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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (10/31/22)

Raw goes bump in the night!

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WWE Raw 2022

Things get spooky before Crown Jewel!

With Crown Jewel just days away, Raw has The Beast, The Tribal Chief, and a Trick or Street Fight between a Bro and a Tree Trunk! This could be the scariEST Raw yet!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Bianca Belair VS Nikki Cross; Bianca wins.
  • Seth Rollins VS Austin Theory; Rollins wins.
  • Damian Priest w/ The Judgement Day VS Karl Anderson w/ The OC; Anderson wins.
  • Trick or Street Fight: Matt Riddle VS Otis w/ Chad Gable; Riddle wins.
  • The Miz VS Mustafa Ali; Ali wins.
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Damage Control VS Asuka & Alexa Bliss; Asuka & Alexa win and become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

Bianca Belair VS Nikki Cross!

Dallas fires up for the RawEST Women’s Champion, and she’s ready for some payback! The Almost SuperHero stopped being a hero and she ran wild on everyone last week, will Nikki be stopped before she gets started? Or will Nikki be a speedbump ahead of Bianca’s Last Woman Standing Match?

The bell rings and Bianca is wary of Nikki. Nikki rushes in, Bianca sends her to a corner and RAMS into her! And again! And again! Nikki hammers Bianca but Bianca lifts her up! Nikki sunset flips but Bianca stays up to drag Nikki up, but Nikki gets around to shove. Bianca runs Nikki over! Bianca says, “You think you crazy?” Things speed up. Bianca handsprings and says kiss this. Fans rally but Nikki shouts at Bianca, “LET’S GO!” Things speed up, Bianca hurdles but Nikki CROSSBODIES! Nikki rains down fists and fans boo, but Bianca gets to a corner. Nikki stomps away on Bianca, lets off as the ref counts, then stands Bianca up.

Nikki RAMS into Bianca at the ropes, then stalks her as she staggers away. Nikki storms up, bumps Bianca off buckles, and again, but then Bianca blocks. Bianca elbows Nikki away and runs her over! And dropkicks her down! Fans fire up as Bianca kips up! Bianca runs in but Nikki BOOTS back! Nikki goes up and leaps, but Bianca catches her! Bianca hits a FALL AWAY SLAM! Bianca dares Nikki to bring it but Nikki bails out. Bianca pursues but Nikki trips her! Bianca gets hung up a second, and then Nikki SLAMS that leg on the apron! And again! Bianca kicks but Nikki CLUBS the bad leg, before she traps Bianca in the apron skirt!

Nikki HAMMERS away, the ref counts, but Nikki lets off just a moment before throwing more forearms! Nikki is fired up but Dallas boos as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Bianca snapmares Nikki then gets to a corner. Nikki runs in but Bianca puts her on the apron. Nikki ducks the haymaker to HOTSHOT! Then Nikki speeds things up, only to run into a BACKBREAKER! Bianca scoops and SLAMS Nikki, then scoop SLAMS her again! And again! Fans fire up as Bianca suplexes and holds Nikki up! Bianca holds then SLAMS then kips up! The bad knee bothers her but she still HANDSPRING MOONSAULTS onto knees! Nikki turns things around, gets to a corner, but Bianca storms over. Nikki YANKS Bianca into buckles! Fans rally but Nikki hops on with a SLEEPER!

Bianca staggers around with Nikki as a backpack, and they tumble out to the floor! Nikki hurries after Bianca to jump on again! SLEEPER, but Bianca fights to BACKPACK SENTON! But then here come Damage Control’s Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai! The fans boo and the ref tells them to leave since they have nothing to do with this match! But in this distraction, Bayley POSTS Bianca! Nikki CLOBBERS Bayley! Nikki gets in the ring and she DECKS Sky! Kai hurries over to that side but Nikki THRWOS Sky into barriers! Nikki CROSSBODIES Kai! Fans fire up with Nikki now and she gets back in the ring.

Nikki drags Bianca up but Bianca slips around to torture rack! KISS OF DEATH! Cover, Bianca wins!

Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall

DMG CTRL tried to do damage to the EST, but she ends up winning! Bayley gets in the ring to fire forearms on Bianca, and then Kai & Sky get in the ring with her. They all stomp Bianca, but ASUKA is back!! AND ALEXA BLISS!! They get in the ring, GERMAN SUPLEX for Kai, DDT for Sky! Bianca fires off on Bayley and then dropkicks her away! Bianca manages another kip up, and Asuka HIP ATTACKS Bayley from the apron! Alexa goes outside to CANNONBALL all of DMG CTRL down! Fans fire up as the Empress and the Five Foot Fury help the EST stand tall! But will Bianca be the Last Woman Standing at Crown Jewel?

 

Bianca regroups with Alexa and Asuka backstage.

She’s glad to have them back, and then Cathy Kelly walks over to say that both Asuka and Alexa battled back from injuries, but is Bianca finished with Nikki Cross headed into Crown Jewel? Bianca says things are settled for now, but she and Bayley are far from over. Last Woman Standing at Crown Jewel, Bayley talks about pinning Bianca. But come that match, only one of them is walking out. But just because one of them is walking out doesn’t mean Bianca’s going in there alone. Alexa says they’ve been on Bianca’s side since this started, and they’ll be there Saturday. Alexa and Asuka remember the injuries, and they’re not waiting. They’re settling this tonight!

Alexa also knows DMG CTRL is listening, so Iyo, Dakota, they want a Women’s Tag Team Championship match TONIGHT! Asuka says DMG CTRL is NOT ready for Alexa & Asuka!! Will there be new champions here in Dallas?

 

Raw holds a dual interview with Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar.

At least, that’s what’s supposed to happen. The Beast is still not in his seat. Corey Graves starts with Lashley for his thoughts on the rematch with Lesnar at Crown Jewel. Lashley says he’s not surprised by this. Lesnar’s been ducking him for 20 years now. If they fought 20 years ago, he would’ve exposed Lesnar like he did at the previous Royal Rumble when Lashley beat Lesnar. Or like two weeks ago when Lesnar came at Lashley but got Speared and put through the announce table. At Crown Jewel, it’ll be no different. Lashley will expose Lesnar for who he really is: a Bobby Lashley wannabe.

