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Mitchell’s NJPW AXS TV Results: G1 Climax 29, Part 6!

This is it for A Block!

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NJPW G1 Climax 29

The A Block reaches its conclusion!

This is it! The final round for A Block! Will Rainmaker or Golden Star take the block to be a G1 Climax Finalist?!

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • EVIL VS Lance Archer; Archer wins.
  • SANADA VS Bad Luck Fale; Fale wins.
  • KENTA VS Zack Sabre Jr; Sabre wins.
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Will Ospreay; Ospreay wins.
  • Kota Ibushi VS Kazuchika Okada; Ibushi wins and advances to the G1 Climax 29 Finals.

PLAY BY PLAY

NJPW and AXS set the scene for the penultimate Climax!

A dream match-up determines the entire fate of the finals! The Rainmaker went on a 6-0 run, only to run into the Cold Skull for the seventh time in his career. And in perhaps the biggest shock ever, Sanada came away as the 1 in 6-1 for BOTH streaks! Meanwhile, the Golden Star had an epic rematch from the epic G1 Climax 28 Finals as he defeated the Ace! Ibushi not only overcame the wrestling icon, but he firmly made himself the second place contender in the A Block! Ibushi and Okada would continue into Night 15, Ibushi winning again while Okada rebounding just in time. But now, they have their first match against each other in five years! Even a draw helps Okada make it to the end, but Ibushi could win to be a back-to-back finalist! Will the Golden Star shine in the heavy rain? Or will Okada take that next step towards making history?

 

EVIL VS Lance Archer!

Just because the standings have eliminated the King of Darkness and the Killer Elite doesn’t mean they won’t fight for pride and glory! Who comes out of this the better man?

AXS jumps into the action as Archer drags Evil to a corner and suplexes him into bare buckles! Evil writhes in agony as Archer soaks up the heat. Archer looms over Evil, then grinds a knee into him for a cover. TWO, but Evil clutches his legs. Archer reels Evil in for a lariat, then covers with just a hand. TWO, and Archer rains down rights on Evil’s head! Archer shouts at the ref then drags Evil to a drop zone. Archer stomps Evil then goes to the apron. He climbs the ropes, but Evil gets clear of the senton! Archer stings from having to roll through, but he’s still up first. Fans rally for Evil but Archer is angry. Archer drags Evil up but Evil fights back! Evil runs, dodges and collides with Archer! Archer ends up in a corner and Evil gets a clothesline! Evil sweeps Archer’s legs then roars. Fans fire up as Evil drums the mat. Evil runs corner to corner, BIG bronco buster! Cover, ONE!?

Evil keeps his composure as he grits his teeth. Archer slowly stands but Evil is on him with a suplex. Archer blocks with height and strength, to then spin and knee Evil into a lariat! The “American Psycho” shakes the cobwebs out as he eyes the corner again. He climbs up but Evil intercepts him with hands! Evil climbs up to throw forearms, but Archer gives them back. Evil headbutts, grabs Archer, and SUPERPLEXES! Cover, TWO!! Fans still rally and Evil stalks Archer. Archer stands, Evil runs, but the clothesline barely staggers Archer! Archer grabs Evil by the throat! But Evil breaks free, to catch the kick! Evil throws it at the ref, but Archer’s so big, the ref goes flying! Evil still mule kicks, but he runs into the DERAILER POUNCE! With the ref down, Archer goes out to fetch chairs! Archer brings the chair in, wedges it in the bare-buckle corner, and fans rally up as they anticipate his evil plans for Evil.

Archer drags Evil up, whips him over, but Evil stops himself! Then baits Archer in, sending Archer crashing through the chair! The plan backfired! Evil runs, to LARIAT Archer down! Fans are thunderous and the referee has revived. Evil slashes the throat and drags Archer up. He suplexes Archer to the ropes, hanging Magic Killer! Cover, TWO!! Archer still lives, but Evil has more left. He slashes the throat again, spins Archer around, but Archer slips out to a full nelson! Evil breaks free, kicks, spins, but into the CHOKE SLAM!! Cover, TWO!? Evil lives! But Archer drags him up to a fireman’s carry, F5!! That’s not enough for Archer, he wants to use his claw! Archer reaches down to bring Evil up, Everybody- misses! Evil headbutts! Then spins Archer, only to get the claw!! Everybody Dies, cover, Archer wins!!

Winner: Lance Archer, by pinfall

Not everything is evil, but Evil is still trying everything he can to fight out of the claw! Archer holds on tight to punish him, but Young Lions rush in to help. So Archer goes after one of them with the claw! He lets go when he is satisfied, but will Archer be satisfied with anything less than crushing everyone’s dreams with that vicious claw?

Archer goes to English commentary to talk to them. “Next year, nobody lives!” This year was “sh*t”, so next year, Archer vows to be undefeated. “It does not stop!” Rocky, say it! Rocky Romero says the catchphrase, and Archer leaves him alone. Will G1 Climax 30 be the year #EverybodyDies?

 

SANADA VS Bad Luck Fale!

The Cold Skull isn’t too upset that he won’t be a G1 Climax finalist. After all, he has a win over Kazuchika Okada, the reigning IWGP Heavyweight Champion! But will Sanada survive the Rogue General so he can cash in that title shot burning a hole in his back pocket?

The bell rings and fans are of course on Sanada’s side against Bullet Club. Sanada stares down with Fale as they circle, but Chase Owens swipes at him from behind. This distracts Sanada for Fale to attack! Fale throws heavy hands then grinds Sanada into the ropes. Fale stops at the ref’s count, then whips Sanada, but Sanada stops himself when he sees Jado and that kendo stick. Fale comes up but Sanada is ready with big haymakers! Sanada rocks Fale then runs, and dodges, only to get that kendo SMACK after all! Fans boo but Jado gets away with it again. Fale kicks Sanada out of the ring, and they end up by commentary. Fale tosses Sanada over the railing onto monitors! And uses a mic cable to choke him! The ref reprimands him and fans boo, but Fale does let up.

Fale goes back to the ring and stays where the ref says. The ref also makes sure Chase and Jado leave Sanada alone. Sanada catches his breath and gets out of the mic cable. He heads back to the ring, but Fale is on him with stomps. Fale stands on Sanada’s stomach! The ref counts and Fale stops, only to stand on Sanada’s chest! The ref counts again and reprimands Fale, but now Chase gets cheap shots in! Fans boo but Bullet Club is too good at the game. Sanada gets up and tries to scoop Fale, but Fale’s just too big. Fale clubs Sanada down, and then clamps a hand on the trapezius muscle! Sanada endures the claw, and gets a ropebreak with his feet. But Fale stomps him down and brings him back up. Fale clamps that hand on Sanada’s side, right under the armpit! Sanada endures this new nerve hold, then stands with a cocky salute cover. TWO, and fans rally hard for Sanada!

Sanada throws CHOPS on Fale, but the scoop still doesn’t work. Fale scoops Sanada but Sanada escapes, to get the scoop! But then he falls over with Fale’s weight! Cover, TWO! Sanada survives being squashed but Fale keeps stomping him. Fale steps on Sanada, to then drop a big elbow! Cover, TWO! Fale drops more elbows out of frustration, covers, TWO! Fale scoops Sanada and slams him down, to then get a running start, only to miss the elbow drop! Sanada catches his breath while Fale clutches his elbow. Sanada throws hands on Fale then whips, but Fale reverses. Sanada dodges, dodges, and dropkicks the legs! Fale staggers so Sanada dropkicks his chest! Sanada clotheslines Fale out of the ring! Fale still stands, so Sanada slingshots to topple him over! He slingshots to take Jado out! Chase runs into the ring but Sanada redirects him. Sanada hurdles and dropkicks Chase out, to then slingshot! A hat trick for Sanada!

Fans are thunderous for Cold Skull and he wants the cameramen to see that. Sanada uses the ring count to catch his breath and get Fale in the ring. Sanada aims from a corner, springboards, but Fale dodges the missile dropkick. But Sanada gets a fireman’s carry! Only for Fale’s weight to topple him over again. Fale splashes down, cover, TWO! Sanada survives becoming a pancake, but Fale still has something left to try. He drags Sanada up, Grenade hits! Cover, TWO!! Sanada survives again and Fale is furious! Fale vows to end this while fans reach a fever pitch for Sanada. Fale lifts Sanada to the crucifix, but Sanada slips out! Sanada dodges in the corner and gets the scoop slam!! Then the fireman’s carry, to the TKO neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Fale still lives, but Sanada keeps his cool. He drags Fale up into the dragon sleeper!

Fale endures, but Sanada drops back for the body scissors! True Skull End is in, but Chase yanks the ref out! Fale is tapping but no one can call it! Fans boo but Bullet Club does it again. Sanada lets go, Jado runs in, but he misses the kendo strike! Sanada kicks Jado low, tosses the stick aside, and ties Jado up in Paradise! Chase runs in, but even he gets put in Paradise! Fale clubs Sanada and whips, but Sanada tumbles out, springboards in, and dropkicks Fale down! Sanada gets up top as the ref returns, Moonsault! Fale dodges but Sanada lands on his feet! Sanada runs in, tilt-o-whirl to Skull End! Cradle counter, Fale wins!?

Winner: Bad Luck Fale, by pinfall

The Rogue General’s soldiers sacrificed themselves and he comes away with one last victory in the G1! But he forgets to help Chase out… Jado kicks Chase free, and Bullet Club leaves together. Well, Crown Jewel aside, is Fale poised to get a title match from the Cold Skull if he dethrones Okada?

 

KENTA VS Zack Sabre Jr!

The TakeOver continues, even without being a G1 Finalist. Will Kenta makes ZSJ #GoToSleep? Or will the Submission Master make Kenta #JustTapOut?

The bell rings and the two stare down. They circle as fans duel, and Kenta is wary of ZSJ’s grip. Kenta uses a corner for defense but ZSJ just grins and taunts him. They circle again and Kenta just stays out of ZSJ’s holds. Kenta waistlocks but ZSJ drops down. Kenta floats over then back around, but ZSJ switches. ZSJ floats, Kenta pushes him over, and the two break. Fans cheer this already impressive exchange. Kenta and ZSJ go again, pushing for headlock control. ZSJ gets the facelock but Kenta puts him into the ropes. They end up in the corner, and ZSJ pats his shoulder for a clean break with “senpai.” They circle again, and ZSJ tries to reel Kenta in. They end up on ropes again, and now Kenta is a good senpai as he gives the. Only to swing a kick! ZSJ gets under and is upset senpai wasn’t more respectful, as are fans.

ZSJ and Kenta circle again, and Kenta gets a leg. ZSJ leans back to fight the takedown, then goes for Kenta’s arms. Kenta pushes to the ropes and ZSJ has him in the corner again. The clean break is immediately marred by a stiff European Uppercut. Fans cheer but Kenta eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ throws more uppercuts, but Kenta only steps into them! Then Kenta DECKS ZSJ with one hard right! ZSJ flounders up but gets kicks to the chest! ZSJ is knocked off his feet with a high one, and then Kenta kicks him in the back. Kenta toys with ZSJ now and ZSJ gets annoyed. ZSJ gives Kenta more uppercuts, but Kenta just decks him again! Kenta dares ZSJ to do something before kneeing him back down. Kenta snapmares ZSJ to kick him in the back again. ZSJ gets up but Kenta is on him with a facelock.

Kenta shifts around for a chinlock, but ZSJ works on the grip. ZSJ gets an arm and wrenches a couple times, but Kenta just narrowly avoids the Pele! ZSJ narrowly avoids another kick, then gets up to boot! But he runs into Kenta’s knee! Kenta looms over ZSJ, to drop knees. Then he hops, to scuff ZSJ’s face. Fans boo again but Kenta pretends to be confused. But ZSJ gets his leg to stomp the arm! ZSJ wants to torture the surgically repaired arm with twisting, wrenching, and stomping! ZSJ then goes after a leg for a fast deathlock, and a butterfly mount. Kenta grits his teeth and slaps ZSJ. ZSJ digs his knuckles into the knees, then stands on Kenta to grab the bad arm! ZSJ has a double wristlock on top of the leg lock! Kenta pops his legs free to then use them to knee ZSJ in the shoulder and head! ZSJ lets go and gets away to ropes.

Kenta kicks ZSJ against the ropes! And again! And again! ZSJ flops over, and Kenta drops a knee on him again. Cover, ONE, but Kenta is on ZSJ with a snapmare. Kenta wraps the chinlock back on but ZSJ quickly slips out to hammerlock the arm! ZSJ pulls on this arm, then pulls legs into a figure four. He digs his knuckles in before getting the other arm, and practically makes Kenta into a pretzel. ZSJ flops Kenta over for a cover, ONE, and ZSJ grows frustrated. ZSJ toys with Kenta now, kicking him around. Kenta gets up to SLAP ZSJ. ZSJ SLAPS back, so Kenta forearms back. ZSJ fakes the uppercut to snapmare Kenta and crank the neck! ZSJ comes back to bring Kenta up in a half nelson. Kenta resists the full nelson and fights out with elbows. Kenta runs but into a boot. But he still catches ZSJ into a powerslam!

Both men are down and fans rally up. Kenta goes to a corner while ZSJ gets up. ZSJ runs in but into boots. Kenta hops up and grabs ZSJ for the tornado hotshot! Kenta climbs again and leaps at ZSJ for the flying clotheslines! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer and rally as ZSJ stays in this. Kenta drags ZSJ up, blocks the kick, but ZSJ starts slapping him. ZSJ even toys with Kenta, but he gets hard SLAPS back for it! Kenta runs corner to corner to give ZSJ a helluva kick! Then again for a basement dropkick! Kenta drags ZSJ to a drop zone and goes up top, for flying double stomps, only to roll through. Kenta runs into an uppercut, but gives back fast hands. ZSJ Northern Lights to a Kimura and headscissors! Then shift to an armbar! Kenta holds it off with a grip, but ZSJ works on the fingers. They roll, the armbar is complete but the ropebreak is, too!

ZSJ lets Kenta go to come back with a kick to the bad arm. And again! He won’t let up, he grinds the shoulder and wrenches, but Kenta forearms back. ZSJ holds on to still wrench, but he gets another forearm. ZSJ refuses to let go, and wrenches there times. Kenta gives three forearms back, but ZSJ kicks the shoulder! Kenta back hands ZSJ down as he falls! Both men hit the mat and fans fire up! Kenta and ZSJ head for each other, and Kenta eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ forearms but Kenta give sit back. The go back and forth, and ZSJ starts kicking. They stand, and Kenta forearms, but ZSJ EuroUppers back. Kenta, ZSJ, repeat. Kenta dares ZSJ to keep going, so ZSJ does. ZSJ fires kicks and one more uppercut! Kenta is down now, and ZSJ eggs him on. Kenta blocks the Penalty Kick! To spin and LARIAT! Kenta heads back up while ZSJ is down. Flying double stomps! Cover, TWO!!

ZSJ survives Kenta’s coup de grace, but Kenta vows to end this. Fireman’s carry, but ZSj slips out to PELE the arm! And sweep the legs! Penalty Kick hits! Cover, ONE?! And ZSJ is shocked! ZSJ and Kenta throw forearms again, then Kenta SLAPS ZSJ! ZSJ SLAPS back! Now it’s a SLAP fight! Kenta ROCKS ZSJ, and again, and again, and again! But ZSJ ducks the buzzsaw to get Kenta into the EuroClutch! TWO!! Fans are thunderous as Kenta escapes. ZSJ boots Kenta’s clothesline away, uppercuts back, and then catches the discus into a takedown! ZSJ wants both arms, but Kenta slips out to his own hold! #GameOver, but not yet! ZSJ gets a Triangle Hold! Kenta pops out to get back to the GameOver LeBell lock! ZSJ scrambles with his legs for a ropebreak! Kenta lets go in frustration.

Kenta gets up first, and kicks ZSJ off the ropes! Then he runs, to Psycho Knee ZSj down! Cover, TWO! Kenta vows to end it, fireman’s carry, GUILLOTINE! ZSJ shifts to a Triangle, and brings Kenta around! Kenta gets up again, but he can’t stack to a cover. ZSJ has the arms again! ZSJ pulls on the bad arm with Rings of Saturn! Bow ‘n’ Arrow even! Kenta endures even as ZSJ kicks his head! Verbal submission, ZSJ wins!!

