Ariya Daivari def. Raul Mendoza
Daivari actually competed on the first-ever episode of 205 Live against Gentleman Jack Gallagher three years ago today. Unfortunately, he is no more exciting now than he was then. The dude somehow has the innate ability to make whoever he's in the ring with uninteresting and that was once again the case here. This lasted 10 minutes and almost none of it felt like it was of any real substance. I realize Daivari has to win once in a while, but Mendoza has far more potential than he does at this point, so I wasn't a fan of the outcome.
Danny Burch def. Greg Williams
I remember seeing a vignette on 205 Live weeks ago promoting Burch's upcoming singles debut on the brand, but he didn't surface until this show. The Titantron actually flashed Oney Lorcan's nameplate very briefly when he made his entrance, which is funny considering Lorcan recently requested his release (reportedly) and hasn't been seen since. This was a fine showcase for Burch and it was smart to keep this short and sweet.
Roman Reigns def. Robert Roode
Reigns called out King Corbin beforehand, and their back-and-forth on the mic was once again terrible. Reigns came across as genuine while addressing the audience beforehand and wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving, but the dog-themed material from Corbin was trash. The matchup that followed between Reigns and Roode, while nothing worth writing home about, was solid. Reigns was able to fend off Roode, Corbin and Dolph Ziggler afterward. It looks like it's full steam ahead for Reigns vs. Corbin at the TLC pay-per-view. I just hope it ends up being either a Chairs match or a Tables match instead of the rumored Dog Collar match.
Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak
These two had a fun feud a few years ago on 205 Live as well as a series of strong matches, but this was clearly designed to serve as a showcase for Ali and nothing more. On one hand, I'm happy Ali is winning more matches and appears to be on the ascent at long last, but on the other hand, I can't help but think Gulak has been criminally underutilized since being drafted to SmackDown. The Braun Strowman stuff was garbage and now he seems to have settled into an enhancement role. What a shame.
Piper Niven def. Jinny
Jinny and Jazzy Gabert have been on the downswing for the past month, so I can't say I was surprised that Jinny was beaten again here. The actual match, unfortunately, was no good. They lacked chemistry and nothing about this seemed to click at all. Thankfully, the post-match stuff made up for it with Niven and the returning Toni Storm going after Kay Lee Ray, planting the seeds for a future Triple Threat between the three. Storm's return would have been more impactful had she not randomly resurfaced on SmackDown last week.
Eddie Dennis def. Dereiss Gordon
Dennis has been out injured for many months and it's good to see him back. This was a smart way of bringing him back into the fold and re-establishing him as a dominant force. He had some momentum before he got hurt earlier this year, so hopefully he'll be able to recapture that in time. The commentators emphasized how Gordon was a trainee of Trent Seven's, so Dennis is clearly being groomed for a feud with him.
SCU Crashed AEW World Champion Chris Jericho's Thanksgiving Thank-You Celebration for Le Champion
This felt like the Festival of Friendship 2.0, and for that reason alone, it was a win in my book. Everything about it was so over-the-top that it was hard not to love. The Inner Circle were a riot, Jericho's dad making an appearance was a treat, and Jericho himself was hilarious. Not only was it an incredibly entertaining segment, it also advanced Jericho's feud with SCU ahead of Scorpio Sky's AEW World Championship clash with Jericho in the main event.
Best Friends def. The Lucha Brothers
Trent beat Pentagon Jr. on this week's episode of AEW Dark, hence the reason for this match. It had a really fun pace and was enjoyable despite not being given a ton of time, though I could understand why some may not have been as fond of it due to it basically being a spot-fest. Lucha Brothers losing clean to Best Friends shocked me, especially coming off Pentagon's loss to Trent. Best Friends are an awesome act, but I prefer if Lucha Brothers were booked to look stronger.
Tommaso Ciampa Interrupted Undisputed Era
The NXT "rally" of sorts was actually pretty damn cool, especially since it illustrated the importance of NXT's dominance over Raw and SmackDown at Survivor Series. There wasn't anything on the line, mind you, but at least their wins aren't being ignored. Josiah Williams of Wrestle and Flow fame (he also rapped Adam Cole to the ring at TakeOver: XXV in June) did a terrific job of rallying the NXT troops before Undisputed Era interrupted. They took credit for the brand's success over Survivor Series weekend, but before Ciampa could officially challenge Cole for the NXT Championship, Finn Balor emerged and announced his intentions of acting as a roadblock between him and the title. I'm not usually high on promos kicking off wrestling shows, but this was a strong segment that served to set up the night's main event of Ciampa vs. Balor and segue into the NXT Tag Team Championship match.
NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed era def. Dominik Dijakovic and Keith Lee
Bobby Fish was legitimately injured early on, so Roderick Strong filled in for him halfway through while still in street clothes. Amazing! I really want a prolonged program between these two teams, so while I wasn't a big fan of this being blown off with a clean finish on this show, it was a hell of a tag team title clash. The action was exciting and Lee and Dijakovic unsurprisingly had tremendous chemistry together as partners. I appreciated that Lee wasn't pinned following his breakout performance at Survivor Series, and at least fans will remember him sending Cole into the front row with that beautiful shoulder block.
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