The Scottish Warrior and the Tribal Chief, face-to-face!
SmackDown prepares for Clash at the Castle, by having the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, look his #1 contender, Drew McIntyre, straight in the eye!
- Vacated WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament, Opening Round: Natalya & Sonya Deville VS Toxic Attraction; Toxic Attraction wins and advances.
- WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Happy Corbin VS Sheamus VS Sami Zayn VS Mad Cap Moss; Sheamus wins and will challenge Gunther for the title.
- Liv Morgan VS Shotzi Blackheart; Liv wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
It’s episode 1200!!
Pat McAfee confirms he was only 11 when Michael Cole and Good ol’ Jim Ross called that original episode! And look where SmackDown is now!
Ronda Rousey is here!?
The Baddest Woman on the Planet just struts into the ring from the crowd! She has the music cut and Montreal is torn. She said she paid her fine and then some, so tonight she is NOT leaving until she’s reinstated! Adam Pearce, get out here and undo the suspension! Montreal cheers in support as she says she’s not letting SmackDown start until Pearce responds. Pearce walks out, with security, and he says he can’t just lift the suspension because she wants him to. They had this conversation: that kind of authority is above Pearce’s paygrade. Well who isn’t? Pearce knows she’s frustrated, and he also knows she can’t just hijack the show.
So please, Ronda, calm down and listen to him. He is asking respectfully here that she leave the ring peacefully. Fans boo and Ronda says, “Peacefully? Last week, I chose to leave peacefully.” Fans chant, “We Want Ronda!” “No We Don’t!” Ronda tells Pearce to not make her choose violence. A couple security guards step forward and Ronda is ready! She rocks, one BOOTS the other and SAYANAGIS the other! Then she KNEES the others, and she has one in the double wristlock! Pearce tells her he is asking nicely, but she puts on the ARMBAR!! The guard taps and reinforcements are called out!
Ronda lets off as Montreal Police is brought in! Fans want Ronda to keep raging but Pearce says this is different now. Ronda lets the officer cuff her and Ronda is escorted away. Ronda says she’s doing this because she wants to, but does she really need to be put in the squad car? Nice haircut, Pearce. The police drive away, will Ronda have to worry about more than just a suspension now? Wait, pulling in as the police drive away is a Yukon SUV, and it’s the TRIBAL CHIEF! Roman Reigns is here, ready to be face-to-face with Drew McIntyre, later tonight!
Vacated WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament, Opening Round: Natalya & Sonya Deville VS Toxic Attraction!
The Queen of Harts teams up with “Cruella,” ready to get some gold back around their waists. But so are their opponents, who are last minute replacements for an injured Zoey Stark and unavailable Nikkita Lyons. Will Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne help NXT take over and take the titles? Or will Natty & Sonya keep them from making SmackDown toxic?
But wait! Sneaking in as fans are Bayley, Dakota Kai & Iyo Sky! Seems they want to keep a close eye on this match. The teams sort out and Gigi ties up with Natty. Natty hits a headlock takeover but Gigi hits headscissors. Natty kips free and the two stand off. They reset, circle, and Gigi kicks low. Gigi wrenches, wristlocks, but Natty rolls and handsprings. Natty wrenches but Gigi throws her by her hair! Gigi soaks up the heat but Natty rolls her up! TWO, and Natty facelocks. Natty stares Bayley down, tags Sonya, and Sonya rolls Gigi, ONE! Sonya headlocks and grinds Gigi but Gigi pulls hair! Gigi powers out but Sonya runs her over!
Fans rally as things speed up. Gigi hurdles while Sonya slides, but Sonya SPEARES! Jackknife bridge, TWO! Gigi ROCKS Sonya, Sonya shoves Gigi but Gigi RAN- NO! Sonya holds on, throws Gigi off, and then ROCKS Gigi with forearms! Sonya talks trash but Gigi knees low. Gigi throws Sonya through ropes, tags Jacy and Jacy KNEES Sonya in! Cover, TWO! Jacy talks trash on Sonya, Bayley talks trash on Michael Cole, but Sonya bumps Jacy off the buckles! And again and again and again! Fans are torn as Sonya fires off kicks! Sonya then runs in, but Jacy dodges and Sonya POSTS herself! Sonya falls out, Jacy goes to the apron to CANNONBALL!
Jacy sees Natty coming and dodges her, Gigi PENALTY KICKS her! Toxic Attraction RAMS Natty into the steel steps! Bayley says they’re pretty good, but they’re not Kai & Sky! Toxic Attraction soaks up the cheers and jeers as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns and Gigi has Sonya in a BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Sonya endures and fans rally, Sonya pops free to a cover! TWO, Gigi CLUBS Sonya and whips her to the corner. Gigi tags Jacy, Gigi whips Jacy in to back body block! Then Jacy whips Gigi for a BRONCO BUSTER, then Jacy CANNONBALLS! Cover, TWO! Jacy is frustrated but fans rally up. Jacy drags Sonya up, whips Sonya to a corner, then run sin, but into a BOOT! Sonya elbows Gigi, BOOTS Jacy, then DECKS Gigi! Sonya runs but into an ELBOW from Jacy! Jacy mocks Natty and fans boo. Jacy steps through, and she goes to steal the Sharpshooter!
But Sonya BOOTS Jacy away! Fans fire up and Sonya crawls, but Jacy drags Sonya back! Sonya keeps reaching, fights up to her foot, and HOT TAG! Natty dodges Jacy, comes back and wrenches to a RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Then a snap suplex! Natty gets Jacy again, another snap suplex! And then a whip to the corner, but Jacy elbows back. But Natty GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans fire up and Natty has the legs! SHARPSHOOT- NO, Jacy powers out! Gigi swipes but Natty glares at her, and Jacy CLOBBERS her! Tag to Gigi, SUPERKICK from Jacy! Gigi runs and she STO’s Natty down! Cover, Sonya breaks it in time!
Sonya throws Gigi out, Jacy ROCKS Sonya! Jacy throws Sonya out then pursues. Jacy grabs Sonya but Sonya fires off hands! Sonya whips, Jacy reverses, and Sonya hits barriers right in front of Bayley! Bayley talks trash that Sonya should’ve stuck to being a GM! Sonya drags herself up, Jacy BOOTS Sonya down! Gigi rolls Natty, TWO! Gigi dodges Natty, kicks low and runs again, but into the DISCUS! Fans fire up with Natty and she storms up to fire off forearms! Natty runs in again but into an elbow! Jacy sneaks a tag and Gigi runs in, but Natty trips her! Natty ties Gigi up in the SHARPSHOOTER! But Jacy rolls Natty up!! TOXIC ATTRACTION WINS!
Winners: Toxic Attraction, by pinfall (advance to the next round)
Bayley loves it! Gigi & Jacy now face Raquel Rodriguez & Aliyah next round, who will be the finalists for the “SmackDown” side of the bracket?
Sami Zayn is heading to Roman Reigns’ locker room.
But the bouncer checks who he is. Uh, he’s Montreal’s own, Sami Zayn. Well then, Roman would like to see him. Wo, really? Like, really? Sami knocks, then opens the door, and there’s Roman! Hey, Roman! How’s it going? He wanted to see Sami? Yeah, sit down. Sami sits on the couch and says it’ snice. Roman says it’s alright. But how’s everything going? Good! Very good! He’s been repping the Bloodline. It’s been good. Well, okay, it’s gotten a bit dicey lately. Sami and Jey have been getting into it. Jey was really going to town about leveling up and stuff, and it’s like Sami isn’t carrying his weight around here, which is a little annoying considering Sami took a Claymore for Jey! For the Bloodline!
But does Jey even text or call? How ungrateful! Sami calms down, realizing he’s venting about Roman’s family. But Roman agrees! Jey doesn’t appreciate anything. Thank you! They’re family, but c’mon. Why is Sami talking to Jey? He should be talking to Roman. Good point! Yes! Wait, is Sami in? The phone’s ringing. Oh, and it’s Jey! No way. It is! Then answer it. What? Really? Uh, okay. Sami answers the phone for Roman, and that’s right, Jey! It’s Sami! Sami is in Roman’s room, he was told to answer the phone. Just calm down, Jey, Sami will pass the word along, but now isn’t a good time. Sami will do it, though.
Sami tells Roman that Jey was screaming. Trouble at the border, apparently. The Usos won’t be here tonight. Well that’s not good. But hey! Sami’s here. Yeah, he is. He’s even in a Fatal 5 #1 Contender’s match for the Intercontinental Championship. That would look good in the Bloodline. Right? So Sami’s the guy! Sami will handle it. He’s gotta go get warmed up! They should do this more often. This was great. Roman tells Sami that one thing first. Is Sami still cool with KO? Kevin Owens? Yeah, they’re both from Montreal, they go back forever. Then just let KO know… Roman doesn’t “owe” anyone anything. Ever.
Y-Yeah, no, Sami gets it. Sami hasn’t really talked with Kevin lately, but Kevin should know that. Roman owes nothing to him, Okay, Sami’s gonna get going. Good luck out there, Uce. Sami is fired up, but Roman looks upset over the Usos’ issues. Will the Tribal Chief have to sort this mess out himself?
Maximum Male Models are in the ring!
Max & Maxxine Dupri stand with Maçé & Mansôör, and Max says, “Time and again, these two men, Mace and Mansoor, have titillated the juices of your guilty pleasures. And tonight’s no different. On the 1200th episode of SmackDown, we-” “HIT~ ROW~!” That’s right! B-Fab leads Ashante THEE Adonis & Top Dolla out and all the way to the ring. Max says okay, sorry, but this was a scheduled appearance by MMM. And to be honest, these two, especially Dolla, are NOT MMM material. Oh, too bad. DROPKICK for Mansoor and then a whip and TOSS for Mace! Fans fire up and Dolla shrugs.
“Ey yo! Montreal, what up? We got something special for y’all!” “And Adonisly… They acting like we never left!” Hit Row performs We Back, all the way back, all the way back! Maxxine wants to vibe but Max says no, MMM is getting out of here. McAfee tries to get Cole to vibe but Cole probably doesn’t know how to. But the details is crucial! PYRO! And if you didn’t know, now you know!
Scarlett says that, “The Tongue is not steel, yet it cuts.” Karrion Kross says, “Good evening, Mr. McIntyre. Last Monday night on Raw, something I said seemed to upset you. ‘Chosen One.’ Which begs the question, why? Whether you want to be or not, you are a chosen one. Just like Reigns. Doesn’t matter what you’ve ever done, or what you’re ever gonna do, this is what you are. But let’s review what bothers you about that. The fact that when you failed, they chose someone else. And that person built the table you failed to set.
“They chose you, and they were wrong. They chose you, and they were wrong. They chose you, McIntyre, and deep down inside, you’ve always known, they were wrong!!” But will Kross be wrong about McIntyre come Clash at the Castle?
WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Fatal 5 Way: Ricochet VS Happy Corbin VS Sheamus VS Sami Zayn VS Mad Cap Moss!
The One & Only still has beef with “Bum Ass,” but it’s being thrown in the mix with the Celtic Warrior, the Honorary Uce, and someone Corbin’s familiar with in the former funny man turned serious fighter! Who out of this fearsome five rises up to challenge Der Ring General, GUNTHER?
Fans are of course thunderous for their hometown hero, Sami Zayn, as he makes his entrance. The bell rings and Ricochet rushes Corbin! Corbin bails out, Sheamus CLOBBERS Ricochet, and Moss fires off on Sheamus! Fans sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLEEE~! OLE~, OLE~!” for Sami as he stays back. Sheamus shoves Moss but Moss clotheslines Sheamus up and out !Sami is alone with Ricochet and he brings him around to a headlock. Ricochet powers out, things speedup, Ricochet hurdles and RANAS! Sami bails out and Ricochet says go ahead, boo! Ricochet runs, but Corbin gets in to CHOKE SLAM him! Cover, but everyone else breaks it!
Moss and Sheamus brawl, Sami fires off on Corbin in frustration, and fans fire up as Sami stomps away while SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns and while Moss is down, Sami brings Corbin to the announce desk. Corbin blocks being dribbled off the desk, and Ricochet LEAPS off the steel steps to attack Sheamus! Corbin SMACKS Sami off the desk, Ricochet fires off hands on Sheamus, but Sheamus picks Ricochet up to RAM him into barriers! Ricochet falls down while Corbin drags Sami up. Sheamus fires off on Moss as he gets back up, and Corbin RAMS Sami into barriers! Fans boo Corbin and Sheamus and Corbin goes around the way to fetch Ricochet. Corbin puts Ricochet in the ring while Moss fires off hands on Sheamus!
Moss whips Sheamus into barriers while Corbin whips Ricochet hard into a corner! Ricochet writhes on the mat while Sheamus turns things around on Moss! Sheamus runs in but is tossed into the timekeeper’s area! Corbin whips Ricochet to ropes but Ricochet Tiger Wall Kicks! But Corbin DECKS Ricochet with a right! Moss gets in but Corbin knees him low. Corbin throws more knees, then whips him to a corner hard! Moss writhes now but fans chant, “We Want Sami!” Corbin drags Ricochet up to whip him hard corner to corner again! Ricochet hits chest first and falls back, then Corbin goes after Moss.
Moss ROCKS Corbin with haymakers, whips him but Corbin reverses. Corbin runs in, slides out and slides in, to LAIRAT Moss down! Sami returns but Corbin CLOBBERS him! Fans boo Corbin, as if they need a reason, but Corbin whips Ricochet. Ricochet ducks ‘n’ dodges to springboard but Corbin CLOBBER him outta the air! But Sheamus goes after Corbin! Fans fire up as Sheamus fires off hands and CLUBS Corbin around. Sheamus headlocks but Corbin powers out and sends Sheamus into buckles! Then he hits a BIG back suplex! Cover, ONE!! Corbin is annoyed, he runs in at Ricochet, but Ricochet goes up and over!
Corbin slides out then in, but Ricochet dodges to run and flapjack DROPKCIK! Moss returns, Ricochet dodges to springboard CROSSBODY Sami returns but Ricochet triangle jump DROPKICKS him down! Ricochet keeps moving, and tilt-o-whirl DDTs Corbin down! Fans fire up for the RUNNING SHOOTING STAR! Cover, TWO!! Moss returns, he dodges and ducks Ricochet to POUNCE him! Moss fires off haymakers on Sheamus, stomps him in a corner, then fires off more hands! Moss eggs Sheamus on but Sheamus throws heavy body shots! They brawl, Sheamus gets the edge but Moss whips! Sheamus reverses and Moss KICKS back!
Moss wings, into an IRISH CURSE BACKBREAKER! Sami returns, but he gets an IRISH CURSE! Sheamus grins as fans boo, and he mocks Gunther’s pose! Sheamus sees Moss on the apron, and gives him Beats of the Bodhrain! Fans count along and Sheamus goes all the way to nine, then winds up for TEN! Moss falls and then Sheamus sees Corbin on the other apron! Sheamus pulls Corbin’s shirt up for Beats of the Bodhrain! Wind up at nine, for TEN! Ricochet fires off forearms but Sheamus throws him out! Sheamus throws a body shot, then gives Ricochet Beats of the Bodhrain!! He doesn’t stop at 10, either! He goes all the way to 17, then just shoves Ricochet down!
