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Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (3/11/24)

Time to run the gauntlet!

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Who will face Der Ring General?

As we continue down the Road to WrestleMania, a #1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship will arise through a star-studded six man GAUNTLET!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Becky Lynch VS Liv Morgan; Becky wins.
  • Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri; Candice & Indi win.
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: The Kabuki Warriors VS Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark; The Kabuki Warriors win and retain the titles.
  • R-Truth VS Damian Priest; Priest wins.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Gauntlet: Sami Zayn wins and will challenge Gunther for the title at WrestleMania 40.

PLAY BY PLAY

Drew McIntyre is here!

The Scottish Terminator heads to the ring, feeling good after beating Jey Uso last week, though with a lot of help from The Bloodline. McIntyre gets his pyro, gets the mic, and Houston is torn as McIntyre looks to the WrestleMania sign. “Selfish, delusional, arrogant, hypocrite junkie. You couldn’t help yourself, Seth, could you? You had to accept the tag match, two main events back to back. You just had to get that fix. Junkie! Y’know, at least when I dropped Cody, he saw sense, he chose to finish his story. I drop you, Seth, what do you do? You find that energy and fire you’ve been missing, you decide to channel it into your own selfish agenda because of course you do.

“Say ‘what’ if you’re glad I took out CM Punk.” The fans boo as he almost got them. McIntyre says he always tells the truth and always has the answers. Do you wanna know what “the bigger picture” is? Do they want that answer? The fans chant for “C M PUNK!” instead. McIntyre chuckles and says no, that’s not it. Punk should have a handwritten thank you card ready because McIntyre’s the one keeping Punk relevant. The bigger picture isn’t Cody, Roman, Seth Rollins or even McIntyre. “The bigger picture is The Rock!” Fans boo but McIntyre wants them to hear him out. Think about the history of our industry.

Wait, most Houstoners don’t even know the history of America, so here’s a refresher on pro-wrestling. We started in the carnivals, then the armories, then arenas like this, and then stadiums and billion-dollar deals! What do you think the next evolution is? It’s working together with one of the most powerful people on planet Earth! Obviously The Rock is upset with Cody! What’d Cody do? He promised a match, took it away! He’s a liar, he insulted The Rock’s family. It is none of McIntyre’s business and it is none of Rollins’ business. But Rollins thinks this industry revolves around him. The minute Rollins realizes the business is bigger than Rollins, then he might become the legend he is in his own mind!

And everyone’s prayers will have been answered! From the locker room to the crowds to the top of the board, we will have a future champion in McIntyre that we can invest in and be proud of! Tell him he’s wrong! Wait, here comes Rollins! He tells “Drew, Drew, Drew, Drew, Drew… Would you do us all a favor and shut your mouth, big man?” The fans sing with the song, “WHOA~ OH~ OHHH~!” and Rollins says we’ll get to that. But McIntyre has been begging for attention! So let’s give him a little rub, shall we? Goo d news, Drew! Now that Night One’s main event is in the bag, Rollins has been thinking about that Claymore from last week.

McIntyre almost got Rollins’ full attention with that shot. Maybe we can go all the way with one more Claymore right here and right now. The fans fire up as Rollins stares McIntyre down. Rollins dares McIntyre to show us what’s under taht kilt! He’ll even make it easy and kneel! Rollins takes off the sunglasses and waits. Oh, wait, right, McIntyre’s a coward so he’ll turn around. Rollins waits, the fans sing, but McIntyre chuckles. “Before this gets any weirder, I just want to talk to you. I just want hyou to listen. For once, don’t just listen. Actaully hear me! I wanna tell you that you were right!”

Rollins turns around to hear that better as McIntyre says Rollins is right. Before their last match, the one Damian Priest screwed up for him, Rollins told McIntyre that McIntyre has to get over The Bloodline because they’re over him. “Get over it!” McIntyre says Rollins is right! McIntyre got over it! It kills him when Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso get involved, he wants to drop them on sight, but he did what Rollins said. He focused on the task at hand to get the wins, get the momentum, because he does it for the world title, for Monday Night Raw, because as a champion, that his all he should care about!

Then McIntyre returned the favor. He pleased with Rollins to take his own advice, but he didn’t because all Rollins cares about is Rollins. Rollins tells Drew that he’s starting to remind him of someone. Can’t quite remember that guy. McIntyre doesn’t like the guy, has a lot of tattoos, he’s from Chicago… The fans chant “C M PUNK!” Oh, yeah! McIntyre is like Punk! Because Rollins always thought that guy was the biggest hypocrite, until he met Drew. For years and years, McIntyre has gone on about The Bloodline screwed him, cost him the title, cost him the big match. Until a few weeks ago, McIntyre was saying it over and over!

And now, it’s like McIntyre wants to be an Honorary Uce! Houston, help Rollins with this. McIntyre beat Cody Rhodes, but did he do that without The Bloodline? “NO!” What about beating Jey Uso? “NO!” Rollins doesn’t buy this bull crap about McIntyre not wanting interference. McIntyre would love nothing more than for the Bloodline to help take the title off Rollins’ waist! McIntyre would love to stand next to The Rock, to be the People’s Champion’s Chosen One. But newsflash, jack: it ain’t gonna happen. Rollins will lay it out for us: Night One, Seth & Cody will take down The Bloodline!

Then on Night Two, Rollins VS McIntyre, the same thing happens that always happens when it’s them 1v1 for the title! Rollins will stomp McIntyre’s head into the mat, pin his shoulders, and the last thing McIntyre hears in the biggest moment of his career is the fans singing Rollins’ song! “WHOA~ OH~ OHH~!” McIntyre scowls and says he knows what Rollins is trying to do. Rollins wants McIntyre to put him out of his misery, to swing on him, to drop him. McIntyre won’t do it, because he has to face Rollins at Mania, pin him at Mania, and there is nothing Rollins can say that will provoke him.

McIntyre leaves but Rollins calls after him. Does McIntyre wanna know why Rollins hasn’t paid much attention to him on this Road to WrestleMania? Because of all the things, all the threats, the list of threats that Rollins is worried about going into WrestleMania, from the The Rock to Roman Reigns to the bad back and bad knee, at the very bottom of that list… the thing Rollins is worried about least, is Drew McIntyre. McIntyre turns around and storms up to the ring! Rollins is ready, but then McIntyre stops short. McIntyre storms away, controlling his anger. Is Rollins going to regret pushing the buttons? Or will nothing stop the Visionary from making it through WrestleMania 40?

 

What does it mean to “run the gauntlet?”

Colloquially, it means “to go through an intimidating or dangerous experience in order to reach a goal.” Chad Gable says he’s been running the gauntlet in his own head since his match with Gunther last September. The only tears you wanna wipe off your child’s face should be tears of joy. But if Gable wants that chance, this new gauntlet stands before him. His path to Heaven runs through the gauntlet from Hell. “A gauntlet filled with demons from my past that I’m gonna have to overcome this time, in order to earn my date with destiny. My date with redemption.

“It’s a rare chance to rewrite history, we don’t get those every day, so I intend to claim it and become a beacon of perseverance that my fans and my family can be proud of.” Gable vows to endure, “because for Chad Gable, this match just means more.” The Alpha Academy’s fearless leader wants to finally hold singles gold, will he survive the star-studded six pack to get back there?

 

Becky Lynch VS Liv Morgan!

The Man is ready for Rhea Ripley and the Women’s World Championship, but her Road to WrestleMania ran afoul of Liv Morgan’s revenge tour! Will Becky keep her momentum up? Or is she running into a big time speedbump?

Raw returns and Liv makes her entrance. The bell rings and the two tie up. They go around, end up in a corner, then go along ropes into another corner. Liv lets off to shove Becky! Fans are torn but Becky gets around to waistlock and SLAM! Becky drags liv back up but Liv throws elbows. Liv headlocks, Becky powers up and out, but Liv runs her over! Liv grins and runs, but Becky drops, runs the other way, then runs Liv over! Becky dusts herself off but Liv gets up to SLAP! So Becky SLAPS back! Liv fires forearms, Becky ROCKS Liv and bumps her off buckles. Becky bumps Liv off another corner, but then Liv bumps Becky back!

Liv brings Becky around, grabs an arm, but Liv moves around! Liv arm-drags free, runs up but Becky dodges! Becky BLASTS Liv off the apron, then builds speed, but Liv avoids the baseball slide! Liv gets in to build speed and she DIVES! Not the cleanest flight but she still takes Becky down, and the fans fire up as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns again and Becky storms up to Liv in a corner. Liv ELBOWS Becky away, waistlocks, but Becky bucks the O’Conner! Liv runs Becky over with shoulder tackle after shoulder tackle, then kicks, KICKS and ENZIGIRIS! Liv kips up and the fans fire up! Liv runs in at the corner now, back body blocks, then runs, rolls and comes back. Becky dodges to JUMP KICK! Then she clinches, BECKSPLODER! Liv stands into another clinch, another BECKSPLODER! The fans rally up and runs to WRECK Liv with a dropkick! Becky goes to the apron, leaps and CLOBBERS Liv with a flying forearm!

Becky puts Liv back in the ring, goes up a corner and the fans rally. Becky leaps, into a CODE BREAKER! Both women are down and the fans fire up! The ref checks, they’re both okay to continue, and the fans rally and duel! “Let’s Go, Becky!” “Let’s Go, Liv!” Becky crawls after Liv as Liv goes to ropes. Becky ROCKS Liv, Liv ROCKS Becky! Becky ROCKS Liv, but Liv ROCKS Becky! They go back and forth, faster and faster, and the fans fire up! Becky gets the edge, UPPERCUTS and SOBATS, then runs, but Liv follows! Springboard CODE BREAKER! Cover, TWO! Becky survives and Liv is frustrated!

Becky stands, Liv runs up but into a BOOT! Becky whips but Liv reverses to put Becky on the apron., Liv runs up but Becky KICKS her! Becky brings Liv to the apron, but Liv fights the suplex! Liv pushes Becky, ROCKS her, but Becky ROCKS her back! Becky waistlocks and aims for the floor! Liv holds on for dear life and throws elbows! Becky lets go, Liv BOOTS her to the corner! Becky staggers, Liv SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMBS to the floor!! The fans are all fired up and Liv hurries to get Becky in the ring! Liv hurries to cover, TWO!! Becky survives and shocks everyone! Liv works to calm down, because Houston knows “This is Awesome!”

Liv refocuses and brings Becky up. Becky resists the lift, to clinch, MAN- NO, Liv victory rolls! TWO, and Liv runs up! But into the MANHANDLE SLAM!! But Liv flops out of the ring to deny Becky the pinfall! Becky is stunned, the fans fire up, and Raw goes to break!

Raw returns once again and Becky looms over Liv. Becky grabs an arm but Liv rolls her up! TWO, and Liv clamps on with RINGS OF SATURN!! Becky fights, moves, rolls free and kicks low! Underhooks for the BUTTERFLY SLAM into an ARMBAR! Liv flails, reaches out, fights up and stacks Becky, TWO! Back to RINGS OF SATURN!! Becky flails, kicks, make sit a cover, TWO and Liv ghost pins! TWO, both stand up and Liv slips around to DDT!! Becky flounders to ropes, stands up, into OB-LIV-ION!! But now Becky flops outta the ring! Liv is seething as Becky survives! A ring count starts but Liv goes out after Becky.

Liv DRIBBLES Becky’s face off the apron edge! Liv puts Becky in, sees her go to a corner, and she runs up! Becky sends Liv into buckles! Becky comes back but Liv slips out and Becky hits buckles! Liv KNEES Becky away, goes up and leaps, but into the MANHANDLE SLAM!!! Cover, Becky wins!!

Winner: Becky Lynch, by pinfall

That battle was itself worthy of the Women’s World Championship, but it is still The Man heading down the Road to WrestleMania! Becky does nod Liv respect, will they look to run this back one day? Will Becky be the world champion by then? But speaking of, here comes Rhea Ripley! Houston fires up as Mami swaggers her way out, title in hand. Rhea looks at Liv and Liv says she’ll be the one to take everything Rhea loves! Rhea just blows her a kiss, then goes to the ring with a mic to stare down Becky. The fans chant for “MAMI! MAMI!” but Rhea says, “Congratulations, Becky. You beat Liv Morgan. Now was it all worth it?

“Because every single week, you seem to be getting into these fights and leaving everything you have in this ring. And every single week that goes by, we seem to be getting closer and closer to WrestleMania. But that’s what The Man is all about, right? You fight anyone, anywhere. You say that you do it for these people, you say that you do it for your family. See, I know the real reason as to why you do it, Becky. You say that you have to prove to yourself that you’re still the best here. But the thing is, you know deep down that I am better than you.” So that is why Becky keeps accepting all these matches! She wants an excuse as to why she can’t beat Rhea!

Rhea promises that if Becky doesn’t step into Mania 100%, she won’t be walking out “The Man!” She will be nothing but a disappointment. The fans are torn and Becky paces. Becky has a mic to say before the Royal Rumble, she looked Rhea in the eye and said Rhea might be better than her, and that Becky needs to prove Rhea is not. And that little bit of doubt, that planted a seed. That seed grew into a tree with branches and leaves and roots and vines that are wrapping around the whole world. But what you need to understand about Becky, when people believe in her, she is good. But when people doubt her, she is GREAT!

So Rhea, if it has to be Becky against the whole world, then the whole world doesn’t stand a chance. Becky drops her mic and storms off, ready to give it her all and then some! Will that be just enough to finally take down The Eradicator?

 

BREAKING NEWS for WrestleMania!

