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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (12/11/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bayley & Mickie James w/ Sasha Banks VS Absolution w/ Sonya Deville; Absolution wins.
  • Finn Balor VS Curt Axel w/ Bo Dallas; Balor wins.
  • Seth Rollins VS Sheamus; Rollins wins.
  • “Second Chance” Fatal 4 Way: Ariya Daivari VS Tony Nese VS Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali; Alexander wins and faces Drew Gulak in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship #1 Contender’s match.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS Cesaro; Reigns wins and retains the IC Championship.
  • Asuka VS Alicia Fox; no contest.
  • Dean Ambrose VS Samoa Joe; Joe wins.
  • WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Kane VS Braun Strowman; double count-out.

PLAY BY PLAY

Roman Reigns is the WWE Intercontinental Champion, but Samoa Joe has staked a claim.

The Destroyer wasn’t done with going after Roman, for last week, he made sure the other members of The Shield did not reclaim the Raw Tag Team Championships to end last week’s episode. Lines have been drawn, tonight is all about settling scores!

 

Samoa Joe is already in the ring!

He knows the fans know of The Shield, “one of the most dominant forces in the history of the WWE.” It didn’t matter who you were, the Hounds of Justice would pounce. Joe has seen the Shield up close, but he is not impressed. He is not impressed by Seth Rollins, a man whose leg snapped on Joe’s first day on Raw. He is not impressed by Dean Ambrose, a man who does everything he can to avoid Joe. And he is “damn sure” not impressed by Roman Reigns, who he has put to sleep again and again. Joe knows he has Ambrose tonight, but here’s out here now to finish business with Reigns! Not the Big Dog and the “Lap Dogs”, just Reigns. We see The Shield watching this from backstage. Rollins tells Ambrose to tell Reigns. Joe grows impatient, he knows he’s dominant and intimidating. Roman remembers, right? Joe does. If it wasn’t for Jason Jordan, Joe would’ve ended Reigns right there. Joe takes credit for keeping The Shield from being “a grand stable of imperial champions”, and there’s nothing Roman can do about that! Samoa Joe doesn’t need The Bar, doesn’t care about Rollins or Ambrose, Samoa Joe stands on his own two feet! If it wasn’t for The Shield, Roman would be NOTHING. If Roman doesn’t agree, then come out and prove Joe wrong. Roman tells The Shield that he’s “got this.” And out comes Roman to the ring!

They brawl the moment Roman hits the ring! Roman backs Joe down, stomping a mudhole into him. Joe slips away, here comes The Bar! Roman knocks them each away and Joe fights back, it is now 3v1! The Shield reinforces Roman and goes after The Bar. Joe has Roman in the Coquina Clutch! Ambrose spills the others over and goes after Joe himself. Sheamus bails Joe out, Rollins returns and goes after both of them, but now Rollins is stuck 3v1! A-Swiss-ted White Noise takes out The Architect! Ambrose crawls back in, but now he is victim of 3v1. The Bar hold Ambrose up and feed him to Joe’s yurinagi slam. The Shield is down, do they have a chance of standing up against Joe and The Bar?

 

Bayley & Mickie James w/ Sasha Banks VS Absolution w/ Sonya Deville!

Raw’s Women’s Division is helping the Women’s Revolution grow stronger, but strongest of all is Absolution. The Glampire rubs in how she defeated the Legit Boss, but now she and Mandy Rose vow to “purge the division of the feeble and the unworthy.” Or in other words, the Huggable One and the returning veteran. Absolution is a symphony of carnage, and the music is about to start.

Mandy and Bayley start, Bayley tackles Mandy but Paige tags in. Bayley backs off, Paige gets the edge but then gets put into the corner, tag to Mickie for a double suplex, that Mandy saves Paige from. The Absolution women are both sent out of the ring, Paige is furious already. Bayley flies onto Mandy, then Mickie flies onto Paige! Absolution in trouble as we go to break.

We return to Bayley fighting out of Mandy’s headlock. Bayley snapmares and gives an elbow to the back, a sliding lariat and then one more elbow drop, cover, TWO! Mandy retaliates with a running knee, TWO! She puts Bayley in Absolution’s corner, tag to Paige, and Paige gives Bayley knee after knee within the ropes. Paige roars before giving Bayley another knee, TWO, so she grabs Bayley’s arm and mocks her. Bayley fights back, Paige stomps her out and even gives her a headbutt. Paige gives Mickie a cheap shot, Absolution then mugs Bayley in the distraction. Paige gives Bayley a Shining Wizard, cover, TWO. The fans rally, Paige sets Bayley up for more knees in the ropes, but Bayley counters to trip Paige up! Bayley crawls, Paige stops her, Bayley shoves her away, hot tags to Mandy and Mickie! Mickie rallies, kicks away on Mandy, and hits a jumping clothesline. She goes to put Mandy in a corner, Mandy gives a back elbow, but then she runs into Mickie’s flapjack!

Sonya gets on the apron but takes a shot for it, Mickie climbs up and flies for the seated senton! Paige breaks it up, Bayley tackles her and unleashes stomps. Mickie goes after Mandy, Paige blasts Mickie with a kick! Absolution wins! With this victory, is Raw going to be Absolution’s to rule?

 

Bray Wyatt is here. But so is WOKEN Hardy!

“This is nothing new. It has always been darkness versus light.” Morning and night, good and evil, it is Bray’s favorite game. WOKEN Hardy says “The Great War has perpetuated for eons!” Now, it continues on WWE’s Raw! Hardy is yin to Wyatt’s yang, and he has been waiting. The darkness shall be illuminated by the WOKEN WISDOM and BROKEN BRILLIANCE. Hardy is a liar! Hardy is a modern-day golden calf. Moo. Hardy’s words mean nothing, but Hardy is familiar with Sister Abigail. Abigail contracted an addiction to darkness, and was consumed by evil. Her horrendous soul habitats Bray Wyatt. Why follow a jester when you can walk behind a king? Choose your side wisely, for only one can survive. WOKEN WARRIORS prepare for battle against the Wyatt Swarm, and they shall… DELETE! Both men laugh like madmen, who will prove themselves the madder?

 

Raw is curious about Nia Jax’s interest in the Certified G.

Nia asked those infamous three words, “How You Doin’?” However, Enzo’s more in love with the Cruiserweight Championship. He asks what “Gabba Gulak” can do for Enzo. There was a major announcement. There is a Second Chance Fatal 4 Way to find a man worthy of fighting Drew Gulak for the right to be #1 contender to the Cruiserweight Championship. Gulak feels he will be that contender to face Enzo for the title, but Enzo tells him to be worried more about Mustafa Ali, Ariya Daivari, Cedric Alexander, Nia Jax- Nia Jax? Did Enzo mention Nia Jax? No… Why? She’s not on the 205 Live roster. Oh, Gulak sees what this is! It is a lesson, that Gulak needs to be prepared for anyone, even Nia Jax. Yeah… Enzo got away with that one, but when will Nia Jax next pop up?

 

Finn Balor VS Curt Axel w/ Bo Dallas!

The Miztourage is still going strong, as Curt Axel no longer needs that neck brace. The Miztourage also mocks Finn’s entrance, will they regret it very quickly? Axel might regret throwing his neck brace at Finn! However, Axel and Bo jump Finn right away, getting a 2v1 advantage! The match has not started but Axel unloads forearm hammers on Finn. The referee keeps Axel back and checks on Finn, Finn wants to go, so the bell rings and Axel is right on him again. Axel snapmares and neck-snaps Balor, TWO. Axel doesn’t slow down, he keeps Finn grounded with an armlock and chinbar. Finn gets up but is brought back down, knee to the spine before another chinlock. Fans rally for Finn, jawbreaker gets separation. Finn dodges Axel in a corner, then again to give chops. Axel swinsg and misses, gets a slingblade! Finn then blasts Axel with a dropkick, that bad neck keeps Axel down, COUP DE GRACE! Finn wins and sweeps the Miztourage! Can the Extraordinary Man keep this up all the way towards a title match?

 

Kane speaks to Braun Strowman.

“Tonight, you and I step into The Abyss.” They both know what it’s like to squeeze a man into surrender. Kane will delight to enter with a fellow monster, but he will climb out alone and smiling. Kane will crush more than Strowman’s throat, and that he will compete against The Beast, Brock Lesnar. At the Royal Rumble, the Big Red Machine vows to become Universal Champion. Can Kane make good on the first step tonight?

 

Seth Rollins VS Sheamus!

The Architect may not be one-half of the Raw Tag Team Champions, but he will relish this chance for 1v1 revenge against the Celtic Gladiator! The order came down that this match will ban all allies from ringside, both men will have to do it alone. The referee has to keep the piece as Sheamus puts his gear to the side, but when the bell rings, Rollins goes right for him! Sheamus shoves Rollins away, Rollins comes right back and gives chop after chop. Rollins’ whip is reversed, but he slips out of the tilt-o-whirl to then dump Sheamus out. He keeps going, and DIVES to knock Sheamus down! Rollins puts Sheamus into barriers, then pursues around the side to bump him off the apron. They go back around and then into the ring, Sheamus clobbers Rollins. Sheamus takes time to catch his breath as Rollins slowly stirs, then reels Rollins in for a lariat. Rollins gets to a corner, Sheamus comes over to give heavy right hands.

Sheamus embraces the heat fans are slinging at him, he stomps and stands on Rollins’ head. Sheamus brings Rollins up and hits a delayed backbreaker, TWO. Rollins is bumped off buckles now, Sheamus gives him forearms in the back. Sheamus stomps an Irish Mudhole into Rollins, then embraces even more heat as he goes Super Saiyan for the kick. Rollins dodges and kicks back with an enziguri! Sheamus is dazed, Rollins up and throws right hands and chops. Another whip reversed, ROllins dodges for the Slingblade! Rollins boots Sheamus away, flying blockbuster! He clotheslines Sheamus out of the ring, The Architect fires up and slingshots over. Rollins lands on his feet, Sheamus gets him with knees on reentry to send him flying back out.

The Celtic Gladiator is in control as we go to break.

We’re back and Sheamus grinds Rollins with a chinlock. Sheamus taunts Rollins as Rollins works to stand up. Rollins gives Sheamus a jawbreaker, then puts out a foot as Sheamus comes in. Sheamus blocks the kick and uses that leg to fling Rollins into the mat!

Rollins clutches that leg, Sheamus goes right after it with stomps and knee drops. Sheamus puts Rollins in a stretch muffler, hanging Rollins upside-down by his bad leg. Rollins endures, sits up, and throws hands, then huricanrana into a pin! Sheamus rolls through to the Cloverleaf! Rollins endures again, reaches for ropes, and pushes himself up but Sheamus drags him away! Rollins with the small-package counter, TWO, Irish Curse Backbreaker slipped through for a DDT! TWO! Sheamus’ toughness keeps him in this match, Rollins drags himself to a corner to recover. Both men stand up, Rollins dodges and then rolls Sheamus, TWO, MULE KICK! TWO again, Rollins’ leg hurts too much for him to be frustrated. Sheamus and Rollins stand up, Rollins grabs Sheamus but gets a back elbow, Sheamus gives Rollins a shinbreaker against a buckle! Rollins is down, Sheamus climbs up, Rollins gets up to stop him. Sheamus fights Rollins off on the top rope, Rollins topples down again, but then springs right up for the SUPERPLEX roll-through to Falcon Arrow!

The leg slows Rollins down on that cover, TWO! Both men are down, fans are rallying, Rollins is first to stand up. he brings Sheamus up, swings him out, but fireman’s carry! Rollins fights out but Sheamus trophy lifts him into the rolling senton! Sheamus fires up now, fans boo and jeer as he calls for the finish. Rollins is up, he ducks the Brogue to SUPERKICK Sheamus and give the Kingslayer Knee! Rollins wins! Will Rollins’ knee be okay so that he and Ambrose can challenge for the Raw Tag Team Championships once again?

 

Backstage interview with Dean Ambrose.

The Shield is up 1-0 against their opponents tonight, and with The Big Dog defending his Intercontinental Championship, what is The Lunatic’s strategy for going against Samoa Joe given the opening brawl? Strategy? Ambrose just wants to win. Ambrose will avoid getting kicked in the face, being put in the Coquina Clutch, and giving away his strategy out in the open. Joe cost them the titles, and now wants after Roman? Ambrose is overheated, thanks for the pep talk. Can Ambrose survive Samoa Joe in their first-ever match-up?

 

“Second Chance” Fatal 4 Way: Ariya Daivari VS Tony Nese VS Cedric Alexander VS Mustafa Ali!

The Outlandish Rich Swann lost his opportunity do to circumstances in his personal life, but that just gives four Cruiserweights who lost a chance to rise again. Drew Gulak joins commentary to watch this match-up personally.

Will it all be ‘Zo Train for the Cruiserweight Championship after the night is through?

The bell rings, all four men stare down, but it is the Carolina Kid that sparks the action as he goes after The Premier Athlete. The Pakistani Prince brawls with the Privileged Persian, the two brawls end up in opposite corners. Daivari keeps on Ali, whip but Ail flapjack dropkicks. Alexander shoves Nese, ducks, handspring headscissors and dropkick! Alexander and Ali are alone again, deja vu. They move fast with takedowns and covers, Ali rolls but Alexander kicks out, back slide cover, TWO, Ali headlocks but Alexander powers out and we have a stand-off. Ali gives elbows and chops, then a whip but Alexander gives a European Uppercut. Alexander runs, NEse dumps him out, but Ali goes up top to FLY on them both! Ali is fired up, he puts Alexander in the ring, Daivari pounces with a lariat! Daivari goes to Alexander now, TWO, which upsets Daivari. He hammers away on Alexander, then gets upset with the ref for reprimanding him. Daivari puts Alexander in a chinlock, trash talks in Farsi, fans rally and Alexander gets up. Alexander fights back but is clubbed down, Daivari puts him on the apron only for Alexander to come back in with a springboard complete shot!

Cover, Nese breaks it. Nese throws Alexander right into buckles, Ali ducks under Nese for a stiff set of chops. Ali whips, Nese reverses and gives a pumphandle lift, Ali slips out but gets run over. Nese gives Alexander a back kick, whips but is reversed, Nese eats Daivari’s discus elbow! Daivari hesitates, takes Alexander’s back elbow, Ali come sin for a tilt-o-whirl DDT! All four men are down, fans are loving it as we go to break.