But wait! Lesnar is going to the ring!! The Beast is all smiles as he waves his cowboy hat to Dallas. Lashley is even less amused than he was a minute ago seeing this. Lesnar gets a mic as Dallas cheers him on, and Lesnar says, “Good evening, Texas! Now Brock Lesnar didn’t come to Texas to have a sit-down interview with Bobby Lashley. When Brock Lesnar visits these good folks in Texas, he wants to do what these folks of Texas would normally do, and that’s to fight! Bobby, you obviously didn’t get the memo. And even if you did, I know you can’t read it. So Bobby, get your ass out here for an ass beating!”

Lashley takes off the lapel mic, rushes off his set, and makes his own way to the stage! Fans fire up as The All Mighty throws off his jacket, and then Lesnar meets him at the ramp! Lesnar TACKLES Lashley, refs rush out as they brawl into the barriers, and now even security, management, and other superstars rush out to stop this! There is already about 30 people trying to stop this, and even TRIPLE H is shouting to keep the peace! HHH warns Lesnar but Lesnar doesn’t even listen! He gets loose and finds Lashley! They just manage to throw hands but then they get pulled apart again! HHH tells everyone else to throw these guys out. If they touch again, their match is OFF!

Fans want to “Let Them Fight!” but we know this has to wait until Saturday! Will anything be left standing when the All Mighty and the Beast Incarnate collide at Crown Jewel?

 

Seth Rollins VS Austin Theory!

Once upon a time, they were the Messiah of Raw and his disciple, but now they’re nothing more than opponents. The Visionary thinks he’s untouchable, but will the Youngest Mr. Money in the Bank prove he can do it even better than “The King of Cash-Ins?”

The bell rings and Rollins talks old times with Theory. Is Theory sure about this match-up? Theory says yes, but fans sing, “OH~ OHH~ OHHHH~!” Rollins and Theory approach, but then Rollins avoids Theory to hear the fans cheer. Rollins makes sure Theory hears Dallas loud and clear. Fans chant for “SETH! SETH! SETH!” and he ties up with Theory. Theory pulls hair, puts Rollins in the corner, but lets off at the ref’s count. Rollins avoids the chop and CHOPS Theory! Theory snarls but Rollins conducts the fans. Theory mocks it, but Rollins blocks his kick! Rollins taunts Theory, spins to sweep the leg and cover, ONE!

Rollins headlocks and laughs but Theory fights up and out. Theory hurdles, but Rollins turns his back drop into underhooks! Theory escapes the Pedigree and the ring and fans boo, but Rollins goes out after Theory. They go around, Rollins avoids the elbow drop and fans laugh at Theory. Theory is upset, he chases Rollins now, and then Theory avoids the elbow drop, except Rollins never dropped one! Rollins WRECKS Theory with a dropkick! Fans cheer as Theory staggers and flops! Rollins goes out to CHOP Theory against the barriers! And then Rollins brings Theory around to hang him out to dry! The front row cheers as Rollins goes to the desk!

Rollins hops up, leaps, FLYING KNEE! Down goes Theory and Dallas high-fives Rollins. Rollins drags Theory up, puts him in the ring, and then shoulders in. Rollins jumps but Theory trips him up! Rollins tumbles to the floor, Theory goes out after him, FLAPJACK to the desk! Fans chant “Theory Sucks!” but he RAMS Rollins into steel steps! Rollins writhe and Theory shouts, “I’m on top! ALL DAY!” as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Rollins throws body shots and a CHOP! And another CHOP! Rollins whips, Theory reverses and clotheslines in a corner! Theory then scoops to FALL AWAY SLAM! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up but Theory smirks. Theory talks trash on Rollins, “I’M the future now!” Theory throws a haymaker but Rollins snarls as he gets up. Theory throws another and now Rollins is seething! Rollins counter punches, and again! Theory throws haymakers, Rollins CHOPS! Theory CHOPS, Rollins ROCKS! Theory, Rollins, and then Rollins gets the edge! Fans fire up with the flurry, and Rollins SOBATS to KICK and run! Into an ELBOW!

Theory runs, but Rollins kitchen sink knees! Rollins fakes Theory out and clotheslines Theory out of the ring! Fans fire up and sing again, “OH~ OHH~ OHHHH~!” Rollins DIVES and takes out Theory! Rollins hurries back in, he builds speed again, and he DIVES! Another direct hit at the ramp! Fans continue to sing and Rollins is feeling it! Rollins builds speed again but he has to doge Theory! Theory elbows Rollins, fisherman’s a leg, but Rollins turns things around to FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Fans fire up while both men are down, and Rollins sits up first. “This is Awesome!” “OH~ OHH~ OHHH~!” Rollins runs in but Theory avoids the stomp!

Theory is in a corner, he puts Rollins on the corner but Rollins HEADBUTTS back! And FLYING KNEES! And SUPERKICKS! Cover, TWO!! Theory is still in this but Rollins grins. Rollins says Theory can give up, it’s okay. Theory slowly rises, Rollins kicks him, reels him in and underhooks the arms! But Theory back drops! Rollins sunset flips but Theory sits on it! TWO and Rollins sunsets! TWO, Theory pushes to stack, TWO! Rollins has the sunset again, TWO! Theory has a cradle! TWO and Rollins has a ghost pin! TWO, ROLLING ELBOW from Theory! Into AOI SHODOU! Cover, TWO!! Rollins survives and fans are thunderous!

