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Mitchell’s NJPW G1 Special in San Francisco! (7/7/18)

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NJPW G1 Special cover image

NJPW returns to the United States for another G1 Special! So many stars and so many titles will be featured in this massive event, from the Ticking Time Bomb defending his Jr. Heavyweight Championship, to a Dominion rematch for the Tag Team Championships, to the Bullet Club leaders facing off for THE Heavyweight Title!

 

Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens; Bullet Club wins.
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr; Ishii & Yano win.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll; Hangman & Scurll win.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb; Goto wins and retains the NEVER Openweight Championship.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA; The Young Bucks win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
  • Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi; Okada & Ospreay win.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee; Hiromu wins and retains the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson; Juice wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody; Omega wins and retains the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW is LIVE in the Cow Palace!

The “Madison Square Garden of the West” is host to another amazing G1 Special. Five titles are on the line, from the Junior Heavyweight to THE Heavyweight Championship. Rivalries are renewed and new ones are being born. Will the Superkick Party survive a rematch with SANADA & EVIL? Can Hiromu Takahashi get one over on Dragon Lee? Will The Cleaner’s first ever reign end at the hands of the American Nightmare? Is Bullet Club truly (not) fine?!

 

10 Man Tag: Chaos’ Yoshi-Hashi, Gedo, Rocky Romero & Roppongi 3K VS The Bullet Club’s Guerrillas of Destiny, King Haku, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens!

It’s a MASSIVE showdown between two equally massive factions! Will Chaos conquer the Bullet Club in this opening bout? Or will dysfunction be put aside so that Bullet Club can stand tall?

The teams sort out and while fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!”, Yoshi-Hashi starts against King Haku. The bell rings and the two circle. Haku swipes at Gedo while fans chant for the Father of the Guerrillas. He and Hashi tie up, and Haku gets the waistlock. Hashi elbows out and then gets a headlock, but Haku powers out. They collide but neither man falls. Haku runs but that clothesline barely does a thing. Hashi runs again and that dropkick drops Haku. Hashi throws hands and backs Haku down, then whips corner to corner. Haku reverses to then clothesline Hashi in the corner! Haku tags Tonga Loa, but Tama Tonga comes in, at the same time. They triple headbutt Hashi together!

Fans chant “G O D!” for Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. Rocky tags in, but he’s clearly the underdog here. He runs but barely moves Loa. Loa dares him to go again, but the result is the same. Rocky tries a third time, but still nothing. Things speed up on the fourth, and Rocky gets the headscissors! Rocky revs up to start on those endless clotheslines in the corner. He hits five, before Loa picks him up! Loa carries Rocky corner to corner while Tama Tonga comes in, BIG splash in the corner! The rest of Chaos is taken out by the other members of Bullet Club and it’s a brawl on the outside. Haku hits Rocky with a piledriver! Cover, TWO!

Tonga grabs the ref, not standing for the disrespect towards his legendary father. The referee is spared while Loa covers. TWO, but Rocky is alone in the Bullet Club corner. Loa puts Rocky into Chase’s boot, then tags Chase in. Chase hits a body shot, then throws haymakers. Rocky chops back, but Chase knees low. The Crown Jewel lifts Rocky for the pendulum backbreaker. Cover, TWO, but Chase keeps on Rocky as he tags in Tokyo Pimp. Yujiro mule kicks then snapmares Rocky, then hits a leg drop. Cover, TWO. Yujiro keeps Rocky in a chinlock, but fans rally up for Rocky. Rocky gets up and fights out, backing Yujiro down. He runs, but Yujiro picks him up while Chase takes out RPG3K.

Yujiro whips and kicks Rocky, Chase adds a kick, then Yujiro back suplexes Rocky. Rocky slips out, so Chae tries. Rocky slips out again, then ducks to double headscissor! Fans rally up while Rocky crawls. Hot tag to Yoh! Yoh rallies with dropkicks, then a dragon screw to Yujiro, then one to Chase. Yoh suplexes Yujiro but Yujiro slips out. Yujiro waistlocks but Yoh backs him down, and Sho tags in. Sho runs, takes out GoD, then hits Yujiro with a clothesline. Yoh hits one, theN Sho, then Poetry in Motion! RPG3K combine, but Yujiro slips out to push them into each other. Inverted DDT to Sho, then hot tag to Tama Tonga! Tonga stomps away on Sho, then scoop slams for the elbow! Fans fire up with him as he whips Sho. Sho SPEARS Tonga, then crawls for his corner. Tag to Gedo, and Gedo stalks Tonga.

Gedo jabs and jabs, but Loa stops his haymaker. Gedo throws hands on Loa, then jawbreaker to Tonga. He aims, but Tonga blocks the kick. Chase bicycle boots, but Hashi blasts him. Yujiro gets Hashi with the basement dropkick, but RPG3K combine for backstabber to shotgun kick! Loa hits both Sho & Yoh down, but Rocky springboards to hit both GoD! Rocky runs, and DIVES on Loa! Gedo SUPERKICKS Tonga, but Haku throat thrusts Gedo! The Samoan King has the throat, and feeds it to the Gun Stun cutter! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Tama Tonga pinning

While there is unrest in the rest of the Bullet Club, it would seem this unit of five is just fine with each other. Will this be the foundation of the faction after things settle down up top?

 

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano VS Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr!

The Stone Pitbull and the Producer have had their run-ins with the Meanest Man in the World and his Submission Master protege. Needless to say, it didn’t go well for the Chaos duo. But in this rematch in the States, will things even out? Or will Ishii & Yano again #JustTapOut?

The Pitbull dares the King of Pancreas to bring it, so at the bell, he does! Suzuki goes right at Ishii with boots, then whips. Suzuki boots in the corner, then whips again. Ishii comes back with a forearm, but now it’s a brawl. Back and forth, fast and furious, neither man backs down but the fans love it! There’s no end to it, but Suzuki gets the edge. He whips Ishii but Ishii runs him over. Ishii eggs Suzuki on, but ZSJ tags in. And now Yano wants in! Ishii tags, but Ishii goes after Suzuki without hesitation. As for Yano, he circles with ZSJ, but he’s very scary. Yano uses the ropes for safety, but then asks for a handshake. ZSJ takes it, only to get the wristlock. Yano grabs the ropes, but ZSJ holds onto the wrist. He lets go at 4, then waits for Yano.

Yano wants another handshake, ZSJ gets another wristlock, but Yano rakes the eyes. Yano gets to the ropes and taunt ZSJ. ZSJ grabs a leg, reels Yano in for several European Uppercuts, but Yano pulls him down by his hair. Yano celebrates, but ZSJ goes after the arms! ZSJ gets double wristlocks but Yano manages to get to the ropes. However, it’s on Suzuki’s side of the ring. Suzuki lets ZSJ Pele Yano’s arm before going after Ishii again! Suzuki puts Ishii into railing while ZSJ stands on Yano’s head. ZSJ wraps Yano up in an Indian deathlock while Suzuki chops away on Ishii. ZSJ bridges to put on leverage, then shifts to adding an armlock. Yano endures being tied up like that, and starts back pedaling for ropes. ZSJ grabs the other arm, but Yano uses a leg.

Fans rally while ZSJ lets go of Yano. ZSJ tags to Suzuki, and together they torture Yano with a Fujiwara armbar and Achilles Lock. Then they switch! Ishii protests, but that only gives the devious duo more time to damage Yano’s limbs. They flip Yano over for both an armbar and a heel hook. The referee finally sees and gets ZSJ to leave. Suzuki tags in ZSJ, and it’s just more of the same anyway. Tag back to Suzuki, and Suzuki throws hands on Yano. Suzuki mocks Yano, toys with him, but fans boo and jeer. Suzuki runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano tags Ishii, and he runs in, but into a boot. It does nothing! Ishii and Suzuki brawl again. Ishii runs, then forearms Suzuki, then corner clotheslines him! He trash talks Suzuki, then toys with him.

Suzuki only grows angry from those toying kicks to the head. Suzuki throws another forearm, but Ishii dares him to give more. Ishii hits Suzuki, then slaps him in the head. Suzuki gives Ishii a stiff forearm, then another. Ishii staggers, but stays standing. So Suzuki just gives him another shot, and another. Suzuki keeps going, and Ishii hits the mat. Ishii is okay to continue, so Suzuki toys with him now. Ishii stands and starts throwing forearms on Suzuki. He slaps Suzuki while trash talking, but Suzuki just sticks out his tongue like a wild man. Suzuki throws so many palm strikes, then gets Ishii in a sleeper hold! Ishii throws Suzuki off, then runs, but Suzuki gets around for another hold. Ishii throws Suzuki with a back suplex!

Fans rally up while both men crawl for their corners. Hot tags to Yano and ZSJ! Yano rakes the eyes, then goes for buckle pads! ZSJ stops him just in time, but Yano throws ZSJ off. Yano sings, but misses, and ends up in an octopus stretch. Suzuki picks up the pad to smack Yano with it. Suzuki throws Ishii out and they brawl on the outside again. ZSJ catches Yano’s low blow, then the haymaker, into the bridging pin, TWO! EuroUpper! ZSJ runs but into bare buckles! Yano shoves him at the ref, but ZSJ stops himself short. Low blow blocked by leg strength! But then Ishii runs ZSJ over! Yano covers, Chaos wins!!

Winners: Chaos, Yano pinning

What a shocking exchange! Yano’s trickery and Ishii’s toughness win out, but that just pisses Suzuki off. Suzuki grabs himself a chair, then rushes the ring. Security and Young Lions work to stop Suzuki, and manage to get him away from the ring. But ZSJ makes one of them pay for it by throwing him to the ground. Then Suzuki SMACKS the other with that chair. This feud is far from over, will Suzuki show any mercy next time?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kushida VS Hangman Page & Marty Scurll!

The Ace and the Time Splitter have had their issues with the Problem Solver and Villain in their own paths before, but now all four men converge tonight. Can the main unit boys overcome Bullet Club’s proverbial lieutenants tonight?

Fans duel while both teams egg each other on, but things sort out to start with Scurll and Kushida. The junior heavyweights circle and tie up. Kushida gets the waistlock but Scurll reverses, only for Kushida to reverse back. Scurll spins and rolls to reverse back, but Kushida gets a takedown. Kushida grabs the facelock, and holds on as Scurll rolls. Kushida floats all over, then gets a waistlock. Scurll pries his way out but it ends up a full nelson. Scurll breaks it with a bump, then gets a full nelson of his own. Kushida tries to copy but ends up in an octopus! Kushida pries his way out to bring Scurll down but Scurll headscissors. Scurll takedown but Kushida headscissors, so Scurll flaps his wings. Tag to Hangman and Tanahashi!

Now the heavyweights circle, and fans are strongly behind Tanahashi. He and Hangman tie up, and Hangman reverses to a wristlock and headlock. Tanahashi powers out to his own headlock, but Hangman pulls on hair! Kushida protests, but that allows Tanahashi to pull Hangman’s hair. They go into a corner and Tanahashi throws body shots. He whips Hangman but Hangman reverses. Hangman runs in, but into a back elbow, and Tanahashi leaps for a crossbody! Tanahashi air guitars and fans fire up. Tanahashi mocks the wings and Scurll gets upset. Tag to Kushida, and Kushida drops ax handles on the arm. Kushida wrenches Hangman’s arm, then whips, but Hangman holds ropes. Hangman dumps Kushida out while Scurll takes out Tanahashi. They run together, SUPERKICK to SHOOTING STAR from the apron!

Fans chant “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” while Hangman & Scurll target Taguchi himself. Taguchi doesn’t want any trouble, but that doesn’t stop them. They club Taguchi down and bring him into the ring. They double whip, he goes to hip attack, but they get clear. Taguchi crashes and burns out of the ring, having hurt his behind. Scurll grabs Kushida, and the Bullet Club double whip, drop toehold, dropkick, then shooting star and fist drop! Cover, TWO! Hangman keeps on Kushida and bumps him off Scurll’s bot. Tag to Scurll, and they work together again. Double whip Kushdia corner to corner, and Scurll hits the clothesline. He becomes a step stool but Kushida gives Hangman the Poetry in Motion! Kushida then handsprings to back elbow Scurll down! Fans rally while Kushida crawls. Hot tag to Tanahashi!

Tanahashi rallies on Scurll, whips corner to corner, but Scurll reverses. Tanahashi still comes out with a back elbow, then he wipes Hangman out for good measure. He gives Scurll a Dragon Screw, then fires up. Fans fire up with him as he scoop slams Scurll down. Tanahashi climbs up, somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Fans rally again as Tanahashi runs, but into Scurll’s crossface chicken wing! Scurll almost has it, but Tanahashi pries his way out. Fans rally for Tanahashi as he keeps those hands apart. Tanahashi breaks free but runs into a palm strike. He knocks Scurll down with one of his own, then tags Kushida. Kushida fires off on Scurll, but Scurll hits the leg. Kushida hip toss, cartwheel and dropkick!

Scurll dodges the Penalty Kick, and Hangman comes in to rock Kushida with a right. Tanahashi returns, but Hangman gets him first. Tanahashi reverses the whip to Slingblade Hangman down! Scurll comes back and fakes Tanahashi out for the mule kick. Scurll stomps Kushida’s hand, then grabs the fingers. Shh! Kushida breaks free but runs into a EuroUpper. Scurll runs into a spinning forearm, then ends up in a takedown, Hoverboard Lock! Tanahashi intercepts Hangman for the Cloverleaf! Double submissions, but Hangman crawls out of the ring. Scurll stands up while Tanahashi misses his slingshot. BUCK SHOT from Hangman! Tag to Hangman, and he jackknifes into Rite, but sunset flip! TWO! Discus forearm meets Pele! Kushida kicks out the arm, then runs, but Hangman blocks the Hoverboard, into RITE OF PASSAGE! Cover, Bullet Club wins!

Winners: Bullet Club, Hangman pinning

A mostly clean win from the devious Villain & Problem Solver, but a win is a win. Will Hangman do the same to Tanahashi in the G1 Climax tournament? Or will the Ace fine a way to win out in the end?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Jeff Cobb!

The All-Pro Universal Champion is quite the monster with his strength and speed, but he goes up against the Fierce Warrior for another belt. Will Chaos’ constant be able to conquer Mr. Athletic in this first-ever meeting?

The belt is presented and the bell rings as we begin! Fans are strongly behind Cobb as he circles with Goto. They tie up, and Cobb backs Goto to the ropes. Cobb honors the break, and they circle again. They tie up again, and Cobb again powers Goto to ropes. Goto turns it around, but Goto honors the break, for a moment. Goto kicks and clubs away on Cobb, then stomps. Fans boo and jeer, but Goto tunes them out as he whips Cobb. Cobb reverses, and the two collide. Cobb doesn’t back down, but he does let his hair down while Goto eggs him on. Goto tries to hip toss but ducks the clothesline, but not the flying shoulder!

Cobb drags Goto up and throws forearms and EuroUppers. He whips Goto corner to corner, then grabs Goto for a BIG overhead suplex! Fans rally up but Cobb runs into a boot. Goto goes up, but Cobb yanks him off and to the mat. Cobb drags Goto up, and gives him a stiff chop. Goto chops back, but Cobb chops again. Cobb whips but Goto dodges to bait Cobb over and out! Goto then slingshots, and wipes Cobb out! Goto gets up to club away on Cobb, then puts him into a post! Fans boo and jeer as Goto goes after Cobb more. The 20 count begins, but Goto puts Cobb back in at 8. Goto stalks Cobb with stomps, then brings him up for elbows. He snapmares Cobb, to drop the elbow. Fans boo and jeer more, but Goto just drops another. Cover, TWO!

Goto drags Cobb up for a neck wrench. Fans rally as Cobb endures, but Goto switches to a headscissors hold. Goto squeezes Cobb and props himself up. Cobb endures, then rolls his way to a ropebreak. Goto lets Cobb go, but then drags him up for another snapmare and chinlock. Cobb endures while fans rally again. Goto goes to drive in an elbow but Cobb blocks it! Cobb powers out, then dropkicks Goto down! Both men are down but fans rally up. Cobb staggers to ropes, then waits for Goto. He throws a forearm, then a chop, repeat. Cobb whips Goto corner to corner, and hits a leaping uppercut! Cobb lifts and swings Goto with the Sidewinder! Cover, TWO! Cobb is a bit surprised, but he’s not done yet.

Cobb drags Goto up, then lifts for a torture rack. Running slam! Fans fire up, because Cobb still has more. Standing moonsault, but it misses as Goto rolls away! Both men are down again, but fans rally again. Each man gets to a corner, then Goto runs in for the spinning heel kick! Goto suplexes Cobb, cover, TWO! Goto drags Cobb up, but fans are on Cobb’s side. Cobb resists the fireman’s carry with back elbows, then blocks the boot to give a stiff forearm. Cobb drags Goto up, scoop onto the shoulder to bump off buckles and hit the Oklahoma slam! Cover, TWO! So close but so far from finishing this match. Cobb stands up again, then runs, but the two collide with clotheslines. Neither falls, so they go again. They still stay up, so they go again, and it’s Goto that gets flipped! Standing moonsault hits! TWO!!

