We begin the show tonight with a video package of Titus O’Neil recruiting Tozawa and Tozawa and Neville going toe to toe in the ring this past Monday on Raw. Titus comes out and calls them dumb for wanting to fight now for free especially since he’s just gotten a match signed for Great Balls of Fire.
We get the opening video and then Corey Graves and Vic Joseph run down tonight’s card before throwing it backstage to Dasha who is standing by with Jack Gallagher.
Gallagher said he should have anticipated Nese acting like a scoundrel and says that he’s prepared to face the villainous The Brian Kendrick tonight.
Match 1: Jack Gallagher vs. The Brian Kendrick
Kendrick comes out to Gallagher’s music dressed in a suit with a wig and a fake mustache. He cuts a promo on Gallagher as he comes down to the ring calling Gallagher a joke and says that England is a laughingstock just like Gallagher.
Kendrick attacks at the bell, working over Gallagher and fixing his fake moustache. Gallagher fights back, they work to the corner and Gallagher does his headstand spot and lights up Kendrick with uppercuts. Kendrick then hits a kick to the face, and whips him to the corner. Kendrick hits a charging forearm and another Irish whip.
Kendrick attacks at the bell, stopping only to occasionally fix his fake mustache. Gallagher mounts a comeback and they fight into the corner where Gallagher does his headstand spot. Kendrick calls him stupid so Gallagher gets down and lays into Kendrick with some uppercuts.
Kendrick kicks Gallagher in the face and takes control again. He whips Gallagher into the corner and hits a charging forearm and then whips him again and goes for a suplex. Gallagher escapes from the suplex and hits some knees and a dropkick.
Kendrick fires back with an elbow and then grabs an umbrella and starts beating Gallagher with it. He breaks one umbrella but he’s not finished with Gallagher so he gets the other one and continues the beating giving Gallagher the DQ victory.
Winner: Jack Gallagher
I guess Gallagher and Kendrick are feuding now for some reason so they needed a match to kick off the feud. This match did the trick, but I wonder where Austin Aires was during all this. What about the accord he and Gallagher had? [*]
Dasha’s with Drew Gulak to ask him about his loss to Mustafa Ali last week. They replay the ending to that match which makes Drew sad. “Why would you show that and none of my terrific ground based offense?” he asks before saying that it actually proved his point and showed that Ali didn’t need high flying bullshit to win matches, and his victory was a victory for “Safe and sound! Feet on the ground!”
Mustafa Ali shows up and is like “You mad bro?” and asks Drew if he’s just jealous because he can’t do Phoenix Splashes and Lionsaults and shit. Drew storms off and Mustafa Ali gives a super cheesy thumbs up.
Match 2: Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak
Drew Gulak’s quasi-Japanese RPG theme song entrance music is starting to grow on me. They start off the match by talking shit to one another before they start grappling. Ali hits an arm drag but then gets punched in the mouth by Gulak allowing him to take control.
Gulak jaws with Ali but Ali fights back with chops and hits a big boot. He goes for a cross body block, but Gulak cuts him off with a kick to the gut. Gulak stomps Ali and then slams him off the ropes to earn himself a two count.
Gulak keeps Ali grounded, working a side headlock before suplexing Ali into the turnbuckles in a spot that looked like it sucked. He gets another near fall and starts to argue with the ref which allows Ali to hit a tornado DDT.
Ali fires up and kicks Gulak in the head and then connects with the rolling neckbreaker and covers for two. Ali sets Gulak up on the top rope and goes up after him but Gulak shoves him off. Gulak decides to go high risk and stands on the top rope with shaky legs. He gives the Superfly Jimmy Snuka hand gesture an leaps off the top rope for a Superfly Splash that completely misses. Ali cradles him and gets the win.