Theory is frustrated, he stands up and he watches Rollins stand. Theory fireman’s carries but Rollins slips free. Shove, but Theory blocks the superkick! But the DRAGON WHIP comes around! But Theory comes back, SOMERSAULT BLOCKBUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Theory is furious but Dallas is loving this! Fans rally behind Rollins but Theory says it’s time to go down! Theory fireman’s carries, but Rollins fights with elbows! Theory drops to a knee, but he lifts Rollins again! Rollins throws even more elbows and Theory falls! Rollins runs, but Theory fireman’s carries! Rollins slips off to ROLLING ELBOW! Then turn, DREAM-

NO, Theory ducks the elbow to SUPERKICK! And he CLOBBERS Rollins with a forearm! Both men are down and fans fire up again! Theory snarls and gets himself to the ropes. Fans rally as he goes over to Rollins and says, “King of the Cash-In? I’M the King! You wanna see why? I’m about to show you!” Theory reels Rollins in and underhooks the arms! Fans boo, but Rollins FLAPJACKS the Pedigree, into the CURB STOMP!! Cover, Rollins wins!

Winner: Seth Rollins, by pinfall

Gold belt, gold tights, and even gold in his hair, the Visionary shines through! But will someone come for that US Championship soon enough?

 

Roman Reigns arrives!

He and Paul Heyman pull in backstage, and they alone head to gorilla. No Bloodline with him, will the Tribal Chief take care of business all by himself?

 

BREAKING NEWS for Crown Jewel!

Bray Wyatt is back and he’s making the trip! But what will happen when this new form of Bray takes Crown Jewel down the rabbit hole?

 

Roman Reigns heads to the ring!

Dallas is already raising the fingers as The Tribal Chief raises the titles for the pyro. Roman then continues to the ring, and he raises the belts again for more pyro. Fans chant, “UCEY! UCEY!” in reference to everything that happened on Friday. Roman smiles, and then Heyman hands over the mic for Roman to say, “Dallas, Texas! ACKNOWLEDGE ME!” Fans cheer and put up the ones again. And then “UCEY! UCEY!” returns. Roman says,
“Don’t worry, I got Sami and Jey out there in the world, working on becoming a little more Ucey. So by the time we’re done in Saudi Arabia, you should be seeing a new man. An Ucey Right Hand Man, Jey Uso.”

Roman says enough about that, though. Let’s be real right quick. “For over two years now, I’ve been hyping opponents. And the only thing that happens is we get to the match and they get smashed! And I don’t want y’all to think I’m dishonest. I’m not up here lying to you, no. So, I had to think about this, and… Let’s be honest: I’m the greatest of all time.” Fans cheer that, and Roman says he’s going up against a guy who has had two matches! “So there’s no way that I’m gonna sit up here and I’m gonna hype up a match with an outsider like Logan Paul.” The Tribal Chief will not do that. But the Wise Man will!

Heyman gets the mic back and he feels the pressure. “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Paul Heyman. And as the Special Counsel and the Wise Man to the Tribal Chief, the GOAT, the Greatest of All Time, the Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman… Reigns…! Well, it’s incumbent upon me to at least mention the fact that Logan Paul has these steel screws inserted into the hand that he is determined to throw that ‘one lucky punch’ with. And that Logan Paul has been training with HBK, Shawn Michaels. And yet, with all this on Logan Paul’s side, this Saturday at Crown Jewel, he’s gonna get SMASHED by the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns!

“Because if there’s one thing in this world on the Island of Relevancy that Roman Reigns cannot tolerate, is an outsider. So, this Saturday-” The Miz is showing up? The Hollywood A-Lister struts his way to the ring with a smirk on his face and both Roman and Heyman are confused. Miz has a mic to say, “First and foremost, my Tribal Chief, I acknowledge you.,” A good start. Miz says he’s not here to antagonize but to help. No one knows Logan Paul better than Miz. Miz brought Logan Paul into the EWWE, trained him, taught him everything he knows in the ring, but there is one thing he couldn’t teach. That right hand is real.

Those steel pins in his hand give Logan Paul real knockout power. If you don’t believe Miz, ask Jey! Jey got knocked out! Miz is just sorry that he couldn’t show up quicker. Being a celebrity superstar philanthropist, he has been having to deal with a deranged stalker. But Roman, maybe they can help each other. Miz knows Logan Paul’s strengths and weaknesses. So maybe Roman helps with He Who Shall Not Be Named before Miz’s match with Mustafa Ali and Miz will help Roman neutralize Logan Paul. Roman takes the mic from Heyman back, and Roman says, “You’re just trying to cut a deal? Like, I scratch your back, you scratch mine?”

That’s not so bad. Roman is up for that. But before getting to the deal, Roman wants to ask Miz a question. Absolutely, Tribal Chief! This is your ring. Heyman says it is! Roman’s starting to like Miz. But then, why does everyone keep talking about Logan Paul knocking Roman out? SUPERMAN PUNCH for Miz! “When they should be talking about me knocking Logan Paul out? And then you’re not going to have any other choice but to ACKNOWLEDGE ME!” The Tribal Chief proves his fist is just as dangerous without steel pins. Will Roman prove this is HIS WWE? Or will Logan Paul just need luck on his side?

 

Miz is backstage in the trainer’s room.

He has an icepack on his jaw, and Cathy Kelly walks in to ask him about it. Miz says not now, he’ sin a lot of pain. But she just wanted to be sure that he knew Johnny Gargano sat down with Byron Saxton for an exclusive tell-all for later tonight. Miz says he honestly hasn’t thought about it, because he’s more concerned about getting his match with Ali cancelled for tonight. Also, all Gargano has is gotcha journalism, and Cathy should know that a story should never air or be publicized until it is verified by multiple and legitimate sources. Gargano’s source doesn’t even speak!

If the WWE airs this slanderous puff piece, then Miz will have no choice but to file a defamation suit that’ll make Johnny Depp and Amber Heard wince. But Ali walks in and says that is unfortunate. Ali was really looking forward to competing tonight. Everything is bigger in Texas! Well, almost everything. Don’t you dare. What? Don’t you dare…! What? OH! No, he wasn’t gonna say Miz has tiny balls! Miz vows to beat Ali, even with a broken jaw! Ali looks forward to it. Will this prove to Miz he needs to learn to keep his mouth shut?

 

Damian Priest w/ The Judgement Day VS Karl Anderson w/ The OC!

The Punisher takes his turn tonight, and of course the rest of his “family” are ringside. But will all the Machine Gun need to win is his Good Brothers watching his back?