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by submission

Kenta didn’t tap, but he couldn’t withstand the man of 1000 holds’ arsenal! ZSJ survives to finish strong, and brags as he holds up his Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship. Will ZSJ only get stronger from here?

 

Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Will Ospreay!

The Ace and the Aerial Assassin is a dream match to say the least! This may not be as big as the G1 Finals, but can the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion still win big against the Once in a Century Talent?

The bell rings and fans are dueling already! “Go Ace!” “Ospreay!” goes back and forth as the two circle. They tie up, and Tanahashi puts Ospreay against the ropes. He gives a clean break and they circle again. The dueling gets louder and Ospreay is clearly appreciative of having fans in attendance. He and Tanahashi tie up again, and Tanahashi works to power Ospreay to ropes. Ospreay locks his legs, and then pushes forward to put Tanahashi back! Ospreay lets up and keeps it clean, too. Fans cheer this respect between both men. Ospreay calls for a test of strength! Tanahashi obliges, and they lock up with the knuckles. They go shoulder to shoulder, and they’re deadlocked in the middle of the ring. Tanahashi brings things up, and uses leverage against Ospreay.

But Ospreay bridges to power back up! Then he kicks and wrenches Tanahashi to a wristlock. Tanahashi reverses the wrench, and brings Ospreay to a knee. Ospreay stands and rolls to handspring and break free! Ospreay headlocks and fans cheer! Tanahashi powers up and brings Ospreay back down, standing on his leg. Tanahashi pulls Ospreay back for a headlock, but Ospreay powers out. Tanahashi runs Ospreay over but Ospreay springs right up! Ospreay plays an air guitar! Tanahashi kicks Ospreay low, air guitar is his thing! Tanahashi whips Ospreay to a corner, Ospreay goes up and over, then keeps moving to huricanrana Tanahashi out! Ospreay builds more speed, to fake Tanahashi out! Superhero Landing! And then he slingshots, but Tanahashi gets in. Ospreay forearms Tanahashi but Tanahashi dropkicks Ospreay in the ropes! Dragon screw jams Ospreay’s leg!

Fans duel hard as ever, and Tanahashi drags Ospreay in by the bad leg. Tanahashi stomps the hamstring and yanks on the leg. Ospreay crawls to ropes but Tanahashi is after him again. Tanahashi drops an elbow on the leg then wraps on an toehold. Ospreay fights back but Tanahashi keeps the chinlock off. Tanahashi then laces the legs for a deathlock. Tanahashi uses the butterfly mount, but Ospreay endures and keeps his shoulders off the mat. Ospreay drags himself and Tanahashi towards ropes, but Tanahashi stands to apply more pressure! Ospreay holds himself up on one hand, but Tanahashi bridges back! No hands! Ospreay endures this unique Ace Deathlock, but still scrambles to ropes! Tanahashi lets go with the ropebreak, but the damage has been done.

Tanahashi drags Ospreay back up but Ospreay throws forearms. Tanahashi gives them back, then eggs Ospreay on. Ospreay obliges, and now they brawl with forearm after forearm! Ospreay gets an edge, but Tanahashi kicks the bad leg. Tanahashi whips but Ospreay handsprings to enziguri! Fans rally and duel again, but the Ospreay fans are gaining steam. Ospreay throws more forearms on Tanahashi, but Tanahashi reverses the whip. Ospreay dodges to hit a flying forearm smash! Tanahashi ends up in a corner, but Ospreay runs at him, only to be put on the apron,. The leg jams but Ospreay still punches Tanahashi away. Ospreay springboards but Tanahashi intercepts and punches him down! Tanahashi runs over but is dumped out! Ospreay dropkicks Tanahashi away, then builds up speed! SASUKE SPECIAL! Direct hit takes Tanahashi down!

Ospreay puts Tanahashi in the ring, for a standing Shooting Star! Cover, TWO! The dueling is at a fever pitch now, and Ospreay brings Tanahashi up. Tanahashi fires off strikes, ducks Ospreay’s roundhouse, but then Ospreay rocks him with a right. Tanahashi ends up by ropes, Ospreay hits him with an elevated 619! Tanahashi staggers, Ospreay springboards, but Tanahashi gets clear of Pip-Pip Cheerio! The leg jams again, and Ospreay hobbles into a dropkick to the leg! Tanahashi gets up as another fan rally begins. He has Ospreay’s legs for the Cloverleaf, but Ospreay resists. Ospreay pries Tanahashi’s hands away, and then kicks until Tanahashi backs off. Tanahashi kicks Ospreay’s leg, but runs into the dropkick-flip! But the leg! He still enziguris, but Tanahashi keeps hold of the other leg! Ospreay grabs at hair, but Tanahashi pulls on the ankle, for a Dragon Screw!

Tanahashi has the legs again, and completes the Cloverleaf! Tanahashi sits deep on Ospreay, bending him from legs to neck! Fans rally and duel as Ospreay endures. Ospreay pops out the back to reach for ropes, but Tanahashi drags him away! Tanahashi sits even deeper! Red Shoes checks on Ospreay, but Ospreay is fading! Ospreay gets a second wind, to get that ropebreak! Tanahashi lets go and fans are loving this match! The dueling does not slow down as Tanahashi stomps Ospreay at the ropes. Tanahashi waits for Ospreay to stand, to kick his leg out. Tanahashi waits for Ospreay to stand again, then runs, but Ospreay dodges the Slingblade! Ospreay wants the full nelson but is denied, and his hook kick misses, too! Tanahashi full nelsons Ospreay, but Ospreay drops down to victory roll! Cover, TWO! ROBINSON SPECIAL!

Fans fire up with Ospreay as he calls for it. Ospreay springboards, but Tanahashi side-steps and slams Ospreay down! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi drags Ospreay up, full nelsons, but Ospreay breaks free, only to be in the trapped-arm German Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! Ospreay escapes but Tanahashi still has more to give. Tanahashi waits for Ospreay to stand before he runs. Tanahashi comes in, but gets a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay doesn’t hesitate, he climbs up top and leaps, SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO!!! But that still doesn’t deter him, he springboards for OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO!?! How does Tanahashi keep surviving?! Ospreay is at a loss for words but the fans reach a new level of excitement! Ospreay gives a thumbs up, then slashes the throat with it. He drags Tanahashi up, underhooks, and Canadian racks, but Tanahashi makes it a SLINGBLADE!

The rallying from fans continues as Tanahashi stands back up. Tanahashi runs, and gets THE Slingblade! Cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi won’t let that slow him down, he goes up top! Ospreay stands, ACE’S HIGH Crossbody! But Ospreay rolls it over, TWO!!! SLAPPING Palm strike, but Tanahashi gets a HOOK KICK! Hidden Blade! But that’s not all, underhooks and lift, STORMBREAKER!!! Cover, Ospreay WINS!!

Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall

The biggest victory to date for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion! But Ospreay shows respect as he checks on Tanahashi as Young Lions help him up. The slogan has long since been “Attack for the Next Generation.” Has that banner officially been passed on from Ace to Assassin?

 

Kota Ibushi VS Kazuchika Okada!

It all comes down to this very last match of the A Block. The Golden Star lost early on in the round robin while the Rainmaker lost not too long ago. Can Ibushi continue his comeback and shine the brightest he ever has? Or will Okada continue to be on a whole ‘nother level? Who is THE A Block Finalist?!

The bell rings and fans are immediately fired up for these fan favorites! Okada and Ibushi can hear their supporters, but of course know there are just as many for the other. Okada teases rushing Ibushi, but he stays back to give Ibushi a fair fight. They circle and approach, wary of a grapple because they know how skilled the other is. They tie up, and Okada waistlocks. Ibushi wrenches out to a wristlock, but Okada rolls and trips Ibushi to a toehold. Okada wrenches and goes after the ankle, but Ibushi retaliates with a chinlock. They roll and Ibushi gets a headlock, only for Okada to slip out to a hammerlock. Okada rolls Ibushi to a cover, ONE! Fans cheer as Okada backs off and Ibushi stands.

The dueling continues as Okada and Ibushi reset and go again. Ibushi works to push Okada back, but Okada pushes Ibushi. Okada gets Ibushi on the ropes, but in classic Okada fashion, the break is clean, with the chop feint. Okada pats Ibushi’s shoulder and dares him to come back. Ibushi comes back with a forearm to the face! Ibushi waits for Okada’s response, and Okada forearms him back. Ibushi forearms, Okada forearms, and they go back and forth! Okada gets the edge, runs, but into Ibushi’s dropkick! The dueling returns as Okada shakes out the cobwebs. Ibushi is on him with forearms and Okada staggers to a corner. Ibushi elbows then wrenches, then whips Okada corner to corner. Okada whips Ibushi but misses in the corner. Okada still gets Ibushi up top, and dropkicks him down! Ibushi crashes and burns towards commentary!

Okada takes his time as the five minute mark is announced. After all, Okada only needs a draw to still advance. He drags Ibushi up for a DDT right to the floor! Ibushi clutches his head and neck but Okada simply walks away. Okada rests in the ring while Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Ibushi is okay to continue, but he’s still dazed. The ring count begins, and Ibushi sits up at 10 of 20. Ibushi wobbles but Okada has Red Shoes stop there so this match can continue. Okada brings Ibushi up and throws him at buckles! Okada throws back elbows in at Ibushi, and Ibushi sits down as he clutches his ear. Ibushi wants time, and Okada pretends to give it before stomping him down! Okada lets up to bring Ibushi up, but Ibushi throws forearms back. Okada knees low, then snapmares Ibushi to run an dropkick! Okada walks it off as Ibushi clutches his face. Okada comes back to cover, TWO!

Fans duel as Okada puts on a chinlock. He digs his knee into Ibushi’s back, but Ibushi endures. Ibushi fights his way up but Okda pulls back harder. Fans build to a rally but Ibushi starts to fade. Red Shoes checks on him but Ibushi finds new life. He fights up and out of the hold, but Okada clubs him back. Okada whips but Ibushi reverses and runs in, only to get a boot. Okada runs but gets a huricanrana! Both men are down now and fans rally up again. Ibushi fires himself up knowing the 10 minute mark has arrived. He drags Okada up but Okada swings a punch. Ibushi ducks that to come back with a strike fest! Ibushi roundhouses Okada off his feet! Then standing moonsaults! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as he grits his teeth. Fans duel more and Ibushi stands while Okada bails out. Ibushi slingshots and splashes down on Okada!

Ibushi gets up and walks off the ankle pain. He puts Okada back in and fans cheer as he wants to end this in the ring. Ibushi whips but Okada dodges and ducks to elbow Ibushi down! Okada fires up and the fans do, too! Okada drags Ibushi up, whips him corner to corner, and runs in for a big elbow. Then he kicks for another DDT! Cover, TWO! Ibushi refuses to stay down but he is clutching his neck again. Okada drags him up, scoops and slams him fast, then heads up top. Standard Okada as he aims, but Ibushi is up and gets under. Ibushi runs into an uppercut, and Okada runs, only to get Ibushi’s enziguri! Both men are down and fans rally up!

Okada sits up first but Ibushi follows. Ibushi throws a forearm but Okada give sit back. Ibushi gives another forearm, but Okada gives it back. They go back and forth, Ibushi, Okada, repeat, faster and faster. Ibushi staggers, and Okada throws a big EuroUpper! Ibushi wobbles but stays on his feet. Okada whips Ibushi corner to corner but Ibushi reverses, only to run into an elbow. Okada runs but into Ibushi’s powerslam! Ibushi rolls, moonsaults, onto knees! Okada has control again as he looms over Ibushi. He whips Ibushi to ropes, and hits a big flapjack! Cover, TWO! Fans rally and duel again while Okada drags Ibushi back up. Okada scoops and slams Ibushi, then heads back up. But Ibushi is up fast and intercepts with a body shot. Ibushi climbs to join Okada and wants underhooks. Okada resists with just his legs, and fights back with body shots and clubbing forearms.

Okada clubs Ibushi until he’s down onto the apron. Okada adjusts, but Ibushi is up fast! Springboard SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! Fans rally as both men slowly stand. Ibushi blocks Okada’s meteora into a POWERBOMB! Ropebreak! Okada knew where he was and saves himself. Ibushi sits back in the corner to rest while Okada crawls away. Ibushi stands, vowing to end this. He brings Okada up by his wrists, but Okada reels Ibushi in! Ibushi ducks the Rainmaker and waistlocks, but Okada elbows out. Ibushi still comes back, only to swing into Okada’s German Suplex! The bridge doesn’t stay up, but Okada doesn’t mind, he has the wristlock. Ripcord but Ibushi dodges, only to get Okada’s dropkick! Okada drags Ibushi up, scoops him, but Ibushi flails to reverse the position! Ibushi tucks Okada in for PACKAGE TOMBSTONE!

But Ibushi can’t hold on for a cover, and now both men are down again! The fans are thunderous as Okada and Ibushi stir. Ibushi sits up first and still wants to end this. He throws forearms on Okada, but Okada comes back with his own. They brawl on their knees, Ibushi hitting and Okada responding. Each man roars in turn, and they continue hitting as they stand. The 20 minute mark is given, so Ibushi has 10 minutes to win! Ibushi hits Okada, but Okada hits back. The brawl picks up speed, but then Okada flounders! Ibushi brings him back up for more forearms, and Okada ends up in a corner. But he comes back with a shotgun dropkick! But Ibushi rolls through! LARIAT! Both men are down again and the dueling returns to that thunderous level.

Ibushi stands first, and calls for a corner. He scoops Okada, but Okada fights out to scoop Ibushi! But then Ibushi reverses positions again, only for Okada to slip out and backslide! Ibushi rolls off, to get a point-blank Rainmaker! Okada keeps wrist control and has to slap the stars out of his head. He pulls Ibushi back up, and reels him in, for another Rainmaker! Okada roars and takes off his armbands. He wants the true form of…. No, Ibushi ducks, straitjacket German! But he doesn’t bridge, because he spins Okada around, only for Okada to block. Ibushi fights Okada off the leg, only to get a dropkick to the back! Okada whips but Ibushi counters the dropkick to a bomb! Cover, TWO!! Okada survives and the fans are at that fever pitch again!

Ibushi calls upon the King of Strong Style as he stands in the corner. “YAO!” Ibushi runs out, but he gets a dropkick! Okada drags Ibushi up, wristlocks and reels him out, but Ibushi ducks! Ibushi wristlocks and ripcords Okada for a roundhouse! Then with both wrists, KAMI- NO! Okada counters, but Ibushi denies the Electric Chair. Ibushi spins around and sunset flips, but Okada sits on it! TWO!! Ibushi shocks himself with his escape! ROUNDHOUSE! Okada staggers but ducks the second, spins Ibushi as he spins, only to get a knee trigger! Ibushi has the wrists, KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Okada survives, but Ibushi wont’ let up! Another KAMIGOYE!! Cover, Ibushi wins!!

Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; advances to the G1 Climax Finals

Ibushi ties the score at 14, but because of this win, he has the tiebreaker! Okada’s dream of being a G1 winning IWGP Heavyweight Champion will not happen this year! But can Ibushi turn back-to-back finals appearances into a G1 Climax win? And who does he meet from B Block?

 

NJPW returns with Ibushi’s victory speech.

“With this, I have punched my ticket to the finals.” Ibushi stands up to do this properly. Fans cheer for Ibushi as he takes a moment to catch his breath. “First, I want to say thank you to everyone.” And he also thanks all the other wrestlers in the A Block. As the A Block winner, he vows not to lose. He won’t make the same mistakes from last year. He will not give up until the bitter end. It’s a promise! See you then! Ibushi will only have so much time to rest. Who will he have to prepare for in just a matter of days?

 

NJPW Media backstage interview

Ibushi sits and says, “Last year, I was a runner-up, and I’m guaranteed at least second place.” But Ibushi won’t be satisfied that for a second year. He will not quit. He’s been waiting for this a whole year. August 12 is Kota Ibushi Day. Ibushi will give back as good as he gets from his opponent. Ibushi just has to keep going, just a little further. He’ll do his very best to the very end, no matter who it is he’s up against. And as for his match with Okada, Ibushi can still barely comprehend it. Okada and Ibushi are roughly the same class, 2004. Ibushi can’t wait to face him again, because Okada is incredible. That was maybe Okada’s 1% against Ibushi’s 100%. There is still more to this between the two of them. Ibushi is writing his own story. You’ll have to wait and see the ending another time. Can Ibushi beat B Block’s best to get that Wrestle Kingdom 14 title match contract?