Both the Raw and SmackDown General Managers, Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis, stand side by side as they give us this announcement. As they work together to make WrestleMania 40 the greatest event in wrestling history, they are here tonight. It is their distinct honor and privilege as not just GMs but as fans of tag team wrestling and this “unbelievably deep tag division” in WWE today, to announce that at WrestleMania 40, Judgment Day will defend their tag titles against FIVE of the very best tag teams in WWE today in a very special match that matches the magnitude of the biggest Mania of all time.

It will be a SIX PACK LADDER MATCH! Over the next few weeks, teams from both Raw and SmackDown will compete to earn spots in that match, and the opportunity to walk away with the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania. Pearce and Aldis wish all the teams good luck, but is it Finn & Priest who will need a miracle to survive?

Judgment Day talk about this in their clubhouse.

Priest says he’s never had a problem with a GM before now. FIVE teams?! They wanna go to his office and talk to “that Nick fella.” JD McDonagh also joins Finn & Priest in storming their way out, but will they fail to change management’s mind?

 

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri!

The Poison Pixie got a little spicy last week and took her frustrations out verbally on poor Maxxine the Alpha Queen. Ivy and Indi know Maxxine’s doing her best, but will her best just not be enough? Or will Ivy & Maxxine find the way to win against former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions?

The teams sort out, Ivy and Indi start. They tie up, Ivy arm-drags but then Indi arm-drags! Indi grinds the arm, whips, but Ivy holds ropes. Ivy ROUNDHOUSES Indi, but Candice gets a cheap shot in! Fans boo but Indi didn’t see it. She tags Candice, but Ivy UPPERCUTS! Ivy and Candice DOUBLE LARIAT, and the fans rally up while they’re both down. Ivy and Candice crawl, hot tags to Indi and Maxxine! Maxxine wrenches and ROUNDHOUSES Indi, then ENZIGIRIS! The fans cheer as Maxxine SHOTGUNS! Maxxine is all fired up, she runs up and SPLASHES! Indi flops down, and Maxxine shouts out Otis with the hip swivel!

Maxxine shimmies, shakes, handsprings, and REVERSE CATERPILLARS, but into Candice! Candice says Maxxine just looks stupid! Maxxine is bullied into the corner, and Candice says, “You know why people are booing you, right? Because you don’t belong here!” Maxxine looks close to tears and Candice says if hearing what the internet has to say hurts, try listening to what the others in the locker room are saying! Candice mocks Maxxine’s tears. Candice says it is a good thing her dead brother isn’t here to see what an embarrassment Maxxine’s become! Maxxine pushes Candice away and wants out, but Indi BOOTS her down!

Candice BOOTS Ivy, tells Indi to pin! Indi does, she and Candice win!

Winner: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell, by pinfall

The poison inside the pixie is truly corrosive, and Indi has no idea what to make of it. Will Maxxine be able to recover from Candice’s toxic words?

 

The GMs talk in their office.

They talk out the details, and Aldis says it will be three teams from Raw and two from SmackDown. Pearce is quite the tough negotiator. Pearce takes that as a compliment, and they both know it will be one incredible match. Between this and NXT’s Tag Team Eliminator Tournament, the WWE Tag Division is- But then Finn walks in and says, “Excuse me, muchachos, but what the hell is going on around here? Is this some sort of a joke? Me and Damian have to defend our two titles against five teams, at WrestleMania, in a ladder match!? Everyone knows I don’t like ladders!” McDonagh says yeah, Finn’s afraid of heights.

What? This is the biggest Mania of all time. But think of it this way: If Judgment Day wins, they cement their legacies as the greatest tag team of all time! Priest says stop, stop! They already have proven they’re the best! It’s why they have the belts! Whose idea even was this? Was it Pearce? Was it Aldis? Aldis says it is better left unsaid. Pearce has everyone calm down, they take ideas from all over. They should see social media. Finn asks if he is invisible. What about his ideas? He has great ideas! No one listens to his ideas! Okay, okay, since they’re so adamant about it, Pearce & Aldis had a conversation with Miz & Truth-

OH, SERIOUSLY!? That’s who they’re getting advice from? In that case, give them Miz & Truth in a match, tonight! Well too bad, they’re not here tonight, they’re off doing media appearances. Wait, Truth walks in!? Isn’t he supposed to be in Philadelphia? Oh, that’s on Monday, bro. Truth, it IS Monday. Oh… That’s why Miz ain’t here, huh? Priest says he’ll settle for just Truth. Make the match. The Judgment Day heads out and Truth asks what they’re so mad about. Pearce will try to explain, but will it even matter?

 

Michael Cole is in the ring.

He has chairs prepared because he is going to interview a man who had quite a historic night on SmackDown last Friday. We watch a recap package, and then Cody Rhodes makes his entrance! Houston fires up for the American Nightmare and they sing his song, “WHOA~ OH~!” The pyro goes off, Cody gets the fans even more fired up, and then he joins Maggle in the ring. They sit down and Cole asks Cody what he wants to talk about. But to cut to the chase, The Rock trumpeted the fact that he is on the Board of Directors, and made it clear as Cody’s boss that if Cody doesn’t get it done at WrestleMania, he may never, ever challenge for another title again.

So then, why did Cody slap him? Cody smirks, the fans chant “ROCKY SUCKS!” and Cody says he knows The Rock is saying that he is Cody’s boss. Not sure that’s really the case, but if The Rock is, then it feels good to slap your boss. And before the red carpet premieres and sipping tequila and promoting energy drinks, etc, etc, The ROck was a wrestler. A great one at that, one of Cody’s favorites, so The Rock knows what that slap was: it was a receipt. Then Cole wants to know why he agreed to that night one tag match. To be fair, Rollins is the one who answered for them, and then Cody did later.

Cody has so much at stake on Sunday, “finishing the story” with Roman, why put that in jeopardy? So much can go wrong in that 24 hour period, including how if he and Rollins lose, the match becomes “Bloodline Rules,” aka no rules. More importantly, and hear Cole out, Rollins and Cody have a long history. Rollins has made it very clear that he wants to be THE top champion in the WWE, and he is the last person to have defeated Roman Reigns 1v1. It was via disqualification but still, and he never got a rematch. Perhaps it is Rollins wanting to be the one to finally end Roman’s streak. With all that said, how the hell can Cody trust Rollins?

Cody smirks and says, “People change, Michael. It wasn’t that long ago you were sitting over there in a Plexiglas enclosure, wearing a Syracuse wrestling singlet, heckling everyone of the boys. Hell, I went off in the distance, I smashed the throne, and the person who sits on that throne has now become my closest working ally. I even teamed with Jey Uso!” The fans “YEET!” for that one. Cody says he and Rollins have not always gotten along, that is true, but Rollins has always had Cody’s respect. If he has to go to war with anyone, he happily does it with Rollins. Besides that, this is Cody’s one shot, the one opportunity at getting a fair fight against Roman Reigns.

Cody knew he’d be talking tonight, he and Cole are old friends. But here is an answer to a question the last time they were both in the ring. Flashback to October when he and Jey were tag team champions. Cole brought up Cody’s great year: Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and that close to winning the title, same as Dusty Rhodes. Is that going to be Cody’s story? Cody was flustered at the time, but here tonight, Cody says that was a good question. Even now. So here’s another: Does Cody look nervous? Fans so “NO!” and Cody asks if he looks afraid. Because to be honest, he is nervous, he is scared, and he knows there are these “old head podcasters” who want this Jerry Springer thing.

The suit, the big words, admitting to being afraid. Cody can’t say “I’ll get ’em next time,” because that already happened. But the story is no longer about Roman’s championship and Cody. The story is about all of the fans who have followed Cody to the absolute ends. The story is all about a young girl named Hannah, blind, held up a sign for Cody just to feel it. There’s Cody’s friend, Harley, was in the front row, went through spinal fusion, who wanted the weight belt. Cody’s own family, like his sister, the one The Rock didn’t even mention. The original shotgun-riding kid for Dusty, who went from watching him in front of thousands of people, to driving him to signings where there were only 40.

Or even Cody’s mother, the only one left. Cody can’t hand it to Dusty Rhodes, but he sure can hand it to Michelle Rubio. The fans cheer as Cody gets emotional here. Cody then says, “How about my number one fan? Someone you know really well because you hired her, my wife, Brandi Rhodes. The most beautiful woman on the Earth. She took a shot on me when I was wearing a goofy mask and taking RKOs every night. If anyone deserves it…” The story is beyond Cody. But it is still up to him. Cody tells Roman now that last year, Roman said this was the third inning. But Cody wants to say this, and he’s sure Roman knows it, too. We are no longer in the third, this is the bottom of the ninth!

And Cody is so glad to have this moment. Night two of WrestleMania, Cole can say for the first time in the history of this company, for the first time in the history of Cody’s family, a RHODES will be Undisputed WWE Champion! Cole gets to say at WrestleMania 40, “Cody Rhodes finished the story!” Cody and Cole shake hands and hug it out, but will the American Nightmare make that dream come true?

 

More of the gauntlet competitors speak.

“Ladies and gentlemen, Ricochet returns tonight for in-ring action for Monday Night Raw. He actually returns for an opportunity to reclaim something that was taken from him.” He’s said it once and he’ll say it again, from day one stepping into the WWE, Ricochet has known where he wants to be. And tonight, after he runs through the gauntlet, where he is going to be will be WrestleMania to reclaim his Interconnectional Championship. So his Road to WrestleMania starts tonight.

JD McDonagh say that he woke up and in the mirror, he saw a guy “who after a lifetime of effort is now just one match, one win, away from WrestleMania. I saw a guy looking back at me who is willing to do anything, to sink to any depth, to MAIM to get to WrestleMania. And most importantly, I saw a guy looking back at me that I KNOW can beat Gunther. If you don’t believe me, I don’t give a damn. But I will tell you this: You never bet against an Ace.”

The One and Only and the Necessary Evil are ready, but will either of them make it to the end?

 

Becky finds Liv backstage.

Liv stands up to stare down Becky eye to eye, but Becky offers a handshake. Liv takes it, but then Nia CLOBBERS them both!! Nia says, “Aw, how cute! You guys supposed to make up, huh?” Nia TOSSES Liv into a road case! Nia tells Becky they’re not done. URENAGE through a table!! Refs and producers rush over, Nia tells them to back off, then she leaves. Will nothing stop The Irresistible Force from getting her way on the Road to WrestleMania?

 

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships: The Kabuki Warriors w/ Damage CTRL VS Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark!

The Empress of Tomorrow & The Pirate Princess have been dominating since coming back together, but they’re up against a combo that’s just as tough and just as mean! Will Asuka & Kairi not be ready for the Queen of Spades & Hunter? Or will Damage CTRL still be in control?

Raw returns and Shayna makes her entrance, followed by Zoey. The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see who truly dominates the tag division!

The teams sort out, Asuka and Stark start. They tie up, Stark headlocks but Asuka powers out. Stark ducks then handsprings and the fans cheer. Things speed up, Stark dodges then drops to then hurdle, roll back, but into a basement dropkick! Asuka swaggers, runs up at Stark in a corner, but Stark goes up and over then DROPKICKS back! Cover, TWO! Tag to Shayna, Stark snapmares Asuka for Shayna to KICK! And KICK! And KICKS! Asuka blocks, throws Shayna down, then aims to KICK! And KICK! And KICK! Shayna block snow, and goes for the ANKLE LOCK! Asuka hops and reaches out, but Shayna brings her away to go for an arm!

Asuka endures the double wristlock, pulls hair, and then tags Kairi. They whip Shayna away and Asuka drops so Kairi can LARIAT! Cover, ONE! Kairi pie faces Shayna, pie faces her again, but Shayna wrenches and brings her over! Tag to Stark, Shayna GERMAN SUPLEXES Kairi and Stark runs up to SLIDING BOOT! Stark BLASTS Asuka, too, then aims at them both! Springboard DOUBLE CROSSBODY! The fans fire up as the challengers stand tall, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Asuka headlocks Shayna, but Shayna hits a BIG back suplex out of it! They’re both down, the fans rally as they crawl, hot tags to Kairi and Stark! Stark LARIATS, LARIATS again, then runs to CLOBBER Kairi! The fans fire up with Stark, she ROCKS Kairi and whips her to a corner. Stark runs in, SPLASHES, then hoists her up top. The fans rally behind Stark as she ROCKS Kairi, ROCKS her again, then climbs. Kairi CLUBS away on Stark, Stark hits back, and Stark brings Kairi to the very top! But Kairi throws more shots! Kairi trips Stark up, HEADBUTTS her into the Tree of Woe, then stands!

The fans are torn as Kairi aims, and she WOE STOMPS Stark down! Cover, TWO! Stark survives and Kairi is furious! Kairi goes corner to corner, SLIDING D into a BOOT! Stark hurries to her corner but so does Kairi, hot tags to Shayna and Asuka! Shayna dodges to fire off a strike fest! She KICKS a leg out but Asuka dodges to URAKEN! SOBAT! KICK! URA- No, Shayna ducks to ROCK Asuka! Shayna runs up, Asuka ELBOWS her! Tag to Kari, CODE BREAKER to BLOCKBUSTER! Kairi keeps moving, she tags back to Asuka, then she BLASTS Stark! The Kabuki Warriors line it up, SLIDING D GAMANGIRI COMBO! Cover, Stark breaks it!!

The fans fire up but Kairi CLUBS Stark! Stark still TOSSES Kairi, goes out after her, and Shayna ROUNDHOUSES Asuka! Shayna tags Stark, Stark brings Asuka up! Fireman’s carry and- NO, Asuka slips free! Asuka blocks the roundhouse to slip around and GERMAN SUPLEX! Tag back to Kairi and she climbs! Asuka has Stark in position, but Stark powers out to shove Asuka! Kairi leaps over, Stark avoids the lariat to SUPERKICK! Tag to Shayna and they set Kairi up! Z360!! Kairi sits up into the RUNNING KNEE!! Cover, ASUKA BREAKS IT! Stark runs up to SUPERKICK Asuka! Asuka bails out, Stark PLANCHAS but FLOPS as Asuka moves!

