The Big Takeaway: Gran Metalik defeated Brian Kendrick in a fun opener that was well told. Apollo Crews beat Curt Hawkins as Hawkins and Titus O’Neil nearly came to blows. Hawkins is now at 132 straight matches without a win.
Gran Metalik defeated Brian Kendrick (5:42)
Kendrick is without a singles win since August and lost here in a good match that was told in three parts. Metalik took the early going, using his pace and aerial ability to stun Kendrick and get the crowd involved and engaged in the match. A huge suicide dive from Metalik launched Kendrick into the air and on to his back.
But after baiting Metalik outside, Kendrick took over in the second third and slowed things down with rest holds. It was here that Metalik was a little too cartoonish in his selling and it took away from the main thrust of the match.
The final part saw both men kick out of each other’s finishers, with Metalik using his rope-walk elbow drop and Kendrick trying for the Sliced Bread #2. After Metalik looked beaten when his top rope dive was turned into a powerbomb, he kicked out and managed to reverse Kendrick into a Metalik Driver for the win.
Apollo Crews (w/ Titus O’Neil) defeated Curt Hawkins (4:22)
Crews beat Hawkins with relative ease here to bring Hawkins' losing streak count to 132. Assuming that this keeps going at the rate of one per week, we would hit 150 by WrestleMania weekend. If they make fans aware of it, they could at least give him a match on the card to see if he could curb it. Not to make the most of a streak as long running as this would seem misguided.
The match was just as most of these Hawkins’ squashes have been. The difference here was O’Neil in the role of Crews’ manager. Hawkins is always good, despite the losses every week, and this week he continually trash talked O’Neil. Before the break, the mind games got to O'Neil and he got up on the apron to square up to Hawkins but eventually thought better of it.
Crews was impressive, flipping around and showing off his agility and selling well for Hawkins. He took an enzuigiri and a flapjack from Hawkins for a near fall but turned the tide quickly and finished things off with a spin-out powerbomb for the win.