What is Stomping Grounds? Well it’s a show that requires all participants to “Kick Ass and Take Names.” Or “Kick Names and Take Ass” if you’re Mantis in Infinity War.
A lot of the card features Super Showdown Super Do-Overs – from Rollins and Corbin squaring off again to more Roman vs. the Shane Brigade (in an actual WrestleMania do-over), and also Kofi vs. Dolph one more time. Some of the match stips have changed, but will the outcomes? Will any big titles change hands or will Stomping Grounds be more of a stepping stone?
Also on the bill: Becky Lynch vs. Lacey Evans, Daniel Bryan and Rowan (who still DON’T have hemp tag title belts) vs. Heavy Machinery, and Bayley vs. Alexa Bliss.
I’ll be live-tweeting over at @TheMattFowler and writing up all the action and results here all evening. So stay tuned. Will Big E. turn heel and cost Kofi the WWE Championship (remember when K.O. said he never attacked Big E?). Will Baron Corbin win the Universal Championship but then fall victim to a Brock Party cash-in? Will anything notable happen at all? Edge of your seat time!
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Tony Nese vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Drew Gulak (Triple Threat Match)
Tony Nese said “It’s time to steal the show before the show!” as he walked that aisle and – dammit – these three may have done just that.
This was high-energy, hard-impact (usually due to Tozawa flying out of nowhere with Sentan Splashes and Shining Wizards) opener featuring an engaged crowd and a deserving winner. 205 Live will always remain in the shadows but Gulak got to shine in a few matches against Kushida on NXT over the past month so I suppose it could be said he was the highest profile dude of the three. And, maybe because of that, it finally became his time. Despite rumors of poor ticket sales for Stomping Grounds, the fans on hand seem to want to like things. Which is a good sign.
Winner and NEW Cruiserweight Champion: Drew Gulak
Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.