Kairi and Shayna stands! Shayna blocks the uraken to KIRAFUDA KLUTCH!! The fans go wild, Kairi kicks and rolls back to a cover, TWO!! Kairi is still caught! She reaches out for ropes but Shayna gets that arm! But then Dakota grabs a leg! Shayna kicks Dakota away, the fans boo, but Kairi URAKENS! Tag back to Asuka and Asuka BUZZSAWS! Tag back to Kairi and they get Shayna in position now! In-SANE DDT!! Cover, Kabuki Warriors win!

Winners: The Kabuki Warriors, by pinfall (still WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions)

#CobraKai made sure her girls didn’t lose control! But she has to face Bayley this Friday now, will the Role Model get a small part of revenge before going for the Evil Genius, Iyo Sky?

 

Judgment Day talks backstage.

They’re all still annoyed about this ladder match business, but then Andrade walks in. Priest asks, “Can we help you?” Andrade says tranquilo, big man. Rhea says it’s fine, she asked him to stop by. Rhea tells Andrade that unfortunately, Dom isn’t here tonight, but he has spoken extremely highly of Andrade. So maybe when Dom is back, we can all talk business. Is that something that interests him? Andrade says of course, he is all about business. Just let him known when. Okay, they’ll speak soon. Hasta luego. Andrade leaves and Finn says not for nothing, but he’s known that lad a long time. Finn agrees with Dom, Andrade brings a lot to the table.

Rhea says yes, it is intriguing. Priest says great, can they get back to focusing on their own business? Because it starts tonight when Priest handles Truth. They all agree there. Will Senor Money in the Bank punish Truth for thinking up this wild ladder match?

 

More gauntlet competitors speak.

The King of Strong Style says, “This fight is the Road to WrestleMania and championship gold. It’s worthy for me to let my emotions, anger and frustrations out. Gunther, don’t just sit back and watch. Keep your eyes wide open.” And the Colossal Aussie says, “All these losers are crying about how hard they’ve worked, and how they deserve their moment. You don’t know what real hard work is! You’re entitled and embarrassing! You deserve what you can take, and I’m taking it all! Tonight, Big Bronson Reed punches his ticket to WrestleMania!”

 

R-Truth VS Damian Priest!

Raw returns and Priest makes his entrance, looking to do this alone. And he just CLOBBERS Truth the moment he’s in the ring! The fans boo, the bell rings, and Priest stomps away on Truth in the corner! The ref has Priest let off, and Priest runs corner to corner, only for Truth to dodge the clothesline! Truth fires off haymakers and the fans fire up! Priest HEADBUTTS Truth away, then ROCKS him with a right! Truth leans against ropes, and Priest tells Truth to suggest something stupid now! Priest ROCKS Truth, whips him, but Truth KICKS back! Priest is furious, and he DECKS Truth with a forearm!

The fans rally for Truth but Priest just smirks. Priest TOSSES Truth out hard, then soaks up the heat. But wait, DIY is here! They cheer Truth on but Priest dares them to do something. Priest reels Truth in, hoists him up, but Truth slips free! Truth baits Priest into the POST! The fans fire up and Truth gets in the ring. Truth then goes to the apron, and he leaps to FLYING LARIAT Priest down! The fans fire up again as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and Truth ROCKS Priest, ROCK Shim again, then runs, but into the FLATLINER! Cover, TWO! Truth still lives and the fans fire up! Priest paces, he kicks at DIY as he goes to the apron and then up a corner. Truth stands, and he hits ropes to trip Priest! Priest falls to the mat then hobbles around. Truth runs up, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and he shoulder tackles! And shoulder tackles! SPIN-OUT BOMB! Shout out to Cena with “YOU CAN’T SEE ME!” FIVE KNUCKLE SHUFFLE! Truth then sets up, fireman’s carries, and ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT!! The fans fire up as Truth covers, TWO!!

Truth doesn’t stop, he steps through to STF!! The fans fire up as Priest endures! But then JD & Finn CLOBBER DIY! The fans boo as those four brawl! Truth lets Priest go to go up the corner! Truth SUPER CROSSBODIES and wipes everyone out! The fans lose their minds, Truth manages to stand back up, and he hurries back in! But Priest LARIATS Truth right down! Priest pulls down the straps and vows to end this! Choke grip, SOUTH OF HEAVEN!! Cover, Priest wins!

Winner: Damian Priest, by pinfall

The Judgment Day didn’t let Truth and “Regeneration X” have their way! In fact, JD CLUBS Ciampa, but Gargano goes after JD! Finn goes after Gargano, he and JD stomp Gargano out! Priest gives Ciampa an APRON CHOKE SLAM! JD kicks Truth around while Finn gives Gargano a COUP DE GRACE!! The fans boo but the Judgment Day does what they want to who they want! Will they do even worse to make sure none of the teams at WrestleMania win out?

 

Becky Lynch speaks.

She’s in the trainer’s room and says she knows she shouldn’t be doing this so close to WrestleMania, but it is her against the world. “So next week, Nia Jax, you, me, Last Woman Standing!” As if the Road to WrestleMania wasn’t in the Big Time already! Will Becky prove she’s unstoppable? Or will Nia end up removing Becky from the title picture after all?

 

Jey Uso is here!

Houston fires up as Main Event Jey, the #YEETMASTER, makes his way to the ring! They bounce with Jey and he points to Pat bouncing on the desk. Jey gets the mic to say “Main Event Jey Uso is now in your city~!” The fans “YEET! YEET! YEET!” and Jey calls out Jimmy Uso. “Big Jim. Big brother Jim, lemme holla at you for a minute. I said I came to Monday night Raw for a fresh start. I said I came to Monday Night for a fresh start.” “YEET!” “But the Bloodline won’t let me go!” “YEET!” Jimmy won’t let Jey go. “YEET!” So how ’bout this? Brother VS Brother, Twin VS Twin, Blood VS Blood, USO VS USO! Jey VS Jimmy, AT WRESTLEMANIA!!

The fans are thunderous for that idea! Jey then tells Jimmy, “Accept my challenge. Cuz I’m gonna knock the yeet out yo’ ass!” Going from a tag team main event last year to a Bloodline grudge match this year, will Jimmy accept? Will The Tribal Chief even let Jimmy accept?

 

Backstage interview with Gunther.

Jackie Redmond is with the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time, and says there are some who believe he has become a little overconfident and is underestimating the six superstars in tonight’s gauntlet. What does he say to that? Gunther asks her, “Who believes that?” Well, there are just speculation among the WWE Universe. Gunther says that whoever believes that is not really his concern. He focuses on his legacy and facts. 640 days ago, Gunther beat Ricochet to become Intercontinental Champion, and he took on the responsibility for himself and for the legacy of this great prize.

And since then, he has elevated this title to heights never seen before. So tonight, the creme de la creme of Monday Night Raw will step into that ring and leave it all out there to compete against him for this great prize at the Grandest Stage of Them All, WrestleMania. And he’s flattered. This is such an affirmation of the work he has put in. But it takes a lot. It takes a lot to be in Gunther’s position. So to whoever wins this gauntlet tonight, good luck. Gunther chuckles and grins, but will he not be so confident once he sees who survives this star-studded field?

 

WWE Intercontinental Championship #1 Contender’s Gauntlet!

First out is the One and Only Ricochet, and he has already said he’s ready to finally be where he’s always wanted to be. Will the King of Flight make it through ’til the end? We find out his opponent after the break!

Raw returns and starting against Ricochet is the Irish Ace, JD McDonagh. The bell rings and the two circle. They tie up, JD wrenches and wristlocks but Ricochet spins, slips through and waistlocks back. JD wrenches out, wrangles Ricochet with the wristlock, but Ricochet rolls, kips up and wrenches to then CLUB the arm, trip JD, and run up. JD BOOTS Ricochet away, but Ricochet rebounds and jumps over. JD gets around, Ricochet switches, but JD elbows free! Things speed up as Ricochet hurdles then MONKEY FLIPS JD! JD gets up into a DROPKICK! Ricochet keeps JD from getting away and whips, but JD reverses.

Ricochet holds ropes to stop himself, then he TOSSES JD up and out! The fans fire up, Ricochet builds speed, and he slides, but JD dodges! Ricochet hurries up to the apron, RAMS into JD, then springboards into a GUTBUSTER! JD then TOSSES Ricochet back out, storms out after him, and whips him hard into barriers! Then into more barriers! Then back into more barriers! JD pushes Ricochet into the ring, storms up behind, but Ricochet ELBOWS back! Ricochet runs up, but JD scoops to BACKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! Ricochet gasps and sputters but JD looms over him. JD drags Ricochet up and puts him in a corner.

JD whips corner to corner hard and Ricochet falls back! JD wants after Ricochet but the ref keeps him back. The ref and JD argue, but JD drops an elbow on Ricochet! The fans rally, JD CHOKES Ricochet on ropes! The ref counts, JD lets off, and JD soaks up the heat. JD points to the WrestleMania sign then goes after Ricochet. Ricochet throws body shots and forearms, but then JD ducks to URENAGE, and STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Ricochet survives but JD keeps his cool. JD brings Ricochet up to snap suplex! JD runs to drop the leg, brother! Ricochet sputters and JD mocks the fans, and they just boo back.

JD ROCKS Ricochet and has him in a corner. Ricochet fights back with forearms and UPPERCUTS, but JD kicks low! JD whips, Ricochet handsprings to back elbow! The fans rally and Ricochet runs corner to corner, to RAM into JD and go to the apron! Springboard and CROSSBODY! Ricochet bounces off, clutches the ribs, but he still LIONSAULTS but onto knees! JD turns things around to then suplex and BRAINBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Ricochet survives and JD is frustrated! JD watches Ricochet writhe while the fans rally up. JD SLAPS Ricochet, so Ricochet SLAPS back! JD SLAPS again, and the forearms start flying!

The fans fire up as Ricochet UPPERCUTS, ROLLING ELBOWS, but JD ROCKS him again! Ricochet HEEL KICKS, then POISON-RANAS! Ricochet runs but into a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!! Both men are down and the fans fire up as Raw goes to break.

Raw returns and Ricochet is on the apron. JD goes out after him, stands him up, and blows a kiss to fans before he SLAPS Ricochet! Ricochet SLAPS back! JD SLAPS, then blocks the kick to CHOP, ENZIGIRI, and he reels Ricochet in! But Ricochet fireman’s carries! APRON DEATH VALLEY!! The fans go nuts while the ref checks both men! JD is somehow still in this so a ring count starts. Ricochet rises and stands at 5 of 10, then slides in before 6. JD crawls around at 7, drags himself up at 8, and rushes to slide in at 9.5! But Ricochet LIONSAULTS! Then he reels JD in for the NORTHERN LIGHTS! Ricochet rolls through to deadlift BRAINBUSTER!! Cover, TWO!!!

The fans fire up and Ricochet is frustrated, but Ricochet stands back up. Ricochet waits on JD to rise and the fans rally up. JD stands, Ricochet fireman’s carries, but JD claws the face! JD POSTS Ricochet, then drags him to a cover, TWO! JD is frustrated now and he kicks and stomps away on Ricochet’s ribs and back! Fans boo but JD stands Ricochet up to then suplex him to the top rope. JD CHOPS Ricochet, then climbs up after him. JD fires forearms, then he goes to the very top! Ricochet fights with elbows then shoves JD down! JD is in the drop zone, and Ricochet aims, SHOOTING STAR PRESS!! Cover, Ricochet ELIMINATES JD!!

But as if that first round wasn’t hard enough, the 330 pounds of BEEF is coming! Bronson Reed is ready for war, will he become a juggernaut in this match? Wait, Ricochet DIVES out to hit Bronson! Bronson wobbles and staggers but doesn’t fall, so Ricochet shoves him into the ring!

Ricochet VS Bronson Reed!

Ricochet springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK Bronson outta the ring!! The fans fire up as Ricochet builds speed and FLIES! The Fosbury Flop takes Bronson down and the fans fire up again! Bronson still stands up before Ricochet does and Bronson gets himself into the ring. Ricochet follows, but Bronson swings! Ricochet ducks, GAMANGIRIS, then springboards again! Bronson catches Ricochet this time, and RAMS him into a corner before hitting the RUNNING POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!! Ricochet survives but Bronson hauls him right back up. Bronson reels Ricochet in, hoists him up, but Ricochet slips free!

Ricochet Tiger Wall Kicks, ENZIGIRIS, and fires back up! Ricochet runs up, hops on, throws down fists, then spins, wheelbarrows, only for Bronson to SLAM him and SENTON! Bronson goes to a corner and the fans feel it coming! TSUNAMI!! Cover, Bronson ELIMINATES Ricochet! But here comes the Master Strategist! Sami Zayn has said he wants to do something truly historic for WrestleMania, will that start by a historic run through the gauntlet?

Bronson Reed VS Sami Zayn!

Sami slides in, dodges Bronson and then baits Bronson into throwing him out of the ring! Sami goes out to CHOP and CHOP and CHOP! Bronson CHOPS in return! And HEADBUTTS! The fans rally behind Sami, but Bronson lines up the shot. Bronson whips, Sami goes up the barriers to QUEBRADA! Direct hit and down goes Bronson! Houston is fired up with Sami and Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and the fans rally for Sami as he endures the chinlock. Sami fights up, throws body shots, but Bronson CLUBS him back down. Bronson whips Sami, Sami ducks ‘n’ dodges but Bronson CLOBBERS him! Bronson hauls Sami up to ANARCHY SUPLEX! Cover, TWO! Sami is still in this but Bronson vows to end this. SENTON FLOPS as Sami moves! Sami goes to a corner, drags himself up, and the fans rally up. Bronson runs in but Sami ELBOWS him away! Sami goes up the corner, leaps, but into the URENAGE! Bronson then runs to ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! Sami survives again but Bronson is just getting mad.

