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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (5/22/23)

A final faceoff!

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The Beast wants a fight, but will he get it?

Night of Champions is this Saturday, and both Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar will be here on Raw! Will they keep from throwing hands tonight?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ricochet VS Bronson Reed; Reed wins.
  • Candice LeRae VS Zoey Stark; Stark wins.
  • The Alpha Academy w/ Maxxine Dupri VS The Viking Raiders; The Alpha Academy wins.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura VS Finn Balor w/ Damian Priest; Finn wins.
  • Raquel Rodriguez VS Sonya Deville w/ Chelsea Green; Raquel wins.
  • Apollo Crews VS Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley; Dom wins.
  • Six Man Tag: Imperium VS Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Matt Riddle; Kevin, Sami & Riddle win.

PLAY BY PLAY

Cody Rhodes arrives backstage.

Only to be blindsided by Brock Lesnar into a table!! Water bottles, fruit and potato chip bags go flying! Lesnar drags Cody up while shouting, “You wanna fight!?” And then he RAMS Cody into ladders! And into road cases! “YOU WANNA FIGHT!?” Lesnar drags Cody up to throw him into more road cases, and then a bunch of kegs! Lesnar asks if Coyd’s ready to fight! And he throws Cody into the garage door! Lesnar dares Cody to get up and fight, and then he grabs a keg! Refs and security shout, but Lesnar SMASHES Cody’s hand with a keg!! Cody writhes and Lesnar leaves it at this. Will Cody even make it to Night of Champions now?

 

Paul Heyman is in the ring.

Fans boo as The Wise Man introduces himself. “And for the record, I had nothing to do with that.” Fans boo, they don’t really trust that. But Heyman says what we saw is something he can testify to as a mere example of what Cody Rhodes is in store for this Saturday afternoon, 1 PM Eastern, when he “attempts” to slay the Beast, BRRROCK, LESNAR. Now he understands how much his special appearance on Raw last week was so well received. He was clearly invited back this week to “enlighten” us. On the way to the Island of Relevancy, he stopped by the “hellhole” known as Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Fans boo but Heyman continues, “Just to hype you on one simple fact: This Saturday afternoon, there’s not one, there’s not two, there are THREE main events at Night of Champions, capped off by the historic battle in which ‘KO’ Kevin Owens and his miserable rat bastard of a partner, Sami Zayn, will LOSE the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships back to the Bloodline!” Fans boo that but Heyman says the Usos will watch proudly at home as the NEW Tag Team Champions will be Solo Sikoa… And Your Tribal Chief, the Undisputed WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman…! Reigns!

Fans boo even more but Heyman says, “Ladies, gentlemen, and things that live in Pennsylvania, for the final time ever before this Saturday’s Night of Champions, welcome to Monday Night Raw!” Heyman drops the mic, but here comes Kevin! And of course, that means here comes Sami! The Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions go down to the ring and Heyman gets out. Fans sing Sami’s song and Sami says they did pretty good. By the way, where’d Heyman go? Sami’s never seen someone scurry off so fast. He must think that Sami & Kevin have a score to settle after everything last week.

But the truth is, they’re feeling pretty good. They are heading into the biggest possible title defense they could have when at Night of Champions, they face Solo Sikoa & Roman Reigns. Fans boo the Bloodline, but Sami says he’s said it already, and will say it again. This one is very personal for Sami. There’s nothing left to say, because Sami already said it all straight to Roman’s face. Kevin says he has something more to say. A couple weeks ago, Roman on SmackDown, “dedicated” the win he thinks they’ll have over Kevin & Sami to the Wild Samoans, Afa & Sika. So Kevin was inspired to do the same.

Tonight, Kevin officially dedicates their victory over Solo & Roman to… The true pillars of The Bloodline, The Usos! Sami says that’s pretty good. But that’s at Night of Champions. They have to remember, there’s business to take care of tonight! Tonight, they are in Six Man action against Imperium. But speaking of, here they come! Kevin knew that’d happen. Gunther leads Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci to the ring, and they flank Kevin & Sami on three sides. But here comes THE BRO! Matt Riddle slides in to join KO & Sami, and Imperium backs off! Kevin mockingly asks what’s wrong, it’s 3v3.

But wait! Imperium rushes back in! The brawl is on! Fans fire up as KO tosses Vinci and Sami tosses Ludwig! Gunther knocks Riddle down but Riddle comes back with a FINAL FLASH! KO & Sami double clothesline Gunther against ropes, then all three dump Gunther out! Fans fire up but Der Ring General is furious! Will Riddle be just the thing Kevin & Sami need to stop Imperium?

 

Byron Saxton waits on a medical update for Cody Rhodes.

It isn’t clear if Cody will even be able to make it to Night of Champions now, and Byron flags down Adam Pearce as he exits the medical room. Any updates? No, Cody is still being evaluated, so if you’ll excuse him. Byron asks Pearce about a rumor that Cody may have a broken arm. Pearce says he has no information at this time, thank you. Pearce leaves, but did Lesnar make sure he doesn’t have to worry about the American Nightmare?

 

Ricochet VS Bronson Reed!

The One and Only missed out on becoming #1 contender to Gunther’s title, but so did The Colossal Aussie. The chase is always on, so who will be in pole position for after Night of Champions?

Raw returns and Reed makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Ricochet throws kicks but Reed brushes them off. Ricochet slips away before he’s cornered, and then fires more kicks and hands. Reed blocks a kick to shove Ricochet down! Ricochet goes to a corner, Reed runs in but Ricochet dodges to fire off body shots. Reed shoves him again but Ricochet rebounds to dropkick the legs out! Ricochet keeps moving, but Reed scoops him! And throws him! But Ricochet lands on his feet to kick at the leg! Ricochet runs to dropkick the leg again! Ricochet tries a third time but Reed catches him!

Reed brings Ricochet up but Ricochet PELES! Fans fire up as Reed drops to a knee! Ricochet fires off on Reed with big hands and body shots. Reed shoves to BODY CHECK and ELBOW DROP! And then STEAMROLL SENTON! Ricochet sputters and crawls to the corner. Reed storms over after him and Ricochet bails out. Reed goes to the apron, to FLYING SHOULDER! Ricochet is sent into barriers and Reed says this is HIS show, as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Reed is holding Ricochet up in a suplex! How long has he been doing that? Ricochet throws knees, but Reed keeps him up! Ricochet slips out the back, goes to a corner, Reed runs in but into BOOTS! Ricochet runs, but into a SAMOAN DROP! Cover, TWO! Ricochet survives and goes back to the apron. Reed storms over, drags Ricochet up but Ricochet HOTSHOTS him! Ricochet hurries back up but Reed is on him. Ricochet HOTSHOTS again! Fans rally with Ricochet, he goes up the corner, but Reed runs in. Ricochet jumps over, keeps moving, and dropkicks the legs out!

Fans fire up, Ricochet fires off hands but Reed shoves him away. Ricochet comes back with a KNEE! Reed stays up so Ricochet SUPERKICKS! Reed is still up, and he grits his teeth! But Ricochet SUPERKICKS! And SHOOTING STARS! Cover, ONE?!? Ricochet hurries to LIONSAULT! Ricochet goes back to Reed, but Reed grabs him by the neck! Reed rises, Ricochet fights the grip. Ricochet throws kicks on the bad leg, then throws big forearms! Reed SWATS the next kick! Ricochet crawls to ropes, Reed clotheslines him up and out! Fans fire up and Reed goes back to the apron. FLYING- V-TRIGGER!!

Ricochet takes Reed out of the air and fans fire up again! Ricochet hurries to put Reed in the ring. Ricochet then GAMANGIRIS! “This is Awesome!” as Ricochet springboards, but Reed trips him up! Ricochet is in the corner, Reed SPLASHES, then POWERSLAMS! Fans boo as Reed puts Ricochet in a drop zone and climbs the corner. TSUNAMI!! Cover, Reed wins!

Winner: Bronson Reed, by pinfall

Battle tested and destructive, #Auszilla crushes Ricochet in the end! Will Reed be ready for whoever comes back from Night of Champions as Intercontinental Champion?

 

Backstage interview with Apollo Crews.

Apollo says long time no see, Cathy Kelley. But before we get going, Apollo hopes Cody is okay, that was rough. That aside, he’d be lying if he said he wasn’t excited to be back! But in walk Dominik Mysterio & Rhea Ripley. Dom has things hold on. What is Cathy doing? This is Mami’s interview time. Sorry about the confusion, but Rhea’s interview was for after Apollo Crews. Apollo who? Crews. Don’t act like you don’t know who he is. Apollo’s everything that Dom is not. Whatever, man. But Apollo’s time is over, Rhea’s a very busy woman and she has something to say. Rhea thanks “Dom-Dom,” then takes the mic.

Rhea tells Natalya, “You’ve had a very legendary career here in the WWE, but you decided to get in my way. So this Saturday afternoon at Night of Champions, I’m gonna make an example out of you. I’m gonna make you not only regret getting drafted to Raw, but I’m gonna end your legendary career.” Apollo speaks up. No disrespect, Rhea, as you are a champion, but this was his interview. Dom tells Apollo not to interrupt Mami! Well he just did. Question is, what’s Dom gonna do about it? What’s Dom gonna do about it? Rhea says Dom’s gonna remind Apollo just who runs Monday Night Raw! Right, Dom-Dom? Dom says yeah!

Apollo grins and says okay. Can’t wait to see Dom try. Apollo’s return match is set, will he remind everyone just who he is?

 

Corey Graves’ interview with Seth Rollins continues.

We left off last week with The Visionary saying now is the perfect time for a new World Heavyweight Champion, “and we can do it the way it’s supposed to be done.” Then what are Rollins’ thoughts on Roman Reigns and his Universal Championship reign? Rollins takes off the sunglasses to be serious. “I… love Roman Reigns. But I don’t like Roman Reigns. That’s brothers, right? I will always have love for that man. When everybody in the world had made us their enemies, Roman was there for me. But the person he has become… and the champion he has become… I’ve got no respect for that.”

Rollins thinks Roman let his own ego poison him. And the biggest thing is that unified title. He is taking opportunities away from everybody else, and that is the most selfish someone can be. Rollins wants to be World Heavyweight Champion so that we can all forget about Roman Reigns. Then what does Monday Night Raw look like if Rollins is champion? And how will it be different from what we’ve come to know with Roman on top? Rollins says, “It can be the Land of Opportunity, it can be the catalyst for change, it can push the industry forward.

“Because I’m gonna be around, and I want challengers. I wanna know who wants my spot, and I want them to come try and take it from me. Somebody’s gotta carry the torch when I’m gone. When Roman’s gone. Who’s that going to be? I wanna know. That’s what I want.” But that means getting through the Phenomenal AJ Styles. They’ve competed before but these are the highest stakes. Rollins says Styles is unquestionably one of the greats. Graves opened this with saying Rollins is one of the greats, but Styles might argue that, and Rollins might argue that for him. Styles is truly special.

Rollins says that he and Styles have done this dance before. April of 2006, NWA No Limits Wrestling. And in 2016, Styles remembers back to that and thinking, “Holy cow!” After that match in question, Styles himself said Rollins is “The future of our business,” and Rollins was only 19! Styles knew Rollins was going to be a superstar, and he was right. Night of Champions won’t be any different. Rollins is at the top of his game, no one can touch him, and not to jinx it but he’s feeling invincible.

Graves points out Rollins has held ever title on the main roster, he’s in another historic title match, the resumé speaks for itself. Why is Night of Champions different? Why is the World Heavyweight Championship so special to Rollins? Because “this is it.” What does Rollins mean by that? The final part of this interview is still to come later tonight.

 

Raw shares footage from Raw Talk.

The Judgment Day interrupted Shinsuke Nakamura’s interview time (seems to be their thing), and Priest said that “this fool lost” and cost Priest his shot at the world title. Nakamura asked if was Priest gonna cry about it. Y’know, like he did after losing to Bad Bunny. Priest got mad, Finn kept him back. Finn says the Judgment Day just beat the Undisputed Tag Team Champions in the main event. Dom & Rhea were waiting, tranquilo, have tequila, they can deal with “the clown” next week.

Backstage interview with The Judgment Day.

Byron finds Finn & Priest and he asks them for a moment. Priest says Byron should know Finn’s getting ready for his match. Priest gets heated again and rants in Spanish but Finn has him calm down. Finn wants Byron to first congratulate them on their big win over the tag team champions. Byron does congratulate them, and then Finn brushes that off. Tonight, Finn faces Nakamura. Nakamura cost Priest an opportunity at the World Heavyweight Championship. And not only that, he rubs salt in the wounds by disrespecting him! If you disrespect one member of the Judgment Day, you disrespect ALL of them! For that, Nakamura will pay.

Finn vows tonight, he’ll mop the floor with Nakamura, and maybe just a little bit will be left over for Priest to pick the bones. Byron thanks them for their time, will the Prince be able to bring down the King of Strong Style?

 

Candice LeRae VS Zoey Stark!

The Poison Pixie stood up for Nikki Cross, but now she’s in the crosshairs of The Hunter! Will Candice simply be prey for Stark? Or will Stark be taught a little something about respect?

Raw returns and Stark has a video message first. “They say greatness comes from humble beginnings. From working day in and day out, and giving it your all, and being the least important person inside of a room. That is, until one day, you change it. Until one day, you become undisputable.” That is Zoey Stark. She is “clear, calculated, and vicious. You’re not going to like me. I’m going to take all of your favorite superstars, all of your idols, I am going to tear them apart. I am going to expose all of their weaknesses. The time of heroes is over. The Zoey Stark Era begins.” Stark then makes her entrance, will she back up those words with actions?

The bell rings and Stark RAMS Candice to a corner! Stark RAMS into Candice again and again, stomps away, but lets off at the ref’s count. Stark drags Candice up, whips her corner to corner then UPPERCUTS! And GAMANGIRIS! Stark brings Candice around, to HALF ‘N’ HALF SUPLEX! Candice is dazed and fans fire up with Stark. Stark runs to SLIDING KNEE! Cover, TWO! Stark rains down forearms on Candice, roars, and she clamps onto Candice with a chinlock. Candice endures, moves around, and fans rally up. But wait! Nikki Cross is here! Nikki cheers on Candice and the fans rally with her.

Stark shakes her head, but Candice fights up. Candice JAWBREAKERS free, then goes to a corner. Stark runs in but Candice BOOTS her away! Then DROPKICKS her away! Nikki gets fans to cheer for “CNADICE! CANDICE!” Candice back body blocks, snapmares and step-up SENTONS! Stark goes to the apron, Candice DROPKICKS her to the floor! Candice then goes out, and SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODIES! Fans fire up with Candice and she puts Stark in. But then Nikki wants to celebrate with her? Too soon, Nikki! And Stark CLOBBERS them both! Stark puts Candice in, scoops her, Z 360! Cover, Stark wins!