The bell rings, Priest rushes in but Karl dodges to ROCK and UPPERCUT! But Priest TOSSES Karl to a corner! Karl dodges to CHOP, ROCK and ROCK Priest again. Karl whips, Priest reverses and ELBOWS Karl down! The Judgement Day cheers and Priest stands Karl up to ROCK him with a right. Priest whips, Karl KICKS back, then Karl runs in to clothesline Priest out of the ring! Priest lands on his feet, he drags Karl out, but Karl POSTS Priest! Karl claps at Judgement Day and he tells Dominik to watch himself. Dom says he wouldn’t, but then creeps up! Karl DECKS Dom, but Priest BOOTS Karl down! Fans boo and Priest dares Styles to do something while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Priest has Karl with a motorcycle stretch. Karl fights up, throws hands, but Priest knees low. Karl throws more forearms, but Priest BELL CLAPS! And ROLLING ELBOWS! Karl staggers to a corner, Priest runs in to jumping back elbow! Priest then hits the BROKEN ARROW! Cover, TWO! Rhea argues the count but Priest taunts Karl that he wants more pain. Priest KICKS Karl, drags him up, and says, “This is where you’re gonna learn.” But Karl hits a JAWBREAKER! Priest staggers, runs in but gets a BOOT! Karl dodges the elbow to JUMP KICK! Priest staggers, Karl CHOPS! And ROCKS! And UPPERCUTS!

Priest choke grips but Karl slips free! Mule kick! Karl dodges the boot to run and run Priest over! Karl runs to SENTON! Fans fire up with Karl and he whips. Priest reveres but Karl ducks and hits a SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Judgement Day coaches Priest but Karl goes up the corner! Fans fire up but Rhea distracts from the apron. The ref reprimands, Karl leaps, but into Priest’s arms! COMPLETE SHOT! Priest grins and the Judgement Day fires up while fans boo. Priest roars, drags Karl up, but Karl slips through to backslide! KARL WINS!

Winner: Karl Anderson

But the Judgement Day attack! The OC get in the ring, it is a wild brawl! Finn sends Karl out but Styles and Gallows have Dom and Priest! Finn stomps Karl, Dom wants mercy from Big LG, but Rhea LOW BLOWS him! Fans boo as the Eradicator defends Dom. But then Rhea dares Karl and Styles to fight her! She doesn’t give a damn! But then Priest and Finn attack Karl and Styles! Rhea smirks as she continues to be an indefensible X-factor. She feeds Styles to Priest for the RAZOR’S EDGE! Finn goes up and he aims at Karl as Dom stretches Karl out! COUP DE GRACE!! The Judgement Day then set Styles up for Dom as he climbs up!

Fans boo but Dom gives us some Latino Heat! FROG SPLASH!! The OC is down, but will they find a way to get back up at Crown Jewel?

 

MVP speaks.

“Braun Strowman, Friday night on SmackDown, you said that there is no giant in the world big enough for the Monster of All Monsters. And I thought when you said that, that perhaps when the Nigerian Giant tossed you out of the ring, perhaps you landed on your head. I’m gonna shoot straight with you: you can flip over all the trucks and snatch off all the car doors that you want, but you will never, ever, measure up to the 7’3″, 403 lbs. Nigerian Giant, Omos. You need to get that through your Neanderthal like skull. Because once and for all, you will find out Saturday at Crown Jewel.

“Or, perhaps, you’ll find out a little sooner. Because I’m coming to SmackDown on Friday, and I’ve arranged a little surprise for you.” Maxwell Vontavius Porter chuckles, will that surprise be anything but little?

 

JBL heads to the ring!

John Bradshaw Layfield is in Dallas and Dallas is happy to see him! But will JBL be in better spirits being in Texas? We’ll find out, after the break.

Raw returns and JBL says it is so good to be home in the Lonestar State of God Bless Texas! December 29th, 1845, “the rest of the colonies were allowed by Texas to join us, and the United States was formed with Texas at the center. You are welcome, America. And since before that time, Texas has always been defined by its legends. The whole state chanting for the Tyler Rose, yelling, ‘Run, Earl, Run!’ To the boy from Alvin, Texas throwing 100 mile per hour heat, telling Ron Ventura, ‘You’re welcome to come out here to join me.'” Stalback to Aikman to HOW ‘BOUT THEM COWBOYS?! The Von Ericks to STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!

“The greatness of Texas has been immeasurable, until you Snowflakes came along and ruined it. You Gen Z’ers, Millennials, and all you people who have enabled them have turned Texas into an embarrassment. I mean, today’s your day, right? Halloween? Where you teach your young children to go door to door begging for food. That is exactly what this young, entitled, lazy, safe-space-seeking generation does NOT need. So from a Texas legend, I wanna tell you that not one of you, not a single one, should be allowed to call yourselves a Texan. You disgust me.” Fans boo JBL, but JBL says he’ll still introduce greatness to this state!

JBL says this is the man who will save this business! So get up on your snowflake feet and clap your chubby hands to welcome the MODERN DAY WRESTLING GOD, BARON! CORBIN!! Corbin makes his way out, in the craziest looking tracksuit, and he leaves fans hanging on the high-fives. Are those tigers and flowers on that outfit? Corbin has the mic to say, “Ladies and gentlemen, you are welcome. Look, I know it made every single one of your nights to be in the presence of a Modern Day Wrestling God. You sit out there and you look up at me and go, ‘Man, that guy’s got it all.’ Let me tell you, you are right, I have it all. And all of you have very, very little.”

Corbin is here to say thanks from the bottom of his heart that the fans scraped together their last few dollars to get a ticket to see Corbin in the flesh tonight. JBL applauds but fans boo. Corbin knows it wasn’t easy. They probably had to put in an extra few hours at the factory, or whatever farm they work at, but that just shows Corbin how much they truly, truly love him. Fans boo even more, but Corbin says that’s just to look cool. He knows it’s hard to admit, but they all know the truth. And the truth is- R-TRUTH! Fans fire up as Truth gallops to the ring as a cowboy! Truth joins JBL and Corbin and he pets his little pony.