Bronson puts Sami in a corner, CHOPS him, then hoists him up top. Bronson HEADBUTTS Sami, climbs up after him, and hoists Sami up with a fireman’s carry! Fans freak out but Sami kicks and moves around, SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!! Cover, Sami ELIMINATES Bronson!! Even Sami’s a bit shocked, but then the King of Strong Style makes his way out. Wait, Bronson DECKS Sami! The Colossal Aussie is a sore loser, as he goes up to hit a TSUNAMI!! Nakamura grins as Bronson has just served Sami up on a silver platter. Other refs rush out here to get Bronson to the back, but Nakamura slides in the corner to pick the bones!

Sami Zayn VS Shinsuke Nakamura!

Nakamura aims, runs in, but Sami gets around to roll him up! TWO!! SLIDING ENZIGIRI! Sami flounders to ropes, Nakamura stomps away on him! Nakamura lets off as the ref counts, and Sami flops out of the ring. Nakamura goes out the side to pursue, and he runs in to BOOT Sami over the desk! Nakamura paces around and looks to the WrestleMania sign as Raw goes back to break.

Raw returns again and Nakamura gives Sami some Bad Vibrations in the corner! The ref counts, Nakamura lets off, and is stomping Sami while we get some telestrator action on Bronson hitting Sami with the Tsunami. Nakamura paces around Sami, slaps him around, but the fans rally up. Nakamura KICKS Sami, scuffs him, then KICKS again! Sami roars, then blocks a kick! But the ENZIGIRI hits! Sami wobbles, Nakamura whips, but Sami goes up and over, gets around and hits a BLUE THUNDER BOMB! Cover, TWO!! Nakamura survives but Sami is too tired to be upset. Sami drags Nakamura back up, ducks a roundhouse but not the WHEEL KICK!

Nakamura aims from the corner again, wanting to end this! KINSHA- NO, Sami blocks! Nakamura fights the clinch with elbows, then he AX KICKS Sami down! Nakamura goes up the corner, aims, FLYING- NO, Sami gets under! Nakamura ends up in the other corner and Sami runs right in to HELLUVA KICK!! Cover, Sami ELIMINATES Nakamura!! Sami survives the screw job by Bronson, but now it’s just him and Chad Gable. Gable said this means more to him than it does to everyone else, will he prove it?

Sami Zayn VS Chad Gable!

Gable storms into the ring with a lot of fire, but he sees Sami still down and stops himself. Gable says Sami has to get up. This is about going to WrestleMania, Gable won’t take it the easy way. Sami sits up, Gable stands him up, and Gable says let’s do this right. The fans cheer the respect and sportsmanship, and the two circle. Sami fires himself up and they tie up. Gable gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! And GERMAN SUPLEX again! Sami fights the hattrick with elbows, then switches. But Gable rolls to get the ANKLE LOCK! Sami moves around, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Gable lets off and Sami goes to the apron.

Gable runs up but Sami RAMS into him! Gable comes back, slides, and he trips Sami into the ANKLE LOCK! Sami BOOTS Gable into steel steps! Both men are down and the fans fire up while Raw goes to break.

Raw returns once again and Gable has Sami up top! Gable and Sami brawl, body shots and CHOPS and haymakers! Gable ROCKS Sami, ducks Sami’s haymaker, and then brings him up to the very top! SUPER DUPER PLEX!! Gable crawls to the cover, TWO!! Sami survives and Gable can’t believe it! Gable pushes Sami around, has him in a drop zone, and then goes to the corner. But Sami anchors a foot! Gable kicks and kicks and gets free! Gable goes up top, but Sami CLUBS him! And CLUBS him again! The fans rally as Sami goes up, but Gable blocks the lift! Gable throws hands, and even elbows! Sami falls back, Gable adjusts and MOONSAULTS onto knees!

Sami cradles Gable, TWO!! The fans rally up as both Sami and Gable stir. Sami rises up, Gable uses the ropes. Sami ROCKS Gable, then ROCKS him again! Gable fires back! And again! Sami fires a forearm, Gable fires back, and Gable gets the edge! Gable fires off at the ropes, then CHOPS! Sami CHOPS! And SLAPS! And fires off fast hands! The brawl is on and the fans are loving it! It is fast and furious but then it slows down. They fire forearms again and again, then Sami BOOTS! Sami reels Gable in, BLUE THUNDER- NO, Gable slips free to pick the leg and ANKLE LOCK!! Sami flails while fans fire up!

Sami reaches, Gable leans on the leg as hard as he can! Gable says he needs this way more than Sami! Sami endures, proving with actions that that’s not true! Sami reaches out for the ropes, and has the ROPEBREAK!! Gable lets go in frustration, but he refocuses. The fans fire up as Gable storms up behind Sami. Sami fights the waistlock with elbows, but Gable pushes to the corner! Sami bucks the O’Conner Roll, Gable comes back, into the CORNER EXPLODER! Gable flounders around and Sami goes to the far side. Sami fights through the pain to run, but Gable drops down to get the leg! ANKLE LOCK!!

Sami rolls but Gable rolls with him! Sami still endures, Gable pushes the ankle as far as he can! Sami still fights, but Gable drags him back!! Gable leans, Sami turns over! Sami BOOTS but Gable rolls through!! Gable keeps on the Ankle Lock and Sami is flailing! Sami reaches out, but Gable brings him up, LEG TRAP GERMAN!! Gable goes up top to MOONSAULT but Sami moves!! Gable flounders, Sami hobbles but still runs to HELLUVA KICK!!! Sami has to crawl to the cover! TWO?!? GHOST PIN!! TWO?!?!? Both men escape disaster and “This is Awesome!” Sami clutches his leg as he sits up, but he still clubs Gable.

Gable waistlocks and he drags Sami up! Sami throws elbows so Gable fires crossface forearms! And from all sides! Gable roars, brings down the straps, and says “This is MY moment!” Fans are torn as Gable deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES!! Bridging cover, TWO!?!?! But Gable has the ANKLE LOCK!!! Sami endures, flails, tears at his own hair and beard, and he rolls to a victory roll! SAMI WINS!!!!

Winner: Sami Zayn, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contender to the WWE Intercontinental Champion)

Gable can’t believe it! But somehow, someway, Sami got through Bronson Reed, Shinsuke Nakamura and even Chad Gable to earn this opportunity! Gable helps Sami up, and the two show each other respect. But then Gunther makes his way out here! Der Ring General smiles as he looks at Sami from the ramp. We now know it will be these two fighting for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania40! Will Sami’s historic moment be him ending Gunther’s historic reign?


My Thoughts:

A great Raw here, so much going towards some extra WrestleMania builds. The Six Pack Ladder Match is way more than I expected they’d do and that is great. I thought it was gonna be a Triple Threat with just one team each from Raw and SmackDown, but I like that we’re getting something this big for the biggest WrestleMania ever. And understandably, Judgment Day was upset about that, and we got good promos out of them that also gave us Priest VS Truth. Truth’s dive from the top was a bit scary because he wasn’t caught by anyone the way pro-wrestlers are supposed to stand there and take the hit. I think the brawling of Finn, JD and DIY went a little long, they forgot to cluster together, and Truth has a rougher landing than intended, but I would think he’s okay, he finished the match.

Great promo segment from Rollins and McIntyre to open the night. McIntyre calling Rollins a junkie parallels a bit of way back when, Chris Jericho accusing CM Punk of still being a drinker/smoker, but maybe that’s just me and not what they’re intending. But then Rollins saying McIntyre is being hypocritical a la Punk was great stuff, too. Both men have such beef with CM Punk, if only Punk was healthy to make this the Triple Threat for the apparent tradition. McIntyre also holding back on beating up Rollins after Rollins was pushing his buttons was a great detail, it really muddies the Face-Heel dynamic of these two and that’s a lot of fun.

Awesome match from Becky VS Liv tonight, probably one of Liv’s best ever. Becky of course won, though, and of course Nia attacked her and Liv at some point. Becky had a great promo with Rhea, and she’s going to have an awesome Last Woman Standing match with Nia. Becky probably still wins, and I thinks he’s actually going to make a point of going into Mania banged up to be an underdog challenger that takes down Rhea, assuming she’s going to beat Rhea at all. Great Women’s Tag Team Championship match, they made Shayna & Zoey look really good even in their defeat, and those two were even kept strong by Dakota helping Asuka & Kairi cheat to win.

Great promo from Jey that was pretty much to the point: he wants Uso VS Uso, and we most certainly are getting Uso VS Uso. Depending on which night they have it, Jey can personally make sure Jimmy is not able to help Roman Reigns during his match with Cody. And Cody had an awesome interview promo segment with Cole, but I can’t say how that factors into the dream team tag match. That could still go either way because both scenarios, Cody VS Roman fair and square or Cody VS Roman under Bloodline Rules, are really intriguing.

And after really good promos from Gunther and all the competitors, we got an awesome gauntlet match. Ricochet and JD had a great opening round, Bronson had a good showing and even a good Heel spot of beating down Sami, but I figured Sami was making it through to the end. Sami VS Gable was incredible stuff, and of course Sami won out. Sami VS Gunther is going to be great stuff, and who knows who wins that. It’d be awesome for Sami since that’s how the story feels this is going, but who knows. Bash in Berlin isn’t until August, so it’s not like Gunther has to reign all the way until then. Gunther could even go for the World Heavyweight Championship by then.

The only thing about tonight I’d criticize is how Candice won the match against Ivy & Maxxine. I do appreciate them coming up with a story to reference Maxxine getting fan heat at house shows, but it felt like Candice was peeling away the kayfabe about how Maxxine looks dumb doing the Reverse Caterpillar and how she wasn’t gonna let Indi “take” it. Then Candice goes and brings up Maxxine’s late brother and that’s a little too much like other controversial moments under the Vince era (promos for Nikki Bella VS Brie Bella and Paige VS Charlotte come to mind). I know the HHH Era isn’t going to reinvent pro-wrestling, but I would hope his team avoids the worst parts of Vince’s time.

My Score: 8.9/10


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Coverage

Mitchell’s WWE Raw Results & Report! (4/15/24)

OLE~, OLE OLE OLE~!

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Will it be a victorious homecoming for Sami Zayn?

Tonight on Raw, Sami Zayn returns home to Montreal as NEW Intercontinental Champion, but will he lose that title already to Chad Gable?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Sheamus VS Ivar; Sheamus wins.
  • WWE World Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Match: #DIY VS The New Day VS The Creed Brothers; DIY wins and will challenge The Awesome Truth for the titles.
  • Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri; Candice & Indi win.
  • Dominik Mysterio w/ JD McDonagh VS Andrade El Idolo; wins.
  • Jey Uso VS Finn Balor; wins.
  • Chelsea Green & Piper Niven VS Kayden Carter & Katana Chance; win.
  • WWE Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn VS Chad Gable; wins and

PLAY BY PLAY

Rhea Ripley is here!

Montreal fires up for Mami as she makes her way out to the ring, but her arm’s in a sling! She holds up the Women’s World Championship with her good arm before going to the ring, clearly not in a good mood. Adam Pearce is waiting in the ring, and Rhea gets a mic. The fans cheer “MAMI! MAMI!” but Rhea says, “So… Obviously, you guys know what’s going on right now, yeah? After the attack last week from Liv Morgan… I’ve now been told that I’m stuck on the bench for quite a few months.” Fans are upset but Rhea says she’s also been informed, told, whatever, she’s pissed! Y’know why? Because she has to vacate the one thing that means the most to her, her world title!

The fans chant “NO! NO! NO!” but there’s no getting around this. Rhea takes a long look at the belt and the fans call BS. Rhea says it sure is BS. This title right here, this means the most to her in her entire life! And that’s why this is so painful. Rhea sets the belt down on the mat, and gives it one last look. Rhea pulls at her hair in frustration, but the fans chant, “Thank You, Mami!” Rhea says, “Revenge tour? This is all because your stupid little revenge tour, Liv! Are you kidding me?” Rhea could’ve actually had respect for Liv, if she’d done this face to face! Instead, she blindsides Rhea like the coward Rhea knows Liv is!

And Rhea knows why Liv did it! It’s because Rhea would’ve dropped Liv right where she stood! So this is a warning to whoever wins her Women’s World Championship. When Rhea comes back, she’s coming back for BLOOD! And not just because of injury, but because when she finds Liv back there, they’ll have to lock her up in Montreal jail! But speaking of, here comes Liv! Pearce already goes to the ropes and security is there to keep Liv back. Liv is laughing, Rhea storms out after her! Security stays between them both, Liv dares Rhea to try something with one arm! The fans want to “LET THEM FIGHT!” but Pearce says nope!

Pearce ushers Liv away, Liv laughing all the way. Rhea is frustrated, so she HEADBUTTS a guard! The fans cheer, but when and where will Rhea’s revenge tour come looking for Liv?

 

Rhea returns backstage.

Judgment Day is there to see her off with a group hug. Damian Priest says they know when she comes back, she’ll make Liv regret ever messing with her, and even more badass than she is right now! Cuz she is Rhea Bloody Ripley, and they love her. She thanks them, and tells them to keep Judgment Day on top. Rhea heads out, will the boys be able to keep things together without Mami?

 

Sheamus VS Ivar!

After months away with his own injury, the Celtic Warrior is back! And that means Monday Night Raw is now Fight Night, fellas! He’s never felt better, but will the Viking Raider make him feel awful already?