Winner: Zoey Stark, by pinfall

Crazy Cross costs Candice, and Stark comes away with a big win. Will Stark continue to tear through Raw until she’s heading for a title?

 

Backstage interview with Mustafa Ali.

Byron is with The Beacon at gorilla and brings up Ali’s feelings as he prepares for the biggest match of his career. Because Saturday, Night of Champions, for the Intercontinental Championship, it’s Ali VS Gunther. Ali seems speechless. He apologizes, he can’t do this. He knows Byron and the people are expecting a quote about positivity, but listen. This is just way too real for him now. He has been dreaming about this since he was a kid. “Dreaming about doing something great, dreaming about becoming a champion.

“But if you look back at my career, I haven’t even come close to that. It’s been failure after failure after failure, and no one believes that I can defeat Gunther and become the Intercontinental-” Whoa, wait, Brock Lesnar just walked past… The Beast tells Ali to get a life, and then goes through the curtain. Ali sighs and leaves, will The Beacon stand a chance against Der Ring General?

As for Brock, he’s going to the ring! Beating up on Cody Rhodes wasn’t enough, it seems, and Brock gets a mic. Fans chant for “CODY! CODY!” but Brock says, “So, Hershey, whaddya wanna talk about?” Fans boo his copying of Cody’s opening line, but Brock says he’d boo Cody, too. “Unfortunately, Cody will not be out here tonight. Cody will not be fighting Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions this Saturday, either. But don’t you worry, Brock Lesnar will not let you down. I’m gonna issue an Open Challenge for anybody back there to fight me at Night of Champions. All you gotta do is step out here, and step up to Brock… Lesnar!”

Brock waits, and eventually, it’s CODY!! Even with an arm in a sling, Cody is storming out to the ring! Refs and Pearce tell him to stop but he isn’t listening! Fans fire up for Cody as he gets closer, and even Lesnar is thinking he shouldn’t. But Cody still goes up the steps, and steps inside the ring! Cody takes off the sling! And the wrap, and the ice pack! Lesnar takes off his cowboy hat, drops it, and he RAMS into Cody! Cody CLUBS away with the good arm, but Lesnar gets the bad arm in the KIMURA!! Pearce shouts for Lesnar to let it go, but Lesnar shouts, “You wanna fight me? C’mon, Cody, fight me! FIGHT ME!”

Cody still endures, and then the arm POPS!! Lesnar lets go and Cody writhes like he did earlier tonight. Lesnar grins and fans boo, and then Lesnar stands on the broken arm! And he STOMPS it!! Lesnar picks up his hat, takes his leave, and Pearce calls for medics. If Cody wasn’t making it to Night of Champions before, he sure isn’t making it now. Right…?

 

The Alpha Academy w/ Maxxine Dupri VS The Viking Raiders!

Chad Gable and Otis are still a duo, but Maxxine is still trying to make Gable the third wheel. Will this business partnership be able to survive the raid? Or will they suffer Ragnarök?

The teams sort out and Gable starts with Erik. They circle, feel things out, and Gable shoots to a waistlock. Erik wrenches, wristlocks, but Gable rolls, bridges, handsprings and spins through to headlock, spin and drop toehold! But Erik stays up! Even Maxxine is worried as Erik drags Gable up. Erik hammerlocks but Gable reaches back to flying-mare Erik away! Gable goes up, “A THANK YEW~” and then headscissors! Fans echo, “A THANK YEW~!” and Erik runs in, but Gable arm-drags! Gable armlocks, wrenches, and reaches out. But Erik keeps Gable away from Otis, to CLOBBER Gable!

Erik tags Ivar, the Vikings mug Gable against ropes! Sarah Logan likes what she sees and Ivar beats his chest. Ivar then stomps Gable, brings him up, and fans chant for Otis. Ivar CHOPS Gable down, drops an ax handle, and drags Gable up. Tag back to Erik and Erik runs in, to SPLASH Gable! Feed to a LARIAT! Cover, TWO! Erik looms over Gable, drags him up and DECKS him! Gable crawls to the corner, fans still want Otis, but Erik bumps Gable off buckles. Erik RAMS into Gable, tags Ivar, and Ivar runs in to RAM Gable! Cover, TWO! Ivar clamps on a cobra clutch and he thrashes Gable around!

Fans rally, Gable fights up, but Ivar knees him low! Ivar whips Gable at the corner but Gable uses that to BLAST Erik! Gable CHOPS Ivar, ELBOWS Erik, leaps, but Ivar cathces him! Gable sunset flips, then lets go to go for his corner! Ivar keeps him back again, whips him in, but Gable goes up and over! Hot tag to Otis! Otis rallies on Ivar with big clotheslines! Erik gets in, Otis dodges to WRECKER ELBOW! Otis scoops Ivar to SLAM him! Maxxine cheers as Otis SPLASHES Erik! Erik falls, and fans fire up! Gable says to do it, and Otis tears off the shirt! Otis starts up the CATERPILLAR! ELBOW!!

Maxxine cheers and Otis runs in at Ivar, but Ivar dodges the splash! Gable tags in as Otis staggers, and Gable waistlocks Ivar! Erik saves Ivar from the suplex and tags in. Erik KNEES Gable down! Maxxine gets at Logan and Ivar is distracted. Logan scares Maxxine off, but Erik drags Gable up! But Gable BOOTS Ivar down! And O’CONNER BRIDGE! ALPHA ACADEMY WINS!

Winners: The Alpha Academy, by pinfall

Maxxine celebrates with her number one guy and Gable! “A THANK YEW~!” Will this huge win lead the Academy back to the gold?

 

Byron is backstage, hoping for another medical update.

Adam Pearce is back, he says not now, and he argues with Cody in the room. Cody tells them all to go away! Cody slams the door shut, is he going to go to Night of Champions no matter what the doctors say?

 

Indus Sher speaks.

Jinder Mahal says, “Last week was the first day of the end for many superstars. Veer and Sanga are forces of nature. Thunder is crashing, lightning is clashing, the storm is here. So what happens next on Monday Night Raw?”

 

Shinsuke Nakamura VS Finn Balor w/ Damian Priest!

The King of Strong Style and the Prince of Judgment Day are no strangers to each other, so this is just a new chapter in a storied rival. Will Nakamura continue to establish himself on Raw? Or will this be his punishment for poking fun?

Raw returns and Finn makes his entrance, Priest by his side. The bell rings, Nakamura and Finn circle. They tie up, Finn gest around to a waistlock and he SLAMS Nakamura down. Finn floats to a facelock, then floats around to a chinlock. Nakamura slips out, hammerlocks, and the two stand. Finn snapmares, headlocks, but Nakamura slips out to hammerlock again. Finn stands, reaches back, drop toeholds and has Nakamura down for a chinlock. Nakamura fights up, Finn gets an arm and wrenches to a double wristlock. Nakamura endures, reaches for ropes, but Finn keeps him away.

Fans rally for Nakamura and he rolls, kips up and spins to cartwheel and wrench back! Nakamura hammerlocks, but Finn spins around to hammerlock, headlock and hit the takeover. Nakamura headscissors, Finn kips free, but roles reverse as Nakamura gets the headlock takeover. Finn tries for the headscissors but Nakamura shrugs it off. So Finn pulls hair instead! The ref reprimands, but Finn gets the headscissors, and he stomps away on Nakamura at the same time! Fans boo as Finn lets off and stomps Nakamura on the back. Finn has Nakamura in a corner, he CHOPS, and CHOPS! Priest likes it as Finn whips corner to corner.

Finn runs in but Nakamura KNEES him in the gut! Finn sputters, Nakamura gives him stomps in the corner. And then some GOOD VIBRATIONS! Fans fire up but Finn pushes Nakamura back. Nakamura ENZIGURIS in return! Nakamura puts Finn on the top rope, for the TOP SHELF KNEE! Finn falls to the apron, Nakamura runs and baseball slides him to the floor! Fans fire up and Nakamura goes out to fetch Finn. Nakamura puts Finn in, but Finn hurries to kick him back! Finn argues with the ref, but Nakamura throws forearms! Nakamura suplexes Finn but Finn fights it!

Finn throws body shots, but then staggers back. It’s all a distraction so Priest can YANK Nakamura down, and CLOBBER him! Fans boo but the Judgment Day has control as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Finn has Nakamura down with a chinlock. Fans rally and Nakamura fights up. Nakamura fires off body shots but Finn knees him down! Finn talks trash and stomps Nakamura, but Nakamura growls. Nakamura blocks a stomp, stands up and Finn wants him to hold on. Nakamura CLUBS the leg! And ROCKS Finn with a forearm! Nakamura scoops but Finn slips to a dragon sleeper! But Nakamura drops to KICK Finn away! Finn staggers to a corner, Nakamura runs in but blocks boots. He puts Finn in the ropes, ROUNDHOUSES and SLIDING GERMANS! Fans fire up and Nakamura tells Priest, “C’MON!!”

Priest runs in, Nakamura dodges and then taunts him. Priest chases after Nakamura, Nakamura slides into the ring and dodges Finn. Nakamura scoops, Finn slips out again, and Finn ducks a roundhouse! But not the WHEEL KICK! Cover, TWO! Priest is worried, Nakamura drags Finn up to suplex and GOURD BUSTER! Then KNEES to the head and shoulders! Nakamura drags Finn up, turns him around, clinches, but Finn fights the lift! Finn throws down elbows, staggers, but Nakamura reels Finn in by the purple rag in his pocket! But Finn wheelbarrows to a victory roll, TWO! SLINGBLADE!

Fans fire up while Finn takes aim from the corner. Nakamura rises, Finn runs in, SHOT- DYNAMIC DROPKICK! Fans fire up with Nakamura now and he goes to a corner. “YAO~!” Finn rises, Nakamura runs in, but into a STANDING DOUBLE STOMP!! Finn puts Nakamura in a drop zone, hurries up a corner, and COUP DE- NO, Nakamura moves! BLINDSIDE KNEE!! Both men are down and Priest is freaking out, but the fans rally up. Nakamura goes to a corner, Finn rises again, and Nakamura powers back up! Finn goes to ropes, Priest drags him out to safety!

Fans boo and the ref reprimands, but Nakamura goes to the apron. FLYING KNEE takes out Priest! And then Nakamura fires off kicks and fast hands! And some knees! Nakamura clotheslines Priest up and over barriers! But Finn SHOTGUNS Nakamura into those barriers! Finn puts Nakamura in, goes up top again, COUP DE GRACE!!! Cover, Finn wins!

Winner: Finn Balor, by pinfall

The King of Strong Style was strong, but Priest was a big part of the Prince’s victory. Will this momentum help The Judgment Day truly take over Monday nights?

 

Raquel Rodriguez VS Sonya Deville w/ Chelsea Green!

Big Mami Cool took care of the Hot Mess last week, but now she has to take on the Pride Fighter. Will Raquel be rolling into next week’s WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Fatal 4 Way? Or will the Complaint Department actually have something to be happy about?

Raw returns and Sonya makes her entrance, Chelsea by her side. The bell rings and Raquel circles with Sonya. But then Chelsea throws her sunglasses into the ring. Raquel is annoyed, and she STOMPS the glasses apart! But Sonya CHOP BLOCKS Raquel down! Sonya CLUBS away on Raquel, fans boo, but Sonya lets off to taunt Raquel. Sonya then runs to KNEE Raquel down! Cover, TWO! Sonya argues the count, but she runs in to forearm Raquel in the corner! Sonya pushes Raquel down, goes up and FLYING KNEES! Direct hit! Cover, TWO! Chelsea complains about the count but the ref says it was fair.

Sonya drags Raquel up by her hair, bumps her off buckles, and then Sonya fires off fast hands! The ref counts, Sonya lets off at 4, and Sonya soaks up the heat from the fans. Chelsea eggs the fans on even, and then Sonya goes back to Raquel. Sonya fires off more forearms, Raquel shoves her away and goes to another corner. Sonya taunts Raquel, but Raquel BOOTS her down! Raquel goes up, TWISTING VADER! Raquel hoists Sonya up, TEXANA BOMB!! Cover, Raquel wins!

Winner: Raquel Rodriguez, by pinfall

But Chelsea BOOTS Raquel in the head! Chelsea rains down fists and fans boo, but Chelsea sets Raquel up for a KNEE from Sonya! Wait, here comes SHOTZI! The Wild Child is here to ROUNDHOUSE Chelsea, dodges Sonya, and Raquel BOOTS Sonya down! The Ballsy Badasses reunite! They coordinate, Raquel goes up the ropes to hold them open, so Shotzi can DIVE! Down goes the Complaint Department! Shotzi may not be Liv Morgan, but will she get just as wild in the chase for the tag titles?

 

A ref talks with Adam Pearce.

He explains that they’ve tried talking to Cody but Cody is very angry. Cody is shutting everyone out of his locker room, but he is hurting badly. Pearce thanks the ref for this, and then Trish Stratus walks in. She says she’s been really busy, thriving and all, but she is ready for the contract signing. He thanks her, and she’s glad he “gets it.” Anyway, speaking of the contract signing, Becky is a little… Uh, feisty, fiery. Y’know how gingers can be. But then maybe they should have a No Contact policy for tonight. Keep the professional environment, the sets are expensive and all that. So maybe Pearce will consider that?

Pearce says there’s a lot going on tonight, in case Trish hasn’t noticed. Frankly, he isn’t sure there’s a need for a No Contact clause. So thank you, Trish, but it’s not happening. Pearce heads out, the contract signing is up next! Will The Man get her hands on Trish even before Night of Champions?

 

Matt Riddle speaks.

“The greatest mistake you can make in life is fearing that you’ll make one.” The Bro has faced champions, monsters, men bigger than him, and faster than him. “But what’s the point of being afraid? You learn your own strength by challenging the impossible. By laughing in the face of adversity. This is my time. If you doubt me, bro, that’s a mistake you can’t afford to make.” Riddle is standing beside Kevin & Sami once again, will they be triumphant against Imperium?

 

Becky Lynch heads to the ring!

Fans fire up as Hershey enters the Big Time! Corey Graves is in the ring already to preside over this contract signing between The Man and the Chick. Becky grabs a mic and says, “The Man has come around to Hershey!” She takes a seat and says there’s business to take care of, so Trish needs to get her ass out here to handle this. Becky already signs her part of the contract and kicks up her high heel boots onto the table. Trish makes her entrance and fans boo as she joins the others in the ring. Trish takes her seat and grabs her mic to say, “Look at you, you little keener. You jumped right into it. Great, so eager.”

