Date: July 31, 2019
Location: Plymouth Pavilions, Devon, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Aiden English
With less than a month to go before Takeover: Cardiff, the card has mostly taken shape and now we have the big main event set. Tyler Bate vs. Walter for the United Kingdom Title could be the best match the promotion has ever had in its short history and that should be enough to carry the whole thing. In addition to that, it’s time to find out about the Tag Team Titles, meaning some Zack Gibson greatness. Let’s get to it.
We open with the Harley Race tribute video. I’d say he’s earned it.
Noam Dar vs. Ashton Smith
The bigger Smith drives him into the corner to start so Dar grabs the arm. Since it’s kind of hard to flip around with someone holding your arm, Smith gets pulled down without much effort. Smith goes to the arm as well with Dar heading straight to the ropes to show the intelligence. A nice dropkick works better for Smith but Dar claims an eye injury. As Smith has seen a Dar match before, he goes straight at Dar in the corner and gets backdropped to the floor.
Back in and Dar grabs the armbar again before countering an enziguri into the ankle lock. That lasts less than three seconds as Smith is right back up with a clothesline and a running kick to the chest. Dar kicks him in the leg and hits a running elbow to the back of the head for two of his own. This time it’s Smith playing possum so he can score with a superkick, but Dar avoids the middle rope leg lariat. The Nova Roller gives Dar the pin at 5:44.
Rating: C. There was something here with Dar’s goldbricking being well known by this point. It makes sense to go that way and is the next step in what he’s been doing lately. Smith is someone with obvious athleticism but he has nothing in the way of character or anything that makes him stand out. How many people does that apply to around here?
Post match Dar talks about how he’s here to wrestle all the time and promises to be in Cardiff. Thank you, bye bye.
Tyler Bate talks about Trent Seven not being medically cleared but he isn’t going to let Walter get away with this. In Cardiff, he’s becoming a two time champion.
Here are the Grizzled Young Veterans for a chat. Gibson does the usual intro and a fan asks where his car stereo is. Has he checked his car? Anyway, Gibson doesn’t want to hear about Gallus beating a bunch of Joe Blows and Johnny Kickpads to get a title shot. Cue Gallus to say they’re not demanding but rather taking their championship match in Cardiff.
Hang on though as here are Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews to interrupt. They want in on this title match as well because Andrews is the hometown boy in Cardiff. Webster knows they can beat both teams but Gibson says Johnny Saint makes the matches. If they want a title shot, earn it.
Video on Takeover: Blackpool, which is inspiring everyone to be ready for Cardiff. Various people are excited, even if they are unlikely to be on the show.
Travis Banks has promised himself that he’s going to Cardiff. Dar can say he’s going to Takeover all he wants but his spot isn’t guaranteed either. Banks leaves and Webster/Andrews come out of Saint’s office, saying they have to earn their Takeover spot as well. They can prove themselves over the next few weeks.
Jazzy Gabert/Jinny vs. Xia Brookside/Piper Niven
This could be interesting. Xia and Jinny start things off with Xia going straight to the dropkick. Jinny gets up an elbow in the corner but walks into a headscissors, which leaves Xia right in front of Gabert. It’s Jinny with a hard forearm to the face so Gabert can come in to knock Xia silly. A slam is enough to bring Jinny back in as Gabert isn’t the most time consuming monster.
Since no one is wasting time, Xia gets in her own shot to the face and brings Niven in for a running buckle bomb on Jinny. It’s right into the Gabert corner, with the announcers not being sure if that was a mistake or not. Niven knocks Gabert down and hits the running crossbody for two, followed by the backsplash to give Brookside her own two. Since Brookside is an average sized human, Gabert side slams her down to cut off the momentum.
Cue Rhea Ripley though and Piper brawls with her up the ramp. Brookside realizes she’s alone and grabs a Codebreaker on Jinny. Another headscissors sets up some running knees to Jinny’s back in the corner for two. Xia crossbodies both of them at once but Gabert shrugs it off and hits a Dominator for the pin at 7:40.
Rating: C. This was a nice way to set up a few things at once with Niven vs. Ripley being ready for a heck of a monster showdown later. At the same time, if Toni Storm survives Cardiff, Jinny and Jazzy would be a great next step for her. Jinny and Jazzy are a very good example of the formula that has worked for years so giving them a harder push would be fine.
Video on Toni Storm vs. Kay Lee Ray, with Storm citing Ray as an inspiration. Ray talks about seeing Toni as a bubbly girl and they have a long history in the ring. Now they get to do this on the big stage.
Ilja Dragunov was about to be interviewed in the dark when Kassius Ohno came in and turned on the light. That’s it for Ohno, which doesn’t sit well with Dragunov. They’ll fight next week.
Also next week: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Mark Coffey.
Dave Mastiff vs. Joe Coffey
They collide to start and slug it out with Coffey getting the better of things so Dave hiptosses him for one. Coffey is sent to the apron so he goes up but has to slip out of a German suplex attempt. The second attempt works better for Mastiff, though Coffey is able to pull the middle turnbuckle pad off at the same time. Coffey knows what happens and hits the running headbutt to the ribs in the corner, sending Mastiff into the buckle. A backbreaker and backsplash give Coffey two, followed by a fairly questionable armbar.
Mastiff headbutts Coffey down and throws him down with a release German suplex. One heck of a forearm to the ear stuns Mastiff and they head outside, where Mastiff hits him in the ear to bust it open. Mastiff hits him in the face and takes it back inside for a series of elbows to the ear. Another backsplash gives Mastiff his own two and Coffey heads to the apron. That means another running headbutt, sending Mastiff’s back into the buckle again. It’s a double countout at 7:44.
Rating: C-. It was a good enough power brawl though the ending felt pretty lame. You can pencil them in for a rematch at Cardiff in a similar story to Dominik Dijakovic vs. Keith Lee from the regular NXT, which isn’t a bad idea. Mastiff has been a well protected force around here and that could go somewhere if they decide to pull the trigger on him.
They have to be separated, with Mastiff shouting at Joe to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t their strongest show but they moved forward with most of the matches already set up for Takeover. There are still a few more things that need to be made ready and those can be hammered out in the next few weeks. Takeover can be a rather good show, and while this week wasn’t the best, the Bate vs. Walter match is going to be more than enough to carry everything.
Noam Dar b. Ashton Smith – Nova Roller
Jinny/Jazzy Gabert b. Xia Brookside/Piper Niven – Dominator to Brookside
Dave Mastiff vs. Joe Coffey went to a double countout
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