Date: August 21, 2019
Location: Plymouth Pavilions, Devon, England
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Nigel McGuinness
We’ve got less than two weeks to go before Takeover: Cardiff and that means things are going to be hitting the high gear around here. This week that will a showdown between Walter and Tyler Bate, which has the potential to be one of the best matches we’ve ever seen around here. Other than that….oh who cares as Walter and Bate are in the same ring. Let’s get to it.
Fabian Aichner/Marcel Barthel vs. The Hunt
No opening sequence this week. Aichner and Primate start things off and it’s a battle over a lockup to get us going. A knee to the ribs takes Primate down and it’s off to the armbar. Primate goes animal and bites the ear so it can be off to Boar vs. Barthel. The latter takes him down into an armbar, which seems to be the Imperium way. Barthel starts headbutting away in the corner as the fans chant what sounds like “WALTER’S B******!”. Aichner comes in for some backbreakers on Boar and it’s a spinebuster into a kick to the chest (looked like Barthel was setting for a Hart Attack but had to pull back).
The chinlock goes on and is broken up just as quickly, meaning it’s back to Primate to clean house. Barthel knocked outside but Aichner shoves the Hunt into each other. Primate backdrops Barthel outside and hits a Cannonball on Aichner but misses a charge into the corner. Stereo dropkicks in the corner take care of Primate and it’s a spinebuster to Boar (Nigel: “SQUEAL PIGGY SQUEAL!”) on the apron. The powerbomb/European uppercut combination finishes Primate at 7:43.
Rating: C. There was a story here with the Hunt taking over with the wild offense but Barthel and Aichner took over with better technique and teamwork, which is exactly the point of the team. This is the kind of win that makes the team look extra good as the team can back it up in the ring. That sets them up as bigger threats to stronger opponents, meaning things are going well so far.
Sid Scala announces Noam Dar vs. Travis Banks for Takeover.
Aichner and Barthel aren’t interested in an interview. They go into their locker room and a fight is heard as the cameraman is knocked down. Barthel is down and someone in white socks (likely Bate) walks away.
Kay Lee Ray vs. Shax
Shax isn’t very tall and carries a walking stick. Ray powers her into the corner to start as the fans aren’t sure what to do here. A beating in the corner puts Shax down and the fans boo, though they shift to a WE WANT TONI chant. Shax blocks a suplex but gets clotheslined down as the slow beating continues. For some reason Shax tries to go up and dives straight into a superkick. The Gory Bomb completes the squash at 3:31.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here as Ray wins with the fans not interested in Shax. I do like them bringing in people for a one off appearance like this though as it’s better than beating the same people over and over again. You can’t do it forever, but for something like this it’s better than the alternative. Maybe you even find a hidden gem in there.
Post match Ray says we’re almost to Cardiff but has to pause for the TONI chants. Ray knows what kind of weak and fragile kind of person that Toni can be and she’s taking the title at Takeover. Cue Toni but Ray says she knows why Toni doesn’t like to go home. Ray goes home to friends and family, but Toni goes home to nothing and no one. The only thing she has is the title and that’s not lasting.
Ray was her friend for years and has heard about everyone leaving Toni. Has she ever thought that it’s her? Toni is the reason they don’t talk anymore and that all of her boyfriends moved on. She’s also the reason her dad walked out on the family and that’s a right hand to the face. Good promo here, as the personal issues can make a not very interesting title match a lot better.
Video on Dave Mastiff vs. Joe Coffey in a Last Man Standing match at Takeover. Johnny Saint announcing the match is almost sad as he just reads the line off a card and seems to have no idea what is going on with the story. Both guys count to ten and promise to win the big rematch.
Oliver Carter is here next week.
Jordan Devlin wants to know why he isn’t on the Takeover card. Kenny Williams comes up to challenge him for next week.
The two of them leave and we pan over to Walter yelling at Alexander Wolfe. Walter isn’t happy with what happened because there is no order or structure. He’ll meet Bate in the ring tonight anyway.
Mark Andrews vs. James Drake
If Andrews wins, he and Webster are added to the Tag Team Title match at Takeover. Flash Morgan Webster and Zack Gibson are the respective seconds. Drake says Andrews isn’t going to Takeover as the fans sing about Gibson. It’s time to work on Mark’s arm and that means the flipping escape with Andrews getting in some armdrags of his own. The double arm trap rollup gives Andrews two and Drake needs a breather in the corner.
The fans stand up in their hatred of Gibson, earning a facepalm from the man himself. Andrews doesn’t waste time in hitting a standing moonsault for two as the fans are still anti-Grizzled Young Veterans. Drake sends him into the corner to mess with Andrews’ back and a snap suplex makes it worse. Andrews is placed on top and pulled down, sending him back first onto the buckle. The logical backbreaker gets two and it’s off to a chinlock. As the fans stand up and then sit back down to confirm their hatred of Gibson, Andrews slips out and hits Stomp 182 for a breather.
An enziguri sends Drake outside for the suicide dive and it’s a heck of a tornado DDT for two back inside. The sitout bulldog looks to set up Fall to Pieces but a distraction from Gibson lets Drake break it up. Andrews is fine enough for a reverse hurricanrana but here’s Gallus to jump Webster. Gibson yells at them as Andrews grabs Stundog Millionaire for the fast pin at 11:13 to send he and Webster to Takeover.
Rating: C. I can’t help but think that Gibson can be the heel of all heels (and eventually the face of all faces) if and when he breaks away from Drake. The fans reacting to him like that is the hardest thing for anyone and Gibson just gets people to care about him, even if it is this negative. The match wasn’t the point here but the fans reacting to Gibson was great to watch.
Here’s the returning Trent Seven through the crowd with the announcers thinking he attacked Imperium. Walter and Wolfe come out but Bate chairs them down. Seven and Wolfe fight on the stage as Walter kicks the chair away but Bate gets in another shot. The Tyler Driver 97 plants Walter(the roof is coming off if he hits that in Cardiff) and Bate poses with the title to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The Takeover card is now set and this was the show that hammered home most of the stories. We had one match added and another (likely) finalized and that made for a good evening. The wrestling wasn’t the point here and that’s the kind of show where NXT UK (or almost any promotion) can excel. I’m more interested in seeing Takeover than I was coming in and that’s a positive sign.
Marcel Barthel/Fabian Aichner b. The Hunt – Powerbomb/European uppercut combination to Primate
Kay Lee Ray b. Shax – Gory Bomb
Mark Andrews b. James Drake – Stundog Millionaire
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