Sheamus puts Sami in and now fans turn sour on him! Sheamus grins and brings Sami in, but Sami HOTHOTS Sheamus! Corbin flounders in, he rushes Sami but Sami dumps him out! Sami builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down go Corbin and Sheamus! Montreal is thunderous for Sami as stands up! Sami gets in, he drags Ricochet up but ducks a kick! Ricochet fights the Blue Thunder and fires off hands. Ricochet runs, into a scoop and MICHINOKU! Cover, TWO!! Sami can’t believe it, but Ricochet is still in this. Sami goes to a corner and fans sing again. Sami aims at Ricochet but Moss intercepts! FALL AWAY-
NO! Sami slips out, gets around, BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!!! Sami can’t believe it all over again, but fans are thunderous for him as he goes to the corner! Sami climbs up, but Corbin rushes over. Sami DECKS Corbin, but Ricochet springs up! Sami shoves Ricochet back down! Sheamus gets in, he ROCKS Sami then fires off more hands! Sheamus climbs up, fireman’s carries and shifts, SUPER WHITE NOISE!! Sami flounders out of the ring, clutching his arm! Did that White Noise just crush Sami? Ricochet CLOBBERS Sheamus, but Moss whips Ricochet! Moss RAMS into Ricochet, then RAMS into Sheamus!
Ricochet goes up and Moss POSTS himself! Ricochet ROCKS Sheamus, CHOPS Moss, but then Sheamus dodges! Sheamus scoops Moss, POWERSLAM! Other referees come out to check on Sami, is he out of this? Sheamus CLOBBERS Ricochet, but Corbin hits DEEP SIX! Ricochet FLYING LARIATS Corbin down! All four men in the ring are down and Sami is being taken to the back, while SmackDown goes to break!
SmackDown returns again and Moss fires hands on Sheamus up top. Moss climbs up after Sheamus, fires off hands, then scoops him for a SUPER FALL AWAY SLAM!! But Moss has to crawl to the cover! Fans still rally for Sami to return as Moss covers, TWO! Ricochet hurries to LIONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Corbin rains down fists on Ricochet! Corbin drags Ricochet up, whips him to ropes, but Ricochet slips through the lariat! Ricochet dumps Corbin out, Corbin hurries back in but Ricochet handsprings to BACK ELBOW! Corbin comes back to BOOT Ricochet! Corbin hauls Ricochet into a torture rack, for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO!
Ricochet keeps this match alive and fans rally up. Corbin drags Ricochet up but then he sees Sheamus. Sheamus and Corbin fire off haymakers! Fans fire up for the scrum but Corbin knees low. Corbin scoops, Sheamus slips off and he dodges! Corbin hits buckles, Sheamus clotheslines Corbin up and out! But Moss rolls Sheamus up, TWO!! Sheamus swings but misses, then misses again, but the KNEE takes Moss down! Cover, TWO!!! Sheamus stands and fans rally up, still hoping for Sami to return. Sheamus shouts and aims at Moss, runs in, but Moss blocks the Brogue into the PANCAKE! RECOIL from Ricochet!
Ricochet hurries while Sheamus is in the drop zone! Ricochet’s up top, for the SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Cover, Corbin breaks it! Corbin reels Ricochet in, he slips out again, and Ricochet dumps Corbin back out! AND SAMI RETURNS! Sami holds his bad arm as he hobbles his way to ringside! Fans are thunderous again as Ricochet runs in, but into a BUCKLE EXPLODER! Sami goes to the other end, takes aim as Ricochet stands, for the HELLUVA KICK!! Cover, Corbin drags Sami out!! Corbin soaks up all the heat from Montreal, and he POSTS Sami! Fans tell Corbin he’s an A-Hole, but he doesn’t care!
Sheamus gets in as Corbin stands Ricochet up, BROGUE for Corbin!!! Cover, Sheamus wins!!
Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship)
Sami tried, he really did, but he couldn’t win against four top level opponents. However, The Celtic Warrior succeeds, and he is heading to Cardiff, Wales! Will Sheamus dethrone Gunther and finally complete his WWE Grand Slam?
The Viking Raiders hold a “Viking Funeral.”
With torches and shields, Erik & Ivar approach the altar of sticks and bones, as well as many items of The New Day’s. The master of ceremonies adorns them with special paint. “New Day, we are gathered here to celebrate our battles. And to prepare for what’s to come. We respect you as great warriors, champions, and heroes. But your time has passed. The wounds upon your flesh are merely a prelude. You failed to heed our warnings. Your folly and your pride have led you here. And now, Valhalla awaits. tonight, we stand upon these consecrated grounds to pay tribute. A great battle awaits. Soon, the sun will set upon the New Day. And will be the dawn of a new Viking day!”
The altar is set ablaze as we see highlights of the devastation Erik & Ivar have brought upon Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods. Will this be the end of The New Day once and for all?
Backstage interview with Liv Morgan.
Kayla says Liv faces Shotzi Blackheart tonight. Is she worried that a match tonight could jeopardize her ability to face Shayna Baszler at Clash at the Castle? Liv says if she played it safe, she never would’ve won the title in the first place. She can’t sit on the sidelines and wonder how she’ll do. She has to get back in the ring and find out. She knows she has a huge target on her arm, but that’s no different than the target she has on her back as a champion. Ronda, Shayna, Shotzi and the entire SmackDown Women’s Division want what she has, and they will do anything to take it. But Liv will do anything to keep it. #WatchMe.
Liv Morgan VS Shotzi Blackheart!
SmackDown returns as the SmackDown Women’s Champion makes her entrance. Montreal is fired up to see her, but Kayla then interviews Shotzi in the back. She’s about to- to rip Liv’s arm from its socket and make her cry? Or maybe drive her knee into Liv’s elbow until she needs a robotic arm. Liv is overly emotional, and she thinks with her big, dumb heart. That’s why she’s coming out here trying to prove herself while hurt. Taking a match with Shotzi was a bad decision. One that Shotzi will make Liv pay for dearly! Shotzi laughs and makes her way out, will she welcome Liv to the ball pit?
The bell rings and Shotzi calls for a test of strength. Liv kicks her low instead! The hands start flying, Shotzi shoves Liv then wrenches the bad arm. Liv knee slow, SHOTGUNS Shotzi to a corner, then runs in to back body block! Liv rolls, runs back in and SHINING WIZARDS! Liv snapmares, but Shotzi comes back to ENZIGURI! Liv leans against ropes so Shotzi runs, SENTON against the ropes! Cover, TWO! Shotzi snarls and drags Liv by the bad arm. Shotzi wrenches, Liv gets the ropes and breaks free but Shotzi ROCKS Liv! Liv BOOTS back, goes up, and MISSILE DROPKICKS Shotzi away! Liv then runs in at the corner, but only gets buckles!
Shotzi runs in but Liv puts her on the apron. Shotzi ROCKS and ROUNDHOUSES Liv first! APRON DDT!! Liv flops to the floor and Shotzi laughs while SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again and Shotzi knocks Liv down! Shotzi runs in again but Liv dodges! Liv kicks but Shotzi blocks to KICK back! And ROLLING ELBOW! Liv wobbles, into the QUESTION MARK KCIK! Shotzi fireman’s carries but Liv fights it off to a CRUCIFIX DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Shotzi survives but Liv is clutching her bad arm. Liv runs in at the ropes, Shotzi dodges and waistlocks to then chicken wing! TIGER SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Both women are down and fans rally up! Shotzi and Liv glare at each other, and they start firing hands on the mat! Shotzi gets the edge, she CLUBS away on Liv’s bad arm, then drags Liv up.
Shotzi shouts, “You’re a phony, Liv! A PHONY!” Liv hits a CODE BREAKER! Liv then gets Shotzi at the ropes, ObLIVion!! Cover, Liv wins!
Winner: Liv Morgan, by pinfall
The champions toughs it out, but then SHAYNA ambushes Liv! Shayna BOOTS Liv down, throws off her jacket, and she gets the bad arm! Shayna twists the wrist and elbow, stands on Liv’s head, then drags her around to isolate the arm! Shayna lets down her hair as she spares Liv. “I want to break your arm so bad, but I’ll wait until we get to Cardiff. That’s the only reason!” Shayna then BOOTS Liv in the face! Did Shayna just bring back the killer inside? Can Liv find a way to survive Shayna and win like she did against Ronda?
Speaking of Ronda…
Adam Pearce chose not to press charges for trespassing, and Ronda was released under her own recognizance. But will Rowdy Ronda only try this again next week?
Roman Reigns puts on the title belts.
The Undisputed WWE Universal Champion is without his Wise Man and without his cousins, will he be able to handle this face-to-face all on his own?
Drew McIntyre also prepares backstage.
He takes his jacket off the hanger, only to find Kross’ hourglass sitting there. McIntyre grumbles and storms out, is it only a matter of time before Mr. Doomsday decides to strike again?
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Tribal Chief holds onto the Universal Championship while wearing the World Championship, as he reaches 719 days in his reign! But he alone holds up the belts for the pyro before continuing down the ramp. He then goes into the ring, holds up the belts again, and we get more pyro. A production staff member hands Roman the mic since there is no Heyman or Usos. Roman takes a moment as fans cheer and jeer, and he says, “Montreal…! ACKNOWLEDGE ME!” Fans are more than happy to do that! He has them calm down and says, “Here’s the deal. I’m not here every week anymore. So every once in awhile, people gonna come out here and say some stupid stuff.
“So I just want to set the record straight. If anyone ever comes out here and says they’re the face of the company that’s not me, they’re lying. If anybody ever comes out here and says they’re the main event and it’s not me, they’re lying! And if anyone ever comes out here and says that they carry this company on this back, Drew McIntyre, YOU’RE LYING! There’s only one man that can say they’re the face of this company, there’s only one man that can say they’re the main event. Not a ‘main eventer,’ THE main event, and there’s only one man that carries this company on his back, and his name is the Tribal Chief, the Head of the Table, ROMAN! REIGNS!”
Fans cheer in acknowledgment, and Roman says he’s said this many, many times: he’s a man of his word! What he says has substance here. So he doesn’t have to say anything face-to-face to Drew, because he is BENEATH Roman. But wait! Here comes McIntyre! Fans fire up as McIntyre gets his own pyro then storms to the ring. McIntyre gets himself a mic to say that he’d love to have said everything he’s said lately to Roman’s face, but as Roman just said himself, he’s not really here anymore. So McIntyre gets right to it: Roman isn’t representing the titles they deserve to be represented, and so Roman does NOT deserve to be champion!
Roman looks confused while fans are cheering that. “I don’t deserve it? I don’t deserve to be champion? After everything I just said, do you not understand?” NO, Roman does NOT deserve it! And why? Let’s look at the last couple of years. Roman’s had the Wise Man, Paul Heyman, working for him politically. Roman’s got the Usos doing work for him physically, taking bullets for him. And sure, when they’re all together, they’re “The Bloodline.” Yeah, yeah, who can take down The Bloodline? Probably nobody! They’re in GOD MODE, but Roman Reigns is just a man! And right now, McIntyre sees something different in Roman’s eyes when it’s just them: FEAR.
And Roman should be scared, because there is not a man alive that Drew McIntyre cannot tear apart with his bear hands. At Clash at the Castle, McIntyre tears Roman apart, takes those titles from him, and y’know what? We’re alone tonight, this is a unique opportunity since Roman’s actually in the building. McIntyre feels like having a fight in Montreal! McIntyre throws his shirt off and dares Roman to do the same. Roman fires off hands and he backs McIntyre down! But McIntyre throws big counter punches! Then he clinches Roman to hit an OVERHEAD Belly2Belly !Roman writhes, gets the world title off, and McIntyre takes aim!
But SAMI gets in and takes the CLAYMORE!! Roman hits a SUPERMAN PUNCH! The Honorary Uce serves his purpose and fans are fired up for him! But Roman aims at McIntyre now, “OOAH~!” CLAYMORE!!! McIntyre still hits Roman!! The champion is down, and McIntyre holds the belts up!! Will we see this happen in Cardiff? Or will McIntyre be proven right when The Bloodline can regroup and help their Tribal Chief?
Another great episode for SmackDown, and a lot of great build towards Clash at the Castle. I just don’t know about that opening segment. It is logical that Ronda keeps trying to force her way back into being an active superstar, but them trying to make her Stone Cold Ronda isn’t working on me. She’s just Cold Ronda. But at least we moved on to a very good tag team match for the tag title tournament. WWE broke the news themselves that Zoey Stark & Nikkita Lyons were out (surely all kayfabe reasons) and that Toxic Attraction was in. It should’ve been an established NXT team to begin with, but whatever.
Toxic Attraction gets a great win to introduce themselves to fans who only watch RawDown, and Bayley’s group ringside was a nice touch. There’s a chance Toxic Attraction make the finals since they’re going against a rag tag team like Raquel & Aliyah, and they’ll have a great match against either team from Raw. We also got a good segment from Liv, Shotzi and Shayna. Great match and win for Liv to prove her resilience, but also a great attack from Shayna to show that killer instinct again. Shayna VS Liv is going to be a really good match, especially on the story merits of Liv just trying to win without getting more beat up.
I didn’t expect a recorded vignette for the Viking Raiders’ “funeral” for the New Day, but it was a well made and well delivered promo. If Kofi & Woods are as beat up as they are, can they even have a match against Erik & Ivar? Or will we get some kind of No Disqualification tag match out of this to essentially make up for the New Day being at less than 100%? Then, we got quite the bait and switch with Maximum Male Models starting a segment but getting kicked out by Hit Row. I chose not to try and keep up with the rap skills of Hit Row, having learned my lesson last year when Swerve was still with WWE and just leaving me in the dust.
But it’s good to see we’re getting a lot more out of the WWE Tag Division midcard. Hit Row, MMM and Los Lotharios can all start feuding on SmackDown to determine contenders to the Usos. And nice little plot twist of having the Usos “stuck at the border” so that Roman was without his usual back-up. Roman and Sami had a great segment together, and Sami really did carry his weight tonight. Even though he lost, Montreal was loving Sami out there, and I just knew that he went down in the middle so he could valiantly return. But in the end, Sheamus wins, and he is going to have an awesome match with Gunther. However, I don’t see Sheamus winning the Intercontinental Championship. Gunther’s just getting going, so Sheamus will be a great name on Gunther’s resume.
Good promo from Karrion Kross to warn both McIntyre and Roman, and while he may or may not be right about McIntyre, he’s definitely right about Roman being a chosen one. And then we got great promos out of Roman and McIntyre before turning it into a brawl. I thought Sami taking the Claymore was gonna help Roman gets advantage but nope, McIntyre stands tall! This isn’t the go-home yet so this doesn’t write McIntyre off, it just shows that he’s right: Roman needs his back-up to have a chance.
My Score: 8.8/10
Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (9/25/23)
Judgment Day puts up the gold!
Will Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn get payback for Payback?
Raw is golden as Finn Balor & Damian Priest defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships and Dominik Mysterio defends his NXT North American title! However, Finn & Priest only won thanks to Dirty Dom, will they be out of luck in a fair 2v2 fight?
- Otis w/ The Alpha Academy VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
- Tommaso Ciampa VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Imperium; Ciampa wins.
- NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Tegan Nox VS Natalya; Tegan wins and will challenge for the title next week.
- NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio VS Dragon Lee; Dom wins and retains the title.
- Nia Jax VS Zoey Stark; Nia wins.
- Drew McIntyre VS Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods; McIntyre wins.
- Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: Finn Balor & Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn; Finn & Priest win and retain the titles.
