Date: April 10, 2019
Location: Coventry Skydome Arena, Coventry, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
It’s the final show from the taping cycle and while the United Kingdom Title changed hands about six weeks after this was filmed, I’m sure something will be mentioned in an inserted video. As for tonight though, we have the Women’s Title to worry about as Toni Storm is defending against Jinny. They have quite the rivalry in Progress so this should be good. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Storm vs. Jinny. Storm won the title earlier in the year and Jinny is tired of it always being Toni Time. We get some clips of their Progress matches, with Toni saying that Jinny doesn’t like being made to work for something and tonight she has to fight.
Travis Banks vs. Kassius Ohno
Feeling out process to start with Ohno taking over off a wristlock but getting reversed into a headlock. Banks tries a shoulder but Ohno doesn’t go very far. He turns his head to look at Banks and says “Oh I didn’t see you! I didn’t feel you either.” Ohno loads up a shoulder of his own but stomps on Banks’ foot instead. Banks goes with the kicks to the chest instead and one to the back puts Ohno on the floor.
The dive is countered though and Ohno kicks him in the face. Banks is fine enough to hit a running kick to the chest from the apron, only to be sent into the steps for his efforts. Back in and a running legdrop gives Ohno two but he misses a backsplash. The kicks to the chest (they like kicking in this one) keep Ohno in trouble until a knee to Banks’ injured shoulder has him writhing on the mat.
Ohno walks around for a bit until they trade more kicks. The pump kick gives Ohno two so it’s time to pull on the arm a little bit. A reversed whip sends Ohno to the apron and a dropkick puts him on the floor. Now the suicide dive connects, allowing Banks to hit a running knee to the face.
Back in and Banks gets caught in an electric chair, which is countered into a victory roll for two. A quick Kiwi Crusher gets two more but Ohno throws him onto his shoulders again for a Rubik’s Cube (One Winged Angel) for two which should have been three. Ohno is so surprised that he gets rolled up twice in a row, followed by a third attempt for the pin at 14:47.
Rating: B. Questionable use of such a major move that didn’t end the match aside, this was a smart way to use Ohno. He’s so much bigger than Banks (or just about anyone else on the roster) and it’s a good idea to have him wrestle this kind of an aggressive style. Banks looks like he can beat a monster, which is a good way to get him back on the right track.
We look back at Piper Niven debuting last week and scaring off Rhea Ripley.
Long video on Pete Dunne vs. Walter.
Jordan Devlin is sick of hearing about Dunne’s rematch because he’d rather hear about his own title shot.
Piper Niven vs. Killer Kelly
Piper stalks her a bit and we get an early handshake. Kelly goes a little more aggressive than I would have expected and tries a cravate, earning herself a slam and backsplash. A regular splash gets two and we hit the chinlock. Back up and Kelly slips off Piper’s shoulder and grabs a sleeper, which is reversed with a crash into the corner. A Cannonball into a Michinoku Driver gives Piper the pin at 3:35.
Rating: D+. Not quite a squash but Kelly never felt like any kind of a threat. That’s the right way to present someone like Piper, who shouldn’t be in any kind of trouble until she’s in there with Ripley. Yeah she’s big, but she moves around very well and came off as very athletic, which is a great combination.
Post match Rhea tries to sneak in but gets stared back up the aisle.
Moustache Mountain is ready to come to New York to face Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews.
The Grizzled Young Veterans aren’t happy with having to go to New York because Gibson doesn’t want to miss Liverpool games. There’s going to be a non-title challenge to any team from the NXT UK roster.
Joseph Conners vs. Jack Starz
Starz spins out of a wristlock to start and puts Conners down into a wristlock. Conners’ British Bulldog lift out of a short armscissors is countered into a sunset flip to give Starz two. With early frustration setting in, Conners hits a top rope shoulder and it’s off to a neck crank. Some elbow drops have Starz in more trouble and Conners wants the referee to check on him. The referee thinks Starz is fine so Conners hits a hard clothesline but Starz slips between his legs. A running corner dropkick sets up a high crossbody, which Conners rolls through into Don’t Look Down for the pin at 4:46.
Rating: C-. Remember all the other times I’ve criticized Conners’ matches in the same way? It’s the exact same thing here. Don’t Look Down is a good name for a finisher and it’s not a bad move….but it’s Joseph Conners doing the thing. I’d like to care about him, but he is just so uninteresting and dull that there’s nothing he can do to fix his problems.
Video on Dave Mastiff, who is back soon.
Women’s Title: Toni Storm vs. Jinny
Jinny is challenging. They go right at it to start with Toni getting the better of it and grabbing a half crab. The fans don’t make it any better by calling Jinny a Primark Princess, though Toni switching to an STF might be more painful (emphasis on might). After using the rope for a break, it’s off to a camel clutch to put Toni in trouble for a change. Storm reverses into a surfboard on the mat but Jinny is right back in the ropes for the break.
A Downward Spiral into the middle buckle knocks Toni silly and it’s time to start in on the back. Jinny hits a backbreaker and grabs a chinlock with a knee in the back. Now it’s a regular chinlock as Jinny is looking rather strong so far. Toni fights up with some rolling German suplexes but another shot to the back cuts her off. Jinny’s version of Storm Zero is countered with a headbutt and Jinny is rocked. She’s fine enough to try a hurricanrana, which is reversed into a powerbomb. Storm Zero retains the title at 10:34.
Rating: B-. Jinny was treated as an equal here and a real threat to the title, which is the best thing that can happen to the division at the moment. Storm and Ripley have been on top for so long that they need someone fresh in the ranks. It doesn’t have to be someone to win the title, but there needs to be someone who makes Toni sweat, which is what we had here.
Overall Rating: B+. That’s one of the better shows they’ve had and they’re wisely taking a path that NXT took: what you see right now on this show, no matter what it might be, is the most important thing. They treated the Women’s Title match like a big deal, just as they did Trent Seven vs. Joe Coffey before. It makes everything on the show feel important, which gives you a reason to want to watch. Some things are of course more important than others, but you wouldn’t know that from commentary and that’s the right way to go about things.
Travis Banks b. Kassius Ohno – Rollup
Piper Niven b. Killer Kelly – Michinoku Driver
Joseph Conners b. Jack Starz – Don’t Look Down
Toni Storm b. Jinny – Storm Zero
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