The match itself holds up way better than I expected. Even with the commercial portion missing from the Network version of the show, we’re still left with two of the most fundamentally capable professional wrestlers in the world. Everything they do in this is filled with purpose and a lot of impact.

Roddy, especially, is really putting everything behind his strikes in this. He always does but when you comes out of a match having arguably better chops than WALTER, then you’re definitely doing something right. WALTER, for his part gets to show off how he’s able to make the most of some very basic things. The dismissive way he’s tossing Roddy about in the opening moments, the way he goes about stretching Roddy on the mat, it’s all very good as one would expect from him.

This is a great match, it’s tight and compact, and ends exactly just as the violence reaches its apex as well. Pretty textbook in terms of short, punchy TV main events.

So we all know what happens next, right?

Despite investing in the guy for years now, the WWE chose to fix an unbroken thing and change WALTER’s name to GUNTHER. Reports floating around suggest that they initially wanted to call him Gunther Stark, only for people online to find that that’s actually the name of a real life Nazi commander. It seems they’ve dropped the Stark, and are sticking with just GUNTHER now. A lateral move, if you ask me, but one that’s so unforced and unnecessary that it can’t help but seem foolish.

People are already predicting GUNTHER’s exit from the company in a year or less. Honestly, I can’t say I blame them. I don’t disagree with them either. This stinks of Vince toying with an act he never really enjoyed in the first place and will soon tire off. Whatever, GUNTHER said he didn’t want this, but then made every decision to keep going down this path. He saw what happened to the European scene, he saw what happened to so many NXT workers before this, none of this is new. He knew what was coming and now here he is.

I rewatched this match before writing this review, and it may just be projection at play, but there appears to be a defeated look in GUNTHER’s eyes throughout this whole thing.

One can only hope he’s happy with his choices.

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