PLAY BY PLAY
Cody Rhodes is here!
The American Nightmare has Ontario, California all fired up! They sing along with the theme song, “WHOA~ OH!” and the pyro goes off as Cody high-fives the front row and even poses for some selfies. Cody steps into the ring and, after a recap package, he gets a mic to welcome us to Raw. “For those watching at home, if you’ll indulge me for just one moment, I’m gonna turn my back on the camera so I can see a very SOLD OUT Ontario, California!” Fans fire up as Cody turns to see the other half of the arena. Fans chant for “CODY! CODY!” and he then says he has been interrupted two weeks in a row trying to talk about this, so he’ll cut to the chase.
The subject: Main Event Jey Uso. Fans chant “UCEY! UCEY!” and Cody says Jey being on Raw means that someone is going to be sent over to SmackDown. And it also means a very disgruntled locker room that thought Cody should’ve let Jey sink. That’s not Cody. And no, Jey and Cody aren’t best friends. Perhaps, there are other reasons Cody wants Jey here on Raw. Something tells Cody that we’re not in the third inning anymore. But either way, Cody wasn’t gonna watch a man get jumped by three others for making the right decision, and that right decision being turning down The Judgment Day!
Cody says The Judgment Day are “undoubtedly” the most toxic faction in the history of- Well, hold on, here comes the Judgment Day! Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio have all their prizes on hand, and even mics. Finn tells Cody, “Why you always gotta stick your nose in Judgment Day’s business?” Priest says last week, they gave Jey the chance to join a real family, but Cody couldn’t help himself. Jey turned them down, got dealt with, but Cody had to save they day because everything is about Cody. Priest talks with Dom in Spanish, but then the fans boo as Dom starts talking to Cody.
Dom tells the fans to shut up, but then he tells Cody that Jey is gonna pay! Jey will pay for disrespecting the Judgment Day. Dom tells the fans “YO SOY UN CAMPEON!” Respect him! Cody has everyone stop here. This is rude of Cody, so keep going, Dom. The fans boo again but then Cody speaks up again. Mr. MITB mentioned real family? Dom, you’ve got a real family, and they can’t stand him! And the biggest question is, since this is Raw, if they wanna come get it, he’s game! But before that, here’s a question: All of them defending their titles tonight, what happens when Mami comes back and finds they are emptyhanded?
You keep Mami’s name out your mouth! But the three look to each other, and they drop the mics! Fans fire up as Cody stares the three down, but wait! Here comes Jey from the crowd side! Main Event Jey stands with the American Nightmare against common enemies! Fans chant “USO! USO!” Finn says this is 3v2, this is easy! But then here comes Sami & Kevin from the crowd! They stand with Cody and Jey, that’s 4v3! Judgment Day reconsiders, and fans boo as they retreat. Priest says Kevin & Sami get theirs later. Oh but wait! JD McDonagh appears, with chairs! That’s 4v4 but with a little extra!
Finn nods and fist bumps his boy, and Dom says heck, this is even now! Priest stays back, but the brawl is on! He says to hell with it then! The brawl goes 4v4, but Priest ends up all alone now! He gets jumped 4v1! Cody gets a chair as Priest powers out! SUPERKICK from Jey! CHAIRSHOT from Cody! Priest tumbles out of the ring and Kevin takes a seat in the other chair. Are the walls closing in on the most toxic team in WWE today? Or can they escape the Golden State still wearing gold around their waists?
Otis w/ The Alpha Academy VS Bronson Reed!
While “Master” Chad Gable could not survive the Tsunami, perhaps his number one guy can turn the tide! Will the tree trunk that is The Dozer survive the force of nature that is Auszilla?
Raw returns and Reed makes his entrance. The bell rings and fans rally up as the two mirror images stare down. They tie up, are in a deadlock, then break. They tie up again and Reed headlocks. Otis powers out but Reed RAMS him! Neither man falls and fans fire up! Otis headlocks, Reed powers out and they RAM shoulders again! Neither falls so they both run, to DOUBLE LARIAT! Neither falls and fans are fired up! Reed SLAPS Otis, but Otis shoves Reed! The two titans egg each other on, then run in to DOUBLE LARIAT! Both men fall back and then out of the ring! Both men stand up, and they stare down from across the way.
Otis and Reed meet at the side and Otis LARIATS Reed down!! Otis keeps after Reed but is sent into the POST! Reed then CLOBBERS Otis! Reed flexes, he puts Otis in the ring, and fans fire up. Reed brings Otis up, whips him to ropes, and fireman’s carries Otis to SAMOAN DROP!?! Cover, TWO! Otis hangs in there but Reed clamps on with a neck wrench. Fans rally and Maxxine coaches Otis up. Otis fights to his feet, throws body shots, and fans fire up. Reed HEADBUTTS Otis, Otis blocks a boot, both men run, to DOUBLE CROSSBODY!! Maxxine is stunned while both men are down! Fans fire up as the real-life kaiju stand!
Otis throws body shots and he backs Reed down. Fans fire up as Otis just windmills away! Then ELBOWS him! Otis whips, Reed swings but Otis rolls under!? DISCUS LARIAT! And then an ANGLE SLAM!! Maxxine cheers Otis on as Reed flounders to a corner. Otis runs in to SPLASH! Reed falls, and fans fire up! Otis has his target, and he RIPS OFF his shirt! The CATERPILLAR ELBOW! Otis then hurries up the corner, to VADER BOMB, BUT FLOPS as Reed moves! Reed SENTONS! Reed hurries up top, fans go nuts for the TSUNAMI!! Cover, Reed wins!!
Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall
Maxxine is speechless! The Alpha Academy has lost 0-2 to the Colossus! As the song says, this is his moment, will Reed prove he’s ready for war?
Tegan Nox finds Becky Lynch backstage.
The Man is happy to see Tegan’s back, but she was hoping to see her in the ring. When Becky made that Open Challenge last week, she was kinda hoping for someone like Tegan. And Tegan was waiting at gorilla, so what happened? Natty showed up and Tegan showed the veteran respect. Becky says you can’t do that, you gotta step on toes to show your worth. Becky has a huge title defense this Saturday, NXT No Mercy. Becky wants Tegan to be next in line after Becky wins. Tegan’s up for that. Will the girl with the shiniest wizard get her shot at the gold next week? Or will Tiffany Stratton make some big changes to Becky’s Big Time plans?
Adam Pearce is on the phone.
No, as of right now, the trade has not been finalized. Then he excuses himself as Tegan Nox walks in. She’s sorry for interrupting, but while we know Becky has her NXT Women’s Championship match on Saturday, Tegan is just wondering if she can get the winner of that. But then in walks Natty. Natty says it is great that Tegan’s finally standing up for herself. But maybe ask him to give Natty a rematch. Uh, Natty, Tegan respects you, but you lost. So step aside so someone else can have a shot. Clearly, someone is whispering in Tegan’s ear. The greatest trick of a champion is to distract the hungry challengers.
So if Tegan doesn’t think Natty has the passion, just say it to her face. Passion? Natty’s not the only one with passion around here! And Becky said if Tegan has to step on toes around here, then that’s what she’s gonna do! Pearce has them calm down, and says he isn’t handing out title opportunities. Maybe they go to the ring and we see who earns one. Natty says she’s up for that. Maybe Tegan will get hungry and remember her manners. Tegan says she’s starving. Who gets their shot at Big Time Becks?
Tommaso Ciampa VS Ludwig Kaiser w/ Imperium!
The Psycho Killer dealt with Giovanni Vinci, but now he has to deal with Der Ring General’s lieutenant. Will nothing stop Ciampa from going after Gunther and the Intercontinental Championship? Or will the Impeccable German’s European Excellence eliminate Ciampa from the board?
Raw returns and Imperium makes their entrance. The bell rings and the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Ludwig puts Ciampa in a corner. Ludwig lets off, but throws hands! Ludwig headlocks, grinds the hold, and Gunther is watching backstage as Ciampa throws hands. Ciampa powers out but Ludwig runs him over! Ludwig “kicks dirt” at Ciampa, runs, but Ciampa hits a THESZ PRESS and fast hands! Ludwig staggers up into a snapmare, and Ciampa stomps Ludwig’s face! Fans fire up as Ciampa stomps more. Ciampa CHOPS Ludwig, CHOPS him again, but Ludwig ROCKS him with a right! And another!
Ciampa hits back with haymakers, then bumps Ludwig off buckles. Ciampa CHOPS, then ROCKS Ludwig again, and repeat! Ciampa stomps a mudhole in, the ref counts and Ciampa lets off. Ciampa brings Ludwig up but Ludwig throws hands! Ludwig hoists Ciampa up top, and then DECKS Ciampa with a haymaker! Ciampa checks his teeth as he sits on the apron, but Ludwig brings him up. Ciampa ELBOWS Ludwig away and fans rally up. But Ludwig runs in to SHOVE Ciampa off apron and into steel steps! Fans boo as Imperium stands over Ciampa, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns again and Ludwig POSTS Ciampa! Ludwig keeps Ciampa stuck in the ropes, then runs side to side to DROPKICK Ciampa down! The ring count starts as Ciampa is on the floor. Ludwig eggs Ciampa on, Ciampa hurries in at 5 of 10, but Ludwig is on him. Ciampa TOSSES Ludwig out! Fans fire up, Ludwig hurries but Ciampa CHOPS! And ROCKS! And LARIATS! Ludwig flops to the floor and fans fire up with Ciampa. Ciampa puts Ludwig in, runs up and clotheslines Ludwig up and out! Gunther is upset as Ciampa SMACKS Ludwig off apron, SMACKS him off desk, and whips him into the steel steps!
Fans fire up as Ciampa grins and slides into the ring. Ciampa drags Ludwig in through the ropes, WILLOW’S BELL! Cover, TWO! Ludwig survives but Ciampa reels him in! Underhooks and- NO, Ludwig wrenches out to UPPERCUT! Ciampa CHOPS! They go back and forth, Ciampa BOOTS then ripcords, ROLLING- NO, Ludwig fireman’s carries! But Ciampa slips free to REVERSE DDT! Fans fire up as the kneepad comes down! But Vinci gets in, so he takes the PSYCHO KNEE! Ludwig ENZIGURIS Ciampa!! Cover, but the ref is busy with Vinci and his busted nose! Ludwig says get out, and he kicks Vinci away!
Ludwig brings Ciampa up, for a JUMP KNEE! Cover, Ciampa wins!
Winner: Tommaso Ciampa, by pinfall
Ciampa tells Gunther that he better be ready! Ciampa wants everything he has, and he’s taking it all! Gunther is furious, will he tear into Vinci and Ludwig for failing him?
Becky Lynch heads to the ring!
The NXT Women’s Champion holds the belt high as she’s going to be on commentary! She wants to see who is next in line, will it be the Welsh Firecracker of the Queen of Harts?
NXT Women’s Championship #1 Contender’s Match: Tegan Nox VS Natalya!
Raw returns and Natty makes her entrance. The bell rings and Natty circles with Tegan. They tie up, Natty hits a headlock takeover but Tegan headscissors. Natty kips free and the two stare down. Natty hits another takeover, denies the headscissors, but Tegan rolls her up. ONE, and Natty holds on. Natty covers, ONE, and Tegan hammerlocks. Fans rally and duel as Natty rolls and Tegan wrenches. N atty rolls and handsprings and hammerlocks, but Tegan hammerlocks back. Natty switches, Tegan switches, then Tegan stops Natty’s switch. Natty ELBOWS free, and then grins.
Tegan shoves Natty and then eggs her on. Natty shoves, spins, but Tegan dodges to TACKLE Natty! Tegan rains down shots but Natty shoves her away. Tegan UPPERCUTS Natty down! And PENALTY KICKS! Tegan then drags Natty up to suplex, for a GOURD BUSTER! Fans fire up and Tegan goes corner to corner, CANNONBALL! Cover, TWO! This is the fire Becky wants to see! Tegan runs in but Natty rolls the shining wizard up, TWO! Natty kicks low, reels Tegan in, and she gets Tegan up for a SITOUT BOMB! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up but Natty has the legs! Tegan scrambles and HOTSHOTS Natty off ropes!
Tegan runs, WORLD’S SHINIEST WIZARD!! Cover, Tegan wins!!
Winner: Tegan Nox, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the NXT Women’s Championship)
Tegan did it! She stood up for herself, stepped on some toes, and took the win! But considering Becky VS Tiffy II is EXTREME RULES, will The Man have to put up the fight of her life just to give Tegan hers? Or will the Wrestling Barbie make her Raw in-ring debut next Monday?
Judgment Day regroups.
Finn says nobody should ever get the better of them! McDonagh says it was 4v4, they should’ve had that. But then Priest CHUCKS a chair at the wall! Priest tells McDonagh to shut up! He doesn’t care who he is friends with, he is NOT Judgment Day! He just took a beating cuz of McDonagh! Get out! NOW! McDonagh leaves, Dom is scared silent and Finn is a bit unsure of what to do. Is the Punisher so stubbornly against adding The Irish Ace that he’s going to lose the war for Raw?
Seth Rollins is here!
Ontario, California sings along, “WHOA~ OHH~ OHHH~!” as the World Heavyweight Champion struts to the ring. Rollins stands in his spotlight and revels in the “WHOA~! OHH~ OHHH~!” The Visionary wants an answer from the King of Strong Style about their world title rematch, will he get it? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Rollins now has the mic. “ONTARIOOOOO~! Welcome to Monday… Night… Rollins!” And what say we play a little game? He’s sure they’ll like this one. If you guys are as sick and tired as Rollins is of Shinsuke Nakamura ducking and dodging him, then sing his song. “WHOA~ OHH~ OHHH~!” Well that’s a yes. Rollins says alright, alright, alright. Question number two: If they think it is about time Rollins defended his world title, sing louder. “WHOA~ OHH~ OHHH~!” Two for two. Rollins says they’re beautiful and he loves ’em. And since we’re all in agreement, there’s only one thing left to do.
SHINSUKE! For weeks, Rollins has been calling you out, asking for this rematch, but Nakamura’s been duckin’, dodgin’ and playin’ games, but the time for games is over. Right here, right now, we are getting an answer! If Nakamura does not accept the challenge for a rematch, then Rollins is pulling the offer. He’s moving on! There are a million capable and willing talents, and Rollins wants to fight! So Shinsuke, this is your last chance. “The floor is yours.” Fans sing again “WHOA~ OHH~ OHHH~!” But then Nakamura is on the tron. “Seth Rollins… Name the time. Name the place. You have so many demands. No wonder your body fails you.
“I want nothing more than to be the straw that finally breaks your back, mangles you until there’s nothing left but dust. But I have restraint. Your stamina is admirable. But you have no patience. Only impulse. I dealt the hand, and you showed me all your cards. I have yet to show you mine. Let me make it clear! A match so brutal, so barbaric, you will NEVER walk again. A conclusion so humiliating, your daughter will be ashamed to look at you.” Nakamura says this is ROLLINS’ last chance. The last chance to hear his song, to be called a champion. Nakamura will stand tall, while Rollins will never stand again.
So yes, Nakamura accepts the challenge. Rollins, your career ends at Fastlane. LAST MAN STANDING!! Fans fire up hearing that! Rollins lets that sink in, and he takes off his sunglasses. Last Man Standing, huh? No pins, no submissions. Just a straight up fight until one man cannot answer the ten count. Two men walk in, only one walks out. Rollins throws his sunglasses down, paces around and laughs. He has to admit, Nakamura played this one perfectly, he really did. Nakamura got the match he wanted, on his terms, and played it perfectly BUT he has made one critical mistake.