Cobb is shocked, but not done yet. He throws Goto, then scoops, but Goto slips out to a sleeper hold! Cobb gasps, reaching for ropes. Fans rally up and Cobb gets a second wind to throw Goto off. Goto and Cobb both stand, but Cobb sees Goto coming. Goto dodges the boot to give the spinning clothesline. Cobb dares him to do more, so Goto headbutts. Goto lifts Cobb, USHIGOROSHI! Cover, TWO!! Cobb survives and that shocks Goto now. Goto brings Cobb up, but Cobb denies GTR with a suplex. Goto knees out, and tries to turn Cobb again. Cobb resists, so Goto clubs him. Reverse GTR! Cover, Goto wins!

Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall; still NEVER Openweight Champion

The Fierce Warrior manages to hold off the powerful behemoth that is Jeff Cobb. Goto starts over with this first successful defense, will he be able to hold onto it for a long time?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Young Bucks VS EVIL & SANADA!

It’s a rematch from Dominion 2018, where “the best tag team in professional wrestling” took those titles from Los Ingobernables de Japon’s heavy hitting duo. Matt & Nick Jackson won in Osaka, but can they throw a victorious Superkick Party in their home state of California?

Fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” for the champions as always. Cold Skull Sanada starts against Nick with the bell. They circle, but Sanada hits Matt. So Nick hits Evil! Nick whips but Sanada reverses, and things speed up. Nick stops himself but Sanada blocks the kick to spin Nick around for the dragon sleeper! Sanada lands on his feet through the snapmare, but Nick dodges the dropkick. Nick drops an elbow but Sanada dodges. Sanada drops an elbow but Nick dodges. Matt drops an elbow, Sanada dodges, then Evil drops a back senton but Matt dodges. Nick grabs Evil in headscissors but Sanada does the same to Nick. Matt comes back and grabs Evil’s legs. Fans sense what’s coming, as does Sanada, Sharpshooter that flips everyone over! A strange chain of submissions there.

But with only two men legal, there’s something illegal about this, so the referee has them all break. Matt regroups with Nick while Evil goes out. They double whip Sanada, hip toss and back-flip dropkicks! Headscissor dropkick for Evil, and fans fire up for The Bucks! The Bucks double whip Sanada again, double kick, then the alley-oop, but into a dropkick from Sanada! Evil blocks Matt’s kick, and feeds it to the ref, to then mule kick Matt in the ass. Matt rolls out from being butt hurt while Sanada grabs Nick. Sanada drags Nick over to a neutral corner, then whips him corner to corner. Sanada hits the corner clothesline, but Nick boots back. The boot is caught, and Sanada drags Nick out into the paradise lock! Nick is a pretzel, so Sanada dropkicks him out of paradise!

Tag to Evil, and LIJ drag Nick up for double whip. Back elbow to back senton, then cover, TWO! Evil grabs Nick into a half surfboard with those arms. Fans rally up and Nick feeds off it. Nick works against the hold but Evil keeps him grounded. Nick powers up again, but still can’t get free. Evil digs in a knee but fans keep rallying for Nick. Nick tries one more time, and manages to turn it around, only for Evil to turn it back around. So Nick dropkicks out! Fans rally again, and Nick crawls, but Sanada trips Matt right off the apron! Fans boo and jeer, but Sanada doesn’t care. Evil attacks Nick, then rakes the eyes. He whips Nick corner to corner but Nick slides out to trip up Sanada. Nick runs into Evil, but slips out of the back suplex to tag Matt!

Matt rallies on LIJ, but they get him with kicks. LIJ double whips, but he dodges to leaping lariat them both! Matt grabs Evil to throw haymakers and chops. Matt whips Evil but Evil holds ropes. Evil throws Matt to the apron, but Matt shoulders back in, then takes out Sanada with a cutter! Matt sunset flips in, legs to the Sharpshooter! The Cease is in, but that back bothers Matt again. Evil gets a ropebreak,  so Matt tags to Nick. Nick kicks Sanada for good measure, then coordinates for the slingshot X-Factor. Nick goes to asai onto Sanada, but Sanada dodges to asai into dragon sleeper! Matt sees his brother in danger, and wrecks Sanada with a dropkick. But then Evil knocks Matt out, to build speed. SUPERKICKS! Sanada springboards, double missile dropkick! All four men are down but the fans are loving it.

Fans duel while all four men stir. Nick tags in Matt, but Evil tags in Sanada. Sanada and Matt trade haymakers back and forth. Matt kicks, then whips Sanada, but Sanada back elbows. Sanada quebradas, dragon sleeper, but Matt slices bread to get it on Sanada. Sanada turns it around again, for the swinging dragon sleeper! He climbs up top, moonsaults, but Matt evades. Sanada tumbles back out to the apron, but Matt gets him with a triangle jump DDT to the apron! Nick climbs up and aims at Sanada, 450 splash! Cover from Matt, TWO! The Bucks can’t believe it, but this isn’t over yet. Matt puts Sanada in the Sharpshooter, but Sanada drags himself towards ropes. Nick hits the swanton! Then he intercepts Evil, to FLY!

Sanada is alone, enduring the Sharpshooter. Sanada drags himself towards ropes, drawing so close to either the break or the tap. He powers up and gets the break! Matt lets Sanada go, thinking of what else to do. He tags in Nick, and Nick climbs up. Matt brings Sanada up for the fireman’s carry. More Bang for- No, knees disrupt that, and Sanada avoids the moonsault! Sanada crawls for his corner, and Evil is back to tag in! Evil German Suplexes Nick, then the same for Matt! Nick fights of another, but Evil still reels him in for another German! Evil fires up and runs in at Nick for a BIG clothesline. Then the fireman’s carry, Darkness Falls! Cover, TWO! Evil isn’t deterred, he brings Nick up. Nick slips free to back elbow. Nick suplexes but Evil counters. Sanada comes in, MAGIC KILLER! Cover, Matt breaks it!

Sanada throws Matt out but Matt brings him out, too. Evil drags Nick up, but Nick denies the STO. Matt puts Sanada into barriers, then he saves Nick from the slam. Deja vu to Dominion, but Evil dodges the SUPERKICKS, and they go into the ref! Evil double clotheslines both Bucks down! But with no ref to count, there’s no point in covering. Instead, Sanada pulls out some items from under the ring. He gives Evil a chair, but Evil misses. Evil and Nick play hot potato, but then Matt gets up, SUPERKICKS into the chair! SUPERKICKS for Sanada, then Matt prepares the chair on the mat. He brings Evil up as fast as he can with that bad back while Nick waits on the apron. Tombstone position, but Sanada trips up Nick! Evil reverses to the Tombstone, Ungovernable Driver on the chair!

Sanada wakes the ref, Evil covers, but Nick barely breaks it in time! Fans are all fired up, but Sanada throws Nick back out. Evil rises and calls for the finish. “This is Awesome!” as they prepare and hit Magic Killer! Cover, TWO!? How?! Sanada slingshots to take Nick out for good measure, and Evil waits for Matt. Matt reverses to back slide and SUPERKICK! Evil still goes after him, so Matt uses the STO! Sanada flies into SUPERKICKS! The Bucks hurry to get Evil up, then MELTZER DRIVER! Cover, The Bucks win!

Winners: The Young Bucks, Matt pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions

Another thrilling close-call, but the Superkick Party rolls on! Their first heavyweight tag title reign continues, how far can Matt & Nick Jackson go in the Heavyweight Tag Division?

 

NJPW and AXS look at the Bullet Club Civil War.

Kenny Omega saw trouble coming from the very beginning when The American Nightmare used the faction to elevate himself. Cody manipulated the Young Bucks, Marty Scurll & Hangman Page, but Omega has already shown what he does to selfish members of the Club before. On the flip side, Cody saw Omega as too obsessed with his own goals and it was ruining the faction. The other members have been unsure which side to choose, but The Bucks found a way to decide. They chose Kenny. It cost Omega his match against Cody in ROH, but Cody took it as validation. Everyone else has reconciled aside from Cody, who is the “rotten apple” messing up the bunch. Is it hatred? Is it a matter of pride? More importantly, is it going to end with their match tonight?

 

Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay VS Tetsuya Naito & Bushi!

The Rainmaker is no longer IWGP Heavyweight Champion, the Aerial Assassin is no longer Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and LIJ’s Tranquilo leader is no longer Intercontinental Champion. Who will come out of this match with renewed vigor towards chasing the titles they lost at Dominion?

Fans are evenly split between Chaos and LIJ, especially Okada and Naito. Okada starts but wonders who is starting against him. Naito hears fans wanting him, so he obliges. Okada and Naito hear the fans fire up for them just being in the ring together. They circle, lunge, but Naito evades to keep things tranquilo. Naito and Okada circle but again Naito dodges. Fans enjoy the mind games, and Okada manages to shrug it off. They tie up finally, and Okada backs Naito to the ropes. Okada backs off, to fake the chop. Naito actually kicks then throws Okada out. Naito builds speed, to Tranquilo!

Fans love it, but Okada cools off before returning. Okada and Naito circle again, and fans rally up. Then Naito tags out to Bushi. Some fans boo and jeer but others still love the mind games. Okada tags in Ospreay, and now the junior heavyweights circle. Bushi kicks then slides off the back to headscissor, but Ospreay handsprings through to dropkick Bushi down. Bushi rolls out so Ospreay builds speed, to fake him out for the superhero landing. Naito rushes in but gets a kick for it! Bushi returns but Ospreay is ready with a chop. Ospreay whips Bushi to a corner, hits the back elbow, then sweeps the legs. Bushi gets up as Ospreay runs corner to corner, but Ospreay boots him away.

Ospreay runs again, but into a drop toehold, and Naito dropkicks in. Okada comes in, but Naito feeds him to Bushi’s sunset flip, which just feeds Okada back to Naito’s basement dropkick! Okada rolls out while Bushi returns to Ospreay. Bushi chokes and stretches Ospreay at the ropes, but backs off at 4. Meanwhile, Naito keeps on Okada on the outside. Bushi has Ospreay in the corner while fans sing for the Aerial Assassin. Bushi grinds his boot into Ospreay but stops at 4. Naito tags in, then stalks Ospreay to the ropes. He brings Ospreay around to whip to a corner, then jump kicks and sweeps the leg, swinging shotgun kick! Naito spits at Okada, then tags Bushi. Bushi wraps his shirt around Ospreay’s neck to choke him! He drops Ospreay with a neckbreaker, covers, but the ref sees the shirt. No count, and the shirt is tossed away.

Tag to Naito, and he toys with Ospreay. Ospreay fires up and pushes back, then gives forearms. Naito fakes the retaliation, only to kick Ospreay low. Naito whips Ospreay thne turns the boots away. Ospreay hits back from the apron but Naito gets under the springboard. Naito kicks, then runs, but into the flip dropkick and enziguri! Both men are down, but Ospreay is headed for his corner. Fans rally up, hot tag to Okada! Okada rallies on LIJ, then hits Naito. He builds speed and runs Naito over with an elbow! Bushi attacks but runs into a flapjack that splashes onto Naito! Okada kips up, then scoops Naito for the slam. Okada gets to the corner, aims at Naito, and hits the flying crossbody! Cover, TWO, but Okada keeps his cool while fans fire up.

Okada brings Naito up, but Naito blocks the gutwrench. Okada clubs Naito down then wrenches again, but Naito slips out into the dragon sleeper neckbreaker, and adds the dropkick to the back. Naito catches his breath, then brings Okada up. Okada resists Gloria, but Naito hits an enziguri. Hammerlock lift but Okada slips out to dropkick Naito in the back. Okada whips but Naito holds ropes to dodge the dropkick. Naito whips but Okada reverses, but Naito hits the flying forearm. Naito brings Okada up, tilt-o-whirl, but into the Tombstone, yet Naito slips out. He uses the ropes, but Okada blocks the tornado DDT with power! Okada lifts Naito, Air Raid! Both men are down but the fans applaud. They rally up for Okada as both men crawl. Hot tags to Ospreay and Bushi!

Ospreay and Bushi brawl with forearms back and forth. Bushi swings but Ospreay full nelsons. Bushi breaks free but gets the hook kick. Ospreay dragon sleeper suplex, but Bushi slips out. Bushi hits the swinging boots, then the missile dropkick! It’s a Bushi-rooni into double knees, then the swinging neckbreaker! Cover, but Okada breaks it. Naito throws Okada out, Bushi runs for a code breaker! Cover, TWO! Bushi isn’t done, though, as he climbs back up. He aims at Ospreay as Ospreay slowly stands. But he flies into a roundhouse! Naito baseball slides Ospreay, then dodges the Rainmaker lariat, but not that dropkick! Okada fires up as he pursues Naito. Bushi kicks Ospreay, but runs into a Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Ospreay fires up, Robinson Special kick! He drags Bushi up, double underhook to Stormbreaker!! Cover, Chaos wins!

Winners: Okada & Ospreay, Ospreay pinning

The former Heavyweight and Jr. Heavyweight Champions combine for a victory tonight, not letting their past defeats drag them down. Can the Rainmaker & Assassin climb back up to take back what they’ve lost?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Lee!

This rivalry spans both NJPW and CMLL promotions, and sometimes even ROH. Lee is the current CMLL World Lightweight Championship while the Ticking Time Bomb won his belt back at Dominion after also winning Best of the Super Juniors 25. While Hiromu is NJPW’s best Junior, will Lee prove he’s the best in two companies?

But Dragon Lee doesn’t wait for the bell, he just waits for Hiromu to be done putting away his toys, to leap out with a crazy huricanrana! If there was any doubt, this proves there’s no love lost between these two. The bell rings, and we begin outside the ring as Lee whips Hiromu into railings then rams into him. Lee returns to the ring, builds speed, and DIVES! That was a dangerous tope suicida, but Lee still did it. He gets up and puts Hiromu into the ring. Hiromu gets to a corner, but Lee runs in for a dropkick and sweep to swinging dropkick, NAITO’s moves. Lee even mocks Tranquilo! Fans boo and jeer but Lee throws elbow after elbow into Hiromu. The referee backs Lee off, but only long enough for that corner to corner dropkick! Cover, TWO!

Lee keeps his focus as he drags Hiromu up for an ankle lock. Hiromu rolls through but gets stomped out. Lee puts on a chinlock, then rakes the face. Lee lets go, but then kicks Hiromu across the back. He keeps on Hiormu with a whip into a corner. Hiromu comes out with a headscissor, but Lee just handsprings through. They speed up, and Lee gets caught that time. Hiromu hits Lee with a clothesline and baseball slide dropkick! Lee gets out of the ring, but Hiromu doesn’t stop, John Woo from the apron! Hiromu climbs up top now, and aims at Lee, for a SUPER SENTON!! They crash and burn on the ground! Fans lose their minds after that one.

The 20 count begins, but Hiromu gets on the apron at 10. Lee grabs Hiromu, not wanting to end the count. Hiromu fights him off, but they both end up on the apron. They brawl, and the count stops as they go back and forth. Hiromu rocks Lee but Lee rocks Hiromu. Hiromu kicks Lee, then brings him up to the top rope. He climbs up with Lee, and fans fear for the wrestlers’ lives. Lee stops Hiromu’s crazy idea, and fans rally up as they brawl more. Each man fires up, and that headbutt rocks Hiromu into a Tree of Woe. Lee stands up, SUPER WOE STOMPS! Hiromu hits apron and then ground, and fans lose their minds all over again. Both men are down as a new 20 count begins. They stir at 6, but doesn’t stand until 9.

Lee gets on the apron, but Hiromu grabs him for the powerbomb! The count climbs, but Hiromu flounders around. They both get in at 19.5! Hiromu and Lee are already so sore, but somehow both stand up. Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline, then whips. Lee reverses to clothesline, but Hiromu reels him into a wheelbarrow German Suplex! Hiromu keeps going, but runs into a rebound German! Yet he springs up to German Lee back! But so does Lee! Hiromu Germans Lee again, but Lee gets up to give it back! Fans chant “Suplex City!” as Hiromu gives Lee another! Lee flounders, but he still goes towards Hiromu. Lee grabs Hiromu for yet another German suplex! Hiromu clotheslines, but Lee knee strikes into another German Suplex! SUPERKICK from Hiromu, then German! Lee Reverse-ranas, but runs into a massive clothesline!

Both men are down but the fans are loving it all! They chant “New Japan!” to show appreciation to the promotion bringing this to us. Fans rally up as both men stir, but a 10 count begins. Lee gets up with ropes while Hiromu gets up on his own. They go back towards each other, and trade sharp chops. Back and forth they go, sharper and sharper. Hiromu staggers but still comes back with a chop. Then he dares Lee to do the same, so Lee does! Both men drop to a knee from the stinging pain, but they don’t back off for long. They chop more, more, more, faster, harder, sharper! Fans are loving the endless chop fight going on in the ring. They shift to slaps now, then as hove. Hiromu and Lee trade blocks, but Lee gets the knee. Lee runs but into the overhead throw!