 


 

My Thoughts:

An amazing two hours once again, as every one of these has been from NJPW and AXS. Again, the only match that mattered for the tournament was the main event, but the other matches can make for some great story as the G1 Climax is wrapping up overall. Archer has another good showing, and even though he wins over Evil, he clearly won’t be satisfied. This already plants a story a year in advance of Archer wanting to dominate whatever Block he’s put in. Fale wins thanks to Bullet Club shenanigans, and that could be used to spark a story of Bullet Club and Los Ingobernables de Japon through Sanada. At the same time, Chase seems to be the low rung on the ladder now, I wonder if that becomes something in Bullet Club’s next phase as a faction.

ZSJ VS Kenta was a great match, and that was a great win for ZSJ. This could definitely spark a story for Kenta with ZSJ as the year rolls on. Tanahashi VS Ospreay was incredible! This was worthy of being the A Block Finals in itself, and it was big for Ospreay to win here. It was tantamount to a passing of the torch, between Tanahashi putting Ibushi and Ospreay over. Tanahashi still has a lot left, but this is a big sign that it is time for the new stars to rise up and carry NJPW forward. And of course, that extends even to Ibushi VS Okada here in the main event, which was worthy of the title match already. Ibushi winning is incredible for him and this tournament. AXS will take two more weeks to wrap up G1 even though it’s done in real time, but getting to see B Block next week and the man Ibushi faces/faced is going to be awesome. And without looking it up, I have a feeling it’s Naito just so the two of them can have one more match.

Naito could take it here so that he gets his match to be both IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion. Plus, Okada will have a hard-fought road to Wrestle Kingdom with Sanada having his title match lined up, and technically now even Ibushi. Anything could happen where Okada shockingly loses the title to Sanada or Ibushi so that it’s one of them headed to Wrestle Kingdom to face Mr. G1 Climax 29. Because for one, I don’t see the WK14 contract holder losing that, so it has to still come down to the G1 Climax winner having a title match. This far out, things can always change, but it would be pretty awesome if Naito as Mr. G1 meets Ibushi again when Ibushi is IWGP Heavyweight Champion. At the same time, Naito VS Okada is great because beating Okada is itself a title win, while LIJ VS LIJ as Naito has to face Sanada, his teammate, to prove who is truly the best in the faction.

My Score: 9.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (6/17/24)

Turn the corner towards Toronto!

Published

on

Got my mind on my money and my money on my mind!

WWE made it through Clash at the Castle, and now prepares for Money in the Bank! Who will qualify for the Men’s & Women’s ladder matches tonight?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Chad Gable w/ The Alpha Academy VS Braun Strowman; Braun wins.
  • Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Zelina Vega VS Iyo Sky VS Kiana James; Iyo wins and advances to MITB Toronto.
  • Dragon Lee w/ The LWO VS Carlito w/ JD McDonagh & Dominik Mysterio; Carlito wins.
  • Damage CTRL VS Katana Chance & Kayden Carter; Chance & Carter win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Bron Breakker VS Sheamus; Sheamus wins, by disqualification, no word on #1 contender.
  • Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Jey Uso VS Rey Mysterio VS Finn Balor; Jey wins and advances to MITB Toronto.

PLAY BY PLAY

Seth Rollins is here!

Corpus Christi, Texas fires up as The Architect makes his return! He’s been away since his epic battle against Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 40, and he’s dressed as dapper as ever as he makes his way into the ring. Rollins revels in the fans singing “WHOA~ OH~ OHH~!” for him after two-and-a-half months away, and takes a bow. Then the fans chant “Welcome Back! Welcome Back!” Rollins then tells Corpus Christi, “Let me welcome you back to Monday Night Rollins~!” The fans fire up more and Rollins says that in case you’d forgot, let him introduce your host for this evening. He is a Visionary, he is a Revolutionary, he is… SETH! FREAKIN’! ROLLINS!

The fans cheer more and Rollins soaks it in. The fans sing again, and Rollins says he missed the fans, too. Now, he will cut to the chase, because he figures the fans will sing all night anyway. He is back for one reason. He’s seen ’em all, faced ’em all, beat ’em all, and done it all. He did not get into this business to be one of the best, but to be THE VERY BEST OF ALL TIME! And he cannot do that without getting back the championship that he made! THE WWE World Heavyweight Championship! Then Rollins looks up at the briefcases hanging overhead. MITB is only a few short weeks away… Rollins knows how to climb a ladder pretty well.

And Rollins is quite familiar with the MITB contract. So he figures, that is the fastest way for him to get back in the mix for- Well, speak of the champion, Damian Priest is here! El Campeon walks his way out to the ring, and he gets himself a mic as he stands face to face with Rollins. The fans boo but Priest tells Rollins that he isn’t being sarcastic, he really did want to come out here to be the first to welcome Rollins back. Rollins looks great, looks healthy, it is good to have him back. And real talk, Priest has been wanting some face to face time with Rollins to tell him straight up, that he was hoping to cash-in on Rollins at Mania. Out of respect, of course.

That didn’t happen, but Priest feels he’s doing okay. Hate to tell Rollins, through, this isn’t Monday Night Rollins. It is now where they #AllRise for El Campeon. Rollins laughs and says hey, let’s cut Priest some slack, he had a rough weekend. He almost lost a leg in Scotland! And Rollins likes where Priest is coming from, respects it, and priest may not know this but they’re a lot alike. Think about it: they both made their names in groups, Judgment Day and The Shield; they both won MITB contracts, had to wait a long time to cash in, but when they did, they left a mark on the Grandest Stage of Them All, and that is how they both won their first world titles.

So very similar they are, but there is one thing that separates Rollins from Priest. At some point, Rollins grew a set. Now, Rollins was talking about legacy. He wants to be the greatest of all time, and to have that legacy for himself, he had to stand on his own two feet. So let’s ask Priest a question, the question we’ve all been wondering since Mania: What kind of Champion does Priest want to be? What does he want this legacy to be? One of the greats? Or just a footnote in the history of The Judgment Day? Priest says that’s a fair question. But Priest will remind Rollins of something. When Rollins had the title, Priest was his first challenger.

And back then, Rollins won, because he was better. He was. But times have changed. Saturday, Priest almost lost a leg, so people thought he was gonna have to give up the title. The only thing he’s giving up is the fact Rollins is still better than him. The type of legacy Priest wants to leave? Don’t worry about ladders or briefcases. MITB in Toronto can just be Priest VS Rollins for the World Championship! Really? Is this a trap? Are the boys gonna jump Rollins? No, the boys don’t even know Priest is out here! This is them, man to man! Does Rollins want a shot at Priest’s world title or not!? The fans say “YES! YES! YES!”

Rollins says if it’s that simple, then challenge accepted! The fans fire up and Rollins tells Priest to remember this: As long as Rollins is here, this show will always and forever be Monday Night Rollins! The fans are all fired up, and we already have the headliner to MITB 2024! Will Rollins #BurnItDown in Toronto? Or will he fall as we #AllRise for El Campeon?

 

Adam Pearce is on the phone.

He discusses the qualifiers, but then there’s a knock on his door. In walks The Alpha Academy. Chad Gable says he’d been looking for the Raw GM. As a man like him, an intellectual, someone who understands common sense, surely Pearce understands Chad Gable’s frustrations with his number one disappointment, Lil’ Bo Peep Maxxine Dupri, and “Every Other Day Off” Akira Tozawa missing the trip. Gable would be champion now if not for that. So please, give him what he deserves, and make another rematch with Sami Zayn. Pearce says he understands Gable’s frustrations, and how much that title means to him.

But you know what else he gets? That Gable should win his way to another title match, just like everyone else. Gable gets in Tozawa’s face as he asks if they heard that. Back of the line!? Like everyone else?! Gable isn’t like everyone else, he’s a leader! Gable then says he’ll keep a cool head in this game. Find him someone to face, then. Someone worthy of his skills. After all, he’s an Olympian, he can take it. So anyone at all? Then Pearce has the perfect opponent. Okay, make it official. Official it is! Gable tells The Academy not to screw this one up! The Academy heads out, but just who is Pearce going to give Gable? We find out, after the break.

Chad Gable w/ The Alpha Academy VS ???

Raw returns and Gable glares right at the stage. Who is his opponent? BRAAAUN~! The fans fire up as The Monster of All Monsters, a former Intercontinental Champion in his own right, is set up as quite the roadblock on Gable’s path back to Sami Zayn. Will Gable be able to climb that mountain? Or will he have no choice but to accept he’s at the back of the line?

The bell rings and the fans rally for “ONE! BIG! S O B!” Braun flexes, Gable circles with him, and Gable goes around to waistlock. Braun elbows free, then CLUBS him in a corner! Braun whips, Gable holds ropes then BOOTS back! Gable runs but into a scoop! Gable fights free, waistlocks, and uses ropes but Braun still bucks the O’Conner to BOOT Gable down! The fans cheer and Braun says Gable is a bully. They don’t have to put up with his crap! Braun HEADBUTTS Gable, puts him in a corner, and CHOPS! Gable sputters, Braun whips him corner to corner hard, and Gable falls back! Gable flounders and the fans cheer.

Braun puts Gable up top, tells him he hates bullies, but Gable gets a HANGING ARMBAR! The ref counts, Gable says, “That’s how it’s done, you morons!” Gable sits up, but Braun CHOPS him to the floor! The fans cheer while the Academy is beside themselves, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Braun runs up to run Gable over! And run him over again! Braun whips Gable to a corner hard, and Gable falls back again! Braun stands Gable up to then TOSS him across the way! Gable tumbles out of the ring, Braun rips his shirt off and the fans fire up! The ring count starts, but Braun goes out! The Strowman Express builds speed, but Gable uses Tozawa as a shield! Braun THROWS Tozawa at Gable! Gable flounders, gets in the ring, and Braun pursues. Gable KICKS away on Braun’s leg, then runs, into a scoop! MONSTER SLAM!! Cover, Braun wins!

Winner: Braun Strowman, by pinfall

Gable tried but no, he could not topple the towering Monster of All Monsters. And yet who is he blaming? He glares at Maxxine, Tozawa and Otis, and tells them all to get in the ring! The fans chant “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” but Gable demands Tozawa step forward. Tozawa reluctantly does step forward, and Gable shoves him around! And pulls on his ear! Maxxine hobbles forward on her bad foot to stand up to Gable! Gable says she’s gonna get all tough now, huh? He takes her crutch! And he throws it away! The fans boo as Gable tells her to leave, even though she’s on one good foot! Otis goes to help, as does Tozawa, but Gable says he’s not done with Tozawa.

Gable SLAPS Tozawa down! Otis hears that and turns around! The fans fire up as Otis sees what Gable’s done, and then Otis looks at Gable. And he SHOVES Gable! And rips off the shirt! Gable panics, begs for mercy from Otis, but Otis’ rage is boiling up! But Otis being the better man, he spares Gable and helps Tozawa out of the ring. Otis helps both Tozawa and Maxxine to the back, and the fans tell Gable, “YOU SUCK! YOU SUCK!” Gable says they’re supposed to be a family, but clearly he’s the only one who doesn’t understand. Is Gable truly all alone now?

 

Pat McAfee uses the telestrator to explain the mystery of Liv Morgan’s keycard.

Everyone was wondering how that keycard disappeared last week, Pat points out that with a sleight of hand during the fist bump, it was Finn Balor who took Liv’s keycard! Did he perchance try and use it last week, too?

 

Judgment Day regroups in the clubhouse.

JD McDonagh and Carlito talk darts, but Finn says this Braun Strowman stuff is turning into a runaway train. JD says they’ve tried dealing wit him, but he’s massive! Priest walks in, says sup, and Finn congratulates him on the big win at Clash at the Castle. And it goes without saying, any issue with Rollins, Finn has Priest’s back. Priest says he appreciates it, but will table it for later. Because he needs to say it’s not cool that Finn took the keycard, and did it in a really sketchy way. Finn says that sounds like an accusation. But just so Priest knows, Finn took it to protect Dom. The keycard is gone, in the trash, good riddance. Is that okay with El Campeon?

Priest says relax, he didn’t mean it like that. He’s just saying, Finn’s been acting odd lately. But hey, Finn has the MITB qualifier, and Priest has no doubt Finn is the next Mr. MITB. But as such, Priest wants to know where Finn’s head is at. Finn says he’ll be straight with Priest. When Finn wins the briefcase, he will cash in to become champion. By going after Cody. Heh, got ya. But really, do any of them really want Rey Mysterio or Jey Uso becoming Mr. MITB? No, you can trust Finn. Right, fair enough. Just making sure they’re on the same page. Hey, Dom, what’s going on? Did you lose something?

Dom says yeah, he can’t find his purple cowboy vest. Oh, maybe he left it in Liv’s hotel room, you dog! Carlito, that’s not helping anybody. Priest asks why Carlito is here when he has a match to get ready for. Right, gotta go. JD says Carlito’s getting to comfy in here. Dom & JD head out with Carlito, and Priest asks if Finn’s talked with Dom lately. Nope. And he’s staying far away from that issue anyway. Is the answer to the missing vest and the sneaky keycard the one in the same in lil’ Miss Morgan playing games?

 

Women’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Zelina Vega VS Iyo Sky VS Kiana James!

The first qualifier sees La Muneca, the Evil Genius and The One Percent battle with very little holding them back. Who will grab that first golden ticket to Toronto here tonight?

Raw returns and Kiana makes her entrance, followed by Zelina’s. The bell rings and Iyo ROCKS Zelina, throws her down, then CLUBS away! Kiana goes after Iyo, ROCKS her, but Iyo just frowns. Iyo CLAWS at Kiana, Zelina throws Iyo down! Iyo fires back but Zelina blocks, kicks and KNEES her down! Cover, but Kiana breaks it right up! Kiana then rolls Zelina up, TWO! Kiana kicks Zelina low, bumps her off buckles, then stomps away in the corner. The fans boo but Kiana runs up, into a RANA! The fans fire up, but then Iyo DROPKICKS Zelina down! Iyo fires up, the fans are torn, but Iyo ducks Kiana’s haymaker to HOTSHOT!

Iyo says IKU ZO, and she ASAI MOONSAULTS Kiana down! Iyo fires up again, but Zelina METEORAS to the floor! The fans fire up with Zelina, she points to the briefcases, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns, all three woemn are on the corner, DOUBLE SUPERPLEX! Zelina & Iyo take Kiana down but they both cover, the ref waves it off! Can’t have a tie in a match like this, y’know. Zelina and Iyo glare at each other, then go forehead to forehead. They fire forearm for forearm! The fans fire up, Zelina fires off, but Iyo SHOTEIS! Iyo reels Zelina in but Zelina wrenches out, kicks low, and hops on. Iyo pops out, gets around, underhooks, and TIGER BACKBREAKER! Iyo is all fired up and the fans are with her! Iyo runs corner to corner, but Kiana RAMS her into the corner! Kiana RAMS Zelina, too!

Kiana reels Zelina in, gut wrenches, and POWERBOMBS! Cover, Iyo rolls Kiana up! TWO! Kiana kicks Iyo, drags Zelina back up, but Zelina arm-drags free! Zelina blocks Iyo’s kick, ELBOWS her down, “This is Awesome!” as Kina scoops but Zelina slips free. Zelina schoolgirls to KICK Kiana down! Zelina lifts Iyo up with a foot, then BOOTS her down! Kiana gets Zelina, throws her at Iyo and Zelina RANAS Iyo away! Kiana runs up, into a wheelbarrow and somersault into buckles! But Iyo MISSILE DROPKICKS Zelina! The fans fire up as Iyo stomps Kiana, goes up and up the corner, but Zelina runs to 619 the legs out!