Trish says it’s funny. Becky wasn’t that eager to come back to Raw after Trish kicked her head off, huh? Trish has to say, this is kind of a big moment. This is her first contract signing! It’s a big deal. She wants to enjoy this, especially since The GOAT has come around to… Wait, where are we? Hershey? Like the chocolate? Trish says Becky’s being all cool and casual, kicking back with her weird hand sunglasses on. Because contract signings aren’t a big deal to Becky, right? She’s had so many of them. And do you know why Becky’s had so many of them? Because of Trish. Because of the work Trish did.

Because Trish single-handedly changed women’s wrestling where Becky could get down doing her Irish jigs in some dump of a restaurant and come back. Contract signings were just normal a part of the women’s wrestling landscape for Becky, because of Trish. Becky doesn’t respond, and Trish says Becky claims Trish is only back because she wants to be number one again. “Honey, I am number one, I am still number one, and I will always be number one. In fact, I was number one the minute I walked into the WWE, and it didn’t take a broken nose for me to get there.” Becky smirks and sighs, but Trish continues.

“You say you’re ‘It?’ Well what happens when I beat you at Night of Champions? I guess that makes me ‘it.’ And what will happen to you? Will you crawl back into a dark, deep place and have to go through your stuff again?” Becky, Trish has you figured out. Trish sees your weak spots. Becky’s biggest problem is Becky! Becky is Becky’s worst enemy! When Becky said she wanted to find a name and a face for the “badness” in her head, it had a name all along, staring back at you in the mirror. So Trish will sign the contract, the fans don’t have to tell her what to do. But isn’t it ironic? This is Trish’s first signing, and it’ll be Becky’s last!

Trish signs her part, Graves takes the contract, and Becky takes off the sunglasses and picks the mic back up. Fans rally behind Becky and she says, “You’re scared, aren’t you, Trish? I saw that little thing with you and Adam Pearce in the back. You’re scared that I’m gonna hurt you. Don’t worry, Trish, I’m not gonna hurt you. I want you at the full of your health at Night of Champions. But you’re scared of something bigger, aren’t you? That’s what all of this is about. You’re scared that history is forgetting you. Time is passing all of us by, everyone is getting better, but you just stayed the same.

“And what’s more, and this is a problem for you, is that they remember you as being better than you are. But I, I’m even better than you think that I am. So you don’t need to worry about why I was gone, you just need to worry that I’m back.” Fans cheer that! Becky says if Trish wants her flowers, flowers, flowers, that’s all this is about! We’re all past that but okay, here it is to your face: Thank you, Trish. Thank you for being everything Becky hopes she never becomes. Because Trish is vapid, Becky is passion. Trish is trashy, Becky is soul, heart and fashion. Trish is cold, Becky is hot. Becky is it, Trish is NOT! Nice rhyme.

Becky says that Trish can stab people in the back and all, but Becky will punch you in the face every single time. And that’s why she can look at herself in the mirror, know she’s not perfect unlike how Trish thinks she is, and know that Becky can carry on regardless. And that is why, even with the badness in her head, Becky’s had a career Trish can only dream of. Trish has done things that would give Becky nightmares. “And if you think barking like a dog is embarrassing… Just wait until I whoop your ass at Night of Champions! Welcome to the big time, b*tch, WOOF WOOF!” Trish tosses the table, but Becky blocks it!

Fans fire up as Trish storms off in a huff. Becky glares at Trish and Trish tries to smile it off. But will Trish have only herself to blame for getting in this deep with The Man?

 

Adam Pearce is on the phone.

He tells the other person that they have all the same info he does. Yes, it’s bad. Cody’s arm is “mangled,” but Cody won’t reason with anyone or listen. He gets rid of medical personnel the second they try, so that’s why Pearce is calling. Pearce is at a loss for what to do. He nods and agrees with this other person, but just what is the solution to Cody’s stubbornness?

 

Backstage interview with Raquel & Shotzi.

Byron asks for a word with this new alliance. He has to know, what was Shotzi’s motivation for coming to Raquel’s rescue? Shotzi says everyone has to know how much respect she has for Raquel. And Raquel, Shotzi wants you to know that she has your back whenever you need it. Raquel says she has Shotzi’s. Seems she found her new tag partner! And next week, they walk out the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions! Shotzi’s fired up, will the Ballsy Badasses be golden badasses?

 

Apollo Crews VS Dominik Mysterio w/ Rhea Ripley!

Apollo went back to NXT in search of things he never had before. Instead, he perhaps found what he needed all along. Apollo is back thanks to the WWE Draft, will he make this run an even better one? Or will the Prodigal Son ruin things out of his own selfishness?

Raw returns and Apollo makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. Apollo and Dom tie up, Apollo wrenches and headlocks, but Dom powers out. Apollo runs Dom over, gives a little Latino Heat, then things speed up. Apollo slides under Dom, waistlocks, but Dom bucks the O’Conner. Dom runs in, Apollo hurdles and drops, then CLOBBERS Dom! Fans rally, Apollo suplexes Dom and holds him up! Fans fire up and Apollo waits until TEN to SLAM Dom! Dom goes to a corner, he BOOTS Apollo, then runs in, but into a trophy lift! Apollo carries Dom around, Rhea freaks out, and Apollo SLAMS Dom down again! Cover, TWO!

Dom wants mercy but Apollo says really? Dom gets to his feet, offers a handshake, but Apollo says no, this is a match. Dom kicks low, whips, but apollo reverses. Apollo runs in, Dom puts him on the apron. Apollo ROCKS Dom, Apollo climbs, but Dom trips Apollo up! Apollo lands hard on the mat and Dom stomps away! The ref counts, Dom lets off to give some Latino Heat of his own. Fans boo but Dom says Judgment Day runs Monday nights! Dom brings Apollo up, snap suplexes, Uno Amigo! Fans boo but Dom then shoves Apollo down to deny the rest of teh Amigos. Cover, ONE! Dom wraps on a chinlock.

Apollo endures, fans rally, Dom tells them to shut up and Rhea says to choke Apollo out. Apollo fights up, throws body shots, and Fans chant “We Want Mami!” Dom KNEES low, CLUBS Apollo, then whips. Apollo reverses but Dom ducks ‘n ‘dodges, but leaps onto a FALL AWAY SLAM! Dom flounders and Rhea worries. Dom goes to a corner, Rhea coaches him up, but apollo SPLASHES him! Apollo snapmares Dom, goes up, and FLYING BLOCKBUSTERS! Dom staggers, Apollo goes up the other corner! CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO! Dom is still in this and Rhea is relieved, but Apollo reels him in!

Dom slips out of the back suplex and he dropkicks Apollo onto ropes! Dom dials it up but Apollo ducks the 619! Apollo drags Dom out to CLOBBER him! Apollo roars and fans fire up! But then Rhea stands in Apollo’s way. Fans fire up, but Dom goes looking under the ring. Apollo jukes Rhea, but Dom YANKS him into steel steps! Dom gets back in the ring, distracts the ref, and Rhea POSTS Apollo! The Judgment Day helps each other out as always, and the ring count starts. Rhea counts along to mock Apollo, Dom relaxes in a corner, and we’re past 5 of 10! Apollo drags himself to the desk at 8, but shoots in at 9!!

Fans fire up, but Dom FROG SPLASHES all the way there!! Cover, Dom wins!

Winner: Dominik Mysterio, by pinfall

The one impressive thing about this win was that long distance splash! But Mami has to help Dommy again, will Dom ever get things down on his own?

 

Raw shares the rest of the Seth Rollins interview.

Rollins is a WWE Grand Slam Champion, but why is the World Heavyweight Championship match at Night of Champions different? Why is this so special? Rollins brings it back to where they started this interview: “It is time for change.” Because Rollins has always felt like he was never pegged to be “The Guy,” it made him work harder to take that spot. This is his first love. Since he was four years old, as long as he can remember, pro-wrestling has been everything he’s ever dreamed of. It has given him a life beyond his wildest dreams. He just wants to see it “be the best it can be.”

The World Heavyweight Championship IS that thing. This is the moment to do something special. Rollins is putting all his chips in, all in on the World Heavyweight title. he’ll give it everything he’s got. He wants to create something legendary, something that’ll live forever. He is Seth Rollins, the change we’ve been waiting for. He wants to be someone the future can look to and see as the guy to carry things forward. The Visionary, the Revolutionary, Seth FREAKIN’ Rollins is ready, but will he make his dreams come true by becoming THE World Heavyweight Champion?

 

BREAKING NEWS for next week’s Raw!

Money in the Bank is on the horizon, but qualifying matches are set to begin! Who will earn their golden tickets to the first ever MITB in London and those high stakes ladder matches?

 

Six Man Tag: Imperium VS Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Matt Riddle!

The Intercontinental Champion did not appreciate the “disrespect” shown to his soldiers, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci, but the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions told him it was the other way around. But either way, the battlelines have been drawn! Will Der Ring General make Monday Night Raw sacred? Or will the Prizefighter, Great Liberator, and Original Bro bring Imperium down this close to Night of Champions?

Raw returns and Riddle makes his entrance, followed by Kevin, and then by Sami. The teams sort out and Ludwig starts against Sami. They tie up, go around, and Sami wrenches to a wristlock. Ludwig powers Sami to a corner, the ref counts, and Ludwig throws body shots and stomps! The ref counts, Ludwig throws down fists but lets off at 4. Ludwig drags Sami up but Sami turns things around to CHOP and CHOP and ROCK and wrench! Sami brings Ludwig around, tags Riddle, and Riddle KICKS Ludwig. Riddle whips, Ludwig holds ropes and UPPERCUTS! Tag to Vinci and he BOOTS Riddle down!

Vinci bumps Riddle off buckles, CLUBS him in the chest, UPPERCUTS him, and UPPERCUTS him, and then argues with the ref. Vinci whips corner to corner, but Riddle goes up and over. Riddle KICKS Vinci down! Riddle gut wrenches Vinci up to SUPLEX! Vinci gets away to his corner, and Gunther tags in! Fans fire up as Gunther stares down with Riddle. They circle, Riddle shoots in but Gunther holds off the takedown. Gunther puts Riddle in a corner, the ref counts, and Gunther swings! Riddle avoids the chop to KICK and KICK and KICK! Gunther blocks a kick to KICK Riddle’s leg out!

Gunther hauls Riddle up to CHOP him back down! Gunther frowns and Riddle sputters while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Riddle reaches out for his corner, but Ludwig keeps him back. Riddle ROCKS Ludwig, and ROCKS him, but Ludwig still holds on! Ludwig pulls hair, whips Riddle away, and tilt-o-whirl SLAMS Riddle down! Cover, TWO! Ludwig taunts Sami, bumps Riddle off buckles, and then tags Gunther in. Gunther CLUBS Riddle down, taunts Sami and Kevin, then BOOTS Kevin! The ref keeps Sami back and Gunther goes to Riddle. FINAL FLASH KNEE from Riddle! Both men are down, fans fire up, and they crawl, but Ludwig just rushes in! Riddle TOSSES him back out!

Gunther grabs Riddle’s leg to keep him from Sami, but Riddle BOOTS him away! But then Ludwig trips Sami off the apron! Gunther BOOTS and LARIATS Riddle! Cover, TWO!! Riddle survives the double whammy, but Gunther deadlifts him! Riddle fights the German Suplex, to switch and GERMAN SUPLEX in return! Fans fire up, both men crawl, hot tags to Vinci and Kevin! Kevin fires off on Vinci with fast hands! And stomps against the ropes! The ref counts, Kevin lets off and fans fire up! Kevin whips, Vinci KICKS, but Kevin LARIATS! And SENTONS! Kevin waistlocks to GERMAN SUPLEX Vinci to a corner!

Fans fire up again, “SUCK IT!” Kevin CANNONBALLS Vinci! Cover, TWO! Vinci is still in this but Kevin drags him to a drop zone. Kevin goes up the corner and fans rally up. But Ludwig rushes in! Kevin ROCKS Ludwig, kicks him and reels him in, but Vinci DROPKICKS Kevin! Ludwig tags in, Imperium HIGH LOWS Kevin on the apron! Kevin falls, Imperium is back in control, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns once again and Kevin is up top! FROG SPLASH onto Vinci! Fans fire up but Kevin bounces off the cover! He and Vinci crawl for their corners, hot tags to Sami and Ludwig! Sami rallies on Ludwig with big lariats! Sami whips, back drops Ludwig, and then runs to BLAST Gunther! Ludwig UPPERCUTS Sami, whips, but Sami goes up and over! Sami scoops to MICHINOKU DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Sami hurries up, he aims at Ludwig, and he goes corner to corner, but Ludwig BOOTS back! Gunther sneaks a tag before Sami TOSSES Ludwig out! Gunther CHOPS Sami! Gunther talks trash, then CHOPS Sami again!

Sami grits his teeth as Gunther talks even more trash. Gunther has Sami by the throat, Sami breaks free, and then Sami dodges the clothesline to get around! BLUE THUNDER BOMB!! Cover, Vinci breaks it! Riddle gets in to kick but Vinci ducks. Vinci shoves Riddle, Riddle BOOTS him back! Riddle goes up, but Vinci trips him up! But Kevin is there, STUNNER!! Ludwig whips Kevin out of the ring, talks trash, but Sami clotheslines Ludwig out! Fans fire up, Sami runs at Gunther, but into a SLEEPER!! Gunther wraps Sami up, has a rear mount even, but Riddle is back up! FLAOTING BRO onto Gunther’s back!!

Gunther lets Sami go and flounders away. Tag back to Vinci, he runs in but Sami catches him, EXPLODER into the buckles! Fans fire up and Sami goes corner to corner again, but Gunther anchors Sami! Kevin SUPERKCIKS! Riddle FINAL FLASH KNEES! Riddle then TOSSES Gunther over the announce desk! Fans fire up, Ludwig runs at Sami but Sami TOSSES him out! Vinci runs in to clothesline! But Sami just follows through to HELLUVA KICK!! Tag to Kevin, he’s up top, SWANTON BOMB!! Cover, Team KO wins!

Winners: Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn & Matt Riddle, by pinfall

Imperium falls to the bros! Will Gunther be able to regroup and be ready for Mustafa Ali at Night of Champions? As for the Undisputed Tag Team Champions, they are rolling into their final war with The Bloodline! Sami dares Roman to try his best, but on Saturday, the tag titles stay with them! Will the Sami & Kevin #JustKeepFighting until the end?

 

Someone knocks on Cody Rhodes’ door.

