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Mitchell’s WWE Monday Night Raw Report! (6/11/18)

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Is Raw giving away a Money in the Bank match for free!?

Raw goes hard before Money in the Bank! The Big Dog and the Modern Day Maharaja will have a match BEFORE their MITB match! Will Mahal use this opportunity to take Roman Reigns out before the PPV? Plus, two Fatal 4 Ways, featuring all of Raw’s MITB match representatives! That is, if Natalya and Alexa Bliss can compete.

 

All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Women’s Fatal 4 Way: Ember Moon VS Sasha Banks VS Natalya VS Alexa Bliss; Natalya wins.
  • Breezango VS Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre; Ziggler & McIntyre win.
  • Roman Reigns VS Jinder Mahal Sunil Singh; Roman wins.
  • The B Team VS Heath Slater & Rhyno; The B Team wins.
  • Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad; Ruby wins.
  • Curt Hawkins VS No Way Jose; Jose wins.
  • Men’s Fatal 4 Way: Braun Strowman VS Finn Balor VS Kevin Owens VS Bobby Roode; Strowman wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Raw opens with ladders!

Little Rock has all eight superstars competing this Sunday in their respective Men’s and Women’s Money in the Bank matches. The Monster Among Men, the GLORIOUS One, the Extraordinary Man, the Prizefighter, as well as the Goddess, War Goddess, Queen of Harts and Boss all wait as Raw GM Kurt Angle heads to the ring!

Angle reminds us that MITB is Sunday, on the WWE Network. For the first time ever, the matches will be co-branded 4v4. It is one of the most grueling matches in WWE history, testing you mentally, physically and emotionally, but with an amazing reward. The winners can cash-in anywhere at anytime for a title match. But then CONSTABLE Baron Corbin, sporting a new look, arrives.

The Lone Wolf, as appointed by Stephanie McMahon, lets us know that as Stephanie’s representative, he just wants to ensure Raw runs smoothly tonight. As the GM, Angle would love for those contracts to come to Raw. And if they don’t, Stephanie will be disappointed. We don’t want to disappoint Stephanie now, do we? Alexa Bliss says that despite her injury, she will fight through the pain and win. Sasha Banks speaks up, wanting to know what hurts. Alexa’s shoulder…? But then, weren’t you limping? Alexa can hurt in multiple places! Ember Moon says it won’t matter, Alexa will be real sore after losing.

Sasha and Ember argue, but Angle wants them to calm down. He brings up that Natalya can compete, but is she sure she can be in a ladder match? Natty says she is, because she is ready to win a shot against her friend and soon-to-be Raw WOmen’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. Sasha says Natty’s right, Ronda can win. But Sasha’s gonna be Ms. MITB. Kevin Owens speaks up, saying Angle is right about these ladders. But this isn’t fair, Strowman is so tall! Is the briefcase going to be up higher for Strowman’s sake? Roode asks if Kevin wants that briefcase lowered for his sake. Yes that’s a great idea!

Angle says the briefcases are all the same height for everyone. Kevin complains, then kisses up to Corbin. Strowman wants to quit this squabbling and do something about Kevin! Kevin wants to make Stephanie proud but he’s being threatened. Strowman doesn’t make threats, he makes promises. Strowman vows to shut Kevin up, climb up and take the contract to cash-in on Lesnar! The men start arguing, so Alexa SHRIEKS to stop them all. “Y’all need to calm down.” THis is like the Real Housewives of WWE. Besides, Alexa is confident she and her Mixed Match Challenge partner will win.

How cute, Alexa. But Sasha feels her MMC partner will win. Finn thanks Sasha for that vote of confidence, and returns the favor. They all argue again, and now Strowman ROARS, “ENOUGH!” Sunday, someone will #GetTheseHands! The Monster Among Men has spoken, but will even he be able to win when there are a total of eight top tier superstars in the ladder matches?

 

Women’s Fatal 4 Way: Ember Moon VS Sasha Banks VS Natalya VS Alexa Bliss!

The Queen of Harts has recovered from her leg injury last week, and Lil’ Ms. Bliss has “recovered” from hers, but will those be points to exploit for the Boss and Prophecy of Flame?

The bell rings and all four women look up to the prize in the sky. Sasha taunts Alexa about the “bad leg”, then they all close in. Alexa kicks Natty then throws Sasha into Ember. Alexa SLAPS Ember, then throws Natty out. The fans cheer for the sassy Five Foot Fury, but Ember shoves her away. Alexa crossbodies, but Ember catches her for the Fall Away Slam! Ember kips up, then glares at Alexa. Alexa runs away, but bumps into Sasha. She’s cornered, so she runs away, only to run into Natty! Natty throws Alexa into barriers by her hair! Natty joins Ember and Sasha, and the three circle around.

They approach, Ember headlocks but Natty powers out. Ember makes it through the double hip toss to dropkick Natty! She dodges Sasha, crucifix pin, ONE. Sasha returns it, ONE, but then takedown to jackknife. ONE, and so Sasha wheelbarrows. Natty holds her up, but Sasha dropkicks Ember away to roll Natty. TWO, to Natty’s cover, TWO. Natty runs Ember over with a clothesline! Fans fire up for the Queen of Harts as she circles with Sasha. Sasha goes after the bad leg, then snapmares Natty into a low Meteora. Cover, TWO, but she’s right back on Natty with an arm wrench. Natty rolls and flips to wrench Sasha down. Fans rally while Sasha endures. Sasha gets up and pushes Natty back. She breaks free, but misses Natty to end up in the rebound.

Sasha breaks out and catches the kick to give the knee, only for Natty to get a takedown! Natty wants the Sharpshooter but Sasha won’t let her. Sasha fights Natty but Natty keeps going, only for Sasha to shove her all the way out. Ember returns, roll-up, TWO. Ember swings but reverses the whip, Sasha goes up but Ember throws her off. Sasha hits back from the apron, then climbs up, to DIVE onto Natty! But then Ember builds speed to DIVE!

Ember barrels right into Sasha and into barriers! She drags Sasha up and into the ring, but Alexa runs in for that killer right! Alexa covers Sasha, TWO! The Fatal 4 Way is fast and furious while we go to break.

Raw returns and Natty endures a leg stretch from Alexa. Ember and Sasha stir on the outside while Alexa shrieks for Natty to quit. Natty endures while Ember drags herself up. Natty fights Alexa off, but then a dragon screw brings her back down. Ember returns but runs into another stiff right from the sassy Goddess. Alexa goes after the leg again, dropping elbows and yanking at it. Natty kicks her again, but Alexa makes her pay for it. Alexa kicks her leg out, then puts the leg on the rope to wrench it. Natty holds the ropes but Alexa drags her off to go back to the stretch. Natty rolls her off, cover, TWO. Alexa slips out of the scoop to kick out the leg! But Sasha returns to rally with lariats! Sasha blocks the kick to give the knee!

Sasha runs into the corner but is put on the apron. Alexa goes to hit Sasha down but Sasha knees her away, to then hit a swinging Meteora! Cover, TWO! One former Raw Women’s Champion is surprised by the other, but then Ember crossbodies in on them both! Ember kicks away on Sasha, then runs into the corner. Sasha turns things around but Ember counters, tornado snap suplex! Cover, but Alexa breaks it. Ember glares at Alexa and powers her into a corner for shoulders. Alexa kicks Ember away, sunset flip powerbomb, but Meteora from Sasha! TWO, and all the women are down as we go picture in picture. Alexa, Sasha and Ember all catch their breath on the mat while Natty is somewhere outside. Sasha rolls after Alexa as she rolls away. Ember comes over and it’s a triple brawl as we return to single picture.

Ember and Sasha work together to put Alexa up top. They climb up together, but then Natty returns! It’s a double powerbomb! Alexa slips out and Natty backs off with her bad leg. Alexa stands, and Twisted Bliss into knees! They’re all down again while we go to break.

Raw returns again, and Alexa dodges Ssaha to give her a backbreaker. Cover, TWO, and Alexa grows frustrated. She drags Sasha up but Ssaha hits the backstabber! Into Bank Statement crossface! Alexa flails, endures, but Natty breaks it up with a stomp! Natty hits a 2-for-1 on the dropkick, but that leg is slowing her down. She drags Alexa up and out, to then hobble over to Sasha. Natty wants the Sharpshooter, and gets it! Sasha endures, but Ember SUPERKICKS Natty in the back! The hold breaks and Sasha rolls away, then Ember puts Natty in a corner. Ember fires up, runs in, and hits the handspring elbow. She puts Natty down, then climbs up. Natty gets up, ECLIPSE!!

Cover, but Alexa throws Ember only for Ember to throw her. Alexa drags her out and the goddesses of Raw brawl. Alexa puts Ember into steps! Cover on Natty, Sasha breaks it! Sasha saves the match, and fans know “This is Awesome!” The Boss stands while Natty writhes and Alexa stirs. Alexa swings but misses, only to elbow Sasha back. Sasha wants another backstabber but Alexa hotshots her thne throws her out! Natty rolls Alexa, into Sharpshooter! Alexa shrieks, and taps! Natty wins!

Winner: Natalya, by submission

The former SmackDown Women’s Champion wins, because it’s about the timing and the toughness. Natty shows she can do both, but can she do it when ladders and four other women are involved?

 

Kevin Owens confronts Finn Balor.

He offers olives. Like, an olive branch. What does he want? Kevin knows the Fatal 4 Way got chaotic for the women, but says the men need a plan. Or is Finn still upset about last week? Kevin can’t let that happen again this week. They’re both competitors, but they’r both former Universal Champions. And neither of them got a proper rematch. What if Strowman wins? What if Strowman succeeds? He could be holding that title, their title, forever. Finn can’t beat Strowman and Kevin would need a lot of effort to. What’s his point? They need to work together, as well as Roode, to eliminate Strowman. Tonight can be every man against monster. Kevin leaves Finn to think on that. Will Finn accept this alliance?

 

Breezango VS Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre!

The Fashion Police are in Little Rock, but the Show-Off and Scottish Stud are planning to make them pay for the early elimination in last week’s Tag Team Battle Royal.

McIntyre glares daggers into Breezango, but it’s Ziggler who starts, and he starts fast on Prince Pretty. They’ve had issue in the past, but now it’s even more aggressive as Ziggler grinds his boot on Breeze’s face. Ziggler then grinds Breeze’s face into the ropes. Ziggler and Breeze brawl, but Ziggler kicks low and drops the elbow. Cover, TWO, but Ziggler keeps Breeze away from Fandango. McIntyre tags in and stomps away on Breeze. McIntyre rips Breeze’s shirt off to chop his bare chest! He doesn’t stop as he stomps on Breeze more. Tag to Ziggler, then another chop. McIntyre wants Ziggler to finish this, and Ziggler taunts Fandango as he drags Breeze back up. The referee keeps Fandango back, and Ziggler toys with Breeze. Breeze enziguris Ziggler! Both men are down, hot tags!

Fandango runs out and chops, but McIntyre puts him in a corner. McIntyre misses and Fandango chops more. Fandango ends up on the apron but climbs up. Ziggler distracts and McIntyre trips him up. Breeze leaps but is caught and gut wrenched into a powerbomb ONTO Fandango! McIntyre tags Ziggler, and they finish it with a SUPERKICK to Breeze. Then for Fandango, the Claymore ZigZag!! Cover, Ziggler & McIntyre win!

Winners: Ziggler & McIntyre, Ziggler pinning

The “D&D Train” is rolling on, and it doesn’t look like anyone can stop them. Will Ziggler & McIntyre take the show by force, and then take the titles the same way?

Ziggler & McIntyre speak.

“Last week, there was a tag team battle royal and that was nothing more than a fluke.” They’re over it, so get over it. This is proof, Exhibit A & B, the Fashion Police. Some question their guts, their skills, their alliance. “Bad move!” This isn’t just hype, so every tag team on Raw, even the champions, “take a good look! Because the show starts and ends right here! This is your future.” Ziggler & McIntyre hold this show in their hands, and vow to SAVE it by taking out every other team.

 

Backstage interview with Roman Reigns.

The Big Dog faces Jinder Mahal now, but will also face him again at MITB. Is he surprised? No, because Mahal is an idiot. The fact Roman isn’t in the MITB ladder match is because of Mahal. Roman will not be able to cash in on Lesnar and take back what is “legitimately” his. Roman makes this clear: everything coming is not free, Mahal earned this whooping. He’s giving Mahal his receipt, “paid in full.” Win or lose, will either man be fit to compete again at MITB this Sunday?

 

Roman Reigns VS Jinder Mahal!

When a grudge is this personal, why wait another week? MITB comes a bit early, but will it be a one-time-only?

Before the match, Mahal speaks while Little Rock boos. “I challenged Roman Reigns to a match tonight to prove a point: He’s not nearly as unstoppable as he thinks.” Roman may be a Grand Slam Champion that’s main-evented Wrestlemania, “but the winds are changing.” Mahal feels it, and sees what we don’t. At MITB, Mahal envisions Roman suffering, unable to keep up. Roman’s eyes will show defeat after he takes Khallas after Khallas. Mahal sees his hand raised over the “exposed” Roman. But then Roman comes out to get this match started!

Mahal grins at Roman, he knows he’s ready to have this match. Mahal knows Roman blames Mahal for not being part of the MITB Ladder Match. But it’s Roman’s own failures that cloud his judgment. Oh, did Roman think this match was with Mahal? No, the challenge wasn’t for facing Mahal. The challenge is for another great Indian, “a man who is fearless, who stands shoulders above all competition.” Yes, Roman’s opponent is… The Great SUNIL SINGH! Sunil doesn’t seem to remember that part of the plan.

The bell rings, and Sunil pleads with Mahal. Mahal pumps Sunil up, but he’s just a lamb to the slaughter. Roman uppercuts Mahal! Sunil is all alone now, and Roman grins as he whips him into a SUPERMAN PUNCH! Roman fires up, laughs at Mahal, then lets out the howl. SPEAR! Cover, Roman wins!

Winner: Roman, by pinfall

But Mahal goes after Roman right away! KHALLAS!

Mahal sacrificed his pawn so that he could get the drop on his enemy. Will Mahal pay for the bait and switch come Sunday?

 

The B Team VS Heath Slater & Rhyno!

The “Best” Team is set to face the Deleters of Worlds for the Raw Tag Team Championships, but they’ll test themselves in a match against the inaugural SmackDown Tag Team Champions. These four men were the final two teams in last week’s battle royal, but that’s far from a normal match. Will Axel & Bo stay “undefeated” going into their match with Bray Wyatt & WOKEN Matt Hardy?

The bell rings and Axel starts with Slater. Slater fires off on Axel, Axel powers out of the headlock, but Slater runs Axel over. Axel clubs Slater back, then whips, but Slater comes back with forearms. Slater hits Bo for good measure, but Axel powers Slater to a corner. Bo tags in, and the B Team mugs Slater in the corner. Axel backs off while BO reels Slater into an STO. Cover, TWO, so Bo drops many knees. Cover, TWO, but Bo keeps on Slater with a chinlock. Rhyno and the fans rally and Slater fights out with a jawbreaker. Slater brings Bo over but Bo whips him away. Bo hits Rhyno, then bumps him off buckles. Slater dodges Bo but Axel tags in. Axel ducks the kick but not hte punches. Slater sees Bo coming, but Bo slips out, B Team neckbreaker!