Nakamura thinks that Rollins’ back is a weakness. Nakamura thinks he can exploit that weakness and beat Rollins so bad that his daughter will be ashamed to look at her father. Rollins says this broken back is not a weakness. No, no, no. For Rollins, it is a strength. The only way Rollins’ family is gonna be ashamed is if he doesn’t give it every single thing he’s got! The fans fire up and Rollins says the family knows he loves them, but they also know he loves this! Rollins paces a bit more as he says, “You think, Shinsuke, that I don’t know that every single time I step into this ring, it might be the last time I do?”
Shinsuke thinks Rollins is gonna give it less than 100%, knowing this might be his last match? Then Shinsuke’s crazy! Because Rollins’ 100% makes him the best in the world! Rollins’ 100% makes him the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! Fans fire up more and Rollins says if Nakamura wants to get crazy… Rollins VS Nakamura at Fastlane, LAST MAN STANDING! Nakamura does have it right that only one walks outta there, but it ain’t gonna be Nakamura. It’ll be the Visionary, the revolutionary, it’ll be SETH FREAKIN’ ROLLINS!! The King of Strong Style has given Rollins more fuel for the fire, will Rollins #BurnItDown in Indianapolis?
Backstage interview with Ricochet.
Jackie Redmond is with The Highlight of the Night, who is on crutches. After last week’s attack, do we have an update on when he can be back int he ring? Ricochet doesn’t really know. He’s here, he’s on crutches, and he can guarantee his fans that he will return. It’ll take more than this to keep him down. But he wants to make something abundantly clear. It doesn’t matter who wins the World Heavyweight Championship match, because Ricochet has unfinished business with Nakamura. The King of Flight is grounded for now, but will he seek & destroy the King of Strong Style soon enough?
NXT North American Championship: Dominik Mysterio VS Dragon Lee!
Dirty Dom truly did The Boy Wonder dirty when, as special guest referee, he made sure Dragon didn’t win the title shot for No Mercy. However, justice is served, because now Dragon’s getting his shot tonight! Will Dragon take this title back to NXT? Or will Dommy do his Mami proud while she’s away?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see if Dragon shows Dom no mercy!
The bell rings and fans fire up for Dragon. The two circle, tie up, and Dom kick slow. Dom throws hands, whips, but Dragon ducks ‘n’ dodges and runs Dom over! Fans fire up and things keep moving. Dom hurdles, Dragon leaps over, and then Dragon comes back to RANA! Fans fire up again as Dom bails out. Dragon builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit at the ramp! Fans are even more fired up as Dragon stands tall. Dragon puts Dom in, covers, TWO! Dragon keeps his cool as he whips. Dom reverses and rolls Dragon into a HALF CRAB! Fans boo but Dragon fights to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts and Dom lets go.
Dom drags Dragon up, suplexes, but Dragon fights! Dragon suplexes but Dom lands on the apron. Dom kicks low to APRON DDT! Fans boo as Dom stands tall, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns and Dom drags Dragon to a drop zone. Dom climbs the corner, gives some Latino Heat, but fans boo more. Dom tells them he’s the best, then FROG SPLASHES onto knees! Dragon saves himself and Dom writhes. Dragon and Dom rise as fans rally up, and Dragon storms up to ROCK Dom! And again! And again! Dragon whips, CLOBBERS Dom, then LARIATS! Dragon scoops but Dom slips free. Dom shoves Dragon to a corner, runs in, but Dragon pops Dom up to SUPERKICK! And JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! SWINGING BOOT! Combinacion Dragon hits, but Dragon Lee keeps going, HYDRAULIC DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!!
Dragon can’t believe it but Dom survives! Dragon stalks Dom, brings him up and in, but Dom slips free of the bomb! Dom kicks low, ROCKS Dragon, whips but Dragon gets around to SNAP GERMAN! Dom SUPERKICKS! Dragon JUMP KNEES! Dragon runs but Dom scoops, MICHINOKU DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Dragon survives and shocks Dom! Fans are thunderous while Dom argues with the ref. Dragon stands, Dom DROPKICKS him onto ropes! Dom dials it up while fans boo, but Dragon ducks the 619! Dragon spins and mule kicks, to then FLASH KNEE! Cover, TWO! Dom is still in this and the fans can’t believe it!
Dragon refocuses and he brings Dom up. Dom ROCKS Dragon, Dragon ROCKS Dom! “This is Awesome!” as they go haymaker for haymaker! Dom fires off a flurry, avoids the knee and CHOPS! Dom shoves Dragon, runs in, but Dragon puts him on the apron! Dragon ROCKS Dom, runs side to side and FLYING RANAS to the floor!! Fans are electric and Dragon puts Dom back in! Dragon brings Dom in, lifts, DRAGON BOMB!! Cover, TWO?!? Dom survives, he is not out of this yet! Dragon can’t believe this, but he goes up the corner. Dom ROCKS Dragon first! Dom climbs, but Dragon trips him up! And puts him in the Tree of Woe!
Dragon stands up, to WOE STOMP Dom down!! Dom flounders, Dragon brings down the kneepads! Dragon runs in, Dom pops him up to CROTCH him!! Dom hurries up top to FROG SPLASH!!! Cover, DOM WINS!!
Winner: Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall (still NXT North American Champion)
Dragon came so, so close to winning that title, but shockingly, Dom found a way to win all by himself! Dom might actually have the abilities of a true champion, but when will he have a personality to match?
Backstage interview with Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn.
Jackie brings up their joining Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso against The Judgment Day. Do either of them have something to say about that before tonight’s tag title match? Kevin says earlier wasn’t about helping Jey. All Jey did was prove he wasn’t with Judgment Day. All Kevin cares about is getting at Judgment Day himself. Sami agrees, this isn’t about Jey, about Cody or even Judgment Day. This is about two guys who started this as kids together! Who started at the bottom of the ladder and worked their way up, together! Working day in and day out together, to get to the highest point possible, the WWE Tag Team Championships in the main event of WrestleMania!!
This isn’t about anyone else but Sami & Kevin, and about taking back what is THEIRS! Sami calms down and Kevin says no more talking. Time to punch people in their stupid faces. The Prizefighter and Great Liberator are ready, but will they be able to pry the gold away from Judgment Day?
Michael Cole is in the ring.
The voice of WWE has Ontario welcome The Irresistible Force, Nia Jax. Fans boo but it’s not like Nia’s ever cared about that. She goes to the ring, and Maggle says since her return, she has laid waste to every woman who has crossed her path. So why is she targeting everyone in the Raw Women’s Division? Hm? Oh, sorry, she wasn’t paying attention. Relax, relax. But she is THE Nia Jax. “The baddest human in all of WWE.” They thought it was gonna be Rhea Ripley, the most dominant champion male or female. But Nia squashed her! Fans chant “YOU SUCK!” Nia says they thought it was Shayna Baszler. But Nia squashed her, too!
Zoey Stark? Squashed. Raquel Rodriguez? Squashed. Chelsea Green? Squashed! Piper Niven? Squashed! You put anyone in this ring with her and she will squash them! Wanna know why? Because she is Nia Jax, THE baddest in- Wait! Speaking of Zoey Stark, here she comes! So much for being squashed as she storms down and gets in Nia’s face! Yeah, Nia got her once. Congrats. But she did it while Zoey’s back was turned. Zoey dares her to do something here and now, face to face. Nia just grins and laughs, then she SMACKS Zoey! Zoey leaps in but Nia throws her away! The refs rush in as these two throw hands!
Fans fire up and want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” Stark gets shots in on Nia but Nia shoves her away! Stark is right back up! Will this be a match to prove who is truly the baddest? Or will Nia squash Stark once and for all?
Nia Jax VS Zoey Stark!
Raw returns as Irresistible Force and Hunter get their match! The bell rings, and the two rush in again! Nia shoves Stark, but Stark comes back to jump on! Nia throws her off, but Stark sticks ‘n’ moves and DROPKICKS! And DROPKICKS! Stark springboards but Nia SWATS her out of the sky! Nia then drops an ELBOW! Cover, ONE!! Stark is showing her toughness already but Nia hauls her up. Stark throws hands but Nia throws Stark! Nia runs in to SPLASH at the corner! Nia TOSSES Stark again, then grins as she runs in to SPLASH! Stark flounders, Nia stalks her to ropes, and then CHOKES her!
The ref counts, Nia steps away at 4, and she storms up to bring Stark up. Nia whips her corner to corner, runs in but Stark dodges to POST Nia!! Fans fire up as Stark eggs Nia on. Nia storms up, into a SUPERKICK! HEEL KICK! ENZIGURI! Nia goes back to a corner, Stark runs in but Nia puts her on the apron. Stark GAMANGIRIS, then springboards, MISSILE DROPKICK! Nia stays on her feet, but she staggers into a fireman’s carry! But then Stark falls under the weight! Nia drags Stark onto ropes, then goes to the apron. GUILLOTINE LEG DROP!! Nia pushes Stark back in, has her in the drop zone, and she stands on Stark.
Nia climbs the corner, A-NIA-LATOR!! Cover, Nia wins!
Winner: Nia Jax, by pinfall
Stark gets squashed AGAIN, and Nia has a sinister smile on her face. Will nothing stop her from crushing even the Women’s World Champion, whenever it is that Rhea returns?
Backstage interview with Jey Uso.
Byron Saxton asks Jey why he chose NOT to join Judgment Day. Jey says he has a “no more groups” policy. No teams, no groups, no emo bands, no Judgment Day. Cody gave Jey his second chance so he won’t do Cody like that. Plus, seeing how Judgment Day rolls, he ain’t about that. Well, we also know Sami & Kevin are taking on Finn & Priest, and that Jey has had a strained relationship with them. Where do they stand? Jey says he and KO have beef, it is what it is. As far as Sami goes, Sami is his dog. So as far as that goes, Jey says if Judgment Day tries to act up, Jey will be real close tonight. Yeet.
Judgment Day regroups again.
Finn congratulates Dom on still being champion. Dom asks where Priest went. Finn says he has to cool off, but it’ll be fine. They’ve still got a lot of work tonight. Dom nods and puts the ice pack on his head. Will Dirty Dom once again be an insurance policy for The Prince & Punisher?
The Miz is here!
The Hollywood A-Lister lives very close given Ontario is just outside of Los Angeles. And as such, he’s here to host MizTV with special guest, Drew McIntyre! What will Miz have to ask the Scottish Warrior? We find out, after the break.
Raw returns and Miz welcomes us back to the Most Must-See WWE Talk Show. His guest tonight will speak for the first time since walking away from Jey Uso getting beat down by The Judgment Day. Is he a coward? Or a conflicted hero? We find out tonight. Please welcome DREW MCINTYRE! McIntyre makes his entrance, sword in hand and pyro at his back. McIntyre steps into the ring, gets some more pyro, then sheaths his sword. Miz says give it up for McIntyre! Miz also sees all the pent up frustration in McIntyre, and would love for him to take it all out on Kofi Kingston in their match tonight.
But first, this is an open, judgment free zone, for McIntyre to speak freely. So no questions? Miz wants to explain that he is on McIntyre’s side! Miz commends McIntyre for throwing Jey to the wolves. Miz would’ve done the exact same thing! He repeats, he would’ve done the same thing! But if McIntyre wants a question, then here: Why would the bold and powerful Scottish Warrior just leave Jey high and dry like that? McIntyre says he will make one thing really clear: He is NOTHING like The Miz. Fans cheer that but Miz says they’re a lot alike! No one expected McIntyre to abandon a helpless Jey Uso, that is a very Miz move.
Also, they both know what it is to be the backbone of this company, to take it to new heights, to be the hardest worker both inside and outside the ring, AND be world champion! Only to then lose it. McIntyre was the unwavering, unbeatable WWE Champion, Drew McIntyre! Until he wasn’t. And then he received an opportunity of a lifetime. Clash at the Castle, in his own backyard, in front of his own people, to win it all again! And what happens? The Bloodline happens. Who was front and center to give him beating after beating? The Tribal Chief’s Right Hand Man, Jey Uso!
So safe to say, McIntyre doesn’t trust Jey, and rightfully so, because Jey always does what is best for Jey. So when Judgment Day put the boots to him… McIntyre adds, “Karma’s a b*tch.” Exactly! Jey made his bed, now he has to sleep in it. McIntyre IS the Batman of WWE! Miz says that must mean Cody Rhodes is Superman. Speaking of which, how did it feel to be upstaged by Cody last week? Fans boo but wait, here comes The New Day! Kofi has Xavier Woods with him, and Kofi tells “Drewsy, Big D,” that they didn’t know he was cold blooded like that. Cuz the Drew they know is not a coward like he showed us last week.
Woods says for real. The past few years, he’s been Big D! But uh, maybe there’s some shrinkage going on. What’s wrong. Drew? Scared? Or just worried his big sword was too limp to get the job done? Miz speaks up that “Big D and Massive Miz” were having a conversation, but McIntyre tells him to shut up. You just expect McIntyre to save the day like always? Well, the New Day was in the back. Did they come out to do something? No! Many stars didn’t. Cody did, but not out of the goodness of his heart. It is his mess so he’s just cleaning it up. And to McIntyre, those are the actions of a hypocrite!
Kofi tells McIntyre that HE didn’t do what he was supposed to do. He should’ve helped Jey. Miz says save it but McIntyre again tells him to shut up. Does The New Day remember all the beatings from The Usos? The opportunities taken away by The Bloodline? How Roman Reigns treated Woods? They’re just gonna forgive and forget? No, they remember it all clear as day. But that was not the time. Jey is here, trying to make things right! Miz says “Oh, make it right? Are you kidding me with that?” SHUT UP, MIZ! New Day wants to call McIntyre a coward, but given everything Jey has done to them, the New Day hasn’t stepped to Jey once.
Kofi says because they’re watching, and they look up to McIntyre. As sure as the sun rises in the East and sets in the West, Drew McIntyre does what’s right! And they respect him for it! Miz has his hand raised and asks them what it means. Again, McIntyre tells Miz to shut up. Fans chant “SHUT UP, MIZ! SHUT UP, MIZ!” Miz says no, when his hand goes up, their mouths go- GLASGOW KISS HEADBUTT!! Miz talked too much, and McIntyre says the time for talk is over. Kofi, get in the ring and we’ll find out what hard times is all about. A shot at Cody there? Well, Kofi’s ready, will he give McIntyre some Trouble in Paradise?
The Alpha Academy regroups.
Maxxine comforts Otis and promises to make him feel better. Otis feels bad but Gable says he’s still number one. Nothing to be ashamed of. Bronson Reed is massive, just like Otis. That was a great match, they can study tape and- But then Ludwig walks over. Maxxine, this is what he has been talking about. Look at these guys, and then look at Imperium. Imperium hold themselves to a higher standard while her guys are celebrating a loss. What an embarrassment! Um, for a man who speaks so many languages, who can he not understand what a loss means? SHOOSH! Ya lost! Ya lost! So you must be on your way back to boss man Gunther to get brow beat.
But uh, before you go, give Gunther a little message from Gable. Tell him Gable is still locked onto the Intercontinental Championship and will suplex his way into another shot and then take the title. And remember, that’s from Gable, so put some bass in your voice. Run along back to papa. A danke schoen~!