We return to see Ali down in Daivari’s chinlock. Ali endures the wrench, fights out and whips but Daivari reverses for a big spinebuster and high cover, TWO. Daivari is frustrated as he puts Ali back into the chinlock. He trash talks in Farsi again, Ali gets up and fights out again. Daivari clubs him down and throws him at the buckles but Ali slips out and kicks Daivari away. Fans slowly fire up, Ali hits the rolling facebuster! TWO, Nese is back to give Ali a knee and a deadlift, but Ali fights back. Ali is put in the corner but elbows out, hops up and boots Daivari away, Nese springs up with an uppercut! Nese puts Ali back up on the top rope, climbs up but Ali elbows him away. Nese is in the drop zone, Ali takes aim, 0-5-4! Alexander breaks the pin! He and Ali have unfinished business, they throw fast and furious hands on each other. Stiff back elbow from Ali, then a slap, Ali runs but into the Spanish Fly! Lumbar Check!!

Daivari throws Alexander out, covers, but Alexander drags Daviari out. They brawl, Nese FLIES outta nowhere! Nese puts Alexander in the ring, brings down a knee pad, Premier Kneese! Ali breaks the pin! Everyone is sore and frustrated, but that’s the nature of a fatal 4 way. The ‘Zo Train regroups and targets Ali, who valiantly fights against them both. It doesn’t work, double whip but Ali kicks Daivari away. Nese is thrown out, Alexander flies in! Roll-up from Daivari, TWO, handspring Neuralizer! Alexander kicks Nese away, then hits Daivari with a Lumbar Check! Alexander wins and will face Gulak next week!

In-ring interview with Cedric Alexander.

“This was my second chance! And I plan on taking full advantage of it.” Alexander calls out Gulak, saying he will move on to face Enzo and become the NEW Cruiserweight Champion! Will Gulak be able to keep his promise to the Certified G and keep challengers away?

 

Drew Gulak reports to Enzo Amore.

The other challenger is Cedric Alexander, so when “Gabba Gulak” deals with him, it’ll finally come down to Gulak VS Amore and Gulak will become champion! What was that? Nothing, just “friendly” trash talk. Who said they were friends? Gulak works for Enzo on the ‘Zo Train. Gulak wins one match and he’s suddenly thinking they’re equals? Enzo will keep it real, by first saying the PowerPoint Presentations are only one word! And that word is- informative? Get out of here… And how you doin’, Nia? Just fine. Nice to see you, Enzo. And you, too, Drew. Nia likes his powerpoints. Enzo was gonna say the same thing! yes, informative, that’s what they are. Nia would like to talk with Enzo, but when Enzo’s not busy. What is the Certified G to make of this situation?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Roman Reigns VS Cesaro!

The Big Dog promised to be a fighting champion, so another Raw means another Intercontinental title defense! Can Roman keep the title in his Yard when faced with the Swiss Cyborg?

The bell rings, and the fight is on as Cesaro goes right at Roman, only to be knocked back and stomped in a corner. Cesaro gets out of the ring, Roman pursues, they go back in the ring and Cesaro stomps Roman upon reentry. Roman takes European Uppercut after EuroUpper, but then he runs and runs Cesaro over. He starts rallying, jumping clothesline floors Cesaro. Roman gives Cesaro close-range clotheslines, Cesaro slips out to hotshot that arm. Cesaro then boots Roman, Roman boots back! Roman clotheslines Cesaro out of the ring, and catches his breath as we go to break.

Back again, and Cesaro wrenches Roman’s arm in a high keylock. Fans rally, Roman gets to his feet but Cesaro reels him in for a lariat, TWO. Cesaro keeps on the bad arm with a wristlock. Fans keep rallying, Cesaro keeps the torture up, Roman endures the twists and bends. Cesaro says no one likes Roman, so Roman should just give up. Roman still endures, slowly turning and standing up. Cesaro tries to keep Roman down but Roman headbutts and kicks back, Mahistrol cradle! TWO, EuroUpper countered, they both use power and the backslide goes, TWO. Roman dodges Cesaro then rolls him up, TWO, into an armbar and Cesaro hammers away on the shoulder before putting on the Fujiwara!

Roman endures again, Cesaro brings him to the cneter of the ring. Cesaro keeps up the torque, Roman wills his way to his feet, and then throws Cesaro to a corner. Roman keeps Cesaro in the corner, then back suplex slams him to the mat! Both men down from exhaustion, Roman blocks punches to give headbutts. Cesaro down on the ropes, Roman goes to the outside for the Drive-By dropkick! Cover, TWO! Roman and Cesaro are slow to stand up, but Roman is up nonetheless. He takes aim, locks and loads, Cesaro swats the bad arm away! Cesaro traps the good arm in a Fujiwara armbar, then shift over to a crossface on the bad arm!

Roman endures the submission, works to stand up and powers Cesaro up for a Samoan Drop! TWO, Roman is running out of ideas. Both men are slowly stirring again, Roman crawling back to the corner. Cesaro blasts Roman with a EuroUpper, then rams him into the post shoulder-first! Roman tumbles to the floor, Cesaro pursues. Cesaro runs in, Roman boots Cesaro away, flying punch! Back into the ring, cover, TWO! They are both further exhausted, yet they are still able to stand. Roman lets the battle cry out, but Cesaro kicks the Spear away, flapjack EuroUpper!

TWO, but into the Crossface hold! Cesaro pulls Roman back, Roman endures and shifts, then powers Cesaro up again. Cesaro slips down, sunset flip to the Swiss Swing! Roman powers his way up to roll over Cesaro, deadlift powerbomb! TWO!! Neither man has given up, and the fans in Cleveland are loving it. Both men stir once more, and brawl on their knees. The brawl moves onto their feet, the referee reacts to Cesaro’s mouth guard falling out, so Cesaro takes advantage with a small package! TWO, Cesaro is shocked! He argues with the referee, but just turns his frustrations on Roman. Roman in a corner, takes more EuroUppers! The referee tries to cool him off, Cesaro brings Roman out for the Neutralizer, only for Roman to power out, and SPEAR!! Roman retains! It took so much out of both men, can Roman stay champion at this rate?

 

Braun Strowman responds to Kane.

“You tried to crush my throat and end my career. But a couple weeks ago, I sent you crawling out of the arena, gasping for air with a taste of your own medicine.” Tonight, Strowman will give Kane another dose, because he wants another shot at The Beast. Kane stands in his way, but not for long! The collision is coming, who will survive?!

 

Asuka VS Alicia Fox!

Alicia is the only woman crazy enough to want another go at the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow after already having lost to her once. But when the music hits, there is no Alicia to be found. Because Absolution returns!

What happened? Backstage with a bad elbow. In that case, this gives us time to talk. The Absolution has let Asuka walk away cleanly, but not even she can stop them. That leaves us in a pickle: move aside, or they’ll make you. Asuka doesn’t move.

The fans cheer her bravery, but Paige gives one last chance. Asuka still stands in their way. Well “No One is Ready for Asuka”, but she hasn’t faced Absolution. Asuka immediately takes out Mandy and fights off Sonya, Paige pounces. Paige hammers away but gets caught in an armlock! Mandy and Sonya save her, it is 2v1 and then three with Paige’s stiff knee. Absolution feeds Asuka to Paige, but here coems Sasha Banks and the rest of the Raw Women’s Divison! They run into the ring and outnubmer Absolution now! Nia Jax has Paige but Paige slips out, Sasha stuns Paige with a knee. Mandy is left alone against all the women, Asuka gets her with the spnining back hand. Nia runs Mandy over! Absolution retreats, the rest of Raw is united! Has Absolution’s plans absolutely backfired?

 

Raw GM Kurt Angle wants to make sure things are ready for the main event.

The last time Kane and Braun Strowman had a match, they literally went through the ring. The ring needs to be reinforced. Understood. But in comes Jason Jordan. He apologizes for how he acted last week. JJ let his “intensity” get the best of him. But, what happened to his match with Samoa Joe? After disrespecting Angle and then ruining the Raw Tag Team Championship match, no wonder Stephanie McMahon has been on Angle’s case. Just put JJ in a match! Calm down! It isn’t a good situation, or an easy one, but Angle is JJ’s dad. Angle wanted to get at Joe personally, but he’s not just a dad but a GM. But JJ can beat Joe! JJ survived so many other legends, he can hold his own. As a GM, Angle reminds JJ didn’t win any of those matches. JJ will have his match when Angle says, not when JJ wants it. “Okay, dad.” Or is it, “Okay, Kurt”? JJ storms out, what can the Olympic Gold Medalist father do about his Gold-Blooded Son’s temper?

 

Dean Ambrose VS Samoa Joe!

Ohio’s favorite Lunatic goes up against the Samoan Destroyer for the first time anywhere, who will survive the violence and madness? The bell rings, Joe spots Jason Jordan with a chair? JJ is just going to watch, the same way Joe did last week.

Ambrose goes after Joe in that opening, speeding up but bouncing off Joe! Joe stomps Ambrose down, then drags him up to give him knee strikes and jabs. Joe runs, Ambrose dropkicks out a leg, Ambrose puts Joe in a corner to trap a leg and throw down hands. Ambrose runs to dropkick that leg, then gives it a dragon screw. Joe slides out of the ring, Ambrose slips out to pursue. Ambrose runs in and clubs Joe on the back, then bumps Joe off barriers. Ambrose refreshes the count before giving JOe a leg sweep against the barriers. He keeps on Joe’s leg with kicks and even a chop block before putting him in the ring. Ambrose climbs up, JJ watches as he jumps over Joe, Joe dodges and back elbow to Pele! Joe lets Ambrose tumble out as we go to break.

We return to see Joe holding Ambrose down in a half straitjacket. Ambrose gets up as fans rally, and fights out of the hold. Ambrose chops and runs but Joe runs him over, topping it off with a back senton, only to miss! Joe and Ambrose are both slow to get up as fans rally again, and they brawl. Ambrose gives jabs and chops, jabs and chops, Joe just gives jab after jab. Joe watches Ambrose stagger then gives him more jabs. Ambrose slaps Joe, Joe gives him an elbow, Lunatic Lariat into the yurinagi but Ambrose slips out. Ambrose boots Joe, Joe runs in but takes an elbow, Ambrose runs and knocks Joe down. He rallies now, runs corner to corner to forearm smash Joe, Joe powers out of the bulldog and gives another elbow, Lunatic Lariat hits! Both men down again, JJ is watching eagerly. Joe grabs Ambrose, Ambrose suddenly goes for Dirty Deeds but Joe counters with an Exploder!

Joe mocks JJ, JJ approaches the ring, Ambrose takes advantage again with a knee and roll-up, TWO! Joe kicks Ambrose, powerbomb lift but Ambrose fights out to headscissor Joe over and out with him! JJ sees them crash down but assures he’ll leave Joe alone, to instead help Ambrose into the ring. Joe gets JJ with a Coquina, Ambrose DIVES onto them both! Back into the ring now, Ambrose climbs up, JJ on the apron, flying elbow! The distraction lasts too long, the cover is counted late, TWO! Ambrose realizes that and glares at JJ.

The Lunatic slips out and goes up to JJ to get in his face. JJ grabs Ambrose, JOE DIVES! He puts Ambrose in the ring, gives JJ a back senton, then puts Ambrose in the Coquina! Ambrose flails, fades, Joe wins! Did Joe only win because of Jason Jordan? Joe doesn’t care, because he won.

 

Dana Brooke is backstage with Titus Worldwide.

She is so grateful to be accepted into the group! They’re excited to have her, as the official Titus Worldwide Statistician/ Head of Research & Development! Statistics? Research and development? No, no, The Club thinks that’s for… NERDS!

But here comes BRAUN!

No more talk, time for war!

 

WWE Universal Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Kane VS Braun Strowman!

Raw’s resident monsters have collided time and again ever since The Big Red Machine returned, but now it all comes to an end one way or another. Will it be the Devil’s Favorite Demon or the Monster Among Men that challenges The Beast at the Royal Rumble?

The bell rings, Strowman powers Kane to a corner and drives in shoulder after shoulder and even a headbutt. He doesn’t let Kane slip away, either, rocking Kane with right hands. Strowman goes corner to corner for a big clothesline in the corner, then a running dropkick! Cover, TWO, and Kane escapes to the outside. Strowman pursues, Kane gets the upper-hand now but is soon reversed and thrown into steel steps. The ref counts, they return inside the ring, Kane kicks Strowman on reentry. Strowman doesn’t slow down at all, Kane backs down but is backed down by force. Strowman goes corner to corner again but Kane dodges. Kane grabs Strowman, CHOKE SLAM!

TWO! Kane is furious, so he hammers Strowman’s head with elbows. The Big Red Machine backs off to let Strowman get up, another choke slam! TWO! Kane is further frustrated, he doesn’t understand how Strowman is enduring these attacks. He looms over Strowman, dragging him up by his throat. Strowman gives the choke back, Strowman choke slams Kane!

TWO, and Kane rolls out of the ring. He rests against barriers while Strowman recovers in the ring. Strowman comes out to pursue Kane, Kane gives that signature uppercut and now things move to the crowd! They brawl, big right hands back and forth, Strowman then tackles Kane through a barrier! The ring count climbs up and hits ten, it’s a double count-out?! The fans boo, this isn’t how they wanted the match to end. The same goes for Strowman, as he stalks a fleeing Kane. Kane kicks Strowman away, and keeps crawling away, but Strowman pursues. Strowman dumps Kane over the steel steps, then takes aim with those steel steps! Kane has the same idea, and now they go jousting with steel! Both monsters drop the steps, but Strowman fetches a cart. Kane won’t let his throat be crushed again, but Strowman wallops Kane with another right hand! They return inside the ring, fans want tables, so Strowman obliges! He puts the table in the ring, Kane gets out of the ring. Kane fetches a chair, and SMACKS Strowman’s knee with it.

Fans watch as Kane swings again, Strowman rocks Kane with one more right. Kane retaliates with more chair shots that SMACK against Strowman’s body! Kane jabs the chair edge at Strowman, but staggers from exhaustion. The table comes back into play as Kane stands it up. Fans are cheering as Kane returns to Strowman, but a double clothesline floors them both. Neither behemoth gets up, but Kane sits up. His eyes lock onto Strowman, Strowman sits up!

Kane is shocked by that! Strowman is up, and runs at Kane, but into a choke grip. Strowman uses his strength to counter, scoop Kane, and put him through the table!!

The Monster Among Men didn’t win the match, but he won the war! But the question remains: Who will face The Beast at the Royal Rumble!?

