is going to get us to McIntyre VS Punk for SummerSlam, and no title involved, just the grudge. That’s because Gunther is promised the title match for SummerSlam, and we got a great promo from Rollins, Priest and Gunther to feed that.

As always, a lot of great stuff out of Judgment Day, and Priest accepting the stipulation of that gentlemen’s agreement is some great stuff. Rollins might win, might get cashed on at some point, who knows, but Priest being forced to leave Judgment Day would be wild. I don’t see that coming because of everything else we got tonight, but it’s good stuff to put on the pressure. Liv keeps on flirting with Dom, and I think she’s right that he really did like getting WWE 2K on PS5 AND a huge platter of chicken nuggets, but then she doubles down and helps JD & Finn win the tag titles. That closing image tells me that Liv, Finn & JD VS Rhea, Dom & Priest in Judgment Day Civil War. It doesn’t even matter who is Heel and who is Face, it’s the cards they’re showing.

Awesome match from Bron VS Kaiser, but apparently Kaiser got legit injured during it. They should’ve been more careful with that flying clothesline onto the desk, maybe not bust that out all the time… But Sheamus going after Bron was great, and maybe after Bron VS Sami, Sheamus gets his shot to see if he can finally become Intercontinental Champion and complete the ultimate WWE checklist. And good stuff from Kroff and Kofi, but I nailed the prediction last week. Kofi was out in the ring so that Woods could be mugged by The AOP, this is the same stuff they did to Lashley & The Profits. But hey, if it adds to the New Day’s dysfunction, it’s still good stuff.

Awesome Triple Threat from Lyra VS Kairi VS Shayna. Lyra winning made sense, she and Iyo Sky can have it out during the ladder match. And DMG CTRL going after the tag teams later on was a good move, too. DMG CTRL will of course want the tag titles back, so it’ll likely be Kairi & Dakota VS Alba & Isla at some point. While that was a very good Triple Threat for the men, it should’ve been clear Braun was going to be attacked by Judgment Day. Chad Gable’s story tonight was also great, seeing as how it is also connected to this larger Wyatt Sick6 story. They could’ve gone with a bigger piece of bandage on Gable’s “wound” so it’d be more apparent, but that’s a small thing compared to him being one of the Wyatts’ targets.

Apparently Pat McAfee is another, as the Wyatt Sick6 “hacked” his show some time last week, which explains why he didn’t wanna show up tonight. Very clever to make the message a VHS tape, and that promo from Taylor Rotunda as both Uncle Howdy and Bo Dallas, that was powerful stuff. They even addressed the concern that some fans think this is exploitation by showing this story is a tribute to Bray and not just some gimmick. The therapy session style of Bo basically talking to himself even shows this is a way of working through mourning and grief, but also perhaps something more, something darker. That’s where it felt like Bray’s story was going with Howdy and Fiend and everything else, so this is Bo picking up the torch as only he can.

My Score: 9/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Soul Results & Report! (6/23/24)

The G1 Climax awaits!

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Who moves on to Korakuen Hall?

A Block started their G1 Climax qualifier series, now B Block begins! Will it be Toru Yano or Boltin Oleg? Will it be TJP or Satoshi Kojima?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • El Desperado & Shoma Kato VS DOUKI & Yuya Uemura; Douki & Yuya win.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuya Matsumoto VS Tomohiro Ishii & Tomoaki Honma; Ishii & Honma win.
  • Six Man Tag: Just5Guys VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • HENARE & Callum Newman VS Yujiro Takahashi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Henare & Callum win.
  • Bishamon VS Chase Owens & Gedo; Bishamon wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier First Round: Toru Yano VS Boltin Oleg; Oleg wins and advances to New Japan Soul in Korakuen Hall.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier First Round: TJP VS Satoshi Kojima; TJP wins and advances to New Japan Soul in Korakuen Hall.
  • 8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture; LIJ wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier First Round: Toru Yano VS Boltin Oleg!

While they’re once again NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions alongside The Ace, Hiroshi Tanahashi, neither The Joker or The Rook was going to pass up this chance! Will Yano take it easy on Oleg here? Or will this tank from Kazakh steamroll his way through the Summer?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. The two shake hands to show there’s sportsmanship, then they tie up. They go back and forth on the clinch, but Oleg powers Yano back to the ropes. The ref counts the break, Oleg lets off slowly, and the fans applaud. Yano and Oleg reset, circle and feel things out. They go around, Yano slips away but comes back. Oleg avoids the takedown to get a leg, and they roll into the ropes. The ref counts, Oleg lets off and the fans applaud. They go again, clinch, and Oleg waistlocks. Yano slips away, they tie up again, but Oleg powers Yano back onto the ropes. The ref counts, both men let off slowly, but still joke for position.