The fans fire up as Zelina runs at Iyo, hops on, CODE RED! Cover, KIANA BREAKS IT! The fans fire up as all three women are down again! Kiana gets Zelina up but Zelina JAWBREAKERS back! Zelina runs, goes to the apron, but ducks a backhand! Zelina BOOTS Kiana, but look! Liv Morgan is here! She’s wearing Dom’s vest! Zelina tells Liv to go away, but Kiana gets her with a CODE BREAKER! Iyo METEORAS! Then she goes up and up and OVER THE MOONSAULT! Cover, Iyo wins!

Winner: Iyo Sky, by pinfall (advances to MITB)

Liv applauds as she costs Zelina and helps Iyo. Is this Liv’s way of winning Dom over? By sticking it to the LWO? As for Iyo, will she become a back-to-back Miss MITB?

 

Sami Zayn is here!

Corpus Christi cheers as the WWE Intercontinental Champion makes his way to the ring. He’s made it through a trilogy with Chad Gable, but what will be next for him? We find out, after the break.

Raw returns and fans cheer on Sami as he gets a mic. Sami says, “Ladies and gentlemen, I am proud to walk into Corpus Christi tonight STILL your Intercontinental Champion!” The fans cheer that! Sami continues by saying he won’t lie, Saturday, Clash at the Castle, Gable did not make it easy. You can boo him, Sami doesn’t like Gable either. But it is never easy in the ring with him. And to think, all this personal stuff, it all started just because Sami beat Gable in a wrestling match. And now, after months and months, after the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the personal and ambush attacks, it is over because Sami beat him in a wrestling match!

Sami says as far as he’s concerned, he is moving on from Gable. But he’d be lying if he said it’d be easy to move on from The Alpha Academy. Sami feels for them, he was just like them. But his time in The Bloodline proved that everyone has to do things on their own time. Sami didn’t leave until he was ready, Jey Uso didn’t leave until he was ready. The fans say “YEET!” for Jey and Sami is convinced, especially after tonight, that The Academy, when they are ready, they will leave Gable. So now, Sami looks forward to do his job, which is defending this title against anyone and everyone! But wait, here comes Bron Breakker!

The Big Bad Booty Nephew makes his way out, coming off of beating Ilja Dragunov and all but destroying Ricochet last week. Bron goes right to the ring, gets himself a mic, and he stares Sami down. The fans bark it up, others boo, but Sami asks if Bron really interrupted just so he could stand here, or does he have something to say? Bron says he doesn’t have much to say. Sami knows what he’s here for and what he’s capable of doing in this ring. Bron’s left a long list of bodies laying, and Sami is just next on that list. Because Bron is taking that Intercontinental Championship! The fans boo but Sami holds his ground.

Sami holds the belt up, the fans cheer him on, and Bron smirks. Sami says if this is what Bron wants, then- SHEAMUS walks out here? The fans fire up for The Celtic Warrior and he has a mic to say, “Corpus Christi, what’s the crack?” Now, cut the brakes, Sami. His fellow Ginger Ninja! As everyone knows, Sheamus has been chasing that Intercontinental title for a very long five years. He has put on banger after banger after banger, so if anyone’s getting a shot, maybe Sami should consider him? Sheamus wants Sami to know, though, he respects him a lot.

If and when this opportunity does arrive, and nothing personal, but Sheamus wuold do anything to get his hands on that title. Whether it’s from Sami’s cold dead hands or not, Sheamus is coming for it. Bron barks at Sheamus, and says he can’t act like Bron’s not even here! Bron says no one cares about the sob story of Sheamus. We all know what happens when someone gets in Bron’s way. And right now, Sheamus is in Bron’s way! Bron will kick Sheamus’ ass, too! The fans are torn but Sheamus says Bron’s gonna kick his ass? What? Put him on some list? Sheamus will explain this. Bron is on the run of a lifetime as the new hot thing in WWE.

But as far as the IC title goes, Bron has no skin in this game. And Bron IS the new kid on the block. Bron smirks again, but Sheamus tells him to get to the back of the line, before Sheamus makes him! These two stare down, Sami steps forward to say, “Well, it seems like you guys really need to sort this out.” This is what Sami will do. He will talk to Pearce, and Sami is pretty sure Corpus Christi doesn’t wanna see these two talk it out! They wanna sese these two fight it out, right here, later tonight! The fans cheer that, and both big men grin. The Fella and the Brutal Badass are surely going to

 

Dragon Lee speaks.

“Carlito cost me the chance to tag with the legend, Rey Mysterio, at WrestleMania XL.” It was a betrayal and a blindside attack, like a coward! But finally, Dragon will get his revenge. “Carlito, you will learn when you mess with a dragon, you will get burned.” The Boy Wonder takes on Caribbean Cool, and it’s next!

 

Backstage interview with Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn.

Jackie Redmond is with the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, and congratulates them on their win from Saturday. What a night at Clash at the Castle! Have they come down from the high? No, they have not. That was a dream come true to win these titles in front of friends, family and all of Scotland, and then celebrate with them. But the celebration is over, the hard work starts now. Because it doesn’t matter where in the world they are, they will take on anyone who tries to take their titles? But then Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark walk in. Their titles? Reminder: Shayna & Zoey beat them pretty handedly last week on Raw.

And also, if you missed it, Shayna is pretty sure that she made Jade tap at some point. And the way these two see it, Alba & Isla are just keeping the titles warm for them. Shayna & Zoey are aimed at MITB, but they will come for the belts that are rightfully theirs. Alba says any time, any place. Shayna says be careful what you wish for. The Submission Magician & Hunter head out, but when and where will they get their shot at the wicked witches?

 

Dragon Lee w/ The LWO VS Carlito w/ JD McDonagh & Dominik Mysterio!

Raw returns and Carlito makes his entrance, The Irish Ace & Dirty Dom with him. The bell rings and Dragon runs up to CLOBBER Carlito! The fans fire up as Dragon fires off, but Carlito whips him away. Carlito runs up, but into a BOOT! Dragon runs in, tilt-o-whirls and RANAS! Carlito stands, into a DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Carlito hangs in there but Dragon ENZIGIRIS! Carlito bails out, the fans fire up, and Dragon slingshots to PLANCHA, but Carlito catches him! Carlito THROWS Dragon into barriers! JD & Dom applaud, Carlito refreshes the count, and Carlito glares at Rey. Carlito drags Dragon up, then RAMS him into the barriers.

The fans boo Carlito but he puts Dragon in the ring. Carlito dares The LWO to go after him, but they can’t because they’re scared. But then Dragon FLYING RANAS to throw Carlito back down! The fans fire up as Dragon gets Carlito back up, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Dragon is up top. Dragon leaps to DIVING SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Carlito survives but Judgment Day is a bit worried. The fans rally as Dragon aims, runs up, tilt-o-whirl, but Carlito says no to the DDT! Dragon JUMP KNEES, runs, but Carlito ELBOWS him! Carlito runs up, but Dragon sidesteps to SNAP GERMAN! The fans fire up as Dragon runs, but Carlito fireman’s carries for a TKO! Both men are down and the fans rally. Carlito crawls to a cover, TWO! Dragon survives and the fans rally up. Carlito waits on Dragon to rise, and Dragon is in the corner. Carlito runs in to RAM into Dragon!

Carlito hoists Dragon up top, climbs up to join him, then goes to the very top. But Dragon trips Carlito into the Tree of Woe! Dragon stands to drop the WOE STOMPS! The fans fire up and Dragon reels Carlito in. Carlito back drops free of the bomb! Carlito kicks low, runs, then KNEE LIFTS! Carlito keeps going, but Dragon slips through the lariat! Dragon reels Carlito back in, gets him up, SITOUT BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Carlito survives and LWO can’t believe it! JD & Dom can breathe easy now, but wait! Here comes Liv~! She shows off how she looks in Dom’s vest, and Dom asks for it back! When did she even take it?

But wait, here comes Zelina! She CLOBBERS Liv for earlier, but then Rey & Wilde hurry over! Dom DECKS his dad, then tosses Wilde into steps! Rey fires off hands on his son, but in the chaos, JD YANKS Dragon off the corner! Carlito hits a DRAPING BACKSTABBER!! Cover, Carlito wins!

Winner: Carlito, by pinfall

The Judgment Day uses the distractions to their advantage, but what else is new? Will Dragon never have his revenge on Carlito? Will Liv ever have Dom all to herself?

 

Raw shares the exclusive backstage footage from Clash at the Castle.

Punk saw the ref went down during Priest VS McIntyre, and he hurried to ask for a spare ref shirt. He was given one, and as we know, he’d put it on and run out to the ring, just to screw McIntyre.

Speaking of, McIntyre is on his way to gorilla. There’s a lot of QR Code weirdness, too, but what will The Scottish Terminator have to say about the #GlasgowScrewjob? We’ll see, after the break.

 

The Alpha Academy regroups backstage.

Otis helps the others pack up, but Gable storms in! Gable demands to know what Otis is doing putting his hands on Gable! And Gable’s sick of all this crap! Maxxine being the drama queen! Wait, what are they doing? They’re packing, because they’re leaving. What? Leaving to where? Aren’t they a family? Otis tells Gable that they’re done. The Academy walks out on Gable! Gable says no, they don’t say when they’re done, HE says when they’re done! And they ARE done! They’re EXPELLED! They’ll be nothing without him! Just tiny little nobodies! He’s gonna be huge! Massive! And he’ll win MITB, and do something that failure Otis never could. He’s gonna cash in and become world champion!

 

Drew McIntyre makes his way to the ring!

Corpus Christi fires up as The Scottish Terminator makes his way out here, in a bad mood after being screwed over in yet another Clash at the Castle main event. Social media had his outburst after the show went off the air, and he has been fined for his actions towards a referee, as well as commentator Corey Graves. The fans chant “CM PUNK! CM PUNK!” and that doesn’t help the mood. McIntyre has the mic, but he’s having a hard time finding the words. McIntyre says, “CM Punk…” The fans continue to chant and McIntyre shakes his head. “CM Punk. I can’t do this anymore. Screw this company. I quit.”

WHAT?! McIntyre storms out of the ring and Pearce hurries out here. Pearce tries to get McIntyre to reconsider but McIntyre won’t listen to him. Was what happened on Saturday the straw that broke the camel’s back?

 

Raw returns and…

We see what was going on during commercial. HHH talked with McIntyre at gorilla but McIntyre blames Punk all on HHH. McIntyre storms off, Pearce hurries after, and Pearce wants him to reconsider. Is this really the end of McIntyre in WWE?

 

Damage CTRL VS Katana Chance & Kayden Carter!

Iyo Sky won earlier tonight, and now Dakota Kai & Kairi Sane will look to do the same. Will DMG CTRL finally start to take control of Raw like they once did SmackDown? Or will KC Squared stand in their way like they did last week?

The teams sort out, and DMG CTRL just attacks! They CLOBBER Kayden, drag Katana to center to mug her, then drag her up. Dakota reels Katana in to scoop but Katana slips free! Katana dodges Dakota, BLASTS Kairi then BULLDOGS Dakota! Katana keeps moving and she SHOTGUNS Dakota down! Tag to Kayden, then Katana runs to trip Dakota up! Katana puts Dakota on the apron, Kayden runs to SPLASH her to the floor! Kayden puts Dakota in, covers, but Kairi drags Kayden off! The fans rally, Dakota ROCKS Kayden, and then Dakota puts Kayden in ropes, fora GUILLOTINE STOMP!

Tag to Kairi, Dakota sets Kayden up for the In-SANE ELBOW! Cover, Katana breaks it! Dakota runs up to BOOT Katana down! Kairi CLUBS away on Kayden, Dakota adds some stomps, and they coordinate. Lyra Valkyria is here to check on Katana, but DMG CTRL mugs Kayden more. They reel Kayden in, but they see Lyra cheering Kayden on. That distracts Dakota, but Kayden wrenches out to DDT Kairi! Dakota turns around, runs up, but Kayden gets around to waistlock! Dakota switches, Kayden bucks the O’Conner and SUPERKICKS! Tag to Katana and she goes up! The fans fire up for the AFTER PARTY! Cover, KC Squared wins!

Winners: Katana Chance & Kayden Carter, by pinfall

Lyra gets payback on DMG CTRL by costing them like they cost her! Will The Morrigan and the party girls make sure no one takes control of the Raw Women’s Division?

 

DMG CTRL regroups backstage.

Dakota doesn’t get it. What beef does Lyra have with them? Why’d she do that? Iyo says enough! DMG CTRL has to change. Or else, she changes things herself! Another ultimatum from The Evil Genius, what change does she have planned for the faction’s future?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Bron Breakker VS Sheamus!

These two men both want after Sami Zayn and the title he holds, and just as Sami said, he got this match made for them and for Corpus Christi. As such, Sami is out here to watch this in person, who will he have to face in what will surely be a banger?

The bell rings and the two stare down as fans bark it up. The two tie up, go around, and the fans duel. The two break, go again, and Sheamus puts Bron on ropes. Bron turns things around to put Sheamus in a corner, but he lets off as the ref counts. Sheamus headlocks and hits a takeover! Bron headscissors, Sheamus kips free, and the two reset. They feel things out, tie up, and Sheamus wrenches to a top wristlock. Bron endures but Sheamus brings him to a knee. Bron has the ropes so the ref counts the break. Sheamus lets off, the two reset, and they tie up again. They end up in ropes, then they fall out to the floor!

Bron ROCKS Sheamus first, then throws body shots! Bron follows Sheamus around the way but Sheamus throws a body shot! And an UPPERCUT! Sheamus puts Bron in, storms in, then scoops! Bron fights free, spins Sheamus around to then run, run, and CLOBBER Sheamus! The fans bark it up for Bron, and Bron RAMS Sheamus in a corner. Bron RAMS in again and again, then ROCKS Sheamus with a right. Bron gets moving again, but runs into an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! The fans fire up as Bron goes to a corner and Sheamus storms up. Sheamus fireman’s carries, and he ROLLING SENTONS!

Sheamus clamps onto Bron with fishhooks in the mouth, for that Dublin Grin! The fans rally, Bron fights up and he throws some elbows. Bron gets free to then clinch and EXPLODER! Sami is a bit stoic as Sheamus goes to a corner. Bron runs in, but only gets POST as Sheamus moves! Sheamus then runs to clothesline Bron up and out! The fans fire up as Sheamus storms out after Bron, and he leaps from the apron, FLYING LARIAT! Down goes Bron and the fans fire up with with The Fella! Sheamus drags Bron up and puts him in, then goes up to the apron. Bron HOTSHOTS Sheamus, runs, and KNEES Sheamus down!

Sheamus flounders, Bron goes to the apron, and Bron FLYING LARIATS onto the desk!! Both men go up and over commentary and Corpus Christi loses its mind as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Bron has Sheamus in the ring with a chinlock. But Sheamus fights up and fights free with big hands! Bron still fireman’s carries, and he GUTBUSTER DROPS! Cover, TWO! Sheamus survives and Sami is a bit anxious watching this. Bron pie faces Sheamus, taunts him, then pie faces more. Sheamus just gets mad, shoves Bron, and eggs him on! Bron fires up, fires hands, but Sheamus fires back! They go back and forth, then Sheamus has the edge! Sheamus whips, Bron reverses but Sheamus CLOBBERS him! And CLOBBERS him again! Bron goes to a corner, Sheamus clotheslines!

Sheamus reels Bron in for a scoop, then swings him for a SIDE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Bron is still in this and Sami is starting to enjoy this. Sheamus considers his options, and he brings Bron to a corner. Sheamus fireman’s carries, goes up the corner, but Bron slips free! Bron then CLUBS Sheamus on the back, but Sheamus hits back! Bron and Sheamus throw hands, Sheamus again gets the edge, then kicks Bron away. But Bron runs up, goes right to the top, has a bit of a tumble, but he manages the STEINER! But then Sheamus gets up to fireman’s carry! WHITE NOISE! Cover, TWO!! Bron survives and Sheamus is beside himself.

Sami thought that was it, but Bron goes to a corner. Sheamus whips Bron corner to corner, but Bron comes back to LARIAT! Bron fires up, aims from the corner, and runs in, into a KNEE! Cover, TWO!! Bron survives again and both Sami and Sheamus are surprised. Corpus Christi fires up as Bron goes to the apron, and Sheamus storms up behind him! Sheamus gives Bron BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! The fans count all the way to TEN and Sheamus lets Bron flop down! The fans are thunderous as Sheamus aims from a corner. Sheamus beats his chest, aims, but LUDWIG KAISER is here! Kaiser trips Sheamus, and SLAMS the bad leg against the post!