 

My Thoughts:

This was an interesting Raw. I’d think some of the haphazard feel comes from adjusting for certain extenuating circumstances. Even so, most of tonight was still fun, no major lull anywhere in the night. The opening segment was fine, though Joe could’ve paced his promo better, and it was a bit redundant to have a brawl when we knew about all the matches set up for tonight before tonight. Those matches themselves were great, though, as Rollins-Sheamus was solid as always, Roman-Cesaro was match of the night whether anti-Roman fans will admit it, and Ambrose-Joe was another solid match that also advanced the Jason Jordan Heel turn. Jordan’s turn is also going great, really, and he’s currently in the Tweener territory as he is making enemies with a lot of people. His playing on Angle’s paternal instincts is also key to his turn, this could go places to make a legit star out of JJ.

The Cruiserweights also have another great match, mixing the highlights from both previous fatal 4 ways into this “second chance” edition, like the standing Spanish fly counter Alexander hits Ali with. It made sense that if Swann was no longer eligible to be the chosen Face to face the top Heels, it’d fall to the other top Face to do it. Alexander has the ring talent and momentum to take down Gulak and then Enzo, but there is still an underlying bit of Face momentum that Gulak could easily tap into after that tense moment with Enzo backstage. I’m still hoping Nia just wants a manager, but it’d be hilarious if Enzo assumed she wanted something more and was rejected. On top of that, Nia and the rest of the Women’s Division is making things interesting by taking a united stand against Absolution. This better lead to the Women’s Rumble, because a single Six Woman Tag won’t be enough at this rate. The Universal Championship is the one curious piece for Raw right now. Balor wins a filler match, but he’s nowhere near facing Lesnar given how Vince is feeling. Kane and Strowman are suddenly given a #1 contender’s match but it all ends in a draw. Lesnar will show up next week, and Heyman will surely address this, but I think we all know the bottom line is that someone is only going to be fed to The Beast to hold him over until Wrestlemania.

 

My Score: 8/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Climax 34 Results & Report! (7/20/24)

Who is the Strongest of the Summer?

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The greatest tradition of NJPW returns!

The G1 Climax returns for its 34th round robin, with both blocks in action for a loaded ten card match! Who starts off strong to be the strongest of all?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • G1 Climax 34 B Block: Boltin Oleg VS Ren Narita; Oleg wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block: Callum Newman VS Shota Umino; Callum wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block: El Phantasmo VS HENARE; Henare wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block: Great-O-Khan VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb; Cobb wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block: SANADA VS Jake Lee; Jake wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block: Yuya Uemura VS David Finlay; Yuya wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block: Gabe Kidd VS EVIL; Evil wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 B Block: Yota Tsuji VS Konosuke Takeshita; Konosuke wins.
  • G1 Climax 34 A Block: Tetsuya Naito VS Shingo Takagi; Takagi wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

G1 Climax 34 B Block: Boltin Oleg VS Ren Narita!

In the New Japan Soul qualifier series, The Kazakhstan Juggernaut defeated his NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship partners, Toru Yano and Hiroshi Tanahashi, just to be in this tournament! He even has new ring gear for the occasion. But will he make his senpai and shachou proud with a big opening round win? Or will the Souled Out Son of Strong Style steal away Oleg’s happiness?

Ren throws his cloak at Oleg and then fires off cheap shots! The ref reprimands, the bell rings, and this is on record as Ren kicks and runs. But Oleg dodges to run Ren over! The fans fire up and Oleg runs in to STINGER SPLASH at the corner! Then he fireman’s carries, but Ren flails free! Ren bails out, Oleg waits on him, and Ren throws a bit of a tantrum for Oleg getting the advantage. Ren goes around the way, fans rally up for Oleg, and then Oleg rushes out. Ren slides back in, runs and he BOOTS Oleg off the apron! Oleg hits railing pretty hard, but that’s cuz he’s so big! Ren goes out to drag Oleg up, and whips him hard into more railing!

Then Ren whips Oleg hard into even more railing! The fans rally for Oleg but Ren gets himself a chair, and his push-up bar. The ref stops Ren from using the chair, but he also spots the bar! The ref won’t let Ren use that, either! Ren lets the ref have the bar, only to pick the chair back up! Ren SMACKS Oleg in the arm! The fans boo while Oleg writhes but Ren just grins. Ren stalks Oleg, drags him up, and wrenches to lace the arm through railing. The ref counts, Ren pulls, but Ren lets off with a KICK! Then Ren BOOTS Oleg down! The ref reprimands and wants this in the ring, so Ren leaves Oleg behind.

The fans rally for Oleg, a ring count starts, and Oleg stands at 6 of 20. Oleg slides in at 8 but Ren stomps him. Ren kicks Oleg, wraps the arm around ropes, but the ref reprimands. Ren holds until 4, and then he scrapes Oleg’s face on the ropes! Ren runs, and he BOOTS Oleg down! Cover, TWO! Ren grabs the arm to have a DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Oleg endures and the fans rally up. Oleg fights up, but Ren CLUBS the arm! Ren wrenches, YANKS, YANKS, and YANKS! Ren wrenches to an ELBOW BREAKER! Oleg hobbles while clutching the arm, but Ren grins. Ren storms up to grab the arm, but Oleg ROCKS Ren!

The fans rally as Oleg CHOPS Ren! And he- NO, Ren ducks the chop to grab the arm! Ren wrangles Oleg down but Oleg rolls and deadlifts Ren! But Ren drags Oleg down again, ARMBAR! Oleg clasps hands, the fans rally, but Ren pulls at the arm. Oleg kicks around, reaches out, but Ren breaks the grip for the ARMBAR! Oleg flails and gets the ROPEBREAK with a foot! The fans cheer, the ref counts, but Ren lets go at 4. Ren is annoyed but he drags Oleg up to whip. Oleg blocks the arm-drag! Oleg shoves Ren and then DROPKICKS! The fans fire up while both men are down! Oleg rises, shakes out the bad arm, and he storms over to Ren.

Oleg deadlifts and gut wrenches, for the Shake, Rattle, and- NO, Ren fights free of the grip! But Oleg CHOPS again! Oleg whips, Ren reverses and KNEE STOMPS! Both men are down again but Ren hurries to his feet. Ren fires up and climbs while the fans rally for Oleg. Ren aims, leaps, and FLYING KNEE STOMPS! Cover, TWO!! But into an ARMBAR!! Ren pulls the arm but Oleg flails around! Oleg kicks, reaches out, but Ren pulls on that arm! Oleg has the fans behind him as he powers up to stack! Oleg deadlifts Ren into a pop-up and fireman’s carry! F5!! The fans fire up and Oleg roars! Oleg storms over to Ren to drag him up.

Oleg fireman’s carries again, for the KAMIKAZE SENTON!! Cover, OLEG WINS!!

Winner: Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Ren earns 0)

The fans go wild as Oleg does it again! Will The Rook get on a roll to reach the Climax? Will Ren recover and redeem himself in the next round?

 

G1 Climax 34 A Block: Callum Newman VS Shota Umino!

The other New Japan Soul qualifier winner is here, having made it through some of Bullet Club’s best. However, he runs into another of the Reiwa Era Musketeers in The Roughneck! Can the Prince of Pace keep pace with Oleg? Or will #SHOOTER show he’s better than his rival, Narita?

The bell rings and Callum rushes in. Shota dodges, but then Callum dodges Shota. Callum BOOTS Shota but Shota ROCKS Callum! Callum and Shota get face to face, then go forearm for forearm! The fans rally up as they go back and forth. Callum gets the edge, but Shota blocks a kick! Callum swats a haymaker then whips. Shota reverses but Callum ducks ‘n’ dodges and speeds up. Shota dodges a boot, ducks ‘n’ dodges haymakers, and now he speeds up! Callum dodges a lariat, but not the scoop and DROP! Shota SHOTGUNS Callum down and the fans fire up! Shota paces, stomps Callum, then paces some more.

Callum goes to ropes, Shota storms over and CLUBS him on the neck. Shota whips, Callum slips ‘n’ trips Shota up, to then DOUBLE STOMP! The fans cheer, Callum comes back to cover, ONE!! Callum grabs the legs and turns Shota right over into a BOSTON CRAB! Callum shifts, it’s a LIONTAMER now! Shota fights and he reaches out, to the ROPEBREAK! Fans cheer and Callum lets go, then he sits Shota up. Callum KICKS Shota in the back, then paces. Callum brings Shota up but Shota fires a forearm. Callum knees low, runs, but into a DROPKICK! Both men are down again and the fans fire up!

Callum crawls to a corner while Shota rises. Shota runs corner to corner, and he UPPERCUTS! Then he reels Callum in to FISHERMAN- NO, Callum fights that and wrenches out! Shota blocks a kick, slips under and he trips Callum, to then step over and STF! The fans fire up while Callum endures, and Callum reaches out. Callum claws his way forward, and he turns enough to have the ROPEBREAK with a foot! The fans cheer, Shota lets go and paces. Callum stirs but Shota brings him up. Shota dragon sleepers, inverted suplexes, but Callum slips free! Callum waistlocks but he ducks an elbow, only for Shota to ROCK him with a forearm!

Callum drops but then kips up, only for Shota to duck the enzigiri! Shota goes to waistlock but Callum slips under. Callum waistlocks again but Shota switches and shoves. Callum slides to a stop, then baits Shota in. Shota tries to tornado but Callum smothers that. Shota CLUBS away on Callum, goes again, TORNADO- NO! Callum powers out, kicks low then whips. Shota reverses but Callum avoids the dropkick! Callum runs up but Shota ducks the Penalty Kick to roll Callum. Callum rolls through, but Shota pops him up for a KNEE! Shota then reels Callum in, suplexes, but into STUN DOG MILLIONAIRE!

Shota wobbles as Callum uses an Ospreay move. But Shota rebounds and SHOTGUNS Callum down! But Callum springs right up to PENALTY KICK! The fans fire up while both men are down! Callum crawls back to a cover, TWO! Shota is still in this and Callum is annoyed. The fans rally, Callum feeds off the energy and rises up. Callum stands Shota up to chicken wing the arms. Shota fights the lift, but Callum CLUBS him on the back. Callum tries again, Shota fights the lift and RAMS Callum into the corner. Shota is free, and he arm-drags Callum away! Callum comes back, V-TRIGGER hits! But Shota’s ROLLING ELBOW hits!

Callum kips up to PELE! And OSC- CUTTER FROM SHOTA! The fans fire up for the counterstrike and both men are down again! Callum and Shota stir, and Shota sits up first. The fans rally, Shota goes to a corner, and he watches Callum. Shota runs corner to corner to BLINDSIDE KNEE! Then he TORNADO DDTS! Roll through and dragon sleeper, dragon suplex for TRIDENT! Cover, TWO!! Callum survives but Shota won’t be deterred. Shota aims from a corner, Callum slowly rises, IGNITION! Shota doesn’t stop there! He underhooks, but Callum spins and victory rolls! TWO! Cradle, TWO! Shota stands up, into a ROLLING ELBOW!

Callum runs, but Shota pops him up and tucks him in! Only for Callum to spin free again, spins some more, but Shota DECKS him first! Shota then hurries to get Callum back up, UPPERCUTS, and runs, but into a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Shota survives and the fans fire back up! Shota and Callum stir, and Shota rolls to a corner. Shota stands, Callum runs in and DROPKICKS him! Callum then pushes Shota out to go up and up and DOUBLE STOMP on the back! Shota writhes and staggers, into the OSCUTTER!! Cover, CALLUM WINS!!

Winner: Callum Newman, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Shota earns 0)

Incredible! First Oleg, now Callum, is it the new gear giving these younger guys this power? Or are the Musketeers overestimating themselves as the future of NJPW?

 

G1 Climax 34 B Block: El Phantasmo w/ Jado VS HENARE!

The Guerillas of Destiny have moved on, what is a Headbanga to do all on his own? Well, the G1 Climax is certainly something, but he starts against the Face of Fury! Will the NEVER Openweight Champion start strong for the United Empire? Or will ELP be able to grab a golden ticket right from the start?

The fans rally for “E L P! E L P!” The bell rings and Henare stares ELP down. ELP steps up, they tie up, and Henare headlocks. Henare grinds the hold, ELP powers up and out, but Henare runs ELP over. The fans cheer, Henare runs, but ELP drops to then hurdle, only for Henare to catch him into a fireman’s carry! ELP slips free, shoves Henare, and then DROPKICKS him! Henare staggers but he comes back to CLOBBER ELP! Henare stalks ELP to a corner, ROCKS him with forearm after forearm, but Jado coaches ELP. Henare whips, ELP reverses and then runs in, but into an ELBOW! Henare goes up but ELP ducks the gamangiri!

ELP runs up to RANA Henare! Henare bails out, fans fire up, and ELP builds speed to DIVE! Down goes Henare at the ramp! The fans fire up and ELP brings Henare back to the ring. ELP then goes up the ropes to SPRINGBOARD SWANTON! Then a LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Henare stays in this but the fans rally up. ELP brings Henare up, straitjackets, but Henare fights the torture rack with elbows. ELP fires forearms but Henare just shrugs those off. ELP CHOPS, but Henare smirks. Henare ROCKS ELP, BODY SHOTS, and KICKS ELP down! The fans fire up while Henare paces. Henare drags ELP up, then ROCKS him again.

ELP staggers, but he comes back to ROCK Henare! Henare ROCKS ELP! ELP wobbles then falls over! The fans rally up while Henare stalks ELP. Henare throws body shots and haymakers in the corner, then HEADBUTTS ELP! The fans rally as Henare fireman’s carries to WASTELAND SLAM! Then he SENTONS onto ELP! Cover, TWO! ELP is still in this and the fans cheer. Henare scowls while Jado caches ELP. The fans rally up as ELP rises, and ELP fires a forearm! And then another! Henare eggs ELP on so ELP CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Henare LARIATS ELP right down! Henare then drags ELP back up, to LARIAT again!

Henare looms over ELP, drags him back up, and eggs ELP on by shouting in his face! Henare winds up, runs, but ELP LARIATS first! Both men are down and the fans fire back up! Henare crawls to a corner, ELP handsprings to his feet! ELP tunes up the band, but he seems to doubt himself. The fans rally, but Henare runs in first! SHINING WIZARD and a whip, BERSERKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives and the fans fire up again! Henare huffs ‘n’ puffs and drags ELP up. Henare growls but ELP fights the fisherman! ELP wrenches out, ROCKS Henare, then ROCKS him again! And again! Henare ROCKS ELP back!

