PRISCILLA KELLY VS. DEONNA PURRAZZO
Kelly reminds me a lot of Ruby Riott in her look at personality. I am a fan of Purrazzo and I’d like to see what she can do, but she’s already going to be in tag team action NXT next week, so if Kelly impresses me here, I’d like to see her move on. I don’t know why they show Samoa Joe in the crowd, or what the hell he has to do with this tournament. Kelly smacks Purrazzo’s hand away at the start, so it’s clear who the heel is here.
Strange start to the match. Purrazzo pretty slowly crawls through Kelly’s legs as Kelly spreads them for her to do it, but Kelly still lunges forward like she thought Purrazzo was still in front of her. I think Kelly is a very slow worker and it’s badly hurting the match flow, it’s noticeable more than once. At first it seemed she was better at grappling or mat wrestling, but she even looked bad taking a hip toss. Purrazzo locks in the Fujiwara arm bar for the win. I was not at all impressed with Kelly, so I’m glad to see Purrazzo move on.
Match Rating: Two Gold Medals
“BIG SWOLE” AERIEL MONROE VS. ZEUXIS
Natalya makes a lot more sense in the crowd than Samoa Joe. I think Monroe will get the win here, but it’s a toss up. Monroe has the personality that WWE looks for. I had no idea that she was married to Cedric Alexander. She shows her personality when Zeuxis touches her hair. Zeuxis does not heed the warning and gets a stiff chop to the face. Zeuxis continues to taunt Monroe and the crowd, pulling at and throwing her around by her hair. She grabs the hair every chance she gets. Simple but very effective heel move.
Zeuxis is obviously the more polished wrestler but Monroe holds her own. Zeusix hits an AWESOME finisher, a top rope Spanish Fly, and the luchadora gets the win over Big Swole. That was fucking sweet. Overall a decent and fun match. They show Aeriel’s daughter crying!
Match Rating: Five Gold Medals
REINA GONZALEZ VS. KACY CATANZARO
I watched videos earlier of Kacy Catanzaro completing the American Ninja Warrior obstacle course. HOLY SHIT. Don’t ever mess with that woman.
Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan look incredibly different without makeup. There’s a 100-pound weight different and 1-full-foot height difference between these two, and yet I still see Catanzaro prevailing. Gonzalez smartly uses her size and power advantage to dominate the match, including bending Catanzaro over her knee. Catanzaro starts bouncing around and using momentum to help her get more strength behind her strikes as well as try to elude Gonzalez’s strikes. She gets Gonzalez on a decent-looking roll-up pin to pull the upset. They told the story well and gave Catanzaro a huge mountain to climb to win her first round match and endear herself to the audience. Unfortunately for her, her next match is with Rhea Ripley.
Match Rating: Seven Gold Medals
MERCEDES MARTINEZ VS. ASHLEY RAYNE
Martinez was my favorite competitor in last year’s tournament. I don’t know why, because I REALLY don’t like that kind of music, but I LOVE her entrance theme. WHY IS UNDISPUTED ERA THERE? Only half the people they show have anything to do with the tournament, but I guess they show that this intrigues everyone. Or it would, if they didn’t leave as soon as the camera is off of them.
A DANGEROUS-looking power bomb/brainbuster/I dunno what the hell from Martinez on to Rayne got a two count. That looked like a finisher, and it looked very bad for a neck. Martinez looks absolutely determined in this match after losing in last year’s semifinals. She dominates the early part of the match, including pleasing the crowd with a LONG stalling suplex. She has a great arsenal of moves, including a spine buster that Arn Anderson would be proud of. Rayne’s strikes seem to just piss off Martinez at first, but as Rayne keeps up the offense they get more effective.
I’m a lot more impressed by Martinez then Rayne. Rayne hits a nice cross body but for some reason does not go for the cover. Rayne hits her finisher, a Guillotine drop, but Martinez kicks out at two. Martinez counters an Irish Whip with a knee and then hits a Fisherman Buster for the win. The match was much better when Martinez was in control.
Match Rating: Six Gold Medals
Not as good as the first night, but still overall an entertaining show.
Overall Show Rating: Five Gold Medals