He says he doesn’t need any help, but in walks TRIPLE H! HHH says he just wants to talk. They sit down, and HHH says Cody is a heck of a talent. And he understands Cody has that fire burning inside him. Cody says he knows what HHH is trying to do, Cody has respect for it. HHH knows Cody knows, but this is the position we’re in. HHH says Cody needs medical attention but Cody says he doesn’t. Cody told everyone already. HHH can tell just looking at the arm that it is broken. And HHH can see the look on Cody’s face that Cody knows it, too.

HHH says no one is questioning how tough Cody is, and HHH knows Cody is afraid that- Afraid? Afraid?! What does Cody have to be afraid of? HHH says Cody is afraid that if a doctor comes in here, looks at the arm, says it’s broken, that HHH won’t let him go to Night of Champions to face Lesnar. Oh, over this? An arm? HHH used to do the same thing Cody did. Cody’s legs are just fine, he can walk to the ring! HHH says Cody has nothing to prove! This isn’t about toughness! HHH saw Cody go to the ring at Hell in a Cell with a torn pec! Never seen anything like it! No one questions for a second Cody’s toughness.

But this is different. Think about that year Cody spent on the shelf after that match. A year of his career, a year of his life. Cody tries to say he understands, and that year was terrible. But what is far worse is what would happen if Cody was a coward! If he came back a shell of himself and didn’t go to NOC to fight! And again, of all people, HHH… what would you do? What has HHH done? HHH has fought! That’s what Cody is going to do. Cody is going to NOC to fight Brock Lesnar. Cody does his best to pack his things with one arm, and HHH sits down again. HHH pats Cody on the shoulder, and leaves. Is that HHH’s way of giving Cody permission? Or his way of wishing Cody luck?


My Thoughts:

A great Raw, even for a go-home, but thankfully not with the Go Home Syndrome recapathon. Though in all honestly, the rest of Seth Rollins’ interview promo wasn’t quite as shocking or controversial as they were making it feel. Of course he doesn’t approve of what Roman’s been up to, we heard him say that before. It’s just more of Rollins (and perhaps HHH through him) criticizing the booking of Roman Reigns (by Vince McMahon up until last year). And in the end, it still feels very clear, all but inevitable, that Rollins is going to win the World Heavyweight Championship to solidify his spot at the top.

Great bookending of the show with Cody Rhodes, too. Cody getting ambushed and brutalized by Brock Lesnar right at the start was a wild way to kick things off. I did not think it’d escalate like it did, but perhaps I should’ve expected it to go that way. HHH talking with Cody at the end was a great surprise, given how Cody was referencing HHH so much over in AEW. But their conversation, while not really well recorded, was a logical one. Cody fought with a torn pec, he’ll fight with a busted arm, but it almost feels like too much for Cody to win this time. Sure, Cody swept Seth Rollins in their feud, but Cody’s gonna start entering “Cena Wins LOL” territory at this rate.

Great bit with Mustafa Ali where he brings back his genuine self rather than more “Positive Ali,” but also wow, Lesnar just insulting him for being there. A little surprised Ali didn’t get any further involved with Imperium tonight, but Imperium ended up losing in a great Six Man Tag main event against Kevin, Sami & Riddle anyway. Riddle and Gunther feels like the next title feud after Night of Champions, as also implied by that battle royal and how Riddle taunted Imperium. Riddle got a good video package to show his more serious side, and obviously Riddle VS Gunther is going to be awesome stuff, no matter who wins. But after that Six Man Tag, I really wanna see Gunther VS Kevin and Gunther VS Sami in 1v1 matches just for the hell of it.

A little disappointed in Stark VS Candice, but only because of how short it was. Nikki shows up, and almost immediately costs Candice the match. Why does it feel like none of Candice’s matches on Raw have been even allowed to live up to her NXT stuff? Raquel VS Sonya was also pretty quick, and a little surprised Raquel won rather than be cheated by Sonya & Chelsea. But of course this was to introduce Shotzi back into the tag title scene. But the way Byron worded it, “new alliance,” they’re trying to retcon things like Shotzi & Raquel weren’t a team months ago on SmackDown and that annoys me. But even so, it still feels like Ronda & Shayna are going to win the tag titles.

Really good match from Alpha Academy VS Viking Raiders, but it feels like they’re taking a bit too long on the story of Otis/Otise. Where’s the promo where Mace & Mansoor confronting Maxxine? It’s almost like Maxxine is joining the Alpha Academy rather than getting Otis to join MMM. Good promo from Jinder for Indus Sher, and I’m hoping that one, they decide to go after the other factions here on Raw, like Imperium and Judgment Day, and two, get entrance graphics that better fit them. Really good contract signing segment from Becky and Trish, but those golden hand glasses were really odd. But with Becky standing tall in the contract signing, I wonder if Trish cheats to win and this feud extends through the Summer.

And great stuff from Judgment Day. Good promo from Apollo, Dom and Rhea, with Rhea having a good though perhaps redundant promo aimed at Natalya. Dom VS Apollo was a very good match, but of course Rhea helps Dom. I feel like while Kofi Kingston still recovers, Xavier Woods should make an alliance with Apollo so at least someone can have a fair match with Dom. Then good promo from Raw Talk and then tonight as part of Finn VS Nakamura. Great match from Finn VS Nakamura, but of course Priest is the reason Finn wins. Throw Nakamura into the mix with Apollo and Woods and that’s quite the unique trio to take on Judgment Day.

My Score: 8.5/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (5/17/24)

Sign on the dotted line!

Published

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Will things get ImPAULsive tonight?

To make Champion VS Champion at King & Queen of the Ring in Saudi Arabia official, Cody Rhodes and Logan Paul meet again to sign the contract!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Bianca Belair VS Tiffany Stratton; Bianca wins and advances.
  • King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Tama Tonga VS LA Knight; Tama wins and advances.
  • Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Jade Cargill VS Nia Jax; Nia wins, by disqualification, and advances.
  • #DIY VS Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo; DIY wins.
  • King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Randy Orton VS Carmelo Hayes; Orton wins and advances.

PLAY BY PLAY

Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Bianca Belair VS Tiffany Stratton!

Both of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions made it out of the first round, and now they’re both looking to make it into the next! Will The EST lead the way into the semifinals? Or will we all have to realize it’s #TiffyTime?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. The fans rally and duel as the two tie up. Bianca powers Tiff to a corner, lets off as the ref counts, and she flexes. The fans fire up, the two tie up, and Bianca puts Tiff back in a corner. The ref counts, Bianca lets off at 4 but Tiff shoves her. Bianca shoves back, Tiff shoves again, and repeat. Then Tiff SLAPS Bianca! Tiff flexes and eggs Bianca on. Tiff dodges the lariat to YANK the braid! Tiff mockingly apologizes, but Bianca kips up and SLAPS Tiff back! Then waistlocks to SLAM! Bianca drags Tiff up, to SLAM her again! The fans fire up, Bianca eggs Tiff on, then Oklahoma Rolls! TWO, and Tiff gets up to kick low!

Tiff runs, but Bianca follows to run Tiff over! Bianca dusts herself off, the fans rally up, but Tiff gets under the handspring! Bianca says kiss this, then sidesteps, hurdles, but Tiff KICKS the rollback! Tiff drags Bianca up, bumps her off buckles, then pulls the hair to bring Bianca around for more buckle bumps. Tiff has Bianca by the braid again to put her in a corner for stomps. The ref counts, Tiff lets off and argues with him. The fans rally up for “E S T! E S T!” but Tiff whips. Bianca reverses but Tiff holds ropes! Bianca runs up but into a BOOT! Tiff runs up but into a scoop and GUT BUSTER! Tiff sputters, flounders, and Bianca handsprings to MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!

Tiff toughs it out and the fans are torn. Bianca shakes the leg out, the damage done by Poison Pixie Candice LeRae still a factor. Bianca runs in to RAM Tiff into a corner! Bianca then climbs up and the fans fire up as she rains down fists! Bianca only gets 5 as Tiff grabs the braid! The fans boo but Bianca YANKS Tiff into buckles! Tiff tumbles out, Bianca storms to the apron, but Tiff grabs the braid again! Tiff YANKS Bianca down, and Bianca’s leg is stuck in ropes! Bianca gets free but she clutches the knee. Tiff gets Bianca out of the ring, to RAM her into steel steps! Bianca falls in a heap, clutching that knee, and Tiff soaks up the heat while SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns, Tiff has Bianca’s bad leg hooked up, and Tiff bridges back for a modified deathlock! Bianca endures, reaches out, and the fans rally! Bianca crawls forward, Tiff doing her best to spider walk with her, but Bianca gets the ROPEBREAK! Tiff lets go, drags Bianca back, but Bianca kicks at her! Tiff ducks a kick, then lifts the leg, but Bianca BOOTS her while upside-down to stop the smash! Tiff tumbles right out of the ring and the fans rally up. Bianca rises, spots Tiff, but Tiff trips her up first! Tiff goes for the corner, she did this during the break! But Bianca YANKS Tiff into the post first!

The fans fire up as Tiff staggers away. Bianca crawls to center, the ring count is 3 of 10, but Tiff rolls in at 4. Tiff runs up, Bianca dodges and she runs Tiff over! Bianca scoops and SLAMS Tiff! Then scoops again, for a FALL AWAY SLAM! The strongEST, roughEST, toughEST for sure, and Bianca brings Tiff in for a suplex! Tiff slips free, waistlocks, but Bianca elbows free. Tiff goes to a corner, Bianca runs up to fire a forearm! Tiff kicks, Bianca fires more shots. Bianca whips and SPINEBUSTERS! Cover, TWO! Tiff is still in this, reminding us why she’s a former NXT Women’s Champion. But the fans rally for Bianca as she gets Tiff up.

Tiff JAWBREAKERS free! Tiff runs, Bianca avoids those stomps! Sunset flip, TWO! Tiff swings, into chicken wings! But Tiff somersault clutches through! TWO and Bianca has it! TWO, Tiff kicks but Bianca blocks! Bianca ROCKS Tiff, torture racks, but Tiff flips free of the Kiss of Death! Tiff YANKS Bianca into ropes, runs and HIP ATTACKS! Tiff keeps moving, TIFFY STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!!! Bianca survives and Tiff is beside herself! The fans fire up while Tiff scowls. Tiff drags Bianca up to CLUB away. Tiff puts Bianca in a corner, runs corner to corner and handsprings, but Bianca catches her! GERMAN SUPLEX!! Bianca crawls to cover, TWO!!

Tiff survives and shocks Bianca! The fans duel between Bianca and Tiff, but then they agree “This is Awesome!” Bianca hobbles after Tiff, drags her from the apron, but Tiff holds the skirt! The ref counts, Tiff lets go, but then she CLAWS Bianca’s eyes! The fans boo but Tiff reels Bianca in to CHOP BLOCK! And then SLIDING LARIAT! Cover, TWO!! Bianca survives and Tiff is furious! The fans fire up as Tiff goes up and up, but Bianca trips her up! Bianca gets Tiff in the torture rack, for the KISS OF DEATH!! Cover, Bianca wins!

Winner: Bianca Belair, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Tiffy may not have gotten her moonsault, but that was certainly the prettiEST KOD ever! Cathy Kelley joins Bianca in the ring to congratulate her. But does she foresee her knee being a liability in the next round? Bianca says she won’t lie, she is concerned about it. But she didn’t become The EST by making excuses. She shows up and shows out every time as the strongEST, the fastEST, the quickEST, the roughEST, the toughEST, The BEST. The fans cheer her on in that! And next week, Bianca says injury or not, nothing is stopping her from becoming Queen of the Ring. But as strong and as tough as she is, will Bianca have to fight on one leg to make it to Saudi Arabia?

 

Logan Paul is backstage.

The Maverick is heading to Nick Aldis’ office, right as LA Knight steps out. And Knight says to Aldis not to tell “him” that Knight said it. Knight and Logan then stare down and Aldis has Logan step in. Knight says, “See ya, champ.” But when Knight and Logan see each other next, will Logan have two titles or none?

 

WWE visited Naval Station Mayport.

To celebrate Military Appreciation Month, and in partnership with the USO, superstars met with the men and women of the US Navy, such as Lieutenant Junior Grade Mauss and Electronic Technicians Chief Page Gibson. WWE stands by the Armed Forces, join them and The USO in honoring our troops.

 

Backstage interview with Jade Cargill.

Byron Saxton is with the other WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion, and says that tonight, she takes on Nia Jax in a quarterfinal match. How is she preparing for someone who is so dominant? Jade says she’s heard all about Nia, and that she’s one of our best, The Irresistible Force. But to Jade Cargill, Nia’s just in her way. Bianca walks in, Jade congratulates her on the win, and Bianca thanks her. That match was tough, but it was worth giving lil’ Tiffy a timeout. And now what time is it? Time to go night-night! But for real, how’s the knee? Bianca says don’t worry, she’ll be fine by next week, standing across the ring from Jade.

Jade says okay, girl, one match at a time. Bianca tells Jade to go do her thing. Will a storm hit Jacksonville and wash Nia Jax out of the tournament?

 

Tama Tonga prepares backstage.

The MFT, the Good Bad Guy, is pacing and snarling. Solo Sikoa stands and says it’s time to go. Tama’s ready, Tonga Loa follows him out, but Paul Heyman asks if Solo’s talked to “him” today. Solo says all the time, Wise Man. All the time. Solo heads out now, but why is it that Solo and The Tribal Chief are on speaking terms and not his Special Counsel?

 

Backstage interview with LA Knight.

Cathy Kelley is now with The Mega Star and says we’re moments away from his match with Tama Tonga in the King of the Ring Tournament. How is Knight feeling going into this big match tonight? Aw, she doesn’t have to ask such personal questions, “LEMME TALK TO YA! You talk about King of the Ring, you talk about Tama Tonga, you talk about The Bloodline, Bloodline ain’t looking like it used to. Y’see, I don’t even know half these guys, but ol’ Tommy! Tommy Tonga! I tell you what, tonight you can get yourself introduced to a BFT, and then I’ll move on and introduce my head to that crown at King of the Ring. YEAH!”

But in steps Carmelo Hayes. Melo says what’s up, been a while. Melo just wants to give Knight the opportunity to welcome HIM to SmackDown. After all, he was a first round pick, no big deal. Except yeah it is. Knight says sure, that is a big deal. And thinking about it now, Knight isn’t sure if he agrees with this, but a lot of people look at him and say they’re reminded of Tom Brady. Now, let’s say that’s true. Who was the first draft pick the year Tom Brady was selected? Yeah, Knight doesn’t know, either. That’s Melo’s first mistake. The other is looking past Randy Orton.

