Date: January 23, 2019
Location: Empress Ballroom, Blackpool, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
It’s time to get back to the regular shows as we have the first real show after Takeover. The big story coming out of Takeover is the debut of Walter, who is instantly as big of a star as we have around here, putting him on the Pete Dunne level. The question now is when does he get to take the title from Dunne, in what should be an instant classic. Let’s get to it.
We look at Jordan Devlin attacking Travis Banks before their Takeover match. Since the match didn’t happen then, it’s happening tonight.
Here’s Pete Dunne to get things going. He talks about how great Blackpool was and now he’s been UK Champion for over 600 days. Cue Gallus for an interruption with Joe Coffey saying that Takeover didn’t change a thing. This is still his kingdom and now he’s thought of new strategies to win a war for the UK Title. Pete should enjoy his title now because it’s coming to him at the end of the war. The lights go out though and here’s Walter to quite the reception. Gallus teases leaving but comes back in, only to be quickly dispatched. Walter looks down at the title and the fans are VERY interested.
Sid Scala talks about being ready for the TV tapings in Phoenix and wants NXT UK to win the When Worlds Collide tournament. Zack Gibson and James Drake come in but they aren’t happy with only getting attention because they’re champs. They’ll talk next week when they’re ready to talk.
Nina Samuels vs. Lana Austin
The fans are way behind Austin here and she makes them rather happy by flipping out of a wristlock. A snapmare sets up a basement dropkick for two on Samuels but she ties Lana up in the ropes. After a dropkick to the back gets two, Nina’s armbar actually keeps her in trouble. Samuels isn’t cool with a near fall so it’s back to the chinlock, which is countered into a Russian legsweep. That goes nowhere as Samuels is right back up with a fireman’s carry backbreaker (Primadonna) for the pin at 4:09.
Rating: D-. That was really bad as a lot of the match was spent in the armbar/chinlock and there wasn’t exactly a lot of heat. The fans liked Austin but it still wasn’t exactly inspired stuff. Samuels is one of those talents who could become something down the line but isn’t exactly there yet. This might be the worst match on the show so far though and that’s covering some ground.
We look at Gibson and Drake winning the Tag Team Titles.
Moustache Mountain got beaten up but the goal is still the same.
Toni Storm can’t believe she won the Women’s Title. Something changed in her at the Mae Young Classic and she’s come back even stronger.
Eddie Dennis vs. Jamie Ahmed
Dennis punches him in the face at the bell so Ahmed is right back with rights and lefts of his own. A hard clothesline takes Ahmed down and you can see the confidence setting in for Dennis. The cravate goes on to grind Ahmed down and Dennis throws him outside for a slam on the floor. Back in and Ahmed slugs away but gets caught in a delayed superplex for his efforts. The Neck Stop Driver finishes Ahmed at 3:49.
Rating: C. This wasn’t a squash but it did its job of getting Dennis back on track. That’s all this needed to be with Dennis getting to show off his size and power, which works well in a place with so many smaller wrestlers. I’m not sure what he’ll be able to do next but you know he’ll get a fresh target soon enough.
Next week: Moustache Mountain vs. Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel.
Walter makes his in-ring debut next week as well.
Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks
Banks charges in and starts the fight in a hurry, including knocking Devlin outside for a suicide dive. Another dive on another side sends Devlin into the barricade and into the crowd. Banks follows and hits a Thesz press off the barricade, only to have the bad knee sent into the barricade. The knee is fine enough to hit a double stomp off the apron and some kicks to Devlin’s chest keep him in trouble. A charge misses in the corner and it’s a Backstabber to put Banks down again.
Things slow down with Devlin hitting a belly to back backbreaker for two, followed by the reverse Rock Bottom into a standing moonsault. We hit the bow and arrow hold to keep Banks’ back in trouble as the knee from Takeover and earlier tonight has been forgotten for the time being. Devlin takes him to the apron for the Spanish Fly to the floor in a crash that knocks them both silly.
Back in and Banks no sells another Spanish Fly to hit a running clothesline but goes down in pain after. They slug it out from their knees until Devlin pulls him up with the belly to back for two more. Devlin’s moonsault hits knees though and the Kiwi Crusher gives Banks two of his own. Devlin is up again though and picks him up for Ireland’s Call, only to tumble out to the floor for the double countout at 13:23.
Rating: B. This was good stuff with Banks looking like a star in the making while Devlin is getting better every week. I could go for more from these two with the winner being one of the next challengers to the UK Title. I’ve liked Banks since the tournament days and it’s cool to see him getting more big spots like this one or the likely also intense rematch.
They fight into the crowd to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. Good show this week as you can tell they’re taking their time coming out of Takeover. The wrestling was good and there are stories that look intriguing, though we have a long way to go before we get there. The show has gotten better though and the one hour a week thing is a HUGE improvement as I liked what I got and didn’t get sick of it with another hour. Now why was that so hard in the first place?
Nina Samuels b. Lana Austin – Fireman’s carry backbreaker
Eddie Dennis b. Jamie Ahmed – Neck Stomp Driver
Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks went to a double countout
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