JBL says, “Hey! Buffoon! What’re you doing? You look ridiculous.” Truth says he just wanted to come out here to wish Dallas a Happy Halloween! But he especially wants to come out here and tell JBL & Corbin that he really, really, really really really really… likes their costumes. JBL says they’re not in costumes, “you idiot.” Oh, those are definitely costumes. JBL is like a mean, hostile, steaming mad, angry angry angry, outta touch old man. And Corbin, well, he’s just the world’s biggest- Corbin swings on Truth! Truth dodges and throws haymakers back! Corbin shoves Truth but gets a CALF KICK for it! And a low kick! But then JBL SMACKS Truth!

JBL and Truth argue and Corbin BLINDSIDES Truth! END OF DAYS! Fans boo but JBL shouts, “Good night!” JBL and Corbin laugh at Truth, but will someone come along and humble these so-called wrestling gods?

 

Damage Control talks with Nikki Cross backstage.

Bayley is trying to tell Nikki something but Nikki seems to be in her own little world. Nikki then glares at Bayley, before storming off. Is Bayley trying to get Nikki on her side?

 

Trick or Street Fight: Matt Riddle w/ Elias VS Otis w/ Chad Gable!

Bro, the Original Bro was just trying to be a good bro to the Drifter, and the Alpha Academy had to go and harsh their buzz. But Riddle did come to Elias’ aid when he needed it, so Elias is willing to return the favor. Riddle is dressed as Ezekiel to honor Zeke, but will Riddle be able to #ZekeOut? Or will Gable’s number one guy SHOOOOSH him?

Speaking of, Gable shouts, “SHOOOOOSH! Shoosh, please! Sure, I could’ve dressed up like Socrates or any great philosopher tonight, and it would’ve made perfect sense. But then I realized no one here would’ve got the joke, because I’m in front of a bunch of Dallas dimwits! Lucky for you, Halloween’s my favorite holiday, so I’m gonna make it easy for you. I dressed up as a personal hero, a modern day Hercules, Patrick Swayze himself, as the legendary dancer, Chip! A THANK YEW~! And allow me to introduce my luxurious partner, a man who’s gonna do some dirty dancing all over Mr. Matt Riddle, DALE~!”

Otis walks out, and together, the Academy reveals they’re shirtless! They strut, flex, and swivel all the way to the ring. No one is sure what to make of this, but will the tree trunk take all the treats for himself tonight? The bell rings and Riddle runs in, but Otis scoops! Riddle slips off, baits Otis to a corner and POSTS him into a SKELETON! Riddle goes up and out and PENALTY KICKS Gable! Then he FLOATING BRO ATTACKS The Academy! Fans fire up and Elias high-fives Riddle as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Otis has Riddle in a head vice! And looking around the ring, we missed a lot of madness during the break. Riddle endures, fights up, and he throws body shots. Otis knees low, CLUBS him, but Riddle counter punches! And again! And then he fires off palm strikes and KICKS! Otis blocks one but gets a KNEE in return! Riddle runs to forearm smash! He goes side to side to forearm smash again! Riddle goes the other way, but Otis CLOBBERS him! Gable cheers as Otis thrusts those hips. Otis puts Riddle in a corner, then clears some space. Otis runs in to SPLASH! Riddle drops and Gable signals to Otis.

Fans chant “We Want Tables!” but Gable says one night only and tonight is that night! Otis fires up, he does the CATERPILLAR! And the ELBOW! Otis drags Riddle up, scoops him, and pops him up but Riddle slips free! Riddle dodges, and Otis POSTS himself into a chair!! Elias throws a candy corn kendo stick to Riddle and Riddle SMACKS away on Otis! Fans fire up with Riddle and he pounds the mat! Riddle is hearing those voices, bro! But Gable CLOBBERS Riddle from the apron! “A THANK YEW~!” But then Elias KNEES Gable off the apron, and he falls through a table! Riddle leaps at Otis, but into a WORLD’S STRONGEST SLAM!

Otis snarls and goes to the corner. Otis climbs up, shimmies and shakes, and DOZER BOMBS onto nothing! Riddle dodges in time, and then Elias puts a pumpkin on Otis’ head! RKO with the pumpkin!! Cover, Riddle wins!

Winner: Matt Riddle, by pinfall

The Academy got wrecked tonight as the Bro and the Drifter combine forces! Will things be much sweeter for them from now on?

 

Damage Control talks backstage.

Kai is flipping out a bit about why this is happening! Why are Asuka & Alexa getting a title match when all they did was scream about how Kai & Sky aren’t ready? They’re just lucky DMG CTRL doesn’t back down from a challenge! The real question is: will Asuka & Alexa be able to compete after all the damage Kai & Sky inflict upon them? Sky says, “We are going to embarrass Asuka and Alexa!” Bayley agrees, and she will embarrass Bianca this Saturday. But they can’t get riled up like this. Sky has done way too much in her career to be overlooked, and Kai has been left behind too many times for anyone to think they can walk all over her.

Bayley vows that DMG CTRL will take over this division! Saturday, Bayley beats Bianca, and tonight, Kai & Sky beat Asuka & Alexa, and they will be the last women standing by this time next week. Kai calms down, will she and the Evil Genius deny the Empress and Lil’ Miss Bliss their thrones?

 

The Miz VS Mustafa Ali!

The Most Must-See Superstar was just trying to help the Head of the Table, but he got rejected pretty hard. Will Miz recover from his supposedly broken jaw and take a win? Or will The Beacon simply use Miz’s spotlight to get the opportunities he is fighting for?

Raw returns and Ali makes his entrance. The bell rings, Ali and Miz circle, and fans taunt Miz over his “TINY BALLS!” Miz is annoyed, but he ties up with Ali. Ali headlocks but Miz powers out and complains about the bad jaw. Ali says he barely squeezed. They tie up and Miz puts Ali in a corner. Ali dodges the cheap shot, but then Miz covers up! Ali is annoyed, this is a match! Fans boo, Miz runs in but Ali dodges. Miz narrowly avoids a roundhouse and scrambles to a corner. Ali storms up but Miz yanks him into the buckles! Miz stomps a mudhole in, then mocks Ali now. Miz whips Ali corner to corner hard and Ali drops to his knees.

