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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (7/11/22)

The Beast is back!

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WWE Raw 2022

BROCK LESNAR is ready to turn San Antonio into Suplex City!

With less than three weeks before SummerSlam’s Last Man Standing match, Monday Night Raw sees the return of BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Will everyone steer clear of him? Or will someone end up an appetizer for The Beast?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor w/ Damian Priest; Balor wins.
  • Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair VS Carmella; Mella wins by count out, Bianca retains the title.
  • 2v1 Handicap: The Miz & Tommaso Ciampa VS AJ Styles; changed to…
  • AJ Styles & Ezekiel VS The Miz & Tommaso Ciampa; Styles & Ezekiel win.
  • Alexa Bliss & Asuka VS Nikki A.S.H. & “Doudrop” Piper Niven; Alexa & Asuka win.
  • Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford VS Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso; changed to…
  • Six Man Tag: R-Truth & The Street Profits VS The Usos & Omos w/ MVP; Omos & The Usos win.
  • Bobby Lashley & Matt Riddle VS Seth Rollins & (Austin) Theory; Lashley & Riddle win.

PLAY BY PLAY

BROCK LESNAR is here!

And San Antonio is fired up as he waves his hat and takes a bow. Brock’s pyro is a step behind, but he still goes down to the ring, fist bumping fans on the way. Fans chant Lesnar’s name and he has the mic to say, “Well God bless Texas!” Fans cheer that! Lesnar says with an intro like that, it’d be rude to leave his hat on so he’ll show some manners. He puts his hat up on the post and says that we just saw a little bit ago in a short recap, life is good for Roman Reigns. Since WrestleMania, Roman’s been living high on the hog, flying private jets and eating like a king. But there’s an old saying that came from right here in Texas: “Pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered!”

Lesnar tells Roman that he is a hog. And Lesnar slaughters hogs on his farm every single day. “At SummerSlam, the Tribal Hog is gonna get a country ass kicking to the likes he’s never seen.” But ladies and gentlemen, Paul Heyman introduces himself. And he assures us, they on the Island of Relevancy are booing, too. Fans boo Heyman louder and Lesnar says, “Speaking of hogs…” Well that’s not neighborly of you, Texas. Fans chant, “You Suck!” at Heyman now. Heyman says despite our differences, Brock Lesnar doesn’t suck. But ladies and gentlemen- Lesnar says three little piggies went to town. Oink oink oink, is Heyman gonna say something worthwhile?

Heyman asks, “You know what bothers me? We’ve gone from the Most Stupendous WrestleMania of all time to the most BARBARIC SummerSlam of all time, and that plays right into your hands,” Lesnar. The odds-on favorite in a Last Man Standing Match is Brock Lesnar. Why? Because Roman Reigns defined his greatness by athletically beating down, smashing the opposition, pinning them, making them tap out, in athletic competition. But we all defined Lesnar’s legacy by annihilating people and putting them down for good! By breaking their bodies, by conquering streaks and ending careers!

So if Lesnar has to put Roman down for the count of ten, that is what Lesnar is going to do! It doesn’t matter to Lesnar if he puts Roman down for 10, or for 100, or if he just sends Roman to the hospital, or even to the morgue! That’s not a man! That’s a BEAST! A HOG SLAUGHTERER! AN ANNIHILATOR! AN AVENGING BADASS… who wants revenge on Heyman’s Tribal Chief! Heyman gives us his word on something, though. We’re approaching 700 DAYS of Roman as champion. And Lesnar, “this is one streak you will not conquer.” Heyman will have Roman ready for Lesnar at SummerSlam, to put Lesnar down!

If Heyman has to train Roman Reigns to stick his hand up Lesnar’s ASS, and then pull Lesnar’s heart out from that hole, that is what His Tribal Chief is going to do to something like Lesnar! Before Lesnar can respond, (Austin) Theory appears! Theory says SummerSlam is going to be one of the greatest nights in WWE history. Because Theory takes back his WWE US Championship, and then he’ll sit back and watch the “Match of Mass Destruction.” See, after that match, Theory won’t run down to the ring, he’ll walk out, holding up the MITB contract, hand it to the official, cash-in, and then put a foot on either Lesnar’s chest or Roman’s chest, and the announcer will say… “AND NEW, Youngest, Undisputed WWE Universal Champion of the World… THEORY!”

Fans boo and Lesnar shrugs. Why not try it right now? Theory says it doesn’t matter if Lesnar wins or if Roman wins, because the way they’re talking about the outcome, it will be life altering. And Mr. Heyman, Theory says he should listen to Lesnar. Theory has some footage of his own from the Elimination Chamber that shows Lesnar doesn’t give a damn about anyone but himself! He doesn’t care about anyone’s life but his own! Theory is talking about when Lesnar dribbled Theory off Plexiglas to then F5 him to the floor from the top of a pod! Fans cheer that and Lesnar is smiling. Theory tells everyone to shut up!

Theory tells Heyman that what we just saw could end up being Roman Reigns. He could be just a heap of humanity, sitting their motionless. But that footage wasn’t just for Roman. It’s for Lesnar to know that Theory didn’t forget! Well what do we have here? Lesnar comes to down, and all the roaches show up! The Alpha Academy have crept out from the shadows and are flanking the ring. But Lesnar throws off his jacket and welcomes Otis into the ring! Theory says to go get him, and Gable CHOP BLOCKS a leg! Lesnar hobbles and Otis RAMS him into a corner! But Lesnar is standing and smiling! Lesnar CLOBBERS Otis, then OVERHEAD Belly2Belly suplexes Gable!

Lesnar then CLOBBERS Otis out of the ring! The Alpha Academy flounders but Lesnar is after them both! He pulls off the steel steps to RAM Gable, then RAM Otis! And then he RAMS Gable again! And RAMS Otis again! Lesnar tosses the steps into the ring while Heyman is in shock! Lesnar grabs a chair, brings it over and SMACKS Gable! And again! And then Lesnar SMACKS Otis! Lesnar drags Gable up to then OVERHEAD Belly2Belly him again! Otis flounders up to his feet, and Lesnar fireman’s carries him to F5 onto the announce desk!! Fans are losing their minds as Lesnar just wrecked the Wrecking Ball! And then Lesnar fetches his hat.