Cover, The B Team wins!

Winners: The B Team (Axel & Bo), Axel pinning

They are still “undefeated”, and celebrate like they’ve already won the titles. But the champions appear via titantron, and applaud for their future opponents. “This jovial jamboree” that they partake in is… WONDERFUL~! Ye-e-e-e-es! Delightful~! Marvelous~! But they’re here. Yes, the Deleters of Worlds appear on stage. “Well done, you Obsolete Mules!” The B Team wants to prove themselves worthy of the titles. But beware, for their are omniscient~! “Just look around you, man.” The Woken surround you. The fireflies surround you. And they are always watching. Bray knows that Bo & Axel are burning up like the River Styx. That’s fear, and it reminds them that they bought the ticket, and now must ride the ride, ye-e-e-e-es. The Obnoxious Ants will be eaten, and deleted! The Yin-Yang of the Raw Tag Team Division has delivered an ominous ultimatum. Will the B Team remain undefeated and un-deleted?!

 

Elias speaks.

The Drifter says tonight’s performance will be a struggle. he’s not used to performing in front of Arkansas hillbillies. Elias will make his way out to the ring after the break.

“Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.”

The Drifter has made his way to the ring, but has a mixed reaction from Little Rock. He plays his guitar and that gets more fans on his side. Elias wants them to remember the moment, because they are seeing a “once in a lifetime” performer live, and just moments before he becomes Intercontinental Champion. Seth Rollins will learn that WWE really stands for “WALK WITH ELIAS!” But other fans chant “Burn It Down!” in support of the Architect. As always, Elias asks the fans silence phones, hold applause, and for their own sake, shut mouths.

Elias plays again, singing “He’s the Architect, but he tells us to Burn it Down. Make up your damn mind, Seth, those are the worst nicknames around. Seth Freakin’ Rollins, am I supposed to think that cool? And I get it, you do Crossfit, so I know that you’re a tool.” Seth is void of talent and is a disgrace to Monday Night Raw, but he might even have been born in this “toilet” known as Arkansas. Seth will squeal like a pig, and walking with Elias is something to fear. But y’know what? Elias wasn’t going to, but he’s got something to show us all. He moves out of the spotlight to bring out a specially painted guitar for when Elias becomes IC Champion. John Mayer gave him that. They’re good friends.

This custom Fender, a thing of beauty. Elias won’t perform another song, which the fans like to hear. But next week, when Elias returns, he’ll play the greatest song yet with this guitar and that title. But speaking of, here comes Seth Rollins! The Architect rushes the ring but Elias is right on him! But Rollins sends Elias out with a hard bump on the apron. Rollins is fuming, and shouts for Elias to get some guts! Two weeks with a sneak attack guitar smash, for what? Making a name for himself? Rollins ain’t that hard to find. Rollins is in the same spot every Monday: the middle of the ring, with the IC title on his shoulder, begging for a fight. All Elias had to do was ask.

But the worst part? Rollins wanted to like Elias. Elias could do it all, from the spotlight to the songs to the guitars. Guitars… Rollins sees that custom Fender… Well this guitar… Elias tries to get Rollins to stop, and save it for Sunday. Rollins wants a closer look at the Fender. He picks it up, and “you weren’t lying, this is really, really nice.” Did the fans get a good look? Look at the craftsmanship. This should go to someone in Little Rock as part of a charity auction! Any takers? So many fans want it, but so does Elias. This is from Elias’ friend, John Mayer, right? Rollins wants to be very careful with it. He sets it down, and fans want him to smash it, but it’s so well-made. Rollins fakes a stomp, and Elias panics.

Elias begs Rollins wait for Sunday, but fans want him to smash it! Rollins knows he can’t play instruments, but he does know a song that’s three words long. And it usually happens when he taps his foot. So if Arkansas is willing to help out… “Burn it Down! Burn it Down!” That’s the one. CURB STOMP ON THE GUITAR!

Elias is seething while Rollins gets himself some payback. Will Elias suffer more than just property damage at MITB?

 

Kevin Owens talks with Bobby Roode.

Seeing Seth Rollins smash that guitar, it reminds Kevin of Braun smashing the ladder like it was nothing. Roode is lucky to be standing. What does Kevin want? What’s best for everyone. Roode and Finn can’t beat Strowman alone, and not even Kevin can. If Strowman becomes Mr. MITB, that’s bad. They need to stop him. Therefore, tonight, a three-man alliance. Either Roode admits Kevin is right, or he goes it alone and ends up like the ladder. “It’s your call. Nice robe.” Roode also contemplates this recruitment pitch. Will Kevin get the GLORIOUS One on his side?

 

Bayley VS Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad!

The Huggable One is already in the ring while the Squad wreaks a bit of good wholesome havoc backstage. Can Bayley survive the Riott all alone? Or will the Squad get revenge for those eliminations in the Women’s Gauntlet match?

The bell rings and Bayley is wary of Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. Bayley and Ruby circle while Liv & Sarah start the drums, and Ruby knocks Bayley down. Ruby clubs away on Bayley while Liv & Sarah taunt her. Ruby bends Bayley back against the bottom rope, then stalks her to a corner. The ref reprimands Ruby as she pulls Bayley’s hair. Ruby pie-faces Bayley, then puts her in another corner. Ruby throws forearms and kicks, but fans cheer Bayley. Bayley boots Ruby away, then rolls into a takedown! Bayely throws hands, then clubs Ruby. Ruby puts her in a corner, then fires off body shots, but Bayley turns it around.

Ruby elbows Bayley away, then drags Bayley up for a whip. Bayley reverses, Ruby kicks her away, but Bayley hits the Thesz Press! Bayley throws more hands, covers, TWO. The former Raw Women’s Champion drags Ruby up and into a corner, then to another. Bayley does it a third time, then drags Ruby away to whip her in hard. Bayley hits a bulldog! She goes to a corner and hops up, for the flying elbow! Ruby rolls out and the Squad regroups with their leader. Bayley waits, but then slips out around the side for a daredevil dropkick! She doesn’t have quite enough, but she still manages to push Ruby into the LED, then saido suplex Ruby down! Ruby writhes while we go to break.

Raw returns, and Ruby wrenches Bayley back with a grounded keylock. Ruby screams for Bayley to give up, but the Huggable One refuses. Fans rally up, and Bayley powers up to fight out. Bayley throws Ruby, then dropkicks the legs out. She knees ruby to ropes, then dodges to send her into a corner. Ruby grabs Bayley with Deadly Nightshade! Cover, TWO, and Ruby grows frustrated. Ruby keeps on Bayley and those bad shoulders while we go picture in picture to plug the PPV. Bayley endures the wrenching and the grinding as Ruby digs a knee in while pulling on that arm. Ruby bends that arm and pulls the wrist, but fans rally for Bayley as we go single picture. Bayley gets up while Ruby chicken wings and thrashes. Bayley picks Ruby up like a backpack to back her to the ropes. They hit buckles, but Ruby holds on.

Bayley tries again, and snapmares Ruby off. Ruby runs back in, but Bayley snake eyes and back elbows! Bayley rolls, wacky waving arms to a big knee strike. Ruby goes down while Bayley climbs up. Bayley aims, for the Macho Elbow! It misses! Ruby covers, TWO! The Squad is shocked that Bayley survived her crash and burn. Ruby drags Bayley up again, then wrenches the arm, but Bayley rolls her up! TWO, and Bayley goes to the apron. She slides back in to roll Ruby, TWO, so Ruby high stacks. TWO, and Bayley rocks Ruby with a knee. Ruby shakes the cobwebs out, but Bayley is ready. Liv distracts, and Sarah distracts, then Ruby throws Bayley into the post! Then, Riott Kick! Cover, Ruby wins!

Winner: Ruby, by pinfall

The Squad helps their leader get the W. But they’re not done with Bayley, as they use face paint to scribble and write all over Bayley. They leave a big letter R on Bayley’s belly before knocking her out with a right. Will the Squad continue to #StartaRiott on Raw?

 

Ronda Rousey talks with Natalya backstage.

Natty warns Rousey that Nia Jax might try something. Ronda thanks Natty for the advice. The Baddest Woman and the Irresistible Force meet face to face, after the break.

Jonathan Coachman presides over this coming Face-to-Face.

This Sunday, it will be one of the biggest nights in Raw Women’s Division history as Nia Jax defends her title against Ronda Rousey. But before that, they will meet again here and now. Coach introduces the challenger, “Rowdy” Ronda!

Ronda appears and takes her seat, then Coach introduces the champion, Nia Jax!

Nia joins Ronda and Coach in the ring, and Coach knows that the next time they meet, the title is on the line.

What does the champion say about this friendly rivalry become an almost angry one? Nia isn’t surprised. Both women are very competitive. Things get tense when it comes to seeing who is best. Nia was just pushing some buttons. Ronda is beautiful, talented and popular, “she’s still very new in the WWE.” Ronda’s success was form Strike Force and UFC, which have very different rules. WWE allows things MMA doesn’t, like headbutts, slaps, back strikes, hair pulling, and more. Nia has had all those done to her and has done those to others. Come Sunday, Nia will show Ronda exactly what she means. Ronda responds: she doesn’t plan, she improvises. And Ronda will improvise Nia’s arm off. Coach reminds Ronda she’s only had one match. True, but Ronda earned that win.

Nia does give Ronda credit. That one match was impressive. But it was a tag match, against a part-timer. Ronda has never had a singles match, nor a title match, and no offense, Nia’s been grinding in WWE for years. Nia is not Stephanie, she’s THE Raw Women’s Champion. And yet Ronda wants to take Nia’s arm? Nia will take Ronda’s rep. “Because when I’m done with you, they’re gonna call me the Baddest Woman on the Planet.” Nia knows she’s gonna win. It’s why she challenged Ronda at all. Because at the end of the day, Ronda’s not ready.

Ronda grins and laughs as she stands up. “Not ready?” Ronda was told that when she was 17 and made the Olympics team. And she was told that again when she went after the Strike Force title after only four fights, but she still won. And she got it again when she main-evented with record attendance. Everyone thought she wasn’t ready for UFC, but now she’s a UFC hall of famer! “I am Ronda Rousey, and I was born ready!” Ronda takes off the jacket, and now Nia stands. Nia shows Ronda the belt, then goes for a punch! Ronda blocks it! But Nia headbutts Ronda down! Nia drags Ronda up by her ponytail, but Ronda catches Nia into the armbar!

Nia holds on tight, but Ronda keeps trying. The champ stands up and deadlifts her challenger, but Ronda wrangles Nia back down. Nia taps!! Ronda lets Nia go, having proved her point. Can Ronda do that all over again on Sunday to become the new Raw Women’s Champion?

 

Curt Hawkins VS No Way Jose!

The Fact Checker, the Superstar Factory, the History-Making Machine did indeed make history: he is the man of 200 consecutive losses. Will Hawkins himself finally #FacetheFacts that he’s not cut out for Raw anymore?

Hawkins’ music hits, but he doesn’t come out. Jose is confused, as is the referee. When Hawkins doesn’t come out the second time, the bell rings and it is now a ring count. The count reaches 5, but Hawkins doesn’t appear. But then he appears from the CROWD! He rolls Jose, TWO, Fastball Special!

Cover, Jose wins!

Winner: Jose, by pinfall

A clever idea from Hawkins, but it wasn’t enough. Hawkins is now Mr. 201, will he ever get out from under the losing streak?

 

Finn talks with Roode.

They’ve both talked with Kevin. Do they trust Kevin? Nope. But who do they trust? The devil they now, or the Monster Among Men? Roode feels they should work with Kevin at first, but they need to keep their eyes on him, too. Finn agrees, he’ll keep an eye on Kevin, and one on Roode.

 

WWE and Raw look closer at Katie Millar.

Katie is a powerlifter in the coming Special Olympics games. She never knew she was so strong. The Special Olympics introduced her to new people and friends, including Coach Tim. Katie has improved in her deadlifts, and has improved her confidence. The confidence boost helped her get a job, and helps her be happy in life. The Seattle Games are coming, so cheer Katie and the other athletes on as they #GoForGold!

 

Renee Young hosts a Raw Obstacle Course.

First up, Sami Zayn, who concocted this idea.

But why did he decide to challenge Bobby Lashley to this? All Sami did was ask if Lashley was actually an American soldier. Fans took offense then and then take offense now. Sami speaks on how everyone came to defend Lashley, but there’s no way to verify any of that. Lashley can prove it, if he does this Army based obstacle course faster than Sami. Sami explains piece by piece what you have to do. First, the tire flip, but it’s a 225 lbs. tractor tire. Then there’s the low crawls, where Lashley will fail because he’s heavy while Sami is lean. Then there’s the “Three Sisters” wall jump, from Kathy to Francis to the “Great Wall of Jessica.” Fourth is the Monkey Bars, easy enough, but in Sami’s opinion, Lashley will be too tired to properly swing.

And if by some miracle he makes it past that, it’s the dreaded rope climb! Pretty hard to climb this rope at 100%, but Lashley will have to do it last to ring those bells and stop the timer. From what Sami is told, the Green Berets can do this in roughly two minutes. Sami did a test run and came in at 90 seconds. That’s without a warm-up and with the bad hand crushed by Lashley, as well as no motivation. But imagine how he’ll do with everyone cheering him on! And when Sami wins the obstacle course challenge, the victory will be dedicated to the real best country: Canada. With that, Renee introduces Lashley.

What is Lashley’s reaction to this challenge? Everyone is tired of listening to Sami. Lashley will beat him at this obstacle course, then beat him down at MITB. A coin toss will decide who goes first. Sami wants to keep Lashley at a safe distance. Sami trusts Renee with the coins. Heads it’s Lashley, Tails it’s Sami. Heads, go Bobby Lashley. Fans fire up, and Lashley sets up by the tire. Sami wants the fans to shut up so he can count down the start. No cheating, no head starts! Does Lashley understand? Three… Two… One, GO.

Lashley flips the tire twice, runs down the ramp, crawls real low, then hops the walls. He clears the third wall at 20 seconds and hits the monkey bars with ease. He even shows off a pull-up first. Then Lashley hits the ropes, and without using legs, he hits the bells at 48 seconds! But then Sami ambushes Lashley! This was never about an obstacle course! Sami throws Lashley into the frames, then HELLUVA KICKS Lashley down. He even swings away on the rope. Fans boo while Sami celebrates and talks trash. The referees keep Sami away from Lashley, but Sami grins all the way to the back. Fans chant ‘USA! USA!” in support of Lashley, will he get revenge on Sami on Sunday?

 

Kevin talks strategy with Finn and Roode.

What makes him think they agreed to anything? But then Strowman comes by, and dares them to go 3v1 against him. Strowman roars, and that alone scares them a bit. The Fatal 4 Way is up next, will Strowman leave three top tier superstars down and out before MITB? Or will Kevin’s “plan” work out?

