Date: February 13, 2019
Location: Phoenix Convention Center, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph
Things are getting more interesting around here as Walter continues to be the biggest thing to be added to the show since its inception (all those months ago). For now though, we’re in Phoenix for some shows taped at the Royal Rumble Axxess. We should be in for some fun shows around here and some guest stars aren’t out of the question. Let’s get to it.
In Memory of Pedro Morales.
Here’s Toni Storm to open things up. She won the Mae Young Classic and then it was Toni Time at Takeover: Blackpool. Toni knew that Rhea Ripley would be coming to get her title back though because Storm is a bully. She’s beaten Ripley before though and she can do it again. This brings out Rhea, who now has what sounds like THIS IS MY BRUTALITY before her theme music. She’s the first ever NXT UK Women’s Champion and she’s sick of hearing the comparisons to Storm. The rematch is brought up and Storm says “that’s nice”. The fight is on with Rhea quickly bailing.
Noam Dar vs. Jordan Devlin
Devlin’s wristlock is countered into a headlock, followed by some arm cranking on Devlin’s arm for a change. That just earns him a release Rock Bottom into a standing moonsault but the fans think he still sucks. We hit the double arm crank on Dar for a bit before he fights up and kicks Devlin off the ropes.
An exchange of kicks puts both guys down and Dar slaps on the ankle lock. That’s escaped as well and the Irish Ace Cutter gives Devlin two. They head outside with Devlin loading up a whip into the steps, only to have Travis Banks come out to yell. Dar’s ankle goes into the steps but Devlin stops to fight Banks, allowing Dar to grab a rollup for the surprise pin at 10:20.
Rating: C. I’m not big on either guy (though I’m much higher up than I used to be) and this was a completely middle of the road match. Neither does much that grabs your attention and while this was little more than a way to advance Devlin vs. Banks, it wasn’t exactly thrilling. Then again nor was it bad, so we’ll go with right in the middle.
Post match Devlin stays on Dar, drawing Banks in for the big fight.
Next week: Ripley vs. Storm for the title.
Two weeks from now: Walter vs. Kassius Ohno.
Jinny vs. Mia Yim
Jinny takes her straight down into a front facelock until Mia reverses into one of her own. An armbar is broken up just as fast and Mia grabs a rollup for two. The running hurricanrana doesn’t work either as Mia cartwheels her way out and takes Jinny down for some slaps to the arms. With none of the holds working, Jinny goes with blunt force trauma in the form of a Downward Spiral into the middle rope. A slap to the face gives Jinny two and she pulls on Mia’s arms for good measure.
That’s broken up and Mia slaps on a Tarantula of her own. Mia adds a neckbreaker for the double knockdown before firing off some shots to the face. A Cannonball connects as you can see the Axxess venue in the background. It’s not a bad thing but it’s just so odd to see. Jinny misses a charge and gets German suplexed into the corner, sending herself outside for a much needed breather. Back in and Jinny scores with a kick to the head, allowing her to throw her feet on the ropes for the pin at 7:55.
Rating: C-. Jinny is someone who seems like she would gain a lot from some talking segments that get to showcase herself outside the ring a bit more. Her work is fine enough, but the only things I know about her is she’s mean and cares about fashion. I need a lot more than that, and it would be nice if they let us have something.
Wolfgang vs. Pete Dunne
Non-title and no seconds here, oddly enough. Wolfgang goes for the arm to start so Dunne spins out and takes Wolfgang down with a total of no effort. Another grab of the wrist sends Wolfgang out to the floor and it’s time for a breather. Back in and a referee distraction (stop telling Dunne the rules) lets Wolfgang get in a forearm, setting up the required chinlock.
Dunne fights out of that as quickly as anyone fights out of a chinlock and nails a middle rope dropkick to the knee. An ankle lock sends Wolfgang bailing to the ropes, followed by sending Dunne face first into the apron. Back in and Dunne stomps on the arm as Nigel talks about Wolfgang having a SUBURBAN COMMANDO tattoo on his forearm. Well I’m a fan for life.
Wolfgang drops him ribs first across the top rope to bang Dunne up but Dunne avoids a charge and is right back with a bunch of slaps in the corner. Dunne flips out of a release German suplex and nails the X Plex for two. It’s time to bend the fingers back, followed by the stomping to Wolfgang’s head. Dunne pulls him into a triangle until a buckle bomb breaks things up.
The spinning release fisherman’s suplex gets two but Dunne nips up before the Howling. There’s a stomp to the fingers but Wolfgang is right back with a hard clothesline. Darren Young’s Gut Check gives Wolfgang a very delayed two as Wolfgang grabs his knee. He gets up limping, prompting Nigel to say he thinks Wolfgang has a bad knee. That kind of line sounds so out of place from him. Anyway the Howling is countered into the finger bending to make Wolfgang tap at 10:43.
Rating: B-. Leave it to Wolfgang to give Dunne one of his worst matches ever and leave it to Dunne to still make it entertaining. That’s not fair to Wolfgang as he was pretty good here, but the problem is having him get in on the same ground floor as Bate, Dunne and Seven. That’s being the other rookies in 2002 and it just doesn’t work. Walter is the end game for Dunne anyway, so keeping him strong like this is the only way to go.
Overall Rating: C+. Perfectly watchable show here which felt like a combination of a regular show and a special. The whole show feels like it’s on hold until Walter vs. Dunne is set up and that’s fine, though it can’t last forever. I can imagine that one taking place in April over Wrestlemania weekend and if it just happens to be in New York, so be it. Anyway, it should be a blast whenever it happens because they’re putting in the effort to build the characters, which is what matters most.
Noam Dar b. Jordan Devlin – Rollup
Jinny b. Mia Yim – Kick to the head
Pete Dunne b. Wolfgang – Dunne bent his finger back
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