Will Roman be ready for the most vicious, most brutal, most heinous fight of his life?

 

Rey Mysterio w/ Dominik Mysterio VS Finn Balor w/ Damian Priest!

After the Mysterios made the Prince look like a fool, The Judgement Day attacked backstage to ruin the celebration. But will the King of Lucha get the better of Balor again? Or will Finn have some tricks of his own?

Raw returns as the Judgement Day makes their entrance. They and the Mysterios stare down, and Priest has the mic. “All rise.” Fans boo but Priest says to RISE and show proper respect to The Judgement Day! Priest tells Dominik that what happened last week was justice. For the old guard, for the way things used to be. In two weeks, Madison Square Garden, Mysterio celebrates 20 YEARS in the WWE. But face it, Rey, you’re done. Washed up, over. Rey has nothing left to offer Dominik. All he has is an ugly mask and some old, tired circus tricks that weren’t even his! However, The Judgement Day has something more. A new set of rules! Sounds good, right?

“The future of this business will be decided by The Judgement Day, and you’re welcome to join it, man.” But the fans don’t matter. Join them, step out of Rey’s shadow and blaze your own path! Live your own life and rise with the Judgement Day, or continue to fall alongside Rey. Finn has Priest calm down. But when is Dom going to learn to see things their way? Does Dom think Daddy can protect him? Ooo~, Rey the legend~! But Edge is a legend and we all saw what happened to him! Let’s look! Footage plays of last month when Finn joined to EJECT Edge from the faction. Edge is GONE, no longer coming back, adios!

And why? Because he was a bad leader. And just like Finn said before, Rey is a bad leader AND a bad father! Fans boo but Rey hopes Dom isn’t listening to this. Dom looks between everyone, but then Rey DECKS Finn! Dom and Rey DOUBLE DROPKICK Priest! The father and son double whip Finn, but Priest gets Finn out of there! Will Rey finish this with Finn? We’ll find out, after the break.

Raw returns again and Finn CHOKES Rey on the ropes as this match is underway! The ref counts, Finn lets off but Priest gets a sucker punch in! Finn drags Rey up, whips him but Rey holds ropes to block. Finn kicks low, whips corner to corner, but runs into an elbow! Rey runs, slides under and KICKS Finn to then KICK him again. Rey ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl RANA! Finn bails out but Rey takes aim to PLANCHA! Direct hit and down goes Finn! Dom fans his father off and Rey puts Finn in. Rey hurries in but Finn scoops for a BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Finn CLUBS Rey down and then bends him back!

Rey endures the chinlock stretch but fans rally up. Dom coaches his dad up but Finn drops an elbow! Cover, TWO! Rey gets away to a corner but Finn storms over. Finn stands Rey up to RAM a shoulder into his back! And then Finn brings Rey up for another BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Finn sits Rey up to drive an elbow in, and then clamps on a chinlock! Rey endures, fans rally up, and Rey fights up to throw elbows! Rey is free but Finn knees low! Finn suplexes, and holds on for Uno Amigo! Fans boo as Finn CLUBS Rey down, only needing the one. Finn drags Rey up at the apron, but Rey blocks the buckle bump to BUMP Finn!

Rey goes up the corner, but Finn CHOP BLOCKS a leg! Rey gets stuck in the Tree of Woe, but then falls right out! Rey clutches a leg but Finn gets that very leg to hold in the ropes! The ref counts, Finn lets off, but then grabs the leg again to wrap it back around. Finn stomps the leg and Rey flops to the floor! Dom goes out to check on his dad but Finn goes out to tell Dom to watch. Finn puts Rey in but Rey WRECKS Finn with a dropkick! Rey runs to SLIDING SUNSET BOMB! Finn hits barriers and both men are down as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Finn is up top but Rey fires off haymakers! Rey then climbs up after Finn to SUPER STEINER! Cover, TWO! Priest is relieved but Dom fires the fans back up. Finn grabs at Rey’s bad leg but Rey ENZIGURIS! Finn is on the ropes! Rey dials it up, 619! Rey hurries on one good leg to climb up the corner! FROG SPLASH FLOPS as Finn moves! Finn says he’s too smart, but then Rey GHOST PINS! TWO!! Finn escapes and surprises himself! Finn snarls and he hurries after Rey. Rey is on the apron, he shoulders into Finn and throws more haymakers, Rey slingshots but Finn turns it into a gut wrench, ELBOW DROP DDT! Cover, TWO!

Priest and Finn are both frustrated but Finn drags Rey up. Suplex, but Rey slips out! The bad leg jams, and Finn dragon sleepers for the inverted suplex, BLOODY SUNDAY! Finn hurries up top now, COUP DE GRACE!! Cover, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

Dom gets in to check on his dad, but Finn and Priest stare him down. Finn says this only proves him right. Will Dom side with them and their dark ways? Or will Dom stay beside his father and legacy?

 

Becky Lynch is here!

And Raw is Big Time because she is here to watch the Raw Women’s Championship rematch from Money in the Bank!

Raw returns and Becky stands on the desk with a mic. “I was devastated when I didn’t win MITB after everything I’d been through to get in, and I kinda lost my mind a little bit. But then, I sat with myself and I realized, cashing in say the way Liv did, well that’s like winning the lottery, isn’t it? And I don’t NEED to win the lottery because I work my ass off every week for a paycheck!” So therefore, Becky dragged her broken, bruised body through that No Holds Barred match against Asuka, and that should have automatically made her as #1 Contender! But no~! It’s MELLA! Mella gets her rematch!!

So uh, Becky is going blue in the face saying this, but she should just have been given her rematch on the Monday after WrestleMania, but NO~! No, she is made to jump through hoops and work her way back to the top, and being denied what is rightfully hers! And so tonight… Well, she doesn’t give a damn who wins! Becky DEMANDS a championship match at SummerSlam! Becky slams the mic down and glares at the ring as Bianca Belair makes her entrance.

Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair VS Carmella!

The EST dealt with the (self-proclaimed) Most Beautiful Woman in the WWE already, but if she wants that whooping again, then Bianca is more than happy to give it. Will Mella again miss out on the gold? Or will Mella be money on the road to SummerSlam?

The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who brings this title to Tennessee!