The ref gets between the two, Oleg backs away, and the fans cheer as they reset. Oleg and Yano clinch, fight for control, then back up. They feel things out, Oleg gets around to a waistlock, and he has the gut wrench! Oleg brings Yano up but Yano scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Oleg lets off clean and Yano bails out. Yano is frustrated by how good Oleg is, and he splashes water everywhere! Yano gets his favorite red chair, the ref goes to stop him but Yano shoves him aside. Yano takes a seat on the ramp and dares Oleg to come get him! So Oleg goes out after him! Yano JAMS Oleg up, then SMACKS him on the back!

Yano drags Oleg up, and wraps him up with the apron skirt! That’s an extra large sushi roll! Yano shoves Oleg down, gets in the ring, and the ring count starts. Yano meanwhile unties a buckle pad! Oleg wriggles out of the wrap but he’s still down at 10 of 20! Oleg gets completely free by 15, and he slides in at 16! The fans cheer but Yano kicks low! Yano whips Oleg into the bare buckles! Yano tells fans to leave him alone, Oleg’s tough! Yano clamps onto Oleg’s shoulders, pushes him down to a cover, TWO! Wait, the ref finds the bit of wrist tape Yano was using to choke Oleg! The ref reprimands but Yano pretends he has no idea how that got there.

Yano storms up on Oleg, brings him around and whips him back into the bare buckles! Oleg falls over, the ref reprimands but Yano kicks Oleg and eggs him on. Yano stands Oleg up to HIP TOSS! Cocky cover, TWO! The fans applaud but Yano stomps Oleg in frustration. Yano scuffs Oleg, eggs him on, then stands him up again. But Oleg fires a forearm! Yano CLAWS Oleg’s eyes! The ref reprimands, Yano whips, but Oleg reverses. Yano avoids bare buckles, then dodges to send Oleg back in! Yano runs, but Oleg runs him over! The fans fire up with Oleg, and he scoops Yano to SLAM! Oleg runs to SPLASH! Cover, TWO!

Yano stays in this but the fans rally behind Oleg. Oleg drags Yano up with the gut wrench! Time to Shake, Rattle and THROW! Oleg kips up! The fans fire up and Oleg storms over to Yano. Oleg whips, but Yano holds ropes and taunts Oleg! Oleg runs up but Yano sidesteps and clinches, for a BELLY2BELLY! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Oleg and Yano stir, but Yano is up first. Yano brings Oleg up but Oleg ROCKS him! And ROCKS him again! And again! Oleg runs, but Yano atomic drops! Yano trips Oleg, has the legs, and CATAPULTS him into buckles! Oleg staggers up, Yano fires up and he fireman’s carries!

Yano gets Oleg up but Oleg fights free of the bomb! Oleg SHOTGUNS Yano away! The fans fire up as Yano goes to a corner, and Oleg runs in! STINGER SPLASH from the big man, then he scoops to SLAM! Oleg jumps over Yano to go up and up and VADER BOMB! Cover, TWO! Yano survives but the fans are still with Oleg! Oleg drags Yano up, fireman’s carries, and KA- NO, Yano slips free to roll Oleg, TWO! Oleg runs up, but Yano hooks him to a backslide! TWO!! Oleg escapes, Yano swings, but Oleg gets around! Yano grabs the ref to LOW BLOW! And CHOP BLOCK! Cover, TWO!! Oleg stands, blocks the takedown, and he powers Yano into a PANCAKE! OLEG WINS!!

Winner: Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Yano tried all the tricks in the book but Oleg could not be stopped! There’s still respect between them, but will The Rook show what he’s really capable of against The Ace?

 

G1 Climax 34 A Block Qualifier First Round: TJP VS Satoshi Kojima!

Public Enemy just finished up a round robin in the form of the Best of the Super Juniors, but now he’s looking to go even bigger! But will he be able to conquer this qualifier for the United Empire? Or will things be real cozy here tonight?

The bell rings and the fans rally up and duel, “T J P! T J P!” “KO-JI-MA! KO-JI-MA!” The two circle, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Kojima digs his heels in and shoves TJP away, but TJP stands right up. The two go again, tie up, and TJP waistlocks. Kojima wrenches out to wristlock, but TJP rolls, spins, cartwheels, breaks free, but Kojima swats the dropkick away! The fans cheer as TJP handsprings back up. TJP and Kojima circle, feel things out, then tie up. TJP headlocks, but Kojima fires body shots. Kojima powers up and out, TJP RAMS him, but Kojima stays put! TJP runs again, RAMS Kojima, but he bounces off!