Winner: Sheamus, by disqualification

Kaiser beats up on Sheamus more, but Sheamus fires off in return! Sheamus POSTS Kaiser, SMACKS him off the desk, then TOSSES him over barriers! But Bron SPEARS Sheamus!! The ref reprimands, producers hurry out here, and Bron glares at Sami as he passes by. Kaiser’s interference ruined everything for both men, but he’s mostly happy he got one over on Sheamus. Speaking of, Kaiser just goes after Sheamus some more! And he grabs the bad leg! Kaiser brings the kneepad away, then he gets room to run! But Brno is running, too?! Bron SPEARS Kaiser!! The fans bark it up as Bron keeps Kaiser from picking the bones of his kill!

The fans are losing their minds again over that impact, but refs and producers tell Bron he has to go. Sami says if Bron wants it, fine! Any time, any place! Bron SHOVES Sami!! The fans fire up as Sami wants after Bron now! Sami tosses the hydration station at Bron! But for now, this battle will have to wait. Will Bron get his shot at the title by default?

 

Dominik is searching backstage for his vest.

No one’s seen the vest, but Liv is calling from down the hall. Duh, she still has the vest. Dom walks over and sighs. Please give him the vest back. She likes it when he’s bossy. Does he want it back? Yes! Okay. But he has to take it off of her himself. Is he nervous~? She can help him get started. She unzips the zipper just a little bit, and Dom starts zipping it the rest of the way. And then Priest turns the corner and sees this! DOM!? The heck!? No, he was getting it back! Dom, just grab your stuff and go to the clubhouse. Liv lets Dom take the vest and Dom takes his leave. Priest asks Liv to leave Dom alone. Dom wants nothing to do with her.

Liv thinks Dom wants everything to do with her. Liv laughs and leaves, and Priest says she’s loca. Will nothing stop Liv until she has everything she wants?

 

The Final Testament speaks.

Karrion Kross tells Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods, “Two weeks ago, Authors of Pain beat the living hell out of the both of ya, and pinned you 1-2-3 live on TV. And then last week, you cost AOP their shot at becoming the World Tag Team Champions. And not only that, you gave me the taste of my own medicine, the numbers game. That’s real cute. You beat me up two on one. Now on the way here, I was thinking of doing something really outta control tonight. But then Scarlett had this great idea that involves me not going to jail. We’re both wondering what that fight would’ve looked like if it was one on one.

“So I’m issuing a challenge to either one of you, whoever wants to take it. Next week, meet me one on one in the ring. One of you stays in the back, the other comes out to fight, and I’ll leave my guys in the back. It’s real simple. And quite honestly, I’m hoping it’s you, Kofi. Because we all know you’d rather have Woods in the back anyways, right? Tick tock.” Mr. Apocalypse has issued his challenge, what will The New Day have to say? Well…

The New Day respond.

Woods tells Kross that Final Testament come over to Raw, and the first thing they set their sights on was the history makers, the record breakers, The New Day. Now, Kross, they know you’ve been around the world, beating people down and breaking bones. But since Kross has been here, he hasn’t done anything at all! He has ONE accolade, as NXT Champion. What has he done since then? This is the greatest tag team of all time! Who is Kross to give any kind of advance? And he wants to talk next week? Leaving partners in the back to go 1v1? Fine! And since Kross wants to call Kofi out, Kofi accepts the challenge! See you next week, Kross. Tick tock!

Woods and Kofi shake on it, but it seemed like Woods was hoping to take the challenge instead. But will Kofi win for the both of them when he finally humbles Kross once and for all?

 

Jey Uso speaks.

He’s backstage by the pavilion among the fans to say Main Event Jey Uso is now in your city! MITB qualifier! He needs the W, Uce! He has to do it for him, for his fans, the Day Ones that’ve been YEETIN’ with him since the start. He’ll snatch that briefcase, or rather, that YEETCASE, then cash in and become the NEW World Heavyweight Champion! If y’all down with that, let ’em hear ya say “YEET!” “YEET!” Then hit his music! Jey makes his entrance from the crowd and the fans fire up! Will Jey make his way to Toronto? Will the King of Lucha become Mr. MITB? Or will The Prince do as he promised and protect The Judgment Day’s interests? We find out, after the break!

Men’s Money in the Bank Qualifier Triple Threat: Jey Uso VS Rey Mysterio VS Finn Balor!

Raw returns and Finn makes his entrance first, followed by Rey’s. The bell rings, the three circle, but then Finn bails out. The fans boo but Finn just watches as Rey and Jey shake hands to show sportsmanship. They tie up, Jey headlocks, but Rey powers up and powers out. Jey runs Rey over, then keeps moving. Rey gets up, tilt-o-whirls and RANAS! Finn runs in now but Rey arm-drags him back out! The fans cheer while Finn is flustered, but Jey runs up to knee Rey. Jey whips Rey, Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges to WRECK Finn with a dropkick! Jey runs up but Rey puts him on the apron! Finn grabs at Jey, Jey KICKS him away.

Jey throws in a shoulder but Rey sidesteps to KICK Jey, then slingshots to SUNSET FLIP! Jey holds on, Finn body shots Rey! Finn YANKS Jey down, throws Rey into the ring, then he SMACKS Jey off the apron again and again and again! Rey PLANCHAS to take Finn down! The fans fire up as Rey catches his breath, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Finn throws Rey into Jey and they both fall down! Finn stomps Jey at the ropes, then drags him up. The fans boo but Finn CLUBS Jey, clamps on a chinlock and he grinds Jey down. Jey endures, the fans rally up, and Jey fights up. Jey throws body shots, but Finn knees low! Finn throws Jey, Rey avoids the collision and he RAMS into Finn! Rey slingshot sunset flips but Finn rolls through to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Finn is annoyed but he stalks Rey to a corner. Finn kicks Rey to a corner, then stomps away! Finn digs his boot in, stomps more, but Jey storms up. Finn knees Jey low, then CLUBS him down!

The fans boo as Finn paces around Jey. Finn stands Jey up but Jey counter punches! “YEET! YEET! YEET!” Jey pops ‘n’ locks and puts some stank on the HAYMAKER! Finn ins down, staggers back up, into a mule kick! And UPPERCUT! Jey fireman’s carries but Finn CLAWS Jey’s face! Finn knocks Jey down but Rey springboards to SEATED SENTON! Rey keeps moving and he springboards to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Finn stays in this but Jey runs up! Rey gets around, crucifix takedown, TWO! Rey baits Jey and then DUMPS him out! But Finn rolls Rey up! TWO! Rey ELBOWS Finn away, goes up a corner, but Finn CLUBS him!

Finn CLUBS away at Rey’s legs, then Electric Chair Lifts! But Rey pops free to wheelbarrow and victory roll Finn onto ropes! The fans fire up as Rey dials it up, but into a SLINGBLADE! Jey returns, Finn blocks the kick, but not the DRAGON WHIP! Jey fires up, but Finn PELES back! All three men are down and the fans fire up as Raw goes back to break!

Raw returns yet again and Finn knocks Jey off the corner! Finn rises up but Rey trips him up! Jey stands, he storms up but Rey GAMANGIRIS! Jey tumbles away, Rey goes up after Finn! SUPER STEINER! The fans fire up, Jey is back, and he SPEARS Rey! Cover, TWO!! Rey survives and Jey is surprised! The fans rally up and “YEET! YEET! YEET!” as Jey goes to a corner. Jey climbs, but Finn BLASTS him down! But then REy 619s Finn in the abs! Rey builds speed to SLIDING SPLASH onto Finn! Rey puts Finn in, runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges and RANAS Finn onto ropes! Rey redials as the fans fire up, for the 619!!

Jey returns but Rey slingshots to RANA Jey onto ropes! Rey redials again, for a619!! Jey staggers into Finn, Rey goes up! Finn waistlocks Jey but Rey leaps to DOUBLE RANA! Both Finn and Jey are on the ropes, so Rey dials it up one more time! DOUBLE 619!! The fans fire up as Rey goes to a corner and climbs! But here comes DOM! Dom goes after his dad but Rey DECKS him first! Then SEATED SENTONS to the floor! The fans boo but here come JD & Carlito! The Judgment Day mugs Rey, then RAM him into steel steps! But here comes BRAUN!! The fans fire up as the Monster is back, and he chases Judgment Day off!

But the thing is, Finn and Jey are still in the ring! Finn hurries to roll Jey up! Jey rolls through to SUPERKICK! Cover, TWO! Finn stays in this but Jey stays focused! Jey aims from a corner, and he runs, into a BOOT! Finn then runs to SLINGBLADE! Rey is back up and RAMS into Finn! Rey slingshots, Finn catches him and SMACKS him into Jey! Then CORNER DEATH VALLEY, to a WASTELAND SLAM! Finn hurries up top, COUP DE GRACE!!! Cover, but Jey USO SPLASHES!!! Cover on Finn, JEY WINS!

Winner: Jey Uso, by pinfall (advances to MITB)

Despite Judgment Day’s best efforts, they could NOT keep Main Event Jey from winning the main event! Jey is heading to Toronto, will he also head up that ladder to bring down the briefcase? Who else will join him as WWE builds these six packs for Money in the Bank?

Wait, the lights are turning off? And in an eerily familiar way…! The fireflies are already out for Jey, but the music that starts playing…! There’s light coming from behind a mysterious door. That door opens and the fans all cheer, and then the light goes out. And then, crawling from out of the mist, over to a lantern…  Just who could this be? They stand up, and they point back to the doorway. The cameras walk through that doorway, through the hall, and is that Rambling Rabbit? A hammer that says “HELP” on one side and “HURT” on the other. Gorilla position has been decimated and the lights are flickering! Is that Mercy the Buzzard?

We continue on to find Huskis the Pig Boy, a battered Chad Gable, and… UNCLE HOWDY!?! The fans are losing their minds as Howdy walks through the hall, gathering the “family” as he goes. They all walk out on stage and the fans are going nuts! Then does that make the one by the lantern Sister Abigail? Howdy picks up the lantern and says, “We’re here!” and he blows the lantern out! What does this gathering of dark forces mean for the future of the WWE?


My Thoughts:

A great Raw here to not just follow up Clash at the Castle but to also get going on MITB. For one, Drew McIntyre just up and rage quitting WWE? That was shocking, but it is certainly kayfabe to add to his story. I almost want him to surprise everyone on SmackDown in Chicago to ruin Punk’s homecoming but either way, this was quite the twist. We also got a good promo from Alba & Isla with Shayna & Zoey to keep that feud in mind, even with MITB qualifiers going on. Great story integration as Liv Morgan screws over Zelina Vega while teasing Dom by taking his vest. Iyo winning her way in is good stuff, I don’t think we’ve had back-to-back MITB winners since Carmella.

And clearly we’re getting more Judgment Day VS LWO given Liv got involved during Carlito VS Dragon Lee. Liv continuing to tease Dom and everyone else in Judgment Day doing their best to stop that is good stuff. Pat showing the world that Finn snuck the card was great stuff, as was Finn teasing that he’d cash in on Priest. Priest and Rollins had a great opening promo, especially as Rollins was a surprise return. Priest VS Rollins for the title at MITB is going to be awesome stuff, can’t wait to see how that goes.

Meanwhile, DMG CTRL continues to go 50-50 as Lyra helps Kayden & Katana win against Dakota & Kairi. Asuka just had surgery on that bad leg, she’s gonna be gone for a long time. Maybe with Iyo’s trip to Japan for Marigold Summer Destiny for a joshi dream match could lead to something, but there’s also the possibility of Giulia, free agent signing out of Stardom, to debut right to main roster. And at this point, I feel like if Iyo’s kicking out anyone, it’s Dakota. She took the pin tonight, hasn’t quite been the strongest booked anyway, so Giulia could replace Dakota, and when Asuka makes her return, she makes DMG CTRL four joshi strong.

Great stuff with the Alpha Academy as not only does Gable step in it and get destroyed by Braun, but it was finally the last straw for Otis and the others. Gable is left alone, but determined to show everyone he can still win the big one, but it sounds like he’s going to be in a colossal Triple Threat qualifier. Sami meanwhile moves on to Bron Breakker, as I expected. Bron VS Sheamus was great stuff, even with Kaiser interfering, and though there was no official decision announced, it feels like it’ll still be Bron VS Sami at MITB for the title while Sheamus settles things with Kaiser, perhaps in a No Disqualification style match.

Commentary was also clever about addressing what happened to Ricochet, where they were giving us a possibility of him coming back. Everyone has opinions of him going to AEW, or going back to NJPW so that he can still work with AEW, or to TNA so that he’ll end up working with WWE through this new crossover in the works. Honestly, I would hope he can come right back to WWE with a new edge as he goes after Bron for revenge. WWE is still the top company, he’d be seen by the most people, and I don’t think it’s hopeless for him to reach the world title scene. Plus, MITB is a great opportunity in itself, but I suppose that depends on who’s winning the briefcase.

Very good promos from Kross and New Day. I had a feeling it’d set up Kofi VS Kross, with Woods feeling slighted by Kofi just out and accepting the challenge. And thinking about it, while Kross VS Kofi can go either way, I feel like AOP is going to attack Woods backstage. It’d be a bit copy-paste from something Final Testament did to Bobby Lashley & The Street Profits but it might all be to further turn Woods against Kofi. And then awesome Triple Threat main event, even with Judgment Day going after Rey and Braun going after them. Jey winning is great, certainly throws a wrench in Judgment Day’s plans. Of course, there could always be a “Last Chance” match that Finn wins to get in anyway.

And of course, the night closed with the moment fans had been waiting for since the start of the newest QR Code campaign. The Wyatt 6, while just five members revealed tonight, are here and are definitely as spooky scary edgy as everyone was hoping for. At the same time, I’m sure it was planned with Bray Wyatt himself in the group, but sadly, it was not meant to be. Perhaps Braun will join them in a big plot twist. Also, nice detail of Gable getting bloodied, that could also be a sign that Braun is in the group given their match earlier tonight. Either way, things are probably gonna get wild from here, can’t wait to see where this goes.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW New Japan Soul Results & Report! (6/16/24)

Sapporo’s covered in gold!

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Will the Rogue Luchador have his revenge on the Murder Machine?

After winning Best of the Super Juniors, El Desperado got Sho to accept an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship STEEL CAGE MATCH, so will Sho have no choice but to do this without the House of Torture?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff – Masatora Yasuda VS Daiki Nagai; Time Limit Draw.
  • 10 Man Tag: Tomoaki Honma, Tomohiro Ishii, Satoshi Kojima, Katsuya Murashima & Shoma Kato VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
  • DOUKI & Taichi VS Ren Narita & Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Douki & Taichi win.
  • Bishamon VS EVIL & Dick Togo; Bishamon wins.
  • Tetsuya Naito & Titan VS Taka Michinoku & Yuya Uemura; Naito & Titan win.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg; Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg win and become the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Clark Connors & “Drilla” Dan Moloney VS Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita; Connors & Drilla win and retain the titles.
  • NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS HENARE; Henare wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
  • IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship: David Finlay VS SANADA; Finlay wins and retains the title.
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: SHO VS El Desperado; Desperado wins and becomes the new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg!

It’s a Dominion rematch as Yota Tsuji, Bushi & Hiromu Takahashi once again face The Ace, The Joker & The Rook! It was already rather incredible that LIJ won in the first place, will they prove it wasn’t just luck at Osaka-Jo Hall? Or will Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg prove you can’t keep bad boys down?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and let’s see who really runs the schoolyard!

The teams sort out and while Yota and Oleg stare down, Yano insists he start. Hiromu obliges, and they both squat at the middle of the ring. They talk some smack, then the bell rings. And Hiromu copies Yano by going right to a corner to untie a buckle pad! Yano SMACKS Hiromu on the back of the head, then finishes the job himself! Hiromu SMACKS Yano on the head! Hiromu whips, Yano reveres, but Hiromu holds the ropes and copies Yano’s taunt! Yano runs up but Hiromu drop toeholds him onto ropes! Then he KICKS the rope, runs, but into an atomic drop! Yano tags Oleg and Tanahashi jump in, too.