Mella rushes in, Bianca picks her up and RAMS her into a corner! Bianca RAMS into Mella more, lets off at the ref’s count of 4, then whips corner to corner. Bianca runs in but Mella BOOTS back! Mella throws Bianca down by her hair, then smiles and soaks up the heat. Becky likes that as Mella pie faces the “TackiEST.” Mella runs, but gets run over! Bianca dusts off her hands and then dares Mella to do something. Mella bails out instead so Bianca drags Mella up to SMACK her off the desk! Bianca tells Becky she’s next. Becky talks trash back but Corey Graves tells Becky to focus because Mella will get her. We’ll have to wait and see while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Mella thrashes Bianca around in a chinlock. Bianca endures and fans rally up. Bianca fights up, throws body shots, then shoves Mella way. Mella ducks and tilt-o-whirls, but Bianca blocks that to get a BACKBREAKER! Mella writhes and Becky is annoyed, but Bianca runs in, into a BOOT! Mella goes up to get Bianca with a HANGING HEADSCISSORS! The ref counts, Mella lets off at 4, and she climbs up again to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Mella hurries to Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Bianca is in the corner, Mella DROPKICKS her into buckles! Fans boo but Mella soaks up the heat.

Bianca scowls as she gets up. Mella talks trash, digs her boots in, but the ref counts. Mella lets off at 4, climbs up the corner again, but fans rally for the “E S T! E S T!” Mella leaps, into Bianca’s arms! Bianca slips Mella around into the LongEST Suplex, and SLAM! Becky is annoyed again while both women are down. Fans rally for Bianca and she gets up. Bianca runs in to run Mella over! Bianca bumps Mella off buckles, then more buckles, then more buckles! Bianca stomps Mella, whips her corner to corner, but Mella reverses. Bianca goes up and over and handsprings, then she catches Mella to chicken wings! GLAM- NO, roll through! TWO, Bianca has it now!

TWO but Bianca uses that to go up the corner and say, “Kiss this!” Mella scowls, but Bianca flip sup and over and chicken wings, GlamEST Slam! Becky is beside herself as Bianca runs, but Mella anchors a foot! Bianca kicks her, STANDING MOONSAULT onto knees! FABULOUS KICK! Cover, TWO! Becky looks at Mella with some disappointment and Mella is beside herself. Bianca gets up and Mella aims again, FABU- NO! Bianca gets under the kick to lift Mella up for a BUCKLE BOMB! Then a torture rack! Melal grabs ropes for dear life but she can’t hold on! Mella uses her FEET now! Bianca still gets Mella loose, KISS OF- FACEBUSTER?!? Cover, TWO!!!

Mella is shocked and Becky is surprised, too! Bianca survives the counter and Mella grits her teeth. Mella hears the fans cheering Bianca on and gets mad. Mella fires off fast hands on Bianca in the corner, but lets off at 4. Mella then throws heavy back elbows! Only to get caught into a full nelson! And then spun around for shoulder after shoulder into the corner! Bianca lets off, gets Mella around, and POWER- NO, Mella slips out, so Bianca LARIATS! Bianca CLUBS away on Mella’s back, shoves her and pops her up, SPINEBUSTER! High stack, TWO! Mella is still in this but Bianca shakes her head. Bianca runs in but Mella dumps her out!

Mella aims but Bianca trips her up. Mella boots Bianca away, kicks at her, but Bianca trips Mella up! Bianca shoves Mella into the ring, goes up the corner, but Mella scrambles away! Fans boo as Mella wants to chicken out, but Bianca rushes after her! Bianca suplexes, and she holds Mella up. Mella fights out, and CLAWS Bianca’s eyes! But Bianca POSTS Mella in revenge! The ring count is climbing past 5 of 10, Bianca gets Mella in, but Becky rushes over! Bianca is ready, the count is climbing! It’s 10, Bianca loses!!

Winner: Carmella, by count-out; Bianca is still Raw Women’s Champion

Mella celebrates like she won this on her own, but she is forgetting Champion’s Advantage. Becky just wanted to make Bianca lose, but Bianca loses her cool! She SHOVES Mella down, and hits a KISS OF DEATH!! Bianca holds the belt up because she is still the RawEST Women’s Champion! Will she also be the angriEST when she finally gets her hands on Big Time Becks again?

 

The mysterious video plays again.

The lights. The cemetery. The gold medal, the license plate, the armbands.

 

The Miz and Tommaso Ciampa are here!

The Hollywood A-Lister is hosting another episode of MizTV, and tonight’s guest is Miz’s Guardian Psycho! What will they both have to say about AJ Styles after the break?

Raw returns and he welcomes us to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show, and he formally introduces his guest. This man, since his debut on Raw, has mercilessly attacked multiple superstars, including their opponent in tonight’s 2v1 Handicap Match, AJ Styles. Ladies and gentlemen, get up out of your seats for CIAMPA! Fans boo instead but Ciampa still smiles. Miz welcomes Ciampa to the show, and he has to ask for an explanation as to Ciampa’s actions. Ciampa says it is simple: He wants the eyes of the world on Ciampa, and no one commands attention more than The Miz. That is CORRECT! Who else has a hit reality show directly following Raw tonight? Only The Miz!

Ciampa is talking to the right person. Miz guided a social media icon in Logan Paul and made him into a WWE Superstar. With Miz’s help, Logan beat the great tag team of Rey & Dominik Mysterio at WrestleMania. And that’s what Ciampa wants! He wants WrestleMania! He wants SummerSlam! He wants opportunity! He wants it ALL!! Miz says yes, that is what they all want. And Miz tried to hand Logan Paul that same opportunity. Did Logan thank Miz for that? NO. Logan responded on social media with a video. Logan told Miz and everyone that he is NOT changing his mind about what he said, he is NOT Miz’s tag partner or friend.

Logan said it when he signed the contract, and will say it now: Logan Paul is coming after The Miz at SummerSlam. Understand? Miz tells Logan Paul that he knows what this is. Logan is stirring up controversy! It gets people talking! And no one does it better than them! So this is the last chance. Logan can retract his original statement and join Miz to become Undisputed Tag Team Champions, or… Miz will find someone else. And Miz doesn’t have to look very far. Right, Ciampa? Tonight, they will show the Phenomenal One just how great they are! All the eyes will be on Ciampa & Miz! But speaking of, here comes AJ Styles!