Men’s Fatal 4 Way: Braun Strowman VS Finn Balor VS Kevin Owens VS Bobby Roode!

The Monster Among Men, the Extraordinary Man, the Prizefighter and the GLORIOUS One will all compete in the Men’s MITB ladder match along with The Miz, Samoa Joe, Rusev and a member of the New Day. This main event is simply an appetizer for that main event, who will be in pole position for Raw after tonight?

The bell rings, and things are tense as Strowman waits for the alliance to make a move. Finn and Roode hesitate, not wanting Kevin to take advantage, but Kevin just cowers in the corner. Strowman roars and barrels through to ram Kevin into the corner! Then he swats Finn and Roode down with ease. Kevin runs out but gets swatted down, too. Strowman throws Roode across the way, then clubs Finn down. Strowman hits Kevin, then whips him to ropes. Kevin holds on and bails out, as do Roode and Finn. This unofficial handicap match is going Strowman’s way while we go to one more break.

Raw returns once more, and Strowman waits for the others to return. Kevin, Finn and Roode flank Strowman and surround him. They club and kick away but Strowman is strong. They ram him into a corner and ram in shoulders and kicks. Kevin taunts Strowman, “Who’s the Monster now?” Finn and Roode throw hands and chops, then Kevin rams in his shoulder. Strowman stays standing but the assault keeps going. Kevin runs in, but then Strowman shoves him down! Strowman swats Roode and side slams Finn! Finn rolls away, but Strowman goes after Roode. Kevin goes after Strowman, but it doesn’t bother Strowman at all. Strowman clubs Roode down, then scares Kevin out of the ring. Kevin pleads while Strowman pursues, but Finn flies in with a dropkick. The alliance keeps on Strowman with more clubbing forearms, but Strowman explodes out!

Strowman glares at the ring leader and pursues Kevin up the ring and to the backstage area. Finn and Roode wait, and Strowman tosses Kevin back out! Strowman drags Kevin up by his ear, then headbutts him. Kevin staggers away, but in come Finn and Roode, only for Strowman to smack them away with uppercuts. Strowman grabs Kevin, and throws him into the LED wall. The Monster dominates all three men, then goes to a ladder and brings it down. Strowman goes to the announce desk, and Coach, Cole and Graves run away. Strowman clears the table, then glares back at the trio. He storms over and grabs Kevin, hauling him up onto his shoulder. But Roode uses a ladder as a batternig ram. He and Finn work together and hit Strowman again.

Roode and Finn herd Strowman to the desk, and they keep going on him with clubbing forearms. Kevin positions a standing ladder nearby, and they place Strowman on the desk. Roode and Finn hold the ladder still for Kevin to climb. Kevin aims and… SUPER FROG SPLASH!! Kevin decimates Strowman and the desk!! Raw goes to one final break.

Raw is back once again, and the match has returned to the ring. With Strowman and Kevin out, Roode and Finn go 1v1. Roode rams knees into Finn’s arm while referees check on Strowman and Kevin. Finn endures as Roode grinds his own elbow into Finn’s. Roode pulls on the arm, but Finn gets up. Roode wrenches but Finn hits back, repeat. Finn fires more forearms, Roode shoves him and elbows him, but the PELE takes Roode down. Everyone is down all over the arena, while we go picture in picture. Finn and Roode stir in the ring, and head for opposite corners. Finn grits his teeth as he stands up and aims at Roode. Roode stands while we go single picture. Roode runs in but Finn dodges to chop. Finn whips but Roode reverses, only for Finn to run him over.

Finn gets the takedown, double stomps! Roode gets back to a corner, but Finn runs in for another chop. Finn whips Roode corner to corner, but runs into boots. Roode hops up but Finn kicks him down and out! Fans fire up, and Finn builds speed, only to run into Roode’s forearm. Roode hops up again, and hits the GLORIOUS Blockbuster. Cover, TWO! Roode and Finn slowly stand, still no Kevin or Strowman. Roode grabs Finn and brings him up, but Finn small packages, TWO. Finn gets up, Slingblade to Roode! Then the blasting dropkick hits Roode off buckles. Fans fire up and Finn climbs. Finn aims, but Kevin returns to knock him down. Finn stays standing while Kevin climbs, and Finn returns the favor. Fans fire up again as Finn tries, but Roode trips him up! Finn gets crotch’d on the crossbar.

Roode gets himself up, and then climbs to join Finn. He wants the superplex, but Finn resists. Kevin joins in, and makes it a Tower of Doom! But Kevin can’t cover, he’s too exhausted. All three men are down, but Kevin gets moving. Kevin gets himself to a corner, but Strowman is stirring! The Monster stands!? Kevin panics as he watches Strowman lumber his way over. Fans chant “Get These Hands!” but Finn runs to meet Strowman. Strowman rocks Finn with a right, then boots Roode. Kevin sees Strowman is coming for him, and runs away! Kevin goes to the crowd, but he stumbles and falls. Strowman drags Kevin up and back to the ring in a headlock. Strowman roars and clubs Kevin down. But then Strowman sees the others getting up.

Even with bad ribs, Strowman runs Finn over, then runs Roode over. Strowman is still going, and runs Kevin over! He puts Kevin in the ring, those ribs only slowing him down a moment or two. Strowman scoops Kevin but Roode bails him out. They get sandwiched in a corner, but Finn returns and swing kicks Strowman. Finn climbs, stomps to the back! Strowman falls to a knee, but Finn runs out, only to get run over again. Strowman’s ribs are aching, but he’s the only one standing. He hauls Finn up, but Kevin SUPERKICKS! Roode chop blocks, then Kevin SUPERKICKS again. Roode grabs Strowman, but Kevin rolls Roode! TWO, GLORIOUS Spinebuster! Finn hits the elbow drop DDT on Roode! SLINGBLADE to Finn! Finn hits his blasting dropkick! He climbs up! COUP DE GRACE!

Cover, but Roode breaks it. Roode throws Finn sideways into a post, then winds it up… GLORIOUS Pose, to GLORIOUS DDT! Cover, but Kevin breaks it up. Kevin throws Roode way out, then climbs up again. Kevin aims, FROG SPLASH! Cover, TWO?! Kevin cannot believe it. Strowman survives three powerful moves in a row? But fans know “This is Awesome”! Kevin rolls out to fetch a new ladder. He puts it in the ring, and uses it to go after Strowman’s ribs. Strowman somehow stays standing, and then grabs the ladder away from Kevin. He grabs Kevin by the throat, and Kevin shouts “I’m sorry!” as he takes the CHOKE SLAM! Strowman positions the ladder, picks Kevin up, MONSTER SLAM on the ladder! Cover, Strowman wins!

Winner: Strowman, by pinfall

Not even three men allied, using everything they had, was enough to stop this behemoth. Throw in SmackDown’s four, will that be enough to stop Strowman from becoming Mr. MONSTER in the Bank? Or will Strowman #GetTheseHands on the contract and begin the hunt for The Beast?

 


 

My Thoughts:

This here tonight, this is what a go-home for a PPV should be. The opening with everyone on ladders was a little cliche for MITB (or even TLC) but I enjoyed the integration of Mixed Match Challenge for Alexa & Strowman and Finn & Sasha. And while it was confusing as to why Alexa needed an entrance when all four women were already out there, that Fatal 4 opener more than made up for it. All four women shined, and I was happily surprised to see Natalya wins. Between this and Ronda getting one-up on Nia, I wonder if they’ll both win again, and then Natty turns Heel when she cashes in without warning, sparking their feud. Meanwhile, given McIntyre & Ziggler dominating, I those two might just go after all four men  in the title match and get themselves a shot sooner rather than later.

The one low point was Roman VS Mahal advertised for tonight. At first, I was hoping they’d get this match out of the way so more time could be given to the other matches. Instead, Mahal swerves, and will probably just cheat to win on Sunday. The Elias and Rollins segment was great, but I do feel a little bad that all the work that went into that custom paint job is for getting smashed. But in kayfabe, Elias deserved it, and I expect not even being upset will help him win against Rollins. Rollins is going to be on an amazing tear with that IC title this Summer, count on that. The Ronda-Nia face-to-face was great in itself, and with rumors of Rousey not sticking around as long as thought, that might mean she gets the title now just to check it off.

Poor Hawkins, he just can’t catch a break. Since he and now-bald Corbin don’t seem to be doing a program, I have no idea who Hawkins beats to finally break his bad streak. The obstacle course segment for Sami and Lashley was actually pretty good, but of course it was so Sami could attack Lashley. Their match at MITB will still be really great, so luckily there was some coherency to the build before the end. And WOW was the main event tonight worthy of a PPV in itself. The story was all there with Kevin getting the three non-monsters working together, but Strowman looks even stronger after winning. Kevin has a point, though: if Strowman wins MITB and then cashes in on Lesnar, he’s gonna have that belt a long time himself. But at least Strowman will show up every week when he does.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (4/15/24)

OLE~, OLE OLE OLE~!

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Will it be a victorious homecoming for Sami Zayn?

Tonight on Raw, Sami Zayn returns home to Montreal as NEW Intercontinental Champion, but will he lose that title already to Chad Gable?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sheamus VS Ivar; Sheamus wins.
  • WWE World Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Match: #DIY VS The New Day VS The Creed Brothers; DIY wins and will challenge The Awesome Truth for the titles.
  • Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri; Candice & Indi win.
  • Dominik Mysterio w/ JD McDonagh VS Andrade El Idolo; Andrade wins.
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; Chelsea & Piper win.
  • Jey Uso VS Finn Balor; Jey wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn VS Chad Gable; Sami wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Rhea Ripley is here!

Montreal fires up for Mami as she makes her way out to the ring, but her arm’s in a sling! She holds up the Women’s World Championship with her good arm before going to the ring, clearly not in a good mood. Adam Pearce is waiting in the ring, and Rhea gets a mic. The fans cheer “MAMI! MAMI!” but Rhea says, “So… Obviously, you guys know what’s going on right now, yeah? After the attack last week from Liv Morgan… I’ve now been told that I’m stuck on the bench for quite a few months.” Fans are upset but Rhea says she’s also been informed, told, whatever, she’s pissed! Y’know why? Because she has to vacate the one thing that means the most to her, her world title!

The fans chant “NO! NO! NO!” but there’s no getting around this. Rhea takes a long look at the belt and the fans call BS. Rhea says it sure is BS. This title right here, this means the most to her in her entire life! And that’s why this is so painful. Rhea sets the belt down on the mat, and gives it one last look. Rhea pulls at her hair in frustration, but the fans chant, “Thank You, Mami!” Rhea says, “Revenge tour? This is all because your stupid little revenge tour, Liv! Are you kidding me?” Rhea could’ve actually had respect for Liv, if she’d done this face to face! Instead, she blindsides Rhea like the coward Rhea knows Liv is!

And Rhea knows why Liv did it! It’s because Rhea would’ve dropped Liv right where she stood! So this is a warning to whoever wins her Women’s World Championship. When Rhea comes back, she’s coming back for BLOOD! And not just because of injury, but because when she finds Liv back there, they’ll have to lock her up in Montreal jail! But speaking of, here comes Liv! Pearce already goes to the ropes and security is there to keep Liv back. Liv is laughing, Rhea storms out after her! Security stays between them both, Liv dares Rhea to try something with one arm! The fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” but Pearce says nope!

Pearce ushers Liv away, Liv laughing all the way. Rhea is frustrated, so she HEADBUTTS a guard! The fans cheer, but when and where will Rhea’s revenge tour come looking for Liv?

 

Rhea returns backstage.

Judgment Day is there to see her off with a group hug. Damian Priest says they know when she comes back, she’ll make Liv regret ever messing with her, and even more badass than she is right now! Cuz she is Rhea Bloody Ripley, and they love her. She thanks them, and tells them to keep Judgment Day on top. Rhea heads out, will the boys be able to keep things together without Mami?

 

Sheamus VS Ivar!

After months away with his own injury, the Celtic Warrior is back! And that means Monday Night Raw is now Fight Night, fellas! He’s never felt better, but will the Viking Raider make him feel awful already?

The bell rings and the two circle. The fans rally and welcome Sheamus back. Sheamus smiles and ties up with Ivar. They go around, break, then tie up again. Sheamus headlocks, Ivar powers up and out, but Sheamus RAMS him! Ivar rebounds, RAMS Sheamus, but Sheamus steadies himself. The fans chant “Let’s Go, Sheamus!” and the forearms start flying! Sheamus gets the edge, whips, but Ivar reverses. Sheamus ducks ‘n’ dodges and CLOBBERS Ivar! The fans fire up while Ivar goes to the apron! Sheamus storms up and grabs the arms, but Ivar HOTSHOTS Sheamus away! Ivar goes up, but Sheamus ROCKS him first!

Sheamus fires haymakers, then climbs up after Ivar to fire more! The fans fire up as Sheamus fireman’s carries Ivar, into the SUPER WHITE NOISE! Sheamus fires up and the fans are with him as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Ivar has Sheamus in a chinlock. The fans rally, Sheamus fights up, and Sheamus throws body shots. But Ivar UPPERCUTS back! Ivar runs, but Sheamus scoops to POWERSLAM! The fans fire up and Ivar goes back to the apron. Sheamus storms up, brings Ivar up, and hooks him in the ropes! The fans fire up as we get BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! And Sheamus goes all the way to TEN! Ivar slumps down, flops into the ring, and Sheamus hauls him up. Fireman’s carry, but Ivar elbows free! Ivar BOOTS Sheamus, then HEEL KICKS! Sheamus falls, Ivar goes up! VIKING SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Sheamus survives and Ivar pulls at his hair in frustration! Sheamus goes to a corner, but he eggs Ivar on! Ivar storms up on Sheamus to rain down fists! The fans boo, the ref counts, and Ivar lets off. Sheamus still eggs Ivar on! Ivar and Sheamus throw hands and Sheamus gets the edge! Ivar shoves, cartwheels, and knees low! Ivar runs, springboards, but into a KNEE! Ivar staggers around, Sheamus brings the kneepad down, for the KNEE CAP! Ivar falls, the fans are thunderous as Sheamus beats his chest. Ivar stands up, into the BROGUE!! Cover, Sheamus wins!

Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall

The Celtic Warrior is back, as is his classic theme song! He feels better than ever, looks better than ever, is he going to make one more run at the top of the mountain?

 

Triple H is here!

Montreal fires up as The Game walks out to the ring! He joins Adam Pearce in the ring, and there’s a podium with a cover on it. HHH gets a mic to say, “You guys are on fire tonight, I gotta tell you that.” The fans cheer again, and HHH continues by saying it is hard to believe that only eight days ago, we were in the midst of the biggest WrestleMania of ALL time. “WrestleMania 40, kingdoms fell, nightmares began, and a whole knew era started.” The fans cheer that, too! Pearce says the new era certainly started for the Tag Division. It has never been bigger, better, or deeper. WWE walked in with one set of champs, and walked out with two.

