Kazarian (with Chris Daniels) vs. AJ Styles
Daniels was with Kazarian, who was less than happy with that situation. They did some nice back and forth wrestling early on. Kazarian worked on Styles’ arm, but Styles reversed it. The crowd chanted, “Daniels sucks.”
Styles went for a leapfrog but Kazarian wasn’t in position so Styles threw him hard outside of the ring to cover. When he returned to the ring, Styles threw a hard kick and nailed a dropkick. Styles controlled Kazarian and sent him into the buckles. Styles snapmared Kaz over and kicked him hard in the back.
Kazarian cut off Styles but was sent to the floor. Styles nailed a flying forearm off the apron to the floor. Styles brought Kazarian back into the ring and locked on an Indian Death Lock. Kazarian was able to reach the ropes to force the break. Styles nailed him with a chop in the corner and whipped Kazarian into the opposite corner. Styles was cut off and nailed with a monkey flip that sent him flying high across the ring.
Kazarian scooped and slammed Styles, then nailed a springboard legdrop for a two count. Styles tried to nail a clothesline but Kazarian cut him off and drilled him down. Kazarian drilled him with a leaping kick for a two count. Kazarian whipped Styles hard into the corner. He whipped Styles into the opposite corner and leapt to meet him and snap him backwards with a Russian Legsweep for a near fall. Kazarian locked on a front facelock and held him down.
Styles fired back with several forearms but was drilled with a dropkick as he rebounded off the ropes. Kazarian used a surfboard style maneuver, pulling Styles’ arms back behind him as he pushed his knee into the lower back. Styles and Kazarian battled back and forth with punches. Kazarian missed a clothesline but Styles did not and then followed up with an enziguiri.
Styles used a modified facebuster for a two count. He went for a Styles Clash attempt but Kazarian fought out of it. They battled on the apron. Kazarian drove Styles’ face into the apron, leaping over the ropes into something like a cutter. Styles returned to the ring, where he was placed on the top rope. Styles fought him off but Kazarian drilled him with a strike, dazing him. Kazarian drilled him with several forearms and set up for a move but Styles used a headbutt to battle him off.
Styles leapt into an inverted DDT on Kazarian for a two count. Styles went for a suplex but Kazarian slips out and drills him with a STO. Both men were down and exhausted on the mat. They recovered and battled over a suplex. Kazarian covered Styles but Styled bridged out and they went for a backslide. Kazarian escaped but Styles nailed him with a Pele Kick.
Styles went to the ropes for a springboard on Kazarian and instead hit an Asai Moonsault to the floor on Daniels. He went for another springboard but was caught and nailed with the Fade to Black.
Your winner, Kazarian!
They worked really, really hard here but it was just under what you’d expect from these two. Still, it was a good match.
Christy Hemme interviewed Gunner and Eric Bischoff. Bischoff is really looking his age in HD. He said that he was first pissed off that Hulk Hogan was going to be his son’s trainer but now he’s flattered that Hogan feels the need to put himself into Bischoff’s business. Bischoff was tremendous here claiming to feel responsible for what Gunner was going to do to his son and that he feared his son would never ever be able to do anything physical again. He told them that there was a way out and that was for Hogan to toss in the towel. He was acting sad in that fake, insincere way that makes you want to punch someone. Gunner then said that Hogan had better throw in the towel because of what he had planned to do.
It’s insane this match is this high up on the card. If Bischoff and Hogan weren’t involved, no way it would be. Even with them involved, for this to go on after AJ Styles blows my mind, but it’s all about building to Hogan wrestling at Lockdown, which was the plan all the way back at Bound for Glory.
Gunner with Eric Bischoff vs. Garett Bischoff with Hulk Hogan
If there was ever proof that the place needs a better audio set up, it was the lack of a pop for Hulk Hogan.
Gunner shoved Bischoff a number of times only to get caught with a series of armdrags and run off into the corner. Gunner used a waistlock takedown and slapped him across the back. Garett nailed some punches. Gunner nailed him with several punches but Garett caught him with an armdrag out of the corner and locked in an armbar. Bischoff is really, really green.
Gunner raked his eyes to get out of the move but Garett fought him off with shots to the face and mid-section. Gunner drilled him to cut him off but Garett refused to back down, nailing a series of shots. He rebounded off the ropes but Bischoff grabbed his leg. Gunner went for a slap but Garett avoided him and used a backslide for a two count.
Garett locked in a front facelock. He avoided a Gunner charge in the corner and rolled him up. Garett used an inverted atomic drop but Gunner cut him off, then nailed a reverse clothesline. Gunner drilled him with an elbow across the back of the neck for a two count. Garett fired back with punches to the chest and mid-section but Gunner choked him against the ropes. He stomped the hell out of Garett, screaming at Hogan while doing it.
Gunner locked on a neck vice on Garett. He controlled Garett for some time until Garett finally nailed some more mid-section punches and nailed a flapjack. Garett tried to fire back but his neck was hurting and that hampered him. Gunner cut him off and nailed a neckbreaker. Gunner choked Garett on the ropes in front of Eric, who slapped his son. Hogan walked behind Bischoff and punched him out.
Gunner drilled Garett with another neckbreaker. Hogan told the referee to check his neck. Garett kept taking punishment to the neck. Gunner went for another neckbreaker and Hogan threatened to throw in the towel. Gunner nailed it but Garett demanded Hogan not throw it in. Gunner nailed another neckbreaker and scored the pin.
Your winner, Gunner!
Bischoff was laughing his head off as he and Gunner left. Hogan was checking on Garrett.
Match was well below much of the rest of the card as Bischoff shouldn’t be in that prominent a position. Garett is obviously trying to the best of his ability but nothing that he does looks credible and it was completely unbelievable for Gunner to not completely squash him. But, it’s all about pushing the next Hogan and Bischoff angle. I’ll say this though - Of all the mistakes I’d never have expected Eric Bischoff to make, it was the one Bill Watts made in WCW pushing his own son.
Christy Hemme interviewed Sting, who is the special guest enforcer. He said that he wants to make sure that everyone is on their best behavior. He’s wearing the Joker facepaint. He said that he’s going to make sure that Bobby Roode doesn’t find a loophole to walk out with the title. He said they were going to have a clearcut winner tonight and promised that its showtime.