ELP staggers to ropes but the fans rally up. ELP throws off the elbow pads, winds up, and ROCKS Henare! Henare ROCKS ELP, and the forearms go back and forth! The fans fire up and Henare eggs ELP on! ELP ROCKS Henare again and again and again! Henare ELBOW JABS, then HEEL KICKS! ELP drops to his knees, Henare runs, and RUGBY KICKS! Cover, ONE?!? ELP has a wild look in his eyes! Henare runs, ELP DROPKICKS him down! Cover, ONE!! Henare roars but ELP runs in to BOOT! And BOOT again! Henare roars but ELP ENZIGIRIS! Henare wobbles, snarls, and comes back, into SUDDEN DEATH!! Cover, TWO!!

Henare survives but ELP drags him right up! Straitjacket, torture rack, and BRAIN SALAD!! ELP hurries to the apron to springboard again, for a THUNDERKISS 86!! Cover, TWO!!! Henare survives yet again and the fans are thunderous! ELP scowls and Jado coaches him up. The fans rally, and ELP vows to end this! ELP drags Henare up, reels him in, tucks the arms, but Henare fights! Henare stands up and JUMP KNEES! ELP wobbles, comes back, but into a POP-UP SAMOAN DROP! Henare roars, aims as ELP rises, and RAMPAGE SPEARS!! Cover, TWO?!? ELP survives and shocks everyone, Henare included!

Henare roars as he vows to end this now! Henare hauls ELP up, fisherman, but ELP cradle counters! TWO!! Henare escapes, BODY BLOWS, and ELP falls to his knees! Henare deadlifts for STREETS OF RAGE!! Cover, Henare wins!

Winner: Henare, by pinfall (gains 2 points; ELP earns 0)

The Headbanga gets rocked, and the Face of Fury is roaring into the next round! Can ELP get his groove back as the last Guerilla in NJPW? Will Henare keep this momentum up until he’s holding the G1 trophy?

 

G1 Climax 34 A Block: Great-O-Khan VS Zack Sabre Jr w/ Kosei Fujita!

The Dominator is KOPW Champion, and is looking to “unite the fiefdoms” of NJPW! However, TMDK’s Front Man is looking to finally add the G1 to his trophy case. Will ZSJ make Kahn #JustTapOut? Or will he also be conquered by The United Empire?

The bell rings and the two rush right in! They go around, fighting for control in the clinch. Khan waistloicks, ZSJ slips away and the fans cheer this opening exchange. The two go again, Khan claps to distract then he lifts ZSJ up. Khan DUMPS ZSJ right out of the ring! The fans cheer while Khan waits on ZSJ. ZSJ stands but he eggs Khan on. Khan goes out after ZSJ, and now they grapple on the ramp! Khan waistlocks, ZSJ switches but Khan switches back. They switch and switch and then ZSJ wrenches out to waistlock. Khan uses a double wristlock to switch, but ZSJ resists the lift. ZSJ jumps on for a GUILLOTINE!

Khan powers up, and he RAMS ZSJ into railing! ZSJ falls onto fans in the front row! Young Lions help get the space cleared, and the ref wants this back in the ring. ZSJ stands up, and he clears out chairs while egging Khan on! Khan storms up, they test the waters with kicks and palm strikes! The fans fire up having the two scrap right in front of them! Khan clinches for an IRON CLAW SLEEPER! The ref starts a ring count as Khan ROCKS ZSJ! ZSJ SLAPS Khan! The fighting moves further back through the crowd! The count is 10 of 20 as Khan IRON FIST BODY BLOWS! ZSJ falls and Khan roars! But the count is 15!

Khan storms his way back to ringside, slides in at 17, but ZSJ runs in after him! ZSJ slides in safe at 19! The fans cheer but Khan stomps ZSJ around. Khan whips ZSJ, ZSJ wrenches but Khan avoids the Pele! Khan deadlift GUT WRENCH SUPLEXES! Cover, TWO! Khan clamps on a HEAD ‘N’ ARM TRIANGLE! ZSJ scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Khan leans on the hold until the ref counts 4! Khan lets go but he’s kneeling on ZSJ’s head. Khan steps away, drags ZSJ up, and he fires knees! Khan eggs ZSJ on, KNEES him down, then scuffs ZSJ around. ZSJ rises but Khan KNEES him low again!

ZSJ sputters, the fans rally, and Khan drags ZSJ up again. Khan ships to SAYA- NO! ZSJ hops on for a SLEEPER! Khan snapmares but ZSJ somersault clutches for a NECK TWIST! ZSJ then basement dropkicks Khan in the back! The fans fire up while both men are down! The fans rally as ZSJ rises, and he waits on Khan. Khan reaches out but ZSJ KICKS him! Khan grits his teeth but ZSJ KICKS again! ZSJ shakes out his leg and the fans rally again. Khan sits up, blocks a kick, and he catches ZSJ’s arm! Khan hits a fireman’s carry takeover, then he drags ZSJ up. Khan has both arms, MONKEY FLIPS ZSJ, and then brings him up again.

ZSJ wrenches to SAYANAGI Khan! ZSJ wrenches again, but Khan clinches to SAYANAGI back! Khan still has the wrist but ZSJ rises up and he SAYANAGIS! ZSJ goes for a double wristlock but Khan fights to his feet. Khan wrenches, SAYANAGIS, then brings ZSJ up. ZSJ slips under to NORTHERN LIGHTS! No bridge, but ZSJ and Khan go forehead to forehead. They stand, Khan hits a modified OLYMPIC SLAM! ZSJ rises and hits another SAYANAGI! Khan rises and BOOTS ZSJ! ZSJ BOOTS in return! Khan Mongolian Chops! ZSJ UPPERCUTS! Both men ROCK the other with haymakers! IRON RIGHT from Khan!!

The ref reprimands about closed fists, but Khan clinches to BELLY2BELLY! Cover, TWO! The fans cheer while both men are still in this! Khan and ZSJ stir, rise up, and Khan clamps on with an IRON CLAW SLEEPER! ZSJ fades, Khan shifts around and has the BOW ‘N’ ARROW RACK! ZSJ slips out to jump on for a TRIANGLE HOLD! Khan stays on his feet, even as ZSJ squeezes tight! But Khan starts to turn red! Khan powers up to deadlift ZSJ, for a ELIMINATOR POWERBOMB!! The fans fire up as Khan is free, but he has to crawl his way over to the cover. TWO!! ZSJ is still in this and the fans fire back up.

Khan and ZSJ slowly rise up, and Khan clamps on for an IRON CLAW SLEEPER! ZSJ fades again, so Khan tries again. But ZSJ slips out of the Bow ‘n’ Arrow again to PELE Khan’s arm! And KICK the arm! And he KICKS Khan down! The fans fire up and ZSJ runs, only for Khan to trip him! IRON CLAW SLEEPER returns! ZSJ is fading out again! But ZSJ finds his second wind and fights up to his feet! Khan BITES ZSJ’s ear!! The ref reprimands, Khan ripcords and ELIMINATOR- DDT!! ZSJ rolls through to scoop and ZACK DRIVER!! Cover, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Khan earns 0)

The Front Man not only wins big to open his G1 run, but he has a golden ticket to the KOPW Championship in his back pocket! Will ZSJ decide to make all of NJPW belong to him? Or can Khan still bring everything under the United Empire?

 

G1 Climax 34 B Block: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb!

The Fierce Warrior won a G1 once, back in 2008. He’s held all sorts of gold since, but if he wants to finally be IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, he has to win this G1! Will he do it? Or will the Imperial Unit make sure The United Empire’s night ends on a high note?

The bell rings and the two run up! They RAM shoulders, fire forearm after forearm back and forth, and the fans fire up! The two go forehead to forehead, Goto runs and RAMS Cobb! Cobb rebounds to run Goto over! GACHIMUCHI FLOP as Goto moves! Goto runs up, but Cobb dodges! Goto dodges back, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither man falls and the fans fire up! Cobb and Goto snarl and circle. They tie up, but Cobb kicks low. Cobb whips, Goto blocks hip toss but so does Cobb! Goto avoids a lariat, but Cobb still runs him over! The fans cheer and Goto goes to ropes. Cobb winds up, runs up, but Goto BOOTS him!

Cobb chuckles, comes back, but Goto DUMPS him out! Goto then PLANCHAS! Down goes Cobb and the fans fire up! Goto rises, storms over to Cobb and puts him in the ring. Goto then storms up to kick low and fire forearms. Cobb goes to a corner, Goto fires more shots. Goto whips corner to corner, runs in, and LARIATS! Goto tries to hip toss but Cobb blocks! Cobb LARIATS Goto down! The fans fire up while Cobb paces. Cobb drags Goto up, brings him around, and THROAT CHOPS! Goto falls back and coughs. Cobb stands on Goto’s chest at the ropes! The ref counts, Cobb lets go and “apologizes,” then drags Goto up.

Cobb fireman’s carries to SLAM Goto right away! Cobb says “You Can’t See Me,” then GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! The fans cheer but Cobb is annoyed. Cobb mocks the fans cheering for “GO-TO! GO-TO!” Goto CHOPS and CHOPS but Cobb ROCKS Goto in return. Cobb whips corner to corner, runs in, and he steals MURAMASA! Copycat Cobb even headlocks, but Goto denies him the bulldog with a big shove! Goto rises, snarls, and he runs in, but into a BOOT! Cobb runs, but Goto dropkicks a leg out! Goto rises, roars, and runs to LARIAT! Cobb stays up! Goto runs again to LARIAT!

Cobb wobbles and Goto eggs him on! Cobb BOOTS Goto, runs, but Goto follows! Goto LARIATS Cobb down and the fans are thunderous! Cobb crawls to a corner and Goto rises. Goto runs in to MURAMASA! And then BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Cobb stays in this but Goto stays focused. Goto drags Cobb up, fireman’s carries, but Cobb fights with elbows. Cobb JABS, but Goto stays up! Goto fireman’s carries through to USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives and the fans fire up again! Goto drags Cobb back up, dragon sleepers, but Cobb throws hands from below! Cobb frees himself, waistlocks Goto, but Goto throws an elbow!

Cobb ducks, fireman’s carries, and he throws Goto into the dragon sleeper! But Goto drops out of that to victory roll! TWO!! Cobb escapes, but Goto dodges the lariat! But Cobb scoops! Goto slips free to a SLEEPER! Goto sits Cobb down, rolls, GOTO NI SHIKI! TWO!! Cobb stands, blocks the cradle attempt, and he suplexes Goto into the TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!!! Cover, COBB WINS!

Winner: Jeff Cobb, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Goto earns 0)

The Imperial Unit  has done some unbelievable and amazing things, but that might’ve been one of his best! Will Cobb lead the way for The United Empire in this G1? Can Goto still #GetBackUp and #TurnItAllAround like Yoshi-Hashi has taught him?

 

G1 Climax 34 A Block: SANADA VS Jake Lee!

The Cold Skull wants to to heat up for the Summer, but he’s running into the newest War Dog to join The Rebel’s cause. Will the Good Looking Emperor also do David Finlay’s dirty work? Or will he already meet a Skull End?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. Jake mocks the fans chanting for “SA-NA-DA!” as he and Sanada circle. Sanada makes the pecs dance but Jake doesn’t care. They tie up, Jake waistlocks, but Sanada wrenches out. Sanada waistlocks, Jake wrenches out, and Jake keeps Sanada from ropes. Sanada rolls, wrenches, and hammerlocks. Jake moves around, hammerlocks Sanada in return, but Sanada reaches back to headlock. They end up on ropes, the ref counts the break, but Jake turns things around on Sanada. The ref reprimands, Jake lets off slowly, puts Sanada’s hands down by his side, and then pats Sanada on the shoulder.

The fans cheer as Jake gives Sanada a clean break, and even takes a bow. Sanada dropkicks Jake’s leg! Sanada kicks the leg again, and again, and again. Sanada waistlocks but Jake shakes his head. Jake elbows free, runs, but Sanada hurdles! And hurdles! But then Jake grabs Sanada for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives from being thrown down that hard from that high up, but Jake just loads up. Sanada is in the corner, Jake says BANG! FACE BREAK- NO, Sanada dodges, but he’s still wobbly. Sanada catches Jake’s lariat, reels him in, but Jake suplexes! Sanada fights free to put Jake on ropes! MAGIC SCREW!

The fans fire up while both men are down! Sanada and Jake each clutch a shoulder but then Sanada springs up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS! Cover, TWO!! Jake survives that sudden moonsault but Sanada aims from a corner. The fans rally behind “SA-NA-DA!” and Jake sits up. BLINDSIDE SHINING WIZARD! Sanada roars and Jake rises again! Sanada runs up to SHINING- NO! Jake blocks this one and hoists Sanada up! LAST- NO, Sanada slips free, O’Conner BRIDGE! TWO!! Jake escapes, looks for Sanada, but turns around into a DROPKICK! Sanada mocks the finger gun, then runs in at the corner!

Jake dodges Sanada, Sanada goes up and out to springboard in, but Jake dodges! Jake hits the FACE BREAK SHOT!! Cross arm cover, Jake wins!!

Winner: Jake Lee, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Sanada earns 0)

The Madness Dark Side strikes out of nowhere, and Jake Lee takes down a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion! Does this make Jake the most dangerous War Dog in the pack? Can Sanada still find his way to the top of the block after this?

 

G1 Climax 34 B Block: Yuya Uemura VS David Finlay w/ Gedo!

Just5Guys just took a loss to the Bullet Club War Dogs, but now we see the Heat Storm take on the pack leader himself! Can Yuya burn the IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion? Or will NJPW and even the G1 see they need The Rebel?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. Finlay and Yuya circle, tie up, and Finlay headlocks. Yuya powers up and out but Finlay runs him over! Finlay mockingly conducts the chanting, then watches Yuya get up. The two circle, tie up again, and Yuya wrenches to headlock, hammerlock, headlock then snapmare into a chinlock! The fans fire up, Finlay fights up and powers out, to headlock right back. Yuya powers up and out, hurdles, then hip tosses! The fans cheer, Finlay gets up, and Yuya runs him over! Yuya arm-drags and armlocks! The fans cheer while Gedo gets mad! Finlay fights up, pulls hair, but the ref reprimands.