That is why Raw and SmackDown deserve titles they can be proud of going into the new era. So what does the boss say? Should we bring the champs out? Then please welcome The Awesome Truth! Fans fire up as Miz & R-Truth make their way, carrying the red tag team titles. Miz & Truth get mics, and the fans chant “You Deserve It!” Miz pats Truth on the shoulder cuz he really does. The fans cheer as Miz raises Truth’s hand, and Truth lets Miz hold on to the belt so he can do the splits! He’s still got it, too! HHH then says he wants to be the first to say, what’s up? Also, congratulations. HHH shakes their hands as he says they won probably the biggest tag match in history.

And Truth, HHH has to say from a certain perspective, seeing Truth have that Mania moment, to quote The Miz, it was awesome. But the thing is, this is a new era. So if they are going to represent this brand and those titles, then they need to do it in a way that represents an all new era. So going forward, they will now be the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! And as such, they will be carrying THESE! Brand new belts that look like miniature World Heavyweight Championships! Truth is losing his mind! Now, now, he has seen a rabbit come out of a hat, and birds come out of a hat. Even a lady got cut in half and walked away from it. But he’s never seen a trick like that!

What? Truth says he knows good magicians, and HHH just made titles appear outta thin oxygen! That boy good! Right? The fans cheer, but only Truth is the one confused here. HHH asks Miz to explain. HHH is not a magician. That’s what a magician wants you to think. But Truth doesn’t really trust magicians. Not after Lil’ Jimmy. Everyone used to be able to see Lil’ Jimmy. So what else is HHH hiding? Miz says this is what they wanted. This is one of the most important times in WWE history! This is their chance to elevate the Tag Division! Their chance to take these new belts to new heights! That is why Pearce and HHH-

HHH!? WHERE?! Truth, that’s this guy! Man, Houdini’s got Miz fooled, too? He’s one crafty little genie. But Truth sees right through you, Tommaso Ciampa! Miz sighs and says he’ll try one more thing. Because we are in Montreal! Fans sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLE~!” and Miz is pretty sure they’re ready for Sami Zayn. But Miz tells Truth in French, that they’re getting new belts. OMG really!? “OUI! OUI! OUI!” So they can take ’em? Oui! OUI! As in yes, but anyway, HHH speaks up. Can he just go? He takes the old belts, then hands over the new belts. HHH wishes Pearce luck on handling it from here.

HHH leaves, Awesome Truth hold up the awesome new belts, and Pearce asks why Truth made the boss leave. Who? HHH. He just left. That wasn’t HHH! Pearce says while we still have brain cells that function, the only thing left is to figure out some new challengers! Time for a Triple Threat #1 Contenders Tag Match! And that’s right now!

WWE World Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Match: #DIY VS The New Day VS The Creed Brothers!

Speaking of Ciampa, the REAL Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are still in that title hunt, but so are Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods, and so are Julius & Brutus! Which team defies the odds to head for an awesome showdown with Miz & Truth?

Raw returns and the Creeds make their entrance, followed by The New Day. There’s a QR code that flashes on screen… Then the teams sort out and one man starts for each. Brutus steps to Woods and Gargano, and Montreal rallies with “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Woods says “O~ CANADA~!” The three approach, feel out, then Brutus DECKS Gargano! Woods CLUBS Brutus, has him in a corner and rains down fists! Brutus shoves Woods away before five but Gargano runs up to add on! Gargano gets five, Brutus shoves him away then ROCKS Woods! Brutus ROCKS Gargano, scoops Woods, but Woods rolls him up!

Gargano rolls Woods! Brutus rolls Gargano! Then deadlifts to BOMB him into Woods! Brutus breaks through their double clothesline to DOUBLE LARIAT back! Tag to Julius, the Creeds get one each, and they suplex! Kofi and Ciampa save their tag partners, then they all DROPKICK the Creeds! The fans fire up as DIY and New Day brawl! DIY get the edge, they whip, but New Day dodge to BLAST the Creeds! DIY then TOSS New Day out, and they BLAST the Creeds! DOUBLE PLANCHAS, but the Creeds catch DIY! But then New Day both FLY out! Down goes everyone, Awesome Truth applaud New Day, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and there’s a collision in the ring! The fans fire up as Ciampa, Julius and Kofi all slowly sit up. Kofi CHOPS Ciampa, Julius ROCKS Kofi! Ciampa ROCKS Julius, Kofi ROCKS Ciampa! Ciampa CHOPS Julius, Kofi mule kicks Ciampa, Julius ROCKS Kofi! Ciampa ROCKS Julius, BOOTS Kofi, then brawls with Julius! The fans rally up as the forearms go faster and faster! Ciampa CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But theN Julius JUMP KNEES! Kofi returns, TROUBLE IN- NO, Julius blocks the kick to an ANKLE LOCK! Ciampa KNEES Julius down! Brutus CLOBBERS Ciampa, Woods MISSILE DROPKICKS Brutus!

Woods turns around, SLINGSHOT SPEAR from Gargano! Kofi JUMP KNEES Gargano! Julius clinches Kofi for an EXPLODER! Julius kips up to STANDING MOONSAULT, onto knees! Gargano SUPERKICKS Julius, Kofi rolls Gargano! Gargano slips out to BUZZSAW! Gargano goes up and out to the apron, he and Ciampa meet to ENZIGIRI KNEE COMBO in the corner! Then Gargano CANNONBALLS onto everyone else! Ciampa hauls Kofi up for PROJECT CIAMPA!! Cover, TWO!!! Kofi survives and even Miz & Truth are surprised. The fans cheer for “TRIPLE H!” to keep Truth’s illusion going. Ciampa tells Kofi “SUCK IT!”

Ciampa gets Kofi up, Kofi wrenches out to dodge and hot tag Woods! Woods GAMANGIRS then TORNADO DDTS! Gargano shoves Woods to a corner, but Woods BOOTS! HONOR ROLL! Brutus gets in but Woods BELL CLAPS! Woods ducks ‘n’ dodges, slides under, ROLLING ELBOW! Woods calls to Kofi, tags him in, but Ciampa BOOTS Woods! Kofi uses Woods to POMMEL HORSE KICK! New Day POSTS Ciampa, then WHEELBARROW FAMOUSER!! Cover, Julius drags Kofi right up! OVERHEAD SUPLEX! But Woods is back up top! Woods leaps, into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Gargano runs up, Julius blocks a kick! OVERHEAD SUPLEX!

Julius kips up but into Ciampa’s waistlock! Julius switches, to GERMAN SUPLEX! The straps come down, Brutus tags in, and the Creeds get a team each! Brutus SPLASHES DIY to then O’Conner Roll! Gargano runs up, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Julius DOUBLE NORTHERN LIGHTS New Day!! Quadruple cover, TWO!!! All four other men kick out, Julius tags back in! Brutus goes up, Julius Electric Chair Lifts Ciampa! “This is Awesome!” and then Kofi SHOVES Brutus off the corner, into Woods’ SUPERKICK! Kofi goes up, Julius fights Ciampa off. Julius goes up but Woods sneaks a tag! SUPERPLEX for Julius, but LIMIT BREAKER from Woods!

MEET IN THE MIDDLE by DIY!! Cover, DIY WINS!!

Winners: DIY, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the World Tag Team Champions)

Awesome Truth loved every minute of that match, but now they’ve got to face their friends in #RegenerationX. Will Miz & Truth be able to hold on to their newly minted titles? Or will Ciampa & Gargano prove when it comes to becoming World Tag Team Champions, you gotta do it yourself?

 

Drew McIntyre watches the highlight reel of last week’s main event.

And he’s smiling? Maybe even chuckling? Jackie Redmond says that after watching it back, she was not expecting this reaction. McIntyre laughs, as he BOOTS the TV screen in! Jackie understands now as McIntyre storms off. CM Punk got the better of McIntyre last time, but will it be no laughing matter when the Scottish Terminator gets his hands on him?

 

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri!

The first time around, the Poison Pixie bullied Maxxine the Alpha Queen into such a state that winning was easy. But then The Diamond Pitbull helped Maxxine get even with Candice, though it was Indi Wrestling that took the hit. Who finds the way to win this tense tiebreaker?

The teams sort out and Indi starts against Ivy. They tie up, Ivy waistlocks then headlocks, but Indi rolls to a cover. ONE, Ivy holds on, and they go around. Ivy facelocks, floats around to then flip Indi to a cover, ONE! Ivy’s right back on the headlock, but Indi fights up. Indi powers out, Ivy sunset flips, TWO! Indi scrambles up but Ivy DROPKICKS her! Ivy kicks, Indi blocks but the DRAGON WHIP hits! Tag to Maxxine and she climbs up, to CROSSBODY! Maxxine eggs Indi on, kicks low and facelocks, then talks trash on Candice. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect, but Maxxine dares Candice to make a move.

The ref reprimands, Candice stands down, but Indi short arm LARIATS! Indi then tags Candice, Candice CLOBBERS Maxxine and hammers away! The fans boo but Candice SMACKS Maxxine off the mat. Candice soaks up the heat, then digs her boots into Maxxine. The ref counts, Candice lets off, and then Candice smiles as she drags Maxxine up. Candice whips Maxxine into the corner, taunts Ivy, then runs up to SLAP Maxxine! Candice fires off hands, the ref counts, and Candice lets off. Tag to Indi, she keeps Maxxine from Ivy, but Maxxine BOOTS her away! Candice tags back in, runs up and drags Maxxine back again.

Maxxine hops up, ENZIGIRI misses as Candice ducks! Candice swipes at Ivy, but Ivy dodges! Maxxine knees low and DDTS! The fans fire up while both women are down! Maxxine and Candice crawl, their partners reach out, but then Indi rushes in! The ref stops Indi, but that means he misses seeing the hot tag! The fans boo as Indi gets sneaky like Candice as she BOOTS Maxxine down! Indi puts Candice on top for the cover! The ref sees that, counts, Candice & Indi win!

Winners: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell, by pinfall

What in the world is going on here? Is Candice’s toxicity poisoning Indi’s mind? Or are these Indi’s true colors? Either way, are Candice & Indi going to find the way to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships?

 

WWE takes a look at Damian Priest’s rise to the top.

2019, Orlando, Florida, the Performance Center. What did Priest want out of life? One thing: his name to live forever. From Punisher to homeless to NXT to main roster, Priest has proven if you bust your ass and never give up, anything is possible, even your dreams. The first Puerto Rican world champion in literal decades, he desired championships, and he knew championships would come. Legacy and infamy wait for no man, you have go grab them for yourself. He became Senor Money in the Bank, bided his time, suffered losses, and struck when the moment was right! HE had the biggest moment at the biggest WrestleMania ever, ALL RISE for the NEW World Heavyweight Champion!

 

Judgment Day is in the clubhouse.

The others sulk, but Priest tells them to snap out of it. They’re The Judgment Day, right? Right. And they still run Raw, right? Dom is gonna teach Andrade a lesson about messing with their group! And JD McDonagh, you have his back so they can get this done! The Irish Ace is fired up, he heads out with Dirty Dom, but Finn stays behind to talk with Priest. Finn feels their focus should be getting the tag titles back, but now Finn’s in this match with Jey? What’s up with that? Priest says Finn’s focus needs to be on what’s happening tonight. Priest needs The Prince to teach Jey Uso the meaning of the word “loss.” And then at Backlash, Priest teaches Jey the meaning of the word “pain!”

Is Finn good with that? Finn smiles and nods. Of course he’s good with that! They fist bump and Finn goes to warm up. So far, the group looks solid, will Mami have nothing to worry about?

 

Raw shares an interview from before the show.

Jackie Redmond was ringside as Chad Gable got some training in with the Creed Brothers to prepare for his title match with Sami Zayn. Jackie says it looks like Gable is ready. A huge opportunity tonight, the biggest match perhaps of his entire career. How much would winning the title mean to him? Gable says it is everything. Validation, vindication for all the training, his 10+ years here in the WWE, and proving it to himself. His mood is high, it’ll be a good night. But then Jackie would be remised if she didn’t ask about the crowd factoring in. They’ll be in support of Sami, how has Gable prepared for that?

Gable says when he was on the Olympic team in 2012, he was a Minnesotan in Iowa. That means not one person in Iowa wanted him to win, but he did. So he’ll do the same time. Sami’s one of the best WWE has, but Gable training Sami helped Gable find the weakness. Tonight, Gable exposes those weaknesses. Gable goes back to grappling with the Creeds, will Gable be razor sharp for his golden opportunity?

 

Dominik Mysterio w/ JD McDonagh VS Andrade El Idolo!

The Prodigal Son thought he was getting The Idol of Lucha to join Judgment Day, or at least was united with him against Rey Mysterio. Neither of those things turned out to be true, and now Andrade has found himself in Judgment Day’s crosshairs. Will El Idolo make Raw tranquilo? Or will he pay for pulling one over on Dirty Dom?

Raw returns as Dom makes his entrance and Montreal boos. The bell rings, Dom and Andrade circle, and Dom wants a handshake? Andrade refuses so Dom CHOPS! Andrade rushes Dom but Dom runs away to the corner. Dom then gets a cheap shot, a headlock, but Andrade powers up and out. Dom pulls on Andrade’s hair to get him back in the headlock. Andrade powers out more thoroughly this time, and he runs Dom over! The fans cheer, Andrade storms up and he CHOPS Dom to a corner. Andrade whips corner to corner, Dom reverses, but Andrade goes up and out then ROCKS Dom! Andrade goes up the corner, to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally as Andrade brings Dom up and snap suplexes! Uno Amigo and the fans cheer! Dos Amigos and the fans cheer more! Andrade gives Latino Heat, but Dom suplexes! Dom has Uno Amigo, then Dos Amigos! Fans boo this time, but then Andrade hits his THIRD AMIGO! The fans cheer as Andrade puts Dom in the drop zone. Andrade climbs again, but JD gets on the apron! The ref stops JD but that lets Dom trip Andrade! The fans boo but Dom drags Andrade off the corner to stomp him! Dom then soaks up the heat and flexes, Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Andrade fights up while in a chinlock. Andrade throws body shots, then ROCKS Dom! And ROCKS him, and ROCKS him! Dom shoves, kicks, but Andrade blocks to DRAGON SCREW! And DRAGON SCREW again! Dom swings a lariat but Andrade dodges to CLOBBER Dom! Andrade kips up, the fans fire up and Dom is in the corner. Fans chant “SI! SI! SI!” as Andrade goes corner to corner, CIEN SHADOWS! Cover, TWO! Dom survives but Andrade puts him in the drop zone. Andrade climbs, SPLIT LEG MOONSAULT FLOPS as Dom moves! Dom goes to the apron, drags Andrade up, but Andrade fights the suplex!

Andrade throws body shots, CHOPS, and Dom flops back! Andrade goes out to the apron but Dom KICKS the ropes! That jams Andrade up, Dom reels him in! APRON DESTROYER!! Andrade flops to the floor, JD coaches Dom to hurry! Dom gets Andrade back in, covers, TWO!! Andrade survives and the fans fire up! Dom is frustrated, as is JD, but Dom wants Andrade to rise. Andrade stands, Dom DROPKICKS him onto ropes! Fans boo but Dom talks trash before he dials it up. But Andrade gets up, boot feint to ELBOW! JD gets up but Andrade DECKS him! Then the underooks, for THE MESSAGE! Cover, Andrade wins!