The bell rings and the two circle. The fans rally and welcome Sheamus back. Sheamus smiles and ties up with Ivar. They go around, break, then tie up again. Sheamus headlocks, Ivar powers up and out, but Sheamus RAMS him! Ivar rebounds, RAMS Sheamus, but Sheamus steadies himself. The fans chant “Let’s Go, Sheamus!” and the forearms start flying! Sheamus gets the edge, whips, but Ivar reverses. Sheamus ducks ‘n’ dodges and CLOBBERS Ivar! The fans fire up while Ivar goes to the apron! Sheamus storms up and grabs the arms, but Ivar HOTSHOTS Sheamus away! Ivar goes up, but Sheamus ROCKS him first!

Sheamus fires haymakers, then climbs up after Ivar to fire more! The fans fire up as Sheamus fireman’s carries Ivar, into the SUPER WHITE NOISE! Sheamus fires up and the fans are with him as Raw goes to break!

Raw returns and Ivar has Sheamus in a chinlock. The fans rally, Sheamus fights up, and Sheamus throws body shots. But Ivar UPPERCUTS back! Ivar runs, but Sheamus scoops to POWERSLAM! The fans fire up and Ivar goes back to the apron. Sheamus storms up, brings Ivar up, and hooks him in the ropes! The fans fire up as we get BEATS OF THE BODHRAIN! And Sheamus goes all the way to TEN! Ivar slumps down, flops into the ring, and Sheamus hauls him up. Fireman’s carry, but Ivar elbows free! Ivar BOOTS Sheamus, then HEEL KICKS! Sheamus falls, Ivar goes up! VIKING SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Sheamus survives and Ivar pulls at his hair in frustration! Sheamus goes to a corner, but he eggs Ivar on! Ivar storms up on Sheamus to rain down fists! The fans boo, the ref counts, and Ivar lets off. Sheamus still eggs Ivar on! Ivar and Sheamus throw hands and Sheamus gets the edge! Ivar shoves, cartwheels, and knees low! Ivar runs, springboards, but into a KNEE! Ivar staggers around, Sheamus brings the kneepad down, for the KNEE CAP! Ivar falls, the fans are thunderous as Sheamus beats his chest. Ivar stands up, into the BROGUE!! Cover, Sheamus wins!

Winner: Sheamus, by pinfall

The Celtic Warrior is back, as is his classic theme song! He feels better than ever, looks better than ever, is he going to make one more run at the top of the mountain?

 

Triple H is here!

Montreal fires up as The Game walks out to the ring! He joins Adam Pearce in the ring, and there’s a podium with a cover on it. HHH gets a mic to say, “You guys are on fire tonight, I gotta tell you that.” The fans cheer again, and HHH continues by saying it is hard to believe that only eight days ago, we were in the midst of the biggest WrestleMania of ALL time. “WrestleMania 40, kingdoms fell, nightmares began, and a whole knew era started.” The fans cheer that, too! Pearce says the new era certainly started for the Tag Division. It has never been bigger, better, or deeper. WWE walked in with one set of champs, and walked out with two.

That is why Raw and SmackDown deserve titles they can be proud of going into the new era. So what does the boss say? Should we bring the champs out? Then please welcome The Awesome Truth! Fans fire up as Miz & R-Truth make their way, carrying the red tag team titles. Miz & Truth get mics, and the fans chant “You Deserve It!” Miz pats Truth on the shoulder cuz he really does. The fans cheer as Miz raises Truth’s hand, and Truth lets Miz hold on to the belt so he can do the splits! He’s still got it, too! HHH then says he wants to be the first to say, what’s up? Also, congratulations. HHH shakes their hands as he says they won probably the biggest tag match in history.

And Truth, HHH has to say from a certain perspective, seeing Truth have that Mania moment, to quote The Miz, it was awesome. But the thing is, this is a new era. So if they are going to represent this brand and those titles, then they need to do it in a way that represents an all new era. So going forward, they will now be the WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS! And as such, they will be carrying THESE! Brand new belts that look like miniature World Heavyweight Championships! Truth is losing his mind! Now, now, he has seen a rabbit come out of a hat, and birds come out of a hat. Even a lady got cut in half and walked away from it. But he’s never seen a trick like that!

What? Truth says he knows good magicians, and HHH just made titles appear outta thin oxygen! That boy good! Right? The fans cheer, but only Truth is the one confused here. HHH asks Miz to explain. HHH is not a magician. That’s what a magician wants you to think. But Truth doesn’t really trust magicians. Not after Lil’ Jimmy. Everyone used to be able to see Lil’ Jimmy. So what else is HHH hiding? Miz says this is what they wanted. This is one of the most important times in WWE history! This is their chance to elevate the Tag Division! Their chance to take these new belts to new heights! That is why Pearce and HHH-

HHH!? WHERE?! Truth, that’s this guy! Man, Houdini’s got Miz fooled, too? He’s one crafty little genie. But Truth sees right through you, Tommaso Ciampa! Miz sighs and says he’ll try one more thing. Because we are in Montreal! Fans sing “OLE~ OLE OLE OLE~!” and Miz is pretty sure they’re ready for Sami Zayn. But Miz tells Truth in French, that they’re getting new belts. OMG really!? “OUI! OUI! OUI!” So they can take ’em? Oui! OUI! As in yes, but anyway, HHH speaks up. Can he just go? He takes the old belts, then hands over the new belts. HHH wishes Pearce luck on handling it from here.

HHH leaves, Awesome Truth hold up the awesome new belts, and Pearce asks why Truth made the boss leave. Who? HHH. He just left. That wasn’t HHH! Pearce says while we still have brain cells that function, the only thing left is to figure out some new challengers! Time for a Triple Threat #1 Contenders Tag Match! And that’s right now!

WWE World Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Match: #DIY VS The New Day VS The Creed Brothers!

Speaking of Ciampa, the REAL Ciampa and Johnny Gargano are still in that title hunt, but so are Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods, and so are Julius & Brutus! Which team defies the odds to head for an awesome showdown with Miz & Truth?

Raw returns and the Creeds make their entrance, followed by The New Day. There’s a QR code that flashes on screen… Then the teams sort out and one man starts for each. Brutus steps to Woods and Gargano, and Montreal rallies with “NEW! DAY ROCKS!” Woods says “O~ CANADA~!” The three approach, feel out, then Brutus DECKS Gargano! Woods CLUBS Brutus, has him in a corner and rains down fists! Brutus shoves Woods away before five but Gargano runs up to add on! Gargano gets five, Brutus shoves him away then ROCKS Woods! Brutus ROCKS Gargano, scoops Woods, but Woods rolls him up!

Gargano rolls Woods! Brutus rolls Gargano! Then deadlifts to BOMB him into Woods! Brutus breaks through their double clothesline to DOUBLE LARIAT back! Tag to Julius, the Creeds get one each, and they suplex! Kofi and Ciampa save their tag partners, then they all DROPKICK the Creeds! The fans fire up as DIY and New Day brawl! DIY get the edge, they whip, but New Day dodge to BLAST the Creeds! DIY then TOSS New Day out, and they BLAST the Creeds! DOUBLE PLANCHAS, but the Creeds catch DIY! But then New Day both FLY out! Down goes everyone, Awesome Truth applaud New Day, and Raw goes to break.

Raw returns again and there’s a collision in the ring! The fans fire up as Ciampa, Julius and Kofi all slowly sit up. Kofi CHOPS Ciampa, Julius ROCKS Kofi! Ciampa ROCKS Julius, Kofi ROCKS Ciampa! Ciampa CHOPS Julius, Kofi mule kicks Ciampa, Julius ROCKS Kofi! Ciampa ROCKS Julius, BOOTS Kofi, then brawls with Julius! The fans rally up as the forearms go faster and faster! Ciampa CHOPS and CHOPS and CHOPS! But theN Julius JUMP KNEES! Kofi returns, TROUBLE IN- NO, Julius blocks the kick to an ANKLE LOCK! Ciampa KNEES Julius down! Brutus CLOBBERS Ciampa, Woods MISSILE DROPKICKS Brutus!

Woods turns around, SLINGSHOT SPEAR from Gargano! Kofi JUMP KNEES Gargano! Julius clinches Kofi for an EXPLODER! Julius kips up to STANDING MOONSAULT, onto knees! Gargano SUPERKICKS Julius, Kofi rolls Gargano! Gargano slips out to BUZZSAW! Gargano goes up and out to the apron, he and Ciampa meet to ENZIGIRI KNEE COMBO in the corner! Then Gargano CANNONBALLS onto everyone else! Ciampa hauls Kofi up for PROJECT CIAMPA!! Cover, TWO!!! Kofi survives and even Miz & Truth are surprised. The fans cheer for “TRIPLE H!” to keep Truth’s illusion going. Ciampa tells Kofi “SUCK IT!”

Ciampa gets Kofi up, Kofi wrenches out to dodge and hot tag Woods! Woods GAMANGIRS then TORNADO DDTS! Gargano shoves Woods to a corner, but Woods BOOTS! HONOR ROLL! Brutus gets in but Woods BELL CLAPS! Woods ducks ‘n’ dodges, slides under, ROLLING ELBOW! Woods calls to Kofi, tags him in, but Ciampa BOOTS Woods! Kofi uses Woods to POMMEL HORSE KICK! New Day POSTS Ciampa, then WHEELBARROW FAMOUSER!! Cover, Julius drags Kofi right up! OVERHEAD SUPLEX! But Woods is back up top! Woods leaps, into an OVERHEAD SUPLEX! Gargano runs up, Julius blocks a kick! OVERHEAD SUPLEX!

Julius kips up but into Ciampa’s waistlock! Julius switches, to GERMAN SUPLEX! The straps come down, Brutus tags in, and the Creeds get a team each! Brutus SPLASHES DIY to then O’Conner Roll! Gargano runs up, NORTHERN LIGHTS! Julius DOUBLE NORTHERN LIGHTS New Day!! Quadruple cover, TWO!!! All four other men kick out, Julius tags back in! Brutus goes up, Julius Electric Chair Lifts Ciampa! “This is Awesome!” and then Kofi SHOVES Brutus off the corner, into Woods’ SUPERKICK! Kofi goes up, Julius fights Ciampa off. Julius goes up but Woods sneaks a tag! SUPERPLEX for Julius, but LIMIT BREAKER from Woods!

MEET IN THE MIDDLE by DIY!! Cover, DIY WINS!!

Winners: DIY, by pinfall (NEW #1 Contenders to the World Tag Team Champions)

Awesome Truth loved every minute of that match, but now they’ve got to face their friends in #RegenerationX. Will Miz & Truth be able to hold on to their newly minted titles? Or will Ciampa & Gargano prove when it comes to becoming World Tag Team Champions, you gotta do it yourself?

 

Drew McIntyre watches the highlight reel of last week’s main event.

And he’s smiling? Maybe even chuckling? Jackie Redmond says that after watching it back, she was not expecting this reaction. McIntyre laughs, as he BOOTS the TV screen in! Jackie understands now as McIntyre storms off. CM Punk got the better of McIntyre last time, but will it be no laughing matter when the Scottish Terminator gets his hands on him?

 

Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell VS Ivy Nile & Maxxine Dupri!

The first time around, the Poison Pixie bullied Maxxine the Alpha Queen into such a state that winning was easy. But then The Diamond Pitbull helped Maxxine get even with Candice, though it was Indi Wrestling that took the hit. Who finds the way to win this tense tiebreaker?

The teams sort out and Indi starts against Ivy. They tie up, Ivy waistlocks then headlocks, but Indi rolls to a cover. ONE, Ivy holds on, and they go around. Ivy facelocks, floats around to then flip Indi to a cover, ONE! Ivy’s right back on the headlock, but Indi fights up. Indi powers out, Ivy sunset flips, TWO! Indi scrambles up but Ivy DROPKICKS her! Ivy kicks, Indi blocks but the DRAGON WHIP hits! Tag to Maxxine and she climbs up, to CROSSBODY! Maxxine eggs Indi on, kicks low and facelocks, then talks trash on Candice. FISHERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Not quite perfect, but Maxxine dares Candice to make a move.

The ref reprimands, Candice stands down, but Indi short arm LARIATS! Indi then tags Candice, Candice CLOBBERS Maxxine and hammers away! The fans boo but Candice SMACKS Maxxine off the mat. Candice soaks up the heat, then digs her boots into Maxxine. The ref counts, Candice lets off, and then Candice smiles as she drags Maxxine up. Candice whips Maxxine into the corner, taunts Ivy, then runs up to SLAP Maxxine! Candice fires off hands, the ref counts, and Candice lets off. Tag to Indi, she keeps Maxxine from Ivy, but Maxxine BOOTS her away! Candice tags back in, runs up and drags Maxxine back again.

Maxxine hops up, ENZIGIRI misses as Candice ducks! Candice swipes at Ivy, but Ivy dodges! Maxxine knees low and DDTS! The fans fire up while both women are down! Maxxine and Candice crawl, their partners reach out, but then Indi rushes in! The ref stops Indi, but that means he misses seeing the hot tag! The fans boo as Indi gets sneaky like Candice as she BOOTS Maxxine down! Indi puts Candice on top for the cover! The ref sees that, counts, Candice & Indi win!

Winners: Candice LeRae & Indi Hartwell, by pinfall

What in the world is going on here? Is Candice’s toxicity poisoning Indi’s mind? Or are these Indi’s true colors? Either way, are Candice & Indi going to find the way to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships?

 

WWE takes a look at Damian Priest’s rise to the top.

