It’s been a stellar last few days for the 100s in WWE. TakeOver XXV saw two amazing bouts bookending a great show. Roderick Strong and Matt Riddle took contrasting styles and created art with a hard-hitting opener, and Adam Cole may have pulled off a Match Of The Year by claiming the NXT Championship from Johnny Gargano in an instant classic. Monday night saw Ricochet deliver another tour de force against Cesaro, and Lucha House Party stand tall against resident minority abuser Lars Sullivan (OK, I really do NOT care about this feud; but it happened, and I report on cruiserweights). Not too much happened on Smackdown, but at least the Finn Balor/Andrade battle for the Intercontinental Title is one reason to sell your soul and watch SuperShowdown on Friday!
Our episode begins with GM Drake Maverick hyping up a match between apparent top contender Akira Tozawa and continental interloper Noam Dar, and the main event of Oney Lorcan vs Ariya Daivari. No sight of LHP opening the curtains, as Tozawa is out right away. He still connects with the crowd, but doesn’t have to do his warrior bark incessantly. Dar follows, but he is blindsided by a returning Drew Gulak. Nigel McGuinness mentions his new black ring gear, and the Philadelphia Stretcher immediately attacks Dar’s bothersome left knee, taking him out of this match. Maverick jumps in, booking an impromptu Tozawa/Gulak match. Tozawa begged for this match during the attack, but he’s struggling against a darker Gulak. Aiden English brings up Maverick’s pursuit of the 24/7 Belt, and claims that more focus needs to be paid to 205 Live (questioning the need to book this match so soon). Tozawa gains some momentum with a ridiculous running cannonball that cleared nearly 10 feet! After they trade extended submission holds, Gulak surprises Tozawa with a superplex (yes, he left his feet to execute this) and an Argentine Neckbreaker to pick up a surprising win.
Mike and Maria Kannellis are backstage, and Mike is upset that he is not considered “the best” because of lack of WWE programming exposure (he has a point) and a “new guy” stigma. He brings up his victory over THE Brian Kendrick last week, and sends a shot to Maverick to stop chasing other titles and focus on his GM job. I hope this doesn’t become a reason that Maverick quits 205 Live to go wrestle, because he was mediocre in the ring at best. Keep rocking those fly suits, Spud!
Tony Nese is questioned about Gulak’s return. He said he understands the depths of Gulak’s mind, and again critiques why Maverick would schedule a match against a man that he wants to defend his title against. He says that whenever Maverick decides who he puts the belt up against, he’ll be ready. LHP is sadly backstage, hyping up their continuing feud with the Bollywood Boyz. I’m all for CW tag belts, but can we please have a tag division first, sans these puppets?
Lorcan is out for the main event of the evening. I can only imagine how much pain he’s in after his Ladder Match in TakeOver XXV. The Persian Playboy follows, vowing to give Lorcan stitches in retribution. The two engage in an extended test of strength lock-up, which is always nice to see a match not start with a punch or kick. The Boston Butcher is known for his Southie Strong Style, but he’s matching Daivari in terms of technical prowess. Daivari hits a straightjacket driver, but misses his Persian Lion frog splash, allowing Lorcan to go on the offense. Oney seems to be cosplaying Ultimate Warrior’s arm pumps, which goes well with his crazed demeanor. Daivari manages to hit his second Persian Lion attempt, but Lorcan rolls through the pin and scores a three-count of his own. Will he be in contention for Nese’s crown?
100% 100 Kg Of The Week
I was shocked when he left ROH and Bullet Club, as I wasn’t sure if WWE would “get” Adam Cole. While Balor and AJ Styles have certainly been pushed as a top guys, the idea of building another “Club”-like faction around them stalled immediately. Which I get, because Vince McMahon doesn’t accept what he doesn’t create. And while Cole didn’t create Bullet Club, he WAS allowed to form Undisputed Era. He’s great as a chickenshit heel, constantly needing his cronies for success. But what we learned on Saturday was that Adam Cole is a main-eventer. He and Gargano tore up Full Sail, countering each other’s best offenses like chess strategy. His victory signalled the champion reign that was long overdue, and I look forward to upcoming feuds with the likes of Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle (and possibly UE’s own Strong). Long live the king, Adam Cole, BAY-BAY!!!!!