Date: January 2, 2019
Location: Liverpool Olympia, Liverpool, England
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph
It’s time for a big fight this week as Dave Mastiff is facing Eddie Dennis again in a rematch of the monsters. These two are some of the best big men in the promotion and I’m impressed by how well Mastiff has turned out. I like Dennis more for his overall presentation, but there’s something so classic about Mastiff that he’s working for me too. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Gene Okerlund.
The announcers preview the show.
We look at Toni Storm saving Deonna Purrazzo from Rhea Ripley a few weeks back.
Last week, Storm and Purrazzo agreed to a match this week.
Toni Storm vs. Deonna Purrazzo
Feeling out process to start with a battle over a wristlock. Toni takes her down into a front facelock and a bodyscissors before countering the counter into a headlock. Purrazzo’s headscissors doesn’t work either and it’s a standoff. Back up and Purrazzo kicks the offer of a handshake away and it’s time to strike it out. A kick to the face gives Toni two and it’s off to the STF.
Purrazzo reaches over for the rope in a hurry and avoids a running hip attack in the corner. That means a Pentagon arm snap for one on Storm and it’s time to start wrapping the arm around the ropes. With that not going anywhere. Purrazzo Downward Spirals her into the Koji Clutch. Toni rolls her up for two to escape but comes up holding her elbow. She’s fine enough to hit a Backstabber and now the hip attack connects.
The bad arm breaks up Storm Zero so Storm headbutts her down for two more. Purrazzo pulls her into something like the Rings of Saturn with Storm having to stretch to get her foot on the rope. Some trash talk fires Storm back up and she spins out of another armbar attempt. A snap German suplex sets up Storm Zero to finish Purrazzo at 9:48.
Rating: B-. The arm stuff was a good way to go here and it was a smart move to have Storm get a big win to give her some momentum heading into Blackpool. Purrazzo is going to stay over through pure talent and one day she can get a title shot to pay some of that off. Storm is the star right now though and it makes sense to give her the shot at Ripley.
Speaking of Ripley, she comes out for the post match staredown.
Sid Scala announces Flash Morgan Webster/Mark Andrews vs. James Drake/Zack Gibson for the other Tag Team Title tournament semifinal. Drake and Gibson have more than earned that spot already.
Josh Morrell vs. Mike Hitchman
Hitchman throws him around to start and it’s an early armbar to keep Morrell down. A wheelbarrow throw keeps Morrell in trouble and there’s a backsplash for good measure. It also gets two but I didn’t want to leave the good measure part out. The nerve hold goes on for a bit until Morrell comes up with a Pele and a standing Swanton for two. A sunset flip is good for the same but Hitchman fireman’s carry slams him into the corner. Hitchman drops a top rope splash for the pin at 2:59. Morrell looked fine in a small dose but Hitchman needed a win to give him some more credibility.
Joseph Conners talks about being sold a lie two years ago when he joined NXT UK. A lot of other people were too but there’s no WE in NXT UK. It’s all about yourself and if he has to break every new toy around here, so be it. Anytime Conners would like to become interesting, so be it as well.
Travis Banks doesn’t like Jordan Devlin calling him out for not loving his country. If that’s a challenge, Banks is in.
Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel want in the Tag Team Title tournament but that’s a big negative because they haven’t had a good attitude since arriving.
Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis
Dennis charges straight at him for some kicks to the ribs and Mastiff is in early trouble. An elbow to the face cuts off a charge though and a running crossbody crushes Dennis. Mastiff hits a running dropkick and ties Dennis up in the ropes for some elbows to the head. Dennis needs a breather on the floor but manages to pull him down into a Razor’s Edge.
That’s escaped to prevent a bad case of severe pain and it’s the Regal Roll to crush Dennis again. A missed charge sends Mastiff into the steps though and they both have to dive back inside at nine. Back in and they slug it out with the referee getting shoved, drawing the double DQ at 4:13.
Rating: C-. It’s a nice story with the two monsters fighting to a draw, but it doesn’t work as well when Mastiff had already beaten him coming into this one. There should be a third match at Takeover and that’s something they both deserve, though it would have been better to have both previous matches go to a draw. Either way, nice brawl here and they were smart to keep it short.
Post match the fight continues until Johnny Saint comes out to announce a No DQ match at “NXT UK Blackpool Takeover.”
We look back at the end of last week’s show with the brawl between British Strong Style and Gallus. Next week it’s a six man tag.
Saint and Scala are in the ring for the contract signing between Joe Coffey and Pete Dunne. Coffey talks about how Takeover is going to be the clash of two giants. Everything around them is all his and soon the UK Title will be as well. Dunne has been the champion too long now and he has to be wondering why that’s the case.
The only reason is that Joe hasn’t been here, but now it’s time for the Iron King to claim his throne. Coffey signs so Dunne breaks his fingers, pulls out his own pen (like a proper Englishman) and signs as well. Dunne: “You talk too much.” Mark Coffey and Wolfgang come out for a distraction and Joe powerbombs him through a table to end the show.
Odd note: this show ran about 47:00 but the video on the Network currently lasts over an hour, with the last thirteen minutes being a mini Seth Rollins documentary. They can’t schedule the show to start airing on time and now they can’t even edit it down properly.
Overall Rating: C. The Takeover card is mostly together at this point and it’s certainly looking fine. There isn’t one big match that I really want to see but Coffey vs. Dunne has been built up much better than I was expecting. The contract signing worked well and Dennis vs. Mastiff could be fun under the right circumstances. They’re very slowly building up some better characters though and that’s fixing the biggest problem. It’s not there yet, but at least it’s a small step.
Toni Storm b. Deonna Purrazzo – Storm Zero
Mike Hitchman b. Josh Morrell – Top rope splash
Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis went to a double DQ when both shoved the referee
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