Finlay puts Yuya in the corner, the ref counts, but Finlay lets off. Finlay then stomps a mudhole and throws hands! But Yuya puts Finlay in the corner to CHOP, CHOP and CHOP! Finlay turns things around to CHOP, CHOP and CHOP! Then he SPITS in Yuya’s face! Finlay whips, Yuya reverses and runs in, but Finlay puts Yuya on the apron. Finlay SHOVES Yuya off and Yuya hits railing! The fans boo while Yuya writhes on the floor, but Finlay grins and swaggers. Finlay goes out, saying this is just so easy. Finlay says Yuya couldn’t even make the new Three Musketeers, and now he’s messing with “the big boys.”

Finlay drags Yuya up, RAMS him into railing, and down goes Abe-san! That’s Evil’s thing! Finlay RAMS Yuya into more railing, then rams him in again! Finlay DUMPS Yuya over railing, and English commentary loses a monitor! The ref reprimands, the fans boo, but Finlay soaks it all up. Finlay even spits at the fans! Finlay goes back for Yuya, drags him through the gap in the railing, and then drags him into the ring. The fans applaud, and Finlay covers, ONE!! Finlay was a little cocky there but he drags Yuya back up. Finlay whips Yuya hard into a corner and Yuya falls to the mat. The fans rally but Gedo says Yuya should just quit now.

Finlay talks trash, saying Yuya should give up. Yuya can’t even beat Yota Tsuji so why bother? Finlay barks, some fans echo it, and Finlay runs corner to corner to UPPERCUT! Then he suplex TOSSES Yuya away! Fans cheer and Finlay cocky covers again, TWO! Gedo says just quit already! Finlay grabs at Yuya, Yuya pushes him back. Finlay kicks Yuya around, taunts him, but Yuya CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Finlay throat chops! The ref reprimands while Finlay whips, but Yuya goes up and over to arm-drag! Yuya then dodges to arm-drag again! And DROPKICK! Finlay flops around while fans fire up!

Yuya kips up, fires up, and he runs corner to corner at Finlay to SPLASH! Then headlock for the BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Yuya stays cool and hurries up a corner. Yuya reaches the top but Finlay ROCKS him first! Finlay goes up, he and Yuya brawl. Finlay fires HEADBUTT after HEADBUTT, then he brings Yuya up. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Yuya survives and the fans fire up again! Gedo protests the count but the ref defends it was fair. Finlay mockingly asks how that felt, and then he drags Yuya up. Finlay scoops for a BACKBREAKER! Yuya writhes, Finlay has another cocky cover, TWO! Finlay still takes Yuya too lightly but Gedo still tells Yuya to quit.

Finlay SPITS at Hiromu on commentary but Hiromu asks what his beef is with the Timebomb. Finlay flips fans off for booing, then drags Yuya up to ROCK him in the back! Finlay ROCKS Yuya again, says Yuya loves it, and then ROCKS Yuya again! Yuya drops to his knees, but Finlay hauls him up for a BIG back- CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Finlay kicks low, runs, but into a BIG back drop! The fans fire up while Finlay flails, and Yuya roars! Yuya runs at Finlay but Finlay BOOTS him back. But Yuya returns to LARIAT Finlay and himself up and over the ropes! But Yuya skins the cat and the fans fire up again.

Yuya catches his breath, shakes out the legs, and then runs to FLY! Down goes Finlay and the fans fire up again! Yuya roars as he rises up, and he storms back over to Finlay. Yuya whips Finlay hard into railing! The ring count is climbing but Yuya whips Finlay into more railing! We pass 10 of 20, but Yuya puts Finlay in at 13. The fans cheer as Yuya fires up again. Yuya goes right up top, Finlay staggers, into the AX HANDLE! Yuya then goes corner to corner to CHOP LARIAT! Finlay staggers but Yuya reels him in, for a BIG back suplex! Cover, TWO! Finlay stays in this but Yuya stays focused, and the fans rally again.

Yuya goes to a corner, climbs up, and Finlay stands, into the CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives and Yuya grows a bit frustrated. The fans rally, Yuya underhooks Finlay, but Finlay fights the lift. Finlay wrenches out, takes a swing, but Yuya clinches. Finlay fights the lift, reels Yuya in and gut wrenches, but Yuya slips out! Yuya then hooks Finlay for the backslide! ONE, but Yuya still has the arms! Ghost pin, TWO!! Finlay escapes, dodges a lariat, but then Yuya dodges! Yuya catches Finlay for the URENAGE! Cover, TWO! Finlay survives but the fans are behind Yuya as he grits his teeth. Yuya rises while Gedo shouts at Finlay.

Yuya drags Finlay up, half nelsons then full nelsons. Finlay fights with elbows, but Yuya gets under to back suplex! Finlay lands out, he back suplexes, but Yuya lands out! Finlay bucks the O’Conner to BLUE THUNDER! Cover, TWO!! Yuya survives and the fans fire up again! Finlay is furious and he drags Yuya right up! Canadian Rack, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!! Yuya survives again and the fans are thunderous! Finlay says fine, if that’s how it is… Finlay drags Yuya up, reels him back in, but Yuya fights the lift! Finlay CLUBS away on Yyya, lifts, but Yuay slips free and waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!

Finlay is still in this but Yuya still has the waistlock! Yuya full nelsons, to DRAGON SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Finlay escapes but the fans are thunderous as Yuya rises! Yuya drags Finlay up at 15 minutes, to clinch the arms! Finlay fights the Deadbolt with headbutts, to then OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Yuya is right back to CHOP! Finlay UPPERCUTS! Yuya ROCKS Finlay! Finlay ROLLING ELBOWS, Yuya PELES! Finlay rebounds to LARIAT!! Finlay storms around, drags Yuya up, and he reels Yuya in to BUCKLE BOMB! Then another BUCKLE BOMB!! And then a- RANA!? Yuya covers, YUYA WINS!!

Winner: Yuya Uemura, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Finlay earns 0)

All of Finlay’s talk about this being too easy and that Yuya isn’t good enough, and look what happens! Yuya gets the better of Finlay tonight, will he look to go after that Global Heavyweight Champion after the Climax? Will Finlay ever live this down when he has to worry about the next round?

 

G1 Climax 34 A Block: Gabe Kidd VS EVIL w/ Dick Togo!

The War Dogs have gone 1-1 on the night so far, but now the Mad Man takes on the King of Darkness! Will the NJPW Strong Openweight Champion be #WarReady? Or will the House of Torture make sure Everything is Evil?

As soon as Evil & Dick are ringside, Gabe FLIES out onto them! The fans fire up as Gabe takes them down, and then he drags Dick into the ring! Wait, what? Dick begs for mercy but Gabe gives him a BRAINBUSTER! Gabe tells the Spoiler to F off, and then he TOSSES Dick out! Gabe then goes out to PENALTY KICK Evil from the apron! And then he goes up and up and grins, “I’m a mad man, y’know!” MOONSAULT onto Evil! The fans are thunderous as Gabe says you can’t touch him! Gabe drags Evil up, and then RAMS him into railing! Down goes Abe-san as Gabe also steals Evil’s shtick! Evil gets over railing just to get away!

Gabe sees Evil running, and so he pursues Evil out into the crowd! But not without first bringing out a couple chairs. The fans cheer as Gabe dual wields and stalks Evil into the very back. But Evil mule kicks! Evil takes a chair for his own, so now the two men are evenly matched. The ref says no, but the chairs CLASH, CLASH and CLASH! They battle like swordsmen, but then both men lose grip on the chairs. Gabe UPPERCUTS first! The fans fire up while the ref says to get this in the ring already. The fans cheer for “GABU! GABU! GABU!” Gabe shrugs, then sits a chair up. Gabe has fans move before he SMACKS Evil off the chair.

Gabe then gets space, going the whole way of the arena, and back again! Gabe reaches top speed, only for Evil to CHUCK the chair into Gabe’s face!! Gabe crashes ‘n’ burns and the fans boo! Evil flips them off, and he tells the ref to back off. Evil grabs a chair, then drags Gabe up. Evil puts the chair around Gabe’s head, and grabs the other! HOME RUN SHOT! The fans boo, the ref reprimands, and Evil leaves Gabe behind to go to ringside. The fans rally for Gabe while the ref checks on him. Gabe stirs, but Evil grins while he waits. NOW the bell rings, and only now are we on record. Evil rests in the corner while the ring count begins.

Gabe sits up and he starts crawling for ringside. The fans rally harder and harder, and we’re at 5 of 20 as Gabe finally stands. Gabe hobbles, leans against railing, then falls over. The count is 10 of 20, Gabe is finally ringside, and he stumbles his way in at 13! Evil stands on Gabe’s face, talks trash, and soaks up the heat. Evil asks if Gabe’s done already, and then brings him up. Gabe fires forearms but Evil knees low. Evil whips Gabe to the corner and surprise~! The red buckle pad is gone! The Bullet Club Special remix is in play, and Evil covers. TWO! Another cover, TWO! A third cover, TWO!! Evil is upset but the fans applaud.

Evil talks smack on Gabe while he paces around. Evil waits on Gabe to stand, then he CHOPS! Gabe snarls so Evil CHOPS him again! Gabe glares Evil right in the eyes, so Evil CHOPS again! Gabe says F that, c’mon! Evil says okay, so he CLAWS Gabe’s eyes! The ref counts, Evil runs, but Gabe dodges to HEADBUTT and LARIAT! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Gabe then sits up into cross-leg pose, another shot at Shibata. But Gabe snarls at Evil, tells him to get up, then runs in at the corner to CHOP! Evil shouts in pain, but Gabe says there’s more. Gabe CHOPS again, and again, and again! MACHINE GUN CHOPS!

The fans fire up but then Gabe fakes Evil out, to DECK him with a right! The fans fire up even more, and Gabe drags Evil up. Gabe reels Evil in for an ATOMIC FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up while Gabe paces around. Gabe drags Evil up, reels him in, but Evil fights the lift with elbows. Gabe CHOPS, whips, but Evil reverses. Evil runs up, blocks boots and puts Gabe in ropes to CLUB him! And then WOE STOMP! The ref reprimands but Evil tells him to back off. Evil smirks as he looms over Gabe, then drags him up. Evil FISHERMAN BUSTERS, then covers, TWO! The fans rally for the “Dark Hero” Gabe as he stays in this.

Evil taunts the fans, taunts Gabe, and drags him up. Evil fireman’s carries, but Gabe fights free to shove and LARIAT! Gabe runs, but Evil dodges, DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Neither falls, and DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Gabe gets moving, but Evil SWATS his lariat! Evil ROCKS Gabe but Gabe roars! But Evil ROLLING ELBOWS, and LARIATS! Evil smirks, winds up, and runs again, but DOUBLE LARIATS collide again! Gabe keeps Evil up to LARIAT him from all sides over and over and over! Evil staggers, Gabe runs, but Evil goes to the corner! LARIAT!! Cover, ONE?!? Evil is stunned but Gabe is snarling!

Evil swings, Gabe gets around Evil, BITES Evil’s ear, then SAIDOS! Gabe crawls over to cover, TWO! Evil toughs it out but both men are down, and the fans rally up. Gabe rises first, and the fans fire up again. Gabe runs, but Evil uses the ref as a shield! But Gabe blocks the eye poke to UPPERCUT! Gabe runs, but the ref is used again! Gabe blocks the low blow to ROCK Evil! Gabe whips, Evil reverses, and again the ref is used as a shield! Evil kicks low, then uses the ref for- NO, the ref refuses to be party to this! So Gabe suplexes Evil for a BRAINBUSTER! The fans fire up and Gabe powers up while Evil sputters.

Gabe runs, REBOUNDER LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Evil survives and Gabe is beside himself! The fans rally up for Gabe and he roars! Gabe drags Evil up, barks it up and the fans bark with him. But Dick is back! Gabe DECKS Dick, then goes back to Evil. Gabe fires haymakers on Evil, but the ref reprimands. Gabe shoves the ref right outta the ring! Dick slides back in to use the SPOILER CHOKER! The fans boo but Gabe powers up to pull the choker away! Only for Evil to LOW BLOW! Evil stands Gabe up, Dick helps out, MAGIC KILLER!! Dick fetches the ref and Evil drags Gabe up. EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Evil wins!

Winner: Evil, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Gabe earns 0)

The King of Darkness is truly the villain as he uses his henchman to screw over “The Dark Hero.” But with this, will Evil look to not just take the G1 Climax, but to show he is truly NJPW Strong?

 

G1 Climax 34 B Block: Yota Tsuji VS Konosuke Takeshita!

The third Reiwa Musketeer is in action, and he’s up against the AEW star that’s stepping through the Forbidden Door! Will the Alpha of the Don Callis Family start things off strong? Or will he be on the receiving end of a Gene Blaster?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “YOTA! YOTA!” Yota and Konosuke step up to be face to face, and Yota grins even though Konosuke is a touch taller. The two circle, tie up, and Konosuke headlocks. Yota powers up and out the back to headlock in return. Konosuke endures the grind, waistlocks, and he full nelsons to then spin and snapmare Yota. Yota slips out to hammerlock Konosuke, but Konosuke fights up. Yota wrenches to wristlock but Konosuke pulls hair. Red Shoes reprimands but then Yota pulls hair. They end up in a corner, Red Shoes counts, and they both let off. But then Yota avoids Konosuke’s forearm!

Yota grins as Konosuke scowls. The two reset, tie up, and are in a deadlock. Konosuke uses his height for leverage and he manages to put Yota on ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, and Konosuke lets off. But then Yota CHOPS! Konosuke swings but Yota BODY SHOTS first! Yota then whips Konosuke, but Konosuke reverses. Yota rolls Konosuke up, TWO! Yota BOOTS Konosuke and grins again. The fans fire up with Yota but Konosuke scowls again. Yota runs, but Konosuke gets up, only to get run over! Yota pushes Konosuke to a cover, ONE! The fans rally, Yota grins, and he brings Konosuke around.

Konosuke CLAWS Yota’s eyes! The fans boo, Red Shoes reprimands, but Konosuke whips. Yota KICKS first! Yota whips, Konosuke ducks ‘n’ dodges to build speed, TAKESHITA LINE! The fans fire up for that one, and Yota bails out. Konosuke builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit, and Konosuke just keeps from crashing hard into railing! The fans fire up for that feat of athleticism, and Konosuke smiles at commentary. Konosuke then drags Yota up, and whips him hard into railing. Konosuke refreshes the ring count, then fetches Yota. Konosuke wrenches Yota to whip him, but Yota reverses! Now Konosuke hits railing!