Drew McIntyre VS Kofi Kingston w/ Xavier Woods!
Raw returns and the bell rings on this match. McIntyre and Kofi circle, with the fans behind Kofimania. They tie up, McIntyre puts Kofi in the corner, but lets off. Kofi dodges the haymaker to CHOP, CHOP and CHOP! McIntyre clinches to TOSS Kofi, but Kofi dodges to fire off more CHOPS! McIntyre shoves Kofi to DOUBLE CHOP him down! Even Woods is stinging from that one! McIntyre stands Kofi up to CHOP again! McIntyre JABS Kofi, whips him toa corner, but Kofi goes up and up to MISSILE DROPKICK! Kofi then forearms McIntyre in a corner! Then runs in again, but McIntyre catches the splash!
McIntyre pops Kofi around to suplex high and hard! Fans rally for Kofi but McIntyre CLOBBSER him! McIntyre runs, Kofi hurdles, then Kofi leaps, into a waistlock! McIntyre back suplexes but Kofi lands on his feet. Kofi runs to DROPKICK McIntyre outta the ring! Woods fires up and Kofi goes up the corner! SUPER TRUST FALL! Down goes McIntyre and Ontario fires up! Woods lifts Kofi onto his shoulders and the fans cheer along, “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Kofi hops down to the apron, then he aims, to FLYING AX HANDLES! McIntyre staggers, Kofi CLUBS him, and Kofi puts him in the ring. Kofi climbs again, to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!
McIntyre hangs tough but is getting mad, and Raw goes to break.
Raw returns as McIntyre looms over Kofi. Fans rally as McIntyre drags Kofi up to whip corner to corner. McIntyre runs in, Kofi dodges to SWING KICK! Kofi then goes up the corner again, FLYING- NO, McIntyre catches him for an OVERHEAD suplex! And then another OVERHEAD suplex! NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as McIntyre kips up! McIntyre waits on Kofi as he slowly rises. McIntyre then reels Kofi in, but Kofi trips him up! Jackknife bridge, TWO! FAMOUSER! Cover, TWO! Kofi PENALTY KICKS, then runs for the “NEW~ DAY~!” BOOM DROP! Fans fire up as Kofi goes to the corner, “NEW! DAY ROCKS!”
Kofi aims, spins, TROUBLE- NO, McIntyre moves to reel him in, FUTURE SHOCK! Cover, TWO!! McIntyre is surprised that Kofi survives, but he quickly refocuses. McIntyre drags Kofi up, CHOPS him and Kofi falls over! McIntyre shakes his head as Kofi rises up again. McIntyre brings Kofi around to CHPO him down again! McIntyre drags Kofi up and reels him in, short arm- NO, Kofi slips through! Kofi then sends McIntyre up and out! Kofi BOOTS McIntyre, runs, and DIVES! Direct hit and McIntyre hits desk! Fans fire up and Kofi brings McIntyre around, but McIntyre whips him away! Kofi leaps the steps, comes back but McIntyre gets under!
McIntyre ROCKS Kofi, then inverted Alabama Lifts. APRON ALABAMA SLAM!! Woods is freaking out as McIntyre hauls Kofi into the ring. McIntyre aims from the corner, the countdown begins! “THREE! TWO! ONE!!” CLAY- NO! Kofi ducks it! S O S!!! Cover, TWO?!? McIntyre escapes and Woods can’t believe it! “This is Awesome!” as Kofi CLUBS McIntyre. GLASGOW KISS!! Both men are down, slowly stir, and the fans rally up. Wait, here comes The Viking Raiders! Ivar CLOBBERS Woods! Then TOSSES him into barriers! And then BACKHANDS him down!! Ivar RAMS Woods into barriers, then SPLASHES against them!!
McIntyre and Kofi see all that, but Kofi is the only one who cares! CLAYMORE!!! Cover, McIntyre wins!
Winner: Drew McIntyre, by pinfall
Cowardly? That is a matter of opinion. Merciless? That is for sure! And even more so, he leaves the ring so Ivar can go after Kofi! Ivar fires off elbows in the corner while Sarah shouts praises! Fans boo but McIntyre doesn’t care. Ivar goes up the corner to VIKING MOONSAULT!! The War Beard may have just destroyed the New Day by himself, where will the raid go next?
Gunther verbally tears into Vinci.
Der Ring General is furious with him, and then asks where Ludwig was! Ludwig mentions Gable and Gunther says who cares! He didn’t expect much out of them, but he didn’t expect this! What happened out there? Ludwig blames Vinci! Gunther says that doesn’t matter, this all reflects on him! But since Ludwig seems to know how Vinci messed up, from now on, he is Ludwig’s responsibility. So if Ludwig messes up, there’s an issue. If Vinci messes up, there’s an issue. And in the meantime, Gunther will handle HIS responsibilities: being the greatest, longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time! And he will do so by beating Ciampa himself.
Der Ring General leaves, and then Ludwig looks at Vinci with disappointment. Vinci is again without anyone to pass the buck to, is there about to be a mutiny in the ranks?
Backstage interview with The Viking Raiders.
Byron asks them about brutally mauling The New Day. Do they care to explain? Ivar says Kofi & Woods took Erik out of action, and Sarah says this is merely eye for an eye. Then when and where will Kofi & Woods look to return the favor?
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: Finn Balor & Damian Priest VS Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn!
Payback’s match may have been a Steel City Street Fight, but there is no honor among thieves. The Prodigal Son’s already handled his business, will he help The Prince & The Punisher hold onto the gold? Or will the Prizefighter & Great Liberator fight and win these titles like they did at WrestleMania?
Things are heated already as there’s some pushing and shoving, but the ref cools them off. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see which team holds together!
The teams sort out, but then they just brawl! The bell rings, Kevin tosses Priest while Sami and Finn brawl. Finn headlocks, Sami powers out, things speed up as Sami hurdles and arm-drags! And arm-drags again! Finn avoids the third and bails out. Kevin & Sami regroup and Ontario, California is fired up for the Canadians as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns and Priest KICKS away on Sami in the corner, then ROCKS him with a right! Priest whips corner to corner, runs in, but Sami ELBOWS him away! Sami goes up to AX HANDLE! Cover, ONE!! Sami brings Priest up but Priest RAMS him into the corner. Finn tags in and CLUBS Sami. Finn bumps Sami off buckles, CHOPS him, then whips him corner to corner. Finn runs in to CHOP, then he snapmares to ELBOW Sami in the head! Finn wraps on a chinlock and he grinds Sami down. Fans rally, Sami fights up, but Finn puts him in a corner. Finn fires off body shots, whips corner to corner, but Sami comes back to CLOBBER Finn!
Fans fire up, Sami brings Finn around and bumps him off buckles. Tag to Kevin, they whip Finn to drop toehold and SENTON! Kevin tells Priest to “SUCK IT!” Fans fire up but the ref keeps Priest back. Kevin CHOPS Finn, ROCKS him, then ROCKS him some more. Kevin CHOPS again, throws body shots in the corner, and he whips. Finn reverses but Kevin holds ropes. Kevin BOOTS Finn, ducks Priest’s cheap shot and GAMANGIRIS Priest down! But Finn trips Kevin to DOUBLE STOMP! Fans boo but Finn stomps Kevin more. Tag to Priest, he and Finn stomp Kevin, then Priest KICKS Kevin against ropes.
Kevin throws hands but Priest ROCKS Kevin! Priest then CHOKES Kevin on the ropes! The ref counts, Priest lets off and Kevin sputters, but Finn BOOTS Kevin down! Priest drags Kevin from ropes, KICKS him and KICKS him, and KICKS, but Kevin blocks! Priest BELL CLAPS free! Kevin ends up in a corner and Priest digs his knee in. The ref counts, Priest lets off to talk trash, but Kevin CHOPS and CHOPS! Priest and Kevin throw hands, this is a hockey scrum like Payback! Priest knees low, whips, but Kevin turns back drop into DDT! Fans fire up while both men crawl, hot tag to Sami! Sami fires off hands on Priest!
Sami whips, Priest reverses but Sami goes up and over to LARIAT! Fans fire up as Sami puts Priest in a corner and climbs. Sami rains down fists fast and goes to TEN! Sami then whips, Priest reverses but Sami turns pop-up into DROPKICK! Finn runs in but Sami TOSSES him out! Priest runs in but Sami dodges to clothesline Priest up and out! Fans fire up as Sami builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit with the tope conjilo and the champs are down as Raw goes to break!
Raw returns again and Sami fires hands on Priest from above! Priest staggers away, Sami leaps, but into Priest’s choke grip! But Sami wrenches out, knuckle locks and CHOPS! Sami goes up and up and FLYING DDTS!! Fans are thunderous while both men are down! Sami and Priest crawl, hot tags to Kevin and Finn! Kevin dodges to clothesline Priest! Then he fires off on Finn! Kevin stomps away at the ropes, but the ref counts. Kevin lets off, Finn bails out, and fans fire up with Kevin! Kevin goes out and runs in around the way to LARIAT Finn! And he LARIATS Priest! Kevin goes up as Finn gets in, but Kevin avoids the haymaker!
Kevin ROCKS Finn, to CANNONBALL Priest! Kevin hurries back into the ring, goes corner to corner, and CANNONBALLS! Fans are all fired up for Kevin’s constant motion! Priest runs in, but gets a BIG back suplex to the desk! Kevin goes up to FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Finn survives but Kevin doesn’t lose hope. “This is Awesome!” as Kevin watches Finn stand. But Finn denies the stunner! Kevin BOOTS Finn, but Finn GAMANGIRIS Kevin! Finn ROCKS Kevin, climbs up after him, and throws elbows! But Kevin throws body shots! Kevin HEADBUTTS Finn down, then adjusts! But Finn is back to ROCK Kevin!
Finn goes up, brings Kevin up, but Kevin fireman’s carries! SUPER ROLLING SENTON!!! Cover, TWO!!! Finn survives and no one can believe it! Kevin crawls his way back to the corner, fans rally behind him as he climbs up again. But Priest runs in! Kevin ELBOWS Priest, pushes him down, and adjusts again. SWANTON BOMB onto knees!! Finn then runs in, to SHOTGUN! Finn goes up as Kevin falls down! COUP DE GRACE!!! Cover, SAMI BREAKS IT!! Priest storms in to drag Sami up, and Priest TOSSES Sami out! The ref reprimands but Priest helps Finn clear out the cobwebs.
Finn rains down fists on Kevin, tags in Priest, and then Priest brings the straps down. Priest slashes his throat, drags Kevin up, SOUTH OF- NO, Kevin slips free, hot tag to Sami! Sami clinches to CORNER EXPLODER! Fans are thunderous as Sami aims, but here comes Dom! Dom distracts, then runs away, and Priest BOOTS Sami! Canadian Rack, RAZOR’S- NO, Sami slips free! Sami baits Priest into the corner, and POSTS him! To hit a BLUE THUNDER BOMB!!! Cover, FINN BREAKS IT!! Finn CLUBS Sami, but Kevin TACKLES Finn! Finn and Kevin scrap, they fall out of the ring, and Dom returns to HOTSHOT Sami!
Priest hits Sami with a FLATLINER!! Cover, TWO?!? Sami almost didn’t get that arm up! Dom can’t believe it, he argues with the ref, but just as promised, here comes JEY! Jey YANKS Dom down, UPPERCUTS him, and fires off more hands! Fans are thunderous as Jey keeps after Dom, but McDonagh attacks Jey! Dom & McDonagh beat Jey down! Fans boo, but HERE COMES CODY!! Cody slides through the ring to DIVE onto McDonagh! Cody & Jey go after Dom now! They run Dom off until security and producers rush out to stop this! Back in the ring, Finn drags Kevin around but Kevin hits a STUNNER!!
Priest TOSSES Kevin! Sami HELLUVA KICKS Priest!!! But McDonagh with a BELT SHOT!!! The ref was busy shouting at Cody and Dom!! Priest covers, Judgment Day wins!!
Winners: The Judgment Day, by pinfall (still Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions)
In the end, The Irish Ace was the trump card for the boys! McDonagh brings the prizes over to them to raise high over their heads, but will this get Priest to accept him? Wait, Jey & Cody return! They attack the Judgment Day! Producers and security rush in again, then Kevin and Sami jump back in! That 4v4 brawl happens after all! Kevin TOSSES McDonagh over the desk! Jey RAMS Dom into the apron! Sami hammers away on Finn! Priest tackles Jey but Cody’s after Priest! STUNNER on Dom!! Raw ends with chaos, but where will the chaos end?
A great Raw here tonight, especially the level of action in the matches. Great opener from Otis VS Reed in a true hoss fight, or as popularized by Big E, “big meaty men slapping meat.” But Reed is building himself momentum, so great win for him. Really good stuff from Ciampa VS Ludwig, and I figured Ciampa would win. Really good promo from Alpha Academy with Ludwig and then Ludwig with Imperium. Vinci looks to be close to his limit of taking crap from the others, can’t wait to see how he breaks away. Gunther VS Ciampa seems to be set for Fastlane, but I don’t see Gunther losing this soon after breaking the record.
Really good stuff with Becky firing Tegan up and then getting Tegan VS Natty in a very good match. Great win for Tegan, and great spot for her as she makes a return to TV. Now, No Mercy is going to be big given Becky VS Tiffy is under Extreme Rules, it could go either way. And either way, whether it is Becky or Tiffy, we’re going to get a great match for next week’s Raw for Tegan to showcase her skills against a top talent, but I would think the champ retains. Nia had a good return promo, and I like that it was Zoey Stark that stepped to her. Good match but Nia’s return push of course meant she was winning. But Nia has made so many enemies already, you can bet Piper, Shayna, Raquel and especially Rhea will all want after her. This would’ve been a perfect set-up for Elimination Chamber but that’s not until February.
Hilarious MizTV segment, especially with McIntyre telling Miz to shut up again and again. Also awesome match of McIntyre VS Kofi, though I should’ve figured Ivar would get involved. McIntyre is definitely on course to turn Heel, and they’re doing a great job of showing us the turn progressing week to week, not just having it be instant like is tradition. And at this point, if there’s to be a tag match, McIntyre could team with Ivar to take out New Day. Awesome promos from Rollins and Nakamura, with Nakamura feeling like a supervillain. And Last Man Standing is an awesome way to escalate things, giving Rollins an out of sorts should he end up losing. Plus, Ricochet is waiting to finish this feud with Nakamura, so that’d be a great first defense for Nakamura.
And of course, great stuff from Judgment Day and their enemies all night. Really good opening promo from Cody that then teased a very good 8 Man Tag idea, Judgment Day & McDonagh VS Cody, Jey, Sami & Kevin. But that might have to wait for Survivor Series. I do wanna say, to me personally, Priest having issue with McDonagh is starting to flip around for me. McDonagh is doing his best to be a teammate, bringing chairs for the group to have the advantage. But then, I suppose only bringing two, a chair for him and a chair for Finn, is a bit passive aggressive. Dom VS Dragon was a great match, and it was quite a surprise that Dom won it on his own.
I’m still very disappointed WWE let Mustafa Ali go before No Mercy this Saturday, because it hampers the story they were telling both on Raw and NXT. And now, what? Are they going to throw someone in at the last minute? I mean, great for that guy if it happens, but c’mon. But that aside, amazing tag title main event, where again, McDonagh is the key factor in winning. If Priest still holds a grudge, then maybe Judgment Day has good reason to kick him out for not giving McDonagh a chance when he’s doing the work.