Winner: Andrade El Idolo, by pinfall

But JD attacks now! No celebrating for El Idolo, the fans boo as JD and Dom get Andrade to his feet. The mugging continues, but here comes Ricochet! Ricochet also has beef with Judgment Day and he sends Dom & JD running! Will the King of Flight help The Idol put Judgment Day in their place once and for all?

 

Backstage interview with Jey Uso.

Cathy Kelley is with Main Event Jey and knows that he’s preparing for Finn Balor, but she was hoping for any comments on Tama Tonga joining The Bloodline to attack Jimmy Uso last Friday. Yeah, messing with The Bloodline, you go down a deep, dark and dangerous road. They adding members Jey didn’t even know about. As far as Jimmy goes… Well, Jey told him to come with Jey. But hey, Jey’s gotta focus on Finn. Finn about to catch a YEETDOWN here on Monday Night Raw. YEET! Jey is ready for The Prince, but will he make it through to face The Punisher?

 

Chelsea Green & Piper Niven VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance!

The Hot Mess and “Lil Miss P” wanted a match and got a match on Friday, but it didn’t go their way when it turned out they were facing Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill. Management is getting an earful over and over, but will the complaints stop if Chelsea & Piper win? Or will KC Squared only add to Chelsea’s bad mood?

The teams sort out and Piper starts against Kayden. They tie up, Piper shoves Kayden down, then dares Katana to try. Katana tags in, runs up and dodges, then KC Squared pinball Piper around. They both run, but into DOUBLE LARIATS! Piper fires up, then she drags Katana up. Piper clamps on a COBRA CLUTCH and she thrashes Katana around! Chelsea tags in, RIPCORD FOREARM, then short arm LARIAT! Chelsea covers, TWO! Chelsea says this is easy work, but she runs into a BOOT! Katana then drop toeholds Chelsea into buckles! Tag to Kayden, and they meet at the corner, MULE KICK METEORA COMBO! Kayden covers, TWO!

Kayden drags Chelsea up, but Chelsea SLAPS her! Then she panics and reaches for Piper! Kayden reels her in, hammerlock and clinch, to CHOP! CHOP! And CHOP! The fans “WOO~” with every CHOP, then Kayden FLATLINERS! Kayden fireman’s carries Chelsea, Katana goes up and leaps over to go after Piper! But Piper catches her! FALL AWAY SLAM! Kayden hits a SWINGING LEG DROP SLAM! Cover, but Piper SPLASHES Kayden! Chelsea covers Kayden, she and Piper win!

Winners: Chelsea Green & Piper Niven, by pinfall

Chelsea celebrates like she did something, btu we know it was all Piper. But a win is a win, will this team find their way back to the tag titles? Will Chelsea never stop bugging management until they do?

 

Backstage interview with Liv Morgan.

Cathy Kelley is with Liv to ask about Rhea Ripley vacating her title. Is this the conclusion of the revenge tour? Liv can’t even lie, she is confused by the reactions. They’re all mad at her, but for what? She isn’t the villain here. Where was the sympathy for Liv when Rhea literally ripped Liv’s shoulder out of its socket? Oh, there wasn’t any. So eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, arm for an arm. This is karma at its finest, Rhea got what she deserved. But the best part is that this isn’t the end of the revenge tour. This is just the beginning, because the end will be Liv crowned as the NEW Women’s World Champion. #WatchMe. Then when and where will this revenge tour go on the road to a new champion?

 

Cody Rhodes is here!

Montreal fires up for the American Nightmare, aka the NEW Undisputed WWE Champion! They sing along, “WHOA~ OH~!” and Cody gets his pyro. Cody high-fives the front row as he makes his way down the ramp, then he steps into the ring for “WHOA~ OH~!” and more pyro. Cody gets the mic while the fans chant his name, and he revels in the cheers a moment. They sing “CODY~ CODY CODY CODY~!” and he smiles. Cody then asks, “De quoi voulez-vous parler?” The fans cheer his French, and Cody says he has to thank Adam Pearce allowing Cody to still hang out on Raw even though now he’s a SmackDown superstar.

But don’t worry, Cody ain’t going nowhere. We cannot reflect on WrestleMania 40 forever, especially with a pending challenge. The first Premium Live event of the new “season,” Backlash, is going to Lyon, France, where Cody faces for this title either the fastest rising star, LA Knight, or The Phenomenal AJ Styles. But we can certainly reflect just a little. There’s a man he could talk about for hours but will keep it brief. There was a man who said he’d be Cody’s Shield… The fans sing “WHOA~ OHH~ OHHH~!” for The Visionary, and Cody says that man certainly kept his word. That man is watching at home, so thank you, Seth Freakin’ Rollins.

The fans cheer and chant, “Thank You, Seth!” Cody continues by saying another “friend” that did reflecting was The Rock. The fans boo and chant “ROCKY SUCKS! ROCKY SUCKS!” Cody says it was news to him that Rock did a ten week training program, that he flew in the best talent of different skillsets and the greatest conditioning team money could by. Rock doesn’t have one more match left in him, he’s got many more. And in typical manic Rock fashion, Rock said that he’d make Cody bleed again. Cody says Rock’s probably right. Maybe Cody will bleed. But no amount of training and preparation, nothing Rock does can stop the fact that if Cody’s gonna bleed, Rock bleeds with him.

The fans cheer and Cody says when we talk Rock, we gotta talk Bloodline. The fans boo again, but Cody says he’s confused. The introduction of Tama Tonga “by order of The Tribal Chief,” yet Roman Reigns was nowhere to be found? More questions than answers, so one more bit of reflection. Cody wants to bring out a former member of the Bloodline, a man who is a friend of Cody’s, and a man whose energy you can feel from your head to your yeet. Well, thanks for laughing at the dad joke, but here is Main Event Jey Uso! Jey makes his way out and Montreal bounces with him! Even Pat gets on the desk to join in!

Jey hugs it out with Cody, then the bouncing continues. Cody tells Jey that he is the #1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship, Monday Night Raw is about to be his, and no one has earned it or deserves it more than Main Event Jey! “YEET!” Cody says Jey helped him #FinishTheStory, and Cody knows when one member of Judgment Day is present, the others aren’t far behind. Cody would love to have Jey’s back like Jey had his. The fans like the sound of that, and the two hug it out. Jey appreciates that, Uce, for sure. YEET! But hey, Jey’s gotta do this on his own, gotta just be him, The YEET Master! Mr. YEETDOWN!

Oh, how about this for a name? The NEW World Heavyweight Champion, Main Event Jey UUUUSO~! So then he doesn’t need Cody out here? Cody gets that. Good luck, friend. They hug it out one more time, the fans cheer, and Cody moves on. But oh, one other thing. Cody looks over and says, “Until we yeet again.” Jey responds with “YEET!” Will Jey be able to handle things when it’s just him? Or will The Prince be bringing backup to stack the deck against him?

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

Cathy Kelley is now with the Irresistible Force and hopes for her initial reactions to Rhea Ripley giving up the title. Nia says there are two types of people in this world: those who care about Rhea and those who want to see her get her revenge. Nia’s neither. She doesn’t give a damn about Rhea, and last time she saw Rhea, Nia had her. Now, Nia looks at the Women’s World Championship and wonders, who is gonna stop her from taking it? Liv Morgan? Last time they met, Nia had Liv, too. Becky Lynch? Nia had her, too.

In two weeks, there is the Draft. Nia might face someone she’s never seen before, and to them she says there are two types of people in this world: Those who fear Nia Jax, and those who learn to fear Nia Jax. No one on this planet is taking that title from her, because that is hers! Nia storms off, is she going to make everyone fear her then, now and forever?

 

Jey Uso VS Finn Balor!

Raw returns and The Prince makes his entrance. FROM BEHIND! He CLOBBERS Jey, stomps away, and the fans boo! The ref reprimands, Finn HAMMERs away on Jey, then lets off to throw off the jacket. The bell rings, Finn BOOTS Jey and fires off body shots in the corner! Finn RAMS into Jey, whips him to ropes, then CLOBBERS him again! Finn flexes, the fans boo, but Finn stalks Jey to ropes. Finn CHOKES Jey, the ref counts, but Finn lets off at 4. Finn brings Jey up, but Jey ROCKS him first! And again! And again! “YEET! YEET! YEET!” Jey whips, Finn reverses but Jey sunset flips! Finn rolls through to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Finn drags Jey up to ELBOW him in the head, then he clamps on a chinlock. Priest watches as Finn squeezes the air out of Jey. The fans rally, Jey fights up and he throws body shots. But Finn knees low! Finn ROCKS Jey, RAMS into him, then CHOPS! The fans “WOO~!” while Jey sputters. Finn CHOPS Jey again, taunts the fans, “This your boy? This the guy you all like?” Finn RAMS into Jey again and again, then CHOPS again! Finn whips corner to corner, Jey reveres, then runs up, but Finn puts him on the apron! Jey ROCKS Finn first, goes up, but Finn anchors Jey! Jey throws hands, but Finn YANKS Jey down!

The fans boo as Finn fires off hands in the corner. The ref counts, Finn lets off at 4, but runs up to SHOTGUN Jey outta the ring! Jey flounders on the floor while Finn mocks the bounce, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Finn RAMS into Jey at the corner again and again, then CHOPS! Finn whips corner to corner, runs up to CHOP, and then he whips the other way. Finn runs in again but into BOOTS! Jey storms up, headlocks, but Finn powers up. Jey switches sides, Finn headlocks, but Jey powers out. Finn ducks ‘n’ dodges, blocks the kick but the DRAGON WHIP hits! The fans fire up while both men are down! The fans “YEET! YEET! YEET!” as jey and Finn rise. Jey counter punches again, and again, and again! “YEET! YEET! YEET!” Jey pops ‘n’ locks and puts some stank on the HAYMAKER! Finn staggers into a mule kick!

Jey fireman’s carries for a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Finn flounders to a corner, Priest is upset so he moves on from the clubhouse. Jey says “UCE! OH!” and runs in, but Finn dodges! Hip attack hits buckles, Finn runs up, but into another fireman’s carry! Finn CLAWS eyes, then hits a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Jey goes to ropes but Finn stomps away! Finn stomps and stomps and stomps, but the ref counts. Finn lets off, but comes back to SLINGBLADE Jey down! Finn aims from the corner while fans boo, but Jey SUPERKICKS first! Jey goes up top and the fans fire up, for the USO- NO, Jey has to roll through as Finn moves!

Finn SHOTGUNS Jey down! Finn hurries up top, COUP- NO, Jey dodges the double stomps! And SPEARS! Jey hurries back up top, USO SPLASH! Cover, Jey wins!

Winner: Jey Uso, by pinfall

Montreal bounces for Jey as he bounces back to win this one. But then Priest storms out here and stares down his challenger. They get face to face, the fans “YEET! YEET! YEET!” but Priest holds up the world title. Jey looks at the belt, but then JD & Dom ATTACK! Priest is upset, he didn’t want that, but Finn says this is what Judgment Day does, right? They all start mugging Jey, the fans boo and chant for Cody, but Dom kicks Jey out of the ring. Dom then leaps off the apron, but Jey SUPERKICKS him! JD chases Jey down, but Jey sends JD into Finn! Jey goes up into the crowd and the fans cheer. Priest stares Jey down from afar, will Jey YEET that title right off Priest?

The cameras follow Jey backstage tot he pavilion where he high-fives fans and makes his way through to the back exit. The fans all “YEET! YEET!” as he says deuces, uces! Jey goes right outside, and he finds Sami Zayn looking up at the marquee. What’s he doing out here? Sami says over 25 years ago, the first show he ever saw in his life was right here. And now Sami is back here as the champion! Tonight, he walks in the same way he did those 25 years ago: through the front door! The fans cheer and Jey wishes Sami good luck. Sami tells the world if they wanna see the best wrestling city in the world, just follow him.

Sami now walks through the pavilion and he throws stuff around in excitement! The fans are fired up with him, they all high-five and get pictures, and he goes down the same bleachers Jey just came from. Sami is ready to give Montreal the champion they deserve, and even all of Canada by extension! Will Sami create a moment everyone will remember for the rest of their lives? Or will Chad Gable SHOOOOSH them all with a major upset?

WWE Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn VS Chad Gable!

Raw returns and Gable is at gorilla. Bronson Reed steps to him and wants to let him know that whoever wins tonight, whether it’s Gable or Sami, they won’t be champion for long. Because then the winner will have to answer to Big Bronson Reed! The theme song says it for Gable, “SHOOOOSH~!” Gable makes his entrance, not sweating what comes after, only what’s happening right now. The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who wins this massive main event in Montreal!

The fans sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLE~!” Sami and Gable take a moment to soak it all in, then Sami fires up again. The bell rings and the two circle. They feel things out, tie up, and Sami wrenches to wristlock. Gable rolls, spins, wrenches, headlocks, drop toeholds, then headlocks. Sami fights up, powers out, then drops down to hurdle. Sami arm-drags Gable, Gable arm-drags back! Sami slips around, arm-drags again, and Gable bails out. The fans cheer as Sami builds speed, but Gable gets in! Sami dodges, then he dumps Gable out! Gable stumbles from the apron, Sami builds speed, but he fakes Gable out to Arabian Press!

The fans cheer this chess game, but Gable storms in to get in Sami’s face. The fans again sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLE~” as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Gable fires hands on Sami in a corner, but Sami fires back! Sami headlocks, Gable powers out and he runs Sami over! Cover, TWO! Gable stalks Sami, waistlocks, but Sami fights the lift. Sami throws elbows, then knuckle locks, CHOPS, then goes up and up, but Gable trips him up! Sami gets caught up on the ropes, gets loose and goes to the floor, but Gable goes up! SUPER CROSSBODY! Direct hit and Sami’s wife is worried. Gable puts Sami in the ring, he climbs back up, and DIVING HEADBUTTS! Direct hit again and Gable covers, TWO! Gable is frustrated that Sami survives, and Sami hobbles his way to a corner.

Gable is on Sami and the bad legs! Gable puts one in the ropes, then DRAPING DRAGON SCREWS the other! Gable drags Sami to then step over and drop toehold! And then he YANKS the leg! Gable steps through, leans on the toehold, but the fans rally as Sami endures. Sami keeps his shoulders up, kicks Gable away, and Gable lets go. Gable hurries to whip Sami to ropes and CLOBBER him! But Sami’s right up to LARIAT Gable! The fans fire up as Sami goes to a corner. Gable runs up, but Sami ELBOWS him away! Sami goes up, and FLYING ELBOWS! Sami hobbles again, but he goes to a corner. Gable runs in, into a clinch!

But Gable turns exploder into victory roll, TWO! Gable gets Sami’s leg for an ANKLE LOCK! The fans rally as Sami endures, and he rolls! Gable gets sent out of the ring, and Sami takes aim! But Gable hurries back up to grab the bad leg and drag Sami down! ANKLE LOCK on the apron! Sami kicks free and stands on the apron, to ARABIAN PRESS SAULT! Direct hit and the fans are thunderous! The ref checks Sami given his leg, but Sami says he’s good, and Raw goes back to break.