Yota runs in, but Konosuke FLAPJACKS Yota on the railing! Yota falls, the fans rally, and Konosuke soaks up the cheers and jeers. Yota stands, Konosuke mocks tranquilo, to then DECK Yota! Konosuke shakes out his arm after hitting Yota that hard. Konosuke puts Yota in, fires up, and the fans fire up, too. Konosuke goes up to SUPER SENTON! The fans fire up again and Konosuke drags Yota up. Yota throws an elbow, but there’s not much behind it. Yota tries another but Konosuke just eggs him on. Yota stands to fire a forearm, but Konosuke ROCKS him in return! Yota goes to a corner, and Konosuke paces.

Konosuke winds up, runs in, but Yota BOOTS him! Konosuke comes back, blocks that boot, but Yota reels him in to STOMP him down! The fans fire up while both men are down! Konosuke sits up first but Yota goes back to the corner. Yota skins the cat, then FLYING RANAS! Not the smoothest but it still sends Konosuke out! The fans fire up with Yota and he builds speed, to TORNILLO! Direct hit and the fans fire up with Yota again! Yota storms back over to Konosuke, puts him in the ring, and the fans fire up with him. Yota drags Konosuke up, catches his lariat to BACKBREAKER, FLATLINER and STOMP!

Yota then hauls Konosuke up to GUTBUSTER DROP! High stack cover, TWO, but into the BOSTON CRAB! Yota wants to use this “Young Lion” move to really rub it in! Konosuke endures, even bites his own finger to ignore the pain! Konosuke pushes up, fights his way forward, but Yota drags him back! Yota sits deep on the hold, but Konosuke endures, so Yota grabs the arms! REVERSE SURFBOARD! Konosuke gets his legs free, but Yota STOMPS him down! The fans rally up and Yota paces. Yota drags Konosuke up, reels him in, and suplexes, but Konosuke fights it! Konosuke tries to suplex but Yota fights it!

The fans rally as the two fight for suplex control! Konosuke finally lifts Yota up, and hits a BRAINBUSTER! Both men are down and the fans rally up again. Konosuke roars as he rises, and the fans rally again. Konosuke aims from a corner, runs in at Yota, and forearm SMASHES! Konosuke runs but Yota follows to STINGER SPLASH! Yota runs again but Konosuke JUMP KICKS him down! The fans fire up and Konosuke waistlocks, for a HIGH ANGLE GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Yota survives and even Konosuke is stunned! Konosuke drags Yota to a drop zone and he goes up again.

The fans rally for “YOTA! YOTA!” but Konosuke slashes his throat. Only for Yota to GAMANGIRI him first! Yota fires up and the fans are with him as he goes up. Konosuke and Yota brawl, then Konosuke UPPERCUTS! But Yota ROCKS Konosuke right back! Yota CLUBS Konosuke, brings him to the very top, but Konosuke falls to the apron! Yota has to jump back to avoid the same! Yota hurries up, he and Konosuke fire forearms again! Konosuke climbs, but Yota HEADBUTTS him! They still stay on the top rope, so that Yota can SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Konosuke survives and the fans are thunderous!

Yota crawls his way to a corner and GENE- NO, Konosuke sends him into buckles! SNAP GERMAN! But Yota’s right up?! Konosuke BOOTS him, hops up, and POISON-RANAS! Yota flounders, falls over, and Konosuke runs, but into Yota’s SUPERKICK! Yota reels Konosuke in for an ORANGE CRUSH! But Yota can’t make the cover! The fans are thunderous again while both men are down! Konosuke and Yota stir while the fans rally up harder and harder. Konosuke reaches up and feeds off that energy as he goes to the corner. Yota rises, Konosuke follows, and Yota fires a forearm! Konosuke powers up and comes back, but Yota ROCKS him again!

Konosuke grits his teeth and comes back, so Yota ROCKS him again! The fans fire up as Konosuke taggers about, but Konosuke eggs Yota on! Yota SLAPS Konosuke! Konosuke ROCKS Yota! Yota wobbles and then leans on Konosuke. We pass 15 minutes as Konosuke brings Yota around. Red Shoes checks on Yota and Yota’s somehow still in this, so Konosuke drags him up by his pants. BLUE- NO, Yota fights the bomb! Yota swings, into a waistlock! But he victory rolls it! TWO!! Konosuke has the wheelbarrow, but Yota arm-drags free! Yota runs to tilt-o-whirl RANA! Konosuke stumbles up, into a HEADBUTT!! The fans are thunderous as Yota grins!

Yota goes up and up a corner, to MAROON CRUSH!! Cover, TWO!! Yota roars and the fans are thunderous again! Yota powers up and he goes to the corner! Konosuke rises, the fans cheer, and GENE- POWER DRIVE KNEE!! Then BLUE THUNDER BOMB!! Cover, ONE?!?! Konosuke deadlifts Yota into a FALCON ARROW BOMB!! Cover, KONOSUKE WINS!!

Winner: Konosuke Takeshita, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Yota earns 0)

Unbelievable! All three Reiwa Musketeers have fallen in one night! From DDT Pro to AEW, Konosuke Takeshita proves why he is Don Callis’ Alpha! Will he prove that no one in this G1 is ready for someone who is All Elite?

 

G1 Climax 34 A Block: Tetsuya Naito VS Shingo Takagi!

The opening round comes to a close with a match worthy of the finals! THE IWGP World Heavyweight Champion takes on not only a former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, but also a teammate within Los Ingobernables de Japon! Will we get a roll call at the end of this? Or will the Rampaging Dragon start with the biggest win of the entire G1?

As always, Naito takes his time with his entrance attire, but Takagi is patient since we all know the trick. Naito then offers the LIJ fist bump, but Takagi refuses? Takagi must want to wait until one of them has won. The bell rings and the fans rally and duel between the two. The “TA-KA-GI!” sounds a bit louder than the “NA-I-TO! NA-I-TO!” but that doesn’t bother Naito. The two feel things out, knuckle lock, but then they break. The fans applaud and the two circle. They approach, and Naito sidesteps, another of his tricks. Takagi stays cool, and Naito even says, “Koi koi. <C’mon, c’mon.>” But then Naito still sidesteps Takagi!

The fans cheer, but Takagi dares Naito to bring it then. The two circle, they approach, but then Takagi returns the sidestep. The fans cheer, Naito kicks but Takagi blocks. Takagi headlocks, but Naito pulls hair! Red Shoes reprimands, Naito headlocks, but Takagi powers up and out. Naito RAMS Takagi, Takagi rebounds to run Naito over! Things speed up, Takagi blocks a hip toss, and he pulls hair back! Red Shoes reprimands, Takagi throws Naito down, but Naito avoids the senton! Naito kicks and whips, Takagi reverses but Naito holds ropes. Naito BOOTS Takagi, avoids the lariat, but Takagi avoids an elbow!

Naito avoids a lariat and tranquilos! Takagi pushes Naito down to SENTON! Naito gets up, Takagi LARIATS him up and out! Takagi fires the fans up and then goes out to fetch Naito. Takagi drags Naito up, ROCKS him, then whips him hard into railing! Naito slumps down, and Takagi says, “Mada mada mada. <I’m not done yet.>” Takagi JABS Naito, then whips him hard into more railing! Naito gets stuck halfway out, then slumps down into No Man’s Land! The fans rally as Takagi storms over. Takagi drags Naito up, brings him back to the ring, and SMACKS him off the apron. Takagi then fireman’s carries so he can SNAKE EYES!

Naito staggers, and Takagi snap suplexes him to the floor! Takagi poses and fans applaud while Naito writhes. Takagi stalks Naito while the ring count climbs, and he waits until 7 to drag Naito up. Takagi kicks Naito around, then Takagi puts Naito in at 13. Takagi drops a knee on Naito, then brings him up again. Takagi reels Naito in but Naito fights the back suplex with elbows. Naito runs into an ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! The fans cheer, Takagi drags Naito back up, and he SAIDOS! Takagi signals he’s gonna be champion already, and he stalks Naito to a corner. Takagi slaps Naito around, so Naito fires forearms in return!

Takagi HEADBUTTS Naito, then whips him corner to corner. Takagi runs in but blocks a boot! He LARIATS through, then suplexes high and hard! High stack cover, TWO! Into an STF! Naito endures, so Takagi shifts to JUST FACELOCK! Naito endures all the same, so Takagi shifts to a FUJIWARA ARMBAR! Takagi shows off that he can be a technical wrestler, too, but Naito still endures. Naito reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! Takagi lets go, throws some elbows, then lets off. The fans rally and Takagi scuffs Naito with kicks. Red Shoes reprimands as Naito is on ropes. Takagi lets off to fire a forearm. Naito hits back!

Takagi shakes his head, and ROCKS Naito! Naito hits back, so Takagi CHOPS! Naito CHOPS, and fires forearm after forearm! Takagi just winds up to DOUBLE CHOP Naito down! Naito is dazed while the fans rally up. Takagi assesses the levels and “TA-KA-GI!” still echoes louder than “NA-I-TO!” Takagi KNEES Naito against ropes, whips him and KNEES him again! Then Takagi runs, but into an ELBOW! Naito hip toss NECKBREAKERS! Naito smirks as he’s evened things a bit, and the fans rally again. Naito storms over to Takagi, brings him up, and whips. Naito arm-drags, then ELBOWS, then runs to basement dropkick!

Naito keeps going as he whips Takagi to a corner and ELBOWS him! Naito then turns Takagi, stalls to stretch Takagi’s neck, then hits the NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Naito keeps calm as he brings Takagi up. Takagi swings, misses, and Naito dragon sleepers for a NECKBREAKER, into the leg hook nelson! Takagi endures, even as Naito puts on the pressure. Takagi fights around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! Naito holds on until Red Shoes counts, but Naito claims he needs help. This old trick still works, so Red Shoes has to pry Naito’s legs away. The fans rally but Naito stomps away on Takagi at the ropes.

Naito brings Takagi around to hammerlock and half nelson, but Takagi CLUBS free. Takagi swings, misses again, and  Naito kicks low. But Takagi stops the tornado from even starting up! Naito still tries, but Takagi throws Naito away! Takagi then runs up but Naito BOOTS him! Takagi comes back, Naito BOOTS again! Takagi ELBOWS! JABS! YUKON feint and DDT! The fans fire up while both men are down! Takagi rises, he sits Naito up, and he throws down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS! Takagi shouts “OI! OI! OI!” and the fans join in, before the SLIDING LARIAT! Takagi then hauls Naito up to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!!

Naito survives the “Yukon Bomb” but Takagi keeps calm. Takagi looks to the camera, and says, “OI, OSAKA! TOKI GA KITA!” The fans fire up as the time has come! “OI! OI! OI!” starts up again and Takagi brings Naito around. But Naito fights the pump handle and throws elbows. Takagi knees low, tries again, but Naito arm-drags free! Naito atomic drops, ENZIGIRIS, and then hammerlocks to half nelson. GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Takagi is still in this but Naito stays calm. Naito drags Takagi up to wrench, but Takagi fights with elbows. Naito throws heavy elbows! Takagi staggers and the fans rally up again.

Naito fires more of those heavy elbows, and he has Takagi in the corner. Naito hops up the corner, reels Takagi in, and hits ESPERANZA! Takagi tumbles, Naito storms after him, and he throws more heavy elbows! Naito puts Takagi up top as we hit 15 minutes. Naito climbs up after Takagi, but Takagi turns things around with a fireman’s carry! Naito fights, but Takagi still hooks him up! STAY DREAM!! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and the fans fire up! Takagi and Naito are both down, the fans rally up, and Takagi drags himself over. Takagi gives short headbutts to Naito, and then he stands. Takagi gives scuffing kicks, but Naito fires a forearm!

Takagi and Naito fire back and forth and the fans rally up! Naito SPITS at Takagi, fires more forearms, but Takagi fires up! The fans rally again and Takagi fires boxing elbows on Naito! Takagi ROCKS Naito, eggs him on, so Naito SLAPS Takagi! Takagi JABS! HEADBUTTS! And then SLIDING LARIATS! Cover, ONE!?! Naito shows grit but Takagi runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Takagi roars, he hauls Naito up, and MADE IN JAPAN!! Cover, TWO?!? Naito survives again and the fans are thunderous! Takagi is surprised, and he is down while he catches his breath. Takagi roars, rises up, and he brings Naito around.

Takagi pump handles, torture racks, but Naito fights with elbows! Takagi LARIATS! Naito staggers but he stays up, so Takagi eggs him on. Naito comes back, stands tall, and he fires a forearm. But there’s very little behind it… Takagi LARIATS, pump handles and torture racks, into DESTINO!! Naito hits Takagi with that outta nowhere! Both men are down again and the fans rally up even harder! The “NA-I-TO!” calls are finally even with “TA-KA-GI!” as Naito forces himself to sit up. Takagi goes to ropes, Naito slowly rises to his feet, and the fans cheer as we hit 20 minutes. Naito heads over to Takagi and smirks.

Naito stands Takagi up, puts him on the top rope, but Takagi fires ridge hand chops. Naito fires forearms in return, then climbs up. Naito stands Takagi up to SUPER STEINER! But Takagi’s right up!?! Naito catches the lariat to TORNADO DDT! Naito aims and Takagi stirs while the fans rally up. Naito runs, into an ELBOW! But he ducks the Yukon Lariat! CORRIENDO SHIKI- NO, Takagi smothers the Destino! Takagi then hauls Naito up but Naito slips around, to scoop and VALENTIA! Naito hurries to bring Takagi up again, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, DESTIN- NO, Takagi powers free! Naito ROLLING KICKS! And ENZIGIRIS!

Takagi wobbles, Naito whips, but Takagi reverses. Naito leaps, Takagi spins him around and reels him in! Tuck and TAKAGI DRIVER 98!! Cover, TWO!!! Naito survives and the fans are thunderous again! Takagi watches Naito rise, and Naito roars! SLIDING FOREARM from Takagi! Takagi pump handles, torture racks, and LAST OF THE DRAGON!! Cover, TAKAGI WINS!!

Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Naito earns 0)

In a night of upset victories, this is perhaps not the most shocking, but it is certainly the biggest and most important one of them all! The defending IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, who is also the defending G1 Climax Champion, has just fallen in the opening round! Does this not bode well for Naito’s run this year? Or can he still come out on top in the end?

