Four "Steel 16" matches in this ep, with the winners going on to the "Iron 8" tournament...
Match 1: "The Pinnacle" Paul Lombardi vs. Dan Freitas of PRIDE.
Not bad opener.
Match 2: Ray Diamond vs P.C. Cruz
Tag team partners ("Afterburn") in an ok match.
Match 3: Fergal Devitt vs K. L. Murphy
Devitt is from Ireland, Murphy returns to NECW after a 2 year absence (they say). Nice mostly mat-based wrestling match...Devitt could be really something once he gets used to this side of the ocean, and Murphy can definitely go. Some awkward bits in the middle, but a good one nonetheless.
Match 4: Joe Chece vs Mark Bourne
Bourne is half the tag champs ("The A List") but he looks very good here as a single, Chece is very very good, exclamation point, and they work well together. Nice variant of the "skin the cat" in this one. Solid entertaining match.
NECW has quite a few good youngsters on the roster right now. One note about the Iron 8, SEVEN on the wrestlers in it are faces. Odd.
As of 2/28/05: 101 pounds since December 7, 2004 OFFICIAL THREE-MONTH COUNT: 112 pounds on March 9, 2005 OFFICIAL SIX-MONTH COUNT: 142 pounds on June 8, 2005 As of 9/26/05: 170 pounds "I've lost a light heavyweight"
This Raven feud works because Raven, unlike many other wrestlers, is obviously willing to lay down to get his opponents over. Hell, I don't remember the last time Raven won a match in his feud with Shane and the new Church.