Styles has a mic to say, “Enough, enough, enough. Miz, do us all a favor and shut your mouth! No one cares what you have to say, especially me.” Every time Styles’ back is turned, he gets attacked by either Ciampa or Miz, and that’s a fact. Miz, this sounds like you got someone to do your dirty work. And that’ snot brave, powerful or anything like that. That sounds like the actions of a man who- DON’T YOU DARE! Miz won’t have it, but the fans are already chanting, “TINY BALLS! TINY BALLS!” Ciampa tells them to stop that, but that only makes them chant it more. Miz keeps telling Styles to stop, but Styles says he was just going to say it sounds like the actions of a coward.

Oh… Is that all he was going to say? But also one with tiny, tiny balls. Miz and Ciampa are furious, but then Styles gets in and starts swinging one of the chairs! Miz and Ciampa bail out, Styles CHUCKS the chairs at them! And wait, maybe Styles won’t be alone in this! EZEKIEL heads out to the ring! “I am very sorry to interrupt, but AJ, I realized something. In all my time here on Monday Night Raw, I haven’t had a chance to introduce myself. I’m Ezekiel. I’m Elias’ younger brother. And Elias used to talk about how truly phenomenal you really are, inside the ring and outside. And the matches you guys had, well, they were in a word, phenomenal.”

Zeke says another thing Elias told him, almost obsessively, was that Miz has tiny balls. Miz is speechless that Zeke is getting on the trolling, too. But Zeke went ahead and talked to Adam Pearce, and they agreed that this would be more #ZekedUp if this was a tag match! Styles & Zeke VS Ciampa & Miz! If Styles will have him, that is. Miz protests but Styles shakes Zeke’s hand! Will Ciampa & Miz grow a pair to take on a pair of opponents?

AJ Styles & Ezekiel VS The Miz & Tommaso Ciampa!

Raw returns and Zeke ties up with Ciampa, but Ciampa knees low! Ciampa wrenches, wristlocks, but Zeke wrenches and headlocks. Ciampa powers up and out but Zeke runs him over. Things speed up, Ciampa hip tosses but Zeke gest a headlock takeover! Fans rally and Zeke grinds Ciampa down. Ciampa fights up, powers Zeke to a corner, but the ref counts. Ciampa lets off at 4 to kick and ROCK Zeke! Ciampa CHOPS Zeke, wrenches and whips him corner to corner, but Zeke goes up to MULE KICK! Ciampa staggers, Zeke runs in to CHOP! And throw body shots and CLUB Ciampa on the back. Zeke ROCKS Ciampa, whips him to ropes, but Ciampa holds ropes.

Ciampa BOOTS Zeke, tags Miz, and Miz runs, into a hip toss! Zeke drags Miz over, tags Styles in, and Styles CLUBS the arm. Styles ROCKS and CHOPS Miz, then whips him to ropes. Miz KICKS Styles, but Styles DROPKICKS Miz! Styles drags Miz up, bumps him off buckles, and then bumps him off more buckles. Fans rally for Styles as he RAMS into Miz at the corner, then Styles tags Zeke. Zeke stomps Miz, brings him around to a headlock, but Miz pulls hair to put Zeke in the corner. Ciampa tags in and they mug Zeke. Ciampa ROCKS Zeke, whips him to ropes but Zeke reverses. Ciampa dodges but Zeke FLAPJACKS him!

Ciampa gets up but swings into a scoop and FALL AWAY SLAM! Zeke runs in at the corner, but Ciampa elbows Zeke away! The ref checks on Ciampa but Miz DECKS Zeke with a cheap shot! Styles protests, but Ciampa runs to KNEE Zeke down to the floor! Ciampa goes out after Zeke to RAM him into barriers. Ciampa sits on the apron, and both he and Miz applaud. Ciampa pats himself on the back before he fetches Zeke into the ring. Ciampa drags Zeke up to throw hands but Zeke throws body shots. Ciampa TOSSES Zeke out hard, then tags Miz. Miz stomps Zeke, drags him up and SMACKS him off the announce desk!

Miz shouts that he has HUGE BALLS, and he struts around, while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Miz keeps Zeke from Styles with a knee, then the A-LIST COMBINATION! Cover, TWO! Miz keeps on Zeke by pulling hair, and then dragging him to the corner. Tag to Ciampa, they double whip and double elbow Zeke down! Miz flexes, Ciampa taunts Styles, then Ciampa STOMPS Zeke in the head! Ciampa clamps on a chinlock and he grinds Zeke down! It’s almost a Bully Choke and Zeke is turning red! Fans rally, Zeke fights up, and Zeke gets to his feet to arm-drag free! Zeke hurries but Ciampa rolls him away from Styles, TWO! Zeke JUMP KNEES Ciampa down! Fans fire up while both men are down!

Miz shouts to Ciampa, Styles rallies the fans for Zeke, hot tags to Miz and Styles! Miz puts on the brakes but Styles rallies on him! PHENOMENAL BLITZ! Styles then runs to SLIDING FOREARM! Fans fire up and Styles runs in at Miz to clothesline in the corner! Pump handle scoop to a GUTBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Miz survives but Styles keeps his focus. Styles drags Miz up to fireman’s carry but Miz fights free. Miz waistlocks, Styles switches, O’Conner Roll, TWO! Styles DECKS Ciampa, but Miz kicks a leg out! BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Styles survives and Miz is surprised. Miz grits his teeth and fans rally up.

Miz waits on Styles to get up, he full nelsons, but Styles fights free to USHIGOROSHI! Cover, Ciampa breaks it! Zeke TOSSES Ciampa out! Zeke goes out to then SMACK Ciampa off the desk! Miz WRECKS Zeke! But Styles catches Miz for a roll, into the CALF CRUSHER!! Miz endures, Ciampa mugs Styles! The ref reprimands, Ciampa won’t let off, the ref rings the bell!

Winners: AJ Styles & Ezekiel, by disqualification

Ciampa lets off Styles, goes to Miz’s side, but Styles PLANCHAS! Miz gets away and Ciampa takes the hit! Miz runs away, the actions of a coward! Styles says he has Miz’s number, will Logan Paul not be the only one gunning for the A-Lister this Summer?