2019, Orlando, Florida, the Performance Center. What did Priest want out of life? One thing: his name to live forever. From Punisher to homeless to NXT to main roster, Priest has proven if you bust your ass and never give up, anything is possible, even your dreams. The first Puerto Rican world champion in literal decades, he desired championships, and he knew championships would come. Legacy and infamy wait for no man, you have go grab them for yourself. He became Senor Money in the Bank, bided his time, suffered losses, and struck when the moment was right! HE had the biggest moment at the biggest WrestleMania ever, ALL RISE for the NEW World Heavyweight Champion!

 

Judgment Day is in the clubhouse.

The others sulk, but Priest tells them to snap out of it. They’re The Judgment Day, right? Right. And they still run Raw, right? Dom is gonna teach Andrade a lesson about messing with their group! And JD McDonagh, you have his back so they can get this done! The Irish Ace is fired up, he heads out with Dirty Dom, but Finn stays behind to talk with Priest. Finn feels their focus should be getting the tag titles back, but now Finn’s in this match with Jey? What’s up with that? Priest says Finn’s focus needs to be on what’s happening tonight. Priest needs The Prince to teach Jey Uso the meaning of the word “loss.” And then at Backlash, Priest teaches Jey the meaning of the word “pain!”

Is Finn good with that? Finn smiles and nods. Of course he’s good with that! They fist bump and Finn goes to warm up. So far, the group looks solid, will Mami have nothing to worry about?

 

Dominik Mysterio w/ JD McDonagh VS Andrade El Idolo!

The Prodigal Son thought he was getting The Idol of Lucha to join Judgment Day, or at least was united with him against Rey Mysterio. Neither of those things turned out to be true, and now Andrade has found himself in Judgment Day’s crosshairs. Will El Idolo make Raw tranquilo? Or will he pay for pulling one over on Dirty Dom?

 


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Mitchell’s NJPW Wrestling World Results & Report! (4/14/24)

NEVER give up!

Published

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There WILL be new NEVER Openweight Six Man Champions!

Kazuchika Okada’s leaving NJPW meant vacating the NEVER Openweight Six Man titles. Now a tournament will be held in one go to crown new champions! Who NEVER stops until they make it reign?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kickoff Match – Puzzle Presents: Touyuu VS Axe Wang; Touyuu wins.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The United Empire; Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg win and advance to tonight’s main event.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture; The House of Torture wins and advances to tonight’s main event.
  • Tiger Mask & Satoshi Kojima VS El Desperado & Shoma Kato; Tiger Mask & Kojima win.
  • HANAKO VS Starlight Kid; Starlight Kid wins.
  • DOUKI VS Kosei Fujita; Douki wins.
  • IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS SANADA & Yuya Uemura; Bishamon wins and retain the titles.
  • NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The House of Torture; Tanahashi, Yano & Oleg win and are the new NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions.

PLAY BY PLAY

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The United Empire!

The Ace may also be President of NJPW, but that doesn’t mean he’s retired! He wants to get these Six Man titles back, will the Clown Prince and the Hulking Kazakh help him do that? Or will Great-O-Khan, Francesco Akira & Callum Newman conquer the Six Man Division?

The fans rally for “SACHOU! SACHOU!” as he shows off the abs. Then the trios sort out, and while Oleg gets in Khan’s face, we start with Callum and Tanahashi. The fans cheer, the bell rings, and the two circle. They tie up, are in a deadlock, but Tanahashi finds a point of leverage and powers Callum onto ropes. The ref counts, Tanahashi lets off cleanly, and the fans applaud. Callum and Tanahashi reset, tie up again, and Tanahashi headlocks. Tanahashi thrashes and grinds the hold but Callum pulls hair! The fans boo and the ref reprimands, but Callum lets slowly. But then Callum kicks low! Callum whips Tanahashi hard into a corner!

Callum runs corner to corner but into an ELBOW! Tanahashi goes up to CROSSBODY! The fans cheer as Tanahashi air guitars, but Callum gets to his feet in a huff. Yano and Oleg both reach out, but Tanahashi tags Yano. The fans fire up for Yano but Akira tags in. Yano goes to untie a buckle pad! Akira protests but he lets Yano have his fun. Akira then shadows Yano as he turns around. Yano is confused, turns around but Akira stays behind him. Akira then shoves Yano into the corner! Yano loses the pad and Akira dropkicks the legs out! Akira runs, rolls and basement dropkicks! Crowns up and the fans cheer.

Akira drags Yano over, tags in Khan, and Khan puts some stank on the Mongolian Chops! The Empire double whip but Yano holds ropes and tags Oleg! The fans fire up but The Empire mugs Oleg first! They double whip but Oleg holds ropes, to then come in and DOUBLE SHOUDLER TACKLE! Khan gets up but Oleg throws him with a fireman’s carry takeover! Callum runs in to BOOT Oleg, then runs, but Oleg CLOBBERS Callum and sends him flying! The fans fire up as Oleg hauls Khan up, but Khan CLAPS at him, twists an ear and CLUBS it, then clinches for a BELLY2BELLY! Khan then BLASTS Tanahashi and Yano off the corner!

Khan stomps away on Oleg, drags him back up, then Mongolian CHOPS! Oleg staggers, Khan Mongolian CHOPS again! And again! Oleg falls, Khan cocky covers, ONE! The fans rally as Khan hauls Oleg up in a facelock. Khan brings Oleg to the corner, tags Callum, and the Empire mugs him. Callum CHOPS, then tags Akira. Callum bumps Oleg off buckles, Akira CHOPS, then they double whip. Callum runs in to forearm SMASH! Akira runs in to clothesline! Feed to the DROPKICK! The fans fire up with Akira as he and Callum coordinate, back suplex SPLASH! Cover, TWO! Akira drags Oleg up and around to facelock, but Oleg throws body shots.

Khan tags in, he and Akira mug Oleg, and Khan CLUBS Oleg down. Khan drags Oleg up but Oleg ROCKS him! And CHOPS him! Oleg whips, Khan reverses to NORTHERN- NO, Oleg fights the suplex, so Khan RAMS him into the corner! Khan turns Oleg around, CLUBS him, and then climbs up. The fans cheer as Khan sits on his throne! Oleg flails, the ref reprimands but Khan hops down. Khan then HIP TOSSES Oleg down! Cover, TWO! The fans rally, Khan kicks Oleg around then whips. Oleg reverses and lifts, but Khan claws the ear! Oleg lets Khan down but avoids the lariat to DROPKICK Khan down!

The fans fire up while both men are down. Hot tag to Tanahashi! The fans fire up as Sachou rallies on Khan with FLYING FOREARMS! Then he BLASTS Callum and Akira off the apron! Tanahashi runs in at the corner, but blocks Khan’s boot! DRAGON SCREW! The fans fire up as Akira runs in, and gets a DRAGON SCREW! Callum steps in, but Tanahashi gets his leg! Tanahashi waves bye before the DRAPING DRAGON SCREW! The fans fire up with Tanahashi and he waits on Khan. Khan rises, Tanahashi runs in, but Khan sidesteps and TOSSES Tanahashi! But Tanahashi skins the cat! Only for Khan to waistlock!

Tanahashi fires elbows, but Khan ducks the shotei to HITSUJIGOROSHI into MARINE! Both men are down and the fans rally up! Khan and Tanahashi crawl, hot tag to Callum! Callum runs up to whip Tanahashi, but Tanahashi reverses. Callum stops himself, comes back, but into a spin, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! The fans rally as Tanahashi crawls, hot tag to Yano! The fans fire up with Yano, he whips Callum at the bare corner! Callum stops himself, Yano runs in, but Callum dodges so Yano hits bare buckles! Callum runs, ducks ‘n’ dodges, and BOOTS Yano down! The Prince of Speed shows why that’s the case!

The fans fire up with Callum as he goes Around the World for a DROPKICK! Snapmare and PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!! Yano survives, but Akira DROPKICKS Oleg down! Khan joins in, The Empire gets Yano up. They mug Yano in the corner, whip him corner to corner, then Khan runs in. Khan clotheslines, Akira clotheslines, and Callum runs to trip and STOMP Yano down! Cover, TWO!! Yano stays in this and the fans rally up again. Callum scowls and drags Yano to a drop zone. The Empire brawls with Tanahashi and Oleg while Callum climbs. The fans fire up as Callum aims, SHOOTING STAR, but he has to land out as Yano moves!

Tanahashi returns to dropkick Callum’s legs out! Khan BOOTS Tanahashi! Oleg scoops and SLAMS Khan! Akira dodges Oleg to ENZIGIR! The fans fire up, Akira runs and RANAS, but Oleg blocks it! Oleg swings Akira around to Shake, Rattle and- SUPERKICK from Callum! Tanahashi returns again, Callum ducks the shotei but then Tanahashi ducks the heel kick! SHOTEI! Yano rolls Callum up, Yano’s team wins!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (advance to the main event)

The Ace, the Joker and the Rook snatch the win and are now in the title match! Will this hot hand take the pot? Or will they be trumped by the winner of the next match?

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships Tournament: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The House of Torture!

Shingo Takagi is once again NEVER Openweight Champion, but he, Yota Tsuji & Bushi are looking to add to the LIJ trophy case. But Evil, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Sho want to make up for their losses, will they find redemption through this tournament? Or will everything be tranquilo in Taiwan?

Sho gets the mic to say he hates being here in Taiwan, so he wants to win, get the titles, and get outta here as fast as he can! The fans boo but Sho just taunts them all. He tells LIJ to get out here already, so LIJ makes their entrance. Takagi shows off that he cleaned up that NEVER Openweight belt from all the black spray paint Evil defaced it with! The fans cheer Takagi, Yota and Bushi in turn, and LIJ fist bump. But the House attacks! The fans boo but the bell rings, and Kanemaru has Yota in the ring. Evil KNEES Takagi, then steps on the NEVER Openweight title! Sho DECKS Bushi, Kanemaru whips Yota, but Yota comes back to run Kanemaru over!

Yota runs to SPLASH, cover, TWO! Yota keeps cool and he brings Kanemaru up. Yota reels Kanemaru in, suplexes, but Kanemaru fights it! Yota ROCKS Kanemaru, ROCKS him again, and then again! Yota runs but Sho is there! The fans boo but Kanemaru CLAWS Yota’s eyes! Kanemaru whips Yota to the corner, and surprise! Evil takes the blue buckle pad away! Yota hits bare steel, then the House BLASTS Bushi and Yota! The fans boo but Kanemaru drags Yota up. Sho SMACKS Bushi off apron, Kanemaru TOSSES Yota, and then Sho and Kanemaru stomp away. The fans boo more, but then Evil whips Takagi at the edge of the stage!

Takagi stops himself by flailing and wobbling! The fans are relieved he stays safe, but then Evil CLAWS Takagi’s back! Sho puts Yota in the ring, Kanemaru covers, TWO! Kanemaru tags Sho, Sho scuffs Yota around and taunts him. Yota rises up, fires a forearm, but Sho eggs him on! Yota fires another forearm so Sho CLAWS Yota’s eyes! Sho throws Yota out then gets in the ref’s face, Evil JAMS Yota with a chair! The fans boo but Evil taunts them. The ref has to keep LIJ from going after The House, and Evil puts Yota in for Sho to cover. ROPEBREAK! Sho is upset but he steps on Yota’s arm. Tag to Kanemaru, he and Sho DOUBLE KNEE DROP!

Kanemaru drags Yota up, whips him to ropes, then kitchen sink KNEES him down! Cover, TWO! Gene Blast stays in this for his team but Kanemaru stomps away. Kanemaru then scuffs Yota, taunts him, but Yota just gets mad! The fans rally for Yota as Kanemaru gives him more kicks. Yota stands to ROCK Kanemaru, ROCK him again, and ROCK him again! But Kanemaru CLAWS eyes! Tag to Evil, the ref is again told to stop LIJ, and Evil CHOKES Yota with a House of Torture shirt! Evil shoves Yota down, covers, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO!! Evil is furious with the ref but Yota’s tougher than all that.

Evil stands Yota up, wrenches and whips Yota to a neutral corner. Evil runs in, blocks a boot, but Yota reels him in for the STOMP! The fans fire up while both men are down again! Yota and Evil crawl, hot tag to Takagi! The Rampaging Dragon runs up but Sho & Kanemaru drop away. So Takagi runs Evil over, scoops him and SLAMS him, but Evil avoids the senton! Sho & Kanemaru get in to stomp Takagi, double whip, but he holds ropes! Then DOUBLE PUMPING BOMBERS! But Evil CLAWS Takagi’s eyes! Evil runs, but into the ELBOW! JAB! YUKON LARIAT! The fans fire up as Takagi gets Evil back up.

Takagi suplexes high and hard, then covers, TWO! Evil is tougher than that, but Takagi then says in Taiwanese, he’s not done! But Takagi still uses Japanese for “TOKI GA KITA! <THE TIME HAS COME!>” The fans fire up with “OI! OI! OI!” Then he fires down HAMMER ‘N’ ANVIL ELBOWS on Evil! Takagi runs, but Evil uses the ref as a shield! Takagi moves the ref aside, but Evil blocks the kick, gives it to the ref, and mule kicks Takagi down! The standard formula works out, and Evil tags Sho. Sho laughs as he runs up in the corner, clothesline! Then he brings Takagi around, wrenches, kicks, KICKS and SUPER- NO, Takagi blocks the superkick!

Takagi JABS, then YUKON feints to DDT! The fans fire up again and Takagi encourages them to get louder. Takagi hurries over, tag to Bushi! Bushi fires forearms on Sho, runs, but Kanemaru gets a cheap shot in! Bushi falls, Kanemaru steps in, he and Sho double whip Bushi to ropes. Bushi gets under the double elbows and shoves Kanemaru into Sho! Then Bushi DOUBLE RANAS! The fans fire up, and Bushi BLASTS Evil for good measure! Sho swings, Bushi spins him, DDT! Cover, TWO! Sho stays in this for the House but the fans rally behind Bushi. Bushi brings Sho to a corner, whips corner to corner, but Sho reverses.