As for Takagi, he shows respect to his friend and team leader by sharing his water. Then as Naito bails out, Takagi puts on Naito’s baseball cap and gets the mic. Takagi tells Naito to just hold on a moment. For one, he forgot his hat. Takagi has Young Lion Murashima bring it to him. But also, “It’s been five years since our last singles match. You won then, but I was victorious today.” The fans cheer that. Takagi says he came to the ring with “the mindset that this could be our last singles meeting. But after today, we’re now 1-1. I don’t know if we have to wait 10 or 20 years to fight again, but I’ll be even stronger then!”

The fans cheer that, too, and Naito turns around to look at Takagi. Takagi thanks Naito for today. The fans cheer again, and Naito raises the LIJ fist. The fans cheer, and then Takagi shouts to Osaka, “Osaka…!” The fans cheer but he says no, they can do better than that. “Osaka!” The fans cheer again, and Takagi says “The hot summer battles are finally here! TOKI GA KITA!” Takagi says there’s been a lot of talk about this new generation. “Gimme a break, ya bastards! Check out this opening round main event. We’re both in our forties! But I’m not like any other old timer. I’m the liveliest old man in the world!”

So whether you’re in your 20s or 30s, this 41 year old is gonna crush you! The fans cheer that! Takagi also says he doesn’t bother with social media polls, but who does Osaka think will win the G1? Who? Who? The fans seem to be saying Takagi, and he says if not him, who else could it be? The fans cheer again, and he says the Rampaging Dragon will soar to the top of the G1! The fans cheer yet again as Takagi drops the mic. But will he really take over and be the Strongest of the Summer? Or did he use up all the luck he had to score against Naito tonight?

 

Here are the current A Block standings!

Shingo Takagi: 1-0, 2 points
Zack Sabre Jr: 1-0, 2 points
Evil: 1-0, 2 points
Callum Newman: 1-0, 2 points
Jake Lee: 1-0, 2 points
Tetsuya Naito: 0-1, 0 points
Gabe Kidd: 0-1, 0 points
Great-O-Khan: 0-1, 0 points
Sanada: 0-1, 0 points
Shota Umino: 0-1, 0 points

 

Here are the current B Block standings!

Jeff Cobb: 1-0, 2 points
Yuya Uemura: 1-0, 2 points
Henare: 1-0, 2 points
Konosuke Takeshita: 1-0, 2 points
Boltin Oleg: 1-0, 2 points
David Finlay: 0-1, 0 points
Yota Tsuji: 0-1, 0 points
El Phantasmo: 0-1, 0 points
Hirooki Goto: 0-1, 0 points
Ren Narita: 0-1, 0 points


My Thoughts:

An awesome opening round for this year’s G1, and especially when you consider the great upsets tonight. All the Reiwa Musketeers losing tonight was quite the surprise, but perhaps on some level, NJPW is thinking how I was thinking in that they assigned such distinctions too soon. Or, this is them giving those “chosen ones” some adversity to overcome to prove how good they really are. Either way, so great to see Oleg and Callum both getting big wins to start off. Yota VS Konosuke was also probably one of the best matches overall tonight, with Konosuke really impressing everyone here with everything he was doing.

Also big stuff given all the different singles champions that are in this G1. ELP looked good against Henare, and I like the detail of him doubting his Sudden Death kick now that it’s all on him. ZSJ getting the win on Khan makes me really want ZSJ to cook up some good KOPW Championship stipulations, and Cobb sure loves referencing other wrestlers in his matches these days. The most surprising thing from Jake Lee’s win was that the match was rather quick. But I figured Jake was going to win because he has officially joined NJPW via the Bullet Club War Dogs. Yuya getting that upset win over Finlay was awesome, I’d love to see him go for the Global Championship after the G1.

Gabe VS Evil was really good stuff, and it was really cool to see the fans being behind Gabe. Despite being the Mad Man and running wild, Gabe bringing up some stuff a few months ago about how NJPW has started losing its way probably did resonate with some NJPW purists. Now granted, Gabe losing to Evil, the poster boy for “overbooked messes,” the very thing Gabe was calling out, was also good stuff because now we could get more out of House of Torture VS War Dogs. However, NJPW Strong titles are only ever gonna be defended on NJPW Strong branded events (aka United States based events) but hey, Evil VS Gabe would probably get a great response stateside.

And of course, another awesome main event for NJPW. It was a little slow at parts, but as Takagi pointed out, he and Naito are getting up there in years, and Naito is the one who is the most banged up for his long career. Namely in those knees. Takagi also has a good point, hard to say how much longer Naito has as a wrestler, this could’ve been their last singles match unless we get them both in the playoff round. But big win for Takagi here so he could force a championship match for like NJPW Destruction or Royal Quest 2024.

My Score: 9.1/10


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Andrew’s TNA Slammiversary Results & Match Ratings: 7.20.2024

TNA’s second biggest show is sold out in Montreal! PCO and Speedball Mike Bailey are mostly the home town boys. Will they get the wins?

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Well things came up on Thursday where I didn’t cover the show, and with the lame build to Slammiversary, I wasn’t really upset. Apparently the event is sold out though, and the largest live crowd in over a decade; so that’s nice. Countdown to Slammiversary had Faby Apache in a 4 Way that was won by the worst person in the match (Tasha Steelz), Kushida gone full Hakushi, came out in the kanji tattoos and even doing some classic Hakushi moves…so Jinsei Shinzaki would be proud. DeMALISH retained the Knockouts Tags and Hammerstone returned just to lose to Eric Young right at the end of the Countdown.

So yeah, the Countdown is a microcosm of TNA since firing Scott, a few cool things and a whole lot of questionable booking. Let’s see if this show makes sense and Joe Hendry leaves as new World Heavyweight Champion!

Ratings:

  • Matt Hardy vs JDC: Hardy wins via Hanging Twist of Fate – ** 1/2
  • World Tag Team Championship: The System (Brian Myers & Eddie Edwards) (c) vs The ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey): ABC wins via 1-2-Sweet – *** 1/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • Mike Santana vs Jake Something: Santana wins via Spin the Block – **
  • The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel and Wes Lee) vs No Quarter Catch Crew (Charlie Dempsey, Tavion Heights & Myles Borne): Rascalz wins via Hot Fire Flame – **** 1/4
  • TNA Digital Media Championship & International Heavyweight Championship Match: AJ Francis (c) w/Rich Swann & Josh Bishop vs PCO: PCO wins via PCO-sault – *** 1/2 – TITLES CHANGE!!!!!
  • TNA Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs ASH by Elegance w/Personal Concierge:  Jordynne retains via Juggernaut Driver – ****
  • X Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) w/Campaign Singh vs Speedball Mike Bailey: Bailey wins via Sharpshooter & Earl Hebner – **** – TITLE CHANGE!!!
  • TNA World Heavyweight Championship 6-Way Elimination Match: Moose (c) vs Josh Alexander vs Steve Maclin vs Frankie Kazarian vs Joe Hendry vs Nic Nemeth: Nemeth wins via Danger Zone – *** 1/2 – TITLE CHANGE!!!

 

Results:

Matt Hardy vs JDC

JDC walks out with an American flag in hand and American Flag pants, since the show is in Montreal. Matt attacks JDC before the bell, so JDC uses the flag as a weapon and the referee tries to stop him, but since the match didn’t start yet, he can’t really do anything. In the ring, the match officially starts and JDC focuses on the ribs. Sending Matt chest first into the corners, draping him over the ropes, a few stomps to the midsection, and going for old classic heel psychology. Abdominal Stretch, a few pot shots, drapes Matt halfway onto the apron and JDC gets cocky. Goes for his Down and Dirty Leg Drop, but Matt moves. Finally getting in some offense, he pulls JDC into the ring, does the Delete Head Smashes into the buckles, Snap Suplex, Extreme Elbow from the corner! Looks for Twist of Fate, JDC pushes off and into the Side Effect for 2!

Twist again, but JDC rolls with it to counter, Twisting Falcon Arrow! Down and Dirty attempt 2, but Matt crotches him and does a Hanging Twist of Fate off the top turnbuckle! Matt Hardy wins!

Post-Match, he hits two more Twist of Fates on JDC to make a point.

World Tag Team Championship: The System (Brian Myers & Eddie Edwards) (c) vs The ABC (Ace Austin & Chris Bey)

ABC rocks and rolls early, some fun tandem MCMG style moves and then even a really nice Hart Attack! Myers manages to finally just muscle Bey into his corner and Eddie and Myers smash Bey a few times in the corner to take the wind out of the ABC sails. Alisha cheats a little, Myers and Eddie go to continue the punishment on Bey but he rolls under the move and hits the hot tag for Ace! Double Dumping out The System guys, Bey with a nice Tope con Hilo to wipe out The System. Lish distracts Ace long enough for Eddie to pick his ankle in mid high spot and his face bounces off the apron.

Ace tries to fight his corner, Myers Gator Roll to keep ABC sectioned off and hits his Raven pose before getting back on Ace. Eddie tags in and stays on Ace, Ace nearly gets out of things, but Eddie does a good job corralling him, tagging Myers back in, and Myers goes for the Chinlock to stall. Ace tries a rope run, Myers does his Baseball Slide trip, Assisted Catapult into the middle rope from The System, and it does look nasty. The referee stops Lish from interfering a second time, Eddie keeps slowing down Ace, and Ace tries to go for the rush of adrenaline tag, but Myers distracts the referee and the ref never sees the tag. So Eddie gets control, tags out to Myers and Myers goes for more submissions to wear down the more athletic Ace. Roster Cut attempt, but Ace back pedals, does his lay between the ropes corner dodge, connects on a Triangle kick and now they make simultaneous tags! Bey clears house, Moonsault, into Wrecking Ball Dropkick, Bey goes for another Tope, but Lish climbs the apron and just gets in the way.

Bey chases Lish, Eddie connects with a chop, Myers tries to keep going, but Bey stops him, Eddie goes to trip, Ace comes into play with the apron hand stand shenanigans and kick to Eddie, Myers wants an Apron Spear, but Ace sees it coming, Front Flips back into the ring and Bey connects with a gorgeous Cutter! Ace hits the Fosbury Flop on Eddie, and ABC is cookin with gas! Myers rolls back in, Bey hits the Splash, for 2. Tandem attacks from everyone, System tries the System Overload, but ABC breaks it apart, Spinning heel kick takes Eddie out of the picture, Magic Killer on Myers! They go for 1-2-SWEET but Myers moves and Bey collides with Alisha! In the chaos, Double Art of Finesse on the System members, 1-2-SWEET complete on Myers, and new champions The ABC!

Mike Santana vs Jake Something

The set up for this is awful. Two guys who lost during the qualifiers, look for a chance at “momentum’. So essentially, whoever loses this, is a dweeb who has the least reason to be near the main event. It’s like a 3rd place match in any single elimination tournament. Who wants to be the dork that loses twice?

A little World of Sport start, the ole Shoulder Tackle attempt from the smaller guy, so Jake starts to run him over to prove his power. Santana powders after being knocked out of the sky from a Thesz Press attempt and Jake Dives on him. Jake throws Santana back in, Santana connects on a Wrecking Ball Dropkick and follows that with an Escalara! Jake gets thrown back in, Santana tries to keep Jake down, but Jake finds different ways to fight back to his feet and Santana tries to keep the bigger man on the receiving end. Jake does manage to finally find a burst of power, shoves Santana into the corner and begins to stomp a mudhole in him. Snapping Suplex from Jake for 2, and the crowd seems to be in Santana’s corner. Jake goes for a few charges, but meets Santana’s feet, Up and Over, Enzuigiri, rope shenanigans into Rolling Buck Fifty for a 2 count! Goes back to the well for the Rolling Buck Fifty again, but Jake dodges, Jake tries to jump over him, but Santana catches him on his shoulders, Outline in Chalk! Dumb misstep where Santana posts up in the “wrong corner” so visibly runs across to the other corner for his John Woo Dropkick, into Cannonball. Cannonball attempt 2, but Jake catches him, Deadlifts him twice and finally punctuates with a Sitout Powerbomb. Jake goes to the top rope, but Santana cuts him off, Avalanche German and then they go into a weird Fighting Spirit spot.

Spin the Block ends things after Jake kicked out at 1 from the previous exchange. Too much dumb indie stuff and the corner swap looked beyond stupid.

The Rascalz (Zachary Wentz, Trey Miguel and Wes Lee) vs No Quarter Catch Crew (Charlie Dempsey, Tavion Heights & Myles Borne)

Smoke ’em if you got ’em. 

Rascalz come out in full Buzz Lightyear gear. Myles starts off with Trey, mostly just Trey finding cute quick counters and dodging. Myles tags out to Charlie, Trey tags to Dez. Charlie and Dez go more World of Sport, and Charlie is on the losing end of a Wheelbarrow Body Scissors taunt, then a Spinning Head Scissors, tag to Wentz and Bronco Buster shenanigans! Tavion comes in and shakes off Wentz, Wentz tries to get cute but Tavion with the release Belly to Back, Pop-up Frankensteiner attempt from Wentz, but just caught and countered into a Gutwrech Side Suplex. Charlie gets tagged in, and works over Wentz. Another Gutwrench into a high Hammerlock. Charlie tries to take out The Rascalz, but they see it coming and drop, Charlie then goes after Wentz, but he uses his speed to get passed Charlie and tags in Trey.

Heights distracts the referee, Borne shoves Trey off the ropes into Charlie’s arms for a release Capture Suplex. Charlie connects on a Saito Backbreaker and then tags in Heights, who turns Trey inside out. Tavion is just throwing his power around, tags in Borne for an Assisted Backbreaker. Borne connects with a sick looking Snap Powerslam into the corner and Trey hits the ropes nasty. Tavion comes back in and throws haymakers. Tavion throws one Haymaker, but Trey Matrix Dodges and Tavion loses his balance, so Trey connects on an Eddy Gordo kick and tags in Dez. Dez does well, until he tries to call for Wentz and the numbers catch up to the currently wounded Rascalz. NQCC triple team Dez and he gets worked over hard. Dez tags in Trey and Wentz comes in too to clean house. Lightning Spiral attempt from Trey on Charlie, but Charlie counters with Dragon Suplex Hold, and Dez hits the Frog Splash to break the pin! NQCC powders, Wentz goes for the Diving Crossbody and they catch him, so Dez comes over for the Tope con Hilo and takes out the pile! Trey goes for an Asai Moonsault on Charlie but Charlie catches him into a Cravat Keylock, then there’s a submission spot where all the NQCC is in control, but the Rascalz eventually counter out and the bodies hit the floor.

Cheeky Nandos, High Post 619, Soup Kitchen, HOT FIRE FLAME! Our Rascalz win the match!