 

Matt Riddle scooters over to Bobby Lashley.

Riddle says hey to Bobby, and hi to “Travito,” the US Championship belt. Good to see Travito found a good home. But bro, Riddle can’t wait to get his hands on Seth Rollins to hit a sweet RKBRO. Oh wait, he just said his plan. Now it won’t be outta nowhere! Lashley says he can’t wait to get his hands on Theory. That punk’s been running his mouth since winning the MITB contract, but his mouth is writing checks his body can’t cash. Tonight, they’ll make both those guys pay. And don’t even sweat it, Lashley, you’ll totally retain at SummerSlam.

But since there’s time before the match, maybe they can watch Stranger Things together. Riddle gets really scared, but if Lashley’s there, maybe he won’t be. Lashley says sorry, but he already watched the new episode. But he’ll finish warming up and see Riddle out there. Riddle says cool. And remember the Alamo! Will the #BROMighty crush the Visionary and Golden Boy?

 

Alexa Bliss & Asuka VS Nikki A.S.H. & “Doudrop” Piper Niven!

The Five Foot Fury teams with the Empress of Tomorrow to take on the Almost SuperHero and her powerful tag partner. Will we see a new alliance forged here tonight? Or will Alexa and Asuka stay solo acts after this?

Raw returns as Asuka makes her entrance. Then Nikki makes her entrance, followed by Piper’s. The teams sort out, Asuka and Nikki start and they tie right up. Nikki throws Asuka down by her hair, then strikes her pose. Piper tells Nikki to stay serious, and Nikki rams shoulders. Asuka stays up and talks trash, so Nikki runs again. Asuka follows and then runs Nikki over! Asuka fires up and drags Nikki up to bump off buckles. Tag to Alexa, Alexa rolls Nikki up, ONE! Oklahoma Roll, TWO! Ghost Pin, TWO! Nikki RAMS Alexa with a shoulder then throws Alexa down by her hair. Nikki runs, Piper tags in, Alexa SLAPS Nikki and KNEES her down!

Alexa sets up, INSULT2- Piper CLOBBERS her! Piper grins as she drags Alexa up and CLUBS her down. Piper has Alexa in a corner, ROCKS her with a forearm, then brings her around to scoop. Nikki tags in and Piper SLAMS Alexa, for Nikki to BASEMENT BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Nikki stays on Alexa, whips her to a corner, then runs in to SPLASH! Nikki snapmares Alexa, and clamps on with a half nelson chinbar! Alexa endures as Nikki thrashes her around! Alexa endures, Nikki leans on the hold, but Alexa fights up. Nikki whips Alexa to a corner, runs in but only gets buckles! DOUBLE LARIATS collide and both women are down!

Fans fire up, both women crawl, hot tags to Piper and Asuka! Asuka dodges Piper to KICK and KICK! Piper blocks but Asuka ducks the haymaker! Asuka throws a BACKHAND, BACKHAND, SOBAT, and BACKHAND to a CODE BREAKER! Piper staggers, fans fire up with Asuka and she whips. Piper blocks and reverses but Asuka goes up to missile dropkick! Piper gets away, tags Nikki and she leaps, into a KNEE! Asuka was ready, and she KICKS away on Nikki! Asuka runs and HIP ATTACKS Piper down, to then SLIDING KICK Nikki! Cover, TWO! Nikki is still in this but Asuka snapmares and tags in Alexa.

Asuka and Alexa run, but Piper trips Asuka up! Alexa dropkicks Nikki while Asuka avoids the senton! Nikki rolls Alexa, TWO! Alexa kicks, reels Nikki in, DDT!! Cover, Alexa and Asuka win!

Winners: Alexa Bliss & Asuka, by pinfall

Alexa gives her former friend a handshake then celebrates with Asuka. But will either of these winners be waiting on the other side of SummerSlam for a Raw Women’s Championship match?

 

Angelo Dawkins w/ Montez Ford VS Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso!

The Street Profits want to set the record straight on their loss at Money in the Bank, but that means making it to Nashville! Will the #CurseofGreatness get Takeback Season Part 2 started? Or will Jimmy prove why he and Jey are the ones?

Raw returns and the Usos have the mics. Jey is fired up and he says, “The Bloodline is now in your city! And once again, we out here saying what we was goin’ do, again. Sounding like a broken record.” Jimmy says, “Blue brand?” Jey says, “Got that!” “Red brand?” “Got that, too!” Jimmy says The Bloodline’s running RawDown, and they can show up whenever they want to! Because they’re STILL the WWE Undisputed Tag Team Champions~! Jey says ever since MITB, the Profits over here whining, boohoo, crying, wah wah. Well, Jimmy would be crying too if he lost to the Usos!

But it doesn’t matter who the guest ref is, as long as he can count to three, the SummerSlam is where the Usos get another one! Because the Profits are the twos, and #WeThe- The Profits interrupt the catchphrase with their entrance! The Profits make it rain Solo cups, and they have mics of their own. “San Antonio~! Why look who it is! It’s the U~SOS~!” Why didn’t they tell the Profits they’re scared? The Usos hit them with everything they had and Ford’s shoulder was still up! But make no mistakes, Uce. They’ll get in your face so you know they’re serious. At SummerSlam, the Profits are taking those titles! And you know why. The Profits are up, and #WeWantTheSmoke!

But wait! R-Truth is making his way out here? He wants everyone to hold on! San Antonio, what’s up? But Profits, Usos, it doesn’t have to be like this. Just everyone calm down. They’re in San Antonio, Texas, the City of Brotherly Love. Uh, no… But Truth says we all know his many certifications: Divorce Attorney; Marriage Counselor; and he’s even able to fly a Top Gun airplane. But his best certification is that he is a bonafide, certified, Tag Team Counselor! Let’s all just get along and let Truth counsel. Wow, he’s got a lot of jobs. But Truth, you’ve been around the Usos’ family a long time. You need to get up out the ring so they can handle business.

