Date: November 14, 2018
Location: NEC Arena, Birmingham, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
We’re finally to the second set of tapings as WWE continues to try and catch up with the past. The big story tonight is some kind of announcement from Johnny Saint, which likely means a new title. With only one around here, they kind of need to bring one in at some point. They’ve teased a Women’s Title and Tag Team Titles so either one is possible. Let’s get to it.
The women’s division comes out to the stage and there’s something under a cover. Well they’re certainly not being subtle. HHH comes out and introduces GM Johnny Saint before making the obvious announcement. The belt is revealed and it’s basically the UK Title with a white strap.
We look back at the Coffey Brothers and Wolfgang attacking Ashton Smith three weeks (your time may vary given when these shows air) ago. Smith gets Wolfgang tonight, though the description says he’s facing Tyler Bate. Come on guys it’s not that hard.
The lights are far lower than usual this time and it does add something to the atmosphere.
Sid Scala vs. Jordan Devlin
Devlin shoves him into the corner to start and says Scala doesn’t belong here. A hard whip into the same corner has Scala in more trouble as we seem to be in squash territory. Devlin starts in on the arm, as is required around here. A slingshot cutter gives Devlin two but Scala is right back with a sunset flip for the same. The fans get behind Sid (it’s easy to do with an underdog) but Devlin dropkicks him out of the air. Ireland’s Call finishes Sid at 3:17.
Rating: C-. Devlin looked better than he has before here but that’s not exactly saying much. I still don’t get much of a feel for him due to being another ticked off guy from the UK and being from Ireland isn’t much of a gimmick. At least he squashed Scala here and that’s what he needs to do, aside from finding a better character.
Post match Devlin says it doesn’t matter who the fans think he is because he knows himself. There’s a guy in the back named Ligero who calls himself a luchador. Devlin: “He’s from Leeds!”
We look back at Moustache Mountain telling the locker room to team up and give them competition.
Video on Tyson T-Bone.
Amir Jordan/Kenny Williams vs. Saxon Huxley/Joseph Conners
Two first time teams here. Jordan and Huxley start things off with the smaller Jordan flipping out of a hiptoss and dancing a bit. Williams comes in for a wristlock as Joseph says Conners and Huxley are NXT UK originals. Conners offers a distraction and Huxley slams Jordan down for two. Some forearms just earn Jordan an elbow to the face and a clothesline takes him down.
A middle rope clothesline drops Huxley but Conners runs in and knocks Williams off the apron. Since this is WWE though, the hot tag goes through a few seconds later. Williams hits a springboard back elbow to knock Huxley to the floor but his tornado DDT is shoved off. A sunset bomb puts Williams into the corner and Don’t Look Down (a lifting Downward Spiral) gives Conners the pin at 4:50.
Rating: D+. This was a run of the mill power vs. speed match and since that’s almost impossible to screw up, this was watchable enough. I’m not all that impressed by most of them, though Williams certainly has some skill. Huxley and Conners continues to be people who just exist though, as the heels are still pretty weak around here.
We’ve got tournament brackets:
Each entry gets a quick bio graphic.
Trent Seven isn’t worried about Zack Gibson. He couldn’t beat Pete Dunne so now he’s calling out the rest of British Strong Style. And yes that’s a challenge, with the match set for next week.
James Drake vs. Tyler Bate
The fans start a BIG STRONG BOY chant. To be fair the referee is looking jacked. Bate works the arm to start with Drake’s chinlock counter getting him nowhere. Drake elbows him in the face and puts Bate on the apron, only to get popped in the jaw. Bate goes up but gets knocked off the top, setting up the chinlock because we need to hit one of those at some point. A dropkick gets two on Bate and it’s right back to the chinlock.
Bate fights up with a clothesline and elbow to the jaw as the pace picks up. A charge is countered into a suplex to send Drake flying and the standing shooting star gives Bate two. Drake gets sent outside for the suicide dive but the Tyler Driver 97 is countered. They slug it out until Drake hits an enziguri, only to miss a charge into the corner. Bate’s bounce off the ropes sets up the Tyler Driver 97 for the pin at 8:32.
Rating: C. Drake is right in there with Devlin as a run of the mill villain who is nowhere near as intimidating or intense as he tries to be. Bate is the second biggest star around here and he’s not losing in one of his first singles matches. It helps that he’s almost a guaranteed good match and this was perfectly fine.
Ashton Smith vs. Wolfgang
The Coffey Brothers are here with Smith. Wolfgang’s wristlock doesn’t work as Smith connects with a dropkick and a headscissors. A middle rope crossbody is countered into a gutbuster though and Wolfgang stomps away. Smith gets whipped hard into the corner to stay on the ribs and it’s off to the waistlock.
That’s switched into a regular bearhug so Smith smacks him in the face a few times for the break. A running clothesline rocks Wolfgang and now the middle rope crossbody connects for two. Smith can’t get him in a fireman’s carry though and Wolfgang hits a running backsplash, even though Smith was sitting up. A reverse fisherman’s suplex finishes Smith at 5:32.
Rating: D+. I haven’t gotten the appeal of Wolfgang since I saw him in the first tournament and that didn’t change here. He’s average at best in the ring and having him as one third of the big bads isn’t the most thrilling thing in the world. Smith has a good look and moves well in the ring, but like so many others, I don’t know anything about him and it’s not getting any better.
Overall Rating: C-. Not much to see here and a lot of it comes down to the lack of character development. They’re getting somewhere with the British Strong Style guys, who happen to be the biggest stars on the show when the whole thing started. The wrestling is watchable but it’s still nothing that keeps me interested from week to week.
Jordan Devlin b. Sid Scala – Ireland’s Call
Saxon Huxley/Joseph Conners b. Kenny Williams/Amir Jordan – Don’t Look Down to Williams
Tyler Bate b. Jordan Devlin – Tyler Driver 97
Wolfgang b. Ashton Smith – Reverse fisherman’s suplex
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