Hiromu grins before he lifts Lee, for a fireman’s slam! Cover, TWO! Hiromu drags Lee up again, but Lee slips out. Lee lifts Hiromu for a suplex but Hiromu slips out to SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, but into Spanish Fly! Cover, TWO! Both men are down from exhaustion now, but fans rally up. Lee grabs Hiromu, but Hiromu headscissors out of the suplex, into the triangle hold! Lee resists, deadlifts, and powerbombs! But Hiromu holds on! Lee endures as he tries another deadlift, then shifts it to a Dragon Driver!

Fans lose their minds over the impact to Hiromu’s head, but Lee shows no mercy. Lee brings Hiromu up again, for a suplex to sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives while Lee grows frustrated. Fans rally up while Lee brings Hiromu up. Lee knee lifts, then bomb lifts, but Hiromu pops out for a Destroyer! Cover, TWO!! But the Time Bomb still has more to give as he brings Lee up, fro THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion

This explosive feud was intense even before the bell. But in the end, the eccentric champion retains against one of his fiercest rivals in the world. Will Hiromu’s second reign last a long time with heart like that?

 

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: Jay White VS Juice Robinson!

The Switchblade snatched the belt from the inaugural champion, Kenny Omega, while the Flamboyant One has tried but failed to grab a title for himself again and again. The Switchblade upped the animosity between him and Juice, vowing Juice will walk away with nothing! Or will the actual American in this match be the first American to finally hold this title?

But there’s a special rule: Juice cannot use his cast as a weapon, on grounds of a disqualification. In other words, Juice might as well be fighting with one less hand. But Juice doesn’t care, he’s confident he’ll win even with just one hand. The belt is presented, both men are checked, and we begin!

White mocks the bad hand, so Juice tackles him and uses the good hand! White turns it around to throw hands of his own, but Juice turns it back again. They separate, and Juice crossbodies White out with him! Fans chant for Juice as he aims from the apron for the flying clothesline! Juice dusts himself off and puts White into railings. White clutches his arm but Juice is back on him. Juice throws White into railings and it crashes into the timekeeper’s area! Juice holds that belt, and says the timekeepers are just holding onto it for him. He then puts White back in the ring, and prepares his good hand. White stands, and Juice jabs away. “Juice! Juice!” echoes out, but he can’t use the left, so he just chops White.

White gets to a corner, and Juice hits a corner clothesline. But then White suplexes Juice out to the floor! Juice clutches his neck while White regroups. White goes out to fetch Juice, and put him into railings in return! The railing almost flies away with that impact. White mocks Juice’s fist pump while fans boo and jeer. White digs Juice out of the wreckage to then chop him across the chest. He then throw Juice into the timekeeper’s area, and practically bowls the table and chairs over! White eggs the fans on as they boo and jeer. The referee, Red Shoes, reprimands White and wants him to put this in the ring. Fans chant “You Suck!” at White as he puts Juice in. White suplexes Juice into buckles, then covers. TWO, but White is only annoyed.

White goes back to Juice with clubbing forearms across that back. He then tortures the bad hand with the wristlock and finger stretching. He even stands on and, while flipping everyone off, stomps said bad hand! Juice crawls, but White is on him. White hammerlocks for the scoop slam to beat up that bad hand. Fans jeer White but White responds with another middle finger. White brings Juice back up for another hammerlock. He tortures the arm while fans rally up for Juice. Juice gets to a corner but White keeps on the arm. Juice reverses and jabs with the good hand. He headbutts, but misses the kick. He elbows out of the waistlock, though, only to end up in a saido suplex! Fans boo White more, but he doesn’t care as he brings Juice over for a Muda Lock. He even uses the bad hand to choke Juice!

Fans rally for Juice as he endures the hold. Juice crawls as best as he can, and reaches for the ropes. White wrenches but Juice gets the ropebreak! White lets go at 3, but goes after Juice on the apron. He has Juice between ropes to throw EuroUpper after EuroUpper, then chops. He chops Juice again, then again, then again. White does not let up on Juice, but Juice tells him to “Eat sh*t!” White chops again, then runs, to EuroUpper Juice right out of the ropes. Fans boo and jeer White more, but White keeps mocking Juice. White waits for Juice to stand, and then copies the jabs. He jabs and jabs, then winds up the right, but Juice chops back! White chops, so Juice chops again. They go again, and White falls to a knee, only to wring out the arm.

White drags Juice back up, but runs into a spinebuster! Fans rally while both men get to corners. Juice runs in for the big clothesline. Juice gives a discus clothesline, then runs, but into a complete shot! White drags Juice up with a German Suplex! Bridge, TWO, but White goes after the bad arm with the Fujiwara! Juice endures the bend from elbow to fingers, but White makes it a modified Rings of Saturn on top. White tortures both arms, but Juice uses his legs for the ropebreak. Juice slips out of the ring but White pursues. White rams Juice into a post, then snap suplexes him into railing! The impact is so hard, it knocks JR out of his seat at commentary! Not that White cares, he just mocks JR and Josh. Josh is about to get in there himself!

White keeps his distance, and JR just wants to find his hat. Red Shoes tries to calm Josh down, but fans let White know he’s an “As*hole!” Josh returns to commentary, but White keeps on Juice. He yanks Juice into a post, then brings out chairs. White prepares a chair like a vice on Juice’s hand! White swings the other chair, but Juice gets his hand out in time! Juice swings at White, but only SMACKS the post. White goes after Juice with another saido suplex! White returns into the ring to refresh the count, then brings Juice up again. Juice grabs White with a headlock and elbows away on White. White clubs Juice back, then reels Juice in for another suplex. Juice slips out, to SPIENBUSTER White onto the apron! Fans are loving the intensity, and rally up for Juice again.

Red Shoes checks on both men, but somehow both men are okay to continue. Juice gets up and into the ring, but White grabs the bad hand. Fans chant “Juice S A!” while White and Juice end up on the apron. White brings Juice up, but Juice swings, only to end up in a complete shot on the apron. White gets up and deadlifts Juice, but Juice grabs ropes. Juice fights for his life, but White clubs away. White pulls but Juice holds on with all he has. The two keep fighting, but Juice elbows White away. Juice then switches, to a SUPER Russian Leg Sweep!! They crash and burn on the ground, and a 20 count begins. Neither man stirs until about 10, and don’t stand until 17! Juice gets in, but White barely makes it at 19.9.

Both men are crawling while fans rally up. They stand in opposite corners, Juice CANNONBALLS! Juice hoists White onto the top rope, then headbutts before climbing up. Fans fire up while Juice prepares something. SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! But Juice is not deterred, he has something left. He brings White up, turns him around, but the Unprettier is countered into an armlock! Juice crawls to the ropes and gets the break. White won’t let go, he just throws elbow after elbow! Red Shoes finally gets him to stop, but that doesn’t stop White’s egotistical posing. White brings Juice up, but Juice slips out of the Blade Runner. Juice goes to punch, but Red Shoes reminds him of using the cast! This distraction allows White to EuroUpper, but backslide counter! TWO, Blade– No, Pulp- No, White shoves Juice at Red Shoes! LOW BLOW!

Juice collapses and Red Shoes saw nothing. White runs in, but Juice dodges. Cast hand punch!! Red Shoes still didn’t see it, so Juice gets away with it. Juice drags White back up, turns him, PULP FRICTION!! Cover, TWO?!!? How!? Juice can’t understand why he’s still so far away from the title. But fans rally up for him, they believe in him. Juice stands and fires up! He brings White up, wants it again, but White hits the bad hand. White grabs Juice in the Half-Nelson Suplex! Then, he dodges the left hand for ANOTHER! White calls for his end, and brings Juice up again. Roll up! JUICE WINS!!

Winner: Juice Robinsin, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion

The first American for the American championship!! White’s ego got the better of him, and now Juice is the third-ever IWGP USHC! Juice is so happy, he hugs Red Shoes. White refuses to accept this, but the referee’s decision is final. Red Shoes officially gives Juice the belt, and the celebration truly begins! Will this title’s first American bring it to new heights?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kenny Omega VS Cody w/ Brandi Rhodes & Bernard the Business Bear!

The Bullet Club has been through many transitions since forming as a faction. From the founding Prince Devitt to the Phenomenal AJ Styles to the current iteration, it has been one of the strongest factions in NJPW. But with The Cleaner having finally climbed the mountain, he is ready to settle things with the would-be leader, The American Nightmare. Omega is the face of pro-wrestling today, but will the Son of the Son of a Plumber ruin the dream already?

The belt is presented while fans chant “The! Elite! The the Elite!” Fans are definitely more on Omega’s side than Cody’s. For that matter, The Bucks are on Omega’s side more than Cody’s. The bell rings, and we begin.

Omega and Cody stare down, but Cody is again bothered by so many more people being on Omega’s side than on his. They circle, testing each other. Cody shoots a look at The Bucks, but the Bucks just shrug. What did he expect them to do? Cody and Omega circle again and finally tie up. They go around with waistlocks and standing switches, but Cody goes after the hand. Omega reverses, but Cody thumbs the eyes. Fans boo while Cody gruffly acknowledges the ropebreak. They back off, and fans boo and jeer Cody while Omega checks his eyes. The fans aren’t very nice to Cody, either. But Cody just takes it out on Omega as they tie up again.

They go back to a corner, and Omega honors the break. Cody doesn’t with that shove, but Omega keeps from retaliating. The two circle again, tie up, and Omega gets the headlock. Cody powers out, but Omega knocks him back with a shoulder. Cody pie-faces Omega so Omega kicks back. Now Cody gets the headlock but Omega powers out. Cody runs Omega over with the shoulder, and motions that the belt will be his. Things speed up and Omega hip tosses. Cody kicks back then headlock takeover but Omega headscissors. Omega headlocks but Cody reverses. Omega powers out to then chop Cody sharp. Cody slips out of the back suplex, kick to dropping uppercut. Omega ends up outside the ring, but Cody pursues.

Cody punches Omega around the way, then bumps Omega off the apron. Fans still curse out Cody, and that distracts him. Omega hits Cody, but Cody rams Omega into the apron. Cody puts Omega in the ring, then stalks him. Cody chops Omega in a corner, then chops again. Omega turns it around to chop back even sharper. Omega goes to chop a third time but Cody turns it around. Cody whips corner to corner but Omega reverses. Omega runs in but Cody goes up and over to hit the spinning powerslam. Cover, TWO! Cody keeps his cool while he gets back up.

Cody brings Omega up for a headlock and punches. Omega’s eye is bugging him, but he still reels Cody into a waistlock. Cody elbows out then runs, to duck the boot. Omega elbows back to dropkick the legs out. Omega runs, Kotaro Crusher bulldog! Cody rolls out of the ring, but the Terminator rises. Brandi coaches Cody up, but Omega builds sped. Cody uses Brandi as a shield! But he still get a dropkick. Omega slingshots but misses, and Brandi taunts him. Cody builds speed, to FLY! His springboard splash takes Omega out.

Cody hears the fans boo and jeer again, but he ends up arguing with The Bucks over putting things back in the ring. Cody instead throws Omega into barriers. He then takes off the weight belt, but simply tosses it to Matt. Cody whips Omega to the barriers near the timekeeper’s area instead. Omega boots back, then throws Cody over into the timekeeper’s area. Cody is on the table, but Omega uses the railings to springboard stomp him through it! Fans lose their minds at that one!

Omega regroups with the Bucks, to bring out another table! The Bucks don’t seem to want this either, but the fans sure do! Cody digs himself out of the wreckage, but Omega has the table set up. Omega puts Cody on it with forearms and chops, then climbs up into the ring. Omega takes aim, springboards, but Cody gets away. Luckily Omega saw it in time and he stops himself. But when he comes over to fetch Cody, Cody shoves the table into the ribs! Those ribs were banged up at Dominion, so Omega is a bit slow to returning to the ring. Cody kicks him on reentry, then clotheslines to complete shot! Cover, TWO!

Cody is frustrated, and he tries again, TWO. Omega gets to ropes but Cody is on him. Cody stretches Omega back against the ropes, then brings Omega over for clubbing forearms. He drives an elbow into Omega’s head, and then big body shots into those ribs. Fans duel while Cody throws Omega with an X-Plex. Cover, TWO, but Cody keeps Omega grounded. Cody shows off with push-ups, which fans boo and jeer. Omega chops Cody, but Cody puts Omega’s leg on the rope to kick the thigh. Cody drags Omega up while shouting at the Bucks. Cody snapmares then cravats Omega on the mat.

Omega endures while fans rally up. Omega pries his way out of the hold, then kicks Cody in the head. He clubs Cody int he back, then throws forearms. Cody knees low and whips, but Omega reverses into fireman’s carry. “You Can’t Escape”, but Cody does. Even so, Omega gets Cody with headscissors! Cody rolls out and tips over the table for good measure. Omega builds speed, to FLY! He wipes Cody out with the tope conjilo. Omega gets back up and puts Cody in the ring. Fans fire up as Omega climbs. Cody stands, and gets the missile dropkick to the back! Omega drags Cody up, cross-leg fisherman neckbreaker!

But Omega isn’t done there, as he loads up and BANG! Omega runs, but Cody dodges the Vi-Trigger. Waistlock but standing switch, V-Trigger at point blank. Omega tries the wristlock but Cody standing switches. Cody German Suplexes but Omega lands on his feet, another point-blank V-Trigger! Omega brings Cody up, Snap Dragon Suplex! Cody is dazed, but Omega is far from done with him. Cody elbows out of the full nelson, but they standing switch around, Cody copies the Snap Dragon! Both men crawl towards each other, and start throwing forearms. Cody kicks low, then throws forearms. Omega hits back, but Cody still comes back. Omega fires off three, then a boot. He runs, sunset flip, but Cody rolls through to Figure Four!

Omega endures the legendary hold, and fans rally up. Omega works to roll it over, but Cody holds it in place. Cody throws a haymaker, but so does Omega. They go back and forth, brawling while the leg hold is on. Cody wrenches the Figure Four but Omega starts slapping him. Cody slaps back, but Omega slaps harder. Omega then turns it over! Now Cody endures the pain! Cody gets the ropebreak, and the two separate. Fans rally up again while Cody bails out of the ring. Brandi checks on him, but Omega has since pulled out a ladder! The Bucks are definitely not for this. But Cody has himself a chair! This isn’t a TLC match, but it’s becoming one.

Omega puts the ladder in the ring while Cody has his chair. Red Shoes stops Cody from using the chair, so Cody just scoop slams Omega on that ladder! Cody positions the ladder to his liking, sticking it out from the apron. He goes over to Omega, but Omega resists with body shots. Omega suplexes but Cody fights out. Cody lifts, gordbuster ON the ladder! Matt & Nick check on Omega, but he’s somehow okay to continue. Cody puts the ladder all the way in the ring, then embraces the heat. Red Shoes reprimands him as he brings Omega up and puts him into the timekeeper’s railing. The railing also hits the ring announcer, so it’s not just Omega in pain.

Cody grabs the table and brings it back. The Bucks keep trying to talk sense into these tow, but neither man is listening. Cody stands the ladder up. Omega sees it as he rests against the table. Cody bumps Omega off the table, then sets him on the wood. He shoves the Bucks out of the way, but they take offense to that. Red Shoes keeps Matt from disqualifying this match, though you have to question the TLC element. Cody climbs, but Omega follows! The Bucks shout for them to climb down, but they instead brawl atop the steel. Fans chant “Please Don’t Die!” as both men teeter. Cody slaps, Omega SLAPS. Omega tells the Bucks to get back, because he grabs Cody for a… SUPER SUPERPLEX! But from CODY!

They crash land in the ring rather than through table, but it’s still just as crazy. Cody and Omega crawl for each other, “This is Awesome!” Cody covers, TWO!! But barely, as Omega only gets the one shoulder. Fans rally up for them again, but it’s Cody who rolls out. He asks Brandi for help walking over. She obliges, but he’s not retreating. Cody snatches the belt, and holds it up like it’s already his. The Bucks still try to reason with him, but it’s futile.

Cody brings the belt in, and aims at Omega. Red Shoes stops Cody, and Omega pounces with the Reverse-Rana! Omega stands up, reloads, but then Cody resists the electric chair. Cody shoves Omega into Red Shoes, but Omega shoves Red Shoes out of the way for safety. Beautiful Disaster kick! But no ref means no count, so no point in covering. However, it also means no rules, so Cody picks up the belt. Cody aims at Omega, but the Bucks plead with him not to. Fans boo and jeer, so Cody skips the bet. He wants Cross Rhodes but Omega slips out. Omega swings, full nelson into CROSS RHODES! Red Shoes returns, Cody covers, TWO!!