Melo stops Knight there and says speaking of sellouts, the three most dangerous letters in WWE won’t be RKO. They will H I M. Melo smiles and Knight says look who won the spelling bee. WITH NOBODY saying it. No one is gonna go with that crap. How about this? With EVERYBODY saying L! A! KNIGHT! YEAH!! Now go play somewhere else, kid, Knight’s busy. The Mega Star heads out, but will he make it through this dangerous new Bloodline?

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Tama Tonga w/ The Bloodline VS LA Knight!

SmackDown returns and Knight makes his entrance. The fans are fired up for Knight while the ref has Solo and Loa exit the ring. The bell rings, Tama runs up but Knight dodges! Knight JABS, JABS and JABS! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight whips, ELBOWS Tama down, and the fans fire up! Knight says “YEAH!” and the fans echo it. Knight scoops, Tama slips free, and Tama has a SLEEPER! Knight flails, reaches out, and fans boo. Knight RAMS Tama into the corner, gets free, but Tama jumps on for another SLEEPER! Knight SLAMS Tama down, Solo frowns but the fans fire up. Knight whips, Tama KICKS him, then LARIATS!

Solo applauds and Loa nods, but the fans chant, “WE WANT ROMAN!” Tama TOSSES Knight out, but Knight lands on his feet! Knight gets right back in to LARIAT Tama down! The fans fire up and “YEAH!” as Knight stalks Tama. Knight whips, Tama reverses and runs in, but only gets buckles! Knight back drops Tama high and hard! The fans fire up and Knight stalks Tama to a corner. Knight stomps a mudhole in, “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight lets off as the ref counts, to run corner to corner and KNEE Tama down! “YEAH!” Solo storms up onto the apron but Knight stares him down. Loa also gets on the apron!

The ref warns the Bloodline, Knight runs up on them but they get away. Tama SPLASHES in at the corner! The fans boo but Tama brings Knight around to POST him! Knight sputters while Tama goes out the side. Knight flops to the apron then the floor. Tama runs up, leaps off the steps, FLYING LARIAT! Down goes Knight and Solo applauds. Solo taunts Knight while the fans boo, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and Tama knocks Knight down! Tama goes up top, but Knight rolls away. Tama hops down to stomp away on Knight, and fans still want Roman back. Tama throws down hands on Knight while Solo paces. Tama drags Knight up, CLUBS away with forearms, then runs to SLIDING LARIAT! Tama soaks up the heat as the fans boo. Tama goes up a corner, Solo raises the one, and Tama SUPREME FLOPS! Knight avoids disaster and he fires off haymakers! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Tama kicks low and fans boo! Tama whips, Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges to LEAPING LARIAT! The fans fire up and Knight stalks Tama!

Knight runs up to clothesline Tama up and out! Knight gets Tama up, brings him around, and SMACKS him off the apron again and again! “YEAH! YEAH! YEAH!” Knight then brings Tama around to SMACK him off the apron again! Knight puts Tama in, stalks him, but Tama swings. Knight gets under to THROW Tama into buckles! Knight whips, scoops, and POWERSLAMS Tama down! Knight keeps moving, JUMP ELBOW DROP! The fans fire up again and Knight winds it up. Knight watches Tama rise, the fans want to see it, and Tama staggers up, only for Loa to get him outta there! The fans boo but Knight WRECKS Loa with a dorpkick!

Knight puts Tama back in, Solo stares him down. The ref tells Solo to back up, Knight dares Solo to try. Knight rolls in, Tama is up to COMPLETE SHOT! Cover, Tama wins!!

Winner: Tama Tonga, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

The Bloodline has a new look but it’s the same old tricks! Solo smirks as his guy moves on, will nothing stop Tama from taking the crown?

 

LA Knight returns backstage.

The ref is checking on him, Knight says he’s fine, but it was that stupid 3v1. But then Melo walks by to say guess whose game it’s not. Couldn’t get the job done, huh? Wow, Melo’s still talking? Knight SHOVES Melo and tells Melo to shut his mouth. Melo says just watch his match, Knight will see how it’s done. The ref tells these two to back down and cool off. The words keep flying, but producers step in to keep this from turning into a fist fight. Knight is furious, but will he have to wait his turn to get at HIM?

 

Nick Aldis is in the ring.

“Ladies and gentlemen, at this time, allow me to introduce one half of the King & Queen of the Ring main event, the United States Champion, Logan Paul!” The fans boo but The Maverick still makes his way out here, his entire entourage with him, and perhaps a lawyer? Logan steps into the ring, shakes Aldis’ hand and goes to his table, putting the US Championship on display. Aldis then says please now welcome the Undisputed WWE Champion, Cody Rhodes! Logan is already upset at the better reaction for The American Nightmare, especially as fans sing along with Cody’s song, “WHOA~ OH~!”

Cody gets his pyro, shakes hands, signs autographs, and goes to the ring. His title is put on display next to Logan’s, and Cody goes to his table. But of course the fans cheer for “CODY! CODY!” and Cody revels in it. Cody and Logan take their seats, and Cody has a mic to ask “DUUUVAL! Jacksonville, what do you guys wanna talk about?” Cody knows they know he loves this place. And it is brought to Cody’s attention, that on this day 32 YEARS ago, does Logan have any idea what happened on these grounds upon which they stand? No, didn’t expect him to. He wasn’t even born yet. But the reason Cody knows, and the reason Logan doesn’t, is important.

32 years ago to the day was the original WarGames, 1992! The Stinger Squadron VS The Dangerous Alliance, widely considered the best WarGames match ever. And again, the reason Cody knows this is because just like… Well, this lady here with the “My Dogs Love to Wrestle” sign, and that guy way up at the tippy top, and just like this person shouting the answers, the reason is because like them, Cody is a fan of pro-wrestling. Cody is a fan of what he does. Logan is not a fan. The only way to describe him is… a tourist. Logan is just passing through, making viral moments, but it is time to get off the train.

And when Logan does, he’ll drop off that US Championship, making Cody a WWE GRAND SLAM CHAMPION! The fans love the sound of that! Logan says this is the thing the last guy said, and the guy before him. The fans boo but Logan says we’ve heard it. He doesn’t get what Cody is doing. Is this stalling? Logan isn’t here to listen to Cody talk. He’s here to sign the contract. The fans boo more but Logan just tunes it out. Logan tells Cody that he’s here to sign a contract to wrestle Cody. The fans boo harder and chant “YOU SUCK!” at Logan. Logan has Aldis hand him the contract, then says this is a horrible crowd.

Logan will do what he came here to do and sign the thing. Logan looks it over, looks to his lawyer, and it’s all here. Just one little thing though. Logan RIPS up what Aldis gave him, and has his lawyer bring out his own contract! The fans chant “You Can’t Read!” Logan says no, he can read. But it’s not what he agreed to. He agreed to a match with Cody at KQOTR, but only for the WWE Championship. He did NOT agree to put his title on the line, and he knew they’d pull something like this. So here is his lawyer, Jim Gillery, one of the best in the country, and he has a contract of their own. And this one looks good to Logan.

Bottom line: Cody’s title is on the line, not Logan’s! Aldis, get this done! The fans boo but Logan tells Aldis to do his job and get this executed! aldis tells Logan he’s had just about enough of Logan and his broccoli headed entourage! Winner Takes All IS what they agreed to backstage in their office. Aldis knows it, Logan knows it, Gillery knows it, and this is bad business! It’s unprofessional, and Aldis won’t stand for it! Gillery speaks up and asks if Aldis is threatening his client. The fans boo but Aldis paces. Cody speaks up now and says he’s known Aldis a long time. Cody knows what happens when Aldis gets mad.

Cody tells Aldis that SmackDown is great, Aldis is doing a fantastic job, don’t let anyone tell him otherwise. The fans cheer that. But Logan’s putting everyone on the spot here, so let Cody and Logan finish this up here and Cody can bring the paperwork back to Aldis. Let them have the ring, Cody will take care of this. Cody will relieve Aldis of this situation, thank you. Aldis accepts the offer and exits. The fans applaud, Logan mockingly waves bye. And Jacksonville, hard truth is, Logan signed Logan’s contract, it is done. The match is made this way. You might not like it, but Cody hasn’t done anything to deserve a shot at the US Champoinship.

The fans boo but Logan says for real, what has Cody done? Logan’s proven every time he is in the ring, he has proven he’s worthy of every title in this industry! Cody can’t say the same. So like brother Jake Paul’s next victim, Mike Tyson would say, “Thine the contract, big boy.” Logan shoves his contract at Cody, Cody frowns and stands up. “Let me tell you something, you fly by night human hat rack! Here’s the situation! The honeymoon with you is over. I’ve seen you do a flip, woopdy doo! After our match at King & Queen of the Ring, you will find out exactly who Logan Paul is on the inside.

“And you mentioned Mike Tyson. Good. Cuz in 8 days, a WWE Hall of Famer is gonna knock your brother out! And in Saudi Arabia, a future WWE Hall of Famer is gonna beat you. So you want me to sign the contract? Is that what you want?” Cody signs so now it’s only for his title, but then Logan takes a swing using his! Cody ducks, Logan stumbles into ropes, and Cody clotheslines Logan up and out! Cody is all fired up, but he has to fight off the cronies! Logan’s losers don’t stand a chance, and Cody POWERBOMBS one through a table! The fans are thunderous as Cody holds up the US Championship! AND his!

Logan is furious, and he says Cody just signed his death warrant! Will Logan become the Two Belt Maverick? Or will Cody finally deflate that massive ego?

 

Backstage interview with Nia Jax.

Cathy Kelley is with the Irresistible Force and says we’re moments away from her match. We heard from Jade, what is her response? Nia says just stop. Of course Jade has to hype herself up. You hear all these people saying Jade is so strong. And she is. Jade is so impressive. And she is. Jade is gonna be the Queen of the Ring! And she is… NOT. “Jade Cargill is NOT gonna be the Queen of the Ring. Nia Jax will be your new Queen of the Ring.” Nia heads through the curtain, will she be heading on to the next round? Or will even an Irresistible Force lose to a force of nature?

Queen of the Ring Quarterfinals: Jade Cargill VS Nia Jax!

SmackDown returns and Jade makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two get face to face. The fans fire up, but then Nia DECKS Jade! Nia soaks up heat, runs Jade over, but Jade avoids the leg drop! Jade gets Nia up to SPINEBUSTER! The fans fire up as Nia bails out! Nia is mad, she trips Jade, and then TOSSES her away! Jade’s daughter is in the front row and worried already. Jade sits up to tell her it’s okay, but then Nia YANKS Jade back down. Nia tells Jade’s daughter that “Mommy Sucks!” but her daughter says “No she doesn’t!” Jade SUPERKICKS Nia and her daughter cheers!

The fans fire up as Jade CLUBS Nia, the ring count starts, but Nia RAMS Jade into barriers. Nia puts Jade in the ring, storms in after her, but Jade RAMS Nia right back out! Jade SMACKS Nia off the desk! And off the apron! Jade lines up a shot, runs up, but Nia POSTS her! Nia CLOBBERS Jade up and over barriers! The fans boo, Nia shoves the desk hood away and throws a chair! And throws an armchair! Nia gets Jade up and HEADBUTTS her! Nia TOSSES Jade over the barriers, gets a chair, but the fans boo. Jade blocks the chair shot! And GIVES a chair shot!! But that means Nia wins!!

Winner: Nia Jax, by disqualification (advances to the semifinals)

Jade is furious but she fell into a trap by Nia! So Jade hauls Nia up and choke grips! Nia choke grips back! Jade pulls hair! Both women run into barriers, go around and around, then up and over! The ref hurries out to tell them both to stop, but both get up! Jade kicks, fires forearms, and the fans call BS! Nia HEADBUTTS, but Jade comes back to RAM Nia into a POST! Jade SMACKS Nia off barriers, more refs rush out but Nia POSTS Jade! Producers and security get involved, too, but fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT! LET THEM FIGHT!” Nia grins, she got what she wanted and that’s a ticket to the next round. But Jade runs up again!

The two COLLIDE at the ramp, refs and security get in to separate them! SmackDown goes to break, will Bianca just have to avenge Jade? Or will Nia soon become the Irresistible Queen of the Ring?

 

#DIY VS Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo w/ Legado Del Fantasma!

Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano make their return to SmackDown, ready to go right after those WWE Tag Team Championships. However, the same goes for Legado Del Fantasma’s high-flying duo. Who takes an all important step closer to A-Town Down Under’s titles?

Speaking of, Theory & Waller are on commentary to watch this one in person. They still talk themselves up as the greatest undefeated tag team of all time, and say “you’re welcome” for gracing everyone with their presence. In the ring, the teams sort out and Humberto starts against Johnny Wrestling. Humberto and Gargano circle, the fans rally behind “JOHNNY WRESTLING!” Gargano and Humberto tie up, Humberto waistlocks but Gargano wrenches to wristlock. Humberto rolls, handsprings, wrenches and CLUBS the arm! Humberto grinds the shoulder, but Gargano fights up. Gargano spins, wrenches and drop toeholds to then facelock.

Humberto rolls, Gargano rolls with him, but Humberto trips Gargano, covers, ONE! Humberto facelocks, but Gargano fights up. Humberto suplexes high and hard, then covers, ONE! The fans rally, Humberto stalks Gargano, and then whips corner to corner. Gargano stops himself, ELBOWS Humberto, then goes up to Electric Chair, spin and RANA! Humberto gets up, Gargano ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! The fans fire up for DIY as Gargano runs up and CHOPS! Tag to Ciampa, DIY whips Humberto back into the corner, then Gargano goes to the apron. DIY meets at the corner to ENZIGIRI KNEE COMBO!

Ciampa keeps moving, and he LARIATS Humberto down! Angel runs in, Ciampa gets around him to ripcord and FOREARM! Gargano ROCKS Angel, then DIY both clothesline Legado up and out of the ring! Then DIY DOUBLE PLANCHA! Down goes Legado and the fans fire up with DIY as they pat themselves on the back. A-Town Down Under mockingly applaud, Ciampa puts Humberto in the ring. Humberto goes to the corner, Ciampa runs up and CHOPS! Ciampa runs but Angel is in the way! Humberto runs up, Angel tags in as Ciampa bucks the O’Conner Roll. Ciampa DECKS Angel, dodges Humberto, then builds speed.

