SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
•Wardlow vs. Jungle Boy – HIT
I continue to be impressed by the constant improvement by Jungle Boy. He created most of the movement in the match and sold well for Wardlow. They worked well together, but I need to see more of Wardlow. He has a presence and intimidation factor that will help his chances of being elevated. The match didn’t overstay its welcome and gave the audience a snapshot of potential future stars.
•Jon Moxley and Eddie Kingston Promos – HIT
Jon Moxley is beyond the point of having each of his promos graded. I would put him up with anyone in the business to convince you more to want to spend money to see a fight. Eddie Kingston has held up his end as well. His message has been consistent of being friends with Moxley on the independent scene and then Moxley went to “the land of entertainers” while he fought to get where he is. Kingston addressed the lying and cheating he’s done, but said that the end justifies the means.
•Kenny Omega vs. Sonny Kiss – HIT
They’ve hit the reset on Kenny Omega. Omega came out to a change of music, video, and Justin Roberts listed off a large number of achievements including breaking the Meltzer star rating scale and placing #1 on the PWI 500. Omega filled with self-adulation made his way to the ring and squashed Sonny Kiss after a V Trigger and One Winged Angel. Omega had a smug look on his face after his win. I like this direction for Omega. He was presented as a major player who is tired of being in the background and wants his due so he went over the top. The weeks to follow will be key if his entrances are to remain the same, that might get a little exhausting.
•Penta El Zero M vs. Fenix – HIT
Anything less than an excellent match between these two would’ve been a disappointment. Penta and Fenix brought it with several insane spots including a reversal by Fenix and into a destroyer. There was no official break up, but hopefully this leads to them going off as singles stars. Penta hit the arm bar snap on Fenix, but Fenix was still able to get the win. Eddie Kingston on commentary encouraged the violence between the two, but it seems they are still a unit despite that.
•Colt Cabana vs. Hangman Page – HIT
Good match between these two. Hangman continues to work hard to earn a ranking in the singles division. He beat Colt Cabana here and will move onto face Wardlow in the second row of the number one contender title tournament. Cabana is still being shunned by Mr. Brodie Lee, but he continues to have the support of the rest of the Dark Order. After he lost, the Dark Order came out to help up Cabana. The commentary team pointed out that was unusual.
•Le Dinner Debonair – MISS
I had major reservations when I heard MJF and Chris Jericho were having a steak dinner together. While I’m not a fan of segments outside the ring on phony sets, I had confidence that these two would make it entertaining. They did that with an unexpected song and dance number! Not something you’ve probably ever seen in wrestling. This is clearly going to be a divisive segment because it was well done, but why is it about simulated combat and wanting to prove who is the best? If it were my call, this wouldn’t run on a show that accuses WWE of being “the land of entertainers.” This was as “sports entertainment” as it gets. It’s AEW doing a better job and being more creative with the type of segments WWE routinely fails at.
•Britt Baker vs. Kylin King – HIT
This was more of the same with Britt Baker. A fine match that continues to establish her heel persona by squashing her opponents. The women’s roster is awfully thin on faces so after facing Big Swole, the next logical step would be a title match with Hikaru Shida.
•Private Party vs. John Silver & Alex Reynolds vs. The Butcher & The Blade vs. The Young Bucks – MISS
What is going on with The Young Bucks? They’ve turned on their friends and superkicked innocent people. They’ve been teasing a match against FTR for years and now that it’s happening, I feel apathetic. The Bucks were beatdown after the match by FTR and Tully Blanchard to a quiet audience. The wrestlers at ringside and the few fans in the building didn’t seem to know how to react. I’m intrigued to see if the framing of the Bucks changes before Full Gear, because a heel vs. heel match up feels far less enticing than what the audience had imagined.