Everyone is down, and that includes Red Shoes. The Bucks take this time to get that ladder out of the ring, they don’t want this to go overboard any further. Cody stands up and grabs Omega. Omega slips out and whips Cody into a V-Trigger! He loads, BANG, V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, electric chair, but Cody reverses into Di– No, heel kick from Omega to Cody! Then, corner to corner V-Trigger! Omega keeps going, powerbomb lift, Doctor Bomb! TWO, so V-Trigger! Omega shows no mercy as he gives another V-Trigger! And with a running start, Cody blocks that Trigger, but only for a moment. Omega double underhooks but Cody resists. Omega backslides but Cody rolls through, V-Trigger again! Cover, TWO!

Both men are down from exhaustion, but fans are loving this. The Terminator drums begin, and Omega stands first. He brings Cody up, but Cody still resists the electric chair. Omega clubs away on the back, then electric chair lifts. He spins Cody around, but Cody resists. Even so, POWERBOMB THROUGH THE TABLE!! The table didn’t break, but maybe Cody did. The Bucks and Red Shoes check on Cody while Omega catches his breath in the ring. Brandi also checks on Cody, but Omega continues to show no mercy. The 20 count begins, and Omega brings Cody up and over at 8. Fans cheer, because they appreciate Omega wants to win this in the ring.

Omega reloads, BANG, but Brandi becomes Cody’s shield again. It’s her husband, after all, and she doesn’t want him to take any more damage. But even Cody says she needs to exit the ring, this is still a match. Omega BANG, then runs, but into a BIG lariat from Cody! Cody is too far away and too sore for a cover, though, and Omega gets up first. Cody follows, but Omega hits first. They trade forearms back and forth, then shift to chops. Omega brings it back to forearms, but Cody shoves. Cody runs into a V-Trigger, then Omega gives another. Omega double underhooks, butterfly piledriver! Cover, TWO!? Cody shows heart, but Omega shows his mean-streak, with another V-Trigger. Omega lifts Cody in the electric chair, One-Winged Angel! Cover, Omega wins!

Winner: Kenny Omega, by pinfall; still IWGP Heavyweight Champion

The Best Match Machine succeeds in his first ever defense of the top title. He fought so hard to get it, and he fought hard to keep it. Cody himself fought hard in trying to take it, but was just not strong enough. Omega takes Cody’s hand and helps him up to his feet, and the fans applaud the sportsmanship. The two look each other in the eyes, but not a word is said. Brandi helps Cody exit while Omega raises the belt in victory. Does this match mark the end of the Civil War?

Omega speaks.

“This is my first title defense as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. I’m proud that I could do it in a legendary building such as the Cow Palace.” But most importantly, he’s proud he could do it in front of these fans. Omega didn’t understand before how a line forms to knock the champion down. But they’re all human, they’re all deserving of second chances. Even Cody deserves one, and this effort tonight was “nothing short of valiant.”

Whether it be a pro-wrestler, an idol, or someone working at the popcorn stand, we all need to be given the very best life possible. Omega promises to give us the very best matches against anyone and everyone on the roster. There was speculation that this show wouldn’t go well, but from what he can tell, this place is full and the fans were lively as Hell. So thank you for everything, but he must now bid you adieu. “Good-bye, mwah, and good-night BANG.” This new chapter for Omega’s NJPW is just beginning. The rest of Bullet Club meets The Elite on the ramp to celebrate and throw up Too Sweets! But then Tama Tonga attacks?!

It’s a coup! The chief of the Tongan sub-faction and his brother and father beat down Omega in the ring!! Gun-Stun Bomb!! The Civil War is far from over, as Haku & GoD beat down the Bucks. But here comes Hangman! Hangman fights off the Tongans, but only for so long. Loa runs him over, then scoops him for a slam. So here comes Scurll! He has his umbrella and he tees off, until Tonga gets him with Gun-Stun. The Bucks are back up, but Haku knocks them back down. Tonga says “You did this!” to Omega, as if it’s his fault.

The other members, Yujiro & Chase Owens, come out to try and sort this out. But it seems not even they are safe! Loa saido suplexes Yujiro, then Chase gets hit with the spinning neckbreaker! The Tongans don’t stop here, as they bring in the chairs from the main event to SMACK anyone that moves. Haku then gives Omega the throat thrust for good measure.

What was meant to be a moment of celebration for all is ruined by this revolting revolution. Fans boo and jeer, but perhaps this is Tama Tonga the OG member bringing The Club back to its roots. Wait, Cody returns! Is he even able to fight in his condition? He hobbles his way to the ring either way, but he’s on Tama Tonga’s side?! NOPE! He attacks the Tongans! Only to get a Stun Gun! Then Omega is fed to Haku, father and sons hit a piledriver on the chair. The Tongan #FiringSquad has just downed the rest of the club without mercy. “This is family! There ain’t no leader!” The silver lining: Cody and Omega are back on the same side. Is this the beginning of a new and even more brutal Civil War?

 


 

My Thoughts:

Simply incredible. NJPW goes for over 4 hours, but all of it was spectacular. As a bonus, their match card went in the order it was advertised where a WWE card feels like it’s on shuffle. The opening 10 Man was a nice opener, and I did not get a hint of foreshadowing towards the end, which makes it even better. Isshi-Yano surprised me, I thought Suzuki-Sabre were going to win again. But I suppose this extends their story, because Ishii VS Suzuki is something I’d watch all the time. Then Hangman & Scurll win, so another point for Bullet Club. It almost resembles Dominion, where that was basically dominated by The Club. I was hoping Cobb would beat Goto, but perhaps it’s too soon for him to win a title in NJPW when he’s just debuted and is unaffiliated.

The Young Bucks score again for Bullet Club, and I loved the parallels and upgrades to the Dominion match. Okada looks odd in gear that isn’t what he was wearing as champion. Good to see him and Ospreay basically bounce back from their losses, but it also makes you wonder where Naito is going from his. At least LIJ still has Hiromu, he and Dragon Lee surprised everyone with all that was going on. Hiromu is definitely best junior right now. That US title match was great, White and Juice brought each other up to new levels. I really thought Josh was gonna beat the crap out of White, but obviously between the kayfabe of commentator and wrestler not being able to get violent, and the result of Juice FINALLY being champion, what we got was the superior choice.

Cody VS Omega was also insane, and the story of the Bucks and even Brandi trying to keep things from going too far was a great touch. In the end, Omega wins because it’d be a shame to end his reign so soon. And of course, that swerve from the Tongans was not expected at all. At least, not here tonight. Tama Tonga hinted at wanting to go against Omega in the past, but to think he’d do it in such riotous fashion with his brother and his father by his side. As I said, great to see Cody is back on the same side with Omega, but I have a feeling that (aside from Bad Luck Fale and possibly Taiji Ishimori) Tama Tonga will bring in more people to his side in order to match who Omega has on his side (The Bucks, Hangman, Scurll, Cody, Chase & Yujiro).

My Score: 9.7/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (2/26/24)

Scores will be settled!

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The Road to WrestleMania gets intense!

Raw has grudge matches on tap as Sami Zayn faces Shinsuke Nakamura, and The New Day faces Imperium in a Tag Team Street Fight!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura; Sami wins.
  • Chelsea Green VS Raquel Rodriguez; Raquel wins.
  • Tag Team Street Fight: The New Day VS Imperium; Imperium wins.
  • Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark VS Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell; Shayna & Zoey win.
  • Nia Jax VS Liv Morgan; Nia wins, by disqualification.
  • Cody Rhodes VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory; Cody wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Dominik Mysterio is in the ring.

San Jose is booing but Dom has the mic to say, “Everyone, please welcome the greatest Women’s World Champion of all time! RHEA RIPLEY!” The fans fire up as Mami makes her way to the ring, and she feels great after retaining her title at Elimination Chamber. Rhea gets the mic to welcome us to “Monday Night Mami!” The fans cheer Mami on and she smiles. Rhea says this weekend, she walked into her home country our Women’s World Champion, and she walked out of it still our Women’s World Champion. Nia Jax might’ve been the biggest threat to her reign, but it doesn’t matter how big you are. Rhea may be from Down Under, but Mami’s always on top! Because she’s Rhea BLOODY Ripley!

Wait! Here comes Becky Lynch! The Man started the Elimination Chamber match, won the Elimination Chamber match, and now she’s here to step to the champion she’ll be facing at WrestleMania! The fans cheer Becky on and she gets a mic now. “The Man has come around to San Jose!” The fans cheer that! Becky says The Man is also coming back around to WrestleMania… to fight Rhea. “But The Man came out here to say congratulations. What a night that you had on Saturday. Hell, what a night we both had on Saturday, hey?” Becky won the Chamber, Rhea successfully defended her title against Nia in her home country, stadium filled and in the main event!

Rhea had her family and friends there, what a moment. And even better, because now they won’t have to fly all the way to WrestleMania to watch her lose. Dom tells Becky “Nobody talks to Mami like that.” Fans boo Dom and Becky tells him to listen to them, “ya dirty kumquat!” Becky was talking to Mami, and if Mami won’t put Dom in his place, The Man will. The fans cheer that! Becky says Rhea is on a hell of a run, one of the most impressive we’ve ever seen. And even though the last year, Rhea has been the face of this company, she’s spent most of the time being fed grapes by this loser.

Meanwhile, Becky has been the backbone, the heart and soul of this company! She became a Grand Slam Champion, all while writing a best-selling book! The Man can do it all, including beating “Rhea Bloody Ripley.” Becky throws down her mic but Rhea asks if she’s done. Yeah? Cool. First off, never disrespect her Latino Heat like that again. Secondly, “congrats” on winning the Chamber. It’s about time Becky stopped disappointing Rhea and actually won something to get even this close to Rhea’s level. Becky says she’s the backbone, but The Man always thinks they’re the backbone of everything.

The funny thing is, that behind every great Man is an even greater woman. But Rhea isn’t behind Becky, because Mami is ALWAYS on top. Rhea drops her mic now but the two still talk some trash. Rhea & Dom leave, title in Mami’s hand. Will Becky leave Philadelphia with that title in hers? WAIT! Nia Jax runs up from the crowd to CLOBBER Becky! Fans boo as Nia HEADBUTTS Becky then dribbles her off the mat! The sore loser drops a leg on Becky! Rhea dares Nia to try her then, but Dom says Nia’s not worth Rhea’s time. Nia drops another leg on Becky! And then she drags Becky to a corner, but refs rush out here!

Fans boo Nia while Adam Pearce tells her to stop this. The producers also get Becky to safety. Pearce says Nia’s getting a fine if she keeps going rogue. Nia backs down, but will she make sure everyone feels her wrath on the Road to WrestleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

Jackie Redmond has caught up with the “heated” Irresistible Force, and asks why Nia attacked Becky. Nia says, “Why? Are you kidding me?” Becky won Chamber but she should NOT be going to WrestleMania over Nia! Nia beat Becky clean, so there’s no way Nia is letting Becky make it to WrestleMania. Then with Mania still weeks away, and Nia having a match with Liv Morgan tonight, will- Nia says whatever just happened to Becky, expect ten times that for Liv. Nia storms off, will she look to end Liv’s revenge tour cold here tonight?

 

Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

Speaking of WrestleMania, The Great Liberator still wants a spot on the Grandest Stage of Them All, even if the path isn’t quite clear. However, the King of Strong Style says Sami just plays it up so people will pity him. Will there be no sympathy from Nakamura as he looks to take that spotlight for his own? Or will Sami get even with Nakamura for their previous match’s controversial finish?

Raw returns and Nakamura makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, Sami wrenches to wristlock, but Nakamura pulls hair to put Sami on ropes. The ref counts, Nakamura lets off slowly, but then he KICKS Sami in the side. Sami goes to a corner, comes back, and they tie up. Nakamura headlocks, Sami powers up and out, things speed up and Sami hurdles to arm-drag! Sami has the armlock and the fans rally up. Nakamura fights to his feet, puts Sami in a corner and throws body shots and knees! The ref reprimands, Nakamura lets off and Sami bails out. Nakamura goes out to kick Sami low!

Nakamura whips Sami, but Sami goes up the barriers to QUEBRADA! Direct hit but perhaps still double-edged for Sami, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Nakamura has Sami in a seated cobra twist! The fans rally, Sami endures and fights with elbows! Sami gets free, he stands up, but Nakamura KICKS him in the side again! Nakamura storms up in a corner, whips corner to corner hard and Sami falls in a heap! Nakamura drags Sami up, fireman’s carries to put him on the top rope, then TOP SHELF KNEES! Nakamura keeps Sami up there, to run and TOP SHELF KNEE again! Cover, TWO! Sami is still in this but Nakamura kicks him around. Nakamura drags Sami up while fans sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLE~!” Nakamura whips, Sami goes up and over and LARIATS!

The fans fire up and Sami grits his teeth to stand. Sami storms up to fire hands on Nakamura! Sami whips, Nakamura reverses to KNEE low! Sami drops, but then he scoops and MICHINOKU DRIVERS! Cover, TWO! Nakamura survives and Sami is stunned! Sami grits his teeth from the pain in his side, and he hauls Nakamura up. Nakamura RAMS Sami into a corner! And again! And again! Nakamura puts Sami up top but Sami CLUBS Nakamura! Sami reels Nakamura in, TORNADO DDT! Fans fire up while Nakamura flounders out of the ring. Sami builds speed but runs into a kitchen sink knee!

Fans boo as Nakamura stalks Sami to the outside. They’re both on the apron, and Nakamura stands Sami up. Nakamura hits an APRON GOURD BUSTER! Sami flops to the floor while Nakamura soaks up the heat, and Raw goes back to break.

Raw returns yet again, Sami blocks a kick but Nakamura fires forearms! Sami fires those back, the two brawl and the fans fire up! Sami gets the edge but Nakamura fires a strike fest! Sami ducks the roundhouse but not the WHEEL KICK! Nakamura goes to a corner and takes aim, KIN- NO, Sami gets around to BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura survives and Sami can’t believe it! Sami watches Nakamura crawl to a corner and then goes to the other side. The fans fire up as Sami runs in, but Nakamura JUMP KNEES! Nakamura then goes up the corner to FLYING KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Sami survives and shocks Nakamura!

The fans fire up as Sami flounders to ropes. “This is Awesome!” as Sami bails out and Nakamura pursues. Nakamura stalks Sami, KICKS him in the side again, and then drapes him along the barriers. Nakamura CLUBS Sami, goes up the steel steps, and FLYING GUILLOTINE KNEES! The fans boo Nakamura while he leaves Sami behind. Sami sputters on the floor as the ring count climbs! We’re past 5 of 10, and then 8! Sami springs up at 9 to slide in at 9.9! KINSHASA!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Sami saves himself by a literal foot, but Nakamura stomps away on him for it! The ref counts, Nakamura argues with him, then goes back to a corner.

Nakamura aims again, “YAO~” but Sami sends Nakamura into buckles! BLINDSIDE HELLUVA KICK!! The fans are thunderous as Sami goes to the far corner! Sami roars, wants Nakamura to get back up, and he runs in again, HELLUVA KICK!! Cover, Sami wins!!

Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall

Sami gets even with Nakamura and gets back on the winning track! Is this just what Sami needs to find his way to WrestleMania?

 

Chelsea Green VS Raquel Rodriguez!

The Hot Mess is always complaining and bringing up issues, and she’s got an issue with the woman who eliminated her from the Last Chance Battle Royal. But will she only end up complaining more when she loses to Raquel 1v1? Or will Chelsea somehow, someway, bring down Big Mami Cool?

Raw returns and Chelsea has the mic to say, “San Joseee~! I’m speaking! Let it be known that tonight, after issuing a formal complaint to WWE Management, I will be competing in protest. That’s right. Last week, I would have won the Last Chance Battle Royal, and I would have gone on to become the most illustrious winner in Elimination Chamber history, had Pea Head Pearce not added that secret, stupid last entrant, Raquel Rodriguez!” Fans cheer Raquel but Chelsea says that was wrong! The people want HER! She’s the star! Raquel flew all that way to Perth, and for what? To lose? HAHA! To be a big dumb loser like the San Jose Sharks!

Fans boo but Chelsea laughs, and then she says after tonight, everyone will SHH when Chelsea proves Raquel is a loser, by kicking her- Oh, wait, here comes Raquel! The bell rings and Chelsea draws a line int he sand, daring Raquel to cross it. Raquel steps right over it! Chelsea draws another line and dares Raquel to cross that. Raquel does! Chelsea SLAPS Raquel out of panic! Then Chelsea apologizes, only to turn and run! But Raquel reels her in, whips her, and Chelsea ducks one lariat, but not the SOUTHPAW! The fans fire up as Raquel drags Chelsea up, scoops her, and hits a FALL AWAY SLAM! The fans fire up as Chelsea staggers back up.

Chelsea bumps into Raquel, and Raquel scoops for another FALL AWAY SLAM! Chelsea flounders, Raquel drags her up and tells her to shush. Raquel hits the TEXANA BOMB! Cover, Raquel wins!

