The Velveteen Dream def. Tyler Bate
Dream recently expressed frustration on Twitter (in storyline, of course) with the many independent wrestlers signed by WWE and how he's a homegrown talent, which is where this matchup stemmed from (along with their interactions backstage on NXT over the last month). They worked very well together and put together a nice little match filled with entertaining action and solid storytelling. As bright of a star as Bate is, Dream going over was the right call considering he's more of a regular in NXT than Bate is at this point.
Adam Cole def. Cezar Bononi
I was honestly surprised that Bononi was voted the "Future Star of 2017" by fans because other than his size and unique look, I don't see anything special in him. He's in the same spot Fabian Aichner is in right now in that he's a jobber to the stars, except he never looks too impressive in defeat. This was a fine squash match for Cole, though, that allowed him to showcase his skills a bit and further Undisputed Era's momentum.
#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:
ROH Enforcer Bully Ray Addressed the Audience
I initially cringed at the thought of Bully Ray kicking off the show. Not because I don't like him, but rather because I really don't want authority figures to become the focal point of the program. Thankfully, this was kept short and sweet and was exactly what it needed to be. Was it necessary when Bully already announced he was the enforcer last week? Not really, but it was a simple segment and I appreciated that.
ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks def. Frankie Kazarian and Scorpio Sky
This was the follow-up to Bullet Club beating So Cal Uncensored last week to retain the ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Championship. I believe a rematch has been set for Manhattan Mayhem coming up, though I'm not sure if the titles will be on the line. Either way, this was a fun match to further the feud between the two teams as well as tease that Cody is manipulating The Young Bucks in his rivalry with Kenny Omega. Notice how he didn't immediately come to their aid afterward the same way Hangman Page did.
Cedric Alexander def. TJP in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match
TJP really hadn't come into his own as a heel prior to this point, but he looked like a despicable punk here and shined. Alexander, on the other hand, is always excellent and had another outstanding outing. They went for a different type of match than I was expecting with a slightly slower pace early on, but it paid off and the final few minutes were fantastic. If TJP can maintain this side of his heel persona going forward, he'll finally fulfill his full potential I believe.
Roderick Strong def. Kalisto in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament Quarterfinal Match
This wasn't quite as great as Strong's first round match against Hideo Itami (this suffered from a few mistimed spots), but it was still a ton of fun and both men had awesome performances. The different in-ring styles of Strong and Kalisto meshed well together and made for an exciting encounter. Strong has been such a blast to watch on 205 Live so far, so I'm happy he's moving on in the tournament.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Asuka def. Finn Balor and Sasha Banks
This was easily better than any of the recent matchups we've seen on Mixed Match Challenge, though that shouldn't be surprising when you consider who was involved. The timing of Miz vs. Balor on Monday's Raw couldn't have been any better given they were on opposite teams here, while Banks and Asuka clashed one-on-one just last month. They all work very well together, and what also made this match enjoyable was the dynamic between Miz and Asuka and the latter fearing Miz would cause her undefeated streak to be broken. They're my pick to win it all, so I was happy they advanced.
I'll usually recommend this show based off the quality of the sole match that's featured, and because this was the most entertaining one I've seen in a while, I'd certainly suggest you seek it out when you have a few minutes to spare. It helps that Miz and Balor are apparently feuding now anyway, so this progressed their storyline as well. The format is short, sweet and to the point with no filler, which I appreciate.
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