Oleg & Tanahashi double whip to DOUBLE SHOULDER TACKLE Hiromu! Oleg then scoops Hiromu to SLAM him! Tanahashi drops an elbow, Oleg SPLASHES down! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Yano tags back in. Yano whips but Hiromu reverses, only for Yano to avoid the bare buckles. Hiromu runs in, but only gets bare buckles! Yano runs, but into a kick! Bushi gets in to dropkick legs out, then Yota runs in to basement dropkick! Bushi & Yota then knock Tanahashi & Oleg off the apron! Bushi & Yota then go out after them, stomp them down, and Hiromu stomps Yano. Hiromu drags Yano up, bumps him off the red corner, and tags Bushi in.

Bushi stomps Yano, digs his knee in, and the ref counts. Bushi lets go of the ropes, but that’s not the problem! The ref reprimands and Bushi steps away. Bushi drags Yano up, wrenches and wristlocks to then YANK the arm and CLUB it. Tag to Yota, he BOOTS the arm! Yano clutches the elbow, but Yota wrenches the arm to YANK it. Tag to Hiromu and he climbs up, and the fans rally for the AX HANDLE! Yota drops to his knees and Hiromu mocks his pain while bringing him back up. Hiromu whips Yano tot he corner, clotheslines, snapmares and runs to basement dropkick! Hiromu calls to Yota, and he has Yota scoop him, for the assisted SPLASH! Cover, TWO!

Hiromu has the ref watch Tanahashi & Oleg, then calls Bushi in! LIJ double whip Yano but Yano holds ropes! Yano sends Hiromu into Bushi, then throws them both down by their heads! The fans fire up, Yano and Hiromu crawl, and hot tag to Tanahashi! Yota tags in but Tanahashi dropkicks the legs out! Tanahashi fires hands, whips, but Yota reverses, only for Tanahashi to FLYING FOREARM! The fans fire up as Tanahashi fires fast hands, then Tanahashi scoops to SLAM Yota into the drop zone! Tanahashi goes up, SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi stays cool and the fans rally up. Yota rises, Tanahashi runs, but Yota TOSSES Tanahashi out!

The fans fire up as Tanahashi skins the cat! But then Yota ROCKS him with a right! Tanahashi falls back into a corner, Yota runs in, and he STINGER SPLASHES! Yota keeps going, he runs Tanahashi over, then SPLASHES down! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up and Yota drags Tanahashi up. Yota reels Tanahashi in, suplexes, but Tanahashi fights it, to TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT The fans rally up while both men are down. Tanahashi and Yota crawl, hot tag to Oleg! Oleg runs Yota over, gets him back up and fires forearms and CHOPS on repeat! Oleg whips, but Yota RAN- NO! Oleg stops the rana to get Yota up, for Shake, Rattle and THROW!

Oleg even kips up! The fans fire up, Oleg BLASTS Bushi & Hiromu off the corner, then he stalks Yota. Oleg waistlocks to deadlift Yota, for a GERMAN- NO, Yota fights free! Yota clinches, BACKBREAKER to FLATLINER to DOUBLE STOMP! Both men are down and the fans rally back up. Yota crawls over, hot tag to Bushi! Bushi goes up the corner, Oleg rises, and Bushi MISSILE DROPKICKS! And Bushirooni! Bushi runs corner to corner to ELBOW Oleg, then he brings Oleg in to FISHERMAN SCREW! Hiromu BLASTS Tanahashi & Yano! LIJ gets Oleg up, whips him to the corner, then Hiromu runs in to clothesline!

Bushi adds a back elbow, feeds to the SUPERKICK, then BACKSTABBERS! Cover, Tanahashi breaks it! Hiromu tosses Tanahashi out, Bushi and Oleg rise. Bushi runs up, CODE- NO, Oleg tosses Bushi away! Yano throws Bushi down! Hiromu SUPERKICKS Yano! Tanahashi blocks a superkick, but Yota gets in! Tanahashi blocks that superkick, too!? Tanahashi DOUBLE DRAGON SCREWS! The fans fire up but Bushi kicks low. Bushi runs, but into a SLINGBLADE! The fans fire up and Tanahashi drags Bushi up. Feed to Oleg for the KAMIKA- NO, Bushi slips free, and ENZIGIRIS! Oleg wobbles, Bushi goes to the corner!

Bushi runs up again, CODE- NO!! Oleg still blocks, and he fireman’s carries! Oleg coordinates with Tanahashi as he climbs, but Yota gets in Tanahashi’s way! Bushi rolls Oleg up! Tanahashi shoves Yota down onto the cover!! Tanahashi then aims to TRIPLE HIGH FLY ATTACK LIJ!! The fans are all fired up and Oleg drags Bushi back up! Fireman’s carry, and KAMIKAZE!! Cover, Oleg and team win!!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg, by pinfall

The Rook comes through for the team, and they get the belts back! Has Oleg proved he’s far from just a Young Lion now? Or will we need quite the tiebreaker between these trios to put this to rest?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Clark Connors & “Drilla” Dan Moloney VS Robbie Eagles & Kosei Fujita w/ Zack Sabre Jr!

The Bullet Club War Dogs claimed their losses to the TMDK Junior Heavyweights were flukes, but they still have to put up the gold. Will 100 Proof & 44 Caliber shoot down the Sniper of the Sky & Ichiban Young Punk? Or will we see that The Mighty Don’t Kneel?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who’s really number one with a bullet!

The teams sort out and Fujita starts against Connors. The bell rings, the two stare down and the fans rally up. The two circle, feel things out, then Connors swings on Eagles! Eagles ROCKS Connors first! Fujita ROCKS Connors, then he DECKS Drilla! Eagles jumps in, TMDK double whip to hip toss, then PENALTY KICK! Drilla storms in but into DOUBLE BLOWS! Then TMDK rolls Drilla back to DOUBLE KNEE SMASH! Eagles rallies the fans, Fujita builds speed, but Connors gets in, JEEP FLIPPER! Drilla drags Eagles out, too, and sends him into railing! Connors stomps Fujita while Drilla tosses Eagles over railing!

Drilla steps over and has fans move aside. Connors keeps on Fujita on the other end of the arena while Drilla BOWLS Eagles into chairs! STRIKE! Connors fires hands on Fujita, and he tells a segment of fans to move! Then he BOWLS Fujita into the chairs! Another STRIKE! The fans cheer while Connors throws up the Too Sweet. Drilla drags Eagles around, scoops him, and then SLAMS him onto some seats! The ring count starts, but Connors is bringing Fujita back. Connors POSTS Fujita at 5 of 20, then takes his time to scuff Fujita before he steps in at 12. Connors taunts ZSJ at ringside, but Fujita rolls in at 17! The fans cheer but Connors mockingly applauds.

Connors kneels on Fujita’s neck, the ref reprimands and counts, and Connors steps away. Connors drags Fujita up, Drilla dusts off his boot, and Connors bumps Fujita off the boot! Tag to Drilla, and he CHOPS! And then he digs his boots in! The ref counts, Drilla steps off at 4. Connors CHOKES Fujita against ropes while the ref is busy with Drilla. The fans boo but Connors lets off before the ref catches him. Drilla looms over Fujita as he sputters, and the fans rally up. Fujita rises to throw body shots and forearms! Drilla CHOPS Fujita down! Drilla drags Fujita around, steps through, and ties up the legs into a DEATHLOCK!

Drilla tags Connors in, and Connors stomps away on Fujita! Then he JUMP ELBOW DROPS! Drilla lets Fujita go so Connors can cover, TWO! Connors smirks as he grabs the leg, and he mockingly calls “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” Drilla bark, bark, barks! Connors steps through to steal the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Eagles storms in but Drilla intercepts to TOSS him back out! Connors thrashes Fujita around but Fujita endures! Fujita crawls forward, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and the ref reprimands. Connors lets off with a smug grin, then drags Fujita up. But Fujita fires a forearm, and a CHOP!

Connors eggs Fujita on so Fujita CHOPS! Connors UPPERCUTS! Connors whips, but Fujita GAMANGIRIS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Connors crawls and tags in Drilla. Drilla grabs Fujita’s leg but Fujita BOOTS him away! Fujita scrambles, hot tag to Eagles! Eagles goes up and over Drilla, BOOTS Connors, then RANAS Drilla! The fans fire up with Eagles and he KICKS Drilla! And KICKS! And KICKS! Eagles runs, Connors sneaks in to CLOBBER him! Connors & Drilla double whip, Eagles reverses to send Connors away! Then he sends Drilla into Connors! Eagles kicks a leg out, then runs to BLINDSIDE LARIAT BASEMENT DROPKICK COMBO!

The fans fire up with Eagles and he goes corner to corner at Drilla! DOUBLE KNEES! Drilla sits down, Eagles runs in to METEORA! Eagles drags Drilla to a cover, TWO! Eagles keeps cool and goes to the apron. Eaglee climbs, the fans rally up, and Eagles 450- NO, Drilla moves! Eagles rolls through, btu Drilla blocks his kick! Drilla pops Eagles up into the Canadian Rack! But Eagles sunset flips through! ONE, but Eagles has the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Drilla flails, Fujita keeps Connors out! Connors powers out, gets in, and he CLUBS Eagles! Eagles holds on, but Connors stomps away until he lets Drilla go!

The ref reprimands but Connors shoves him away! Connors stomps Eagles, and Drilla hobbles up. Connors stands Eagles up, but Eagles fires CHOPS and ELBOWS! SOBAT for Drilla, then a cravat! Eagles uses Connors to kick off, but Drilla denies him Sliced Bread! Drilla ELBOWS Eagles away, but Fujita tags in! Fujita slingshots but Connors catches him! Connors hands Fujita off to Drilla! But Fujita flails to go to the apron and HOTSHOT! Fujita and Eagles both springboard, DOUBLE MISSILE DROPKICKS! The War Dogs are down and they bail out while the fans fire up! Fujita aims to springboard, DOUBLE CANNONBALL!

Direct hit and the Dogs go down! The fans fire up, Fujita puts Drilla in, and Eagles stands Drilla up. TMDK double wrench the arms, for MAXXY BOMB!! High stack, TWO!! Drilla survives but the fans fire up with TMDK! Fujita hoists Drilla up, Eagles ROUNDHOUSES and Fujita GERMAN SUPLEXES! Then SUPERKICK PENALTY KICK COMBO!! Cover, Connors breaks it! The fans rally, Eagles whips but Connors reverses to TOSS Eagles out! Connors runs at Fujita but Fujita TOSSES him out! Fujita goes after Drilla with a CHOP! But Drilla wrenches to ripcord, but Fujita dodges! Sunset flip, but Drilla DOUBLE STOMPS and SENTONS!

The fans rally up and both men crawl. Drilla reaches out, hot tag to Connors! Connors takes aim, runs in, but Fujtia pops him up! Connors fights the German Suplex but Fujita holds the waistlock! Connors throws elbow after elbow but Fujita’s grip is tight! Connors throws even more elbows, and Fujita finally lets go. Fujita runs up, but into a SNAP POWERSLAM! Drilla roars as he storms in, and the Dogs take aim from the corners! But Eagles anchors Drilla! Fujita O’Conner Rolls Connors, then trips him into the QUEEN ANGELITO STRETCH! Drilla gets loose but Eagles MISSILE DROPKICKS him down! And puts him in the RON MILLER SPECIAL!!

Fujita sees Eagles has Drilla, and Fujita pulls Connors into the NELL VOSS SPECIAL!! Connors endures, flails, and Drilla reaches out, but Eagles drags him away! Connors grabs at the ref, Drilla grabs at Fujita! Drilla CLAWS Fujita’s face, and he lets Connors go! Eagles lets Drilla go, and the four are all down. The fans rally as Eagles regroups with Fujita. The Dogs regroup on the outside, and Eagles DIVES onto them! But is caught! DRILLA KILLA to the floor!! Drilla & Connors are laughing that they just shot down the Sniper! Connors & Drilla then slide into the ring, flanking Fujita. They bring Fujita up, but he still fires forearms and elbows!

The fans rally as Fujita fights and fights, switches with Drilla, but Drilla elbows free! Connors runs in, Drilla hurdles, SPEAR! Fujita staggers back up, into the SPEAR GORE COMBO!! Cover, TWO?!? Fujita survives and shocks The Dogs! The fans fire up as Connors goes up a corner and Drilla drags Fujita up. Drilla suplexes, but Fujita slips free! GERMAN SUPLEX! Connors still leaps but Fujita gets under! Fujita O’Conner Rolls, but Connors fights Chaos Theory! Fujita HEEL KICKS! Fujita whips Connors, pops Connors up, and GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Connors survives, but Fujita still holds on!

Fujita drags Connors up and the fans are thunderous! Fujita suplexes, ABANDON- SUPERKICK from Drilla! Connors suplexes Fujita into the DRILLA KILLA!!! Drilla then feeds Fujita to the NO CHASER!! But they’re still not done!?! Connors climbs, Drilla suplexes, FULL CLIP!!! Cover, War Dogs win!

Winners: Clark Connors & “Drilla” Moloney, by pinfall (still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but they can’t withstand artillery of this magnitude! Bullet Club keeps these titles right where they are, and Connors himself asks, “Who’s next?”

 

NJPW announces the G1 Climax 34 Block line-ups!

In A Block, it will be: Tetsuya Naito; Shota Umino; Shingo Takagi; SANADA; Great-O-Khan; Zack Sabre Jr; Gabe Kidd; EVIL; and Pro-Wrestling Noah’s Jake Lee!
In B Block, it will be: Hirooki Goto; El Phantasmo; Yota Tsuji; Jeff Cobb; HENARE; David Finlay; Ren Narita; Yuya Uemura; and AEW & DDT Pro’s Konosuke Takeshita!

And this year, there will be a special G1 Climax preliminary round! 12 men, six for each block, must battle to earn the coveted tenth seed spots! In A Block’s prelim: Tomohiro Ishii; Yoshi-Hashi; Callum Newman; KENTA; Chase Owens; and Yujiro Takahashi! In B Block’s prelim: Hiroshi Tanahashi; Toru Yano; Boltin Oleg; Satoshi Kojima; Taichi; and TJP! Whoever comes out of those matches will join this already star-studded field! Who will help burn up this already red hot summer?

 

NEVER Openweight Championship: Shingo Takagi VS HENARE!

It’s another Dominion rematch, as we ended up with a Double TKO Draw in Osaka-Jo Hall! Will Takagi stay standing this time? Or will the Face of Fury finally slay The Rampaging Dragon?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who pushes past their limits to be victorious!

The two are forehead to forehead, then they go forearm for forearm! The bell rings, and Takagi ROCKS Henare! Henare fires back, but Takagi shoves him. They both run, they RAM shoulders, then Henare kicks to snapmare. Henare KICKS Takagi in the back, but Takagi gets up to DOUBLE CHOP! Takagi eggs Henare on, so Henare HEADBUTTS! Henare eggs Takagi on so Takagi HEADBUTTS! Henare nods, and HEADBUTTS again! Takagi staggers, but he comes back to HEADBUTT! Henare HEADBUTTS, Takagi HEADBUTTS, they HEADBUTT again and again and again! Henare gets the edge, then JUMP HEADBUTTS!

Henare runs, RAMS Takagi but Takagi comes back to RAM Henare! ELBOW! JAB! But Henare KICKS! Takagi runs Henare over! Then Takagi KICKS Henare in the back! Henare goes to a corner, the fans rally for Takagi, and he runs up, and blocks a boot! Takagi clotheslines through, then fires the fans up more. Takagi JABS and CHOPS on repeat! Then he JABS, JABS, JABS, but Henare leans into the punches! Takagi fires more shots, then ROCKS Henare! Takagi whips corner to corner, runs up and clotheslines! Then SAIDOS! Henare flounders and the fans rally up. Takagi stands Henare up to suplex high and hard! Cover, TWO!