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez, by pinfall

What was that about kicking someone’s butt? Chelsea might still need to figure out how to think before she speaks, but will Raquel let her actions do the talking for her on this Road to WrestleMania?

 

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

Jackie congratulates him on the big win over Shinsuke. They’ve been talking for weeks now about adversity, and Mania is 40 days away. How much did Sami need tonight’s win? “Need” is an understatement to Sami. He’s been bottling stuff up for weeks now, trying to keep his cool, but this has been in his mind all week. A loss tonight, he couldn’t even tell you what it would’ve done not just to his path to WrestleMania, but to him emotionally. It would’ve perhaps disproved his claims of being a contender. But he doesn’t need to worry about that, because this win reaffirms what he’s been saying!

The belief in himself, the fire inside, he IS a contender and will be a champion, and that his path to Mania will come to him. And if it doesn’t, then he will go out and he will find it himself. Because this isn’t the first time nor the last that- Imperium walks over. Ludwig Kaiser looks Sami up and down, then scoffs and moves on. Giovanni Vinci smirks as he walks right past Sami, and then Gunther walks by. Gunther looks Sami in the eyes, then looks him over. Gunther laughs then leaves. Does Der Ring General not think Sami is a contender? Will Sami prove him wrong?

 

Backstage interview with Cody Rhodes.

Cathy Kelley is with the American Nightmare and says he made big news at Elimination Chamber by calling The Rock out for a 1v1 match. A lot of people question if that was smart given Cody’s match with Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Cody isn’t sure it was smart, either, but it’s simple: The Rock slapped Cody, Cody challenged him to a match for anywhere, anytime, and we await the rebuttal this Friday Night SmackDown. Then for tonight, Cody has a match with Grayson Waller, how does he see that going? Cody asks back, “Do you like Grayson Waller? Right? No. You don’t have to answer that right now.”

But Cody has been watching Waller. Waller won the Iron Survivor Challenge, has tons of skills, and not just on the mic. But if anything, Waller should certainly like Cody. The first time Cody was on the Grayson Waller Effect, he brought Jey Uso back to the WWE. And this past time, in front of over 50 THOUSAND people in Waller’s home country, Cody called out The Rock. And tonight, Waller gets his very first Monday Night Raw main event against Cody, and finds out first hand. Cody thanks Cathy for the time then heads out. Will the American Nightmare completely neutralize the Grayson Waller Effect tonight?

 

Imperium goes to the ring.

Ahead of their Street Fight match, Imperium is here so Der Ring General can speak. However, the fans boo so he waits it out. Gunther smiles and says, “After successfully defeating Jey Uso last week, I am standing here still your greatest and longest reigning Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion of all time!” Fans are torn on that, but Gunther continues by saying that he has to be honest, it was very, very close. Jey almost had Gunther beat, and Gunther actually felt it slipping away from him for the first time. But let’s be honest, he got lucky. Nobody’s perfect! But Gunther is still very, very close to it.

And before Kaiser & Vinci “outclass” The New Day, Gunther wants to address his future! Understand that over 600 days, Gunther has worked hard, putting his heart, soul and body into making this title into the most prestigious in this company! Fans do cheer that. “And I’ve beaten everybody along the way to achieve this.” Which leaves one question: Who will be Gunther’s opponent for WrestleMania? Fans have different ideas, but Gunther says he has seen all the ridiculous claims! Sami Zayn? Fans cheer that name! Chad Gable? “A THANK YEW~!” The Miz?! Fans cheer again. Gunther says it gets worse! He even sees people want R-Truth!

Fans really cheer for Truth, but wait! The Judgment Day makes their way out here? Finn Balor & Damian Priest are still Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions after defeating “New Catch Republic,” Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne, and they’re leading the way, JD McDonagh & Dirty Dom right behind. These four step into the ring to stand across from Imperium, and the fans are torn seeing these seven stare down. Priest says, “Big Bad Gunther. We don’t sweat you, man. Although you’ve have quite the dominant run, second only to the run The Judgment Day is on.” Priest hopes Gunther was watching Chamber as Judgment Day ran the table.

And Judgment Day plans to do it again at WrestleMania. Except, they plan on adding even more gold! Priest tells Gunther in Spanish, and then in English, that they mean the Intercontinental Championship. Gunther says since they’re not cashing in the MITB briefcase, who is it gonna be then? Finn Balor? Big headed JD? Who? DOM steps up!? Fans boo and Gunther almost laughs again. Dom tells Gunther, even as fans boo louder, that when Dirty Dom and the Judgment Day say they’re gonna do something, they mean it. And that means that the Intercontinental Championship now belongs to them.

Gunther still grins at Dom, and then pushes him back. Judgment Day keeps Priest back, and Gunther dares someone to do something then. Priest says they’ll be taking that title one way or another, and Gunther doesn’t stand a chance. Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” and Senor MITB throws off his vest, but Finn and the boys keep him back. Gunther holds up the belt, will nothing stop him from continuing his historic reign? Or will WrestleMania be his judgment day?

 

Judgment Day regroups backstage.

Priest has cooled off, and Mami asks what Dom is doing stepping to Gunther of all people! Dom says he’s got this! Well, he better. Rhea heads out again, and Finn tells Dom that he really should smooth things over. Dom agrees, but encounters Andrade on the way. Dom says long time no see, and Andrade says hey, kid. Dom says he has to smooth things over first, but good seeing him. Wait, wait, wait. Andrade has a meeting with Pearce to discuss his first opponent. See you soon, huh? Yeah, maybe. Dom wishes Andrade luck, but will the Prodigal Son have to face El Idolo before getting to Der Ring General?

 

Tag Team Street Fight: The New Day VS Imperium!

After almost two years of fighting back and forth, these two top level teams are putting things to rest! No disqualifications, no count outs, and no limitations on what they’re allowed to do, who will prove they are the superior team once and for all?

The New Day make their entrance, and Imperium rushes out of the ring to attack! They brawl on the ramp and the bell sounds while fans fire up! The New Day are dressed in San Jose Sharks uniforms, which the fans appreciate, and the brawl goes up to the stage. Kaiser ROCKS Kofi, Vinci kicks Woods, but New Day hits back with haymakers. Vinci sends Woods into the LED  screen! Kaiser UPPERCUTS Kofi! Then Vinci DECKS Kofi! Kaiser rains down fists on Kofi, Vinci stomps him, but the fans rally for New Day. Kaiser drags Kofi up, feeds him to Vinci, but Woods has Francesca MK II Turbo! And he CRACKS Ludwig with her!

Woods uses the slide to SMASH Vinci, and then Kofi uses the horn piece to SMASH Kaiser! Woods uses the broken pieces to beat up on Kaiser! The brawl goes back to ringside, Kofi throws headbutts! Woods ROCKS Vinci, then helps Kofi go looking under the ring. San Jose fires up as New Day brings out a TABLE! But Imperium CLOBBERS The New Day! The fans boo as there’s no furniture yet, Imperium puts New Day in the ring. New Day DECKS Imperium off the apron! The fans fire up as New Day builds speed and they DOUBLE DIVE! Kofi wipes out Kaiser, Woods wrecks Vinci with a dropkick, and the fans fire up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and the brawl is now in the crowd! Kofi ROCKS Kaiser, Vinci ROCKS Kofi, but Woods SMASHES a beer can on Vinci! The fans fire up as this keeps on moving, and Woods headlocks Vinci to bring him away. Kaiser ROCKS Kofi, Woods dumps Vinci back to ringside, but Kaiser sends Kofi into barriers! Woods CHOPS Vinci, Kaiser ELBOWS Kofi in the forehead! Vinci hits an APRON BACK SUPLEX on Woods! Kaiser GAMANGIRIS Kofi down! Fans want tables, but Imperium doesn’t care as they put Woods in the ring. Kaiser goes looking under the ring, and he brings out a table after all! Only to put it right back!

Fans boo but Kaiser gets himself a chair. Vinci drags Woods up, Kaiser aims and JAMS Woods in the ribs! Then SMACKS him on the back! Kaiser talks trash while fans boo, but Kaiser and Vinci sit Woods up. PENALTY KICK! Kaiser drags Woods, puts him in the ropes, and Vinci adds a chair to the mix. Vinci & Kaiser go side to side and back again, FULL METAL DOUBLE DROPKICK in the corner! Woods sputters as he falls from corner to floor! Kofi returns and he HOTSHOTS Kaiser, GAMANGIRIS Vinci, and he goes up top! DOUBLE CROSSBODY! The fans fire up as Kofi keeps going, and he RUSSIAN LEG SWEEPS Vinci!

Kaiser runs up, but Kofi scoops and SLAMS him onto Vinci! The fans fire up as Kofi runs for the NEW~ DAY~ Boom Drop! Kaiser gets away but Kofi clinches him! Kofi and Kaiser throw elbows, then Kofi drags Kaiser down. Kofi DECKS Kaiser, then hurries to get that table! The fans are thunderous as Kofi sets it up and brings Kaiser around. But Vinci makes the save! Imperium DOUBLE SUPLEX Kofi into the ring! But Woods is back to SHOTGUN Kaiser, and mule kick Vinci! Woods fires off, Vinci kicks and CHOPS! Woods falls, Vinci stomps him out of the ring. Vinci & Kaiser regroup, Kaiser has kendo sticks!

Kaiser SMACKS Woods, then hands one to Vinci. Vinci and Kaiser DOUBLE SMACK Woods again and again and again! They stretch Woods across steel steps, and Kaiser gets space! Fans boo as Kaiser runs in, but Kofi JUMP KNEES first! Vinci LARIATS Kofi! But Woods waits on Vinci in the ring! Vinci ducks ‘n’ dodges to CROSSBODY! Vinci gets the kendo stick to SMACK away on Woods again and again and again! Kaiser has the chair and he SMACKS Woods, too! Fans boo as Imperium stands tall, and Raw goes back to break.

Raw returns again and Imperium RAMS Woods into barriers! Kaiser smirks, turns around, ARMCHAIR ATTACK! Kofi takes Kaiser down with that, then BOOTS Vinci! Kofi whips Vinci into steel steps! Fans fire up as Kofi puts Kaiser in the ring, stalks him, and Woods is there, too! Now New Day has the kendo sticks! The fans fire up again as Kaiser realizes the trouble he’s in! The New Day SMACKS away on Kaiser again and again and again! The kendo sticks are coming apart! The fans are thunderous as Woods tells Kofi, “GET THE TABLES~!” Kofi & Woods go out, stomp Imperium down, then find a table under the ring!

New Day sets the table up at ringside, then Woods CLUBS Vinci. Woods brings Vinci over, Kofi throws some hands, then they put Vinci on the table. The fans rally up as Woods climbs up a corner! Woods aims, the fans are on their feet, and Woods SUPER MACHO ELBOWS through the table!! Vinci writhes while Kofi & Woods roar! They haul Vinci out of the wreckage, put him in the ring, and Woods climbs again. Kofi hits a BACKBREAKER, Woods adds a KNEE DROP! Cover, Kaiser yanks the ref away!! The fans boo but Kaiser gets away with that one, but Kofi KENDO STICK DIVES! Down goes Kaiser!

Vinci flounders out of the ring, a red line of blood on his back from where the table got him. Kofi puts Kaiser in so he and Woods can kick him around! The fans know “This is Awesome!” as New Day drags Kaiser to his feet. Woods scoops Kaiser, Kofi climbs up, but Vinci rises! Vinci SHOVES Kofi down through a table!! The one from earlier! Woods ELBOWS Kaiser away, grabs at Vinci, Vinci SMACKS Woods with a cookie sheet! Kaiser RAMS Woods into a chair wedged in a corner!! Roll up, Imperium wins!!

Winners: Imperium, by pinfall

The New Day brought the fight but they lost the fight! Will Kofi & Woods be able to rebound from this crushing defeat? Will Kaiser & Vinci look to confront Judgment Day over the titles Finn & Priest have?

 

Adam Pearce is on the phone.

He talks with Bronson Reed, and says this isn’t the first phone call he’s had just like this. But yes, “it” is on the front of everyone’s mind, Pearce will address it soon enough. But congratulations on the newborn baby, see you soon. Pearce finishes the call, Chad Gable walks in and they shake hands. Gable over Ivar was a hell of a win, congratulations. Oh, well A THANK YEW~ then. But Gable just wants momentum going to WrestleMania. And speaking of, we all know Gunther wants an opponent going into the big show. Everyone will be coming to Pearce with their reasons why they’re the guy.

Gable has reasons of his own. He comes here as not just a competitor but as a father. Last time Gable faced Gunther, he was this close to taking the title. But that’s not what haunts him. What haunts Gable is that Gunther reduced Gable’s daughter to tears, and laughed at her misery! Gable needs to make this right. Gable’s reasons are honest. To anyone else, this match would be about the title. But for Gable, this means more. Pearce sees that. He has a lot to think about. Who will be in the running for a shot at Der Ring General?

 

Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark VS Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell!

Speaking of title chases, The Queen of Spades & The Hunter are hot on the trail of Damage CTRL! Will Shayna & Stark be primed for their shot at Asuka & Kairi Sane? Or will the Poison Pixie & #IndiWrestling find the way to a rematch from Elimination Chamber?

Raw returns as Indi & Candice make their entrance. The teams sort out and Candice starts against Shayna. Shayna runs up, Candice dodges to kick a leg out and ENZIGIRI! Then STEP-UP SENTON! Candice hurries to BLAST Zoey, then she dodges Shayna to back body block! Candice goes out to CANNONBALL Zoey! The fans fire up as Candice then avoids Shayna’s shoulder to KNEE her away! Step-in TORNADO- NO, Shayna SLAMS Candice outta the DDT and KNEES her down! Candice is dazed but Shayna stands on her arm! Shayna lets her hair down and STOMPS Candice’s elbow! Tag to Zoey and Zoey storms right up.

Zoey wrenches and YANKS the bad arm, then YANKS it again. Zoey steps over to HIP DROP the elbow, then she stalks Candice to ropes. Zoey wraps the bad arm around ropes and pulls! Zoey grinds forearms into Candice’s face while saying she’s a nobody! Zoey whips Candice into buckles hard, then grinds her forearms in again! The ref counts, Zoey lets off, and she brings Candice up for an INVERTED EXPLODER! Cover, TWO! Candice stays in there but Zoey pushes her around. Zoey stands Candice up but into a CODE BREAKER! Hot tag to Indi and the fans rally up! Indi dodges Zoey in the ropes to UPPERCUT and BOOT her away!

Indi hurries in, LARIATS Zoey, BLASTS Shayna, and LARIATS Zoey again! Indi CLUBS, DECKS and then stalks Zoey. Zoey swings, Indi dodges, but Shayna tags in before the SPINEBUSTER! Indi roars, but Shayna grabs her! KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! Indi taps, Shayna & Zoey win!

Winners: Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark, by submission

The Queen of Spades & The Hunter put away Candice & Indi faster than Asuka & Kairi did, will this be more than enough to name them the next contenders? Or will not even Shayna & Zoey be ready for DMG CTRL?

 

R-Truth is in the Judgment Day clubhouse?

And then he’s joined by The Miz and “DX,” aka DIY. They all sit down and Miz asks what Truth is even doing here. Well, Judgment Day’s gone for the night. He doesn’t want them to see him like this, but he was reminiscing about all the good times. Johnny Gargano says Truth’s always cheering them up, so they’ll return the favor. They’ll get revenge on The Judgment Day. And speaking of, Ciampa has a plan. Are you ready? What? He said… Are…! You…! Ready!? Oh, Truth gets it now! They’re gonna regenerate, right? What? Y’know, Regeneration X. Now that’s what’s up! No, no, it was Degeneration- Never mind. That is what’s up, and it’s AWESOME~!

Truth says let’s do it then! Hold on, he’s taking the TV back. Don’t worry about unplugging it, ain’t no cords on it. So it’s wireless? Nope. Truth, Miz and DIY head out, just what will they do to finally get one over on Judgment Day?

 

Drew McIntyre is here!

The Scottish Terminator and the winner of this year’s Elimination Chamber match is in San Jose, primed to face Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship! McIntyre gets the mic to say, “We did it.” He wants to thank the fans. You don’t achieve success alone, so everyone here and around the world, thank you for praying harder than ever before. Because of them, it is happening! McIntyre VS Rollins for the WHC at Mania! McIntyre feels like hell, though. He is more jetlag than man right now, especially after being the first man in the Chamber and the last man standing. He got hurt in there, an eardrum blown out. It was a bit of an incident after the show.

McIntyre was talking with the doctor afterward, and he told McIntyre that he is hurt, he might not make WrestleMania. Fans boo, but McIntyre told the doc, “Who do you think I am? CM Punk? Nothing’s gonna stop me from making Mania!” Fans are torn, they should’ve known McIntyre was going there with this. And then McIntyre sits down cross-legged a la Punk! “Don’t look up my kilt, ya pervs.” McIntyre tells Punk that he knows it hurts not to be part of Chamber or WrestleMania, and it probably kills Punk to see McIntyre in the world title match instead. But he wants Punk to know he thought about him after the match.

