WWE NXT Review - January 31, 2018
Nikki Cross def. Lacey Evans
To be completely honest, this was the part of the show where I went to the merchandise stand, therefore missing most of the match because it didn't last long. In my defense, it was my only opportunity to snag a shirt because I didn't want to miss anything else! Upon watching it back in its entirety, though, I realize I didn't miss much and this was exactly what it needed to be: a quick showcase for Cross. Evans isn't all that experienced yet, but she looked good in defeat here.
TM61 def. The Ealy Brothers
I got my hopes up for an appearance from Tino Sabbatelli and Riddick Moss, so I was disappointed we got The Ealy Brothers instead. In retrospect, I'm glad it was The Ealy Brothers who were squashed by TM61 because at least Sabbatelli and Moss get to build a bit of momentum before being inevitably beaten. They have been off TV for just over a year, so this was a great return for them and the crowd was behind the duo from start to finish. They are an excellent addition to what is already a stacked tag team division in NXT.
#AskGSM Edition #218: Ronda Rousey's WWE Debut, Royal Rumble Reaction, John Cena, More
#AskGSM is a weekly Q&A video where I, Graham "GSM" Matthews answer fan questions from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in regards to the world of wrestling. Nothing is off limits, and this week’s edition touches upon a variety of topics including:
Punishment Martinez def. Dobbs
Dobbs was simply another enhancement talent fed to Martinez for him to squash, and it was glorious to watch. This didn't last long whatsoever, and aside from one slap from Dobbs, this was all Martinez, allowing him to build more momentum in the process. Afterward, he was confronted by Dalton Castle, who forced him to flee from the ring, so it looks like that will be our next program over the ROH World Championship.
Coast to Coast def. War Machine
This was taped last month, and by this point (given WWE announced War Machine's signing to NXT last week), it was pretty obvious who was winning. However, that didn't take away from the exciting action in the slightest as War Machine went above and beyond in putting the younger tandem over on their way out with Coast to Coast kicking out of several of their signature maneuvers. The audience ate this up and it turned out to be a way more exciting encounter than I was originally anticipating.
SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan Introduced Drake Maverick as the New General Manager of 205 Live
I randomly threw out Rey Mysterio's name as a candidate for the 205 Live GM, but I'm honestly happier that the spot was instead given to the former Rockstar Spud (and the commentators briefly referred to him by that name before he spoke). I love Mysterio and hope he gets one more run with the company, but he should be wrestling, not doing GM stuff. Maverick, on the other hand, is perfect in this role. He would be overshadowed in the matter of a week if he was wrestling. This was a great introduction to Maverick and I really like the idea of a tournament being held to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion as well as it culminating at WrestleMania 34 (hopefully not on the Kickoff show).
Cedric Alexander def. Gran Metalik in a WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tournament First Round Match
Alexander has been killing it lately and Metalik is just an excellent wrestler, so unsurprisingly, this was a strong start to the tournament. Many fans sleep on Metalik because very rarely is he allowed to showcase his skills, but I thought he had an awesome outing here. He and Alexander worked very well together despite both men being babyfaces and the crowd not having an incentive to cheer one guy over the other. Alexander needed to advance, but I wish Metalik had faced someone else so he could have advanced to the next round as well.