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WWE TLC 2017: Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher vs. Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann full match preview


The path of righteousness is narrow and easy to fall away from.

Years of perfect gentlemanly conduct fall away in a single perfect moment of rage and frustration, as a “better”, easier path opens, beckoning that you tread it. With a man like Brian Kendrick in your ear, a world-traveled veteran who’s been everywhere and done everything, it’s almost too easy. While they feuded, his mockery was overt, calling Gallagher a clown, but as commentary reminded us of Jack’s skills, the subtext emerged.

“You’ve worked so hard to get to the level you’re at, and you’re content to essentially be a mascot for these people?” And when Gallagher fell in their no disqualification match, well, subtext became his reality. It felt shocking weeks later when he turned on Cedric Alexander, ending his own match against Kendrick in chaos, cracking William III over Cedric’s spine, but it shouldn’t have.

You can push a man to the breaking point and sometimes beyond, but eventually something has to give. For Jack Gallagher, that meant setting the good-natured gentleman aside and reducing it, somewhat ironically, to a clown-suit facade, wrestling in a suit with taped fists like some bizarre avatar of Admiral-Lord Mountevans himself, and that meant not just accepting Brian Kendrick’s methods, but adopting them wholesale.

Cedric Alexander, on the other hand, has come through his trials and tribulations ever more certain of his path. Months of feuding with Noam Dar and Alicia Fox would be enough to forgive even the most saintly of men for bending low and engaging in a rulebreaker’s skulduggery, but Alexander holds his head high and says to the world, “not today.”

Indeed, he appears far from reaching his breaking point, and why shouldn’t he? Despite Jack’s treachery, he beat him handily on Raw this past week. Granted, he needed Rich Swann’s assistance to keep Kendrick’s interference from handing Gallagher the win, but even so, all their underhanded actions amounted to naught.

Furthermore, Alexander has beaten Kendrick as well, so clearly something is working here, and with Swann playing guardian angel, there’s no reason for second guessing or self-doubt.

So, enough backstory, what of the matchup? Critically, neither team has any real history tagging with each other— before coming to the cruiserweight division, Kendrick and Gallagher had never crossed paths at all, and Swann and Alexander had only teamed once, in the traditional ten man tag team match at PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2014.

With only a handful of matches for both teams, it’s hard to speculate with any sort of depth how this might go, but looking at individual styles a pattern emerges. Swann is a pure high flyer, and Alexander a relatively more grounded indie main event hybrid, who nonetheless has thrown his share of handsprings and dives, where Gallagher is a grappler through-and-through, and while Kendrick made his name flying and popularized the shiranui to the WWE audience as Sliced Bread #2, since his return he’s worked a mean, unorthodox mat-based style for the most part, finishing matches with his version of a reverse chinlock sleeper hold called the Captain’s Hook.

A grapplers vs. flyers matchup in principle, then, and although the ebb and flow of a tag match reduces the grappler’s principle advantage of being able to clip the proverbial wings of the flyer, if Kendrick and Gallagher can keep one of their opponents isolated long enough, it’ll spell the end as sure as anything.

Can Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann carry the day or will Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher be rewarded with the winner’s purse for their wicked ways?


Who will win?

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    Brian Kendrick & Jack Gallagher
    (75 votes)
  • 38%
    Cedric Alexander & Rich Swann
    (47 votes)
122 votes total Vote Now

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