McIntyre wants to do something special just for Punk. We know Punk is straightedge, doesn’t drink alcohol, so McIntyre drank twice as much for both of them to celebrate. McIntyre grins and says okay, to more serious business. He has to talk to the champ, so if he’ll indulge McIntyre, “Mr. Rollins, c’mon down.” And here he comes! The fans sing “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” as Rollins makes his way out in a baggy, wine red suit. Rollins joins McIntyre in the ring, and McIntyre points to the sign. Rollins says yeah, we’ll get to that, but if McIntyre will indulge Rollins a moment… “SAN JOSE! Welcome to Monday Night Rollins!”

And a congratulations to Drew McIntyre! Fans boo but Rollins says no, no, McIntyre did it. Rollins is proud of McIntyre for clawing his way back to a title match with him again. And this time, McIntyre has an opportunity to do what he’s been wanting since 2020: win the world title, but not in an empty warehouse! This time, it’ll be in front of a capacity crowd at the BIGGEST WrestleMania of all time! But… there is just one thing standing in the way. He is the Visionary, he is the Revolutionary, he is Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins! The fans sing again and Rollins revels in it. McIntyre says yeah, Rollins is standing in the way.

McIntyre says beating Rollins is no easy job, but beating McIntyre is no easy job, either. So why is Rollins making it so hard on himself? We’ve seen what’s going on with Roman and Cody and The Rock, Rollins should just stop. Rollins doesn’t need that in his life. McIntyre’s talked with Rollins about this, from the bad knee to the bad back. Rollins should take time off, rest up, and be at 100% for WrestleMania. But Rollins won’t listen, doesn’t have to, he’s a grown man. But it just doesn’t make sense to McIntyre why Rollins is going to SmackDown this Friday to fight Cody’s battle when Raw needs Rollins here!

That stuff is their business, screw them! When McIntyre is champion, he won’t care if SmackDown is on fire and begging for help, McIntyre wouldn’t piss on ’em to put it out! McIntyre’s responsibility will be Raw and the World Heavyweight Championship only. But here is something for Rollins to think about: The Bloodline situation. We know where this is going, Rollins doesn’t need to go down that path. We know the outcome, it has happened time and time again, and to McIntyre personally. You push Bloodline too far, you know what happens! Their match at Mania will be a killer match, the fans going wild, Bloodline will hit the ring and cost Rollins the title!

So please, for Rollins’ sake and McIntyre’s, just back off. Fans boo and Rollins takes off the sunglasses. Rollins tells McIntyre, “I respect everything you just said. But respectfully, some risks are worth taking.” Fans cheer that, and Rollins says that he’ll be straight here. McIntyre’s known Rollins a long time, he knows what Rollins is about, so he knows that everything McIntyre just said, Rollins has already thought about. Rollins has replayed it over and over, all the negative outcomes. It’s why Rollins is the Architect, the Visionary, and the truth is… McIntyre might be right. Rollins’ knee may not be ready, the back may give out, and Bloodline might leave him broken in their wake, just like they have everyone else.

WrestleMania might be an easy night for McIntyre. McIntyre might be right, but what if he’s wrong? Like Rollins said, some risks are worth taking. He’s been selfish in his career and in his life, and Rollins thought that the goal at the end of the road would fill the void. But every single time, when Rollins got to the top, he felt empty inside. It wasn’t until he had his daughter that Rollins realized not everything is about him. There are some things in life bigger than all of us! The World Heavyweight Championship is bigger than us! Taking down the Bloodline is bigger than us! Fans cheer that!

Rollins asks McIntyre back: If they don’t take care of Bloodline before Mania, then what? Let’s say McIntyre does take the title from Rollins. It doesn’t matter if McIntyre is champion or Rollins is champion, The Bloodline wants power, and it’s only a matter of time before they come for the World Heavyweight Championship. So McIntyre might be right, but what if he’s wrong? What if Rollins’ knee is 100%? What if his back is ready to go? What if they can rip The Bloodline apart once and for all to secure the future of this industry!? Because if they can do all of that, then at WrestleMania, it is just Rollins, McIntyre and the World Heavyweight Championship.

Rollins said this before Crown Jewel, and he’ll say it again here: May the best man win. And some risks are worth taking. Rollins drops the mic and takes his leave, will this gamble go his way? Or will McIntyre find his own way to win it all?

 

Nia Jax VS Liv Morgan!

The Irresistible Force is a sore loser, determined to prove she’s far more worthy of a WrestleMania moment than every single woman that was in the Elimination Chamber match. To her point, she did get the better of them all just last week. Will she do it again tonight? Or will Liv make Nia #CryAboutIt some more?

Raw returns as Liv makes her entrance. The bell rings and Liv SHOTGUNS Nia! Liv fires off forearms but Nia shoves her away. Liv runs up to back body block! Liv runs up again, SHINING WIZARD! Liv keeps moving, but Nia stops the rana! Nia swings Liv up and around, SAMOAN DROP! Nia soaks up the heat while she paces around Liv. Nia drags Liv around to pull on the arms! The fans boo and Liv endures, but Nia STOMPS her down! Liv sputters but Nia drags her up and puts her in a corner. Nia runs in to SPLASH Liv, and Liv flops down. Nia runs back in, HIP ATTACK! Nia rubs it in quite literally, then drags Liv up.

Liv fires body shots, runs, but Nia ELBOWS her down! Nia drags Liv around, and has a leg for the STRETCH MUFFLER! Liv endures as she dangles off the mat! Nia then swings Liv into buckles! Nia drops Liv, kicks her around, and then goes to the apron. Nia lines up a shot, but Liv dodges the leg drop! Fans taunt Nia with “MY HOLE! MY HOLE!” while Nia hobbles away. Liv aims, builds speed, and DVIES! Down goes Nia and the fans fire up while Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Nia has Liv in a BEARHUG! Liv endures as Nia squeezes and thrashes her around! Pat uses the telestrator to show us just how much Liv was suffering in the Stretch Muffler. Back to present, Liv fights out of the bearhug and ENZIGIRIS! Nia wobbles, and then CLOBBERS Liv! Nia runs to SENTON but misses as Liv moves! Liv goes to a corner, Nia runs up, but Liv slips to the apron! Nia hits buckles, Liv KNEES her back! Then HOTSHOTS her away! Nia staggers, Liv goes up the corner, and fans fire up for the MISSILE DROPKICK! Nia staggers to the corner but Liv runs in! Nia blocks the Code Breaker!

Nia puts Liv in the corner but Liv ROCKS her! Liv leaps, FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Nia is still in this and Liv grows frustrated. The fans rally up as Liv rushes Nia, but into a fireman’s carry! Liv sunset flips through, but Nia stays up! Nia drags Liv to her feet for a HEADBUTT! Liv ends up in a corner, Nia runs in, but Liv dodges, Nia POSTS herself! Nia falls out of the ring and Liv hurries to the apron! Liv runs but Nia catches her! SAMOAN DROP into the post! The fans boo but wait! BECKY LYNCH FLIES IN!

Winner: Nia Jax, by disqualification

The Man fires off on Nia and SMACKS her off the desk! And again and again and again! The fans fire up as Becky dribbles Nia! Becky then SMACKS Nia off the apron, puts her in the ring, and storms up on her to CLUB her right back out of the ring! Nia hurries up the ramp while the ref keeps Becky back! Becky wants Big Time revenge, will she tear Nia down before going after Rhea? And how will Liv feel about this when Becky’s revenge just cost her a win?

 

Backstage interview with Grayson Waller & Austin Theory.

Cathy Kelley is now with A-Town Down Under and brings up Elimination Chamber’s “massive scoop.” Does Waller feel Cody being the guest on the Grayson Waller Effect backfired on him? Waller says once again, Waller gets the biggest scoop via his show, not surprised! Big for Waller, big for Australia, but that doesn’t change the fact Cody disrespected Waller in his home. He beat up Waller’s boy, Theory, and Waller did everything he could to protect him (not), but now they flip the script. Waller will disrespect The American Nightmare in his house, and then The Rock & Roman can pick the bones. This lad ain’t ever gonna finish his story!

Cathy thanks them for their time, will the Grayson Waller Effect be super effective? Or will nothing stop Cody from making it to Mania?

 

WWE mourns the loss of Ole Anderson.

The OG Four Horseman passed away today at the age of 81. A great tag team wrestler and one half of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, he will be missed.

 

Adam Pearce finds Becky backstage.

She says after what Nia did to her, Becky was not gonna be able to move on until she ends this. Becky wants her shot at Nia. Oh, really? Then how does next week sound? Sounds perfect to Becky. Then it’s official. Becky thanks Pearce, but then Liv storms in! Liv says she was in the middle of something out there, but guess Becky doesn’t care about anyone else. Not everything is about The Man! Liv storms off, is Becky only going to settle one score to have to worry about another?

 

Backstage interview with Jey Uso.

Jackie Redmond is with Main Event Jey and says despite a hell of an effort against Gunther, not an outcome Jey wanted. How does Jey plan on getting back in the title scene? Jey says he’ll keep on being him, doing what he does, keep on showing up to Raw and being Main Event Jey Uso. Last week, he was this close to having his first singles title. Feels like when he tries to get close to something, he falls short. When he tries to complete the mission, he falls short. When he tries to do something positive for himself, he falls short. When he tries to pull himself up, he falls short. Whether it is his past enemies on Raw, or his own flesh ‘n’ blood.

Jey then spots said enemy in McIntyre. McIntyre says he knows Jey is having a tough time. McIntyre is in a good place, riding high, but he felt this was a good time to have this talk. McIntyre knows how Jey is feeling, and McIntyre wants Jey to know that from the bottom of his heart, Jey deserves it. Jey fires off on McIntyre and it’s a brawl! Refs and security rush in to pull these two apart! The Scottish Terminator can’t help himself when it comes to pushing buttons, but will he regret getting on Jey’s bad side?

 

Cody Rhodes VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory!

The American Nightmare wants after The Rock, but it seems the Aussie Icon has just ended up a pawn in the Bloodline’s game. Will Cody get past this obstacle to have a clear path to WrestleMania? Or will Waller be drinking a shoey in The Tribal Chief’s honor?

Raw returns as Cody makes his entrance, the fans singing along, “WHOA~ OH~!” The bell rings and the fans rally up behind Cody. Waller is annoyed by that as he circles with Cody. They tie up, go around, and Cody headlocks for the takeover. Waller headscissors, Cody kips free and hits another takeover. Waller headscissors, Cody kips free again and waistlocks. Waller elbows free, runs up and bumps Cody off buckle! Waller taunts the fans but they rally behind Cody. Waller JABS Cody, CLUBS him, but Cody turns things around to CHOP! Cody stalks Waller to a corner, whips him corner to corner but Waller reverses hard!

Waller storms up to cravat Cody and fires off knees! Fans boo but Theory soaks it up for Waller. Waller throws body shots on Cody, has him against ropes and CLUBS him. Waller ROCKS Cody with a forearm, throws body shots, and he keeps Cody on the ropes. Waller wrenches and whips Cody but Cody reverses to kick, drop and RHODES UPPERCUT! Cody then reels Waller in to suplex, and he holds Waller up! Fans cheer as Cody waits until ten for the GOURD BUSTER! Cody then clotheslines Waller up and out! Fans fire up as Cody stands tall and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns once again and Cody throws body shots to get free of a chinlock. But then Waller LEG LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Waller keeps on Cody with a cravat and he cranks the neck wrench. Waller says he won’t let Cody disrespect him! The fans rally, Cody fights up, and commentary says Paul Heyman is somewhere in the building. Did he bring The Bloodline with him? Cody throws more body shots to get free, then he CHOPS! Waller kicks low, reels Cody in to back suplex, but Cody lands out of it! Cody CLOBBERS Waller, goes to a corner then goes up and over, to SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up with Cody as he rises!

Cody runs, springboards, BEAUTIFUL DISASTER! Cover, TWO! Waller stays in this but then Theory distracts Cody! Cody glares at Theory, runs him off, but Waller is up, to JAB! Cody drops to his knees, and Theory says that’s teamwork! Fans boo but Waller whips. Cody ducks ‘n’ dodges to DIVE! Theory is sent tumbling up and over the desk!! The fans fire up but Waller goes out to LARIAT Cody down! Waller puts Cody in, says this is the real deal, and he somersaults, but Cody dodges the flatliner! CODY CUTTER! The fans fire up again and Cody dragon sleepers for the CROSS RHODES!! Cover, Cody wins!

Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall

A-Town Down Under probably wishes they’d stayed home on this one! Cody is rolling down the Road to WrestleMania, but “Ladies and gentlemen,” The Wise Man confirms he is here by stepping on stage. Heyman has private security but Cody still gets a chair! Cody also gets a mic while Heyman says it’d figure “San Josie” would boo ladies. They’re ruining his shtick! Heyman continues his introduction, but Cody doesn’t give a damn! If this is a set-up, then come get him! Heyman has everyone calm down. This is not a Bloodline set-up. The only member of The Bloodline here tonight is Heyman. Does anyone see a drop of Polynesian blood anywhere in the security?

That’s rhetorical, because the answer is no. These gentlemen are Heyman’s “friends” from the NYPD. They are off-duty, technically, because they’re suspended, but that’s a whole different story. Heyman came here to California to let us know no one wants an apology. Heyman understands how insulting it must be to get Will Smith’d across the face. But Heyman wants Cody needs to take The Rock’s name out of his freakin’ mouth. Because The Tribal Chief, Roman…! Reigns…! has authorized Heyman to let Cody know, that if Cody does not back away from this… Like, you can’t just say you want a match with The Rock and then it magically happens.

Well, it magically happens if you ARE The Rock, but Cody screwed that all up, didn’t he? See, a year ago, they were crying in the ring with each other, Heyman forgives Cody. But The Rock doesn’t. And understanding that Cody is in the WrestleMania main event with Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Championship, Heyman is begging and pleading, “Please, Cody. Please. Pretty please, with a cherry on top… Withdraw this challenge from The Rock… or else.” Cody takes a seat and asks, “Or else what, Mr. Heyman?” Does Heyman wanna know why Cody hasn’t rained holy terror on this mic about Heyman’s new boy, Dwayne? Why Cody hasn’t trashed The Rock in media?

It’s simple! Like everyone here, Cody was a fan of The Rock! How could he not be? Put yourself in Cody’s shoes! He comes from a family where every meal was determined by ticket sales, and nobody sold more than The Rock! But Cody is done, fed up with being nice! If this is a set-up, then like Cody said, “Come and get me.” Heyman says he has a better idea. Heyman and his “friends” go to the apron and Heyman asks if he may step inside. Heyman may not. Heyman says that’s just rude. But the “friends” step in and Cody says okay, then he’ll make this clear. If one more person steps towards Cody, he is dropping every single person in this ring.

The fans fire up and Heyman says okay, he respects that. As Cody will surely respect that his threat doesn’t apply if Heyman is that one person, right? WRONG! Cody gets his chair and he JAMS everyone up! Then SMACKS them all down! And then CHUCKS the chair into the one guys’ face! CROSS RHODES!! The fans fire up as Cody stands his ground! He dares Heyman to send The Bloodline, but Heyman has his phone to call Roman Reigns. And another phone to call The Rock! Cody says go ahead, call whoever he’s got! Because the Bloodline isn’t hunting Cody, Cody is hunting The Bloodline!

Heyman looks a little worried as Cody has another round to JAM and SMACK the “friends!” Cody TOSSES one, TOSSES another, then TOSSES the third! Did this little stunt backfire in the worst way possible for The Bloodline?


My Thoughts:

Another great Raw, with great build upon the WrestleMania stories. I really like this intertwining of stories between Judgment Day and other groups. Great opening promo from Dom, Rhea and Becky, which then turned into Nia attacking Becky, which then in turn became Becky attacking Nia during her match with Liv. Now, while we’re getting Nia VS Becky 2, it feels like Liv is adding Becky to the revenge tour. There’s talk of Triple Threats for world titles at every 10th WrestleMania, what if it was for the Women’s World Championship? Granted, it’d be a shame since Becky fought her way to earn the shot, but it would hearken back to Mania 35 where Becky won a Triple Threat.

Judgment Day confronting Imperium over the Intercontinental Championship was some good stuff. And I do appreciate that even Rhea felt Dom was biting off more than he could chew stepping to Gunther. Now, it sure feels like they want Sami to get his shot after that encounter with Gunther, but I like that Andrade is also in the mix after his talk with Dom. Sami VS Nakamura was an awesome opening match, it probably should be Sami given he mentioned “doing something historic” last week. But Sami having to get through Andrade, Bronson, Gable and maybe even Dom would really make it a great road to Mania.

Awesome Street Fight tag match, too, and I was rather surprised Imperium won. But I have a feeling Kaiser & Vinci will be getting in on the Undisputed Tag Team Championship story, same as The Awesome Truth. Good but short promo from Truth, Miz & DIY to keep up the “DIY is DX” gag and establish that the feud is continuing. Awesome Truth still feels like they’re set for their shot at Mania, but maybe Imperium and a team from SmackDown get involved to make it easier for Finn & Priest to lose the belts.

