After all the hype from the first week, the performers on this show had a lot to live up to. I think it’s safe to say they lived up to the excitement.
Tajiri vs Damian Slater
I would have liked to see a video package on Tajiri. As a fan that used to watch him during his WWE run, it would have been great to see what he’s been up to since his departure and what his motivation is to be in this tournament. I’ve never watched Slater wrestle but there’s nothing more I love than watching new competitors as it’s always something fresh.
The pacing of this match allowed for it to be a strong opener. Along with that, they stayed consistent with the kicking theme. They were clearly trying to one up each other. I had thought Slater would have picked up the win, however keeping Tajiri in the tournament might be better for giving it credibility.
TJ Perkins vs Da Mack
I haven’t watched Perkins in a while, and have never seen Da Mack, yet the two just exuded charisma. That type of charisma translated into great showmanship from each competitor.
What I love about this tournament so far is that each match up has been different from the other. I’d say both Mack and Perkins were high flyers that were able to mesh well. Sometimes that could lead to a few botched spots, but not for these two. Along with that, it looked like both were genuinely having fun, I’m sure that added to their amazing chemistry.
Mustafa Ali vs Lince Dorado
Mustafa Ali had absolutely zero charisma. His video package was so strong, but his personality just didn’t show during the match. He seemed to be a solid wrestler, although his presence just felt bland. I think I’d say he opposite about Dorado, where his video package was tame while his in ring presence was through the roof.
Both of these men were wrestling a high flying style, but it was different from the last. I liked how this one was more hard hitting. The spot of the match was definitely Ali’s spanish fly. It was graceful, and he caught a ton of air. From start to finish, this match was excellent. There were at least four strong highlights that came out of this.
Akira Tozawa vs Kenneth Johnston
I had totally forgotten that Tozawa was in the tournament. With all the other bigger names, I guess he flew under the radar. It was quite interesting to see a wrestler from Dragon Gate on WWE television.
This match was strong change of pace from the rest, as it was the first one that focused on technical wrestling. Everything about their chemistry was just so fluid, my eyes were glued to the screen for the whole time. Johnston was good, but Tozawa was the absolute stand out, as he brought a ton of intensity. His german suplex was a thing of beauty, and it makes sense that he uses it as a finisher.
This show didn’t have the star power of the first episode, however I thought it was just as strong. Once again, each match delivered, and I have yet to watch something in the tournament that doesn’t entertain me. There wasn’t a low point, and the high point was Perkins vs Da Mack. Overall, I give this episode an 8/10.