I have no idea what to make of this show, but I do know that I am more up for Riddle vs Suzuki than I was for Riddle vs Ki. Victories are by KO or submission only, and there are no ropes.
Dom Garrini vs KTB
This show is running roughly 12 weeks late so I'm glad it has started. Garrini has a purple belt in jui jitsu so he is the obvious winner. The match was mostly mat based, which I assume most will be. KTB hit a big right hand but got caught in a triangle choke and that was all she wrote. Not a great match to kick off the show. *1/2
Tracy Williams vs Eddie Kingston
Kingston is wearing a singlet and it is offputting. This was a much better match and they used the stipulation far better. Williams was working the mat game while Kingston was throwing massive bombs. It finished when Kingston hit a massive suplex followed by a backfist that turned Williams' face inward. I enjoyed this one. ***1/2
Martin Stone vs Masada
Martin Stone is Danny Burch in NXT, in case people didn't know. This match wasn't really good at all and it ended very abruptly. Next. *
Tom Lawlor vs WALTER
Lawlor is fighting with a broken arm. WALTER immediately targets it. Common sense. WALTER also tries to cave his chest in, as is customary. Lawlor tries to fight back with a superman punch but WALTER isn't up for that shit and chops him out of midair. Lawlor almost gets a sneaky armbar but WALTER powers out, beats his ass and chokes him out. That match was fucking great. I didn't really know if any of the matches on this show would be particularly great but this was an absolute blast. WALTER is on another level at the minute. ****1/4
They then decide that an intermission is justified. It isn't. Dicks.
Chris Dickinson vs Dan Severn
Dirty Daddy vs The Beast. Severn is 59. This was predictably uninspiring. They mostly used mat work with the occasional strike from Dickinson. The ref bewilderingly pulled Dickinson off his attack and Severn tapped him out. Fuck knows why the ref did that. *1/2
Timothy Thatcher vs Nick Gage
Well this is fucking random, eh. The crowd is all about Nick Gage. Crime pays, kids. Thatcher wants to wrestle but Gage just wants to throw down. They end up outside the ring, where the match breaks down. Nobody knows the rules so it's all gravy. Nick Gage ends up winning by ground and pound. Fair play to Thatcher too as he sold it like death. Not a great match. Not the worst on this card though. **
Minoru Suzuki vs Matt Riddle
This match ended up being shorter than I had anticipated but it was really good. They gave zero fucks about whether they were in the ring or not, and instead focused on beating the shit out of each other. Considering the short notice they were given, they put on as good a match as you could expect. Suzuki ended up choking out Riddle to pick up the win. After the match Suzuki hugged Riddle, which was unexpected. Can we get Riddle in Suzuki-gun? ***3/4
Overall Grade - C
Honestly, I have no fucking idea how anyone is supposed to grade this show. I just went with the middle. A couple of the matches were great, a bunch of them were ugly as sin, nobody seemed to really know the rules, the stream was unreliable, and they took an intermission 50 minutes in. It was one of the randomest wrestling shows I've seen in a while. Welcome to Mania weekend 2018.