Shelton “X” Benjamin def. IWGP Tag Champion Doc Gallows
They fight to the floor pretty much as soon as the bell rings, and Gallows tosses Benjamin through a bunch of guard rails. Doc ends up using a folding chair to beat down Benjamin, trying to keep him counted out, but he makes it back in before the count. The assault continues until Gallows misses a splash in the corner, and gets caught with a release German suplex, dumping him on his head. Shelton ends up scoring the win with a superkick, followed by a jumping complete shot. This one felt a bit shorter, maybe 8:30 or a little more. As per usual, I expect him to be well-showcased in this year’s tournament, on the path to coming up short.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan def. “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson
Anderson is the third big man from Bullet Club to start the match bullying the smaller opponent, although he doesn’t have too much dize on Tenzan. Karl mocks Tenzan, stealing his Mongolian chops, but Tenzan comes back with his own and locks in a headlock to slow things down. The rest of the match is relatively slow paced, with lots lots of suplexes and throws from both guys. Tenzan hypes the crowd for a moonsault but misses, and Anderson nails him with a running boot and the firemen’s carry Gun Stun for a close two-count. Frustrated he immediately tries for a running Gun Stun, but Tenzan locks in the Anaconda Vice for the submission victory.
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