Unless that is, Truth has a damn referee shirt. Well, hold on, okay, let’s get the elephant out of the room. Truth IS a certified WWE referee. Oh. Well, okay. He DOES have a referee shirt on! So then, Truth will audition for SummerSlam! Watch this count! ONE! TWO! THREE!! You’re outta there! Holding! Charge! Maybe someone gets thrown out and Truth will count. ONE…! TWO…! THREE…! He ain’t in yet! FOUR…! FIVE…! Do something! SIX…! SEVEN…! Jimmy tells Truth to take that damn shirt off! Fans boo but Jimmy tells Truth to take his clown ass to the back where it belongs! Fans boo more and Truth says he’s a clown ass, is he?

Y’all wanna fight the clown ass? San Antonio, you wanna see this clown ass fight an Uso? Then hold the mic. Dawkins has him, and Truth does his best to take the ref shirt off. Ford helps out, and Truth is ready to go. Truth will take BOTH Usos. Whoa…! But, with his partners. Then it’s even, 3v2! Wait, hold on. Here comes OMOS and MVP! MVP says, “Gentlemen, pardon the intrusion, but I was standing with the Nigerian Giant at the monitor, watching Truth make an absolute fool of himself, and I was struck with an idea. Why not allow the Nigerian Giant to be the special guest referee? That would be one huge spectacle, pun very much intended.”

Truth asks San Antonio if that giant can even count. Well neither can Truth! But Omos had an even better idea. Let’s be part of this match tonight! It’s a great opportunity to offer the services of the 7’3″, 400 pound giant to the Bloodline! Then we can even up the odds. What do the Usos say? The Usos are ready for that. What does Dawkins say? He’s down for a fight. And Truth? Well… Remember the Alamo! They go after the Usos and Omos! Omos DECKS Truth, drags the Profits off the Usos, then feed them to DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Omos BOOTS Truth back down, and fans boo as Omos looms over Truth. Is this Six Man still going to happen? Or has the damage been done?

 

Six Man Tag: R-Truth & The Street Profits VS The Usos & Omos w/ MVP!

Raw returns and yes, this match is happening! The Nigerian Giant starts against Dawkins and Dawkins fires off! Omos shoves Dawkins to ropes then runs him over! MVP says to give him more, but Omos tags in Jey and Jey stands Dawkins up. Dawkins ROCKS Jey, fires off fast hands, then tags Ford. The Profits double whip Jey, then dropkick Jey down! Dawkins gives Ford the boost, BACK SUPLEX SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Ford clamps onto Jey, wrenches, and tags in Truth! Fans fire up and Truth breaks it down to ROCK Jey! Truth fires hands, brings Jey around, but Jey powers him to the corner! Jimmy tags in to mug Truth!

Jimmy tags Omos and they mug Truth with a CHOP! Omos tags Jimmy back in, he drags Truth from the Profits and stomps Truth’s hand. MVP talks trash, Jimmy shows off his dance moves then DECKS Truth! Cover, ONE! Jimmy is annoyed but he taunts Truth. Jimmy drags Truth up, waistlocks and puts him in the corner. Truth counter punches Jimmy! And he hits Jey! And Omos! Jimmy kicks low to then HEADBUTT Truth down! Truth flounders but Jimmy stays between Truth and the Profits. Jimmy stomps Truth to the corner, tags Jey, then Jey tags Omos. The Usos double  back suplex, but Truth slips off! The Profits get in to DOUBLE DROPKICK the Usos!

Omos isn’t sure what to do and Truth dropkicks him! Omos stays up, so the Profits help out, TRIPLE DROPKICK! Omos drops off the apron but lands on his feet! The Profits aim to DOUBLE PLANCHA the Usos! Truth fires up, and he aims at Omos! PLANCHA, but Omos catches him! Omos pops Truth up to SNAKE EYES off the apron! And then CLOBBER him! Omos roars as the only man standing and MVP says that’s what happens! “Who’s the giant?” “I’M the giant!” Omos roars again as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Jey and Omos mug Truth. Omos looms over Truth, stands on Truth’s leg, and Truth shouts in pain! Omos drags Truth up and he CLUBS Truth right down! Then Omos sucker punches Dawkins! MVP taunts Dawkins for taking his eye off the ball, and Omos drags Truth back up. Omos whips Truth hard into the Uso corner! Truth bounces off buckles, Omos looms over him and roars again. MVP says that right there is greatness! Omos CHOKES Truth on the ropes, then lets off. Omos tags Jey, and Jimmy tells the fans, “No, YOU suck!” Omos sets Truth up for Jey to MULE KICK!

Jimmy talks trash on Truth and Jey drags Truth up. Jey swings but Truth does the splits to dodge! Then he CALF KICKS Jey down! Fans fire up, Truth and Jey crawl, hot tags to Jimmy and Ford! Ford dodges Jimmy to GAMANGIRI! Then he goes up to CROSSBODY! Ford gets up to SMACK Omos, then he whips Jimmy. Jimmy reverses, follows, but Ford stops to LARIAT him down! Ford swings, but Jimmy ducks to back suplex. Ford lands on his feet to kick, KICK and ENZIGURI! Then BLOCKBUSTER! Ford kips up and roars to STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Jimmy bails out but Ford builds speed.

Ford stops when Omos stands in his way, but Dawkins trips Omos up! Ford GAMANGIRIS Omos, but Omos grabs Dawkins! Ford saves Dawkins from Omos and they POST Omos together! But Jimmy drags Ford up the apron! Ford GAMANGIRIS Jimmy, then hurries to tag Dawkins! Ford Electric Chair Lifts Jimmy and Dawkins climbs, DOOMSDAY DEVICE!! Cover, Jey breaks it in time! Ford gets in but Jey gets him for a POP-UP NECKBREAKER! Truth gets in, he gets Jey for a SPIN-OUT BOMB! Truth puts up the hand and fans fire up for “You Can’t See Me!” But Omos drags Truth out! And RAMS Truth into steel steps!

Dawkins has Jimmy, blocks a kick but not the DRAGON WHIP! Jimmy looks around but Dawkins CYCLONE SPLASHES and ENZIGURIS! Omos tags in before the ANOINTING! MOUNTAINTOP SLAM!! Cover, Omos and Usos win!

Winners: Omos & The Usos, by pinfall

MVP says there it is! That power is why the Nigerian Giant should be feared! But will he still be passed over for the role of referee at SummerSlam?