Raw returns once again and Gable has Sami up top! Sami resists, but Gable throws body shots. Gable brings Sami up for a SUPER OLYMPIC SLAM!! Both men are down and the fans are going nuts! Gable stirs, as does Sami, and Gable finds Sami first. Gable waistlocks, GERMAN SUPLEXES, but holds on! GERMAN SUPLEX again! Montreal is becoming Suplex City, but Sami throws elbows! Sami switches, and he GERMAN SUPLEXES! Sami holds on, GERMAN SUPLEXES again, and still brings Gable up. Gable throws elbows now, switches back, and GERMAN SUPLEX! Sami switches, to GERMAN SUPLEX!

Gable throws more elbows, switches again, but Sami throws elbows to switch! They switch and switch and switch, then Sami GERMAN SUPLEXES!! Gable flops over from his head and shoulders, but both men are down on the mat! The ref checks, Gable is conscious so the match continues. The fans rally up as both men rise, and Sami fires a haymaker! Gable fires one, Sami fires back, they keep going! Gable ROLLING KICKS! Sami flops and ends up in a corner. Gable runs up but Sami clinches! CORNER EXPLODER! The fans fire up with Sami, he runs corner to corner, but Gable rolls to pick the leg! ANKLE LOCK!!

The fans boo Gable and rally for Sami as he endures! Gable leans on the leg, he says this is his moment that Sami took from him! Sami still fights up, rolls and throws Gable away again! But Gable’s right up tot he top rope! MISSILE- POWERBOMB!! Sami’s antiair works, and now he gets Gable’s legs, to step through and tie up! The fans go wild for the SHARPSHOOTER!! But Sami’s own leg gives up! Sami couldn’t hold the hold, but now he clutches his ankle area. Gable’s game plan is working out better than expected! Sami hobbles to a corner, Gable goes to the other. Sami grits his teeth, runs corner to corner, but Gable shoots around! CORNER GERMAN!!

Gable has Sami in the drop zone, goes up top, MOONSAULT into BOOTS! But Gable blocks to have the ANKLE LOCK!! Gable has Sami caught, but Sami endures and reaches out! The fans rally as hard as they can, but Gable drags Sami away!! Gable leans on that Ankle Lock, but Sami rolls to a victory roll, TWO!! Both men stand, Gable runs in, into a CORNER EXPLODER! Sami hurries to the far corner, the fans are thunderous as he powers through the pain, HELLUVA KICK!! Sami crawls to the cover, SAMI WINS!

Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall (still WWE Intercontinental Champion)

Montreal rejoices as Sami has une victoire incroyable! Sami sets the belt down so that he can look to Gable. Gable is emotional but Sami wants to tell him he’s got nothing to be ashamed about. Sami offers Gable a hand, and Gable takes it. The two stand, Sami raises Gable’s hand, but then Gable raises Sami’s hand. The fans cheer the sportsmanship, but Gable still has to go back to the drawing board. What will it take for Gable to finally have his first singles title in WWE?

Sami celebrates with his family at ringside, but then GABLE GERMAN SUPLEXES SAMI TO THE FLOOR!! Gable has snapped!! He POSTS Sami, shoves him around, and then TOSSES him over the desk! The fans boo as Gable drags Sami back into the ring, then storms his way up. Gable POSTS Sami again, then has the ANKLE LOCK in the ropes!! The fans boo but Gable wants Sami’s family to watch him suffer!! Sami flails, referees rush out, but Gable lets go when he feels like it! Gable is affreux, méprisable and horriblé, but is he serving Sami up on a silver platter for the Colossal Aussie?


My Thoughts:

A great Raw, but with a real shame about Rhea Ripley. Proof that doing things live, no stunt doubles, adrenaline running high has its moments where things backfire, as many believe the injury happened during last week’s episode with Liv’s attack. It does work towards story, though, so that Rhea can have heat with Liv, and a new world champion to be crowned next week in some big kind of match. Good promos from Liv and Nia, those two are definitely the top choices for new champion. And then after The Draft happens, possibilities are endless for who the new champion faces for Backlash, if they want to have this title on that event so quickly after all this.

Good stuff out of Judgment Day even as they have to say see-ya-later to Mami. Priest is of course stepping up as leader since he’s the World Heavyweight Champion, but nothing really went their way tonight. Andrade beat Dom and then of course Ricochet shows up to back him up against Dom & JD, there’s a tag match there. Jey beats Finn and then escapes the beating, we might even get a Six Man Tag to hype everything up. Great video package to look back at Priest’s career, and then Priest being reluctant in Judgment Day beating Jey down, is something gonna give where Priest retains the world title, but then gets kicked out of the group even after all this time?

Great promo from Cody to hype up a lot of stuff all in one go. He got us fired up about Styles VS Knight this Friday, the Undisputed WWE Championship match at Backlash, he kept the hype going for his far future feud with The Rock, he thanked Rollins and Jey while also plugging this new form of Bloodline that’s happening. Cody also had a great moment with Jey before Jey’s match with Priest. Jey also had a really good promo before that to relate his feelings about new Bloodline, it would be awesome if somehow the Usos reunited for the sake of saving the family from this new age of tyranny, but that probably happens closer to Survivor Series so it can be done in WarGames.

Really good stuff for the tag divisions, men’s and women’s. I figured after splitting the Undisputed titles that the show-branded titles were going away. And while the modern World Tag Team Championships look great, they really are just smaller, rounder World Heavyweight Championship belts. I was hoping for truly original designs here, but you can bet right now that Friday, the new WWE Tag Team Championships are gonna be akin to the Universal title. But great promo bit from Awesome Truth with HHH and Pearce to show off these new belts, and then give us an awesome tag team triple threat. DIY winning makes sense on many levels, such as Truth mistaking them for DX and the friendship with them, to DIY being HHHBK Guys.

Really good story stuff in the Women’s Tag Division, though the matches could’ve each been a bit better. But we got the point of each story: Indi is starting to turn Heel like Candice has, because she’d rather win than look like a dummy; and Piper does all the real work in her team, as always, but she and Chelsea are also getting their way back up. I’m still betting on Bianca Belair & Jade Cargill as the next WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, but they’ll get quite the fight out of all these Heel teams on top of Kabuki Warriors.

Great return match for Sheamus. If we’re talking title feuds for him, I’d really love if Sheamus got back in on the Intercontinental Championship scene. That’s still the missing piece to his ultimate WWE accomplishments list, and if he’s built up strongly through the next couple months, he could get that title at Clash at the Castle in June or some other point over the Summer. That is, unless Gunther comes back for Bash in Berlin. Well again, the Draft is coming, we still have to hope and pray Sheamus is on the brand that ends up with the Intercontinental Championship.

Speaking of, awesome main event from Sami and Gable, and Sami of course retained, but I had a feeling Gable was gonna snap. Gable was shouting during the match that Sami stole his moment, this was secretly personal for Gable the whole time, and this is was the last straw. Bronson Reed also wants next, so the walls are already closing in on Sami. Sami could put on a great series of matches through the Summer to build to a rematch with Gunther at Bash in Berlin and that moment in and of itself would be amazing.

My Score: 8.7/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW Wrestling World Results & Report! (4/14/24)

NEVER give up!

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There WILL be new NEVER Openweight Six Man Champions!

Kazuchika Okada’s leaving NJPW meant vacating the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles. Now a tournament will be held in one go to crown new champions! Who NEVER stops until they make it reign?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Match – Puzzle Presents: Touyuu VS Axe Wang; Touyuu wins.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The United Empire; Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg win and advance to tonight’s main event.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins and advances to tonight’s main event.
  • Tiger Mask & Satoshi Kojima VS El Desperado & Shoma Kato; Tiger Mask & Kojima win.
  • HANAKO VS Starlight Kid; Starlight Kid wins.
  • DOUKI VS Kosei Fujita; Douki wins.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS SANADA & Yuya Uemura; Bishamon wins and retain the titles.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The House of Torture; Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg win and are the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The United Empire!

The Ace may also be President of NJPW, but that doesn’t mean he’s retired! He wants to get these Six Man titles back, will the Clown Prince and the Hulking Kazakh help him do that? Or will Great-O-Khan, Francesco Akira & Callum Newman conquer the Six Man Division?

The fans rally for “SACHOU! SACHOU!” as he shows off the abs. Then the trios sort out, and while Oleg gets in Khan’s face, we start with Callum and Tanahashi. The fans cheer, the bell rings, and the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Tanahashi finds a point of leverage and powers Callum onto ropes. The ref counts, Tanahashi lets off cleanly, and the fans applaud. Callum and Tanahashi reset, tie up again, and Tanahashi headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes and grinds the hold but Callum pulls hair! The fans boo and the ref reprimands, but Callum lets slowly. But then Callum kicks low! Callum whips Tanahashi hard into a corner!

Callum runs corner to corner but into an ELBOW! Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! The fans cheer as Tanahashi air guitars, but Callum gets to his feet in a huff. Yano and Oleg both reach out, but Tanahashi tags Yano. The fans fire up for Yano but Akira tags in. Yano goes to untie a buckle pad! Akira protests but he lets Yano have his fun. Akira then shadows Yano as he turns around. Yano is confused, turns around but Akira stays behind him. Akira then shoves Yano into the corner! Yano loses the pad and Akira dropkicks the legs out! Akira runs, rolls and basement dropkicks! Crowns up and the fans cheer.

Akira drags Yano over, tags in Khan, and Khan puts some stank on the Mongolian Chops! The Empire double whip but Yano holds ropes and tags Oleg! The fans fire up but The Empire mugs Oleg first! They double whip but Oleg holds ropes, to then come in and DOUBLE SHOUDLER TACKLE! Khan gets up but Oleg throws him with a fireman’s carry takeover! Callum runs in to BOOT Oleg, then runs, but Oleg CLOBBERS Callum and sends him flying! The fans fire up as Oleg hauls Khan up, but Khan CLAPS at him, twists an ear and CLUBS it, then clinches for a BELLY2BELLY! Khan then BLASTS Tanahashi and Yano off the corner!

Khan stomps away on Oleg, drags him back up, then Mongolian CHOPS! Oleg staggers, Khan Mongolian CHOPS again! And again! Oleg falls, Khan cocky covers, ONE! The fans rally as Khan hauls Oleg up in a facelock. Khan brings Oleg to the corner, tags Callum, and the Empire mugs him. Callum CHOPS, then tags Akira. Callum bumps Oleg off buckles, Akira CHOPS, then they double whip. Callum runs in to forearm SMASH! Akira runs in to clothesline! Feed to the DROPKICK! The fans fire up with Akira as he and Callum coordinate, back suplex SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Akira drags Oleg up and around to facelock, but Oleg throws body shots.

Khan tags in, he and Akira mug Oleg, and Khan CLUBS Oleg down. Khan drags Oleg up but Oleg ROCKS him! And CHOPS him! Oleg whips, Khan reverses to NORTHERN- NO, Oleg fights the suplex, so Khan RAMS him into the corner! Khan turns Oleg around, CLUBS him, and then climbs up. The fans cheer as Khan sits on his throne! Oleg flails, the ref reprimands but Khan hops down. Khan then HIP TOSSES Oleg down! Cover, TWO! The fans rally, Khan kicks Oleg around then whips. Oleg reverses and lifts, but Khan claws the ear! Oleg lets Khan down but avoids the lariat to DROPKICK Khan down!

The fans fire up while both men are down. Hot tag to Tanahashi! The fans fire up as Sachou rallies on Khan with FLYING FOREARMS! Then he BLASTS Callum and Akira off the apron! Tanahashi runs in at the corner, but blocks Khan’s boot! DRAGON SCREW! The fans fire up as Akira runs in, and gets a DRAGON SCREW! Callum steps in, but Tanahashi gets his leg! Tanahashi waves bye before the DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! The fans fire up with Tanahashi and he waits on Khan. Khan rises, Tanahashi runs in, but Khan sidesteps and TOSSES Tanahashi! But Tanahashi skins the cat! Only for Khan to waistlock!

Tanahashi fires elbows, but Khan ducks the shotei to HITSUJIGOROSHI into MARINE! Both men are down and the fans rally up! Khan and Tanahashi crawl, hot tag to Callum! Callum runs up to whip Tanahashi, but Tanahashi reverses. Callum stops himself, comes back, but into a spin, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! The fans rally as Tanahashi crawls, hot tag to Yano! The fans fire up with Yano, he whips Callum at the bare corner! Callum stops himself, Yano runs in, but Callum dodges so Yano hits bare buckles! Callum runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and BOOTS Yano down! The Prince of Speed shows why that’s the case!

The fans fire up with Callum as he goes Around the World for a DROPKICK! Snapmare and PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!! Yano survives, but Akira DROPKICKS Oleg down! Khan joins in, The Empire gets Yano up. They mug Yano in the corner, whip him corner to corner, then Khan runs in. Khan clotheslines, Akira clotheslines, and Callum runs to trip and STOMP Yano down! Cover, TWO!! Yano stays in this and the fans rally up again. Callum scowls and drags Yano to a drop zone. The Empire brawls with Tanahashi and Oleg while Callum climbs. The fans fire up as Callum aims, SHOOTING STAR, but he has to land out as Yano moves!

Tanahashi returns to dropkick Callum’s legs out! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi! Oleg scoops and SLAMS Khan! Akira dodges Oleg to ENZIGIR! The fans fire up, Akira runs and RANAS, but Oleg blocks it! Oleg swings Akira around to Shake, Rattle and- SUPERKICK from Callum! Tanahashi returns again, Callum ducks the shotei but then Tanahashi ducks the heel kick! SHOTEI! Yano rolls Callum up, Yano’s team wins!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (advance to the main event)

The Ace, the Joker and the Rook snatch the win and are now in the title match! Will this hot hand take the pot? Or will they be trumped by the winner of the next match?

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture!

Shingo Takagi is once again NEVER Openweight Champion, but he, Yota Tsuji & Bushi are looking to add to the LIJ trophy case. But Evil, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Sho want to make up for their losses, will they find redemption through this tournament? Or will everything be tranquilo in Taiwan?

Sho gets the mic to say he hates being here in Taiwan, so he wants to win, get the titles, and get outta here as fast as he can! The fans boo but Sho just taunts them all. He tells LIJ to get out here already, so LIJ makes their entrance. Takagi shows off that he cleaned up that NEVER Openweight belt from all the black spray paint Evil defaced it with! The fans cheer Takagi, Yota and Bushi in turn, and LIJ fist bump. But the House attacks! The fans boo but the bell rings, and Kanemaru has Yota in the ring. Evil KNEES Takagi, then steps on the NEVER Openweight title! Sho DECKS Bushi, Kanemaru whips Yota, but Yota comes back to run Kanemaru over!