Sho runs up, Bushi dodges, Yota STINGER SPLASHES! Takagi clotheslines, then feeds Sho to Yota’s V-TRIGGER! Sho wobbles, Bushi BACKSTABBERS! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives the onslaught but the fans rally for Bushi. Bushi drags Sho up, but Kanemaru runs in to BOOT Bushi down! Takagi JUMP KNEES Kanemaru! Evil whips Takagi into bare buckles! Evil mule kicks Yota, whips him, and Yota also hits bare buckles! Bushi dropkicks Evil’s legs out! Bushi drags Sho up, reels him in, but Sho breaks free and CLAWS the eyes! Sho runs, into a dropkick to the legs! Bushi SMASHES the knee, then ties the legs up! RIVERA!!

Sho endures, flails, but Kanemaru gets his whiskey! Evil distracts, Kanemaru WHISKEY MISTS! Sho is free, he has his Torture Tool! WRENCH SHOT!! Sho drags Bushi up, reels him in and tucks the arms, SHOCK ARROW!! Cover, The House wins!

Winners: The House of Torture, by pinfall (advance to the main event)

Like always, The House finds a way to cheat their way to success! Will The King of Darkness and his pawns find a way to trump Team Go Ace? Or will Sachou get to personally punish this faction for all their nefarious deeds?

 

DOUKI VS Kosei Fujita!

Japones Del Mal and the Ichiban Young Punk each staked their claim to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, to the point that Douki left with the belt! If possession is nine-tenths of the law, then who will be the de factor champion after tonight?

The moment Douki’s on the apron, Fujita dropkicks him down! Fujita then builds speed and FLIES! Direct hit on Douki and the fans fire up! Fujita drags Douki up, puts him in the ring, then springboards to SWANTON BOMB! The bell rings, Fujita covers, TWO! Fujita runs to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! The fans rally as Fujita waistlocks and deadlifts Douki, but Douki throws elbows. Fujita ducks to CHOP, then he runs, only for Douki to do the splits! Fujita tumbles out, Douki builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit in return and the fans fire up again! The ref checks both men, they’re both okay to continue.

Douki sits up first, the ring count starts and Douki POSTS Fujita! Fujita falls over, Douki drags him up, and then DDTs to the floor! Douki slides in at 10 of 20, leaving Fujita to the count. The count reaches 15 before Fujita sits back up! Fujita flounders around at 17, 18, but springs in at 19! Douki drags Fujita up, CLUBS him, then stalks him to ropes. Douki CLUBS Fujita again, drags him up, and turns him for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Douki keeps on Fujita with a chinlock. Fujita endures the knee digging into his back, reaches out, and kicks around. The fans rally more as Fujita keeps moving forward, to the ROPEBREAK!

Douki lets off in frustration, then drags Fujita back up. Fujita fires forearms but Douki eggs him on. Douki then knees low, and DDTs! Cover, TWO! Fujita is still in this and the fans cheer again. Douki whips Fujita but Fujita holds ropes to block! Douki tries again, knees low, then whips. Fujita reverses, CHOPS, but Douki HELL STABS! Douki runs, but into the WHEEL KICK! It was only a grazing blow but enough to knock Douki down! The fans rally up and Fujita hurries after Douki. Fujita fires a forearm, an UPPERCUT and a CHOP! Fujita whips corner to corner then runs in, to CHOP! Fujita snapmares Douki, then goes up, out and waits.

Douki slowly rises, Fujita springboards in, MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! Douki shakes his head, he’s tougher than that. Fujita drags him up, reels him in, and suplexes high and hard! Fujita keeps moving, PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO! Fujita grows frustrated but he drags Douki up. Fujita waistlocks, goes to ropes, but Douki bucks the O’Conner. Fujita CLUBS Douki, brings him back, but Douki fights the lift. Douki switches, spins Fujita around and drops down, ITALIAN STRETCH 32! Fujita scrambles, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Fujita escapes by a literal foot! Douki lets go in frustration and the fans rally.

Douki turns Fujita to Gory Especial, but Fujita fights free! Fujita arm-drags Douki away, then runs up, but into a BOOTS! Douki goes to the apron, RAMS into Fujita, then slingshots for DAY- NO, Fujita stays up, pops Douki around, but Douki sunset flips! Fujita rolls through, rolls Douki and hooks the legs up, REGAL STRETCH! Douki endures and the fans rally up! Douki claws at the mat but Fujita has those legs trapped! Douki still fights but Fujita pulls way back! Douki doesn’t give in, he gets the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer while Fujita lets off in frustration. Fujita drags Douki up, spin him, but Douki fights the lift!

Douki throws elbows, runs, but Fujita reels him in! Douki kicks free but then Fujita ducks the enzigiri! Fujita waistlocks to deadlift, but Douki wheelbarrows! Victory roll, TWO! Douki goes for the full nelson! Fujita fights, so Douki shifts for the Bow ‘n’ Arrow Rack! Douki spins and spins, REINEDA! And then ghost pin, TWO!! Fujita escapes, but ends up in the ITALIAN STRETCH!! Douki pulls and Fujita is already red in the face! Fujita reaches out, Douki rolls him away from ropes! ITALIAN STRETCH!! Fujtia is fading! The ref checks, but Fujita gets a second wind! Fujita kicks around, reaches out, but Douki pulls!

Fujita’s fading again! The fans rally harder as Fujita gives one last kick, to the ROPEBREAK! Douki lets go and the fans cheer! Douki rises, goes to the apron, and takes aim for DAYBREAKER!! Cover, TWO?!? Fujita survives and Douki is furious! The fans rally, Douki gets the legs and turns Fujita over. Wheelbarrow, lift, but Fujita fights the rest! Fujita fires elbows, waistlocks, GERMAN SUPLEX! Douki tumbles away and the fans fire up while both men are down. Fujita rises, the fans rally, and Fujita brings Douki up. Douki ENZIGIRIS, but Fujita ENZIGIRIS! Fujita runs, but Douki ELBOWS! Douki runs but Fujita BOOTS then HEEL KICKS!

But Douki stays up! Douki runs up to LARIAT! But then Fujita rises!! Both men run, and Fujita LEG LARIATS! Douki crawls to ropes, Fujita runs in, STRADDLE ATTACK! Fujita roars, the fans fire up, and Fujita deadlift GERMAN SUPLEXES! Bridging cover, TWO!! Douki survives but Fujita stays on him! Suplex, but Douki fights free, wrenches, hammerlocks, rolls, then drags Fujita up into Gory Especial! DODON NO JUTSU! Backslide cover, TWO! Douki just hops over Fujita to hook him up again! SUPLEX DE LA LUNA!! Bridging cover, Douki wins!!

Winner: Douki, by pinfall

And “still” IWPG Junior Heavyweight Champion, at that! If Douki can put on a match like that and pull off the victory, will nothing stop him from becoming the Best of the Super Juniors?

Oh no, Sho attacks! He wants his belt back! The fans boo as he stomps away on Douki then picks up the belt. To be fair, Sho is still the actual champion, but he takes aim with the belt! Douki dodges to ENZIGIRI! Then he reels Sho in for the torture rack, and swings for the SIDEWALK SLAM! The fans fire up as Douki takes the belt back! The Murder Machine tried and failed to take the belt back, will he also fail to stay a champion through the Spring?

 

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Bishamon VS SANADA & Yuya Uemura!

Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi only just got these title back, but they’re fighting champions so they’re already putting them on the line! Will it be lights out in Taiwan? Or will the Cold Skull & Heat Storm bring gold back to Just5Guys?

The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and we see if Chaos still reigns!

The teams sort out and Hashi starts against Yuya. The bell rings and the fans rally for Yuya as the two circle. They tie up, Yuya wrenches to a wristlock, but Hashi spins, wrenches back, and then hammerlocks. Yuya switches that onto Hashi, but Hashi drop toeholds. Hashi floats to a headlock but Yuya pops out the back to hammerlock again. Hashi rolls, headscissors, but Yuya fights that off to keep the headlock. Hashi keeps his shoulders up, fights to his feet, then rolls Yuya to get his own headlock. Yuya headscissors, Hashi kips free and the fans cheer! Hashi and Yuya circle again, feel things out, knuckle lock, but then Yuya shoots around to headlock.

Yuya grinds the hold, Hashi powers up but can’t power out as Yuya holds tight! Yuya grinds Hashi to the mat but Hashi endures and fights back up. Hashi throws body shots, powers up and out, but Yuya RAMS shoulders! The fans cheer as the two stare down. Yuya runs, RAMS Hashi again, but Hashi gets in Yuya’s face. Yuya shoves, runs, but Hashi ELBOWS! Hashi runs, but into a hip toss! And arm-drag! Yuya DROPKICKS Hashi, then BLASTS Goto for good measure! The fans fire up and Yuya goes back for Hashi. Yuya drags Hashi up, CHOPS him, then CHOPS again. Yuya whips, Hashi holds ropes, then BOOTS back!

Goto gets in, he and Hashi run Yuya over! Bishamon coordinate, ZANMAI! Sanada storms in but Goto kicks low! “SE NO!” and they DRUM away on Sanada’s back! The fans fire up with Bishamon, and Goto stomps Sanada to a corner. Hashi has Yuya in the opposite, then they whip. Sanada & Yuya reverse to send Goto and Hashi into each other! DROPKICKS send Bishamon out, then STEREO PLANCHAS take them down! The fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get louder. The fans oblige and Sanada brings Goto up. Yuya brings Hashi up to CHOP! And CHOP! Hashi fires a foraerm, but Yuya eggs him on.

Hashi fires more forearms, then CHOPs! Yuya CHOPS Hashi down! The fans fire up, but the ref says to get this in the ring. Yuya drags Hashi up and puts him in. The fans applaud and Yuya storms in after Hashi. Yuya drags Hashi up, ROCKS him with a haymaker, then CHOPS again! And CHOPS again! Yuya CHOPS Hashi in the corner, CHOPS him again, but Hashi CHOPS back! Yuya knees low, then CHOPS Hashi down! Tag to Sanada and the fans rally up. Sanada drags Hashi up, reels him in, and Sanada CLUBS Hashi on the neck. Sanada CLUBS Hashi again, but Hashi throws body shots! Sanada CLUBS Hashi down, then stomps him at the ropes.

The ref reprimands and counts, Sanada stops, then drags Hashi back up. Sanada knees Hashi into the corner, whips corner to corner, then runs in, but blocks a boot! Sanada trips Hashi, and ties him up for Paradise! The fans fire up and Sanada encourages them to get even louder. The fans cheer Sanada on as he then runs to DROPKICK Hashi out of Paradise! Sanada then drags Hashi up and around, reels him in, but Hashi fights the suplex! The fans rally as Sanada powers up, but Hashi still fights it! Hashi goes to suplex but Sanada slips free! Sanada blocks the superkick to CLUB the leg! Snada runs, Hashi dodges, BLOCKBUSTER!

Sanada flounders and Hashi crawls, but Yuya jumps in! Yuya drags Hashi up but Hashi SPIN BACK KICKS! Hashi crawls, hot tag to Goto! Goto runs in at a corner to clothesline Sanada! Then he runs corner to corner to clothesline Yuya! Sanada kicks and whips, then he sends Yuya in. Goto dodges Yuya, CLOBBERS Sanada, then kicks Yuya! Goto snap suplexes Yuya onto Sanada! The fans fire up and Goto brings Sanada up. Fireman’s carry, but Sanada flails free! Goto elbows free of the waistlock, then kicks and whips. Goto runs in, but Sanada BOOTS him! Sanada QUEBRADAS, but Goto gets under!

Goto runs up but into a fireman’s carry! Goto slips free, Sanada throws more elbows! Sanada runs, Goto follows, but Sanada ELBOWS! STANDING MOONSAULT, but Sanada lands on his feet as Goto moves! Then Sanada basement dropkicks! The fans fire up while both men are down! Sanada and Goto stir, and Sanada crawls for his corner, hot tag to Yuya! Yuya storms up on Goto, brings him up and reels him in, SAIDO! Cover, TWO! Goto stays in this but Yuya stays calm. Yuya drags Goto up, underhooks the arms, but Goto fights the lift! Yuya still tries, but Goto lifts Yuya to back drop him! The fans fire up while both men are down!

Yuya goes to a corner, Goto crawls to ropes. Goto stands, runs up, but Yuya ELBOWS him! Yuya runs, Goto follows and LARIATS! Both men are down again and the fans rally! Goto crawls his way over, hot tag to Hashi! The fans cheer as Hashi fires off a forearm, body shot and CHOP! Yuya falls, the fans fire up, and Yuya goes to a corner. Hashi runs up to CHOP! Hashi whips to CHOP! Then he mule kicks, turns Yuya, but Yuya fights the neckbreaker! Yuya whips, Hashi reverses but Yuya CLOBBERS him! The fans fire up as Yuya kips up, and Sanada jumps in. They get Hashi up in a corner, and whip corner to corner.

Yuya runs in to CHOP! Sanada runs in to ELBOW! Sanada feeds Hashi to Yuya’s arm-drag! And then they DOUBLE DROPKICK! Hashi roars as he rises, but then a DOUBLE BOOT takes him down! Cover off #Just2Boots, TWO! Yuya is a little annoyed but Sanada keeps Goto out of the ring. Yuya drags Hashi up, underhooks, but Hashi fights the lift! Hashi wrenches out, Yuya ducks the lariat and waistlocks, but Hashi RAMS him into buckles! Goto runs in to clothesline Yuya! The fans fire up as Goto BLASTS Sanada off the apron! Bishamon fires up, they bring Yuya around, feed to the fireman’s carry, and FIERCE FLASH!