Ali crawls to another corner and Miz storms up. Miz fishhooks Ali’s face, whips him corner to corner, but Ali goes up and over! Things speed up, Ali ducks ‘n ‘dodges, flips through the hip toss, and then Miz covers up! Ali rolls Miz, TWO! Ali atomic drops, mocks the tiny balls, and then CHOPS! And CHOPS! Ali whips corner to corner, Miz reverses but Ali slips out to slingshot in and NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Miz writhes but Ali hurries to the corner! Ali climbs, fans rally, but Miz moves! Ali bails out of the 450 but runs into a BOOT! Ali is dazed and Miz rips his shirt to show off his muscles!

Fans boo as Miz stalks Ali and fishhooks Ali’s face. Miz then RAMS Ali into the buckles face first! The ref checks Ali while Miz snarls and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Miz shakes his head while Ali slowly sits up. Miz KICKS Ali, but Ali sits up again. Miz KICKS, Ali sits up, and Miz KICKS again! And again! And again! And again, again, again, again! Miz powers up and fans boo, but Ali ducks the Buzzsaw to BACKSTABBER! Fans rally up while both men are down, and Ali stands to CHOP! And CHOP! And CHOP! Ali whips, Miz reverses to knee low! Miz suplexes but Ali slips out to O’Conner- NO, Miz bucks that to kick the legs out! BASEMENT DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans boo while Miz seethes. Miz stalks Ali and full nelson, but Ali victory rolls! TWO!

Ali runs, tilt-o-whirls and DDTs!! Miz is down but he flounders out of the ring! Fans boo as Ali misses a chance. But Ali heads up top to SUPER CROSSBODY! Direct hit and fans fire up! Ali huffs and puffs and he brings Miz up. The ring count starts, and Miz SHOVES Ali over the desk! Miz then clears off the desk and he drags Ali up! The count is past 5 of 10 as Miz TOSSES Ali over the desk the other way! But then LUMIS grabs Miz from the crowd!! Miz scrambles free and hurries into the ring! Lumis runs away and security chases after! Miz is still shocked, but he turns around into a SUPERKICK from Ali!

Miz is down, Ali hurries up top! Fans fire up for Ali’s 450 SPLASH! Cover, Ali wins!

Winner: Mustafa Ali, by pinfall

Miz can’t blame the bad jaw, but he can blame Lumis for going after him! Will Johnny Gargano’s tell-all finally explain just what is going on here? As for Ali, he gets a great win, will he head for bigger and better soon enough?

 

WWE Investigates: The True Story of Dexter Lumis & The Miz.

Byron Saxton says that over the past few months, Lumis has stalked Miz “with a series of mental and physical attacks. But recently, someone has come forward claiming to have a bombshell regarding this explosive situation. his name is Johnny Gargano. He was a close friend of Lumis’ at NXT, and now he is a whistleblower with an inside scoop.” Byron sat down with Gargano to uncover what Gargano calls, “The truth.”

“Who is Dexter Lumis?” Gargano says that is a very layered question. Gargano’s known Lumis for years. Lumis has his quirks, like everyone, but Lumis is just a guy trying to make a living. Lumis married into Gargano’s NXT family, so Gargano had to accept him like a son-in-law. Or maybe a pet racoon. One in the same. But after the wedding, the family fell apart. How so? Lumis lost his job and fell on hard times. Gargano made a rather goofy reenactment all by himself, and notes that the firing took a toll on Lumis’ psyche. And in typical fashion, Miz took advantage. In what way? The struggling artist was given an opportunity, by a predator.

Gargano says Miz may not know this, but it’s time to get the truth out there! The whole truth! It was on the night of Gargano’s surprise return to the WWE in Toronto, 8/22/22. Just before Gargano went out there to hear the fans, he overheard Miz and Lumis talking. And since it’s 2022, Gargano recorded it on his phone. Take a listen. Miz told Lumis that he was a little snug with that sleeper, but this is working. People are buying it. Then Miz paid Lumis half of what he promised, and said he’d give Lumis the other half when this is done. Lumis was quiet, of course, but Miz said, “Don’t look at me like that. Take the money and keep your mouth shut. Oh yeah, that shouldn’t be an issue. Am I right? HAHAHA!”

So this has been some kind of arrangement? Gargano says Lumis was being paid to stage these “attacks!” But why would the Miz do this? Why? Because he thinks he’s a celebrity! And celebrities want attention, they fake stories and call the Paparazzi on themselves all the time! Miz wanted a stalker story and exploited Lumis! This is disgusting and vile! These are rather serious accusations Gargano is making. Gargano knows that, but look at the footage. The first time we saw Lumis on Raw, Miz glances and sees Lumis, but there were no physical altercations. And when Lumis dragged Miz away during that tag match, Miz practically walked out with him!

But what about the altercations during the United States Championship Cage Match, in which Lumis put Miz to sleep? Gargano knew Byron would ask that. But what better way to play the victim than to orchestrate your own downfall? Miz was never gonna beat Lashley anyway! So Miz found a painful way to keep blame off himself. Smart. But then why did Miz attack Lumis with a chair? Okay, Gargano can’t prove this one, but his theory is that somewhere along the way, Miz stopped paying. Miz lost control, and now Lumis is coming Miz after him to get what he’s owed. Byron says this is a shocking development. He thanks Gargano for his time. Is it true? Is this a scam gone sideways?

 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: Damage Control VS Asuka & Alexa Bliss!

The Role Model helped her new allies get these titles, and they helped her become the #1 contender to the Raw Women’s Championship! But can Bayley help #CobraKai & The Evil Genius keep these titles? Or will the EST be a factor in the Empresses of Bliss taking these titles for their own?

Raw returns as DMG CTRL makes their entrance. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see just who is in control of the WWE Women’s Tag Division!