 

Backstage interview with Seth Rollins.

The Visionary is laughing as he walks in and Kevin Patrick says after Rollins beat Ezekiel, he wanted more, until Matt Riddle appeared outta nowhere with an RKO. How does Rollins feel about that? “I feel great! HAHAHA! Because it’s Monday night, and it’s the main event, and that means it’s MY time, baby.” But Rollins is hearing a lot of conversation about the identity of Ezekiel. But guess what, Mike, Rollins doesn’t care! Rollins doesn’t care if it’s Ezekiel, Elias, Elmo, Elrod or El Gigante! If you get in Rollins’ way, he will put you down. But there is one person whose identity Rollins is very curious about.

“Who in the HELL does Riddle think he is?! No, really? Who? Who is Riddle? Is he some ultra-talented savant that’s thinking on a higher plane than everybody else? Or, is he just some idiot bro that Randy Orton felt sorry for? HAHAHAHA~! I’ll tell you who he isn’t: He isn’t a person who can ride the coattails of Randy~ anymore. He isn’t a person who can hide behind his Big Bro, Randy, anymore And he isn’t someone who can use the good name of Seth Freakin’ Rollins to chase the clout. You know what they say about playing with fire? Sooner or later, you’re gonna get burned. HAHAHA! Ask Cody Rhodes!”

Rollins keeps laughing but then Theory walks in. Theory apologizes for the interruption, but was just wondering if Rollins had any advice on being Mr. MITB. Rollins had the greatest cash-in of all time, how’d he do it? Rollins laughs, and says Theory has come to the right man. Walk with him, talk with him! Will the Architect share his plans with the Youngest Mr. MITB in history? And will these two be able to overcome the #BROMighty duo they’ll be up against?

 

A new mysterious video plays.

There is an hourglass and a silhouette. An RKO shirt, a John Cena hat, and now writing on the wall. Someone is making their way back, but when and where will we see who this is?

 

Logan Paul speaks.

“Miz, you’re delusional! I don’t want anything to do with you! I don’t want to be your partner. You and I are done! I want you one-on-one at SummerSlam. And just to make sure you’re understanding all of this perfectly, I’ll be coming to Monday Night Raw next week so you can really read my lips.” And when they see each other face-to-face, it’ll be AWESOME!

 

Bobby Lashley & Matt Riddle VS Seth Rollins & (Austin) Theory!

Speaking of SummerSlam, The Rocky Mountain Machine is going to defend his US Championship gold against Vince McMahon’s Golden Boy, and the Stallion just wants to kick the Visionary’s ass! Will they get to whet their appetites here tonight? Or will Rollins & Theory #BurnItDown together?

Raw returns and Rollins makes his entrance, followed by Theory’s. The teams sort out and Riddle starts against Theory. They tie up, Theory kicks low and throws haymakers. Theory stomps Riddle into a corner, rains down fists, but lets off as the ref counts. Theory snarls and brings Riddle up to ROCK him with another punch. Theory tags Rollins, they mug Riddle, and Rollins CLUBS Riddle to then DECK him! Rollins drops a knee, drags Riddle up, then tags Theory in. They mug Riddle again, body shot after body shot, then Theory flexes on Lashley. The ref has Theory stay back, and Theory whips Riddle corner to corner

Riddle goes up and over, KICKS Theory again and again in the corner, then fires up with the fans. Riddle gut wrenches Theory to suplex him! Riddle stares Rollins down, runs in at Theory and forearm smashes! Tag to Lashley and he runs side to side to RAM into Theory! Fans fire up and Lashley runs in at Theory again, but Theory BOOTS him! Theory runs, Rollins tag sin, but Lashley catches both of them! COMPLETE SHOT DDT COMBO! Cover, TWO! Tag to Riddle and he gets a boost for the ASSISTED FLOATING BRO! Cover, ONE! Rollins crawls but Riddle drags him back and tags in Lashley. They mug Rollins, then Lashley bumps Rollins off buckles.

Lashley RAMS into Rollins again and again, then says he’s taking Rollins up. STALLING Suplex! Rollins fights free, ducks and dumps Lashley out of the ring, then builds speed to DIVW! Lashley catches Rollins to a fireman’s carry! Riddle sees Theory coming and PENALTY KICKS him! Lashley then POSTS Rollins! Fans fire up with Lashley and Riddle, but Dolph Ziggler is heading out here? In a suit, too! What is the Show Off doing showing up this late into the show? Guess we’ll see, after the break.

Raw returns once again and Riddle fights his way out of the enemy corner! Riddle ROCKS Rollins, elbows Theory, then fires off on Theory more! Theory falls, Rollins runs in but into an elbow! Riddle goes up but Theory trips him! Ziggler is watching up close as Rollins goes up and gets Riddle for an INVERTED SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives but Rollins covers again, TWO! Rollins argues with the ref but the count is fair! Rollins stomps Riddle’s hand to keep him from reaching to Lashley, then he stomps one of Riddle’s feet. Rollins BOOTS Riddle down, then looms over him. Rollins slaps Riddle around, and taunts him about Randy being gone.

Riddle CHOPS Rollins! And CHOPS, and ROCKS and fires off palm strikes! Riddle runs, but into a SLEEPER HOLD! Rollins drags Riddle down, facelocks, but Riddle endures. Fans rally, Riddle fights up, and he powers his way towards his corner! Rollins wrenches and suplexes to GOURD BUSTER! Rollins has the facelock again and it’s almost a grovit! Ziggler seems intrigued as Riddle fights up. Riddle reaches out, powers his way forward again, but Rollins suplexes again! Riddle lands on his feet this time! And he spins Rollins to a PELE! Theory tags in and he slingshot somersaults, but into a BODY SCISSORS! SLEEPER HOLD!!

Theory flails and gets to his feet, but Riddle has the BROMISSION! Theory BACKPACK SENTONS! Both men are down and fans fire up! They both crawl, Theory and Riddle hot tag Rollins and Lashley! Lashley POUNCES Rollins, CLOBBERS him, then scoops and SLAMS him! Lashley DECKS Theory for good measure before he RAMS into Rollins! NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up and Lashley reels Rollins in, gut wrench to the- NO, Rollins slips out and ENZIGURIS! Rollins runs in to forearm smash at the corner, but Lashley reverses the whip! Rollins goes up, but gets caught! POWERSLAM! Cover, Theory breaks it!

