Lashley def. Sami Callihan by Disqualification
This stemmed from oVe attacking Lashley in the parking lot last week, for what reason I'm not sure. That said, this was a great opening match that kicked off the show on a high note (I always appreciate whenever they start the show with an actual match and not a talking segment). I loved that they went all out and that this was fast-paced from start to finish. I was fine with it ending on a disqualification, if only because it protects Callihan. Eddie Edwards saved Lashley from an oVe attack afterward, so they seem to have found a common enemy.
Rosemary def. Hania
I've heard only good things about Hania's in-ring work, and while she didn't impress me all that much in her debut match last week, Rosemary was the perfect opponent for her to shine against. I though they put together a pretty nice matchup, but they merely scratched the surface of what they're capable of. Rosemary won in a way that protected Hania in defeat, but it was weird for her to be beaten in her second-ever match in IMPACT before being run off afterward.
WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Roderick Strong
We don't see much of Dunne in NXT (we should), so when we do, it's a treat because the guy is so damn good. Strong is an exceptional performer himself, so as expected, this was an extremely entertaining matchup. Per usual, Dunne focused in on a body part, this time targeting Strong's arm and hand. They told a wonderful story as a result, and needless to say, they kicked off the evening on a high note. I'm stunned Dunne isn't already under a more exclusive deal with the company because he is total money.
Killian Dane Interrupted Aleister Black
It's been evident for months that the NXT Championship was the ultimate destination for Black, so I'm glad he finally made his intentions clear to chase the title. TakeOver: New Orleans isn't for another two months, and Andrade "Cien" Almas still has Johnny Gargano to deal with, so giving Black a roadblock in Dane to overcome in the meantime makes sense. It's rare we hear from either one of them on the mic, but I thought they did well with their promos here. They left me looking forward to an eventual one-on-one outing between them.
#AskGSM is a weekly Q&A video where I, Graham "GSM" Matthews answer fan questions from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in regards to the world of wrestling. Nothing is off limits, and this week’s edition touches upon a variety of topics including:
Coast to Coast vs. Beer City Bruiser and Brian Milonas Ended in a No Contest; Kenny King and Coast to Coast def. ROH World Television Champion Silas Young, Bruiser and Milonas
Coast to Coast are coming off a huge victory versus War Machine from last month, so it was important that they weren't just squashed here by their much bigger opponents. The first match was fine while it lasted, but the non-finish set up the subsequent six-man tag team matchup also involving King and Young, which effectively furthered that feud. The second bout was a bit more fun and had the right result with the babyfaces going over.
Mandy Leon def. Madison Rayne in a Women of Honor Championship Tournament First Round Match
I haven't seen too many great Mandy Leon matches because she is still fairly inexperienced even with five years in the business under her belt, but this was actually a pretty decent match. Of course, a lot of that was likely Rayne, who has improved immensely over the years, but Leon had a solid showing for herself. Leon advancing was huge given Rayne had to be considered a favorite to win the tourney, but Leon has been with Women of Honor since the start and deserved to go a bit further.
Mark Andrews def. Akira Tozawa in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Andrews has always been a blast to watch whenever I've seen him compete on WWE's U.K. shows and on NXT, so unsurprisingly, he and Tozawa gelled very well here and had an entertaining opening match. The toughest task of these 205 Live matches is that the guys have to get the audience invested after they're already exhausted from SmackDown Live and the Mixed Match Challenge, but I thought they did a great job of making the crowd care here. Andrews winning was a nice touch, but I do feel bad for Tozawa. He's a former Cruiserweight Champion in his own right and has been horribly underutilized for many months.
Drew Gulak def. Tony Nese in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
This was totally different from Andrews vs. Tozawa, and that was exactly what I loved about it. Although both Gulak and Nese are technically heels, Nese seemed to get over as a babyface with his offense, and Gulak's hard-hitting style was such a treat to watch. That was what brought him to the dance in the first place, and while I do enjoy the PowerPoint stuff more often than not, the extremely aggressive side of Gulak is money. What we saw from him here was excellent and having him come across like a badass at the end instantly made him a favorite to win the whole tournament.
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