The fans rally up, and TJP stomps Kojima’s foot! TJP runs to run Kojima over! TJP keeps moving, but Kojima stay slow, then hip tosses TJP down! Kojima runs to run TJP over! TJP bails out and fans cheer Kojima’s dancing pecs! Kojima goes out to stomp TJP, then he CLUBS TJP. Kojima CLUBS TJP more, then brings him around to whip. TJP reverses and Kojima hits railing! TJP runs up to BOOT Kojima, then he fires haymakers. The ref reprimands, TJP CLUBS Kojima then puts him in the ring. TJP then drags Kojima up, bumps him off buckles, and CHOPS! TJP CHOPS again, the fans rally up, and TJP uses the MACHINE GUN CHOPS!

The fans are torn but Kojima gets in TJP’s face! Kojima CHOPS TJP off his feet! The fans rally up, Kojima stomps TJP to ropes, then he CLUBS TJP on the neck. Kojima CHOKES TJP on the ropes, lets off as the ref counts, and the fans cheer. Kojima drags TJP up, reels him in and turns him, NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE!! Another cover, TWO! TJP toughs it out but Kojima stays focused. The fans rally, Kojima stomps TJP, then stands TJP up. Kojima ROCKS TJP, stomps him at the ropes, then fires hands. TJP goes to a corner, kicks back, then fires hands! TJP backs Kojima down, but Kojima body shots!

Kojima ROCKS TJP and TJP staggers to ropes. Kojima stomps TJP, brings him up and whips, but TJP goes Spider-Man! Kojima runs in, TJP slips under to sunset flip, then he steps through to trap an arm! DARK SACRIFICE! Kojima clutches his arm as he bails out of the ring. The fans rally with TJP and he builds speed to go up and up and FLYING DROPKICK! Kojima staggers, the fans cheer, and TJP stands back up. CANNONBALL! Down goes Kojima and the fans rally again. The ring count starts, TJP catches his breath before he brings Kojima up at 8. But Kojima SWEEPS the legs and TJP falls on the apron!

Kojima goes up after TJP, reels him in, and APRON DDTS!! TJP flops down to the floor while the fans rally up again. Kojima is in the ring but a new count starts. TJP stirs at 8 of 20, slowly sits up, and uses railing to stand at 12. TJP stumbles, falls, and crawls over at 15. TJP stands at 17, flounders with the apron skirt, but is in at 19! Kojima stomps TJP to a corner then CHOPS! And CHOPS! And then MACHINE GUN CHOPS! Kojima shows TJP how it’s done! The fans fire up as Kojima goes an extra round before he CHOPS TJP down! Kojima then whips TJP corner to corner, runs up and forearm SMASHES!

Kojima shoves TJP down, shouts that he’s coming after the bastard, but TJP DROPKICKS Kojima first! The fans rally, TJP goes corner to corner and ELBOWS! Kojima sits down and the fans rally up! TJP gives Kojima the scrubbing! TJP runs side to side, to BOOT WASH! The fans fire up and want it one more time! TJP obliges and gives more scrubs to Kojima’s face. TJP runs, but Kojima kicks him low! Kojima fires off forearms, then a ROLLING ELBOW, a kick, and a DDT! The fans fire up while both men are down! Kojima rises, he storms over to TJP and drags him up, then cravats. TJP fights but Kojima CLUBS him!

TJP powers up and slips through to an IRON OCTOPUS! Kojima endures, stomps his way forward, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go but the fans rally up again. TJP aims, springboards, and FLYING DDTS! Cover, TWO!! Kojima survives and the fans fire up again. TJP goes to a corner, pounds the mat and fans clap along. “T! J P! T! J P!” TJP runs up but Kojima blocks the knee! Kojima kicks low and COZY CUT- NO, TJP handsprings through the cutter! And basement dropkicks in return! The fans fire up and TJP goes to a corner! ONE BY ONE!! Cover, TWO!! Kojima survives and the fans fire up again!

TJP points to a corner and calls his shot! TJP makes sure Kojima is in the drop zone, and he goes up top! MAMBA FLOP as Kojima moves! COZY CUTTER!! Cover, TWO!! TJP survives and the fans fire up again! Kojima stays cool, and he powers up the arm! Off comes the elbow pad! Kojima runs, but into a BOOT! JUMP SOBAT! TJP runs, into a LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!! TJP survives again but Kojima drags him back up. The fans rally, Kojima suplexes, BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!!! TJP is still in this and the fans fire up! Kojima powers up again, and he runs, into a SUPERKICK! Kojima rebounds, but into a clinch, and MOUSE TRAP! TJP WINS!!

