Date: February 4, 2022
Location: Wintrust Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Excalibur, Taz, Chris Jericho
We’re still in Chicago and it’s a stacked card as Jay Lethal challenges Ricky Starks for the FTW Title. On top of that, Sammy Guevara defends the TNT Title against Isiah Kassidy and Adam Cole faces Evil Uno. Ok so maybe they’re not all huge matches this time around. Let’s get to it.
Adam Cole vs. Evil Uno
Cole jumps him to start and the choking begins on the ropes. That lets Cole get a bit more cocky but Uno fights up and runs him over. The Swanton hits knees though and some kicks rock Uno. The Boom finishes for Cole at 2:25. That’s what this should have been.
Post match Cole lists off a bunch of names that he has beaten while he is still undefeated. He doesn’t care about last week because it doesn’t exist. What does exist is a new Adam Cole and now he is ruthless. He has won World Titles and always winds up dominating anywhere he goes. There is one thing that is certain: he will become the World Champion.
Jade Cargill is ready to become 27-0 and laughs at the idea that she is green. She’s green like money.
TNT Title: Sammy Guevara vs. Isiah Kassidy
Sammy, with taped ribs, is defending and Matt Hardy/Marq Quen are here with Kassidy. Feeling out process to start until Kassidy goes after the bad ribs. That doesn’t bother Sammy, who sends him outside for the big flip dive. There’s the nip up as well, just to show off a bit. Sammy goes after Quen though, allowing Hardy to hit a Side Effect onto the apron.
We take a break and come back with Kassidy staying on the ribs. Sammy fights up and tries the GTH but the ribs give out. Instead it’s Kassidy charging into a superkick. Sammy goes up but here is Andrade for a distraction. A Backstabber gives Kassidy two and he sends Sammy outside for a dive. Back in and a Swanton to the back gets two but Sammy fights up and springboard dives onto Quen. A springboard cutter gives Sammy two and the GTH retains the title at 9:12.
Rating: C+. This was exactly as the match should have gone. There was no reason to believe that Guevara was in trouble in a straight match against Kassidy so stacking the odds is the way to go. It made for a nice challenge to Guevara before he can move on to something else. Doing things like this is going to make Guevara seem like a bigger deal and that’s what they made work here.
Post match Andrade gets in the ring behind Sammy but Darby Allin runs in. Allin isn’t interested in the money offered to him so it’s a big staredown instead. With Andrade and company gone, Allin slaps Guevara’s TNT Titles (because Sammy is carrying both of them), which might be a warning.
QT Marshall is sending someone after Hook.
Kris Statlander doesn’t think Layla Hirsch has been acting like an amateur wrestler…and then Hirsch blasts her in the back with a chair.
Mercedes Martinez vs. Thunder Rosa
Rosa hammers away to start and takes Martinez down for some elbows to the back. They head outside with Rosa snapping off a suplex before heading back inside. Martinez runs her over this time and we take a break. Back with Martinez hitting a super Death Valley Driver for two but Rosa plants her right back down. They head outside where Martinez whips out a pipe and hits Rosa in the face for the DQ at 7:41.
Rating: C. This was intense while it lasted, but the ending has me wondering just how hard Rosa is going to smash Martinez in their violent rematch. That’s where Rosa shines and hopefully it finally moves towards the big Rosa vs. Baker showdown. You have to do something like this to get there though and that’s a fine way to go, even if a DQ still feels weird around here.
Video on Serena Deeb.
Mercedes Martinez is happy with what she did but here is Britt Baker to say a DQ isn’t what they agreed on. If that’s what she wanted, she would have had Jamie Hayter do it for her. Baker paid Martinez to take out Rosa and now she better not lose again, or Baker will have her out of here faster than Martinez left her last job. Violence is teased but Hayter gets in between them.
Jay Lethal is ready to take the FTW Title. Ricky Starks doesn’t think so.
FTW Title: Jay Lethal vs. Ricky Starks
Starks is defending and has Powerhouse Hobbs with him. Lethal elbows him down to start and chops away as you might have expected. Starks gets sent outside for the suicide dives but a Hobbs distraction lets him run Lethal over. We take a break and come back with Lethal getting two off a backslide and la majistral is good for the same.
There’s the Lethal Combination for two more but a hurricanrana is countered into a heck of a sitout powerbomb for another near fall. Lethal fights back again so Hobbs gets up for a distraction. Lethal’s dive is countered so here’s Dante Martin to take out Hobbs. Back in and Lethal hits a cutter for no cover (Jericho: “JAY YOU MISSED YOUR SPOT!”). The Lethal Injection is loaded up but Starks counters into the Roshambo (that was SWEET) for the pin to retain at 12:42.
Rating: B-. The ending was excellent as Starks couldn’t have timed that better. Lethal is someone who serves as a perfect challenger in a spot like this as he could win the title but also gives Starks a good run for his money. At the same time, I’m not entirely sure the FTW Title needs to exist around here, as it often comes off as “oh yeah that’s still a thing” more than a valuable prize.
Overall Rating: C+. Another rather good show, though it still feels like they pack in a lot. In this case, that wasn’t the best feeling as it came off as rushed. I could go for them slowing down a bit, as this feels like it would be better as a forty five minute show (which obviously can’t be done on TV). That being said, it’s still FAR from a bad show and I don’t remember the last time they had a bad one, with this being the latest solid effort.
Adam Cole b. Evil Uno – The Boom
Sammy Guevara b. Isiah Kassidy – GTH
Thunder Rosa b. Mercedes Martinez via DQ when Martinez hit her with a pipe
Ricky Starks b. Jay Lethal – Roshambo
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