Humberto sidesteps and Angel holds the ropes open! Ciampa tumbles out of the ring and to the floor! The fans boo but Legado soaks up the heat. Gargano checks Ciampa, we get a QR Code, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns and the fans rally up as Angel keeps Ciampa from Gargano. Ciampa ROCKS Angel, TOSSES Humberto, but Angel grabs a leg! Ciampa hops up to ENZIGIRI! Angel is down, but Humberto YANKS Gargano down and SUPERKICKS him! Angel runs up, Ciampa dodges to ROCK him! And CHOP him! And ROCK him again! Ciampa kicks, Angel blocks to get the Gory Especial! Tag to Humberto, slingshot into the GARZA ESPECIAL! Humberto holds Ciampa up and Angel runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Ciampa survives, the fans rally up, but A-Town Down Under say DIY peaked in “college,” aka NXT.

Humberto suplexes Ciampa, Ciampa fights that to suplex back! Humberto fights that suplex, they go back and forth, and it’s Ciampa who gets Humberto up and over! The fans fire up, Theory downplays it, but Ciampa crawls for the corner, hot tag to Gargano! Gargano rallies on Legado, ENZIGIRI for Angel, then Gargano runs. He gets Legado for a DROPKICK BULLDOG COMBO! The fans fire up with Gargano as he takes aim, only for Humberto slide in first! Humberto runs in, into a SLINGSHOT SPEAR! Gargano DIVES to hit Angel, too! Gargano goes up the corner, the fans fire up, but Santos gets on the apron!

The fans boo as Santos distracts the ref! Lopez YANKS Gargano down! The fans boo but the ref senses something is wrong! The ref EJECTS Lopez & Santos! The fans cheer, and DIY MEET IN THE MIDDLE!! Cover, DIY wins!

Winners: DIY, by pinfall

A-Town Down Under is just as upset as Legado that the screw job failed. But Theory & Waller taunt Gargano & Ciampa with the tag titles. Will Gargano & Ciampa show these two how to get it done? Or will Theory show Gargano that he’s found his own way?

 

The QR Codes are leading to something…

And then this week, on WWE’s official Twitch channel, there was video of someone meeting with a therapist. They were checking in after last time and wanted to know how things were going. That was all we got, what does it all mean?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Byron is with the Phenomenal One, and says it is no secret that Styles has had a challenging couple of weeks. So then, where does Styles go from here? Styles asks himself, where does he go from here? We all saw Backlash. Cody VS Styles, unbelievable. Styles was this close, and lost. Then he had a chance to redeem himself with the King of the Ring tournament, but he lost in the first round. So where does he go from here? Next week, Styles will go to Nick Aldis’ office and we’ll find out where things go from there. Even the Phenomenal face uncertainty, how will Styles handle his?

 

Backstage interview with Bayley.

Byron is now with The Role Model, and says she had her eyes on Jade winning the tournament. But after what happened out there, does she have a new prediction? Bayley says it is packed! Nia VS Bianca, and- In step Chelsea Green & Piper Niven. Piper pretends to be asleep and snoring, Chelsea “wakes” Piper and tells her Bayley’s done speaking. Oh thank goodness! Chelsea says Bayley is the only reason Piper lost to Bianca last week, because she sprinkled her “Bad Bayley juju” all over them! Yeah, her Bayley stink! Bayley says they don’t have time for this, let’s talk next week, okay? In the ring. That sounds good, see you then.

Bayley heads out, but it seems like Chelsea & Piper were wanting that all along. Will The Hot Mess & “Miss P” get one over on the WWE Women’s Champion?

 

King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Randy Orton VS Carmelo Hayes!

Well speaking of The Viper, he is determined to not just move on through this tournament, but to get after Tama Tonga for what he and The Bloodline did to Kevin Owens. Will Orton get what he wants by moving on to the semifinals? Or will he fail to humble… HIM?

SmackDown returns and Melo makes his entrance. The bell rings and the two circle. The fans duel, but are more in favor of Orton. Orton and Melo feel things out, Melo kicks Orton’s bad leg and Orton backs off. Melo says he could do this all day. Orton and Melo reset, circle, and Melo gets around to kick Orton’s leg again! Orton drops to his knees, pounds the mat in frustration, but Melo just grins. Melo puts some stank on the SLAP! The fans boo and Melo says he doesn’t care about them. Melo cares about Melo! The fans tell Melo he messed up, and Orton stands. Melo stops jawing and he shoves Orton. Orton kicks Melo!

Orton RAMS Melo into buckles, POSTS him, then POSTS him again! Orton UPPERCUTS Melo again and again, the ref counts but Orton lets off. Orton TOSSES Melo up and over, the fans cheer, and Orton stalks Melo to the desk. Orton SMACKS Melo off the desk, Barrett & Graves move aside so he can DESK- NO, Melo claws the eyes! The fans boo but Melo soaks up the heat. The ring count climbs, Melo talks trash, but Orton trips Melo! Melo falls onto the desk and writhes! Orton gets Melo up to ROCK him, then he refreshes the count. Orton comes right back to DESK BACK SUPLEX! Melo writhes some more, but Orton gets him for another DESK BACK SUPLEX!

Melo flounders off the desk, fans want that “ONE MORE TIME!” while Orton goes back to the ring. Orton is considering it, and he goes back out! Orton finds Melo, gets him up, DESK BACK SUPLEX! The fans cheer as Orton stands over Melo, and SmackDown goes to break.

SmackDown returns again and now Melo stands over Orton. Orton clutches the bad leg, the fans rally up for him, but Melo SMASHES the bad knee! Melo paces around Orton, taunts him, then grabs the bad leg. Melo kicks the bad leg, talks trash, then kicks the leg again. Melo stomps the leg then YANKS it! The fans rally for Randy but Melo stalks him. Melo waistlocks, Orton goes to ropes, Melo holds on but the ref counts. Orton CLUBS Melo but Melo puts Orton’s leg in the ropes. Melo stomps the leg, lets off as the ref reprimands, but then runs up, only for Orton to move! Melo gets caught up in the ropes now!

Orton waits on Melo to get free, then he LARIATS! And LARIATS! And SNAP- NO, Melo avoids the powerslam! Orton clutches the bad knee, and Melo grins. Melo then scowls as he takes aim, but fans chant “WHOOP DAT TRICK!” Melo runs, Orton avoids the punt! SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up, Orton covers, TWO! Melo is a former NXT North American and NXT Champion, he’s pretty tough. But Orton puts him through ropes! The fans fire up and Orton drags Melo out, only for Melo to wrench out and kick the leg! Orton hobbles, Melo hits the FIRST 48! Cover, TWO! Orton is still in this and Melo is frustrated.

Melo pulls at the tape around Orton’s leg, punches at the knee, and the fans boo. Melo lets off to go to a corner. Melo climbs up while Orton slowly rises. Melo aims, NOTHING BUT- NO, Orton moves! And then he puts Melo in ropes! DRAPING DDT!! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Orton rises, the fans chant “R K O! R K O!” Orton may have a bad leg, but he can still hear those voices! Melo rises, staggers, RK- NO, Melo rolls Orton up! TWO!! Melo hurries to get the leg, but Orton KICKS Melo away! Melo returns, ducks ‘n’ dodges, springboard, RKO!!! The fans are thunderous as Orton covers, Orton wins!

Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall (advances to the semifinals)

Melo tried the Fade Away but got dunked on! Will he learn to be more humble the next time he faces a Legend Killer? As for Orton, he gets just who he wanted all along in Tama Tonga! Cathy Kelley congratulates Orton, but then speaking of Tama, here comes The Bloodline! Solo has a sinister smirk on his face, but Orton borrows the mic. “Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on. Are you meaning to tell me right now, The Bloodline is gonna come out and try to intimidate me? Ladies and gentlemen, maybe The Bloodline forgot who exactly I am! Let me introduce you to me.

“My name is Randy FREAKIN’ Orton! I am a FOURTEEN TIME World Heavyweight Champion, and soon to be King of the Ring. And since we’re doing introductions, Tama, next week in Saudi Arabia, I am gonna introduce my foot directly up your ass!” Solo keeps Tama back, but Orton says following that, he will introduce them to the most deadly, dangerous letters in sports entertainment: R K O!! The fans are ready, Orton is ready, Tama is ready, but Solo says that’s still not until next week. Will the Viper strike down the Good Bad Guy? Or will Tama kill the Legend Killer?


My Thoughts:

A great SmackDown here, lots of action and lots of story development together at once. Bianca VS Tiff was a great match, and a touch surprising it was Bianca winning if only because I wasn’t sure Jade was losing to Nia. Jade’s daughter ending up part of the act ends up a good touch, and Jade losing her cool was a good way for her to lose this match. Bianca VS Nia will be great stuff, honestly could go either way, really depends on who comes out of the Raw side as well. Usual Face VS Heel dynamic would therefore mean it’s either Lyra VS Nia or Iyo VS Bianca. And given there’s really great story behind Bianca VS someone from Damage CTRL and how that gets on her nerves, that’d be a likely choice.

In the KOTR, very good promo from The Bloodline to make it seem like Roman has further distanced himself from Heyman. Good little stare down from LA Knight and Logan Paul, and good promo from Knight with Melo to hype both guys up before their matches. Great matches in both regards, but of course The Bloodline helped Tama beat Knight being that they’re such nasty Heels. Great main event from Orton VS Melo, Melo is still looking great even in losses, and of course we get Orton VS Tama. While Tama has moved on from using a cutter as his finisher, I almost do want him to bust out Gun Stun as a “stolen” RKO.

As with QOTR, Jey VS Gunther will likely influence Orton VS Tama. It’d be awesome to see Gunther VS Orton, but it’d also be intriguing to see Jey VS Tama, where Jey sees he really isn’t done with The Bloodline, even with Solo now remaking it in his image. If they want, Jey VS Tama would plant seeds for some sort of Bloodline Civil WarGames, with it being Solo, Tama, Loa and at least one other brand new member (Jacob Fatu perhaps?) against Roman, Jey, probably Jimmy, and for all we know, Kevin Owens making a return from injury. That’d be some wild stuff because the fans love Roman now, there’s all sorts of “Can they coexist?” when it comes to the Face Bloodline, it’ll be so good.

Bayley has a good, quick promo with Chelsea and Piper, and I’m thinking that Bayley beats Chelsea next week to save Bayley VS Piper for Clash at the Castle in Scotland. It makes sense, given Piper’s Scottish, but I don’t think Bayley loses, it’s just a great opportunity for Piper to have a big match in her home country. Great tag team match from DIY VS Angel & Humberto, but given Theory & Waller were ringside, we do Faces VS Heels in WWE, and sadly it’s Legado, of course DIY won tonight. DIY VS A-Town Down Under, who knows how that goes, but there is good story that Theory hit upon about his past with Gargano in The Way. There’s a good chance ATDU find a way to win, because they need a first defense in the books.

And very good contract signing segment for Cody and Logan. Now, while in the past week, fans all over have speculated how they can do Champion VS Champion, Winner Takes All like this and not do a wonky finish that invokes Champion’s Advantage and then it’s just a big nothing. Logan finding a way to back out and not put his title on the line is a great way of doing it. It puts a lot of Heel heat on Logan, though it’s not like there isn’t a lot of that already, and think about the long game here like with Bayley VS Piper. SummerSlam is in Cleveland, Ohio this year, Logan’s hometown. Cody retaining his Undisputed title also means he beats the US Champion.

Tradition states that pinning a champion earns you a title match. Cody VS Logan Part 2 in Cleveland for Logan’s title, maybe Cody wins, maybe Logan uses Champion’s Advantage there, who knows. Cody seems to really like the idea of being not just Two Belt Champ but Grand Slam Champ, maybe it’s gonna happen before the year is out. All I know is, ever since Cody returned, the US Championship was just too perfectly fit for his Homelander-esque American Nightmare aesthetic, he’s gotta get it at some point.

My Score: 8.8/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/16/24)

B Block, round 3!

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It’s a shootout in the main event!

Best of the Super Juniors Round 3 continues as now B Block takes its turn! But will Robbie Eagles outdraw Taiji Ishimori? Or will The Sniper of the Skies be shooting blanks?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: El Desperado, Katsuya Murashima & Boltin Oleg VS Kevin Knight, Tiger Mask & Shoma Kato;  Desperado, Murashima & Oleg win.
  • HAYATA & Tomoaki Honma VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Yujiro Takahashi; Kanemaru & Takahashi win.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS TJP, Callum Newman & Blake Christian; LIJ wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Franceso Akira; Kushida wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Drilla wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Ninja Mack VS SHO; Sho wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Dia; Hiromu wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori; Taiji wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current B Block standings!

Ninja Mack: 2-0, 4 points
Taiji Ishimori: 2-0, 4 points
KUSHIDA: 2-0, 4 points
SHO: 1-1, 2 points
Francesco Akira: 1-1, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-1, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-1, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 0-2, 0 points
Dragon Dia: 0-2, 0 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 0-2, 0 points

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Franceso Akira!

The Timesplitter is approaching 88 miles per hour, and is looking to turn back time to when he was the Ace of the Juniors! However, the Nova Fireball is looking to turn up the heat! Will Kushida or Akira be the one to blaze a trail to the top of the block?

Akira gets in Kushida’s face, Kushida shoves him back, and the ref has them both back off. The bell rings and Akira runs in! Kushida dodges to kick and headlock, but Akira powers out. Kushida runs Akira over, things speed up, and Akira hurdles. Kushida shoves, Akira wheelbarrows and arm-drags! Then Akira CALF KICKS Kushida down! The fans cheer and join in on “A! KI RA!” Akira CHOPS then CLUBS Kushida, but Kushida kicks back. Akira CHOPS, whips but Kushida reverses. Kushida runs in but Akira goes up and gets Kushida for the- NO, Kushida fights out of the Tarantula and brings Akira down to the apron! Kushida YANKS Akira into the post!

The fans rally while Akira shakes out the bad arm. Kushida gets Akira up and scoops to SLAM him on the floor! Kushida leaves Akira behind and the fans rally up more. The ring count starts, Akira stands and slides in at 4 of 20, only for Kushida to TOSS him right back out. Kushida goes out after Akira to scoop and SLAM him again! The fans applaud while Kushida gets Akira up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! A third cover, TWO! The fans rally while Kushida looms over Akira. Kushida wrenches the arm, CLUBS the arm, then wrangles Akira with a top wristlock. Kushida isolates the arm, to STOMP it!

Akira writhes, goes to a corner, but Kushida is after him. Akira fires a forearm! And fires another! But Kushida wrenches the bad arm and wrangles Akira again! Kushida stands on Akira’s head to twist the arm and hammerlock it, to then TWIST it! Akira flounders away but Kushida is after the legs! Kushida turns Akira over to a SEATED SURFBOARD! Akira fights, Kushida slaps him on the back to get at the arms! Kushida pulls Akira back, but Akira fights to turn things over! They roll and into the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Kushida lets off. Kushida drags Akira up, wrenches and wristlocks, then cravats to snapmare.

