Date: October 31, 2019
Location: Brentwood Centre, Essex, England
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Nigel McGuinness
This is one of those shows that might be in a weird place as it comes on the same day as a huge afternoon which also included Crown Jewel. There is a fairly stacked card for a show not featuring the main eventers, as we’ll be seeing Dave Mastiff vs. Jordan Devlin and the debut of A-Kid. Let’s get to it.
Jinny/Jazzy Gabbert vs. Piper Niven/Rhea Ripley
Jinny and Piper start things off and an early Jazzy distraction completely backfires with Piper knocking Jinny down with ease. Rhea comes in to a massive reaction and sends Jinny outside, where she is caught between Rhea and Piper for a scary visual. Back in and Rhea nails a running basement dropkick to Jinny’s head but a second Jazzy interference works a bit better as Rhea gets taken down.
Jazzy blasts Rhea down and hands it back to Jinny for something close to the Black Widow. That’s broken up with raw power and it’s time for Piper to run into Gabbert really hard. A backsplash crushes Gabbert and Jinny at the same time but Gabbert is right back up with a spear for two. Piper comes back in for the save and the villains are sent to the floor for the big flip dive from Ripley. Back in and Niven Michinoku Drivers Gabbert for the pin at 6:04.
Rating: C. Ripley looks more and more like a superstar every second she’s out there that Toni Storm is gone. She’s a complete star and someone who seems ready for the main roster today (she isn’t there yet, but that’s how it feels a lot of the time). Her move over to NXT is overdue as she needs better competition, and that was on full display here.
A-Kid vs. Kassius Ohno
The fans are behind the Kid here and the much bigger Ohno takes him down by the arm to start, only to let him go in a hurry. That seems like a bit of a waste of time as Ohno grabs another armbar on the mat a second later, only to get rolled up for two instead. Kid’s headlock is countered into a rather hard headscissors but Kid is out again. An armdrag out of the corner into a dropkick has Ohno in trouble so he hits Kid in the throat.
Ohno grabs a chinlock and drops a backsplash for two but can’t keep Kid down on the mat with a test of strength. Kid gets up and snaps off a springboard hurricanrana but Ohno powers out of a cross armbreaker. A catapult sends Kid throat first into the middle rope and they stagger around outside. The slugout is on but Kid hits a 619 underneath the bottom rope (apparently not breaking the count) for the countout at 6:36.
Rating: C+. Kid definitely has some potential, which was on display in the few times I’ve see him before here too. The match got just enough time to go somewhere and Ohno is the kind of guy who can easily bounce back from a loss like this. You can all but guarantee a rematch too, which would be just fine.
Post match Ohno beats him down but Tyler Bate, who endorsed Kid before he got here, runs in for the save.
Killer Kelly is medically cleared and is off to demand a match.
Joseph Conners vs. Roy Johnson
Johnson is a friend of a friend so this is a cool moment. The fans certainly seem to like Johnson (Big Wavy you see) so he dances a bit and hits a right hand, only to get caught with a clothesline. Johnson goes head first into the buckle and gets his ribs bent around the post for a bonus. Conners shouts about this being his so Johnson makes the comeback with a series of forearms and elbows. A backbreaker connects and the straps come down, only to be sent face first into the buckle. A reverse Hennig neck snap sets up Don’t Look Down to give Conners the pin at 4:06.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here but Johnson got in enough offense to make it a bit entertaining. Johnson has charisma and some strength, which puts him two things above Conners. You can hear the crown being silent during every one of his matches and it is getting worse time after time. Just…what’s the appeal of the guy?
Here’s Kay Lee Ray to talk about how great it is to have Toni Storm gone. What matters now though is the fact that she has Xia Brookside saying that she wants a title shot. Xia tries to claim that Ray cost her a title shot but all Ray did was win a battle royal. Now, she stands here as your champion.
Gallus says as long as they’re around, Imperium doesn’t hold all the gold. Joe Coffey is coming for the UK Title.
Dave Mastiff vs. Jordan Devlin
Devlin goes right at him but is smart enough to bail to the floor when he feels the power. Back in and Mastiff throws him around again, followed by a hard shot to the face. A choke takes Devlin to the top rope but he takes Mastiff’s arm down across said rope to take over. The arm goes around the rope again and Devlin stands on Mastiff’s head. The short armscissors goes on and some of those slaps to the leg look like taps. Anyway Devlin backflips away and muscles Devlin up for the break.
Back up and an overhead belly to belly sends Devlin flying but has to slap his own arm. Devlin tries the Devil Inside for as much success as you would have expected. A hard whip puts Devlin on the floor and there’s a Regal Roll to crush him even worse. Back in and Devlin hits a slingshot cutter into a moonsault for two, only to try it again and hit raised boots. Into the Void connects but Devlin collapses to the floor. Mastiff pulls him back in and goes up for some reason, allowing Devil to hit an enziguri. A super Devil Inside finishes Mastiff at 12:03.
Rating: B-. Devlin is looking more and more like a main eventer every single day and Mastiff does things that a giant should not be able to pull off. That gave us a rather entertaining match with Mastiff’s power and freaky athleticism being enough to hold Devlin down, but in the end it was one creative move that stopped him. That made for a rather strong story in a match where you wouldn’t have expected it.
In the back, Alexander Wolfe gives Ilja Dragunov another sales pitch to join Imperium but Dragunov isn’t convinced to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. It felt like they were in a bit better groove this time and I liked the show as a result. What mattered the most through was the main event, which came off better than I would have bet on. A-Kid looks good and Ripley is still a star. That being said, the lack of Walter is starting to hurt as it feels like this is all the second stringers because he’s so dominant on top of the roster. Good enough show here though, and an improvement over most recent weeks.
Piper Niven/Rhea Ripley b. Jinny/Jazzy Gabbert – Michinoku Driver to Gabbert
A-Kid b. Kassius Ohno via countout
Joseph Conners b. Roy Johnson – Don’t Look Down
Jordan Devlin b. Dave Mastiff – Super Devil Inside
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