October 7, 2015
The show started with a recap of the World Title situation. Dixie Carter and Billy Corgan announced the World Title Series to crown a new champion. The first four groups are:
Group UK: Drew Galloway, Rockstar Spud, Bram and Grado
Group Wildcard: Kenny King, Mahabali Shera, Aiden O'Shea and Crazzy Steve
Group Knockouts: Gail Kim, Awesome Kong, Madison Rayne and Brooke
Group Champions: EC3, Lashley, Mr. Anderson and Austin Aries
So far, so good. I think this is going to be a fun tournament. I really like the ESPN style presentation as well as the themed groups. I'm ready for some total nonstop action!
Drew Galloway defeated Bram to score 3 points. Great match to kick off the series. Drew and Bram were like two rabid dogs going at it in and out of the ring. Drew is definitely a lock to advance to the next round. By the way, the roundtable discussion is a nice touch to hear each wrestler's motivation going into battle.
Brooke defeated Gail Kim to score 3 points. The announcers mentioned that Brooke has a Knockouts Title rematch clause when she decides to use it. Great chemistry between Gail and Brooke. I liked the various counters and submission moves. I'm a little surprised that Gail lost her first match, but congrats to Brooke on a much deserved victory.
Rockstar Spud defeated Grado to score 3 points. Okay, I have to admit that was funny. It was pure comedy with Spud and Grado imitating The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Undertaker, etc. Hell, Josh Mathews even called it a "slobberknocker." It's like watching two kids wrestling in the living room. Hilarious.
EC3 and Austin Aries went to a time limit draw for one point each. Great match. Both guys were at the top of their game and went back and forth for 15 minutes. EC3 has his work cut out for him if he wants to regain the World Title, because this match really set the tone for the level of competition in this round. No doubt this is a championship caliber group.
Awesome Kong defeated Madison Rayne to score 3 points. Solid match. Madison looked impressive against a larger opponent. One of the positives of this tournament is getting to see a bunch of underutilized people get TV time, so hopefully they make the most of it.
Lashley defeated Mr. Anderson to score 3 points. Another good back and forth match. Anderson stood toe to toe with Lashley and held his own. The finish was a bit sudden, but they had a nice rhythm for the majority of the match.
Overall, I enjoyed tonight's show. Usually the post-BFG episode is a promo-heavy show, but this year we got something different that looks and feels important. These first few matches alone had a mix of everything. Aggression, speed, intensity, and even a little comedy. As long as they execute properly, this should be a fun concept for a while.