Kushida scrapes his soles off Akira’s face, then handsprings to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up while Akira slowly rises. Kushida brings Akira up, wrenches the arm, but Akira shoves him away. Kushida comes back, Akira ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! The fans fire up while Kushida bails out, and Akira aims. Akira slingshot, but Kushida slides back in! Akira lands on the apron, only for Kushida to KICK a leg! Kushida runs, but into a SLINGSHOT CUTTER! Both men are down and the fans rally up. Akira and Kushida rise, and Kushida goes after Akira. Akira fires forearms but Kushida knees low.

Kushida whips, Akira reverses, but Kushida ducks the enzigiri! Akira slides Kushida, Kushida slides under Akira! Kushida flips Akira to get the KIMURA! Akira gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again and the fans fire up! Akira and Kushida go to corners, the fans rally for “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” Akira runs in to clothesline! Then he comes back to UPPERCUT! Akira snapmares Kushida, goes to the apron, “IKU ZO!” The fans fire up and Akira climbs, but Kushida GAMANGIRIS the arm! Kushida then goes up after Akira but Akira fires forearms! Kushida drops back, Akira adjusts and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up while both men are down. Akira shakes out the bad arm, stalks behind Kushida and half nelsons, but the bad arm won’t let him full nelson! Kushida KICKS Akira in the leg! Then KICKS again! Kushida whips, Akira reverses, Kushida handsprings, but Akira DROPKICKS Kushida! Kushida bails out, Akira PLANCHAS, but into a FUJIWARA! The ref reprimands, Akira fights up, but Kushida hits an ARMBAR BULLDOG to the floor! Akira writhes and clutches his elbow, and the ring count starts. Both men are down at 5 of 20, but Kushida stands at 10. Kushida flounders at the apron, falls back, and we’re at 15!

Kushida springs up to slide in at 17! Akira staggers around, but he slides in at 19! PENALTY KICK! Kushida leaps, but Akira rolls him up! TWO, but Akira drop toeholds! Akira steps over, Kushida slips out to LA MAGISTROL, but Akira pushes it back to a cradle! TWO!! Akira goes to a corner, Kushida runs in, but into the TARANTULA!! The ref counts, Akira lets go at 4, but he fires back up! The fans rally, Akira BUZZSAWS! Akira roars and the fans fire up! Akira gets Kushida up, SPEED FIRE!! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and the fans fire back up. Akira goes to a corner, pounds the mat, “A! KI RA!”

Akira aims as Kushida slowly rises. Akira runs up, but Kushida ducks the Fireball! SHOTEI!! Kushida snarls while Akira flounders away. Akira goes to a corner, Kushida runs up, but Akira blocks the Shotei! Akira CLUBS the arm, but Kushida ROCKS him right back! Akira fires forearms in return! Akira then cravats for KNEE after KNEE! Kushida KICKS the bad arm! Akira SUPERKICKS! Akira dodges the fastball to HALF ‘N’ HALF! Akira roars, runs, but has to duck the fastball! COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO! Kushida’s still in this but Akira fires back up! Akira puts Kushida up top, CHOPS him, then climbs.

Akira brings Kushida up but Kushida fights the armlock! Kushida throws elbows, but Akira CHOPS! Akira fires forearms but Kushida wrenches his arm! ELBOW BREAKER! Akira drops down to the apron, but he SUPERKICKS back! Akira fires up again, the fans are with him, and Akira goes back up! But Kushida has a KIMURA!! HOVERBOARD ARM-DRAG!!! Akira endures as Kushida has him caught!! Akira reaches, Kushida rolls him from ropes, and cranks the hold! Akira taps, Kushida wins!!

Winner: Kushida, by submission (gains 2 points; Akira earns 0)

The Timesplitter extinguishes the Nova Fireball and continues to 3-0! Will nothing stop Kushida until he’s the Best of the Super Juniors? Can Akira reignite before it’s too late?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney!

Japones del Mal came away with a big shocker last round when he took down Hiromu in the main event! But is that one win enough to propel him to the top of the block? Or will 44 Caliber shoot Douki right back down to the bottom?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for Douki. Drilla gets annoyed by that, especially as the fans start to chant “DOUKI! DOUKI!” The two tie up, Douki headlocks, Drilla powers up, but can’t power out as Douki holds on. Drilla lifts, Douki flails, but Drilla powers out this time. Drilla runs Douki over, and fans do applaud the show of strength. Drilla runs, Douki drops down but Drilla drags him up. Douki arm-drags Drilla, then runs. Drilla hurdles, drops down, but Douki avoids the dropkick! Douki wheelbarrows but Drilla fights around to arm-drag! Drilla reels Douki in, but Douki trips him to a jackknife bridge! TWO!!

The fans fire up as Douki says it was that close. Drilla is mad, runs up, but Douki dodges to RANA! Douki RAMS Drilla, runs, springboards, but into Drilla’s arms! SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Drilla snarls while Douki goes to the apron. Drilla WRECKS Douki with a dropkick! Drilla then goes out and he RAMS Douki into the apron! Douki falls in a heap, but Drilla steps on his back! Drilla soaks up the heat while throwing up the Too Sweet. Drilla then steps away, to take a fan’s chair! Drilla scoops Douki for a BACKBREAKER on the chair! Douki writhes and flops off the chair while Drilla leaves him behind for the ring count.

The fans rally but Drilla tells them to shut up. The count reaches 5 of 20, then 10 before Douki sits up. Douki moves the chair aside, slides in at 15, and the fans cheer. But Drilla is right on him with a whip hard into a corner! Douki falls in a heap again, but Drilla storms up to pull at the mask! The ref reprimands, Drilla lets go, and Douki drags himself up with ropes. Drilla CHOKES Douki, but also goes after the mask! The fans boo, the ref reprimands and counts, and Drilla lets off at 4. Drilla stands Douki up to CHOP him down! Cover, with feet on the ropes! TWO!! Douki still gets free and the fans cheer.

Drilla sits Douki up into a chinlock and digs his knee into Douki’s back. Douki endures, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Drilla grinds his forearm into Douki’s face, but lets off as the ref reprimands. Drilla stomps Douki but Douki gets right up to fire forearms! Douki goes to run, but Drilla reels him in! Drilla pops him up but Douki slips free to waistlock! Drilla breaks that, switches, but Douki elbows free! Douki again goes to run, Drilla reels him back in but Douki kicks free, kicks low, and DDTs! The fans fire up while both men are down! Drilla sits up but Douki stalks him. Douki whips Drilla, Drilla reverses but Douki arm-drags first!

Douki runs in at the corner to ELBOW Drilla, then keeps going, springboard BACK ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Drilla is still in this but Douki keeps cool. Douki drags Drilla up, hooks him up, but Drilla fights the lift! Douki still Gory Especials, but Drilla fights free! Douki blocks the chop, trips Drilla, and rolls him into ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Drilal reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Douki lets go, Drilla bails out, but Douki builds speed! Douki slides out, Drilla slides in! Douki hurries back up and he RAMS into Drilla! Slingshot, DAY- NO, Drilla stops that to SPINEBUSTER and DOUBLE STOMP ELBOW COMBO! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up for Douki again while he slowly sits up. Drilla aims from a corner, loads up and runs in, but Douki ducks the boot! Douki then BOOTS back, goes to the apron, and slingshots, DAYBREAK! Douki drags Drilla to a cover, TWO! Drilla is still in this but Douki fires up! The fans are with him and he brings Drilla into the wheelbarrow. Drilla elbows free, ripcords and CHOPS, but Douki kips up! Drilla SUPERKICKS! Drilla runs, Douki ducks the boot to tilt-p-whirl, but Drilla blocks and flips Douki around! But Douki arm-drags free! And he rolls Drilla into the ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Drilla endures while fans fire up!

Drilla fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Douki pulls until the ref counts 4, then he drags Drilla away from ropes, for ITALIAN STRETCH! But Drilla just powers right out! DRILLA KILLA!!! Cover, Drilla wins!

Winner: “Drilla” Moloney, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Douki earns 0)

The fans were behind the underdog and Drilla wasn’t having any of it! Will the Ichiban Gaijin storm his way to the top of this block? Can Douki turn this around next round?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Ninja Mack VS SHO!

The American Shinobi is on a roll at 2-0, but now he has the misfortune of running into the Murder Machine. Will the Mack attack not be able to get past a deck that’s stacked? Or can he grab a golden ticket off the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion?

OH NO! Sho’s dragging Mack out from the back! And he’s CHOKING Mack with the Torture Tool! The fans boo but Sho grins as he brings Mack all the way to the ring and throws him in! Sho puts his props aside, then “helps” Mack to his feet. Mack flops back over, Sho says he’s fine and stands him back up. And then puts a leg in the ropes? Sho has the ref ring the bell, then he runs in to clothesline! Sho scoops to SLAM Mack, then he gets the legs! BOSTON CRAB! Mack endures, the fans rally, and Mack taps!! Sho wins!!

Winner: Sho, by submission 

Sho laughs at Mack, and brags that this is how good he is! But wait! Some other Ninja Mack runs in and CLOBBERS Sho!! Wait, this is the real Ninja Mack?! Sho tied Mack up to then replace him with a fake? Well, the tape Mack’s tearing away is compelling evidence. The ref then strikes the previous decision and this match restarts! Sho bails out but Mack gives chase! Mack CLOBBERS Sho again, stands him up and DOUBLE CHOPS him! Mack rips Sho’s shirt away, throws it to the crowd, then KICKS Sho against the apron! Mack puts Sho in, the fans fire up, and Mack storms in. Sho kicks Mack, whips, but Mack reverses.

Mack drops down, hurdles over, then backflips. Sho moves but Mack handsprings up to JUMP KNEE! Mack TOSSES Sho, builds speed and the fans rally with “NINJA! NINJA!” Mack handsprings to SASUKE SPECIAL! How fitting for a ninja! The fans fire up and Mack gets Sho back in the ring. The fans continue to rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” as Mack sees Sho go to the far side. Mack slingshots to sunset flip, Sho blocks a kick but Mack fires CHOP after CHOP after forearm, then an UPPERCUT! Mack then handsprings to LION’S BARRAGE! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Sho flounders, Mack storms up on him and stands Sho up.

Mack knuckle locks, CHOPS and then goes up, up and tightrope walks! But Sho bends fingers! Sho kicks the ropes out and Mack falls! The fans boo but Sho goes out to grab the ring bell hammer. Sho brings that over, but also gets a chair. The ref stops Sho from using the hammer, but Sho just uses the chair to JAM Mack! Sho digs the chair into Mack’s back while the fans boo! Sho also digs the chair into Mack’s stomach! The ref returns, reprimands, and Sho lets go of the chair. Sho brings Mack to the very back of the crowd and BOWLS him into chairs! Weak, he only got two. But Sho leaves Mack behind to go to the ring.

The fans rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” as Mack hurries back to ringside. The ring count starts but Mack is ringside by 4 of 20. Mack slides in at 6, but Sho drags Mack up. Sho kicks low, whips, and kitchen sink knees! Sho storms up on Mack again, drags him around, and has a body scissor squeeze! Mack endures, reaches out, but Sho even pulls the mask! But Mack pushes back to a cover, TWO! Sho keeps on the squeeze, but Mack still endures. Mack fights around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Sho lets go. Mack sputters and says “Itai <It hurts.>” Sho gets Mack up, and hangs him out to dry!

Sho then drags Mack off the ropes for a CANADIAN GUT BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mack is still in this, but Sho covers again, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Sho is annoyed but the fans rally up. Sho kicks Mack around, Mack blocks to body shot! And body shot! And body shot! Sho KNEES low! Sho scoops Mack and puts him on the top rope. Sho CLUBS away on Mack’s back, then runs to TOP SHELF KNEE! And TOP SHELF KNEE again! Sho goes corner to corner, but Mack dodges! Mack ROCKS Sho, springboards to KICK, then runs in to UPPERCUT! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Sho survives, but Mack’s on him with a CROSSFACE!

Sho endures as Mack pulls back! Sho flails, reaches out, crawls his way over, but Mack cranks the hold! Sho still gets the ROPEBREAK! Mack lets go and the fans rally again. Mack brings Sho up, DOUBLE CHOPS him, then DOUBLE CHOPS again! Mack whips corner to corner, Sho reverses, but Mack BOOTS back! And SUPERKICKS! And fires body shots and an UPPERCUT! Mack cravats, but Sho pulls the mask! Sho shoves Mack to the corner, then shoves the ref into Mack! The ref goes down, Sho SPEARS Mack! The fans are torn while everyone is down! Sho checks the ref, says he’s okay, and then grabs his Torture Tool!

Sho grins as he takes aim, but the fans boo. Wait, that’s the fake yellow Mack! Sho realizes that and wonders where the real Mack went. Mack snatches the wrench away and Sho freaks out! Mack puts the wrench down, but Sho rolls him up! But the ref’s still out, he can’t count! Sho gets mad at the ref when this is Sho’s fault! But Mack rolls Sho up! TWO!! Cradle, TWO!! Sunset flip! TWO!! Sho escapes, Mack kips up and SUPERKICKS! The fans fire up and Mack brings Sho to a drop zone. Mack goes up the corner, to NINJA- NO, Sho moves! Mack rolls through, comes back, but Sho dodges! Sho gets the title belt now! But Mack grabs Sho’s legs!

The ref grabs at the belt, it’s a weird tug-o-war, but the ref takes the belt away! Sho LOW BLOWS Mack!! Roll-up, with tights! SHO WINS!!

Winner: Sho, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Mack earns 0)

This is the worst! Sho tried to steal a win with a fake, then cheated to steal this win anyway! Will anyone ever humble the Murder Machine? Or will he continue to lie, cheat and steal until he holds both the trophy and the belt?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Dia!

The Ticking Timebomb is inexplicably 0-2 to start, but things haven’t gone so well for the Infinity Carat Diamond. Only one can win their first points of the tournament, so who ends up at the bottom of the block?

The frame on Hiromu’s framed picture of himself seems a bit patched together, but Milano Collection AT-san still accepts it graciously. Hiromu then eggs on “Taguchi.” The bell rings and the two rush up! Dia DROPKICKS Hiromu and tells him the name’s Dragon Dia! Dia fires off forearms in the corner, the ref counts, and Dia roars as he lets off. He drags Hiromu up and shouts “ORE WA DIA DA! <I’M DIA!>” Hiromu swings, Dia dodges but Hiromu ELBOWS him. Hiromu whips, ROCKS and puts Dia on ropes to KICK the ropes! Hiromu says he’s Taguchi and runs, but Dia ducks ‘n ‘dodges ‘n’ slides under a boot!