The teams sort out and Sky starts with Alexa, and they fire forearms already! Alexa kicks Sky, bumps her off buckles, and then stomps a mudhole in! The ref counts, Alexa lets off, but stomps more! Sky kicks back but Alexa SLAMS Sky down! Alexa KICKS Sky in the back, then stands on her at the ropes for skateboard stomps! The ref counts, DMG CTRL protests, but Alexa lets off. Sky avoids the knee drop and then she LARIATS Alexa down! Sky hammers away on Alexa, bumps her off buckles, and she tags Kai in. Sky & Kai stomp Alexa, double whip her to ropes, and then trip her up, BOOT her, and sweep the legs to AX KICK and basement dropkick! Cover, ONE!!

Kai snarls and she CLUBS Alexa. Alexa elbows Kai, Kai CLUBS her again. Kai bumps Alexa off buckles, trips her up, and goes side to side to BOOT WASH! Cover, TWO! Bayley says they should have a replay of that boot. Sky tags in, she CLUBS Alexa but Alexa hits back. Sky stomps Alexa down, digs her boots in and hits a swinging knee drop! Bayley wants another replay but Sky covers, TWO! Sky tags Kai, they mug Alexa, and Kai digs her boots in. Alexa endures, the ref counts, and Kai lets off. Kai brings Alexa around, but Alexa wrenches and choke grips for the STO! Then INSULT2INJURY MK II! Cover, TWO!

Bayley is a little worried but Bianca encourages Alexa. Kai RAMS Alexa into a corner but Alexa elbows her away! Alexa goes up to RANA Kai and hot tag Asuka! Asuka dodges the boot, Kai ducks the roundhouse and grabs hair! Asuka breaks free to throw Kai by her hair! The ref reprimands but Asuka BACK HANDS, BACK HANDS, KICKS and BACK HANDS! Then GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fans fire up with Asuka as she glare at Sky. Asuka drags Kai up, reaches out, but Kai throws Asuka by her hair! Kai drags Asuka away and tags in Sky. Fans rally as Sky and Asuka stare down. They swing, dodge, RAM shoulders, and roar!

They start shoving, then the forearms start flying! Fans fire up as these rivals scrum! Asuka has the strike fest, but she runs into an UPPERCUT! Sky runs but Asuka dodges and LARIATS! Asuka drags Sky up, tags Alexa, and they double whip Sky to trip, ROCK, and BULLDOG! Alexa covers, TWO! Alexa keeps close on Sky and brings her up. Tag to Asuka, Asuka goes up and Alexa whips Sky into the MISSILE DROPKICK! Sky bails out, Asuka HIP ATTACKS Kai! Fans fire up and the challengers both WRECK DMG CTRL with dropkicks! Kay gets up fast to SHOTGUN Alexa! Asuka KICKS away on Sky, then ROCKS her with a haymaker!

Asuka kicks but Kai saves Sky and that foot hits POST! Sky hauls Asuka up to DRAGON SCREW the bad leg! Kai & Sky get in the ring while fans boo, but Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Asuka ROCKS Sky! But Sky keeps her from Alexa and whips her away! Asuka uses that to DECK Kai! Asuka elbows Sky then LARIATS her down! Fans fire up while Asuka and Sky crawl. Sky anchors Asuka’s foot and drags her back again! Asuka throws elbows, switches with Sky, but Sky mule kicks al eg! But Asuka waistlocks, only for Sky to victory roll! STOMP 18- NO, Asuka avoids the double stomps and rolls Sky! TWO, and Sky SHOTEIS! Sky runs in but Asuka dumps her out! Fans fire up and Asuka crawls, but Bayley puts Sky in! Sky tags Kai, Kai runs over and drags Asuka away!

Asuka kicks Kai away, avoids Kai’s kick, and rolls her up, TWO! Kai swings but into a backslide! TWO!! Kai BOOTS Asuka, checks her teeth, then snarls as she whips Asuka., Asuka reverses and Kai tumbles out! Bayley is freaking out as Asuka crawls, but Sky runs in !Asuka sends Sky back out, hot tag to Alexa! Alexa rallies on Kai with big shoulders, and a THESZ PRESS to fast hands! Kai gets free but Alexa hits another THESZ PRESS! Kai kicks but Alexa blocks to spin, ROCK, CHOP and KNEE! And then SHOTGUN! Kai goes to ropes and fans fire up! Alexa runs in to DOUBLE KNEE Kai down!

Bayley checks on Sky, Kai YANKS Alexa into buckles! Kai runs in but Alexa goes up to SUNSET BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Kai survives and not even Bianca can believe that! Alexa drags Kai up and brings her over to tag Asuka back in. Fans rally as Asuka wrenches and hooks Kai up, SHOTGUN LEG SWEEP COMBO, into a KOJI KLUTCH! Sky breaks it as she hammers Asuka! Alexa gets in but swings into underhooks! TIGER BACKBREAKER! Kai has Asuka’s legs, and hits a LEG DDT! Kai leaves Asuka in a corner, tags in Sky, and Sky runs in with the SHINKANSEN! Asuka is dazed and Sky goes to the apron.

Fans boo as Sky springboards, MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!! DMD CTRL can’t believe it, but Sky just hurries back up top. Asuka stands, Sky leaps again, but into a CODE BREAKER!! Cover, TWO!! INTO AN ARMBAR!! Sky endures, moves around, stacks Asuka, TWO! Sky is free but Asuka jumps on her! Takedown, into the chicken wing! But Bayley distracts the ref from the ASUKA LOCK! Sky is tapping, but Kai drops a leg! Bianca CLOBBERS Bayley for costing the team! Bianca CROSSBODIES Bayley over the barriers!! Alexa gets in, she has Kai, but Kai wrenches out to HEADBUTT! Kai ducks a roundhouse, Asuka ducks a roundhouse, Asuka’s ROUNDHOUSE hits!