My Score: 8.9/10
Mitchell’s NJPW Destruction Results & Report! (9/24/23)
Is Kobe ready for Destruction?
Will the Aerial Assassin survive the Gene Blast?
On a night of United Empire VS Los Ingobernables de Japon, Will Ospreay defends the now IWGP United Kingdom Championship against Yota Tsuji!
- Tiger Mask & Kevin Knight VS Clark Connors & “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Connors & Moloney win.
- Six Man Tag: Just5Guys VS The House of Torture; J5G wins.
- 10 Man Tag: El Phantasmo & The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Bullet Club War Dogs; ELP & GOD win.
- YOH & Lio Rush VS Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI; Yoh & Lio win.
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii VS Zack Sabre Jr. & Bad Dude Tito; ZSJ & Tito win.
- KOPW Championship Handcuffed Cornermen Match: Taichi VS SHO; Sho wins and becomes the new KOPW Champion.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS TMDK; Bishamon wins and retains the titles.
- Shingo Takagi VS Great-O-Khan; Khan wins.
- IWGP World Heavyweight Right to Challenge Contract match: Tetsuya Naito VS Jeff Cobb; Naito wins and retains the Right to Challenge.
- IWGP United Kingdom Championship: Will Ospreay VS Yota Tsuji; Ospreay wins and retains the title.
PLAY BY PLAY
KOPW Championship Handcuffed Cornermen Match: Taichi VS SHO!
The Holy Emperor, and pretty much everyone, knows when you face one member of the House of Torture, you face them all! That’s why he prepared something very special for this match. Just5Guys and the HOT boys will be allowed ringside, but must all be handcuffed together! Sanada, Douki & Taka Michinoku just beat Evil, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo, will they and Taichi completely topple the House? Or is this gamble going to backfire on Just5Guys?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and the refs begin to secure the faction members together with the handcuffs. Sanada is cuffed to Evil, Douki is cuffed to Yujiro and Taka is cuffed to Dick. Fans applaud seeing this, but Evil is reluctant being literally stuck with his old tag partner. The feeling is mutual but these are the rules. Evil keeps stalling, Red Shoes tells him to sit down already, and Sho is getting anxious. All the cuffs are secure, the bell rings, and the technically 1v1 battle begins!
Fans rally up and Taichi eggs Sho on. Sho stays by ropes, begs the ref to do something, but the ref tells him he can’t. Sho bails out and he runs to where Dick and Taka are seated! Sho tries to uncuff Dick but he can’t, so he goes looking under the ring. Sho goes to Douki and Yujiro, then to Evil and Sanada, but no, he can’t free any of them. Sho then goes to Abe-san for help. Abe ain’t gonna do anything after all HOT has put him through! Then Taichi attacks Sho! Taichi whips Sho hard into railing! Fans fire up as Taichi looms over Sho. Taichi puts Sho in the ring, Sho wants mercy, but too late for that.
Taichi kicks Sho around, fans rally up behind him, and Taichi kicks Sho more. Sho goes to a corner and Taichi digs his knee in! The ref, Kenta Sato, counts but Taichi drags Sho out to then KICK him in the back! Sho writhes but Taichi stalks him to ropes. Taichi drags Sho up but Sho bends fingers! The ref reprimands, Taichi kicks low, but then Sho uses the ref as a shield! Sho CLAWS Taichi’s eyes, then throws him out so Evil can attack! This is almost a Lumberjack match as Sanada has to drag Evil away and Douki has to keep Yujiro back! Fans boo but J5G get the HOT boys away from Taichi.
Taichi complains about that but the ref missed it all. Taichi gets back in and Sho is scared again. Taichi tells Sho he’s gonna get what he deserves, then runs in, only to get bare buckles! Sho switched up the Bullet Club Special by making it a neutral corner! Taichi sputters as he staggers back and Sho SPEARS him down! Sho grins and he drags Taichi around. Sho kicks Taichi out, pursues, and then wrenches the arm to whip Taichi in to railing. Sho opens the gate and he brings Taichi to the back rows, to BOWL Taichi into open chairs! Fans rally for Taichi, but Sho CHOKES Taichi with a chair! J5G and HOT keep each other back while the ref reprimands.
Sho goes back and “apologizes,” then he diverts the ref’s attention to the ring for a count. Taichi sits up as the ring count begins, and Taichi stands at 5 of 20. Taichi makes his way back to ringside at 10, slides in at 15, but Sho distracts the ref and Yujiro attacks! Douki tries to drag the Tokyo Pimp back and the ref sees this! The count continues, though!? Taichi fights Yujiro, Evil works to keep Sanada back, but Douki pries Yujiro off Taichi! Taichi slides in at 19!! Fans fire up while Sho is furious the plan failed! Sho shouts at the ref but stomps Taichi down. Sho CHOKES Taichi, the ref reprimands, and Sho lets off at 4.
Sho then CLAWS Taichi’s eyes! The ref reprimands again and Sho lets off at 4. Cover, but the ref says no! Sho asks why! Isn’t it obvious? Sho shrugs that off and talks some trash as he circles around Taichi. Sho gives Taichi some mocking kicks, but Taichi stands to CHOP! And HAYMAKER! And CHOP! But Sho claws the eyes! The ref reprimands, Sho stops and whips, but Taichi stops from hitting buckles! Sho runs in to SPEAR, but Taichi blocks it! But then Sho bends Taichi’s fingers! Sho wrenches, whips, and Taichi hits bare buckles! But Taichi comes back to AX BOMBER! Both men are down and fans fire up!
Taichi stands first, and he gives Sho some Kawada Kicks. Sho goes to a corner, and Taichi runs in to BOOT him down! Taichi brings Sho out to DANG- NO, Sho fights the saido! Sho throws elbows but Taichi wrenches to HOOK KICK! Evil argues with the ref but Taichi storms out. Evil kicks at Taichi, but Taichi and Sanada both RAM Evil into the timekeeper’s area! Sorry, Abe! Seems he suffers no matter what when Evil is around. Taichi goes back for Sho in, Sho runs in but into a DANGEROUS SAIDO! Fans fire up even more, and OFF COME THE PANTS! Taichi aims, but Sho dodges the Tensho to run. But into a SOBAT!
Fans fire up and Taichi drags Sho up. Taichi reels Sho in but Sho fights the lift. Sho bends fingers again, then wrenches to bring Taichi to his knee. Kick, KICK and SUPER- NO, Taichi blocks that kick! But Sho claws the eyes again! The ref reprimands but Sho whips, only for Taichi to reverse! Sho suffers the bare buckles! Then GAMANGIRI! Cover, but Evil distracts the ref! Sanada yanks Evil away and wrenches the arm while Taichi goes back for Sho. Taichi lets the others know to be ready with their own HOT boys, as Taichi BUZZSAWS Sho back down! Taichi roars and slashes his throat as the fans fire up again!
Taichi drags Sho up, reels him in, but then Yujiro sends his pimp cane in! The ref reprimands, Taichi is mad, but Sho shoves Taichi into the ref and the ref hits bare buckles!! Down goes Sato, and Dick uses POCKET SAND on Taichi!! Sho LOW BLOWS, then he RAMS Taichi into bare buckles! Fans boo as the House still pulls out their tricks! Sho scurries to his corner to get his “Murder Tool!” Dick CHOKES Taka while Sho takes aim at Taichi. Fans boo more but wait! The FIFTH GUY is here! Heel Master Yoshinobu Kanemaru slides in and snatches that wrench away! Fans are thunderous and Sho wants mercy!
Yoshinobu tosses the wrench, and gets his whiskey! Yoshinobu takes a big swig, and WHISKEY MISTS TAICHI?!? WHAT?!? Then he BOTTLE SMASHES Taichi!!! Yoshinobu RIPS the J5G shirt to reveal a House of Torture shirt!!! The Heel Master is living up to his name by joining the other side!!! Then he hauls up Taichi, to give him a BRAINBUSTER!! Fans boo and the rest of- Well, Just FOUR Guys, is shocked! Yoshinobu puts the ref back in, Sho drags Taichi up and in, to tuck and lift, SHOCK ARROW!!! Cover, SHO WINS!!!
Winner: Sho, by pinfall (NEW KOPW Champion)
Why, Yoshinobu, why?!? Now the azure belt belongs to the Murder Machine! And then to “celebrate,” Yoshinobu BOTTLE SMASHES Taka!! And then he CRACKS Douki with it!! He just betrayed his oldest friends in NJPW, and for what?!? Wait, he also has the key! Yoshinobu frees Dick, Yujiro and Evil while Sho holds the belt over Taichi’s prone body. Evil stomps Sanada and puts him in next to Taichi. Yujiro and Dick do the same with Taka and Douki, and they’re all cuffed to ropes now! They can only watch as Taichi gets stomped by Yoshinobu and the HOT boys! Sho talks trash on Sanada, Douki & Taka to help their friend.
Sho then gets the mic, and he mockingly asks what’s wrong. It looks like these guys will be crying tonight! You can all go back to your hotel room and figure this out together. This belt is now Sho’s, he is this year’s good luck charm! Evil then takes the mic to ask “Just Five Guys-” Well first, shut up, fans! But then Evil laughs that Just Five is now Just Four! The Heel Master is now House of Torture! And Sanada, you wanted a Lumberjack match for the world title? Well then, The House of Torture now has the numbers advantage, so let’s do it! The House of Torture has five guys and Sanada’s group will have to rebrand again. But will the Cold Skull be able to deny the King of Darkness his prize?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS TMDK!
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi went back and forth with Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls during this year’s G1 Climax, and those Mighty victories earned the “Young Punks” this match. Will Hilarious Haste & Mad Mikey bring more gold to the group? Or will the Fierce Warrior & Head Hunter prove they are the ones who don’t kneel?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who is the mightiest team in NJPW!
The teams sort out and Hashi starts against Mikey. The fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Mikey powers Hashi back step by step. Mikey puts Hashi on ropes but Hashi turns things around. The ref counts, Hashi lets off cleanly, and even Mikey applauds. But then Hashi blocks the cheap shot to CLUB the leg and clamp on a headlock. Mikey powers up but can’t power out as Hashi holds on tight. Mikey fights up, claws at an eye, then throws body shots. Mikey powers out and RAMS shoulders with Hashi! Neither falls so Mikey eggs Hashi on. Hashi runs and they RAM shoulders again!
Neither man falls so the forearms start flying back and forth! Fans fire up, Mikey gets the edge and he ROCKS Hashi! Hashi CHOPS back! Hashi runs, but Mikey ELBOWS back! Mikey runs but Hashi UPPERCUTS! Hashi runs but Mikey runs him over! Fans fire up more and Mikey tags Shane. Shane drags Hashi up, TMDK double whip, and then DOUBLE ELBOW! FIST DROP SENTON but Hashi moves! Hashi tosses Mikey, grabs Shane but Shane powers Hashi back. Goto tags in, Hashi whips Shane away and Bishamon DOUBLE SHOULDERS Shane down! Then ZANMAI, the hip toss senton! Mikey runs in but Goto kicks him, to snap suplex him onto Shane!
Fans rally up as Bishamon drags Shane up. Se-no, WAR DRUM FISTS! Shane falls and fans fire up more. Goto stomps Shane, Shane hits back, but Goto fires forearms and knees! Goto whips, Shane reverses and Mikey trips Goto so Shane can sliding boot! Then Shane BLASTS Hashi while Mikey SLAMS Goto! Mikey whips Goto hard into railing! Shane waits as Mikey drags Goto up to put him in the ring. Shane stands on Goto, tags in Mikey, and Mikey stomps Goto! Goto CHOPS back, but Mikey CHOPS! Shane tags in, TMDK double whip to DOUBLE ELBOW, and then FIST DROP SENTON COMBO! Cover, TWO!
Shane keeps on Goto with a wristlock. Shane KICKS the arm! Goto writhes and Shane shakes his leg. Shane bumps Goto off buckles, UPPERCUTS and ELBOWS and repeat! Shane brings Goto in for a HALF HATCH! Cover, TWO! Shane drags Goto over, tags in Mikey, and they wrench to put Goto on the ropes. Mikey BLASTS Hashi, Shane throws Goto down, and then Mikey drops a knee on Goto’s head! Mikey stands Goto up to CHOP again! Fans fire up while Goto is stinging, and Mikey tags Shane. TMDK coordinates, but Goto boots free! Goto throws elbows and forearms on everyone, but TMDK kick low!
TMDK runs, Goto follows to DOUBLE LARIAT! Fans fire up while all three men are down! TMDK go to opposite corner and Goto fires up! Goto clotheslines Mikey, Shane runs in but Gotos ends him into Mikey! Goto then runs to MURAMASA them both! Fans fire up as Goto then DOUBLE BULLDOGS! All three men are down again and fans rally up. Hashi is back and he reaches out! Goto crawls over, hot tag to Hashi! The Head Hunter runs Shane over! Then kicks low, to whip to a corner! Shane reverses but Hashi comes back to CHOP! Hashi mule kicks, turns Shane, but Mikey CLUBS Hashi first!
TMDK double whip Hashi, but he holds ropes! Hashi BOOTS Mikey, DUMPS Shane, then TOSSES Mikey onto Shane! Fans fire up as TMDK regroups in a daze. Hashi builds speed and FLIES out onto them both! Fans are thunderous as Hashi roars! Hashi drags Shane up and puts him in the ring. Hashi climbs up, aims and BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Shane hangs tough but Hashi calls to Goto. Goto slides in, Bishamon double whip Shane corner to corner. Goto runs in to clothesline! Hashi runs in to CHOP! Hashi feeds Shane to Goto’s fireman’s carry but Shane slips free and shoves Goto into Hashi!
Hashi falls over, Goto staggers back, and Shane hits Goto with a BIG back suplex! Goto flops out of the ring, Hashi runs in but Shane spins him, X PLEX! Shane crawls for his corner while fans rally up. Mikey is still down so Shane goes after Hashi in the open corner. Shane hoists Hashi up top, CHOPS him, then climbs up after him. Hashi fights back with forearms and Shane staggers away. Mikey is back and he’s after Hashi up top! Hashi fires more forearms and now Mikey falls back. But then Mikey gives Shane a boost, POWERBOMB SUPERPLEX COMBO!! Mikey drags Shane onto Hashi for a cover, but Goto barrels in to break it!
Fans fire up while all four men are down! Mikey gets Goto out of the ring, then he regroups with Shane. Mikey tags in, TMDK drags Hashi up. Hashi fires off forearms on them, but Shane UPPERCUTS, Mikey lifts, ATOMIC UPPERCUT! TMDK double whip, but Hashi dropkicks their legs out! Fans fire up and Goto rises! Hashi crawls over to the corner, but Mikey DECKS Goto first! TMDK HIGH LOW LARIAT on Hashi! TMDK then coordinates, and Mikey fireman’s carries Hashi. Hashi slips out, shoves Mikey at Shane but TMDK stops from colliding! Shane blocks Hashi’s kick, spins him around, BACK SUPELX NECKBREAKER! Cover, Goto breaks it again!
