Mansoor defeated Drew Gulak (5:49)
Thumbs In The Middle Pointing Up
This one could have gone a little longer, but Gulak and Mansoor worked really nicely together here.
Logically, this is a 205 Live match but Gulak has worked this show a lot this last year and since his first loss to break his winning streak, Mansoor now seems to work Main Event almost exclusively.
They did a lot of mat work which is probably what Mansoor needs in order to improve and Gulak is certainly the man to help in that department. There were some very intricate sequences that resulted in headscissors or chinlocks.
Everything made sense here apart from the finish. When you evaluate what they were doing here, a submission finish would have made a lot more sense than a pin, which is ironically what they did in the Ali-Hardy match to close out the show. It would have been good to see Mansoor pick up a win by another method.
In the end, Mansoor made it 2-0 since the rout by Sheamus on Raw last month when he rolled through from a sunset flip attempt by Gulak and held on for the three count.
All told, this was a good match and could have gone either way. A rematch on next week’s show would be absolutely fine by me.
Mustafa Ali defeated Jeff Hardy (8:00)
At the bell, Byron Saxton rightly pointed out that this was Hardy and Ali’s first ever singles match together. Although, I’m certain they have worked Royal Rumbles and battle royals together, their first time in the ring together in a singles match was impressive.
Hardy is a little slower and generally works a similar match every time these days, but at 43 and given all the crazy spots he’s done over the years, it’s understandable, yet admirable, that he’s still plugging away on a show like this. Ali clearly loved the opportunity to work with Hardy as he brought his A-game. They went through a commercial break with Hardy fully in charge, but after the break, Ali dominated. He used a swinging neckbreaker and then later came out of a falcon arrow with a superkick for a near fall.
They did a neat little finish where Ali was prone for the swanton, but Hardy took too long so Ali rolled outside. Hardy gave chase, but Ali smashed his face into the apron. When he rolled him back inside, Ali locked in the Koji Clutch and Hardy passed out to give Ali the win.