Raquel all but squashing Chelsea was entertaining, though Shayna & Zoey all but squashing Candice & Indi was a little disappointing. I suppose Shayna & Zoey are still being established as challengers for DMG CTRL, we might get a Fatal 4 tag title match for the women. As I said at Chamber, maybe Bianca gets in on the tag title story since the top titles are spoken for. Meanwhile, great promo from McIntyre with Rollins, though it maybe took a little too long to get where it was going. It is good character stuff from McIntyre to be hypocritically worried The Bloodline is going to screw Rollins over when McIntyre just wants the title regardless.

Great bit with McIntyre and Jey, too, though it felt like Jey was just going on and on to stall for time as McIntyre was heading over there. McIntyre VS Jey one more time will be really good stuff to give McIntyre momentum going towards Mania. And really good stuff from Cody Rhodes tonight. Good promo before his match, good promo from Waller as well, and really good main event from Cody VS Waller. Heyman showing up was a nice surprise, though it was a weird move for him to bring fake cops that were supposedly suspended. We all knew they were getting beat up by Cody anyway, maybe this was some kind of adlib to keep from Cody beating down Jimmy and/or Solo. There’s a very good chance that happens on SmackDown anyway, so they probably didn’t wanna be redundant.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Beginning Sapporo Results & Report! (2/24/24)

Night two!

Published

on

The New Beginning comes to an end!

It’s a WrestleKingdom rematch here in Sapporo as Tetsuya Naito gives Sanada a shot at the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship! Will NJPW still be tranquilo? Or will the Cold Skull once again be the Gold Skull?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Frontier Zone: Toru Yano & Tomoya VS Tomoaki Honma & Katsuya Murashima; Yano & Tomoya win.
  • 10 Man Tag: The House of Torture VS Shota Umino, El Desperado, YOH, Togi Makabe & Boltin Oleg; Shota, Desperado, Yoh, Makabe & Oleg win.
  • 10 Man Tag: Chaos VS Matt Riddle & The United Empire; Chaos wins.
  • Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa VS El Phantasmo & Hikuleo; ELP & Leo win.
  • Nic Nemeth & Ryusuke Taguchi VS David Finlay & Gedo; Nemeth & Taguchi win.
  • BUSHI VS Taka Michinoku; Bushi wins.
  • Hiromu Takahashi VS DOUKI; Douki wins.
  • Shingo Takagi VS Taichi; Taichi wins.
  • Hair VS Hair Match: Yota Tsuji VS Yuya Uemura; Yota wins and Yuya must cut their hair.
  • IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA; Naito wins and retains the title.

PLAY BY PLAY

Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa VS El Phantasmo & Hikuleo!

It’s Guerrillas of Destiny VS Guerrillas of Destiny in the Good Bad Guy’s farewell to NJPW! Will Tama and the Silverback “big brother” The Headbanga and Young Guerilla on the way out? Or will ELP & Leo prove their title belts aren’t just for show?

For those wondering which corner Jado would, he chose neither, as he is now the special guest referee! You can bet The Master Heater will keep this one fair and square. And in a great throwback, Tama comes out in his ghost face killer paint! Meanwhile, Loa has the Mr. Terrific T paint. The four fist bump to show respect, and ELP gets the fans rallying for Tama. The teams sort out and Leo starts against Tama. The fans rally for “G O D! G O D!” as the brothers double fist bump. They circle, tie up, and Leo shoves Tama away. Tama comes back, gets around, headlocks, but Leo endures the grind. Leo powers up to lift Tama, but Tama thrashes the hold.

Leo powers up and out, but Tama slides under the boot! The fans cheer as the stand off. They reset, speed up, and Tama dodges to DROPKICK! Leo stays up and he runs Tama over! Leo runs but Tama avoids the elbow drop! The fans cheer as the two stand off again. Leo and Tama then back off, tag to ELP and Loa. The fans rally as these two circle now. ELP and Loa feel things out, tie up, and they go around. ELP headlocks, Loa powers up and out, and they RAM shoulders! Neither falls but Loa applauds ELP. ELP dares Loa to go then, so Loa runs. They RAM shoulders and ELP falls! Loa fires up and the fans cheer.

Loa flexes, runs, but ELP drops. Loa sunset flips, ELP sits on it, TWO! Loa has it, TWO! ELP has it, TWO! Wait, aren’t those counts kinda fast? ELP and Loa rock back and forth and Jado can’t even keep up! ELP and Loa let off and ask what’s going on. Jado gives them shoves, telling them to respect his authority. ELP and Loa shove back, but Tama and Leo get in! Tama tells ELP not to shove Jado, but Leo tells Loa the same, and now they’re all shoving each other! Jado tells them all to stop it, this is a clean fight! The fans cheer and GOD all agrees. So they start throwing forearms! Nothing wrong with a brawl!

Tama gets the edge on ELP and Loa gets the edge on Leo. Tama & Loa whip, but ELP & Leo dosido! Tama & Loa dodge, but then so do ELP & Leo! They each SPLASH, then ELP feeds Tama to Leo’s SIDEWALK SLAM! ELP hits the FALLING AX HANDLE! But Loa throws hands on them both! The fans fire up, Loa runs, but ELP hurdles and Leo DDTs Loa down! The fans fire up again as ELP winds up and high-fives Leo! ELP then ROCKS Loa with a forearm, and Loa ends up on ropes. ELP fires more forearms, puts him in a corner and throws body shots. Loa shoves ELP away so ELP BOOTS him!

Tag to Leo and ELP CHOPS Loa. Leo stands Loa up to CHOP! Leo grits his teeth but Leo brings up the vest is too much padding for Loa. Jado says there’s nothing he can do about that, so Leo bumps Loa off buckles. Leo stomps Loa, then CHOPS again! Leo then scoops Loa, ELP tags in, and Leo POWERSLAMS! ELP then springboard SWANTON BOMBS, then LIONSAULTS! Cover, ONE!! ELP argues the count but Jado says he’s being fair. ELP clamps on a chinlock and grinds Loa down. Loa endures, the fans rally up, but ELP smothers Loa. Jado reprimands, ELP lets off with an ELBOW to Loa’s head!

ELP brings Loa up and around, whips but Loa blocks! ELP pushes Loa, whips, but Loa reverses! Loa runs in to A-LIST LARIAT! Loa then goes up and MISSILE DROPKICKS ELP across the ring! The fans fire up while both men are down! ELP and Loa both crawl, hot tag to Tama! Tama rallies on ELP with body shots and uppercuts! Tama fires off in a corner, then whips corner to corner. ELP reverses, runs up but Tama CLOBBERS him first! The fans fire up as the vest comes off! Tama claps and the fans clap along. ELP goes to a corner, Tama runs in, STINGER SPLASH! Then EXPLODER! ELP flounders but Tama goes over to cover, TWO!

ELP is still in this, but Tama keeps his cool. Tama CLUBS ELP, throws down hands, then brings him up. Tama dragon sleepers but ELP snapmares free! ELP dodges the superman punch to straitjacket and torture rack! Tag to Leo, Leo runs, BOOT and BRAIN SALAD! Cover, Loa breaks it! Loa kicks ELP, scoops him, but ELP slips free, feed to Leo’s UPPERCUT! Loa roars, but gets a BOOT ENZIGIRI COMBO! Tama runs up but Leo stops Gun Stun! Feed to SUDDEN DEATH! Tama is down, Leo & ELP reload to aim at Loa! SUDDEN DEATH and GODSEND!! Then Loa is in the drop zone as ELP goes up!

ELP climbs onto Leo’s shoulders, for the SUPER- GUN STUN!! Tama intercepts Thunderkiss, but then Loa grabs Tama! GOD- SPEAR from Loa!! All four men are down and the fans fire up! Jado checks them all, they all stir, and the OG GOD rise up first. They stand Leo up, bring him around and pick him up, MAGIC KILLER!! But they’re not done there, they each take a corner! Loa DIVING HEADBUTTS, Tama SUPREME FLOWS! Cover, TWO!! Leo survives the onslaught from his own brothers and the fans fire up! Tama & Loa are frustrated but they reset and call their shot again! Even Jado’s surprised they want to go this far!

Tama & Loa double whip Leo to a corner, and Loa runs in to clothesline! Tama hits the STINGER SPLASH, and then Loa goes up. The fans rally both ways as Tama tries to suplex Leo, but he’s so big! Leo suplexes Tama instead! Leo stands, Loa leaps, AX HANDLE! Leo drops to a knee, Loa fires up and kicks low. Loa scoops, but Leo slips free! Leo kicks but Loa blocks! Loa dodges the lariat, runs, but into the SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up for Leo as he aims at Tama! Choke grip, but Tama breaks free to ROCK Leo! Leo choke grips again! But Tama breaks free again, so Leo UPPERCUTS! Choke grip again, for GOD-

NO, Tama slips free, shoves, runs, GUN- NO! Leo stops that and choke grips through! GOD- GUN- NO!! Leo counters the counter, then scoops, for a POP-UP CUTTER!! ELP fires up with Leo, and Leo LARIATS Tama inside-out! Cover, ONE?!!? And that’s with Jado’s faster than normal count! Tama fires up, Leo fires up, and Leo hauls Tama up and POWER- NO, Tama fights it! Leo stops the counter, though, to POWERBOMB after all!! Cover, TWO?!?! Tama survives again and everyone is shocked! The fans are thunderous as Leo drags Tama back up with the choke grip. Leo hesitates, but he still hits GODSEND!!! Cover, ELP & Leo win!

Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall

The younger GOD duo defeats the older, and now the torch has been passed. Tama’s farewell to NJPW will be bittersweet, but he will leave knowing he gave it his all, and he has all of our love and respect. Tama stands with his brothers, with Jado and with ELP, and they group hug over the lion logo. Ain’t nobody realer than Guerilla, is the future in good hands with ELP & Leo?

 

Hair VS Hair Match: Yota Tsuji VS Yuya Uemura!

The Gene Blast and The Heat Storm both want to be THE face of NJPW’s future. They’re both so determined to rise up and leave behind their Young Lion days, they’re willing to put their glorious manes! Who wins and moves forward while the other must relive their past?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two stare down. They circle, feel things out, but Yota avoids Yuya’s lunge in for a leg. They knuckle lock, Yuya gets around to waistlock, but Yota wrenches and switches. Yuya wrenches out to hammerlock, but Yota elbows then switches. Yota has a nelson, then he spins Yuya to a cravat. Yuya endures the neck wrench, swings an arm to bring Yota down, then rolls to wrangle Yota with a top wristlock. Yota keeps his shoulders up, moves around, and he trips Yuya. Yota gets past the leg guard to cover, ONE, but Yota holds off Yuya’s attempt at a lateral press.

Yuya lets off slowly, Yota gets up, and the fans cheer this exchange. The two reset and circle again, feel things out, and knuckle lock again. They go shoulder to shoulder in a Test of Strength and the fans rally up. Yota’s height gives him leverage, and he powers Yuya to ropes. The ref calls the break, Yuya turns things around, but Yuya still lets off. Yuya then CHOPS and whips! Yota rolls Yuya up, TWO! Yuya cradles, ONE!! Yuya tries to roll up now, TWO! Yota bails out and fans cheer. Yuya storms right up to ropes but Yota backs away. Yota paces around the outside so Yuya rests on a corner, willing to wait.

Yota walks around as the ring count climbs, and he steps back in at 5 of 20. Yuya hops down and he resets with Yota. They stare down, Yota just smiling. They go forehead to forehead, then Yota kicks low! Yota headlocks, Yuya powers out then goes the other way! They run the ropes crisscross, then Yuya drops, hurdles and HIP TOSSES Yota down! The fans fire up and Yuya covers, TWO! Yuya keeps cool, and he brings Yota up. Yuya wrenches to wrangle Yota with another top wristlock, then he drops an elbow on the elbow! And then another elbow drop! And another elbow drop! Yuya goes for another wristlock but Yota gets the ROPEBREAK!

Yuya lets go quickly and he waits on Yota. Yota stands and Yuya whips him to a corner. Yuya runs in but Yota BOOTS him! Yuya staggers back, runs in again, but Yota dodges! SPLASH! Yota keeps moving to run Yuya right over! And then he runs to SOMERSAULT SENTON! Yota just keeps moving for a SPLASH! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up as Yuya stays in this. Yota keeps cool, though, and he storms up on Yuya. Yota reels Yuya in but Yuya fights the suplex. Yuya shoves free but Yota BODY BLOWS! Yuya falls in a heap and the ref checks him. Yota drags Yuya up, bumps him off buckles, and RAMS him again and again!

Yota snapmares Yuya to KICK him in the back. Yota kneels for the cover, TWO! A bit cocky from Yota but he grins as he looms over Yuya. Yuya sits up, Yota stands him up, and Yota winds up to ROCK Yuya in the back! Yuya staggers to ropes but Yota storms up. Yuya CHOPS Yota, but Yota fires forearm after forearm. Yota snapmares and KICKS Yuya in the back again! The fans rally as Yuya writhes and Yota paces. Yota grabs the legs, but Yuya scrambles and reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Yota doesn’t let go so Yuya kicks him away. Yuya runs, but into a scoop! BACKBREAKER! Yota gets the legs again, and he turns Yuya over for the BOSTON CRAB!

Yuya endures as Yota sits deep and the fans rally up! Yuya powers up, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Yota lets go while the fans applaud. Yota says okay, and then he runs to baseball slide dropkick Yuya out! Yuya even tumbles to the railing! Fans rally up again as Yota grins and builds speed, but Yuya drops down! The damage to Yuya’s back keeps him from standing and taking a tope. Yota eggs Yuya on, the ring count starts, and Yuya drags himself up at 3 of 20. Yota drags Yuya to the apron and stops the count. Yota suplexes but Yuya slips free! Waistlock, but Yota bucks the O’Conner! Yota runs up, but into an arm-drag!

Yota swings, Yuya ducks, and Yuya hits another arm-drag! Then a DROPKICK! The fans fire up while both men are down! Yuya grits his teeth and clutches his back while Yota stirs and checks his chin. Yota rolls to a corner but Yuya kips up! The fans fire up and Yuya runs corner to corner, to CHOP! Yuya whips corner to corner but just reels Yota in, for a BIG back suplex! Float-over to the cover, TWO! Yota toughs it out but Yuya keeps his cool. Yuya brings Yota up, but Yota fires forearms and a knee! Yota whips, Yuya reverses to SAYANAGI! GROUND ARM SCREW! And then basement dropkick to the arm! Yota writhes, Yuya hurries to cover, TWO!

But Yuya has the top wristlock! Yota reaches out but Yuya drags him away for the DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Yota flails, reaches out, blocks the twist on the arm, but Yuya pulls harder with his top mount! Yuya breaks the grip for the DOUBLE WRISTLOCK! Yota still reaches out for ropes but Yuya drags him right to center! Yuya keeps on the double wristlock but Yota kicks around. Yuya shifts into an ARMBAR, but Yota has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Yuya lets go. Yuya is frustrated but he stands back up and brings Yota around. Yuya wrenches, cording holds, and then goes for the other arm. Yota throws Yuya down and rolls back, into the BOSTON CRAB!!

Yuya endures as Yota sits deep on the hold! Yuya powers up but Yota drags him away! Yota’s bad arm forces him to change to a HALF CRAB! Yota still sits deep and Yuya has to bite his thumb to ignore the pain! Yuya fights forward, but Yota drags him away! Yota manages to get both legs on one side, LOBSTER CRAB! Yuya endures as Yota pulls! Yuya tries to fight, but Yota then digs a knee in! LION TAMER!! Yuya bites all his fingers just to keep from giving up! Yota lets go in frustration as his arms can’t hold on any longer! Yota grabs at both legs this time, and he SWINGS Yuya around! He only gets five rotations but he fires back up!

Yota tries for the legs again but Yuya traps the bad arm, to SNAP it! Yota staggers, Yuya swings but Yota catches him! BACKBREAKER, but Yuya swings out of the clinch to full nelson! Then he spins Yota to DIVORCE COURT DDT! Yota clutches the arm while both men are down! Yuya rolls to ropes while Yota writhes at center. Yuya goes back to Yota and they both stand. Yuya throws a haymaker, then another! Yota backs up to a corner, Yuya CHOPS him! Yuya CHOPS again, then fires haymakers! Yuya CHOPS then runs Yota corner to corner to bump off buckles! Yuya throws hands, runs Yota to the other corner and again bumps him off buckles!

Yuya CHOPS Yota, climbs up, and he rains down fists! The fans fire up and count along, Yuya goes all the way to TEN! Yuya pulls at Yota’s hair but Yota grins. Yuya drags Yota out by his legs, stomps him and covers, TWO! Yota rises up but Yuya fires up. Yuya runs up but Yota gets around, goes up and over to sunset flip, TWO! Yuya stands, swings, but into a wrench and wrangle, lateral press! TWO, and Yota arm-drags! Float over, headscissor cradle, TWO!! Yuya escapes, Yota runs up, but Yota blocks the arm-drag! Only for Yuya to swing around and arm-drag after all! Yota gets up, swings, but into a spin and backslide! TWO!