Fans fire up but TMDK stomp Goto. They get Goto up but Goto fires forearms now! Hashi BOOTS Goto, TMDK both run but Goto follows! TMDK dodge, fake Goto out, and Mikey hits a MIKEY BOMB!! Scoop and TANK BUSTER! Goto flops out of the ring and TMDK focuses on Hashi. They drag Hashi up, Shane climbs and Mikey scoops. But Hashi slips off to shove Mikey into Shane! Schoolboy bridge, TWO!! Hashi hurries to his feet, runs in, but Mikey BLCOKS the lariat! So Hashi spins to CHOP! And SUPERKICK! Shane returns to DROPKICK! Shane calls the shot, then Mikey fireman’s carries. HIGHWAY TO HELL!! Cover, TWO?!?
Fans are thunderous as Hashi survives! Shane and Mikey fire up and go for the classic! Mikey scoops, Shane hops up the corner, but Goto anchors Shane! Hashi fights free to hit ITADAKIKARI!! Cover, Bishamon wins!!
Winner: Bishamon, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
The Head Hunter made “Easy Pickings” out of Mikey, proving to be the MVP of this match-up! Bishamon holds onto the gold, will they always #GetBackUp as we enter the Fall?
Shingo Takagi VS Great-O-Khan w/ Callum Newman!
The unofficial best of three series between Los Ingobernables de Japon and The United Empire begins as the Rampaging Dragon once again collides with The Dominator! Takagi won last time with the KOPW title on the line, will he do it again? Or will Khan conquer Takagi for the glory of the Empire?
Khan holds out his United Empire shirt as if to offer Takagi a spot on the team. But then Khan throws the shirt onto Takagi’s head, tackles him, and rains down forearms! The ref reprimands, the match hasn’t started yet! Khan throws fists now then shoves the ref down! Khan CHOKES Takagi with the shirt! The ref reprimands, Khan tells him to shut up and he shoves the ref away. Takagi gets up and the bell rings, then Takagi runs in! But Khan picks Takagi up to DUMP him out! Khan goes out after Takagi but Takagi fires off shots! Takagi CHOPS, whips, but Khan reverses. Takagi hits railing but just gets angry!
Fans fire up as Takagi runs and RAMS shoulders with Khan! And again! And again! Khan runs Takagi over! Fans rally, but Khan grabs a chair! The ref reprimands but Khan shoves him away again! Khan then JAMS Takagi! And SMACKS him on the back! Takagi falls over while fans rally up again. Khan drags Takagi up and into the ring, calls for the ref while he kneels on Takagi’s neck, but Takagi pushes him away. Kahn drags Takagi up to SAYANAGI! Cover, TWO, but Khan clamps on the ARM ‘N’ HEAD TRIANGLE! Takagi endures as Khan leans his weight on the hold. Takagi fights around, and has the ROPEBREAK!
The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Khan lets off. Khan scuffs Takagi against ropes, eggs him on, but Takagi fires a forearm! Khan just puts his arms behind his back. Takagi CHOPS, but Khan shakes his head. Takagi CHOPS and CHOPS but Khan CHOPS! Takagi ends up in a corner, Khan ROCKS him then CLUBS him! Khan then goes up the corner to sit on his- NO, Takagi slips free! “BAKA! <IDIOT!>” DOUBLE CHOP! Takagi fireman’s carries to DEATH VALLEY DRIVER! Fans fire up while both men are down! Takagi rises first while Khan goes to a corner. Fans chant for “TA-KA-GI!” as he runs in. Takagi blocks Khan’s boot to clothesline!
Takagi runs, Khan dodges, but runs into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! Fans fire up as Takagi drags Khan up, suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Khan hangs in there but Takagi wants them to hold on. “OI! OI! OI!” Fans clap along, and then Takagi says IT IS TIME! Takagi has the fans all fired up, and he kicks Khan around. Takagi then hauls Khan up, pump handles, but Khan fights the lift! Takagi knees low, snapmares and runs, but Khan catches the sliding lariat into an armlock! Takagi fights free, JABS, JABS, and JABS! Khan Mongolian Chops! And Mongolian Chops! And then powers up, but Takagi blocks to steal the Mongolian Chops!
Takagi Mongolian CHOPS again, but Khan HELL STABS! Khan runs, but into the SAIDO! But Khan rises!? Khan BOOTS Takagi down! But Takagi rises! DOUBLE LARIATS collide! Double monster rage! Takagi SWATS Khan’s haymaker to wrench and ELBOW BREAKER! Takagi JABS and ENZIGURIS! Khan staggers, runs back in but Takagi blocks the boot to then reel Khan in for MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!! Khan survives but Takagi stays focused. Takagi fires up again and the fans are with him. Takagi drags Khan up, pump handles, but Khan fights the lift! Takagi LARIATS point blank, but Khan stays up!
Takagi LARIATS point blank again, and Khan drops to his knees! Fans fire up as Takagi pump handles and torture racks, but Khan slips free! IRON SLEEPER, into Grapple Feint O-Khan PLEX! Both men are down and fans rally up again. Khan snarls as he crawls after Takagi. Takagi goes to the corner, Khan runs in, and he BLINDSIDE CLOTHESLINES! Then he torture racks to bring Takagi around, ARGENTINE BACKBREAKER into HERCULES NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up as Takagi hangs in there but Khan stays on him. Khan drags Takagi up, reels him in, and scoops, but Takagi slips free!
Takagi waistlocks, Khan throws elbows, but Takagi BLINDSIDE LARIATS! Khan staggers, but he LARIATS Takagi down!! Fans fire up again as Khan looms over Takagi. Khan watches Takagi drag himself up with ropes, then clamps on the IRON CLAW! Takagi CLUBS the arm, then fires ridge hand chops, but he can’t break free! ELIMI- NO, Takagi slips free to ELBOW! JAB! YUKON- NO, Khan catches Takagi with the left hand, for an ELIMINATOR!! High stack, TWO!?! Takagi survives and fans are thunderous! Khan is rather stunned, but he drags Takagi back up. IRON SLEEPER! Fans rally as Takagi endures!
Khan drags Takagi up, squeezes tighter, and Takagi is fading! Then Khan shifts to right hand ELIMI- DDT!! Takagi turns things around and both men are down again! Fans fire up as we pass ten minutes, and Takagi crawls over to Khan. They junkyard dog headbutt, then start throwing forearms! Takagi fires up and fans are with him. Khan eggs Takagi on and the forearms continue! Takagi CHOPS! Khan CHOPS! Takagi forearms! Khan forearms! Khan fires forearm after forearm, but Takagi just roars! Takagi fires boxing elbows! Takagi winds up but the IRON CLAW returns! Takagi CLAWS back!
Khan grabs the waistband but Takagi breaks free! JAB! HEADBUTT! But Khan IRON STRAIGHTS!! Takagi falls and the monster rage boils up! Khan IRON CLAWS, then he drags Takagi up! ELIMI- NO, Takagi slips out to DRAGON SUPLEX! SLIDING FOREARM!! Cover, TWO?!?! Khan rises but staggers around! Fans are thunderous again as these two run. Takagi dodges to PUMPING BOMBER!! Fans are electric as Takagi hauls Khan back up. “OI! OI! OI!” echoes out and Takagi pump handles, LAST OF THE DRAGON!! Cover, TAKAGI WINS!
Winner: Shingo Takagi, by pinfall
Another epic battle, and another epic victory for the Rampaging Dragon! Will Takagi use this momentum to fly back up and fight for a title? What does Khan need to finally get up and over that hump?
IWGP World Heavyweight Right to Challenge Contract match: Tetsuya Naito VS Jeff Cobb w/ Callum Newman!
Speaking of colliding once again, this is the second time this year the Uncontrollable Charisma battles the Imperial Unit! Cobb won their G1 Climax match but Naito won the whole tournament, will Naito lose that Right to Challenge during a Tour of the Islands? Or will WrestleKingdom still look tranquilo?
Wait, what’s that canvas tote bag Naito is carrying? Wait, THAT is the “briefcase” Naito is carrying the contract in? And he’s written “Kenrisyou” on it, both in Japanese katakana and ABCs. Well, then, who will be left holding the bag, but in a good way?
Cobb is patient as Naito takes off his elaborate entrance attire. After all, he’s seen this a few times already. The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. Naito has the strong majority of the crowd but Cobb shrugs that off as he and Naito circle. They approach but then Naito backs off. They circle more, tie up, and Cobb holds firm as Naito pushes. Cobb puts Naito on the ropes, Red Shoes calls for the break, and Cobb steps just to get Naito to flinch. Cobb raises his fist to mock LIJ, but Naito SPITS at Cobb! Cobb runs in but Naito dumps hm out! Naito knocks Cobb off the apron then baseball slides him into railing!
Fans rally for Naito as he CLUBS Cobb around the way. And CLUBS him again! Naito cravats to then CHOKE Cobb on the railing, right in front of Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano on commentary. Naito puts Cobb in, Cobb rushes up but Naito catches him for a TORNADO- NO, Cobb blocks that to then suplex! Naito slips free, waistlocks, but Cobb switches and clinches, to OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Fans fire up while Naito flounders away. Cobb storms up on Naito, drags him up, and ROCKS him with a right! Naito goes to a corner, Cobb throws body shots, then throat chops! Naito kicks back but Cobb eggs him on.
Naito kicks more but Cobb blocks, to CHOP! Cobb CLUBS Naito down, then paces around him. Naito sputters but Cobb pulls hair. Red Shoes reprimands and Cobb lets off. Cobb taunts Naito, brings him up, and whips him to a corner. Cobb runs in, clotheslines, then clotheslines again and again and again! Red Shoes counts, Cobb lets off and runs to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! SWINGING DROPKICK! Combinacion Cobb-ron! Fans are torn as Cobb mocks Naito’s posing, then Cobb covers. TWO, but Cobb covers again. TWO, but Cobb keeps his cool. Cobb looms over Naito, drags him up, and hoists him up into a BEARHUG!
Naito endures the squeeze, he CLUBS Cobb but Cobb just thrashes Naito around! Naito throws more elbows, gets free, but then Cobb HEADBUTTS! And short arm LARIATS! Then GACHIMUCHI FLOPS as Naito moves! Naito dropkicks the legs out! Fans rally while both men are down! Naito stands, throws forearms and kicks, then whips. Cobb reverses but Naito FLYING FOREARMS! Cobb staggers into an atomic drop! Naito ELBOWS Cobb down, then basement dropkicks him in the back! Fans rally as Naito has Cobb in a corner. Naito whips corner to corner, runs in to JUMP KICK! Leg sweep! SWINGING feint and then the dropkick!
Fans fire up as Naito poses for his Combinacion, then he goes back to cover. ONE!! Naito almost goes flying out of the ring there! Naito drags Cobb up, has a cravat for the neck wrench, but Cobb throws body shots. But Naito throws those heavy back elbows! Then he turns Cobb, for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Naito stays focused and he stomps Cobb around. Naito drags Cobb up, hammerlocks then half nelsons, but Cobb clubs free! Cobb then hits an atomic drop, and a DROPKICK! Fans fire up while both men are down! Cobb rises while Naito goes to ropes. Cobb storms over and he drags Naito up.
Cobb waistlocks and deadlifts, but Naito fights with elbows! Cobb hops down to HEADBUTT Naito, then has him at the corner. Cobb climbs up to then deadlift SUPERPLEX!! Fans are thunderous while both men are down! Cobb crawls to the cover, TWO!! GACHIMUCHI MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Naito survives consecutive crashes and Cobb is beside himself! Fans rally as hard as they can for “NA-I-TO!” but Cobb stands first. Cobb whips Naito to ropes, but Naito holds ropes. Naito BOOTS back, runs in but Cobb gets around to shove Naito to a corner. BACK ELBOW! Cobb then hoists Naito up!
Cobb goes up the corner, but Naito slips under! Cobb holds the corner and he punches Naito away! Naito comes back to ROCK Cobb! Naito fires more forearms, then climbs up, to the very top! Naito CLUBS Cobb, but Cobb gets Naito up! Naito still SUPER STEINERS! Fans fire up as Naito BOOTS again, goes back up and reels Cobb in, ESPERANZA! Fans rally and Naito aims from the corner. Cobb stands, Naito tilt-o-whirls, but Cobb turns Destino into ATHLETIC PLEX! Naito staggers around, into a fireman’s carry! ONE ARMED F5 THOUSAND!! Fans rally up and Cobb covers, TWO?!? Naito is somehow still in this after all that spinning!
Fans rally, Cobb rises again, and he drags Naito up. Cobb reels Naito in, but Naito fights free! Naito throws those heavy elbows! Cobb wobbles, Naito comes back, but into another fireman’s carry! But Naito pops up to POISON-RANA!! Cobb gets spiked, yet he starts pushing himself up! Naito wrenches and tilt-o-whirls, but Cobb stops Destino into a TOUR- NO, Naito victory rolls through! TWO!! Naito eggs Cobb on, catches him, and TORNADO CRADLE! TWO!! Cobb escapes and runs in, into an ELBOW! And ENZIGURI! But Cobb GERMAN SUPLEXES! Naito roars and rises up!? But Cobb LARIATS him back down!!
Cobb hauls Naito up, whips and scoops, TOUR OF THE- DESTINO!! Naito tastes blood in his mouth but he just fires up! Wrench and tilt-o-whirl, DESTINOOO~!!! Cover, NAITO WINS!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall (retains the Right to Challenge)
Cobb may have conquered him in the G1 Climax, and may have been parodying him ever since, but the real deal Tetsuya Naito takes back that loss and holds onto his contract! Then is it all but a given that the Uncontrollable Charisma will main event WrestleKingdom 18? As for Cobb, where does he go from here, having fallen short?
IWGP United Kingdom Championship: Will Ospreay w/ Callum Newman VS Yota Tsuji!
Los Ingobernables is 2-0 on the night with Takagi conquering Khan and Naito denying Cobb. And now, the Gene Blast goes after the rebranded championship around the Aerial Assassin’s waist. Will LIJ be 3-0 and golden here tonight? Or will Ospreay bring about the Destruction of this Reiwa era Musketeer?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and we see who feels like smiling after it’s all said and done!
The bell rings and fans rally up as the two stare down. There seem just as many “OSPREAY! OSPREAY!” fans as there are “YOTA! YOTA!” fans. The two circle, feel things out, then back away. Fans applaud them both being wary, then the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock but Ospreay wrenches and wristlocks. Tsuji rolls, powers through to wrench Ospreay, but Ospreay spins, slips through, waistlocks, then spins Tsuji to a cravat. Fans applaud the technical exchange, but Tsuji rolls and wrenches to wrangle Ospreay down! Tsuji has a cording hold but Ospreay fights up, waistlocks, but then Tsuji switches.
Ospreay pries the hold open, switches back but Tsuji facelocks. Ospreay wrenches out, hammerlocks, but Tsuji reaches back to headlock. Tsuji grinds Ospreay, but Ospreay endures. Ospreay powers up and powers out, but Tsuji runs him over! But Ospreay kips right up! Fans cheer and Tsuji grins. Ospreay smirks, talks a little trash, then eggs Tsuji on. Tsuji runs, Ospreay drops to hurdle, but then Tsuji leaps over! Ospreay arm-drags, Tsuji headscissors, Ospreay kips free and avoids the arm-drag! Ospreay stands on Tsuji and flexes, perhaps a shot at Chris Jericho. Ospreay then brings Tsujhi up but Tsuji arm-drags him away!