Yota runs to SPLASH, cover, TWO! Yota keeps cool and he brings Kanemaru up. Yota reels Kanemaru in, suplexes, but Kanemaru fights it! Yota ROCKS Kanemaru, ROCKS him again, and then again! Yota runs but Sho is there! The fans boo but Kanemaru CLAWS Yota’s eyes! Kanemaru whips Yota to the corner, and surprise! Evil takes the blue buckle pad away! Yota hits bare steel, then the House BLASTS Bushi and Yota! The fans boo but Kanemaru drags Yota up. Sho SMACKS Bushi off apron, Kanemaru TOSSES Yota, and then Sho and Kanemaru stomp away. The fans boo more, but then Evil whips Takagi at the edge of the stage!

Takagi stops himself by flailing and wobbling! The fans are relieved he stays safe, but then Evil CLAWS Takagi’s back! Sho puts Yota in the ring, Kanemaru covers, TWO! Kanemaru tags Sho, Sho scuffs Yota around and taunts him. Yota rises up, fires a forearm, but Sho eggs him on! Yota fires another forearm so Sho CLAWS Yota’s eyes! Sho throws Yota out then gets in the ref’s face, Evil JAMS Yota with a chair! The fans boo but Evil taunts them. The ref has to keep LIJ from going after The House, and Evil puts Yota in for Sho to cover. ROPEBREAK! Sho is upset but he steps on Yota’s arm. Tag to Kanemaru, he and Sho DOUBLE KNEE DROP!

Kanemaru drags Yota up, whips him to ropes, then kitchen sink KNEES him down! Cover, TWO! Gene Blast stays in this for his team but Kanemaru stomps away. Kanemaru then scuffs Yota, taunts him, but Yota just gets mad! The fans rally for Yota as Kanemaru gives him more kicks. Yota stands to ROCK Kanemaru, ROCK him again, and ROCK him again! But Kanemaru CLAWS eyes! Tag to Evil, the ref is again told to stop LIJ, and Evil CHOKES Yota with a House of Torture shirt! Evil shoves Yota down, covers, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO!! Evil is furious with the ref but Yota’s tougher than all that.

Evil stands Yota up, wrenches and whips Yota to a neutral corner. Evil runs in, blocks a boot, but Yota reels him in for the STOMP! The fans fire up while both men are down again! Yota and Evil crawl, hot tag to Takagi! The Rampaging Dragon runs up but Sho & Kanemaru drop away. So Takagi runs Evil over, scoops him and SLAMS him, but Evil avoids the senton! Sho & Kanemaru get in to stomp Takagi, double whip, but he holds ropes! Then DOUBLE PUMPING BOMBERS! But Evil CLAWS Takagi’s eyes! Evil runs, but into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! The fans fire up as Takagi gets Evil back up.

Takagi suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Evil is tougher than that, but Takagi then says in Taiwanese, he’s not done! But Takagi still uses Japanese for “TOKI GA KITA! <THE TIME HAS COME!>” The fans fire up with “OI! OI! OI!” Then he fires down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS on Evil! Takagi runs, but Evil uses the ref as a shield! Takagi moves the ref aside, but Evil blocks the kick, gives it to the ref, and mule kicks Takagi down! The standard formula works out, and Evil tags Sho. Sho laughs as he runs up in the corner, clothesline! Then he brings Takagi around, wrenches, kicks, KICKS and SUPER- NO, Takagi blocks the superkick!

Takagi JABS, then YUKON feints to DDT! The fans fire up again and Takagi encourages them to get louder. Takagi hurries over, tag to Bushi! Bushi fires forearms on Sho, runs, but Kanemaru gets a cheap shot in! Bushi falls, Kanemaru steps in, he and Sho double whip Bushi to ropes. Bushi gets under the double elbows and shoves Kanemaru into Sho! Then Bushi DOUBLE RANAS! The fans fire up, and Bushi BLASTS Evil for good measure! Sho swings, Bushi spins him, DDT! Cover, TWO! Sho stays in this for the House but the fans rally behind Bushi. Bushi brings Sho to a corner, whips corner to corner, but Sho reverses.

Sho runs up, Bushi dodges, Yota STINGER SPLASHES! Takagi clotheslines, then feeds Sho to Yota’s V-TRIGGER! Sho wobbles, Bushi BACKSTABBERS! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives the onslaught but the fans rally for Bushi. Bushi drags Sho up, but Kanemaru runs in to BOOT Bushi down! Takagi JUMP KNEES Kanemaru! Evil whips Takagi into bare buckles! Evil mule kicks Yota, whips him, and Yota also hits bare buckles! Bushi dropkicks Evil’s legs out! Bushi drags Sho up, reels him in, but Sho breaks free and CLAWS the eyes! Sho runs, into a dropkick to the legs! Bushi SMASHES the knee, then ties the legs up! RIVERA!!

Sho endures, flails, but Kanemaru gets his whiskey! Evil distracts, Kanemaru WHISKEY MISTS! Sho is free, he has his Torture Tool! WRENCH SHOT!! Sho drags Bushi up, reels him in and tucks the arms, SHOCK ARROW!! Cover, The House wins!

Winners: The House of Torture, by pinfall (advance to the main event)

Like always, The House finds a way to cheat their way to success! Will The King of Darkness and his pawns find a way to trump Team Go Ace? Or will Sachou get to personally punish this faction for all their nefarious deeds?

 

DOUKI VS Kosei Fujita!

Japones Del Mal and the Ichiban Young Punk each staked their claim to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, to the point that Douki left with the belt! If possession is nine-tenths of the law, then who will be the de factor champion after tonight?

The moment Douki’s on the apron, Fujita dropkicks him down! Fujita then builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit on Douki and the fans fire up! Fujita drags Douki up, puts him in the ring, then springboards to SWANTON BOMB! The bell rings, Fujita covers, TWO! Fujita runs to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! The fans rally as Fujita waistlocks and deadlifts Douki, but Douki throws elbows. Fujita ducks to CHOP, then he runs, only for Douki to do the splits! Fujita tumbles out, Douki builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit in return and the fans fire up again! The ref checks both men, they’re both okay to continue.

Douki sits up first, the ring count starts and Douki POSTS Fujita! Fujita falls over, Douki drags him up, and then DDTs to the floor! Douki slides in at 10 of 20, leaving Fujita to the count. The count reaches 15 before Fujita sits back up! Fujita flounders around at 17, 18, but springs in at 19! Douki drags Fujita up, CLUBS him, then stalks him to ropes. Douki CLUBS Fujita again, drags him up, and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Douki keeps on Fujita with a chinlock. Fujita endures the knee digging into his back, reaches out, and kicks around. The fans rally more as Fujita keeps moving forward, to the ROPEBREAK!

Douki lets off in frustration, then drags Fujita back up. Fujita fires forearms but Douki eggs him on. Douki then knees low, and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fujita is still in this and the fans cheer again. Douki whips Fujita but Fujita holds ropes to block! Douki tries again, knees low, then whips. Fujita reverses, CHOPS, but Douki HELL STABS! Douki runs, but into the WHEEL KICK! It was only a grazing blow but enough to knock Douki down! The fans rally up and Fujita hurries after Douki. Fujita fires a forearm, an UPPERCUT and a CHOP! Fujita whips corner to corner then runs in, to CHOP! Fujita snapmares Douki, then goes up, out and waits.

Douki slowly rises, Fujita springboards in, MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Douki shakes his head, he’s tougher than that. Fujita drags him up, reels him in, and suplexes high and hard! Fujita keeps moving, PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Fujita grows frustrated but he drags Douki up. Fujita waistlocks, goes to ropes, but Douki bucks the O’Conner. Fujita CLUBS Douki, brings him back, but Douki fights the lift. Douki switches, spins Fujita around and drops down, ITALIAN STRETCH 32! Fujita scrambles, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Fujita escapes by a literal foot! Douki lets go in frustration and the fans rally.

Douki turns Fujita to Gory Especial, but Fujita fights free! Fujita arm-drags Douki away, then runs up, but into a BOOTS! Douki goes to the apron, RAMS into Fujita, then slingshots for DAY- NO, Fujita stays up, pops Douki around, but Douki sunset flips! Fujita rolls through, rolls Douki and hooks the legs up, REGAL STRETCH! Douki endures and the fans rally up! Douki claws at the mat but Fujita has those legs trapped! Douki still fights but Fujita pulls way back! Douki doesn’t give in, he gets the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer while Fujita lets off in frustration. Fujita drags Douki up, spin him, but Douki fights the lift!

Douki throws elbows, runs, but Fujita reels him in! Douki kicks free but then Fujita ducks the enzigiri! Fujita waistlocks to deadlift, but Douki wheelbarrows! Victory roll, TWO! Douki goes for the full nelson! Fujita fights, so Douki shifts for the Bow ‘n’ Arrow Rack! Douki spins and spins, REINEDA! And then ghost pin, TWO!! Fujita escapes, but ends up in the ITALIAN STRETCH!! Douki pulls and Fujita is already red in the face! Fujita reaches out, Douki rolls him away from ropes! ITALIAN STRETCH!! Fujtia is fading! The ref checks, but Fujita gets a second wind! Fujita kicks around, reaches out, but Douki pulls!

Fujita’s fading again! The fans rally harder as Fujita gives one last kick, to the ROPEBREAK! Douki lets go and the fans cheer! Douki rises, goes to the apron, and takes aim for DAYBREAKER!! Cover, TWO?!? Fujita survives and Douki is furious! The fans rally, Douki gets the legs and turns Fujita over. Wheelbarrow, lift, but Fujita fights the rest! Fujita fires elbows, waistlocks, GERMAN SUPLEX! Douki tumbles away and the fans fire up while both men are down. Fujita rises, the fans rally, and Fujita brings Douki up. Douki ENZIGIRIS, but Fujita ENZIGIRIS! Fujita runs, but Douki ELBOWS! Douki runs but Fujita BOOTS then HEEL KICKS!

But Douki stays up! Douki runs up to LARIAT! But then Fujita rises!! Both men run, and Fujita LEG LARIATS! Douki crawls to ropes, Fujita runs in, STRADDLE ATTACK! Fujita roars, the fans fire up, and Fujita deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Douki survives but Fujita stays on him! Suplex, but Douki fights free, wrenches, hammerlocks, rolls, then drags Fujita up into Gory Especial! DODON NO JUTSU! Backslide cover, TWO! Douki just hops over Fujita to hook him up again! SUPLEX DE LA LUNA!! Bridging cover, Douki wins!!

Winner: Douki, by pinfall

And “still” IWPG Junior Heavyweight Champion, at that! If Douki can put on a match like that and pull off the victory, will nothing stop him from becoming the Best of the Super Juniors?

Oh no, Sho attacks! He wants his belt back! The fans boo as he stomps away on Douki then picks up the belt. To be fair, Sho is still the actual champion, but he takes aim with the belt! Douki dodges to ENZIGIRI! Then he reels Sho in for the torture rack, and swings for the SIDEWALK SLAM! The fans fire up as Douki takes the belt back! The Murder Machine tried and failed to take the belt back, will he also fail to stay a champion through the Spring?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS SANADA & Yuya Uemura!

Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi only just got these title back, but they’re fighting champions so they’re already putting them on the line! Will it be lights out in Taiwan? Or will the Cold Skull & Heat Storm bring gold back to Just5Guys?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see if Chaos still reigns!

The teams sort out and Hashi starts against Yuya. The bell rings and the fans rally for Yuya as the two circle. They tie up, Yuya wrenches to a wristlock, but Hashi spins, wrenches back, and then hammerlocks. Yuya switches that onto Hashi, but Hashi drop toeholds. Hashi floats to a headlock but Yuya pops out the back to hammerlock again. Hashi rolls, headscissors, but Yuya fights that off to keep the headlock. Hashi keeps his shoulders up, fights to his feet, then rolls Yuya to get his own headlock. Yuya headscissors, Hashi kips free and the fans cheer! Hashi and Yuya circle again, feel things out, knuckle lock, but then Yuya shoots around to headlock.

Yuya grinds the hold, Hashi powers up but can’t power out as Yuya holds tight! Yuya grinds Hashi to the mat but Hashi endures and fights back up. Hashi throws body shots, powers up and out, but Yuya RAMS shoulders! The fans cheer as the two stare down. Yuya runs, RAMS Hashi again, but Hashi gets in Yuya’s face. Yuya shoves, runs, but Hashi ELBOWS! Hashi runs, but into a hip toss! And arm-drag! Yuya DROPKICKS Hashi, then BLASTS Goto for good measure! The fans fire up and Yuya goes back for Hashi. Yuya drags Hashi up, CHOPS him, then CHOPS again. Yuya whips, Hashi holds ropes, then BOOTS back!

Goto gets in, he and Hashi run Yuya over! Bishamon coordinate, ZANMAI! Sanada storms in but Goto kicks low! “SE NO!” and they DRUM away on Sanada’s back! The fans fire up with Bishamon, and Goto stomps Sanada to a corner. Hashi has Yuya in the opposite, then they whip. Sanada & Yuya reverse to send Goto and Hashi into each other! DROPKICKS send Bishamon out, then STEREO PLANCHAS take them down! The fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada brings Goto up. Yuya brings Hashi up to CHOP! And CHOP! Hashi fires a foraerm, but Yuya eggs him on.

Hashi fires more forearms, then CHOPs! Yuya CHOPS Hashi down! The fans fire up, but the ref says to get this in the ring. Yuya drags Hashi up and puts him in. The fans applaud and Yuya storms in after Hashi. Yuya drags Hashi up, ROCKS him with a haymaker, then CHOPS again! And CHOPS again! Yuya CHOPS Hashi in the corner, CHOPS him again, but Hashi CHOPS back! Yuya knees low, then CHOPS Hashi down! Tag to Sanada and the fans rally up. Sanada drags Hashi up, reels him in, and Sanada CLUBS Hashi on the neck. Sanada CLUBS Hashi again, but Hashi throws body shots! Sanada CLUBS Hashi down, then stomps him at the ropes.

The ref reprimands and counts, Sanada stops, then drags Hashi back up. Sanada knees Hashi into the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but blocks a boot! Sanada trips Hashi, and ties him up for Paradise! The fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get even louder. The fans cheer Sanada on as he then runs to DROPKICK Hashi out of Paradise! Sanada then drags Hashi up and around, reels him in, but Hashi fights the suplex! The fans rally as Sanada powers up, but Hashi still fights it! Hashi goes to suplex but Sanada slips free! Sanada blocks the superkick to CLUB the leg! Snada runs, Hashi dodges, BLOCKBUSTER!

Sanada flounders and Hashi crawls, but Yuya jumps in! Yuya drags Hashi up but Hashi SPIN BACK KICKS! Hashi crawls, hot tag to Goto! Goto runs in at a corner to clothesline Sanada! Then he runs corner to corner to clothesline Yuya! Sanada kicks and whips, then he sends Yuya in. Goto dodges Yuya, CLOBBERS Sanada, then kicks Yuya! Goto snap suplexes Yuya onto Sanada! The fans fire up and Goto brings Sanada up. Fireman’s carry, but Sanada flails free! Goto elbows free of the waistlock, then kicks and whips. Goto runs in, but Sanada BOOTS him! Sanada QUEBRADAS, but Goto gets under!

