Ember Moon def. Lei'D Tapa
For those who watched TNA three or four years ago, Lei'D Tapa was a part of the Knockouts division for a cup of coffee as Gail Kim's protege, a storyline that ended abruptly before Tapa departed the company. I wasn't a fan of her work then and she seemingly hasn't improved at all since I last saw her. She had a pretty poor performance here, even while in the ring with someone as skilled as Moon. On the bright side, Moon cut a decent promo afterward that sets her up to face Asuka again at TakeOver: Brooklyn for the NXT Women's Championship.
NXT Tag Team Champions The Authors of Pain vs. Timothy Bumpers and David Ramos Went to a No Contest (Non-title)
Every match where Authors of Pain take on a pair of local athletes is essentially the same, so SAnitY actually did us a favor by beating up Bumpers and Ramos before Authors of Pain could. The brawl that ensured between the two teams was fine, but it didn't make me any more excited to see them do battle in Brooklyn than I was when it was first teased a few weeks back. I understand NXT's tag team division is thin, but it doesn't scream TakeOver worthy to me at this point. Perhaps they'll exceed my expectations.
Texano def. The Mack in a Cueto Cup Second Round Match
I've said time and time again that Texano largely does nothing for me, but at least he can typically be counted on for a quality performance, especially when he's up against someone better than he is. Thankfully, The Mack was able to get a good match out of him. I figured Famous B would interfere and aid Texano to victory, but it was what needed to happen to seemingly solidify that partnership and get Texano another step closer to turning heel (assuming he hasn't already).
Pentagon Dark def. Trios Champion Drago in a Cueto Cup Second Round Match
Perhaps I'm biased because Pentagon is my favorite performer in Lucha Underground, but I thoroughly enjoyed this outing between him and Drago. It was far from the best match of the Cueto Cup up to this point, but it was still very well-wrestled and the crowd was engaged in the exciting action. I liked the post-match angle with Argenis saving Drago from getting his arm broken by Pentagon in an attempt to bring him back into the light, only for Drago to attack Argenis and lead to Argenis getting his arm broken instead. It's ridiculous how over Pentagon is right now and I really hope he emerges from this tournament the victor.
#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:
The Bullet Club Called Out ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions Dalton Castle and The Boys
It was interesting to hear The Young Bucks say that there was no one left in Ring of Honor to challenge them for the ROH World Tag Team Championship. ROH has a pretty deep tag team roster, so surely there's another tandem out there they haven't beaten yet. Then again, it is very possible they have eliminated all the competition. There aren't a ton of trios in ROH, either, so The Bullet Club looking to take those titles as well makes sense.
Marty Scurll def. Josh "The Goods" Woods, Vinny Marselgia, Will Ferrara, El Terrible and Frankie Kazarian in a Six-Man Mayhem Match
All of these guys are tremendously talented, but truth be told, Scurll shouldn't have been involved in this bout because he is on a much higher level than the rest of them. Thankfully, he won, so it wasn't too big of a problem. The multi-match was fun and the crowd seemed to enjoy it despite nothing seemingly being up for grabs. Meanwhile, Shane Taylor attacking Woods toward the end was weird if only because they're both heels, but on the bright side, at least it appears Taylor has some direction now that The Rebellion is no more.
Chris Jericho and AJ Styles Interrupted United states Champion Kevin Owens
Jericho is back, maaaaan! He's the master of shocking returns and this was no exception. I mentioned a month or so ago that there was a chance he could be back soon based off how he was still in the open to the show, but I didn't think it would be this soon. But hey, I'm not complaining, because SmackDown Live could use the star power right now. It made total sense to reinsert him into the United States Championship picture given his history with both men and this laid the groundwork for the night's main event very well.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Baron Corbin
Their Battleground bout was decent yet disappointing, so I enjoyed this encounter significantly more. It was far from a mat classic, but they had the greatest match they probably could together and both Corbin and Nakamura came across like stars. Nakamura needed the clean win (and Corbin won't be too damaged by the loss considering he's Mr. Money in the Bank), but why not just do this at the pay-per-view? Also, it's entirely possible this rivalry isn't over yet.
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