Winner: TJP, by pinfall (advances to the next round)

Even TJP is surprised that finished it! A major win over the Major League Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, but even bigger is that TJP is one step closer to the G1! But will Public Enemy be able to take down The Holy Emperor in Korakuen Hall?

 

8 Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture!

Now, don’t be confused, this match did happen yesterday, too. But now, Yoshinobu Kanemaru is swapped out for Dick Togo! Will he be a spoiler for Bushi, Titan, Yota y Naito? Or will things still be tranquilo in the Summer heat?

Wait, Sho gets the mic just like he did last night. He again talks trash on LIJ, and says he hates having to be here in Ibaraki. Sho then asks Young Lion Katsuya Murashima where he’s from. Right here in Ibaraki. The fans cheer but Sho says no wonder he’s a loser! And then The House beats up on Murashima! LIJ protests but poor Murashima already flops out of the ring. Sho says The House is gonna prove LIJ are loses, just like Murashima and Ibaraki! The teams finally sort out, and after LIJ fist bumps, Naito steps to Evil. The fans rally for “NA-I-TO!” and that annoys The House, but Naito and Evil slowly circle.

The two feel things out, Evil knowing Naito’s tricks. But speaking of tricks, Dick jumps in to CLOBBER Naito! The fans boo and Red Shoes reprimands but Evil stomps away on Naito. Evil and Dick stand on Naito, Red Shoes reprimands more, but Evil tags Sho. The Murder Machine talks trash as he stomps Naito, then he DECKS Bushi! Sho stomps Naito more, whips him to ropes, but Naito reverses to kick low. Bushi gets in to RANA! The fans cheer, and Naito cravats Sho for a neck wrench. Naito brings Sho to the corner, Bushi tags in, and Bushi goes up to MISSILE DROPKICK Sho down! And Bushirooni!

The fans fire up, Bushi runs in to ELBOW Sho! Sho takes a swing, but Bushi ducks and spins Sho to a DDT! Cover, TWO! Bushi tags Titan and the fans rally up. Sho stands, Titan springboards in, CROSSBODY! But then Narita throws Titan down by his mask! Titan kips up to PELE Narita! Titan dodges Sho, knuckle locks and CHOPS, then goes up and up! Titan tightrope walks, jumps, but Evil distracts Red Shoes so Dick can LASH Titan with his belt! Sho then shoves Titan down and Evil BLASTS Naito off the apron! The fans boo but The House goes after LIJ on the outside! Another LASH from Dick’s belt and Titan staggers!

Dick CLOBBERS Titan into No Man’s Land, Sho & Evil double whip Naito hard into railing, and Narita is after Yota in the crowd! The fans boo, but Evil RAMS Naito into the timekeeper! Down goes Abe-san and the fans boo more. Red Shoes reprimands Evil but he misses Sho & Dick CHOKING Titan at the ropes! Red Shoes finally sees, Sho lets off and brings Titan around to bump off buckles. Tag to Dick and he CLUBS Titan on the back. Dick bumps Titan off more buckles, then climbs up to go after the mask! The fans boo, Red Shoes reprimands, but he’s busy stopping Evil as he has Dick’s belt! Dick almost has Titan’s mask off!

The cameramen are respectful enough to move so we don’t see any of Titan’s face, and then Red Shoes makes Dick stop. Titan gets his mask back on but Dick CLAWS Titan’s back! Dick then brings Titan around, tags Narita, and they mug El Inmortal. Titan drags Titan up, whips him to ropes, then ELBOWS him down! Cover, TWO! Narita BOOTS Yota off the apron just because, and then he tags Evil. Evil CLAWS Titan’s back, then he brings Titan around to wrench and whip into the corner. Evil clotheslines Titan, tags Sho, and Narita distracts Red Shoes so Dick can climb! The fans boo but Titan still suffers the DICK CHOP! Evil covers, TWO!

