Dalton Castle vs. Takeshi Morishima First pre-show match. The end came when Castle flipped out of a backdrop driver and took Morishima down with the Everest German suplex for the three. 10:02
Can-Am Express vs. KO Kings Second pre-show match. Lafon pinned Tanaka after a sitout powerbomb, with Furnas aiding in the move with a high dropkick. 11:16
Frankie Kazarian vs. Trent Baretta vs. The Great Sasuke vs. Low Ki vs. Dr. Wagner Jr. Lots of multi-man moves in this one. Hard-hitting, high-flying action. Sasuke took himself out with a dive from the ladder to the outside of the ring. Wagner went crashing through the Styles/Gertner announce table. Kazarian, Baretta, and Ki fought it out on top of two ladders in the middle of the ring, until Kazarian and Ki took the tumble to allow Baretta to take home the win. 23:28
Gentlemen & Scholars vs. Cryme Tyme A fun, slightly goofy match. The Gentlemen attempted to keep it clean, with Cryme Tyme trying to sneak in chain shots. In the end, Cottonbelly took Shad out with a dive to the outside, allowing Gallagher to get the submission victory over JTG via Achilles lock. 10:34
Su Yung vs. Aja Kong A decently brutal match, with Yung fighting as the Gail Kim to Aja's Awesome Kong. They went all around the arena, through the crowd, and even through a merch table. Yung scored the upset after reversing a powerbomb into a frankensteiner and using the guardrail as leverage on the pin. 18:16
All Night Express vs. C&C Wrestling Factory This one appeared pretty even throughout, with each team getting the advantage in waves. King took out Coleman, setting Titus up to finish off Alexander, but Alexander reversed a Rhett-tribution and transitioned into a Lumbar Check, allowing him to get the pin on Titus. 13:07
Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Tiger Mask Fast-paced wrestling with stiff kicks all around. Tiger Mask went out first at 9:23 after a Buzzsaw kick from Tajiri and a pin. Tajiri and Tozawa went at it for another ten minutes until a Tozawa driver finished off Tajiri. 19:58
Raven vs. The Great Muta A psychological and well-conceived match here. Every move Raven was about to do, Muta knew and thwarted. Raven took a stiff knee to the mouth at one point and the blood flowed for the rest of the match. In the end, with the referee still recovering from a bump a minute earlier, Muta went for the green mist, but Raven ducked it and spit a blood mist into Muta's eyes. Muta staggered, then slipped into an Evenflow DDT and a loss. 17:12
OMEGA vs. Fire Dragon This was a fun match on paper, and even more fun in reality. All four men got great reactions from the crowd. To the surprise of a majority, Hardy ate the first elimination after a Phoenix splash from Hayabusa at 12:20. Hurricane pulled out his inner strength and was able to pay Hayabusa back with a Twist of Fate and a pinfall at 14:08. Hurricane and Dragon went at it for another ten minutes until Hurricane impressively reversed the Asai DDT into a vertebreaker to score the final fall. 23:17
Luna Vachon vs. Bull Nakano These two went at it with everything they had. The end saw Vachon surprise Nakano with a spinning elbow, then a leap to the top and a moonsault for the three. 14:49
The Undertaker vs. Mitsuharu Misawa Misawa brought out the best in Taker here. Taker kicked out of everything Misawa had, and vice-versa, until Taker hit Misawa with a Last Ride and was able to score the hard-fought pinfall victory. 19:32
Finn Balor vs. Johnny Mundo A complete back-and-forth match. Near-fall after near-fall, until Mundo got his foot up on Balor's Coup de Grace, nailed him with a superkick, then went to the top and hit a shooting star press for the win. 26:55
Kota Ibushi vs. Seth Rollins Match of the year potential with this one. They went at it with everything they had for over fifty minutes before Rollins scored the first fall of the match after a superplex/falcon arrow combination into a Phoenix splash at 51:50. Ibushi recovered and fought back, until the final few minutes had him attempting a pin after every move. The final spot saw a sitout powerbomb followed by a 450, but the match timer ran out just as the referee's count reached two. 60:00
I appreciate the compliments on the War Games match. I have avoided putting one in a card because of how often they are used in these drafts. It fit the road map of the three cards I was building. I do wish I had more time to actually dedicate to writing the story behind it and the other matches. I don't know that it would have made a difference with the voting as a Tag Team Fed is a tough sell. I am happy with how the cards turned out.
I went with Dev here just barely. Bray v Benoit is easily the best match off the 2 cards. I think having Four 3 way tags on the same card is a bit too much of the same thing, but the final one would be fun to watch.
JCD gets me with his ME, but the McMahon match loses me that high on the card. and Tank v Ahmed loses me period, no matter how good the story is, the match needs to appeal as well. This one doesn't
It's not just the number of gimmick matches, it's what they are, how they play into the card, the number of people involved. You've booked 36 people, he booked 30. It's not a set in stone thing, just my personal opinion, I like the 'feel' of the other card better.