Henare bails out but Takagi keeps cool. Takagi goes out after Henare, brings him around, and whips him hard into railing! Henare staggers away, Takagi follows, and he JABS Henare again. Takagi brings Henare up to SMACK him off the apron, but that just angers Henare! Henare SMACKS Takagi off the apron! Takagi RIDGE HAND CHOPS, then fireman’s carries! SNAKE EYES off the apron! Henare falls back and the ref wants this back in the ring. Takagi takes a moment to shake out his hand, then he walks over to Henare. Takagi drops a knee right on Henare’s face! Takagi then puts Henare in the ring, and the fans cheer.

Takagi kicks Henare around, taunts him, scuffs him, and Henare snarls. Henare fires body shots and a forearm! Takagi ELBOWS! And YUKON LARIATS! The fans cheer and Takagi says he’s still gonna be champ. Takagi brings Henare up, puts him on ropes, and then KNEES him low! And KNEES him again! And again! The ref reprimands, Takagi lets off, and he whips Henare to ropes. Takagi KNEES low, runs, but into a POP-UP SAMOAN DROP! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Takagi goes to a corner, Henare runs in to clothesline! Takagi shouts at Henare, so Henare shouts back! Henare fires off fast hands from all sides!

The ref reprimands, Henare HEADBUTTS Takagi before he fireman’s carries. WASTELAND SLAM, then a SENTON! The fans rally up as Takagi sputters and goes back to the corner. Henare storms over, stomps Takagi, then HEADBUTTS him! Henare whips but Takagi blocks by holding ropes! The ref calls the ropebreak as Henare still tries to whip. Takagi still holds on, so Henare ELBOWS him in the head! The ref reprimands, but Henare whips corner to corner. Takagi reverses, runs up, but into an ELBOW! Henare goes up, FLYING CHUCK! But Takagi just runs! Into a BERSERKER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Takagi survives and Henare fires back up!

The fans rally, Henare stands and he aims from a corner. Takagi rises as Henare stomps the mat. Henare runs in, RAMP- NO! Takagi stuffs the spear to fire off knees! Henare shoves back but Takagi ELBOWS! JABS! And YUKON feints to DDT! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Henare flounders to a corner and the fans rally up. Takagi runs, but into a RAMP- DDT!! Takagi turns things around again and Henare is in a daze! Takagi kicks Henare, drags him up, and puts him on the top rope! The fans rally as Takagi climbs up, and he fires RIDGE HAND CHOPS! Takagi then goes to the very top, brings Henare up with him, SUPER DUPER PLEX!!

The fans are thunderous while Henare writhes from that hard landing! Takagi sits up and shouts, “OI! OI! OI!” The fans join in and Takagi nods. Takagi stands, the fans fire up more, and Takagi says “My time is coming! TOKI GA KITA!” The fans fire up, Takagi runs, PUMPING BOMBER! But Henare withstands the impact and stays standing! Takagi runs again, PUMPING BOMBER! Henare drops to his knees! Takagi gives scuffing kicks, slaps Henare around, then fires a few forearms. Henare growls, headbutts the mat, but Takagi ROCKS him! Takagi fires forearm after forearm, but Henare eggs him on!

Takagi fires more forearms, but Henare leans into those shots! Henare swings, Takagi bobs ‘n’ weaves and UPPERCUTS! Takagi runs, but into a RAMPAGE!! Both men are down again and the fans rally up! Henare slowly rises, sits Takagi up, and PENALTY KICKS! But Takagi’s right up to RUN Henare over! The fans rally while both men are down, and Takagi sits up first. Takagi crawls over to Henare and they give each other junkyard dog headbutts. They start throwing palm strikes, then forearms! Takagi CHOPS and Henare staggers! Henare snarls, comes back, and KICKS! Takagi staggers, Henare eggs him on, and the fans rally up!

Takagi winds up to CHOP! Henare drops to a knee and Takagi shakes out his hand. Henare rises, and Takagi braces for the KICK! Takagi CHOPS! Henare KICKS! CHOP! KICK! Repeat! The fans fire up and so does Henare! Henare KICKS, and KICKS, and ROLLING KICKS! Takagi wobbles, Henare runs, but Takagi blocks the kick! Henare fires off strikes, but Takagi still pump handles! MADE IN JAPAN!! But Takagi can’t make the cover! The ref checks both men, this could end up like Dominion! Takagi slowly rises, the fans rally up again, and Takagi sits Henare up. Takagi clamps on to rain down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS!

Takagi runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Henare rolls through to SLIDING KNEE!! Both men are down again and the fans fire up! Henare sits up first, and he snarls as he slashes his throat. Henare vows to end this but he’s a bit wobbly as he walks over. Henare drags Takagi up but Takagi HEADBUTTS! Henare HEADBUTTS! They DOUBLE HEADBUTT! And DOUBLE HEADBUTT! Both men wobble, but Takagi JABS! Henare HEADBUTTS! Takagi PUMPING BOMBERS! Henare JUMP HEADBUTTS! Takagi SLIDING FOREARMS!! Both men are down again and the fans are all fired up!

The ref checks, and both men are somehow still in this, but the standing count is here! Takagi hears it and he stirs. Takagi goes to ropes, and he drags himself up at 5 of 10! Takagi is up but what of Henare? He’s still down at 8, pushes up at 9, and stands at 9.9!! The fans fire up and Takagi runs in! DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Both men lean on the other, and Takagi fires boxing elbows! Takagi throws in about nine, but then Henare bobs ‘n’ weaves the tenth to BODY BLOW! And HEEL KICK! PUMPING BOMBER!! Cover, ONE?!?! The fans are thunderous as Henare snarls, but Takagi gets moving! PUMPING BOMBER!!! Cover, TWO!!!

The fans are thunderous again as Henare survives being flipped upside-down! Takagi roars, he drags Henare up, and he pump handles to the torture rack! Henare slips out, spins Takagi around, STREETS OF RAGE!! But he has to crawl to the cover! TWO!!! Takagi survives and Henare is stunned! Henare growls, fires himself up, and he drags Takagi back up. But Takagi fights the cross-arm hold! Takagi HEADBUTTS, HEADBUTTS, and HEADBUTTS! Henare HEADBUTTS!! Cover, ONE!?!?! But Henare runs to RUGBY KICK!! Cover, TWO!!!! Takagi still survives but Henare is furious! Henare reels Takagi in for STREETS OF- NO, Takagi fights the lift!

Takagi and Henare fight for suplex control! Takagi throws body shots, avoids the headbutt and UPPERCUTS! Then HEADBUTTS back! Then YUKON- NO, Henare blocks that, then blocks the other lariat! KAMI-HEADBUTT!!! Cover, HENARE WINS!!!

Winner: Henare, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Champion)

Henare unleashes the headbutt to surpass God, and he slays the Rampaging Dragon! Finally, the Face of Fury wears gold in NJPW! Will this be a sign of even bigger things to come? Or will Takagi have his revenge in the G1 Climax?

 

IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship: David Finlay w/ Gedo VS SANADA w/ Just5Guys!

When The Rebel heard the Cold Skull was back on the mend, he demanded this be the return match. Finlay still owes Sanada payback for the 2023 New Japan Cup finals loss, and that moment has finally come. Will Finlay ruin Sanada’s return right from the start? Or will he regret it when Sanada takes this title from him?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if the War Dogs stay golden!

The bell rings and the fans rally behind “SA-NA-DA! SA-NA-DA!” Finlay gets on the corner to shout “WAR~ DOGS~!” and some fans do cheer, but the fans are still more on Sanada’s side. The two circle, feel things out, and tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Finlay pulls hair to put Sanada on ropes. Red Shoes calls the break, Finlay pie faces Sanada as he lets off, then SPITS on Sanada! Sanada just brushes that off and the two reset. They tie up, are in another deadlock, but Sanada uses height for leverage. Sanada puts Finlay on the ropes, Red Shoes calls the break, and Sanada lets off with pats on the shoulder.

The fans applaud but Finlay is annoyed. Finlay runs up, Sanada kicks low then headlocks. Finlay powers up and out but Sanada runs him over. Things speed up, Finlay hurdles but then Sanada hurdles, hurdles and DROPKICKS! The fans fire up but Gedo is upset as Finlay bails out. Sanada aims, PLANCHA, but he lands on the apron as Finlay slides in. Finlay DECKS Sanada off the apron, goes out to CLUB Sanada, then SMACKS him off the apron! Finlay rains down fists, soaks up the heat, and says it’s too easy. Finlay fist bumps with Gedo then goes back to stand on Sanada’s face. Red Shoes reprimands but Finlay drags Sanada up and into the ring.

Finlay slides in to cover but Red Shoes says no, because of the shenanigans on the outside. Finlay is upset with Red Shoes, but then he drags Sanada up. Finlay hammerlocks an arm and leans on the hold. Sanada endures, even as Finlay grabs the other arm in a cording hold. Finlay digs knuckles into Sanada’s ribs, then a forearm in Sanada’s face! Red Shoes counts, Finlay lets off and gets mad at Red Shoes, but rules are rules. Finlay drags Sanada up, snap suplexes, then covers, TWO! The fans applaud but Finlay argues with Red Shoes more. Finlay drags Sanada up, but Sanada throws body shots! Finlay sputters, but then Sanada ROCKS him with a forearm!

Finlay knees low, whips, but Sanada reverses to ELBOW Finlay down! STANDING MOONSAULT FLOPS as Finlay moves! Finlay covers, TWO! Finlay keeps cool as he drags Sanada up. Finlay whips corner to corner hard and Sanada falls! Sanada writhes but Finlay barks it up. Finlay aims from a corner, runs in, and UPPERCUTS! Then he suplexes for a TOSS! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this and Gedo protests while Finlay argues the count. Sanada goes to the apron, Finlay storms over and drags him up. Finlay brings Sanada through the ropes to UPPERCUT! And UPPERCUT again! And UPPERCUT again!

Finlay UPPERCUTS and UPPERCUTS and UPPERCUTS, then UPPERCUTS some more! Finlay dares the fans to cheer Sanada now. The fans do cheer, and Sanada back drops Finlay outta the ring! Sanada catches his breath while Finlay is on the floor. Finlay drags himself up with the apron skirt, but Sanada PLANCHAS him right back down! The fans cheer and Sanada rises. Sanada stalks Finlay, brings him around, and puts him in the ring. The fans applaud, but then Finlay bails out the side. Sanada just PLANCHAS again! Down goes Finlay and the fans fire up! Sanada then brings Finlay up, ROCKS him, then slides into the ring.

Sanada builds speed and he fakes Finlay out! Sanada flips back in, then PLANCHAS again! A hattrick for Sanada and the fans fire up! Sanada encourages them to get louder, then he goes back for Finlay. Sanada puts Finlay in the ring, stalks him, then brings him up to RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Cover, TWO! The fans rally while Sanada brings Finlay back up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Finlay slips free to waistlock, but Sanada switches. Finlay denies the O’Conner to roll Sanada up, TWO! Sanada runs in, but into a SPIN-OUT BOMB! Finlay grins as he leans against ropes, then he watches Sanada rise. Finlay runs in, and he clotheslines Sanada up and out!

Finlay goes out after Sanada, talks some trash, “This your boy?” Finlay flexes, drags Sanada up, and RAMS him into the railing! And RAMS him in again! Finlay’s trying to squish English commentary as he RAMS Sanada in again! Finlay lets Sanada falls over, then asks Gedo, “You wanna see a dead body?” Finlay fireman’s carries Sanada, to run up, but Sanada slips free! Finlay kicks low, reels Sanada in, but Sanada fights the piledriver! Sanada back drops Finlay onto the floor! The fans cheer while Sanada hobbles away. But then Finlay runs up! Sanada moves and Finlay crashes into railing! Sanada then brings Finlay out through the gate!

The Young Lions hurry to brace railing, but Sanada reels Finlay in for a PILEDRIVER on the floor!! And there’s far less padding out by the crowd then by ringside! Red Shoes wants this back in the ring, but Sanada has to catch his breath first. Sanada drags Finlay up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he brings Finlay back to ringside like that. Sanada puts Finlay in the ring and the fans applaud. Sanada then stalks Finlay, stands him up, and CLUBS him on the neck! Finlay staggers up, and he fires a forearm back! Sanada eggs Finlay on, so Finlay fires another forearm! And then SPITS at Sanada! And flips him off!

Sanada fires off furious fists on Finlay! The fans fire up but they’re on the ropes now! Red Shoes reprimands, but Sanada shoves him down! Sanada’s losing his cool, and Finlay YANKS Sanada into ropes! Both men are down and the fans rally up for Sanada. Finlay drags Sanada up, reels him in, Canadian Rack, but Sanada slips free, to get the dragon sleeper! Finlay arm-drags free, runs up, but into a BOOT! Sanada goes up to QUEBRADA, and he has the dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back but Finlay rolls through to inverted suplex! And LAWN DART off the corner! Then a Canadian Rack, DOMINATOR! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up as Sanada survives! Gedo is upset and we pass 15 minutes. The fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he and Finlay slowly rise. Finlay uses ropes to help stretch out one of his arms, then he goes back for Sanada. Finlay clamps on to sit Sanada up, for a crossface forearm! And then another! And another! Finlay drags Sanada up again, runs, and BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Cover, TWO! Sanada is still in this and Finlay is frustrated. The fans rally up for Sanada again, but Finlay drags Sanada up and reels him in. Sanada is dead weight so Finlay has Red Shoes check. Sanada refuses to give in and the fans rally up more.

Finlay talks more trash on the fans, then drags Sanada back up and in. POWER- RANA! Cover, TWO!! Finlay escapes, runs up, but Sanada spins him around, MAGIC- NO, Finlay slips free to suplex! But Sanada slips free to O’Conner Roll, but Finlay turns that around! O’Conner- NO, Sanada keeps Finlay up, then brings him into SKULL END!! Finlay flails and endures but he’s stuck in the body scissors! Sanada puts on the squeeze and Finlay is starting to fade! Red Shoes checks, Finlay flips everyone off! But he’s fading all the same! Sanada almost loses grip, and Finlay grabs at Red Shoes! Finlay endures as Sanada thrashes him around!

Red Shoes checks again, but Sanada lets Finlay go to go up top! ROUNDING BODY PRESS onto knees! Finlay saves himself at the last moment and both men are down! The fans rally for Sanada as he and Finlay stir. We hit 20 minutes and Sanada grabs at Finlay. They both rise up and Finlay fires a haymaker. Sanada fires it back! Finlay fires another haymaker, so Sanada gives it back! Red Shoes reprimands about closed fists, so Finlay fires a forearm! Sanada fires one right back! Finlay staggers away to ropes, but then Sanada eggs him on. Finlay fires a flurry, but Sanada UPPERCUTS! Finlay wobbles, staggers, but comes back.

Finlay UPPERCUTS, but Sanada shakes his head. The fans rally up as Sanada goes back to UPPERCUT Finlay! Finlay wobbles, Sanada eggs him on, and Finlay UPPERCUTS! Sanada grits his teeth, Finlay eggs him on, and Sanada UPPERCUTS! Finlay leans on Sanada, but he still fires a flurry of forearms, then an UPPERCUT! Finlay runs, but Sanada dodges! Sanada tilt-o-whirls, and has the dragon sleeper! But Finlay slips through to suplex! But Sanada turns that around, MAGIC SCREW! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Sanada hurries up a corner, to ROUNDING BODY PRESS! Direct hit and Sanada covers, TWO!!

The fans fire up more as Sanada drags Finlay back up. Sanada clinches, but Gedo storms up to the apron! Sanada drops Finlay so he can KICK the ropes! The fans cheer as Gedo gets jammed up down low! But then Finlay cradles Sanada! TWO!! Sanada escapes, runs up, BLINDSIDE WIZARD! Both men are down again and the fans fire back up! Sanada kips up and the fans cheer! Sanada shouts at Finlay to get up, then runs in, but Finlay ducks the Shining Wizard! Finlay wrenches, suplexes, INTO OBLIVION!! Cover, TWO!! Finlay almost had this one but he won’t stop there! Finlay suplexes again, OVER- BLOCKED!!

Sanada waistlocks, O’Conner Rolls and BRIDGES! TWO!!! Finlay escapes, but SHINING WIZARD hits!! The fans are thunderous and Sanada drags Finlay back up! Clinch and- NO, Finlay slips out to bring Sanada up! But Sanada slips free to ENZIGIRI! The fans fire up as we hit 25 minutes! Time is running out, but Sanada aims from the corner! SHINING- NO, Finlay smothers the wizard to high stack and deadlift into a POWERBOMB! Then the flip over and suplex! OVERKILL!!! Cover, Finlay wins!