The fans fire up with Bishamon as Hashi calls for the finish! Goto dragon sleepers, Hashi grabs the legs, but Sanada CLUBS Hashi! Goto pushes Yuya aside but Sanada kicks him to whip him. But Goto reverses to fireman’s carry! But Sanada slips free! Only to run into HIDDEN GAP! And then they get Sanada up! But Sanada kicks free of Hashi! Goto fights Sanada’s suplex, Hashi gets the legs, but Sanada kicks free of Magic Killer! Sanada then puts Goto up for MAGIC SCREW! The fans fire up again as Hashi runs in! Sanada ducks, feed to Yuya’s UPPERCUT! DOUBLE CHOP! ENZIGIRI! Cold Skull & Heat Storm watch Hashi rise, SHINING WIZARD!

The fans fire up as Yuya brings Hashi back up, underhooks, and BUTTERFLY BOMBS! Cover, Goto breaks it! Sanada TOSSES Goto out and leaves it to Yuya! Yuya roars, goes to a corner and climbs up, to CROSSBODY! Cover, TWO!! Hashi survives and the fans fire up again! Yuya grits his teeth and roars! Yuya drags Hashi up, reels him in. Yuya traps the arms, but Hashi fights the Deadbolt! Yuya CLUBS away on Hashi, then tries again. But Hashi CHOPS! Yuya PELES! Yuya gets Hashi back up, swings him around, but Hashi LARIATS! Both men are down and the fans rally even harder! Hashi and Yuya stir, and head for each other.

Yuya gets in Hashi’s face, but Hashi fires a forearm! Yuya fires back! Hashi fires another, so Yuya HAYMAKERS! Hashi throws another forearm, Yuya fires another haymaker, repeat! They go back and forth, pick up speed, and the fans rally harder and harder! Hashi gets the edge, then CHOPS! Yuya roars, but Hashi DOUBLE CHOPS! Hashi roars, runs, but into a DOUBLE CHOP from Yuya! Goto returns but Yuya dodges! Feed to Sanada’s DROPKICK! Sanada & Yuya double whip Hashi to a corner, then Yuya runs in. Hashi dodges, dropkicks Sanada’s leg, then he sends Yuya into Sanada! SUPERKICK!

Yuya staggers, Hashi brings him around, and Hashi fires forearm, body shot and CHOP! Hashi runs, but Yuya spins him around! DEAD- NO, Hashi fights the suplex and Goto LARIATS at the ropes! Then spin and tuck, KARMA ROLL! Bishamon wins!!

Winners: Bishamon, by pinfall (still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)

Yuya can’t believe he got caught, but he did! Goto & Hashi

 

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championships: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg VS The House of Torture!

Ace-sachou and the Clown Prince bring back the high school “Yankee” bad boy look as they prepare to face some real punks! Will they and big bad Boltin tear down the House? Or will the King of Darkness make sure Everything is Evil again?

The introductions are made, but then the House attacks! They TOSS Tanahashi aside, then TOSS Yano, and Evil CLAWS Oleg’s face! Sho digs a chair into Tanahashi’s leg! Red Shoes is so busy with Sho that he misses Kanemaru’s WHISKEY BOTTLE SHOT on Oleg! The fans boo but the match hasn’t started, there’s nothing Red Shoes can do about any of this! Kanemaru & Evil then mug Yano on the outside, and use spare wrist tape to hogtie him! The bell finally rings as Sho puts Tanahashi in the ring, and Sho CHOKES Tanahashi! Red Shoes reprimands, Sho steps off, but Kanemaru stomps away on Yano!

Yano calls for help but Oleg is down and the House mugs Tanahashi! The fans boo but the House soaks up the heat. They stomp Tanahashi more, but Red Shoes reprimands. Evil and Kanemaru split the wishbone, and then Kanemaru CLUBS Tanahashi. But Tanahashi fights back with forearms! The House mugs Tanahashi again! Red Shoes reprimands, there has to be a 1v1! Kanemaru stays the legal man as he drops elbow after elbow on the bad knee! Tanahashi endures the toehold, so Kanemaru shifts to drag him over. Tag to Evil, he and Kanemaru split the wishbone again! Tanahashi writhes but Evil drags him around.

Evil stomps away on the bad leg while Sho keeps Yano and Oleg down on the outside. Evil has Tanahashi on ropes but the fans boo. Evil CHOKES Tanahashi, Kanemaru and Sho join in, and then Evil covers. Red Shoes refuses because of all the shenanigans. Evil stomps Tanahashi drags him from ropes to cover, TWO! Wait, who rings the bell? That’s Sho of course, and the fans boo. Red Shoes and Sho argue, and Sho acts like that was all Abe-san. Red Shoes knows better than that, so the match continues. Evil tags Sho, Sho stomps Tanahashi around, then Sho drags Tanahashi by the leg to DDT the foot!

Tanahashi writhes, Sho tags Kanemaru, and Kanemaru storms up to get the bad leg. Kanemaru SMASHES the knee! Kanemaru eggs Tanahashi on, stomps the bad leg, but Tanahashi glares at him defiantly! The fans fire up as Tanahashi rises, and he fires off forearms! But Kanemaru claws the eyes! Kanemaru runs, Tanahashi blocks the boot to DRAGON SCREW! The fans fire up, Tanahashi crawls, and Yano’s free of the tape! Hot tag to Yano! The fans fire up as Yano goes to untie a buckle pad! Shiro is free and Yano throws him to Kanemaru! Red Shoes reprimands Kanemaru, Kanemaru defends his innocence, but Yano SLAPS Kanemaru on the head!

Yano whips Kanemaru but Kanemaru reverses! Yano stops from hitting bare buckles, Kanemaru runs in, but Yano sends him into the bare buckles! Roll-up, TWO! Yano stays fired up and the fans join in. Yano gets Kanemaru up but Kanemaru body shots, elbows and runs! But Yano atomic- NO, Kanemaru CLAWS the eyes! So Yano CLAWS the eyes! Yano runs, but Evil trips him! Sho stomps Oleg down, Evil drags Yano out, and Evil CLAWS Yano’s eyes! Red Shoes reprimands, but Evil and Kanemaru distract him so Sho can CHOKE Yano with a chair! Sho then drags Yano up, puts him in the ring, and Evil takes off his shirt.

Red Shoes says no, he doesn’t trust Evil with the shirt. Red Shoes confiscates the shirt, but Evil has a tag rope! Evil CHOKES Yano with the tag rope! The fans boo as Evil gets away with that one! Cover, TWO! Yano is still in this and Evil is upset with Red Shoes! Evil drags Yano up, wrenches, and YANKS the arm, to then CLUB it! Tag to Sho and he runs up to wrench Yano’s arm and bend the fingers! Sho wrenches again to ELBOW BREAKER! Yano falls but Sho tags Kanemaru. Sho pulls on the bad arm while Kanemaru goes up, and Kanemaru AX HANDLES the arm! Kanemaru wrenches the arm, YANKS and YANKS and wrangles Yano!

Kanemaru isolates the arm with atop wristlock, and STOMPS it! Then Kanemaru hits an ARM WRINGER! Kanemaru stomps Yano, BLASTS Tanahashi, then tags Sho. They get Yano up, Kanemaru wrenches the arm and Sho climbs, to AX HANDLE! Sho grins while Yano writhes, and Sho stomps Yano around. Sho bends the fingers, twists the wrist, then gets Yano up to wrap his arm around ropes. Red Shoes reprimands and counts, Sho lets off but distracts Red Shoes so Kanemaru can bend the arm! Evil tags in, he storms over, and he bumps Yano off buckles. Evil then TOSSES Yano out, and gets in Red Shoes’ face again!

Sho CHOKES Yano with the chair, then Kanemaru drags Yano up. Kanemaru wrenches and hammerlocks the arm to POST it! Sho then puts Yano in while Tanahashi protests. Red Shoes tells Sachou to stand down, and Evil covers. Red Shoes is late to the count, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO!! Yano is still in this and Evil is furious! The fans cheer, though, and Evil drags Yano up. Yano pulls hair! Evil kicks low, whips, but Yano reverses for the hair-pull takedown! The fans rally up, hot tag to Oleg! Oleg CLOBBERS Evil, BLASTS the House, then scoops Evil to SLAM him! Oleg runs to SPLASH! Cover, TWO!

Oleg stays cool and he deadlifts Evil! Sho & Kanemaru attack, they reel him in, but Oleg fights the double suplex to DOUBLE SUPLEX them! The fans fire up as Oleg deadlift GUT WRENCH PLEXES Sho! Then he deadlifts Kanemaru for Shake, Rattle and THROW! The fans fire up as Oleg fires forearms on Evil, then gut wrenches. But Evil CLAWS the eyes! Red Shoes reprimands but Evil reels Oleg in. Oleg fights the fisherman to clinch and OVERHEAD BELLY2BELLY! Cover, TWO! Evil survives but Oleg hauls him back up! Fireman’s carry, but Evil slips free! Evil shoves Oleg at Red shoes, then LOW BLOWS!

Fans boo but The House BLASTS Tanahashi & Yano! The House then gets Oleg up, whips him to a corner, Sho forearm SMASHES! Kanemaru ELBOWS! Evil clotheslines! Snapmare and the set-up! Yano gets in but Red Shoes is distracted! Kanemaru DICK CHOPS! Cover, TWO!! Oleg survives and the fans fire up! Evil is shocked, but he vows to end this now! The fans boo but Evil drags Oleg up, spins him around, EVERYTHING- NO, Oleg fights free! Evil knees low, runs, but Oleg CLOBBERS him! Both men are down and the fans fire up! Oleg crawls his way over, hot tag to Tanahashi! The fans fire up as The President BLASTS the House!

Tanahashi keeps going to CLOBBER Evil! Tanahashi fires forearms and body shots, then he scoop SLAMS Evil into the drop zone! Tanahashi goes up, for the SUNSET SENTON! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi stays cool as the fans fire up. Evil wants mercy but Tanahashi runs to SLING- NO, Evil ducks it, and whips Tanahashi into bare buckles! Tag to Sho and Kanemaru BLASTS Yano! Sho & Kanemaru double whip, Sho runs up to forearm smash! Feed to Kanemaru’s basement dropkick! They DOUBLE SMASH the knees! Sho clamps on the KNEEBAR!! Tanahashi endures, the fans rally, but Yano stomps Sho!

Kanemaru CLAWS Yano’s eyes and TOSSES him out! Evil gets in with the chair! Red Shoes stops Evil but Sho sneaks his Torture Tool! The Murder Machine wants to do this like he did to LIJ! Sho lines up the shot, but Tanahashi ducks! But WHISKEY MIST is there! Roll up, OLEG BREAKS IT!! The fans fire up as the House goes after Oleg! They TOSS Oleg, then they intercept Yano! They double whip, Yano holds ropes to taunt them! Yano ducks Kanemaru, shoves him into Evil, then shoves Red Shoes aside so he can DOUBLE LOW BLOW! Sho staggers up, winds up with the wrench, but Yano dodges!

SHOTEI from Tanahashi, then he SLINGBLADES Sho down! Oleg returns and he hauls Sho up! Oleg fireman’s carries Sho, and hits the ROLLING SENTON! Tanahashi is up top, HIGH FLY FLOW!! Cover, Team Go Ace wins!!

Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano & Boltin Oleg, by pinfall (NEW NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Champions)

A huge victory for The Ace of the Universe, for the Producer, and for the Young Lion! Oleg goes right from new kid on the block to a champion alongside two living legends! The House regroups, will they ever learn their lesson?

As for the new champs, Yano presents Oleg with his own high schooler blazer! It might be a couple sizes too small, but Yano still helps Oleg get it on! Oleg smiles as he is presented one of the belts, and is truly part of the club! Yano gets Shiro the buckle pad to join in on the photo op! And of course, they do the squat! Tanahashi-sachou then gets the mic so that he may speak. “Long time no see, Taiwan! Thank you very much, xièxiè.” Fans applaud his use of Mandarin! Tanahashi continues to say that NJPW hasn’t been able to visit Taiwan in some time, “but we’ll be back a lot from now on!” The fans love the sound of that!

Tanahashi vows to “keep NJPW fired up in Taiwan,” and that they’ll see them again very soon. “And finally… Taiwan, ASHITEMAAASU~!” The fans cheer and once again, the bad boy champs squat for the photo op. Will this unique trio lead the way into a brighter future for not just NJPW, but for the entire Wrestling World?


My Thoughts:

A great event for NJPW’s return to Taiwan, though things went about how you’d expect as far as results. Great stuff in the non-title matches, and really great win for Douki over Fujita. Douki giving Sho a taste of his own medicine with the theft of the belt is great, I hope Douki literally holds onto the belt until the final round of the Best of Super Juniors. Great tag title match from Bishamon VS Sanada & Yuya, with a great win for Bishamon. I figured Yuya was taking that pin, but he and Sanada make a pretty good team, maybe they’ll try again.

And great stuff in the NEVER Openweight Six Man tournament, but I had a feeling it was going to be Tanahashi’s team winning in the end. At least, once it was them against House of Torture, it was certainly clear. It wasn’t even that Tanahashi is President of NJPW. Evil wasn’t gonna just get a belt to replace the NEVER Openweight title, and Takagi wasn’t gonna be Mr. NEVER right away, so why not put these belts back on Tanahashi and a team he now leads. Great honor for Oleg as he hasn’t even gone from Young Lion to established guy with a gimmick. Oleg’s shown he can have fun and goof around, I think he’ll be a great third man to Tanahashi & Yano.

My Score: 8.7/10


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