Winner: Mustafa Ali
Another solid match from these two. I like that the pre-match interview ended up playing into the finish of the match with Ali’s claim that Gulak was just jealous that he couldn’t do high flying moves causing Drew to attempt a splash at the end that he missed with. [***]
Noam Dar apologizes to Daivari for accidentally throwing his bag in the river last week and says that it was pretty much Cedric Alexander’s fault anyway so Daivari should take out his frustrations on him in their match. He then promises to pay Daivari back somehow but says he’s broke because Alicia Fox always wants to call him while he’s on the road so his phone bill is insane. Daivari tells him not to worry about the money since if he dropped $15,000 on the ground he wouldn’t even bend down to pick it up since it wouldn’t be worth his time.
Alicia Fox calls and Daivari hangs up on her and throws Noam’s phone into the wall and says, “I don’t want your money, but you still owe me for the bag!”
Match 3: Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari
The match gets underway with Daivari working over Alexander’s arm. Alexander uses his speed to escape and hits a head scissors and a dropkick. He levels Daivari with the springboard clothesline and goes for the early cover, but only gets two. He charges Daivari, but runs into a knee strike that allows Daivari to take control.
Daivari dumps Alexander into the turnbuckles and then tosses Alexander out to the floor. He hits a running kick off the apron and rolls Alexander back into the ring where he covers him for two. Alexander recovers and goes for a back handspring elbow but gets caught in a sleeper hold. Alexander manages to get to the ropes for a break and then gets fired up. He unloads on Daivari with chops and strikes and hits a back handspring kick for a two count.
Alexander heads to the apron but Dar appears and distracts him which allows Daivari time to recover and attack. It doesn’t really matter though because Alexander rolls him up and gets a two count. Dar jumps up on the apron, distracting Alexander again. Alexander elbows the fuck out of Dar and then turns back toward Daivari who nails him with a hammerlock lariat to pick up the win.
After the match Dar beats down Alexander and then gets on the mic and does a horrible impression of Sylvester Stallone as Rocky that was so awful it actually made me laugh, “Yo Alicia we did it!” He then says that since Cedric Alexander has been taken care of they can move on and focus on their love. Please listen to him Alicia Fox.
Winner: Ariya Daivari
The match was honestly pretty good up until the Noam Dar run-in. Up to that point the only complaint I had was the fact that it also had a suplex into the turnbuckle spot like the match right before it. That spot should be a big spot, so they should have probably not done it in two matches back to back, but that’s a small nitpick. Daivari and Alexander looked good together and I hope that they get a longer, interference-free match at some point in the future.
I am mystified how the Dar/Alexander/Fox feud is still going on. All of them have claimed at various times to just want to move on, so can they just do that already? [**]
Meanwhile in the Ring…
After the break Neville comes out to speak. Someone in the audience calls him an “evil hobbit.” Neville says that in two weeks he will face Tozawa at “Great Balls of Fai-yah,” but that Tozawa is just another lamb being lead to the slaughter. He says that Tozawa might like to give lessons, but he likes to give warnings, “Don’t show up to Great Balls of Fai-yah or you will get hurt since you’re not even close to the Neville Level.”
Tozawa’s music hits and he appears at the top of the ramp in a snazzy suit and starts bellowing, “AH!” as he makes his way down to the ring. Neville’s like, “Do you understand what I just said? Do you even speak English you idiot?” but Tozawa just keeps bellowing, “AH!”
Tozawa hits the ring and yells “AH!” a few more times and as Neville moves to attack him Tozawa strikes and sends the King of the Cruiserweights to the floor with kicks. Neville glares at him as Tozawa stands tall in the ring and bellows, “AH! AH! AH!” with the crowd as the show goes off the air.
This was an okay episode. There were a couple decent TV matches and a decent showdown between Neville and Tozawa, but nothing here really felt essential. That being said, I’m kind of looking forward to Great Balls of Fire now for the Neville vs. Tozawa match. Neville’s developed into a really great promo since turning heel and winning the Cruiserweight Championship and him cutting Tozawa down tonight really sold me on this PPV.