Ospreay goes to a corner, Tsuji runs in and jumps up to MONKEY FLIP, but Ospreay lands on his feet! Tsuji runs in but he flips through the hip toss! Tsuji arm-drags, then ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl arm-drag Ospreay out of the ring! Fans fire up and Tsuji builds speed! Tsuji DIVES and Ospreay hits railing! Fans fire up with Tsuji, and he brings Ospreay up. Tsuji puts Ospreay in the ring then runs, to run Ospreay over! Cover, ONE! Tsuji was a bit lax there but he just smiles. Tsuji drags Ospreay up, cravats, but Ospreay pulls Tsuji’s hair. Red Shoes reprimands but then Tsuji snapmares Ospreay into body scissors!
Ospreay endures, reaches out, but Tsuji hooks an arm to keep him down. Tsuji squeezes tight and Ospreay endures, to then reach out for the ROPEBREAK! Tsuji lets go quickly enough, but Ospreay fires a forearm! And another! And another! Tsuji just CHOPS back! Ospreay sputters and fans applaud as Tsuji brings him up. Tsuji ROCKS Ospreay to a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Tsuji runs in but Ospreay dodges the splash! Ospreay runs back in but into a BOOT! Tsuji goes up but Ospreay CHOPS him down! Tsuji tumbles to apron then floor, and Ospreay aims to PLANCHA! Direct hit and down goes Tsuji!
Fans fire up as Ospreay rises and shouts “IKU ZO! <LET’S GO!>” Ospreay stalks Tsuji, drags him up, and brings him around to ROCK with a forearm. And then ROCK him again! Tsuji staggers around the way but Ospreay pursues. Ospreay wrenches and whips, but Tsuji reverses! Ospreay leaps over the railing! Ospreay then ROCKS Tsuji, jumps up and FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up and Ospreay apologizes to the front row. Ospreay drags Tsuji up, puts him in the ring, and drops a knee on Tsuji’s chin! And again! Ospreay paces around Tsuji, drags him up, and CHOPS! Ospreay paces around Tsuji again, then bumps him off buckles.
Ospreay CHOPS again and Tsuji sits down, chest stinging. Ospreay digs his boot in, scrubs and scrapes Tsuji’s face, and Red Shoes reprimands. Ospreay “apologizes” before he brings Tsuji up and scoops, for a BACKBREAKER! Ospreay pushes Tsuji down to cover, TWO! Tsuji hangs tough and fans rally up but Ospreay keeps his cool. Ospreay stalks Tsuji, drags him up, and shoves him to ropes to then CLUB him on the back! Tsuji grits his teeth, then grins through the pain! So Ospreay CLUBS him on the back again! And again! Tsuji turns around to smile right in Ospreay’s face! Fans fire up as Ospreay fires off forearms!
Tsuji grins as he fires forearms in return! Ospreay CHOPS again! Ospreay whips, Tsuji reverses but Ospreay holds ropes. Ospreay BOOTS back, runs, but Tsuji scoops to BACKBREAKER! Fans fire up while both men are down! We pass ten minutes as fans rally and the two men stir. Tsuji rises first, then fires off forearms! Tsuji whips, Ospreay reverses, but Tsuji blasts through to FLYING RANA! Ospreay bails out and Tsuji grins. Tsuji builds speed to FOSBURY FLOP! Fans are all fired up seeing a man that big do a move that agile! Tsuji is also fired up and he does a full lap around the ring.
Fans fire up as Tsuji puts Ospreay in the ring, and he brings Ospreay up. Ospreay swings, Tsuji blocks and spins him, inverted Gory Especial for the INVERTED GORY BOMB! Cover, TWO! Ospreay is still in this but he isn’t champion for no reason. Tsuji keeps on smiling, and the fans rally up again. Tsuji brings Ospreay up but Ospreay fights the suplex. Ospreay wrenches, Tsuji forearms, and Tsuji whips but Ospreay handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Fans rally as Ospreay goes to the corner and he gets an “OI! OI! OI!” going. Not quite Takagi’s “Oi” but still. Ospreay springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!
Ospreay stays focused and stretches out his sore back. He drags Tsuji up, reels him in, but Tsuji fights the lift. Ospreay fires Kawada Kicks! But Tsuji blocks the chop! And catches the lariat to BACKBREAKER, COMPLETE SHOT and STOMP! An even more lethal combination, and Tsuji suplexes. Ospreay slips out but Tsuji elbows him! Tsuji whips, Ospreay reverses but Tsuji BOOTS him away! Tsuji tries again, Ospreay blocks but Tsuji brings him down to DOUBLE STOMP! Tsuji suplexes, but Ospreay STUN-DOG MILLIONAIRES! Both men are down again and fans fire back up!
Ospreay sits up and shakes out the stars. Tsuji crawls to a corner and Ospreay wants him to rise. Ospreay then runs in corner to corner to BOOT! That was a hell of a kick, but Ospreay just goes up. We pass 15 minutes as Ospreay BLINDSIDE FLYING FOREARMS! Fans fire up as Ospreay roars “OI! OI! OI!” and prepares that elbow. Tsuji sits up, HIDDEN- NO, Tsuji ducks it! Tsuji kicks, runs, but Ospreay flips through the lariat! But Tsuji slips out of the bomb! FALCON BOMB!! Cover, TWO?!? Ospreay survives and now Tsuji gets the “OI! OI! OI!” going. Fans rally up, Tsuji aims, and Ospreay slowly rises.
Tsuji runs in to GENE- KNEE!! CHOP! But Tsuji ROLLING ELBOWS! Tsuji runs but Ospreay Tiger Wall Kicks! Tsuji ducks the enziguri, Ospreay dodges the stomp to ROCK and ROLLING- JUMP KNEE! Tsuji runs, into a SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Ospreay sits up while Tsuji flounders. Ospreay dares Tsuji to sit up, so he does. They stare down, and then Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji with a forearm! Tsuji shakes his head while fans fire up again. Tsuji ROCKS Ospreay, but he shakes his head. Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji and he almost falls over!
Tsuji sits back up, and he throws another forearm. Not enough to Ospreay! Ospreay stands Tsuji up to ROCK him! Tsuji wobbles but he grins and fires another forearm. Ospreay ROCKS Tsuji again, Tsuji hits back, and they’re picking up speed! Ospreay eggs Tsuji on while giving him shot after shot! Tsuji leans on ropes, but he just smiles again! Tsuji comes back as Ospreay eggs him on again. Tsuji and Ospreay trade shots fast and furious! Fans are all fired up as Ospreay wobbles! Tsuji ROCKS Ospreay keeps on him, and DECKS him!! Fans are thunderous as Tsuji finally clutches his jaw. But then Ospreay rises up!
Ospreay snarls and winds up, to ROCK Tsuji! And CHOP! And CHOP on the back! And HOOK KICK! Tsuji bails out to the apron, and Ospreay goes out to join him, Ospreay goes up and up and- NO, Tsuji stops the cutter! Tsuji POSTS Ospreay, SUPERKICKS him, but Ospreay fires up! Only for Tsuji to HEADBUTT! Flashbacks to that Elimination Tag! Both men wobble, Tsuji runs in, but Ospreay moves! Tsuji’s curb stomp falls to the floor, and Ospreay goes up to SUPER OSCUTTER to the floor!! We pass 20 minutes as Red Shoes checks both men. They’re both somehow okay to continue, and fans rally back up.
A ring count starts and Ospreay slowly sits up. Ospreay grits his teeth as he stands, and he slides in at 12 of 20. Tsuji stands at 14, hobbles over but flops down at 16! Tsuji still pushes himself up, and he slides in at 19! Ospreay COAST2COAST DROPKICKS!! Cover, TWO!! Fans fire up with Ospreay and he calls his shot. Springboard, but no Oscutter! Tsuji shoves and scoops to BLUE THUNDER BOMB, then KNEE THRUST! CURB STOMP to the FACE!! Both men are down again and fans are fired up behind Yota more than Ospreay! Ospreay is dazed but he makes his way to the neutral corner.
Tsuji pounds the mat and the fans rally behind him. Tsuji storms up to Ospreay, stomps him, then stomps him again! Tsuji drags Ospreay up to CHOP! Ospreay shouts in pain but Tsuji puts him up top. Tsuji shouts and fans rally again. Tsuji climbs but Ospreay fires forearms! Tsuji throws shots back, then goes up to the very top! Tsuji brings Ospreay up to join him but Ospreay starts throwing headbutts! Ospreay switches positions to SUPER SPANISH FLY!! Cover, TWO?!? But Ospreay just brings Tsuji up, SIT OUT BOMB!! Cover, TWO!!! Fans are electric, Ospreay is furious, he BUZZSAWS and HEEL KICKS! OSCUTTER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!
Fans are electric because they are shocked, and Ospreay is just fuming! Ospreay vows to end this, and he hauls Tsuji up. Underhooks, Canadian Rack, STORM- STUNNER?!?! Tsuji brings that outta nowhere! TO GENE BLAST!!! Cover, ROPEBREAK!!! Ospreay survives by a literal foot!! We pass 25 minutes, time is not on Tsuji’s side, and yet Tsuji smiles all the same! Fans are on Tsuji’s side, though, and he rises up again. Tsuji calls his shot, and goes up, up and FLYING STOMPS!!! Tsuji reels Ospreay in to underhook, Canadian Rack and STEALS STORMBREAKER!!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! Now even Tsuji’s shocked! Ospreay flips Tsuji off but Tsuji just grins.
Tsuji roars and powers up! Fans are thunderous as Tsuji aims, to GENE- HIDDEN BLADE?!?! that back elbow came outta nowhere!! Ospreay is seething, almost foaming at the mouth! “OI! OI! OI!” Ospreay aims, runs back in, and steals GENE BLAST!!! Cover, ONE?!?!? WHAT?!? Ospreay tries again, calls his shot, STORM DRIVER!!! Cover, TWO?!?!?! HOW?!?! Is Tsuji even human?!? Ospreay doesn’t care if human, robot, alien or more, but Tsuji’s roar does make him hesitate! Tsuji stands, grins, even laughs. He backs Ospreay down with that stare! Ospreay just HIDDEN BLADES anyway!! Ospreay hooks arms, to STORMBREAKER!!! Cover, OSPREAY WINS!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall (still IWGP United Kingdom Champion)
Tsuji pushed Ospreay to over 27 minutes, showing us he has resilience beyond expectations, but Ospreay still comes out the victor! Ospreay applauds Tsuji’s efforts, and even fist bumps him. Did tonight prove Tsuji proves to be a Reiwa Musketeer?
As for Ospreay, fans clap and chant along with his song, and he picks up both his belt and the mic. “Kobeee~!” Fans cheer the shoutout, and Ospreay says in Japanese, “Good evening. Did you have fun?” The fans cheer but he wants to ask again, did they have fun? The fans cheer even more! Ospreay continues by telling Tsuji, “You are amazing.” Tsuji grins and fans cheer, and Ospreay says the future of NJPW is in good hands with Tsuji, thank you very much. Ospreay then says that this is a beautiful place, he loves coming to Kobe. As a kid, he’d… Oh hey! It’s Zack Sabre Jr! These two are very familiar with each other.
The NJPW World TV Champion joins the IWGP UK Champion in the ring, gets a mic of his own, and then says, “Ospreay-chan, otsukaresama. <Lil’ Ospreay, thank you for your hard work.>” Fans cheer that, and Ospreay thanks ZSJ for the same. These two Englishmen continue with Japanese as ZSJ says that was a really great match and that Ospreay is really amazing. Ospreay asks if ZSJ really means that, and ZSJ says yes, he does. ZSJ says one thing, though. What is that belt? What is it called? The IWGP UK Heavyweight Champion. Oh okay. Then that belt… He wants it. ZSJ then asks if Ospreay knows enough Japanese to keep this going.
Ospreay says to give him a second while he thinks. ZSJ says good luck, you can do it. Ospreay takes a moment, the fans cheer him on, and Ospreay comes back with, “Eto… <Um…>” Challenge? Yes, maybe. “Okay desu.” Fans love that! ZSJ then tells Ospreay-chan that he has his next opponent. When is good for Ospreay? Ospreay apologizes that he’s running thin on his Japanese. ZSJ says that’s okay, but then let’s go to English. ZSJ says Ospreay still did good, though. But next month is Royal Quest III, October 14th. And ZSJ knows Ospreay knows that they are the two best British wrestlers in the world. Time to find who is THE best, with the UK title on the line.
Ospreay asks the fans if they like the idea of a match at Royal Quest. The fans cheer that! Ospreay considers it… And then he says okay, ZSJ is on! ZSJ thanks Ospreay and Ospreay thanks ZSJ. But do they bow or shake hands? They slowly reach out, and shake hands. Fans applaud as these two rivals have one more on the books. But neither wants to let go of the shake first. They agree, same time. Three, two, one, done. Then Ospreay yoinks ZSJ’s belt off him! Ospreay plays dumb but ZSJ lets that one slide. Until Ospreay rushes in! Then ZSJ dodges to scoop! Ospreay slips free and fans cheer the standoff!
Ospreay says a Zack Driver after all this? C’mon! He’s just trying to give you the belt back. Sure, sure, mate. ZSJ bails out and takes his leave, having to get ready for AEW WrestleDream and Bryan Danielson before Royal Quest. Ospreay chuckles and tells ZSJ he’ll see him at the Copper Box Arena. Ospreay tells Kobe that before they go, he needs to know the answer to one question: Who is the best pro-wrestler in the world? “OSPREAY!” Hmm… Who is the best pro-wrestler int he world?! “OSPREAY!!” That’s right! He is THE best pro-wrestler in the world, because he is Will Ospreay, and he is on ANOTHER LEVEL! ARIGATOGOZAIMASHITA!!
Ospreay waves the Empire’s banner while the streamers fly! The IWGP UK Champion is also going to Seattle for WrestleDream in a stacked Six Man Tag Match, but will he survive one more Don Callis Family feud to make it home to London?
An awesome night for NJPW on this large Destruction tour, even though I still skipped things. Well, I did skim, pretty good stuff but the first half was filler/build matches as this tour continues into October. Great stuff out of the KOPW Championship match with a unique take on the lumberjack match. But the last time (I watched) these two factions interact, something made me think the Heel Master was going to turn on his guys, and here we are! Yoshinobu now gives the House of Torture even more of a numbers advantage, really putting the pressure on Sanada and Just Four Guys when it comes to the rivalry. But as such, I would think Sanada retains in Ryogoku.
Great tag title match, but I figured Bishamon would retain. Goto & Hashi are a great team, NJPW knows they can depend on those two. Though nothing against TMDK, it probably just isn’t their time yet. NJPW probably wants to give Aussie Open time doing stuff in AEW/ROH before they resolve things between Aussie Open and Bishamon since Aussie Open never truly lost the titles. Then we got great stuff out of all the LIJ VS United Empire singles matches. Going in, I definitely figured it was all going to go this way. I lost it laughing at Naito’s canvas tote bag being his contract briefcase. And while Tsuji looked absolutely incredible tonight, I had no doubt Ospreay was going to retain.
WrestleDream is also a big part of his and ZSJ’s schedule, so Ospreay wasn’t going to lose momentum going into that Six Man Tag, and ZSJ wasn’t going to lose going into his true dream match with Bryan Danielson. And now, Ospreay VS ZSJ one more time around for the now IWGP UK Championship, that is going to be amazing stuff. Though with ZSJ still the inaugural NJPW World TV Champion, I don’t see the need for him to win Ospreay’s title. Perhaps they give these guys like 30+ minutes to put on a Match of the Year candidate so that no one can complain about ZSJ losing.
My Score: 9/10
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