Dia tilt-o-whirls to arm-drag! Then he DROPKICKS! Hiromu tumbles out, Dia fires up and the fans rally. Dia builds speed but Hiromu ELBOWS him! Hiromu whips Dia to a corner, clotheslines and snapmares to basement dropkick! The fans cheer, Hiromu covers, TWO! Dia stays in this and the fans rally up. But even as the fans call out to Dia, Hiromu asks how Taguchi is doing. Hiromu drags Dia up, CHOPS him, then stands him up to CHOP again! Dia falls back, Hiromu covers, TWO! Dia stays in this and the fans rally up. Hiromu storms up and asks who’s this Dia the fans are talking about. Hiromu CHOPS Dia, then whips.

Dia reverses, Hiromu holds ropes and BOOTS Dia, to then have a HANGING HEADSCISSOR! The ref counts, Hiromu lets off at 4, and he drags Dia out to snap suplex to the floor! Dia writhes, the fans rally, and Hiromu asks the cameraman how Taguchi became such a great high-flyer. Hiromu really thinks this is Ryusuke Taguchi? Hiromu goes back to Dia, drags him up and brings him around POSTS him! Dia falls in a heap but Hiromu storms over to him. The fans rally up but Hiromu drags Dia up and puts him in. Cover, TWO! Hiromu keeps on Dia with a headscissors squeeze! Dia endures and the fans rally, even as Hiromu puts on the pressure.

Dia kicks around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Hiromu lets off quickly. Hiromu drags Dia up, but Dia pushes him away. Dia CHOPS, but Hiromu eggs him on. Dia CHOPS, then fires a forearm! Hiromu CHOPS, runs, and he counters a hip attack into an atomic drop! Hiromu says that proves this is really Taguchi! Hiromu runs to run Dia over, then stacks him, TWO! The fans rally as Dia stays in this, and Hiromu drags Dia up. Hiromu CHOPS Dia to a corner, then whips corner to corner. Hiromu runs in but into BOOTS! Dia then RANAS Hiromu away! Hiromu bails out, Dia fires up and slingshots, but he feints the plancha!

Dia resets but Hiromu slides in. Dia ducks Hiromu’s lariat to then trip him up and slingshot, TORNILLO! Hiromu bails out, so Dia resets, ASAI MOONSAULT! Direct hit and the fans fire up as both men are down! The ring count starts, the fans rally, and Dia rises at 7 of 20. Dia fetches Hiromu at 11, puts him in at 12, and the fans cheer. Dia fires up again and he goes up the corner. Hiromu rises and Dia leaps, but Hiromu blocks the DDT to fireman’s carry! CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu drags Dia up, fireman’s carries again, TIMEBOMB- NO, Dia wheelbarrows and somersaults! Hiromu stops that to drag Dia up!

Dia swings an elbow but Hiromu ducks! Dia still SOBATS, runs, but into a scoop and BACKBREAKER! The fans rally and Hiromu suplexes, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Dia survives and the fans fire up! Hiromu keeps cool, and he waits on Dia. Dia rises, Hiromu runs, but Dia dodges and rolls, to REPTI- NO, Hiromu stops the rana to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO! The fans fire up as Dia stays in this! Hiromu taunts Dia, slaps him around, but Dia drags himself up. Hiromu runs, but Dia blocks the lariat! Hiromu SUPERKICKS, runs, but Dia falls! Dia scrambles back up to CHOP! Hiromu gets in Dia’s face!

Hiromu CHOPS Dia, runs, but Dia HIP ATTACKS!! So is he Taguchi or not!? Dia roars, goes to a corner, and then storms up on Hiromu to chicken wing! DODON BUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives another Taguchi move and Dia roars! Dia again shouts, “Ore wa Dia da!” Fisherman and lift, but Hiromu fights free! Dia ducks the superkick to ENZIGIRI! Hiromu rebounds, into another ENZIGIRI! Dia hurries to get Hiromu up, gets under a leg and lifts, END OVER!! Cover, TWO?!? Hiromu survives and Dia is furious! But Dia also goes to a corner and aims from a corner. Hiromu slowly rises, Dia runs up, roll and REP-

NO, Hiromu blocks the sunset to make it a CRUNCHY!! Cover, TWO!!! Dia survives and the fans fire up again! Hiromu shakes his head and has that wild grin on his face. Hiromu drags Dia up, reels him in, suplex, but Dia fights free! Dia wrenches, dodges, but Hiromu follows! Dia wheelbarrows, but Hiromu makes it a WHEELBARROW GERMAN! But Dia’s right up!! HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu hauls Dia up, fireman’s carry, but into REPTILIAN KAI!! Cover, TWO!!! Hiromu survives #DoubleCork but the fans are thunderously behind Dia! Dia drags himself to a corner, rises up, and he goes up the corner!

Dia roars and the fans fire up again! Dia aims to 450, onto knees! Hiromu rolls Dia into a fireman’s carry and lifts him up! TIMEBOMB 1.5!! Cover, TWO!!! Dia survives the 1.5 and Hiromu can’t believe it! Hiromu stands Dia up, runs, to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! And then he adds on with the OG TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Dia earns 0)

Hiromu finally gets on the board! And at least in his mind, he still has Taguchi’s number in this tournament. Will Hiromu make this a comeback story for the history books? Will Dia ever crack that goose egg in his win column?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Sniper of the Skies may be 1-1, but that means he’s only a step behind The Bone Soldier’s 2-0. Who will be number one with a bullet in this main event caliber shootout?

The bell rings, the fans rally up, and Eagles encourages them to get louder. Fans start up a “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” and Robbie joins in. Taiji doesn’t it but Robbie tries to start one for him. The fans don’t respond and Robbie shrugs. The two feel things out, tie up, Taiji waistlocks but Robbie switches. Taiji wrenches, Robbie rolls then wrenches back. Robbie hammerlocks but Taiji switches that onto Robbie. Robbie headlocks, hits the takeover, but Taiji headscissors. Robbie kips free, and the fans applaud as the two stand off. Taiji and Robbie reset, feel things out, and knuckle lock. Taiji wrenches right into a top wristlock!

Robbie goes to ropes, Red Shoes calls the break, but Taiji twists the wrist first. Red Shoes counts but Taiji YANKS the arm as he lets off. Taiji then whips, but Robbie holds ropes to block! Taiji tries again but Robbie still holds on, so Taiji CLAWS the eyes! Taiji whips, Robbie reverses to go up and around and arm-drag! Robbie keeps moving, hurdles Taiji to then RANA him! Taiji gets back up, but Robbie WHEEL KICKS! Robbie kips up, the fans fire up and Taiji bails out. Robbie builds speed but Taiji moves, so Robbie springboards to backflip! The fans cheer but Taiji eggs Robbie on. Robbie slides out but Taiji slides in, and still taunts Robbie.

Robbie slides back in, but Taiji catches him for a NECK TWIST! Robbie staggers away, Taiji goes out after him, and Taiji SMACKS Robbie off the commentary desk! Robbie staggers away, Taiji pursues and scoops, to LAWN DART POST him! Red Shoes reprimands and wants this back in the ring. Taiji goes back in, but he unties the blue buckle pad! The Bullet Club Special is in play, and then Taiji waits on Robbie. The ring count starts, Robbie sits up at 5 of 20, then rises at 8. Robbie slides in at 9, but Taiji storms up on him. Robbie CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Taiji CLUBS Robbie on the neck! Robbie falls and flops against ropes.

Taiji drags Robbie up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he snapmares to NECK TWIST again! Robbie writhes but Taiji looms over him. Taiji clamps on a chinlock and digs his knee into Robbie’s back. Robbie endures, so Taiji pushes him down for a FIST DROP! Taiji then pushes Robbie to a cover, TWO! Robbie gets away and the fans rally up. Taiji stalks Robbie, clamps onto an arm, CLUBS Robbie in the neck, then traps both arms in chicken wings! Taiji spins Robbie around, then gets a leg, and he lifts Robbie into the fisherman stretch! Then he hits the SHOULDER BUSTER! Robbie flounders out of the ring and Taiji says, “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE! F YOU!”

Taiji waits on the ring count, and Robbie is still down at 5 of 20. Robbie sits up at 8, stands at 9, but he falls over at 10! Robbie rises at 12 and rolls into the ring, and fans cheer the resilience. Taiji looms over Robbie, Robbie kicks from below, but Taiji stomps him! The fans rally for Robbie but Taiji wrenches an arm, hammerlocks, then scoops, but Eagles slips free! CHOP BLOCK! Robbie keeps moving, but Taiji ducks the blindside lariat! JUMP KNEE, LA MYSTICA, but Robbie stops it partway! Robbie gets the backslide, TWO! Taiji runs up, Robbie gets around, SNAP SAIDO! The fans fire up while both men are down!

The fans rally up again, and Robbie pounds the mat. Robbie waits on Taiji to sit up, and then he KICKS! And KICKS! And KICKS again! Taiji flounders, Robbie runs, and LEG LARIATS! The fans cheer as Robbie rolls and aims from a corner. Robbie runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE, then he rolls back, to BASEMENT 619! Taiji sits down, Robbie runs back in, METEORA! The fans fire up and Eagles pushes Taiji to a cover, TWO! Taiji stays in this but the fans rally for Robbie again. Robbie shakes out the bad arm, goes up and out, then climbs the corner. But Taiji SLAPS Robbie first! Taiji lifts Robbie off the corner, but Robbie hooks ropes!

Red Shoes counts, Taiji puts Robbie on the apron. Robbie GAMANGIRIS back! Robbie springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK the legs! Robbie then ties up those legs into the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Taiji endures, flails around, reaches out, but Robbie puts on the pressure! The fans rally, and Taiji gets the ROPEBREAK! Robbie lets go, but drops knees on the knee! Taiji flounders away, Robbie vows to end it now. But Taiji ducks the Shining Wizard! BONE LOCK!! Robbie endures, the fans rally, but Taiji puts on the pressure! Robbie reaches back with a leg, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Taiji lets go in frustration.

Taiji hobbles around, drags Robbie up, and Taiji POSTS Robbie in the blue corner!! Then Taiji hammerlocks, lifts, and SHOULDER BUSTERS! Cover, TWO!! Robbie survives and Taiji is frustrated but the fans rally up. Taiji goes to a corner, aims and BANG. Taiji drags Robbie up, but Robbie fights the lift! Taiji still tries but Robbie kicks the bad leg! Taiji runs in but Robbie ELBOWS him away. Robbie runs up, into a BOOT! Taiji runs in, blocks boots, and puts Robbie in ropes! ENZIGIRI and- Robbie springs out to FLYING CHUCK! The fans fire up while both men are down! The fans rally as Robbie rises. Robbie drags Taiji up, but Taiji fires a forearm!

Robbie fires a forearm in return! Taiji fires another forearm! Robbie kicks back! Taiji fires another forearm, and the two stand. Robbie CHOPS, Taiji CHOPS, Robbie CHOPS again! Taiji fires a flurry of forearms, but Robbie KICKS a leg! Taiji LARIATS, runs, but Robbie blocks to ROUNDHOUSE! SUPERKICK! ENZI- NO, Taiji ducks! BONE LOCK! But Robbie slips out to steal BONE LOCK! But Taiji rolls him up! TWO!! Both stand, Robbie blocks the boot, slips around and fires palm strikes! Robbie hooks Taiji up, but Taiji fights the backpack into a gut wrench! But Robbie turns that around to steal- NO, Taiji flips through to somersault clutch! TWO and Robbie has it! TWO!!

The fans fire up, Robbie rolls Taiji with the bridge, TWO!! Robbie steps through, but Taiji BOOTS him into the bare buckles!! Roll-up, TWO, but into BONE LOCK!!! Robbie endures, reaches out, and the fans rally! Taiji pulls way back on the hold! Robbie still fights his way forward, but Taiji rolls him! Robbie pops free, and rolls Taiji into the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Taiji endures, reaches out, crawls forward, but Robbie drags him back! Robbie puts on the pressure and Taiji flails! Taiji still fights, claws at the mat, but Robbie drags him back again! Robbie KICKS away on the bad leg, then steps through to drop knees on the knee!

The fans are thunderous and Eagles steps through, but Taiji cradles! Then BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Taiji wins!

Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Eagles earns 0)

It was a shootout until the end, but it was Taiji who hit the mark! Will Eagles be able to reload and try again in the next round?

As for Taiji, he gets an icepack for his knee, then gets the mic. Taiji taps the mic on the mat for the sound check, then he sits up to say, “Oi Gunma, were you fired up?” The fans cheer, they definitely were. Taiji asks if they wanted Robbie Eagles to win tonight. “Be honest, that’s what you wanted! Well that’s too bad! It is what it is. Sorry to say, I’m here.” The fans do applaud his win. Taiji adds that unfortunately, he’s not interested in anything but the top! And he won’t give this spot to anybody! “You wanna be more fired up, huh? You want more, huh? Well, keep your eyes on me, and only me! Taking it all is my destiny.

“I’m given all that I need, you know what I mean? All of it… by God’s grace!” The Bone Soldier feels he is destined for greatness, but will he make destiny into reality?

 

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

KUSHIDA: 3-0, 6 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-0, 6 points
SHO: 2-1, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-1, 4 points
Francesco Akira: 1-2, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-2, 2 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 1-2, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-2, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 1-2, 2 points
Dragon Dia: 0-3, 0 points


My Thoughts:

A great third round for B Block, and Hiromu finally getting his win here made sense. Pretty funny gag where he is convinced Dragon Dia is just Ryusuke Taguchi with a new look. Not sure why he went with that but Dia insisting he’s his own person while still using moves that Taguchi also uses was really good stuff. I also really liked Sho having a fake Ninja Mack and trying to get a win that way. Bit of a shame Mack didn’t turn things around and win, but I suppose the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion can’t be owing too many matches after this tournament.

Kushida’s still 3-0, a good move in itself. But as the guy who beat Sho, there’s a chance Kushida does have to fall back to his “golden ticket” for a title match. And great main event from Eagles VS Taiji, great win for Taiji to also be undefeated 3-0. His promo was good, and I wonder if claiming God is behind him is him taking a shot at Titan, who always thanks God for his victories. But as it stands, Kushida and Taiji are strong choices for making it out of the block, but I suppose it depends on the plans for Hiromu. Hiromu could replace Taiji as a semifinalist since Kushida already beat Hiromu, because his story really is about redeeming himself from falling short last year.

My Score: 8.9/10


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