Ari Sterling def. Samir Singh
Sterling is the former Alex Zayne from the independent scene. I didn't see much of his work before he signed with WWE, but he impressed me in the few matches I saw him have in Ring of Honor. He has a unique look and certainly stood out here. Props to Singh for holding his own and helping Sterling shine. As far as debuts go, this went as well as it could have for Sterling. He feels like a great fit for 205 Live already.
Cesaro Interrupted Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman and The Usos; Cesaro def. Seth Rollins to Earn a Universal Championship Match at WrestleMania Backlash
I'm glad they acknowledged Reigns' big win over Daniel Bryan last week instead of quickly moving on from it despite Bryan reportedly no longer being under a WWE contract. Then came the return of Jimmy Uso, which was long overdue. He was out injured for over a year and I liked how he was reintroduced when we least expected it. Teddy Long's return was also great and led to the announcement that if Cesaro beat Rollins in their WrestleMania rematch, he'd earn a Universal Championship opportunity at WrestleMania Backlash. Cesaro vs. Rollins was once again very entertaining for the time given as their chemistry is off the charts. Plus, Jimmy superkicking Rollins set up the story between him, his brother and Reigns for the rest of the night. Everything about the first half hour of this episode was excellent.
Chris Sabin def. Rhino to Qualify for the Impact World Championship No. 1 Contender's Six-Way Match at Under Siege
These are two TNA OGs right here. However, Rhino is a bit older than Sabin, so Sabin made more sense to advance to Under Siege. I assume that spot would have gone to Eric Young instead if he was currently cleared to compete. Nonetheless, this was a perfectly solid opener with good work from both men. It's easy to forget that both of these guys were world champions at one point in their IMPACT careers.
Ilja Dragunov def. "Bomber" Dave Mastiff by Referee Stoppage
I was really looking forward to this match as their hard-hitting styles were bound to mesh extremely well. The commentators referenced Mastiff's recent losses, so hopefully that leads somewhere and he isn't serving as a stepping stone because there aren't any other plans for him. Unfortunately, this had to be cut short relatively quickly because Dragunov injured Mastiff's nose early on and Mastiff couldn't continue. I liked how they took a legitimate injury and put a storyline spin on it with Dragunov saying he lost control again. He probably has the best character arc of anyone in NXT UK.