Evil argues the count but the fans cheer. Evil stands on Titan’s head, talks trash, and the fans boo again. The fans rally for “L I J! L I J!” “TI-TA-NN! TI-TA-NN!” Evil fireman’s carries but Titan slips free. Evil kicks, whips, but Titan reverses then goes Matrix! CALF KICK! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Titan hurries over, hot tag to Yota! The fans fire up and Yota fires forearms on Evil. Yota whips, Evil reverses but Yota ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! Dick runs in but Yota dodges, to then scoop and BACKBREAKER! Yota BLASTS Narita, DECKS Sho, but Evil kicks low! Evil reels Yota in, but Yota suplexes first! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up with Yota and he brings Evil up. Yota fireman’s carries, but Evil fights free. Evil waistlocks, Yota elbows free and runs, but Narita is there with his pushup bar! Red Shoes reprimands Narita but Evil puts Yota in a corner. Evil blocks a boot, puts Yota in the ropes, then WOE STOMPS him down! Tag to Narita and he drags Yota up. Narita whips Yota to a corner, runs in and ELBOWS, then goes side to side to JUMP KICK! Narita doesn’t stop, he scrapes Yota’s face off ropes! Narita runs to BOOT Yota down! Cover, TWO! Yota is still in this and the fans rally up. Narita brings Yota up, Yota takes a swing, but Narita catches him to a SLEEPER!

The fans rally as Yota endures and reaches out. Narita pulls hair to bring Yota away from ropes. Yota breaks free to hit the BACKBREAKER, COMPLETE SHOT and STOMP! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Yota crawls over, hot tag to Naito! The fans cheer again and Naito fires hands on Narita. Naito kicks, CLUBS and whips Narita, to then arm-drag! Narita comes back but into an ELBOW! Basement DROPKICK! Naito hauls Narita up and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! The fans cheer as Naito poses, and he storms over to the corner. Naito hops up, brings Narita up, but Narita breaks free, so Naito BOOTS him!

Naito runs in, Narita redirects him into a cheap shot from Dick! Then Narita KNEE STAMPS Naito down! The House blasts LIJ, and Evil gets Naito to a corner. Evil and Dick double whip Naito to the corner, then Dick runs in to BACK ELBOW! Sho runs in to FOREARM SMASH! Evil runs in to clohtesline! And FISHERMAN BUSTER! Dick covers, TWO! The fans fire up but Evil argues with Red Shoes. But this is all a distraction so Dick can use the SPOILER CHOKER! The fans boo but Naito powers out and arm-drags Dick! Yota drags Evil out! Naito ELBOWS Dick, atomic drops, then Bushi basement dropkicks! ROLLING JACKKNIFE! TWO!!

Dick survives the combo but Naito wrenches him. Sho & Evil attack first! They whip Naito, but Naito stops himself! Titan springboards in to DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICK! Narita knees Titan, runs, but Titan DROPKICKS! The fans fire up as Titan builds speed, and he FLIES out onto The House! Naito fires ELBOWS on Dick, then Yota SUPERKICKS! Bushi hits a CODE BREAKER! Naito tops it off with DESTINO! Cover, LIJ wins again!

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, by pinfall

The hot streak continues for LIJ, which also means the House of Torture keeps losing! Will they ever learn?

As for LIJ, Naito gets the mic like he did last night, and says “Buenas tardes, KAMISUUU~!” The fans cheer, and Naito notes that it has been one year since NJPW was last here. It makes him very happy to be competing in front of them again, here in the Kamisu Bousai Arena. And he is thankful that they all came out tonight to see them. Gracias, amigos! Naito then brings up that next Sunday, he will be in the United States to challenge Jon Moxley for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship. Naito acknowledges that he was the one who lost the title and let it go overseas, so he vows to bring it back. The fans cheer that!

Naito knows he still has to beat Moxley, but he asks until then, TRANQUILO! Assen na yo. And of course, it is time to close. And Naito’s pretty sure this is the first time they’ve had a role call here in Ibaraki. Are they ready? The fans cheer! Then New Japan Soul here in Kamisu Bousai Arena can only end one way! “Bushi, Hiromu, Takagi, Titan, Yota, y Naito! Nosotros! LOS! INGOBERRRRNABLEEEEEES~! DE! JA! PON!” LIJ is rolling, Naito is rolling, but will Naito rock New York and bring the title home?


My Thoughts:

Another solid night for New Japan Soul, and a great night for The United Empire as they sweep the card, while also getting TJP to the next round of the qualifiers. I personally would love seeing TJP get into the G1 Climax, really let him show what he’s got against the heavyweights. And great match from Yano VS Oleg, and I appreciate they gave Oleg the win here. Oleg VS Tanahashi is gonna be good stuff, too, but I feel like Tanahashi moves on to the B Block qualifier finals. And then another fun 8 Man Tag but of course Naito wins. Naito brings that momentum to Forbidden Door, Moxley probably has his own tune-up on Dynamite or something, and then as I said before, I would hope Naito wins the title back and brings it with him into the G1.

My Score: 8.8/10


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