Goto runs up but into a fireman’s carry! Goto slips free, Sanada throws more elbows! Sanada runs, Goto follows, but Sanada ELBOWS! STANDING MOONSAULT, but Sanada lands on his feet as Goto moves! Then Sanada basement dropkicks! The fans fire up while both men are down! Sanada and Goto stir, and Sanada crawls for his corner, hot tag to Yuya! Yuya storms up on Goto, brings him up and reels him in, SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Goto stays in this but Yuya stays calm. Yuya drags Goto up, underhooks the arms, but Goto fights the lift! Yuya still tries, but Goto lifts Yuya to back drop him! The fans fire up while both men are down!

Yuya goes to a corner, Goto crawls to ropes. Goto stands, runs up, but Yuya ELBOWS him! Yuya runs, Goto follows and LARIATS! Both men are down again and the fans rally! Goto crawls his way over, hot tag to Hashi! The fans cheer as Hashi fires off a forearm, body shot and CHOP! Yuya falls, the fans fire up, and Yuya goes to a corner. Hashi runs up to CHOP! Hashi whips to CHOP! Then he mule kicks, turns Yuya, but Yuya fights the neckbreaker! Yuya whips, Hashi reverses but Yuya CLOBBERS him! The fans fire up as Yuya kips up, and Sanada jumps in. They get Hashi up in a corner, and whip corner to corner.

Yuya runs in to CHOP! Sanada runs in to ELBOW! Sanada feeds Hashi to Yuya’s arm-drag! And then they DOUBLE DROPKICK! Hashi roars as he rises, but then a DOUBLE BOOT takes him down! Cover off #Just2Boots, TWO! Yuya is a little annoyed but Sanada keeps Goto out of the ring. Yuya drags Hashi up, underhooks, but Hashi fights the lift! Hashi wrenches out, Yuya ducks the lariat and waistlocks, but Hashi RAMS him into buckles! Goto runs in to clothesline Yuya! The fans fire up as Goto BLASTS Sanada off the apron! Bishamon fires up, they bring Yuya around, feed to the fireman’s carry, and FIERCE FLASH!

The fans fire up with Bishamon as Hashi calls for the finish! Goto dragon sleepers, Hashi grabs the legs, but Sanada CLUBS Hashi! Goto pushes Yuya aside but Sanada kicks him to whip him. But Goto reverses to fireman’s carry! But Sanada slips free! Only to run into HIDDEN GAP! And then they get Sanada up! But Sanada kicks free of Hashi! Goto fights Sanada’s suplex, Hashi gets the legs, but Sanada kicks free of Magic Killer! Sanada then puts Goto up for MAGIC SCREW! The fans fire up again as Hashi runs in! Sanada ducks, feed to Yuya’s UPPERCUT! DOUBLE CHOP! ENZIGIRI! Cold Skull & Heat Storm watch Hashi rise, SHINING WIZARD!

The fans fire up as Yuya brings Hashi back up, underhooks, and BUTTERFLY BOMBS! Cover, Goto breaks it! Sanada TOSSES Goto out and leaves it to Yuya! Yuya roars, goes to a corner and climbs up, to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and the fans fire up again! Yuya grits his teeth and roars! Yuya drags Hashi up, reels him in. Yuya traps the arms, but Hashi fights the Deadbolt! Yuya CLUBS away on Hashi, then tries again. But Hashi CHOPS! Yuya PELES! Yuya gets Hashi back up, swings him around, but Hashi LARIATS! Both men are down and the fans rally even harder! Hashi and Yuya stir, and head for each other.

Yuya gets in Hashi’s face, but Hashi fires a forearm! Yuya fires back! Hashi fires another, so Yuya HAYMAKERS! Hashi throws another forearm, Yuya fires another haymaker, repeat! They go back and forth, pick up speed, and the fans rally harder and harder! Hashi gets the edge, then CHOPS! Yuya roars, but Hashi DOUBLE CHOPS! Hashi roars, runs, but into a DOUBLE CHOP from Yuya! Goto returns but Yuya dodges! Feed to Sanada’s DROPKICK! Sanada & Yuya double whip Hashi to a corner, then Yuya runs in. Hashi dodges, dropkicks Sanada’s leg, then he sends Yuya into Sanada! SUPERKICK!

Yuya staggers, Hashi brings him around, and Hashi fires forearm, body shot and CHOP! Hashi runs, but Yuya spins him around! DEAD- NO, Hashi fights the suplex and Goto LARIATS at the ropes! Then spin and tuck, KARMA ROLL! Bishamon wins!!

Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Yuya can’t believe he got caught, but he did! Goto & Hashi

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The House of Torture!

Ace-sachou and the Clown Prince bring back the high school “Yankee” bad boy look as they prepare to face some real punks! Will they and big bad Boltin tear down the House? Or will the King of Darkness make sure Everything is Evil again?

The introductions are made, but then the House attacks! They TOSS Tanahashi aside, then TOSS Yano, and Evil CLAWS Oleg’s face! Sho digs a chair into Tanahashi’s leg! Red Shoes is so busy with Sho that he misses Kanemaru’s WHISKEY BOTTLE SHOT on Oleg! The fans boo but the match hasn’t started, there’s nothing Red Shoes can do about any of this! Kanemaru & Evil then mug Yano on the outside, and use spare wrist tape to hogtie him! The bell finally rings as Sho puts Tanahashi in the ring, and Sho CHOKES Tanahashi! Red Shoes reprimands, Sho steps off, but Kanemaru stomps away on Yano!

Yano calls for help but Oleg is down and the House mugs Tanahashi! The fans boo but the House soaks up the heat. They stomp Tanahashi more, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil and Kanemaru split the wishbone, and then Kanemaru CLUBS Tanahashi. But Tanahashi fights back with forearms! The House mugs Tanahashi again! Red Shoes reprimands, there has to be a 1v1! Kanemaru stays the legal man as he drops elbow after elbow on the bad knee! Tanahashi endures the toehold, so Kanemaru shifts to drag him over. Tag to Evil, he and Kanemaru split the wishbone again! Tanahashi writhes but Evil drags him around.

Evil stomps away on the bad leg while Sho keeps Yano and Oleg down on the outside. Evil has Tanahashi on ropes but the fans boo. Evil CHOKES Tanahashi, Kanemaru and Sho join in, and then Evil covers. Red Shoes refuses because of all the shenanigans. Evil stomps Tanahashi drags him from ropes to cover, TWO! Wait, who rings the bell? That’s Sho of course, and the fans boo. Red Shoes and Sho argue, and Sho acts like that was all Abe-san. Red Shoes knows better than that, so the match continues. Evil tags Sho, Sho stomps Tanahashi around, then Sho drags Tanahashi by the leg to DDT the foot!

Tanahashi writhes, Sho tags Kanemaru, and Kanemaru storms up to get the bad leg. Kanemaru SMASHES the knee! Kanemaru eggs Tanahashi on, stomps the bad leg, but Tanahashi glares at him defiantly! The fans fire up as Tanahashi rises, and he fires off forearms! But Kanemaru claws the eyes! Kanemaru runs, Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW! The fans fire up, Tanahashi crawls, and Yano’s free of the tape! Hot tag to Yano! The fans fire up as Yano goes to untie a buckle pad! Shiro is free and Yano throws him to Kanemaru! Red Shoes reprimands Kanemaru, Kanemaru defends his innocence, but Yano SLAPS Kanemaru on the head!

Yano whips Kanemaru but Kanemaru reverses! Yano stops from hitting bare buckles, Kanemaru runs in, but Yano sends him into the bare buckles! Roll-up, TWO! Yano stays fired up and the fans join in. Yano gets Kanemaru up but Kanemaru body shots, elbows and runs! But Yano atomic- NO, Kanemaru CLAWS the eyes! So Yano CLAWS the eyes! Yano runs, but Evil trips him! Sho stomps Oleg down, Evil drags Yano out, and Evil CLAWS Yano’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil and Kanemaru distract him so Sho can CHOKE Yano with a chair! Sho then drags Yano up, puts him in the ring, and Evil takes off his shirt.

Red Shoes says no, he doesn’t trust Evil with the shirt. Red Shoes confiscates the shirt, but Evil has a tag rope! Evil CHOKES Yano with the tag rope! The fans boo as Evil gets away with that one! Cover, TWO! Yano is still in this and Evil is upset with Red Shoes! Evil drags Yano up, wrenches, and YANKS the arm, to then CLUB it! Tag to Sho and he runs up to wrench Yano’s arm and bend the fingers! Sho wrenches again to ELBOW BREAKER! Yano falls but Sho tags Kanemaru. Sho pulls on the bad arm while Kanemaru goes up, and Kanemaru AX HANDLES the arm! Kanemaru wrenches the arm, YANKS and YANKS and wrangles Yano!

Kanemaru isolates the arm with atop wristlock, and STOMPS it! Then Kanemaru hits an ARM WRINGER! Kanemaru stomps Yano, BLASTS Tanahashi, then tags Sho. They get Yano up, Kanemaru wrenches the arm and Sho climbs, to AX HANDLE! Sho grins while Yano writhes, and Sho stomps Yano around. Sho bends the fingers, twists the wrist, then gets Yano up to wrap his arm around ropes. Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Sho lets off but distracts Red Shoes so Kanemaru can bend the arm! Evil tags in, he storms over, and he bumps Yano off buckles. Evil then TOSSES Yano out, and gets in Red Shoes’ face again!

Sho CHOKES Yano with the chair, then Kanemaru drags Yano up. Kanemaru wrenches and hammerlocks the arm to POST it! Sho then puts Yano in while Tanahashi protests. Red Shoes tells Sachou to stand down, and Evil covers. Red Shoes is late to the count, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO!! Yano is still in this and Evil is furious! The fans cheer, though, and Evil drags Yano up. Yano pulls hair! Evil kicks low, whips, but Yano reverses for the hair-pull takedown! The fans rally up, hot tag to Oleg! Oleg CLOBBERS Evil, BLASTS the House, then scoops Evil to SLAM him! Oleg runs to SPLASH! Cover, TWO!

Oleg stays cool and he deadlifts Evil! Sho & Kanemaru attack, they reel him in, but Oleg fights the double suplex to DOUBLE SUPLEX them! The fans fire up as Oleg deadlift GUT WRENCH PLEXES Sho! Then he deadlifts Kanemaru for Shake, Rattle and THROW! The fans fire up as Oleg fires forearms on Evil, then gut wrenches. But Evil CLAWS the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Evil reels Oleg in. Oleg fights the fisherman to clinch and OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Cover, TWO! Evil survives but Oleg hauls him back up! Fireman’s carry, but Evil slips free! Evil shoves Oleg at Red shoes, then LOW BLOWS!

Fans boo but The House BLASTS Tanahashi & Yano! The House then gets Oleg up, whips him to a corner, Sho forearm SMASHES! Kanemaru ELBOWS! Evil clotheslines! Snapmare and the set-up! Yano gets in but Red Shoes is distracted! Kanemaru DICK CHOPS! Cover, TWO!! Oleg survives and the fans fire up! Evil is shocked, but he vows to end this now! The fans boo but Evil drags Oleg up, spins him around, EVERYTHING- NO, Oleg fights free! Evil knees low, runs, but Oleg CLOBBERS him! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Oleg crawls his way over, hot tag to Tanahashi! The fans fire up as The President BLASTS the House!

Tanahashi keeps going to CLOBBER Evil! Tanahashi fires forearms and body shots, then he scoop SLAMS Evil into the drop zone! Tanahashi goes up, for the SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi stays cool as the fans fire up. Evil wants mercy but Tanahashi runs to SLING- NO, Evil ducks it, and whips Tanahashi into bare buckles! Tag to Sho and Kanemaru BLASTS Yano! Sho & Kanemaru double whip, Sho runs up to forearm smash! Feed to Kanemaru’s basement dropkick! They DOUBLE SMASH the knees! Sho clamps on the KNEEBAR!! Tanahashi endures, the fans rally, but Yano stomps Sho!

Kanemaru CLAWS Yano’s eyes and TOSSES him out! Evil gets in with the chair! Red Shoes stops Evil but Sho sneaks his Torture Tool! The Murder Machine wants to do this like he did to LIJ! Sho lines up the shot, but Tanahashi ducks! But WHISKEY MIST is there! Roll up, OLEG BREAKS IT!! The fans fire up as the House goes after Oleg! They TOSS Oleg, then they intercept Yano! They double whip, Yano holds ropes to taunt them! Yano ducks Kanemaru, shoves him into Evil, then shoves Red Shoes aside so he can DOUBLE LOW BLOW! Sho staggers up, winds up with the wrench, but Yano dodges!

SHOTEI from Tanahashi, then he SLINGBLADES Sho down! Oleg returns and he hauls Sho up! Oleg fireman’s carries Sho, and hits the ROLLING SENTON! Tanahashi is up top, HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Team Go Ace wins!!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)

A huge victory for The Ace of the Universe, for the Producer, and for the Young Lion! Oleg goes right from new kid on the block to a champion alongside two living legends! The House regroups, will they ever learn their lesson?

As for the new champs, Yano presents Oleg with his own high schooler blazer! It might be a couple sizes too small, but Yano still helps Oleg get it on! Oleg smiles as he is presented one of the belts, and is truly part of the club! Yano gets Shiro the buckle pad to join in on the photo op! And of course, they do the squat! Tanahashi-sachou then gets the mic so that he may speak. “Long time no see, Taiwan! Thank you very much, xièxiè.” Fans applaud his use of Mandarin! Tanahashi continues to say that NJPW hasn’t been able to visit Taiwan in some time, “but we’ll be back a lot from now on!” The fans love the sound of that!

Tanahashi vows to “keep NJPW fired up in Taiwan,” and that they’ll see them again very soon. “And finally… Taiwan, ASHITEMAAASU~!” The fans cheer and once again, the bad boy champs squat for the photo op. Will this unique trio lead the way into a brighter future for not just NJPW, but for the entire Wrestling World?


My Thoughts:

A great event for NJPW’s return to Taiwan, though things went about how you’d expect as far as results. Great stuff in the non-title matches, and really great win for Douki over Fujita. Douki giving Sho a taste of his own medicine with the theft of the belt is great, I hope Douki literally holds onto the belt until the final round of the Best of Super Juniors. Great tag title match from Bishamon VS Sanada & Yuya, with a great win for Bishamon. I figured Yuya was taking that pin, but he and Sanada make a pretty good team, maybe they’ll try again.

And great stuff in the NEVER Openweight Six Man tournament, but I had a feeling it was going to be Tanahashi’s team winning in the end. At least, once it was them against House of Torture, it was certainly clear. It wasn’t even that Tanahashi is President of NJPW. Evil wasn’t gonna just get a belt to replace the NEVER Openweight title, and Takagi wasn’t gonna be Mr. NEVER right away, so why not put these belts back on Tanahashi and a team he now leads. Great honor for Oleg as he hasn’t even gone from Young Lion to established guy with a gimmick. Oleg’s shown he can have fun and goof around, I think he’ll be a great third man to Tanahashi & Yano.

My Score: 8.7/10


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