Winner: David Finlay, by pinfall (still IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion)

The Cold Skull got hot, but maybe too little too late. Finlay holds onto the belt he created, for now. Will he prove that NJPW and the world needs The Rebel?

 

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Steel Cage Match: SHO VS El Desperado!

The Murder Machine missed out on the Best of the Super Juniors finals, and it was the Rogue Luchador who finally added that trophy to his list of accomplishments. And as Sho tried to rain on the parade, Desperado goaded Sho into not just putting up the title, but putting up the steel fence around the ring! Truly a historic first for this title, will Desperado continue to make history by winning again? Or will Sho somehow, someway win without The House of Torture’s help?

But of course, the NJPW ref corps knows Sho has tricks of his own, so they make sure to pat him down before he enters the cage. AHA! Scissors! Sho says those aren’t his! But the check continues, and wait! Evil is storming his way onto commentary! The King of Darkness is going to find a way to be here for Sho one way or another. But wait, the search finds handcuffs, as well as a metal plate in the kick pad! Sho is upset that all his tricks have been found out, but Desperado’s having a great time watching his humiliation. Sho is already trying to find things under the ring but the refs were thorough even before the cage was set up.

Sho, Desperado and Red Shoes are locked inside, and all of Sho’s things have been secured, because a Young Lion is taking them to the back! It’s sinking in for Sho that there’s nothing he can do to cheat this one. Sho finally steps into the ring, the introductions are made and the belt is raised. And now, with the odds finally even, we see who is truly the Best of the Super Juniors!

The bell rings and the fans rally for “DE-SU-PE! DE-SU-PE!” The two feel things out, clinch, go around, and Sho waistlocks. Despe spins through to facelock, but Sho wrenches out. Despe rolls, wrenches back, and wristlocks. Sho pushes Despe to then wrench, wrench and wristlock. Despe drop toeholds, floats to a facelock, then he ties up the legs. Despe pulls Sho with a chinbar, but then shifts to have a cording hold. Sho endures, reaches out to the ropes, and Despe lets go. The fans cheer, and Despe talks some smack as Sho goes to a corner. The two reset, feel things out, knuckle lock, and Despe rolls to top wristlock.

Despe shifts to a cording hold, but Sho rolls back to stand up. Despe wrenches to wristlock, then he arm-drags Sho down into the cording hold. Sho endures, even as Despe adds a chinbar. Sho fights up, Despe hammerlocks the arm and goes for the crossface. Sho fights that, so Despe headlocks. Despe hits the takeover, Sho headscissors and squeezes tight. Despe bridges back, headstands, then pushes down on Sho’s legs. Despe floats onto the headlock but Sho slips out the back. Sho has the arm, and he drags Despe in, SNAKEBITE! Despe fights up to get the KNEEBAR! Sho flails, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud as Despe lets off.

Sho crawls to the corner and Despe waits on him. The fans rally, the two circle, and they feel things out again. Sho bends Despe’s fingers, then hammerlocks. Despe elbows Sho, switches the hammerlock onto him then spins him around to whip. Despe arm-drags Sho then runs him over! The fans fire up but Sho bails out of the ring. But he can’t go far with the cage all around! Despe storms up but Sho kicks him! Sho whips Despe into the cage! Despe staggers, Sho grins and whips the other way, only for Despe to reverse! Sho hits cage, staggers forward, and Despe back drops him on the floor! Sho writhes and the fans cheer!

Despe stalks Sho as he scurries, but then Sho slips around. Sho reaches out and Evil slips him the “Torture Tool” wrench through the bars! But Red Shoes is right on Sho to take that away! Despe whips Sho at the cage! Sho stops himself, then HIP TOSSES Despe into steel! Evil acts like he did nothing wrong but Yano is also on commentary and telling him off. Sho drags Despe up to whip him into the cage! Despe slumps down, but Sho stands him up, to whip him in again! Despe staggers and falls, and part of the cage swings open! Seems there was a second door! Sho keeps Despe from getting out, and sends him back into steel!

Sho grins as he stalks Despe, and he RIPS at Despe’s mask! Red Shoes reprimands, Sho lets off and stalks Despe around the way. Sho drags Despe up to GRIND his face against the cage! Evil applauds as Sho goes along the whole side! Sho throws Despe down, and a good part of Despe’s mask has been ripped away! Sho talks trash on Despe, then brings him up to ROCK him with a right! Sho DIGS Despe’s face into the cage again, then SCRAPES him along! Evil applauds but he’s the only one. Sho makes Despe suffer, then shoves him back down. Sho soaks up the heat before bringing Despe back into the ring.

Sho CHOKES Despe against ropes! Red Shoes reprimands, then counts, but Sho steps away at 4. Sho drags Despe back up, CLAWS at Despe’s exposed face, then lets off as Red Shoes counts. Sho not so subtly unties the blue buckle pad, and uses the strap to CHOKE Despe! Red Shoes counts, Sho lets go, and Evil says that’s genius! The fans rally for “DE-SU-PE!” but Sho talks more trash. Despe sits up, and Sho scuffs him. Sho taunts Despe, scuffs him again, but Despe grabs Sho’s foot. Despe CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Sho DECKS him with a right hand! Sho storms up to digs his boot into Despe’s face! Red Shoes reprimands and Sho steps off.

Sho eggs Despe on, so Despe stands to CHOP and CHOP! Sho fires another haymaker, but Despe HEADBUTTS! Despe runs, but into a kitchen sink knee! Despe falls, but Sho brings him up to whip to ropes, for another kitchen sink knee! Cover, TWO! Despe stays in this, and goes to a corner, but Sho runs in to RAM him! Sho then hoists Despe up to stick him across the top rope. Sho runs in, TOP SHELF KNEE! Cover, TWO! Sho pulls on an arm and a leg! Despe endures, the fans rally, but Sho pulls harder! Despe still reaches out with his free arm, fights over with his free leg, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer but Sho holds until Red Shoes counts 4.

Despe crawls to the apron but Sho grins as he runs up, to LARIAT Despe down! Despe falls on the apron then flops down to the floor. Sho wants a ring count, but this is a cage match, there’s no such thing. Sho says fine, and he goes out to fetch Despe. Sho whips Despe into the cage! Despe leans against the steel, and Sho grins as he brings Despe around to throw into more cage! Sho then SMACKS Despe off the steel, and runs him along the way, only for Despe to turn it around and send Sho into steel! The fans fire up and Despe RAMS Sho into steel! Then Despe throws Sho into the cage wall! Despe goes into the ring, builds speed, and DIVES! Both men hit the steel!!

The fans are thunderous and Despe roars as he rises up! Sho sputters while he’s slumped against the cage, but Despe drags him up. Despe whips Sho into the cage again! Sho falls, clutching an arm, but Despe gets him up and runs him hard into more steel! The fans fire up as Despe snarls and drags Sho up again. Despe still throws Sho into the cage! Despe then puts Sho in the ring, drags him up, and hits a BIG back suplex! Despe drags Sho right back up, for a BIG regular suplex! Despe then climbs up the corner, for a FROG SPLASH! But Despe’s own ribs make it hard to keep the cover. Despe drags Sho up, reels him in, GUITARRA DEL ANGEL! Cover, TWO!

Sho survives but Despe just shakes his head. Despe staggers around, he drags Sho up, and he reels Sho in to tuck the arms. But Sho wrenches out to KNEE low and throw Despe down by his hair! Sho sputters, he goes back to the blue corner, and he finishes untying the pad. The Bullet Club Special is still possible in this cage, and as Despe runs in, TADA! Bare buckles! Sho whips Despe back into those bare buckles! Sho runs to SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!! Despe survives and Sho is stunned! The fans rally for Despe but Sho calls his shot. Sho drags Despe up, but Despe fights the gut wrench! Despe CLUBS Sho’s legs, but Sho still tries to lift!

Sho KNEES Despe low, then whips him back to the bare buckles! Sho grins, but Despe comes back! Despe swings, but Sho gets around to POP UP and ARMBAR! Despe fights around, but ends up in SNAKEBITE!! Despe flails, reaches out, but he’s fading! Sho pulls harder on the hold, and Despe falls over! But then Despe gets a second wind! The fans rally as hard as they can, and Despe drags Sho over, but Sho just pulls harder on the hold! Despe tips over, but into the ROPEBREAK! Red Shoes tells Sho to let go but he refuses! So Red Shoes pulls Sho’s hair to make him stop! Respect his authority, Sho!

Sho lets go and Red Shoes checks on Despe. Red Shoes keeps Sho back, and Despe raises a hand. Despe wags a finger, he isn’t done yet. Sho kicks Despe mockingly, toying with him. Sho stands on Despe’s head, then gives him another mocking kick. Despe slowly sits up and the fans rally up again. Despe looks up at Sho defiantly, and Sho gives him a kick. Despe stays up so Sho fires a forearm! Despe snarls as he stands, so Sho fires another forearm! Despe forearms back but Sho LARIATS! Sho is mad now! Sho gets Despe up to gut wrench, Canadian Rack, FACEBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Despe survives and the fans fire up!

Sho is freaking out, slapping himself around. Sho pulls at his own hair in frustration, but he drags Despe back up. Sho reels Despe in, tucks the arms, but Despe slips out to wrench and OLYMPIC SLAM! The fans fire up while both men are down! Despe and Sho stir, and Sho crawls his way to ropes. Despe snarls as he rises at center, but Sho storms back over. Despe fires body shots, then a forearm! Sho fires off boxing elbows fast and furious! Sho ROCKS Despe, runs, but Despe DECKS him! Despe roars and the fans fire up with him! Despe underhooks, FACEBUSTER! And then the roll through, for PINCHE- NO, Sho fights it!

Sho shoves Despe into Red Shoes! Sho runs up, to SHOTGUN Red Shoes into the bare buckles! Despe slumps out of the ring, Sho storms over and “accidentally” drops an elbow on Red Shoes! Evil claims Sho is innocent, but here comes The House of Torture! The fans boo, so much for Sho doing this on his own! Sho drags Despe up as the fans tell all the others to go home, or at least go away. But Sho puts Despe against the cage, and Narita SMACKS Despe with a chair! But here comes Oleg! But Kanemaru CLOBBERS Oleg! Evil even hits Yano on commentary! Tanahashi and even Satoshi Kojima run out here, but The House goes after them, too!

The fans boo but The House starts throwing chairs into the ring for Sho to use! Evil pretends he sees nothing wrong with this. Sho grins stands Despe back up, talks trash on everyone, then brings Despe into the ring. Sho soaks up the heat, then talks more trash. But Despe has a chair! Despe HEADSHOTS Sho!! Sho flops into the ring and the fans are thunderous! Despe turns things around on The House as he puts Sho’s head on one chair, and grabs another! Evil can only freak out as Despe hits a HOMERUN!! Evil tries to climb into the cage?! Despe CHUCKS a chair at him and he falls right off! The others try, but Despe chucks more chairs!

The fans fire up as now Yano, Oleg and Tanahashi fight back, too! They all stomp the House, Kojima CLUBS Kanemaru, and Despe CHUCKS chairs as Narita tries to climb! Despe goes back to Sho while Tanahashi and team drag The House outta here! The fans cheer as justice is again served! Despe calls to Red Shoes and he slowly returns. Despe gets Sho up but Sho LOW BLOWS! The ref missed that by sheer luck! Sho pretends he got hit, too, and so now everyone’s down again! Sho can’t help but laugh, though, and he tells Red shoes to get up. Sho hobbles over to Despe, drags him up, and reels him in to pump handle!

But Despe Alabama Lifts! And then he tucks Sho in, BASTARD DRIVER!! The fans are thunderous as Despe gets Sho up, underhooks, and JAY DRILLER!! And then the PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, DESPE WINS!!

Winner: El Desperado, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)

The Murder Machine couldn’t win it on his own, and that is why he lost it all tonight! Will it ever sink in that crime doesn’t pay?

As for Desperado, he now has trophy and championship belt to hold! Despe makes sure “the trash” is taken out of the ring first, then he gets the mic. The fans cheer “DESPE! DESPE!” as he gets the spotlight on him. Despe takes a moment, and then says, “Ah… that hurt. Thank you.” The fans cheer, and Despe continues by saying that there are all different types of wrestlers, and that’s what makes pro-wrestling so interesting. But even knowing that, it’s exhausting having to go this far. Why the heck are they opening the cage up? It took a lot to put it together in the first place, not that Despe really knows about that.

Despe won’t say this was fun, it’s not really his style, and his whole body hurts. He probably won’t do this kinda thing ever again. But he does want to get to his next challenger. The fans are shocked he’s doing this so soon! And then Despe calls out DOUKI! Despe tells Douki to come on out here, they don’t need to make a mess with the cage coming down just yet. The fans cheer for “DOUKI! DOUKI!” Despe waits, but he starts to wonder if Douki left already. Despe figured he’d give the guy he fought in the BOSJ semifinals, a guy who’s like a brother to him, a shot. But then, while he was home, he was kind alike, “Nah, maybe I’ll go with another guy.”

But wait! Here comes Douki! The fans cheer as Japones Del Mal heads into the ring. And Despe already knows what Douki must be thinking. Why’s he giving the shot to a guy he already beat? Is it because it’ll be an easy defense? Despe says the BOSJ was the BOSJ, and this cage match was this cage match. Whether the energy is flowing or not, a true IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match is different. Despe is sure Douki has what it takes. Despe knows Douki got cheated by Sho, so this will be different, too. So what does Douki say? Is he up for the challenge? The fans like the sound of that!

Despe keeps explaining that people might be thinking this is because of their past friendship, and maybe it is. After all, even though Despe is older, Douki helped him out a lot while they were in Mexico. This is Despe returning the favor. A chance like this doesn’t come along all the time, but don’t think of this as a handout. Despe just wants Douki to see for himself that he can do this. But if he doesn’t think he can, then Douki can walk away. The fans tell Douki to go for it! Douki steps inside! The fans fire up as Douki is face to face with Despe! Despe says he doesn’t know when or where this’ll happen, but when it does, it’ll be Despe VS Douki.

The fans cheer, Douki nods, and the fans even cheer Douki on. Despe lets Douki have the mic, and he says there was no way he was saying no with Despe asking him like that! Douki then says Despe better do everything he can to keep that belt. Despe tells Douki not to be so cocky. The Rogue Luchador grins as his old amigo heads back out. And then he grumbles that Douki shouldn’t have given him the mic back, now he has to wrap this up! And then he says, “That’s just how it is!” Despe drops the mic and the streamers fly! We have our next title match on the books, when and where will these former Suzuki-Gun soldiers do battle as rivals?


My Thoughts:

A great New Japan Soul, full of so much meaningful stuff for being the start to a short tour. A little surprised Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg won the NEVER titles back already, but I do appreciate NJPW isn’t afraid to hot potato their titles around. And I really do think there should be a tiebreaker coming, maybe with a heightened stipulation like Elimination or Best 2 Outta 3 Falls. Great Junior Heavyweight Tag title match, and TMDK came so close, but I should’ve figured The War Dogs would win out. And very good field for the G1 this year. I’m a little surprised so many people are in the qualifiers, but that should make it really wild stuff. I’d love if TJP got in for B Block.

Takagi VS Henare was an awesome rematch, and Henare winning was quite the surprise. Takagi’s not just in the G1, but he’s gonna be in AEW’s Owen Hart Cup, so I thought he’d bring that along. But maybe since Takagi isn’t likely to win the Owen Hart Cup, NJPW doesn’t want anyone getting a win over one of their midcard champions. Great return match for Sanada, but I suppose Finlay was going to retain either way. Finlay already felt the shame of losing this title once this year, he wasn’t gonna do it again.

And great stuff in the main event. I just knew The House of Torture would show up despite the cage, but then great of Tanahashi and friends to stop them. Desperado winning was the right choice and certainly great for him. Desperado naming Douki as his next challenger is really cool stuff, and Douki is definitely going to have a great showing. I still think Despe retains, but Douki is slowly rising up the ranks. If all things go well, Douki can definitely find himself as champion within the next year.

My Score: 9/10


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