Follow along with our Premier XI live coverage.
Later tonight, we’ll be covering Premier XI featuring JR Kratos vs Gabriel Gallo for the Premier championship. Gallo replaces number one contender Marcus Lewis who is injured and unable to compete.
Also on the show, Premier will be crown their women’s champion in a tournament featuring Nicole Savoy, Kahmora, RAZE, and Kikyo Nakamura.
And Joe Graves, Lucha Underground star Jeff Cobb, and Evolve champion Timothy Thatcher will face off in a round robin tournament with rounds and judges (if necessary) called the Embrace The Grind challenge.
We’ll be back at 5PM when the show starts.
The Embrace The Grind challenge kicks off the show.
Joe Graves Vs Jeff Cobb
Each ETG challenge match is based on three 5-minute rounds. Matches can be won by pinfall, submission, or judges’ decision.
The three judges are Dave Dutra, Danny Acosta, and Oliver John.
With Graves and Cobb, you have jiu-jitsu against amateur wrestling. Lots of feeling each other out in the first round. Cobb took a bit of a breather after an exchange to plan his strategy after looking to hurt his left knee.
Second round starts with Cobb walking gingerly and Graves goes right after his knee with a knee bar. Graves is a step ahead of Cobb in the second round, immediately going to the ground and grabbing his left knee and putting pressure on it. Cobb has a front face lock and turned it over, still hanging onto it on the ground. Graves rolls Cobb over into the mount, and went for his knee again. Cobb quickly grabbed the ropes. Graves stomped on his knee for good measure. Cobb had a cloverleaf-like submission locked in but lost it.
Cobb got a big throw to start the third. He landed a head butt to the chest. Graves continues working on the leg which could make Cobb’s second match with Timothy Thatcher a rough one. Graves locked in a figure four. Cobb landed kicks to the back to get out. The match ended and we go to the cards. Graves was up on his feet and Cobb had to be helped to his feet.
Winner: Joe Graves by way of unanimous decision
Have to imagine Graves won the last two rounds definitively.
Alexander Hammerstone Vs Tyler Bateman
Hammerstone is 1-0 in Premier while Bateman is 1-2.
Bateman nearly derailed the Hammerstone train. He hit his elbow/forearm to the back of his head for a two count. He took off his elbow pad off to try it again, missed and Hammerstone hit his finisher for the win.
Winner: Alexander Hammerstone
Jeff Cobb Vs Timothy Thatcher
This is the second ETG challenge match. Cobb needs a win or he’s eliminated.
Thatcher goes right after Cobb’s injured knee. Cobb’s best bet is to stay in top position or on his feet because every move Thatcher makes is toward that left knee. That was a very close first round. Maybe even a draw round.
Cobb started with a headlock takeover but was quickly submitted to end the match early in the 2nd round. It was too quick to be sure but it looks like he extended Cobb’s knee or hamstring. Maybe it was a knee bar.
The next ETG challenge match is the finals between Thatcher and Graves and it’s five 5-minute rounds.
Nicole Savoy Vs Kahmora
This is the first match of the tournament to crown the first ever Premier women’s champion.
Savoy and Kahmora were a tag team at Premier X and now the winner of this match between them goes to the finals.
In a bit of a surprise, Kahmora won with a roll up. Savoy hit a Tiger Driver for a near fall and and then a German Suplex. She picked her up, but Kahmora wiggled out and rolled her up.
Kikyo Vs RAZE
Winner of this match faces Kahmora in the finals. RAZE was a finalist for the Young Lions cup at the last Gold Rush show in Pacifica.
RAZE won with a spear in a hard hitting match. Kikyo had RAZE in the corner, missed a shoulder dive, and then finally hit it after RAZE missed a big splash. But she missed a running clothesline and ate the spear.
RAZE faces Kahmora in the finals.
Vito Rea Vs Buddy Royal
This is Rea’s first match in Premier while Royal sits at 2-4.
Rea won his first Premier match with a submission that looked to stretch out Royal’s inner-hamstring.
Winner: Vito Rea
Kahmora Vs RAZE
This is the finals to declare the 1st Premier women’s champion.
Kahmora worked on RAZE’s elbow early and had the upper hand. But RAZE hit a spear to win the match and the title.
Gabriel Gallo Vs JR Kratos
Gallo sits undefeated at 4-0.
This is like a monster movie. Gallo is the agressor early on. Kratos hit a shoulder block to break his momentum but Gallo hit a side suplex. As he posed, Kratos sat up.
Match started to heat up, but neither guy could get a leg up. They were thinking the same thing and both went for a shoulder tackle at the same time. They nearly knocked each other out. Neither guy was able to get up by the 10 count and the decision was a double knockout.
Joe Graves Vs Timothy Thatcher
This is either their 4th match against each other in Premier. Each has one win and their first match was a draw.
The victor will be the ETG challenge winner.
The first round was close, but I’d give the slight edge to Graves for being the aggressor. He helped set the pace, but Thatcher was right with him with everything.
This second round is hard to score. Both guys were great with transitions and neither guy really had the upper hand. I’d score that one a 10-10.
Thatcher has the first upper hand of the match as he sunk in a half-crab and sat back on it. He transitioned to a kimura attempt, but couldn’t extend the arm. Graves had an arm bar attempt but lucky for Thatcher, he was able to immediately find the ropes. That was a Thatcher round. I have it at 1-1-1.
These are the championship rounds. Graves threw a stomp at Thatcher’s throat at the end of the round and Thatcher was quite upset. They started round four with uppercuts, but because of the arm bar, Thatcher was hurting. Thatcher chicken winged Graves left shoulder while they were facedown. Graves escaped it with elbows, but Thatcher jumped on the shoulder and Graved had to retreat to the ropes. Thatcher tripped Graves into an arm bar attempt, but Graves is fighting it. Thatcher tried to grab Graves’ left foot, but Graves got his back. Thatcher broke out of it and after fighting with him, got a gut wrench and tried ankle lock. The round ended with Graves stomping his ankle. I think Thatcher won the round and I have him up 2-1-1.
Graves had Thatcher in the gogoplata, but Thatcher had the ropes. Thatcher went back to the left shoulder and suplexed him. Graves is working for a rear naked choke and finally got it. Thatcher went for the bottom rope but couldn’t reach it and had to tap out.
Winner: Joe Graves by 5th round submission