Kai SCORPION KICKS in return! Bayley and Bianca brawl but Bianca puts Bayley up on barriers! Bayley fights free, she and Bianca climb up to the tech area! They’re brawling on the edge, but Bayley holds the braid! Bayley reels Bianca in, SUPER BAYLEY2BELLY through some tables!!! Fans are losing their minds over that! But meanwhile, Kai & Sky drag Asuka up. They double whip, but Asuka reverses to then mule kick Sky and HIP- NO, Kai dodges to BOOT! Alexa drags Kai out to RAM her into steel steps! Sky goes out to PENALTY- NO, Alexa dodges that! But Sky mule kicks her away on the return!

Sky hurries up top and aims at Asuka, OVER THE MOON- NO, Asuka moves! ROUNDHOUSE to Sky! Tag to Alexa and Alexa goes up! TWISTED BLISS!! Cover, ASUKA & ALEXA WIN!!

Winners: Asuka & Alexa Bliss, by pinfall (NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)

Dallas is thunderous as the Empresses of Bliss DETHRONE Damage Control! There’s even pyro to celebrate! DMG CTRL is without any gold now, will Bayley turn that around when she and Bianca have their biggEST showdown yet?


My Thoughts:

A great go-home Raw here, and such great advancement for just about everything. Great opening with Bianca VS Nikki, and we’re definitely getting to see the Nikki of old in her moveset. And getting a women’s tag title match out of nowhere was a great surprise, and Alexa & Asuka winning was an awesome surprise. I didn’t see that happening, but that made for a great closing moment. And after that great Bayley2Belly through tables, Bayley technically has the momentum, but I don’t know how or if this will affect the go-home math. It’d be fitting that with Kai & Sky losing the tag titles, Bayley takes the Raw Women’s title so that they have something. And then maybe Survivor Series: WarGames, they use the WarGames 3v3 to do Winners Take All.

I really like how they played the segment with Lashley and Lesnar. First, they say “face to face,” but then give us a sit-down interview with them in separate locations. But then, because Lesnar is Lesnar, he dares Lashley to meet him in person, and then that turns into a brawl with a HUGE flood of security and superstars. Also, Von Wagner was among them, so maybe he’s getting a call-up on the way to Survivor Series? Lesnar VS Lashley can still go either way, but honestly, I feel like this should be Lashley’s legit, undeniable win, because where does Lesnar even go? He lost to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, and at SummerSlam, and I don’t think HHH will default to that rivalry the way Vince always did.

Rollins VS Theory was a rather surprising match-up, but a great one. Rollins wins, of course, and there’s not title match for Crown Jewel, so maybe we’re just waiting on Survivor Series giving us either a Triple Threat for the title, Rollins VS Theory VS Ali, or Champion VS Champion, Rollins VS Gunther. And I shouldn’t have been surprised that JBL couldn’t help but be a Heel, even to his favorite state. R-Truth is apparently Beetlejuice, where if you say his name, he’ll appear. Truth would make for a great feud with Corbin, because he is always hilarious and can still go in the ring. And of course MVP calls out Braun again, but I feel like that “surprise” is just Omos.

Bray going to Crown Jewel is a surprise. But I wonder if that means the first big development in his story happens there. Maybe Uncle Howdy appears in person to confront Bray on what is the truth about this new persona. We got a great Trick or Street Fight, though I think the fun stuff all happened during break so that only Dallas got to see it. But in the end, Riddle winning makes sense, as this story is really going to be about Riddle and Elias. Elias didn’t turn on Riddle here because he doesn’t like the Alpha Academy either, but there’s going to come a point where Elias loses his cool on Riddle and they end up feuding.

Great promo from Roman and Heyman to bury Logan Paul, and nice crossover with The Miz and his story. Miz offended Roman by validating the threat that is Logan Paul’s right hand, got a right hand in return, and then lost to Ali in a really good match before having the truth exposed by Gargano. “WWE Investigates” being created out of nowhere and treated as if it’s always been here is really weird, but I do like the plot twist that up until a certain point, Lumis stalking Miz was just for show. Now the match between Miz and Lumis can be both for a WWE contract and whatever amount of money Lumis is owed. And we can still get Indi Hartwell and Maryse involved since this is about their husbands (Indi’s in kayfabe, Maryse’s in real-life).

Judgement Day and The OC had a really good match, but I was surprised that Karl had another match. I would’ve thought this would be Gallows VS Priest but I guess then Karl wouldn’t get a great win out of this. The beatdown was as expected, though. The Six Man Tag is going to be a lot of fun, but I have no idea if we see a superstar like Tamina or Dana Brooke help the OC, or if we see Edge & Beth show up to also set up a Mixed Tag with Rhea & Dom. Either would be fine, but the idea is, I wouldn’t expect Beth to show up without Edge. They’re husband and wife, they’re a package deal in this story after what happened at Extreme Rules.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Coverage

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

Scores will be settled!

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The Road to WrestleMania gets intense!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Dominik Mysterio is in the ring.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

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

 

Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall

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

 

Chelsea Green VS Raquel Rodriguez!

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

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

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

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

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez, by pinfall

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

 

Backstage interview with Sami Zayn.

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

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

 

Backstage interview with Cody Rhodes.

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

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

 

Imperium goes to the ring.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Judgment Day regroups backstage.

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

 

Tag Team Street Fight: The New Day VS Imperium!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Imperium, by pinfall

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

 

Adam Pearce is on the phone.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark, by submission

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

 

R-Truth is in the Judgment Day clubhouse?

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

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

 

Drew McIntyre is here!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Nia Jax VS Liv Morgan!

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Nia Jax, by disqualification

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

 

Backstage interview with Grayson Waller & Austin Theory.

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

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

 

WWE mourns the loss of Ole Anderson.

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

 

Adam Pearce finds Becky backstage.

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

 

Backstage interview with Jey Uso.

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

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

 

Cody Rhodes VS Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory!

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

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

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

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

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

Winner: Cody Rhodes, by pinfall

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


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

Night two!

Published

on

The New Beginning comes to an end!

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

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa VS El Phantasmo & Hikuleo!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Winners: El Phantasmo & Hikuleo, by pinfall

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

 

Hair VS Hair Match: Yota Tsuji VS Yuya Uemura!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

IWGP World Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS SANADA!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


My Thoughts:

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

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

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

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

My Score: 8.8/10


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