DREW GULAK W/ THE BRIAN KENDRICK VS. LINCE DORADO W/ KALISTO & GRAN METALIK
Throughout the few months with Gulak feuding with the members of Lucha House Party, I’ve been saying I hope they keep it going, and they’ve done that while still making each match feel fresh. Over the past few weeks Kendrick & Gallagher have been added into the mix and it’s definitely enhanced the feud. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gulak win this match since he’s already beaten Kalisto and Metalik in singles matches.
Gulak seems to know what Dorado is going to do before he even does it in the early parts of this match and is in firm control. He keeps Dorado grounded on the mat which neutralizes Dorado’s strength, but as soon as he throws Dorado into the corner it backfires, and Dorado starts to quicken the pace. Dorado hits something that looks like a cross body frog splash. Whatever it was it looked pretty awesome. Kendrick gets involved with the ref’s back turned and it leads to Gulak locking in the Gu-Lock for the win. It wasn’t one of Gulak’s best matches with one of the luchadors.
Match Rating: Four Gold Medals
TJP VS. NAMELESS JOBBER
The jobber smacks TJP in the mouth for disrespecting him, and ends up in a knee bar in return. TJP keeps building heat each week, a good way to use him if he’s not going to be in the main event picture at the moment. Very effective.
Match/Segment Rating: Eight Dustys
Lio Rush is making his debut next week. Hell yeah.
TRIPLE THREAT MATCH: BUDDY MURPHY VS. HIDEO ITAMI VS. MUSTAFA ALI
If they do this right it could be incredible. I’m extremely excited for it. Itami smart to roll to the outside after seeing that both Murphy and Itami want a piece of him, but both of them quickly get to him. Though it’s the kind of multi-person match that I hate, I think it would make the most sense for Itami to sit back and let Murphy and Ali beat the hell out of each other. Their emotions are both running high and Itami is a lot more calm and collected. Smart move by him to continue to punish Ali in the ring while at the same time being able to keep Murphy down on the outside. But now we get into where it just sucks and doesn’t make sense as Ali rolls to the outside himself and we get a one-on-one match. Yeah these two can have a great one-on-one match, but that’s not what we were promised tonight.
Itami does the same thing Ali does, rolling to the outside and leaving us with a one-on-one match with two different guys. Finally we get all three guys in the ring again, and the action is great. Itami is down on the mat with Ali hitting some awesome moves on Murphy, but even if he’s just laying there, it feels like a much better match seeing him there, because half the time you forget there’s more than two guys in these matches since there’s so much just regular one-on-one action.
I like that they only tease the triple suplex/powerbomb corner spot and turn it into something more realistic with strikes and counters. I love seeing all three guys standing toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring and just punching and elbowing the shit out of each other. Itami catches Ali in mid air with double knees to the face. Then Ali hits a god damn 450 splash with Itami and Murphy stacked on top of each other! I love this action, the last few minutes of three-way action is exactly what I hoped this match would be. Then they move it outside and take advantage of the no disqualification nature of a triple threat match, and Ali hits a Spanish Fly on Murphy from the announce table to the floor to a “HOLY SHIT” chant from the crowd. If you’re going to keep someone on the outside, make it a move like that that keeps them down.
Itami uses his head again and rests while Ali and Murphy kick the shit out of each other, taking advantage when Ali gets back in the ring. Itami exposes the lower turnbuckle and dropkicks Ali’s face right into it for the pin.
That was a very logical finish with Murphy getting taken out by a big move, Itami using some rest time and sneaking up on Ali, and then using tactics that would be illegal in a regular singles match to get the win. I was worried that it was going to be a mostly one-on-one match with one guy constantly on the outside but luckily they shelved that pretty quickly and made this one an instant classic.
Match Rating: Nine Gold Medals
I was really only here for the triple threat main event, and it delivered, but I do have to deduct something for the letdown of the opening match.
Overall Show Rating: Seven Gold Medals