Lashley gets Theory’s leg! Theory ROCKS Lashley, runs, but into a MILE HIGH SPINEBUSTER! Rollins aims, ROLLING ELBOW! Then a turn and DREAM SMASHER ELBOW! Lashley is down and Rollins climbs up! FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Rollins is beside himself and Ziggler seems really intrigued now. Fans fire up as Lashley crawls, but Rollins anchors a foot! Hot tags to Theory and Riddle! Riddle rallies on Theory, dodges and POWERSLAMS! Riddle puts Theory in ropes, for a DRAPING DDT! Fans are thunderous as Riddle hears the voices, bro! Theory stands, but Rollins helps him bail out!

Fans boo as Theory and Rollins taunt Riddle, but Lashley SPEARS Rollins through the barriers!! Theory is shocked, and Riddle drags him up! Theory HOTSHOTS Riddle, gets Riddle up, but Riddle slips off! RK- NO, Theory shoves, rolls up, feet on the ropes and Ziggler shoves them off?!? Ziggler is here to keep things fair! And RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!! Cover, Riddle & Lashley win!!

Winners: Bobby Lashley & Matt Riddle, by pinfall

Seems Ziggler was a bro in disguise! Riddle and Lashley win thanks to Ziggler stopping the cheat from Theory! And then Ziggler SUPERKICKS Theory down!! He’s here to show the world something, but just what is his beef with the Golden Boy?


My Thoughts:

This was a pretty good episode of Raw, but much of it just felt slapped together. Advertising one match but then changing it, that always feels so strange to me. I remember them saying we’d get Theory VS Riddle and Lashley VS anyone in a US Championship Open Challenge, but that got changed into the main event we got instead. Granted, that was a very good tag match, and what a great surprise for Ziggler to not only show up, but to apparently be Face against Theory. Ziggler has had stories in the past where he was bitter against those getting opportunities, but I don’t know if this will be that. It’d make sense since Theory has been getting help from Vince, but I don’t know why this is happening now when we’re still on the road to SummerSlam, Theory VS Lashley and possible against the Universal Champion.

Lesnar’s opening segment was good, even if they didn’t really give us enough of Roman’s promo from SmackDown. Heyman of course had a good promo, and even Theory had a good one showing us the Elimination Chamber stuff. Lesnar destroying Alpha Academy was wild, but that’s probably the extent of it. I don’t see Gable and Otis wanting to do that again, kayfabe or otherwise.

Dawkins VS Jimmy Uso turning into the Six Man Tag was another interesting move, but I did like Truth’s bit in the promo, and if anyone is going to kiss up to The Bloodline on Raw, it is MVP and Omos. The Six Man was also a really good match, though, and Omos taking out Dawkins does preserve the math between Profits and Usos, but I was expecting Truth to take that loss. I do suppose Omos and Truth can have a short feud but it won’t change that Sami Zayn could be and should be the special guest referee. It is a refreshing thing to see Truth in a non 24/7 Championship related thing, but this probably won’t last, either.

As fun as making fun of The Miz’s nuts continues to be, I honestly don’t know why Styles isn’t feuding with Judgement Day like the Mysterios are. Shouldn’t Styles be more upset that Finn ditched him? Granted, Styles and Zeke had a great match against Miz and Ciampa, and it was a good win for Styles and Zeke, and a feud of any kind allows Miz to show up, communicate with Logan Paul through promos, and then lose because he stuck his foot in his mouth. But why couldn’t this feud have just been Zeke and Miz? Or more with Mustafa Ali and Miz?

As for Judgement Day, I suppose still pursuing Dom is fine, and Finn got a good win over Rey, but I can’t be sure which way this goes. I almost thought Dom was going to turn here, maybe that happens at SummerSlam. Hell, if Judgement Day gets a match at SummerSlam, is that when Edge returns? Because yeah, those vignettes are pointing to Edge even more obviously than before. Again, Styles should’ve been feuding with Judgement Day, even if it’d be weird for him and Edge to suddenly be on the same side of the feud. But in the feud we’re getting, if Dom joins up just as Edge is coming back, is Dom going to take the losses for the faction so Edge can build back up?

Of course Becky comes out to watch Bianca VS Mella, and she had a good promo to let us know if it wasn’t obvious that she’s getting that SummerSlam match. Bianca VS Mella for the title seemed like a throwaway thing, but given Becky made Bianca lose via count-out, there’s more heat for their match, but also I feel like they’re trying to shoehorn Mella in so she can take the loss to whoever. That doesn’t fell all that good to me, because there’s nothing saying Becky can’t continue to fight her way back, or that Bianca can’t fight her way back either. At the same time, Alexa and Asuka got a win in a good match with Piper & Nikki, so there’s half a chance either one of them is going to challenge next. I’m thinking more Alexa since she got back and we need to see more of this newest persona.

My Score: 8.2/10


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Coverage

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

Scores will be settled!

Published

on

The Road to WrestleMania gets intense!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Dominik Mysterio is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

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

 

Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall

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

 

Chelsea Green VS Raquel Rodriguez!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez, by pinfall

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

 

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Cody Rhodes.

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

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

 

Imperium goes to the ring.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Judgment Day regroups backstage.

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

 

Tag Team Street Fight: The New Day VS Imperium!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Imperium, by pinfall

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

 

Adam Pearce is on the phone.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark, by submission

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

 

R-Truth is in the Judgment Day clubhouse?

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

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

 

Drew McIntyre is here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nia Jax VS Liv Morgan!

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Nia Jax, by disqualification

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

 

Backstage interview with Grayson Waller & Austin Theory.

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

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

 

WWE mourns the loss of Ole Anderson.

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

 

Adam Pearce finds Becky backstage.

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

 

Backstage interview with Jey Uso.

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

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

 

Cody Rhodes VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory!

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


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

Night two!

Published

on

The New Beginning comes to an end!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa VS El Phantasmo & Hikuleo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall

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

 

Hair VS Hair Match: Yota Tsuji VS Yuya Uemura!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


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