Yuya holds onto the arms, rolls into another backslide, TWO! The two men fight for control, stand back up, and Yuya spins Yota around for underhooks! Yota fights that to back drop but Yuya sunset flips it! TWO and Yota BOOTS Yuya down! The fans fire up while Yota catches his breath. Yota finally goes for the cover, but Yuya drags him into a ghost pin, TWO!! Yuya shifts around, sunset flip! TWO and it’s back to the ghost pin! TWO!! Yota escapes but Yuya UPPERCUTS! Yuya runs, but into a scoop and BACKBREAKER! The fans fire up, Yota runs, but Yuya gets around the lariat! Yuya underhooks for the BUTTERFLY SLAM! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up again and Yuya grows frustrated. Yuya goes to a corner, then climbs up! Yota rises, then runs up to GAMANGIRI! The fans fire up with Yota as he climbs up! Yota fires hands, then goes to the very top! Yota brings Yuya up to join him, for a SUPER SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Yuya survives but Yota roars! Yota drags Yuya up and suplexes, but Yuya knees free! Double cording holds, DEADBOLT PLEX! But both men are down! The fans fire up as they stir, and Yuya goes to a corner. Yota eggs Yuya on, Yuya runs up, and DOUBLE FOREARMS DECK both men! The fans fire up again while the ref checks them!

Yota and Yuya stir, and Yota blinks through the daze. Yota stands up, but then falls right over! Yuya is also still down so the ref says it’ll be a standing count! The fans rally up for both guys, and they’re both down at 5 of 10! And then 7! And 8! Both men rise at 9 and the fans fire up again! We hit 25 minutes, leaving five left! Both men rise up, stare down, and they rush right in! Yuya headlocks, Yota powers out but Yuya runs him over! Cover, ONE!! The fans rally again as Yuya stands, but Yota runs him over! Cover, ONE!! Yuya storms up but Yota blocks the scoop with a facelock! Yota scoops Yuya to SLAM him!

Yuya rises and runs up, but into another scoop and SLAM! The fans fire up and Yota grins as he drags Yuya back up. Yota runs, but Yuya back drops him away! Yuya roars and the fans fire up again as he goes up the corner! Yuya aims as Yota rises, CROSSBODY FLOPS! CURB STOMP!! Yota then hauls Yuya up to suplex and FALCON BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Yuya survives and the fans fire up as Yota roars again! Yota powers up his arm, we hit the three minute warning, and Yota aims from a corner. GENE- RANA!! Then ARMBAR!! But Yota stacks him, TWO! Yota is free and KNEES Yuya! And SUPERKICKS! And GENE- ARM-DRAG, Ghost pin! TWO!!

Yuya ENZIGIRIS but Yota stays up! GENE- CUTTER!! Yuya has had an answer for every spear attempt, and now he drags Yota back up! Yuya cording holds, swings for the other arm, and roars to DEAD- NO, Yota HEADBUTTS! But Yuya HEADBUTTS! Two minute warning and a GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men rise, GENE BLAST!!! Cover, YOTA WINS!

Winner: Yota Tsuji, by pinfall (Yuya must cut his hair)

Yuya let Yota have too much space and he got blasted! Yota has the epic tiebreaker, will he make his way towards championship opportunities now? And Yota stands Yuya up by pulling his hair, as if adding insult to injury. Yuya says fine, just get it over with. The ring staff set out a white tarp and bring in a chair. Yuya reluctantly sits in the chair, and Yota has the scissors and clippers. Yota gathers up the hair in a ponytail, and Yuya grits his teeth as all of that is cut away. Then Yota just goes right down the middle with the clippers! Yuya says stop, and he does the rest himself! Yuya won’t let Yota have the satisfaction of humiliating him.

Yuya leaves to finish that haircut in the back. Will the Heat Storm find a way to shine while looking like a Young Boy?

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA!

WrestleKingdom 18 was only 50 days ago but it feels like only yesterday that NJPW had the largest LIJ roll call in history! The Uncontrollable Charisma finally had his moment, but will the Cold Skull take it back? Or will even Sapporo be tranquilo?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who closes out this New Beginning!

As usual, Naito takes his time with his elaborate entrance attire, but again Sanada is patient because he knows all about this. Naito finishes with the pants and the bell rings. The fans rally up as the two stare down. Red Shoes assesses the cheering and feels it favors Naito. Sanada doesn’t seem bothered by that, but Naito doesn’t seem fired up by it, either. The two circle, approach, but back away. Sanada knows this trick by Naito, too, and doesn’t let it get to him. They tie up now, Naito powers Sanada back to ropes then headlocks. Red Shoes calls the break, Sanada turns things around on Naito, but Naito doesn’t let go.

Red Shoes counts, Naito slowly lets go and Sanada pats Naito on the shoulders. The fans cheer as the two reset. They circle, feel things out, and Sanada gets a leg. Sanada moves to waistlock but Naito wrenches out. Naito hammerlocks then full nelsons, but Sanada fights the hold. Sanada breaks free, hammerlocks then headlocks, and he grinds Naito down. Naito powers up and out but Sanada runs him over! The fans rally up as things speed up, and Naito arm-drags only for Sanada to counter that! Sanada then trips Naito, has the legs and he ties Naito up into Paradise! The fans cheer as Sanada has Naito caught!

Sanada pulls on the legs to put some pressure on, then he DROPKICKS Naito out of Paradise! Naito bails out but Sanada waits on him. Sanada then builds speed, but he tumbles up and out as Naito moves! Naito sweeps the legs, then dropkicks Sanada down! Naito builds speed, but he rolls and tranquilos! Sanada still fell for that old trick! Sanada cools off as he paces around, though, and takes his time returning. Naito stays back, Sanada slides in, but then Naito bails out! The fans cheer but Sanada goes out to CLUB Naito! Sanada isn’t in the mood for games and he whips, but Naito reverses to CLAW Sanada’s eyes!

Naito whips Sanada, but Sanada reverses! Naito is sent into railing after all! Sanada brings Naito around, hangs him off the apron, but Naito kicks free of that to turn things around! DRAPING DDT to the floor!! Sanada writhes while Naito strikes like a Viper! The fans rally up while Naito leaves Sanada behind. The ring count starts while Sanada clutches his head and neck. Sanada is still down at 5 of 20, and then 10! Sanada sits up at 12, pushes himself up and stands at 15. Sanada shakes out the arm and slides in at 18, and fans cheer. Naito brings Sanada up to CLUB away on the neck, though, then he whips.

Naito arm-drags Sanada, ELBOWS him down and basement dropkicks! Naito floats to a cravat and he cranks on the neck! Sanada endures and kicks around. Naito leans his weight but Sanada fights up. Naito CLUBS Sanada again, and again! Sanada goes to ropes, but Naito whips him. Naito hip toss NECKBREAKERS! Sanada writhes again, rolls to the apron and flops to the floor, but Naito pursues. Naito sits Sanada up to SAMBO LEG NELSON! No ropebreaks on the outside, is Naito going to grind Sanada down for a count out? The count does start again, and Sanada can only kick around as Naito puts on the pressure.

Naito stops at 10 of 20, then slides into the ring at 14. Sanada is down at 15, rises as the fans rally, and slides in at 18! Fans cheer but Naito is right on Sanada to CLUB away on the neck! Naito whips, Sanada holds ropes to avoid the arm-drag, and he dropkicks a leg! Naito hobbles but Sanada runs up. Naito kicks low then whips Sanada to a corner. Naito runs in but Sanada BOOTS him! Sanada goes up and QUEBRADA, but Naito gets under! Only for Sanada to dropkick the legs out! Both men are down as Naito clutches his knee and Sanada shakes out his arm. Sanada stalks Naito, brings him up and has the leg, but Naito CLAWS the eyes!

Red Shoes reprimands but Naito SPITS at Sanada. Naito whips but Sanada reverses to hurdle, hurdle and DROPKICK! Sanada’s legs work just fine, and he watches Naito bail out again. The fans rally and duel, Sanada PLANCHAS! Down goes Naito and the fans fire up! Sanada encourages them to get louder so they oblige. Sanada goes back to Naito, still loving the adulation, and he brings Naito back up. Sanada puts Naito in, fireman’s carries, but Naito fights free. Naito shoves Sanada to a corner, runs up, and he blocks boots! Naito puts Sanada in the ropes for a DRAPING BACKBREAKER!

Naito drags Sanada up, whips, and HIP TOSS NECKBREAKERS again! Sanada writhes and Naito shakes out his leg. Naito drags Sanada up again, puts him up top, and then climbs up after him. But Sanada slips out to DROPKICK Naito down onto the post! That post might’ve saved Naito from a worse fall, but certainly not from a softer one! Sanada climbs up behind Naito now, brings him around, and hits a SUPER FALLING BACKBREAKER!! Then a suplex for the MAGIC SCREW! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and Sanada seethes but the fans fire up! Sanada hauls Naito up to the SKULL END! But Naito arm-drags free!

Naito runs up, Sanada sidesteps and O’Conner Roll, into SKULL END! The body scissors are in and Naito is caught! The fans fire up and duel as Naito endures! Naito kicks around, reaches out, but Sanada squeezes tight! Naito kicks and kicks and fights to gain ground but Sanada’s body scissors keep him stuck at center! The fans rally as hard as they can for Naito but he’s fading! Sanada follows his formula by letting go to go up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees!! Naito saves himself but in double-edged fashion! Both men are down and the fans rally up again! Naito rises first and hobbles over to Sanada.

Naito drags Sanada up to kick and ELBOW! And kick, and ELBOW! Naito fires off more elbows, and Sanada staggers away to the corner! The fans rally up again, but Naito drags Sanada up to kick and ELBOW! And kick, and ELBOW! And ELBOW, ELBOW, ELBOW! Sanada falls again and this is all going to Naito’s formula! Naito drags Sanada up, puts him up top, and climbs up again. Naito CLUBS Sanada again and again to make sure he stays put this time. SUPER STEINER!! The fans fire up as both men are down! Naito then aims from the corner as Sanada rises, and the fans rally behind him.

Sanada stands, Naito runs up, into a DROPKICK! Naito stays up so Sanada whips. Naito reveres but Sanada denies the DDT to fireman’s carry! TK- DESTINO!! Naito hits it outta nowhere but he won’t leave it at that! Naito drags Sanada up, SPITS at him, then throws those ELBOWS! Sanada drops to his knees but Naito drags him up again. ELBOW! ELBOW! ELBOW! But Sanada roars! Sanada runs, but into a SPINEBUSTER! Naito stands Sanada up, wrenches, but Sanada denies the tilt-o-whirl! Naito and Sanada fight for control, and Naito CLUBS away! Tilt-o-whirl, DESTI- NO! Sanada fights that to the clinch!

But Naito fights from below! Sanada wrenches Naito, but Naito dragon sleepers! Is Naito trying to steal Skull End?! Sanada snapmares free before Naito truly can, and Sanada SHINING- NO, Naito ducks it! Naito UPPERCUTS, ENZIGIRIS, and then wrenches! Tilt-o-whirl, but Sanada slips free! Clinch and DEAD- NO, Naito gets around to waistlock! Sanada powers out to fire forearm after forearm! ROLLING ELBOW! Naito leans on ropes and the fans fire up! Naito CLUBS Sanada again and again, then ROCKS him! Sanada fireman’s carries! TKO! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up!

Sanada and Naito stir as the fans rally and duel. The “NA-I-TO!” is still stronger than the “SA-NA-DA!” but Sanada stands up first. Sanada scoops and BACKBREAKERS Naito into position! Sanada goes up again, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives and the fans are thunderous! Sanada snarls, goes back up, ROUNDING BODY PRESS!! But Sanada won’t stop there, he clinches and DEAD- NO, Naito slips free! Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO!!! And then another wrench, another tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO~!!! But that’s still not enough!? Naito scoops Sanada, but Sanada fights it! The fans duel as the two fight for control!

Sanada powers his way out of the grip and ENZIGIRIS! Naito roars?! But he turns around into a SHINING WIZARD!! Clinch and DEAD- NO, Naito slips free again! TORNADO- NO, Sanada stuffs it, so Naito just holds onto the facelock! Naito has the squeeze on Sanada now, but Sanada moves around. Sanada reaches out but Naito has body scissors to keep him down! The fans rally, Sanada fights up, so Naito clinches, to steal DEADFALL! Sanada rolls through!? BLINDSIDE SHINING WIZARD!! The fans are thunderous again as both men are down! Sanada kips up!! The fans fire up as Sanada runs up, SHINING WIZARD!!!

Sanada isn’t done there, he drags Naito back up! Clinch and DEAD- NO, Naito just fights free again! TORNADO CRADLE! NAITO WINS!!

Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (still IWGP World Heavyweight Champion)

Sanada is furious that he got caught! Sanada stubbornly tried for his new ace card and that was perhaps his downfall. Will he have no choice but to go to the back of the line when it comes to this title?

As for Naito, he gets some water, and then takes the belt from Red Shoes. Naito drops it in a corner for a moment so he can get his baseball cap. Naito then gets the mic so he can say, “Buenas tardes, Sapporo~!” The fans cheer, and Naito thanks everyone for being here at NJPW: The New Beginning in Sapporo, “Gracias, amigos.” And tonight, here in Sapporo, there is someone who won’t be in the ring anymore. It was August, 2007, the first person that man wrestled in NJPW was Naito himself. And so Naito feels it wouldn’t be right if he didn’t address that man. The fans know he means “O-KA-DA!” who was on commentary for this match.

Naito says that all that said, this was a main event title match, and Naito won. So we have to end this the only way it can! It has been a minute since we heard this, so are you ready? The New Beginning in Sapporo must of course end with… “Bushi! Hiromu! Takagi! Titan! Yota! Y Naito! Nosotros…! LOS! INGOBERRRRRNABLEEEES~! DE! JA! PON!!” The confetti flies and the fans cheer as the tranquilo era continues! But then Naito invites The Rainmaker into the ring! Okada obliges by stepping off commentary and stepping through the gate. Okada steps inside and he stands with Naito right at the center of the ring.

Naito offers the LIJ fist bump, which fans cheer. Okada sighs and figures this is the last time he’ll even get the chance, so he reaches up. But then Naito SPITS in Okada’s eye and CLUBS away on Okada! Fans are torn as Naito whips, but Okada reverses! Naito avoids the dropkick, Okada avoids the lariat, and then ripcords! But Naito ducks the Rainmaker to tranquilo! The fans cheer and even Okada has to smile. Naito stands back up and says Okada can go now. Okada says fine and he exits. The fans cheer as The Rainmaker takes his leave, and the Uncontrollable Charisma waves goodbye. But will Naito prove he’s the true face of NJPW now that we’ve made it through the New Beginning?


My Thoughts:

A great finale to the New Beginning series here, though it’s a shame Tanahashi is hurt and could not take Nemeth up on his invitation to have a tag match, nor could he be part of the 10 Man Tag with Okada and Chaos. It’s an ankle injury, hopefully he’ll be alright. But at the same time, he doesn’t really have to wrestle, he’s President of NJPW now and should be taking it easy. Anyhow, great tag match from the Guerillas of Destiny to be Tama’s sendoff. As such, Leo & ELP naturally won, and they take the banner up for GOD, certainly as a tag team. I don’t think Loa’s leaving NJPW, so maybe Loa becomes a singles guy within the faction?

Bushi beating Taka, Douki beating Hiromu, Taichi beating Takagi, Just5Guys win that best of three, but LIJ wins out the night because both Yota and Naito win the last two matches. A really good, really cerebral match from Yota and Yuya, the storytelling of wanting to win with Young Lion moves continues between them, and I really liked how many times Yuya countered the Gene Blast, only for one to still hit. The New Japan Cup is up next, I’m sure Yota is going to have a strong showing as he tries for the world title.

Naito VS Sanada was really good, though I’m not sure it was quite like their WrestleKingdom match. But I suppose part of that was that of course Naito won. I appreciated the parallel to Yota VS Yuya with Sanada failing to hit Deadfall again and again. Naito then snatches the win with a cradle, not a finisher, technically keeping Sanada strong. I’m just not sure how Sanada does in the New Japan Cup. English commentary was pointing out getting Naito VS Sanada Part 3 through the New Japan Cup would be too much.

Sanada could obviously go for a different title in the meantime, though I have no idea what one. Just5Guys already feuded with House of Torture, they can’t default to that and the NEVER Openweight title. Nemeth just got the Global title and Riddle just got the NJPW World TV title, so I don’t think they’d lose to Sanada, but those would make for some interesting feuds. And I don’t even think Sanada would care about the KOPW Championship, though it would  be interesting to see what matches he’d come up with.

My Score: 8.8/10


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