TNA Digital Media Championship & International Heavyweight Championship Match: AJ Francis (c) w/Rich Swann & Josh Bishop vs PCO

AJ and crew come out saying PCO won’t make it because they beat his ass, but it looks like Destro was lurking in the background. So just when they think they get a free pay day…a coffin, monks, Destro, doctors, and a body descends from the sky! Destro and the jumper cables return, and so DOES PCO! PCO even gets his own French entrance, probably from Handsome JF. 

Since its a Montreal Street Fight, AJ attacks with a chair, but PCO absorbs the shots, punches the chair back in his face, Lariats him to the outside, Cannonball to the outside! PCO hits the Deanimator on AJ, and Rich runs over to try and help his buddy. PCO-sault to the outside and wipes out both Rich and AJ. Rich gets in the way, sets up two tables and they look to put PCO through the tables. PCO fights back, takes out both AJ and Rich. AJ makes some space, goes under the ring and tries to find more weapons. So AJ is beating the hell out of PCO with Chairs and Trash Cans, hits his goofy Tennessee Whiskey knee and when he finishes his move, his left leg clips one of the tables and it just looks silly. That would’ve been a hilarious ending to a potential tables match.

AJ is getting furstrated at PCO not staying down, tries to just throw him through the tables, but PCO fights back. PCO levels AJ with a few big shots, goes for the PCO-sault, but AJ puts him in the Electric Chair and drops him into the pile of chairs…only for 2! AJ goes to the top and PCO cuts him off and throws him through the two tables, and the tables explode. PCO needs to tie his shoe first, and Josh Bishop attacks PCO with multiple Chairshots. Sami Callihan shows up, Rich gets the best of him, goes to take out his face with a baseball bat, Rhyno hits the ring and Gores Rich. PCO slides AJ back in, PCO-sault, but AJ kicks out! PCO sets up chairs, AJ claws his eyes, hits a Tombstone with the Undertaker pose, but PCO kicks out. AJ Chokeslam countered by PCO Chokeslam into the chairs! PCO-sault again! PCO WINS!

Steph De Lander comes out dressed as Wednesday, and proposes to PCO! He literally says “Oui”. 

TNA Knockouts Championship: Jordynne Grace (c) vs ASH by Elegance w/Personal Concierge

ASH goes for an early Roll-Up attempt, but Jordynne kicks out and they mostly feel each other out until Jordynne knocks her down with a Shoulder Tackle, Inside Out Side Slam, ASH tries to avoid in the corner, but Jordynne keeps on her, connects with a Spinebuster for a near fall. The concierge grabs Jordynne’s foot and the referee sees, but Rosemary was in the crowd again, and she comes out to run off the Concierge with a KNIFE! In all of the distraction, Jordynne gets tripped up in the ropes and planted on the outside. ASH tries a Piledriver or Powerbomb on the apron, but Jordynne won’t go, so ASH just hits a Neckbreaker over the top rope. Jordynne tries to fight off, goes for a Corner Leap Frog, but ASH doesn’t feed into it, Jordynne looks confused and ASH hits the Backstabber. ASH tries to turn it into a Sleeper but Jordynne eventually counters with the old Fall Down on the other person. Two labored Scoop Slams send ASH retreating to the corner, Spinning Backfist rocks ASH, Kanniku Buster for 2!

Jordynne catches ASH off the ropes, but ASH turns it into a Satellite DDT for 2! ASH goes for a Suplex, but Jordynne stops it, and then crotches ASH on the top followed by a big Bear Claw Palm Strike. Headbutts from Jordynne have ASH looking bad on top, Stalling Superplex float into Jackhammer…for 2! ASH tries to fight back, but Jordynne lifts her foot and Thesz Press on ASH’s back to just rain down strikes. Juggernaut Driver…NO STUNDOG MILLIONAIRE, into a Canadian Destroyer! Rarefied Air attempt, but Jordynne gets the knees up. Both try to set up things, but ASH hits the Flipping Neckbreaker. ASH goes to try Rarefied Air again, but Jordynne cuts her off. Jordynne tries to pull her face off, ASH bites Jordynne and hits the AVALANCHE SHIRANUI! But Jordynne manages to barely kick out. ASH gets frustrated and peppers some punches and a Senton onto Jordynne’s back and looks for a Half Crab but Jordynne fights out and snatches her real quick into a Rear Naked Choke, but ASH counters into a pin to break the submission. Strike exchange, Jordynne tries a Powerbomb but countered, Juggernaut Driver countered into a Small Package, Pop-Up Spinning Backfist from Jordynne. Kudome Valentine attempt but ASH counters and rolls through it, ASH goes for a kick, Jordynne holds wrist control and connects with the Juggernaut Driver to retain!

X Division Championship: Mustafa Ali (c) w/Campaign Singh vs Speedball Mike Bailey

Ali gets an early Headscissors counter and mockingly does the Crane Pose, and then Speedball kicks him in the damn chest. A little back and forth, Speedball with the Snapmare into a PK between the Shoulder Blades. Speedball let’s him get up, chases him to the corner and out with the Tornado Kick, Ali taunts the all his kicks missed, so Speedball toys with him from the extended Side Kick position. Campaign Singh gets on the apron to distract, so Ali takes advantage. The match becomes more back and forth, Bell Clap from Ali, evasive maneauvers from everyone  but a Wrecking Ball Headscissors into a Triangle Moonsault give Speedball the advantage and he goes to give his wife Veda Scott a kiss, then gets a little distracted with Campaign Singh and security so Mustafa connects with an opportunistic Tornado DDT.

Ali taunts a kiss towards Veda, Rolling Neckbreaker back inside gives Ali a near fall. Ali sinks in a Kneeling Bow and Arrow, the crowd tries to cheer on Speedball, and Speedball is getting a few potshots, but Ali has Speedball in a Gory Backbreaker that he transitions into a Gory Flatliner. Crowd hates Ali, Ali taunts and goes for a delayed 450, but misses, Speedball rushes and misses, Ali tries a Springboard return but Speedball’s educated feet even the playing field. Sole Butt, into Axe Kick, Round Kick to the Chest, Running Shooting Star misses, Ali goes for a Brainbuster but Speedball counters, Falcon Arrow, pops up top, SHOOTING STAR PRESS for 2. Ali powders to the apron, Speedball tries the Double Knees to the chest, but misses on the apron and eats a Thrust Kick to the face for his troubles. Ali goes to the top, Speedball cuts him off, Spanish Fly into Campaign Singh and the security!

Back and forth, Ali Dives, Speedball jumps over it and connects with the Asai Moonsault! Speedball tries Ultima Weapon but Ali catches him with a Rising Knee, Stuffed Dropkick into a Blue Tunder GTS for 2! Ali tries to end things, 450, MISSED! Speedball goes for Ultima Weapon but Ali kicks the ropes to stop him, Avalanche Poison Rana from Speedball! ULTIMA WEAPON!! BUT NOOO Ali’s foot was on the ropes! Speedball’s music even plays for a moment, he tries another cover, Ali kicks out and Crucifix counter for 2! Speedball with a Thrush Kick but Ali ducks and the referee eats the kick! Security and Campaign Singh get involved, belt shot, hold Speedball for the 450! Referee is still dead, another 450! The shove the referee into position and one of the riot gear security pulls out the referee! It was Trent Seven all along!

Seven takes out Campaign and the other security, Mustafa hits the Dive on Seven and takes a chair to the already damaged leg! Chairshot on Speedball and Ali calls to the back and summons, EARL HEBNER! Sharpshooter one Speedball, Hebner is conflicted on doing the right thing or Screw Job 2.0. Speedball Spin Kicks the chair out of Mustafa’s hands it legit clips Hebner and he takes a bump, SPEEDBALL WITH THE SHARPSHOOTER! Ali taps! Speedball wins!

TNA World Heavyweight Championship 6-Way Elimination Match: Moose (c) vs Josh Alexander vs Steve Maclin vs Frankie Kazarian vs Joe Hendry vs Nic Nemeth

Moose has the American National Anthem instrumental snippet before his entrance music. They really steered into the…OH MY GOD HE’S IN A COWBOY HAT! MOOSEQUENCES CREED!

Moose tried to strategize with Kaz, but Kaz bails and everyone beats on Moose until Kaz comes back in and they stop and gang up on Kaz. In typical multi-person fashion, lots of early fall down and pair off stuff. Hendry hits a Stalling Suplex on both Kaz and Moose, the babyfaces are cutting each other off but not taking shortcuts. Hendry Trust Falls Nemeth into Moose and Kaz goes for a Roll-Up, but only for 2! Kaz, Maclin and Josh are in, but Maclin and Josh team up on Kaz. Josh with the Backbreaker set up, Maclin shrugs and accepts the assist on the King Kong Knee Drop. Josh then hits German Suplexes on everyone, but hits 10 Count Locomotion Germans on Maclin in particular, the last on has the bridge, but only for 2! Kaz tries to take the opportunistic moment, but Josh counters, Kaz grabs Nemeth and Josh Double Suplexes the both of them. Before Josh and Hendry go at it, Moose hits a Bicycle Kick on Josh and tries to pick apart Nemeth. Headbutt from Nemeth, Neckbreaker, Dropkick on Josh, and then the 10 Count Elbows from Nemeth but Moose powders at 9, so Nemeth follows him out just to hit 10 on the outside.

Kaz goes after everyone, Slingshot Cutters for all, Moose tries to stop Kaz’s momentum, goes for his Escalara Crossbody but eats the Cutter for 2! Kaz tries the Chicken Wing on Hendry, goes to the corner for a Crossbody but Hendry just moves to the side Samoa Joe style. SCUDs for everyone from Maclin until Josh catches him, Maclin puts him in the Tree of Woe, Nemeth tries to stop Maclin, Tree of Woe Nemeth. CAUGHT IN CROSSHAIRS on Josh, tries for Nemeth but Nemeth dodges and Maclin flies through and hits Moose. Maclin back in, Busaiku Knee on Nemeth, Kaz in the Tree of Woe, Caught in the Crosshairs connects, KIA but intercepted with Lights Out from Moose! MACLIN ELIMINATED!

Moose is throttling everyone, Kaz tries an alliance, Moose feigns acceptance but hits an Uranage on Kaz instead of a handshake. Hendry fights out of the corner, but Moose hits the hard Irish Whips. Moose misses the Spear into the corner, STANDING OVA-NO! Jacknife Powerbomb causes Hendry to powder, Nemeth tries a Fame-Asser but Moose counters into a Buckle Bomb. Josh gets propped up, eats the Okada Dropkick into a Superplex, transitioned into a Jacknife Powerbomb for 2 after a small slip from Moose. Kaz Low Bridge on Moose, tries the Diving Frankensteiner, but it gets turned into an Apron Bomb. Moose eats the Superkick, Nemeth eats a Cutter from Hendry, Josh with his Low Crossbody Dive on Kaz. Everyone is fighting on the ramp.

A lot of brawling, teasing a move off the stage into a table, Nemeth is wobbling, Kaz gets Superkicked by Nemeth off the stage through that table! Moose drags the other three back to the ring, Josh tries to fight back, Uranage for Josh, Uranage for Nic into Josh. Joe rises up from the outside as Moose is distracted, hits a Cutter! Only a 2, Josh tries the C4 Spike, SACK OF SHIT into the Kip Up, catches Nemeth mid Crossbody, SACK OF SHIT into Kip Up! Moose is posted in the corner, Splash into SACK OF SHIT followed by the Kip Up! The crowd is reacting well to Joe but then Moose Kips Up, LIGHTS OUT on Josh and Nemeth but no pinfall! Moose eyes Hendry, Hendry counters the Spear into a Roll-Up, locomotion roll throughs Frakensteiner from Joe into a Lariat leveling Moose, STANDING OVATION on MOOSE! MOOSE ELIMINATED! Hendry goes for the Standing Ovation on Josh, but Josh with a LOW BLOW? C4 Spike! HENDRY ELIMINATED! Canadian crowd is raining down “bullshit” at Josh and booing hard.

The referee tells Josh to stop beating on Joe, he’s been eliminated, and Josh goes after the referee. Nemeth tries to save the referee but Josh kicks the bad knee, Power Breaker from Josh and Nic is reeling. Josh’s keeps pointing at himself saying he’s “the heart and soul, no one else deserves it more than him”. Josh blocks the Danger Zone and connects with a Rack Bomb. Josh with a Kneeling Arm Bar, but Nemeth is fighting back. C4 block, Superkick block, C4 Countered Headbutt into Superkick! JOSH ALEXANDER ELIMINATED! Fade to black from Kaz! But Nemeth kicks out at 2! Superkick block, Chicken Wing from Kaz! Nemeth turns it into a Pinfall, Kaz pushes off the DDT, eats a Superkick! But only 2! Danger Zone blocked, Double Legged Cradle but only 2. Backstabber from Kaz, Superkick from Nemeth into Danger Zone! KAZ ELIMINATED! 

Overall Score: 6/10

Let me lead off with a few things, firstly, all the major titles are on babyfaces…that is awful. We all know that money is in the babyface chasing, not the heel chasing. So you give Josh a big heel turn with eliminating Hendry just to have him lose instead of being literally the most hated person in wrestling. I can only see this working IF there are plans to team him back up with Ethan Page but didn’t want both to be champion at the same time. The North/Monster Mafia as the main champs is a weird predicament, sure. But really, why even turn Josh that way, at that time? One could say that Hendry is so over right now, that he doesn’t need the belt…sure but; TNA isn’t over right now and could benefit from having him on top.

A bunch of matches were overbooked yet somewhat entertaining, like the PCO match or Ali match. Kushida randomly coming out with the Jinsei Shinzaki/Hakushi homage was cool, but would’ve been better if it got tied into the Octopus storyline. Having Faby Apache show up to remind people there’s a AAA agreement, just to have Tasha Steelz win, when she’s done literally nothing. I don’t get it. Gisele has been getting a little momentum, Xia had a few good showings and was relevant on TV, Tasha is irrelevant and Faby is a legend. The booking undermines some of the interesting beats.

ASH had a great match with Jordynne. Rascalz were match of the night. Jake Something is a fucking joke at this point. Matt Hardy vs JDC had no business on a main card, it didn’t start anything off hot, it was an undercard squash essentially. That should’ve been on Countdown and Hammerstone’s return should’ve kicked off the show. There was just a lot of mediocrity, marred by overbooking or questionable finishes. I really want to see how quickly some of these babyfaces drop their titles, because this is stupid business.


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